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Middle Ages is the historical period of Western civilization between the 5th and 15th centuries.

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It's beginning is usually situated in 476 CE with the fall of the Roman Empire of the West, and its end in 1492, with the discovery of America.

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Although it is also situated in 1453 with the fall of Constantinople,

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a date that has the singularity of coinciding with the invention of printing on the part of Gutenberg,

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and also with the end of the Hundred Years' War,

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a war that actually lasted 116 years , between the Kingdoms of France and England.

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This war was of feudal root,

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because its purpose was to solve who would control the enormous possessions accumulated by the English Kings since 1154 in French territories

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due to the ascent to the English throne of Henry Plantagenet,

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the war had international implications,

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and finally after numerous events,

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finished with the English retreat of French lands.

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In the Middle Ages, the slave mode of production is replaced by a mode of production of feudal servitude.

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There was also a decomposition of the centralized structures of the Roman Empire,

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which gave way to a dispersion of power.

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Ideologically and culturally, there was a mestization of classical culture with Christian and Islamic monotheistic cultures, each in its own space.

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The Middle Ages are usually divided into two major periods:

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Early Middle Ages-from the 5th to the 10th centuries-

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and Late Middle Ages, from the 11th to the 15th centuries.

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As we have seen, the Middle Ages lasted for about 1000 years, and in 1000 years many things happen.

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On the one hand in the East we have the history of the Eastern Roman Empire, also called Byzantine Empire, with the capital in Constantinople, where Greek was spoken.

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From here, the Slavic peoples (Serbs, Bulgarians, Russians) were christianized,

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on the other hand in Western Europe we have a lot of Germanic peoples,

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barbarians for the Romans,

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coming from northern Europe,

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That were descending in successive waves towards the south, and they were settling forming kingdoms.

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These peoples secured and fused with their culture many features of Greek and Latin civilizations,

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adopting Roman law, and Christianity as official religion.

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Year 620 CE, in Mecca, Mohammed appears.

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Who created a monotheistic religion: Islam

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At his death in 632, the Arabian peninsula was already mostly Muslim.

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Its successors took the title of Caliph, and initiated a territorial expansion that reached from the Iberian peninsula to India

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The presence of Muslims as an alternative rival civilization,

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located in the southern side of the Mediterranean Basin,

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whose maritime traffic they started controling,

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forced the closure of Western Europe in itself for several centuries.

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For some historians this fact was the true beginning of the Middle Ages.

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In the year 732 in the Battle of Poitiers with Charles Martel at the head of an army begins the retreat of the Muslim forces in Europe.

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The grandson of that Charles Martel: Charlemagne

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Expanded the differents Frankish Realms until transforming them into an Empire:

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The Carolingian Empire

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It incorporated a large part of Western and Central Europe.

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He conquered Italy, and was crowned Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III on Christmas day of the year 800.

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At his death, the Empire would end up divided among his grandchildren.

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Germany and France fight for northern Italy, Germany wins, which obtains the favor of the Pope, and the Imperial Crown.

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The result is the Holy Roman Empire.

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In the year 962, the German King Otto I, called the Great, is crowned Emperor.

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After the disintegration of the Carolingian Empire and the failure of the centralizing political project of Charlemagne, the weakness of the Kings became evident.

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His successors were forced to give much of their authority to the Counts and Marquises to gain their support.

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To secure the loyalty of these nobles, the monarchs gave them lands: the fiefs.

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On the other hand the invasions of Vikings, Saracens and Hungarians, increased the general insecurity, which forced the kings to entrust to the nobles the defense of their territories.

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The figure of the knight is born.

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Feudalism reached its maturity in the 11th century, and reached its peak in the 12th and 13th centuries.

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Its cradle was the region between the rivers Rhine and Loire.

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Dominated by the Duchy of Normandy.

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By feudalism we understand a system based on a series of bonds and obligations, generally military commitments, between a free man: the vassal, and another free man in a superior situation: the lord.

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The vassal swore fidelity to his master, and committed himself to fulfill certain easements, mainly of militar aid and political council.

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Receiving as consideration

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a benefit.

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Usually the control and jurisdiction over the land and the population of his fief or lordship.

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This is known as vassalage.

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The vassalage was confirmed through two ceremonies:

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Homage and Investiture.

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The possibility of a vassal of taking under his protection other men, becoming these last ones his vassals, established a pyramidal network of vassal relations.

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At the end of the video we will see what the typical pyramid of a feudal society was like.

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We have just seen how it went from a Roman State, based on central power and a vast territory, to a State based on personal ties fragmented in different fiefdoms.

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In them, the Lord monopolizes the functions of the State, such as:

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legislate, impose taxes and administer justice.

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The land acquired an enormous economic importance by the diminish of the commerce and the monetary circulation, for that reason, the agriculture is the base of the feudal economy.

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A self-consumption economy, rural life predominates in front of the urban one.

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A characteristic fief consisted of a village surrounded by land to cultivate, protected by a castle run by a Lord.

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This castle was also called "burg".

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By extension, the name burg was also applied to the populations that develop around these constructions.

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Thus arose the great medieval cities.

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The inhabitants of these nascent cities were called bourgeois.

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The bourgeois term is born.

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To these centers came the peasants to sell their surplus.

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Cereals, fruits, meat

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At the same time they bought articles of daily use elaborated by the artisans.

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Tools, ceramics, clothing

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New neighborhoods of craftsmen and merchants who grouped themselves into guilds were formed.

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It was in these cities that the Gothic style, an evolution of the Romanesque, was born.

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These cities saw the uprising of prodigious cathedrals.

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Chartres, Paris, Cologne, Leon, Burgos

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Are among the most extraordinary architectural works built by mankind.

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This cities also saw the birth of the universities

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Like those of Bologna, Oxford, Cambridge, Salamanca, Paris.

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In them were learned the seven liberal arts composed by the

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Trivium: Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric

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And the Quadrivium: Geometry, Astronomy, Arithmetic and Music.

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Specialized studies could also be studied as Law, Medicine, Theology and Philosophy.

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The dominant philosophy was that of Aristotle, whose texts had come to Europe through the Arabic teaching centers.

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The Medieval Philosophy: Scholasticism

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Was fundamentally intended to systematize the Christian conception of the world in Aristotelian terms.

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The most celebrated representative of this current was Saint Thomas Aquinas.

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Majestic Cathedrals, Universities.

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Well!

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It seems that the Middle Ages is not that Dark Age that they have always wanted to sell us.

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And we have not yet mentioned the monasteries.

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The monasteries were also islands of civilization.

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They did not only emanate spirituality, culture and Christianity,

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They were also the ones who introduced the forest clearing

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Beneficial inventions like the good beer, or wonderful natural remedies.

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But the monasteries were fundamentally

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large desks where were saved, copied and preserved, the manuscripts we have inherited from ancient times.

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These islands of civilization were not the common thing in medieval society.

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The majority of the population was illiterate

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Here minstrels and troubadours played a very important role.

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They were musicians and poets who orally divulged the epic feats of heroes.

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The Middle Ages is the time of the great knights

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and the great epic poems like

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Cantar de Mio Cid, The Song of Roland, Beowulf or the Song of the Nibelungs.

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These poets also spoke

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about the courtly love that expresses love in a noble, sincere and chivalrous way.

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The greatest example is found in the Arthurian legend of Tristan and Iseult

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The troubadour poetry was mainly of love theme,

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but it could also focus on political, moral, religious, etc.

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Another topic could be The Crusades

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a series of military campaigns aimed at re-establishing Christian control over the Holy Land-

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The geographical territory comprising all the sites in which biblical scenes were developed-

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Finally, let's see what the social pyramid of a feudal regime was like:

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At the top of the cusp were the Emperor, or the Kings,

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For the next step

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We are going to establish two differentiated columns,

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since the Church constituted a parallel hierarchy to the Nobility.

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In the High Nobility we have Dukes, Marquises and Counts, whose titles derive from governors of the Carolingian Empire.

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A step lower we have Barons, Knights, etc.

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In the Clergy branch we also distinguish between High Clergy(Bishops, Archbishops, etc.),

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which came from the High Nobility and the royal families,

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and the Lower Clergy(Priests, Monks, Friars, etc), who came from wealthy families of peasants and artisans.

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At the base of the pyramid we have 90% of the population: the peasantry.

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Peasants with less rights, such as not being able to leave the fief, were the serfs.

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The main difference between a serfs and a slave was that generally

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A serf could not be sold separately from the land he worked.

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and, legally, he was a free man.

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It was a deeply static society,

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since each individual remained in the social class in which he was born.

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The injustices implicated in this hierarchy were compensated by religion.

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Any situation of disadvantage in this world was compensated with a situation of advantage in the following one.

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1 comentario


https://www.duolingo.com/RicardoCue20

I think that you need to write only the text and erase the numbers because it is too difficult to follow the general idea, also... where is the original text to compare you translate? Regards

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