Published on February 12, 2008
Tuesday, October 24English IV Honors…the class!: Tuesday, October 24 English IV Honors…the class! Introduction to the Middle Ages J. Atkins Wade Hampton High School Bellringer (and more): Bellringer (and more) Turn to page 438 in your textbook. Review the material provided on maintaining subject-verb agreement. Complete both exercises on p. 439! Turn in the exercises for a daily grade. Reviewing the bellringer: Reviewing the bellringer Go over exercise 1 Review complements, indefinite pronouns, and adjective clauses. Diagram a few sentences—just for fun! The next unit: The Middle Ages: The next unit: The Middle Ages Look at the artwork surrounding the map on p. 678. Discuss. Discuss timeline on p. 680-681. Historical Background: Historical Background The Middle Ages began about A.D. 300. Notice on the timeline that the only works listed before 900 are sacred writings and Beowulf. How do you think literature flourished? Most historians date the end of The Middle Ages at about 1500. Feudalism: Feudalism Based on the control of land and on the rights and responsibilities that this control conferred. Serfs tilled the soil for the lords of the manor who protected them. The lords, in turn, protected the nobles from who they had obtained the land. The nobles protected the king who owed his allegiance to God alone. http://www.learner.org/exhibits/middleages/feudal.html Moors’ Invasion: Moors’ Invasion When the Moors invaded Spain, Europe was a Christian society. The Muslim invasion of a Christian country set the stage for many battles between Christians and Muslims. Beowulf: Beowulf This heroic epic contains some traces of the Christian ethos. Because it was written in Old English, it must be translated for modern readers. Hwæt! We Gardena in geardagum, þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon, hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon. Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum, monegum mægþum, meodosetla ofteah, egsode eorlas. Translation: Translation Listen: You have heard of the Danish Kings in the old days and how they were great warriors. Shield, the son of Sheaf, took many an enemy's chair, terrified many a warrior, after he was found an orphan. He prospered under the sky until people everywhere listened when he spoke. He was a good king! Roger Bacon and Science: Roger Bacon and Science People sometimes overlook the fact that science was studied and practiced in the Middle Ages. One of Roger Bacon’s major interests was the field of optics. He used mathematics and scientific methodology and experimentation to study optics. He succeeded in presenting an accurate description of the eye and the optic nerve. Humanities Connection: Humanities Connection The Book of Kells, dating from the late eighth to early ninth century, is an illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels from Ireland. Illumination is usually divided into two distinct styles: outline drawing and fully colored. In the fully colored style, the vellum was covered with a base to allow the burnished gold to adhere more firmly, and then the dyes, mixed with egg and gum and dissolved in water, were applied. Dark Ages: Dark Ages At on time the term Dark Ages was used to describe the early Middle Ages, from about the fifth to the eleventh centuries. It is true that most Germanic peoples were illiterate, scholarly materials were monopolized by the Church, and European trade was stagnant. Modern scholars, however, generally agree that the term Dark Ages is a misnomer. Think of Tristan & Isolde! Life in the Middle Ages: Life in the Middle Ages “People of the Middle Ages existed under mental, moral, and physical circumstances so different from our own as to constitute almost a foreign civilization.” ~Barbara Tuchman~ Only members of the clergy were educated Latin was the language of learning Life was only a brief stopping place on the way to an eternal afterlife Daily life was hard Chaos and Culture: Chaos and Culture The End of Roman Culture… Collapsed under its own weight Byzantine Empire with its capitol in Constantinople (Istanbul) ruled Egypt, the eastern Mediterranean, Asia Minor, the Balkans Western Empire fell to invading Germanic tribes (Lombards, Anglo-Saxons, Franks) Knighthood & Chivalry: Knighthood & Chivalry The Age of Faith: The Age of Faith In A.D. 330 the emperor Constantine proclaimed Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, and in 451, the Pope became the undisputed religious authority of the Church. Chronicles were kept in monasteries which became the forerunners of our modern-day historians and journalists. The Rise of Charlemagne: The Rise of Charlemagne In 768, Charlemagne became king of the Franks, and in 800 he became the first emperor of the new Holy Roman Empire. He encouraged scholarship and under his direction a new way of writing was instituted that replaced the Roman system which used only capital letters. The Song of Roland is about Charlemagne. Epic Deeds of Heroes & Heroines: Epic Deeds of Heroes & Heroines Throughout the early Middle Ages, a rich tradition of stories was passed on by minstrels. In general the medieval epics glorify physical strength, courage, and loyalty, celebrating warriors who defeat evil and restore order. Note: saints’ lives glorified the Christian virtues of piety and humility. Medieval Oral Literature: Medieval Oral Literature French poets called trouvères composed the popular chansons de geste. It is important to remember that most people in the Middle Ages were illiterate. The common people entertained themselves with folktales, beast fables, and ballads. Ballads, or narrative songs, were like the stories we hear in the National Enquirer. The Romance and Courtly Love: The Romance and Courtly Love Chivalry, a term derived from the French word for knight, chevalier, was basically a military code of behavior. A knight was supposed to be fair to his opponents, loyal to his lord, and honorable in all things. He was supposed to show Christian humility to his peers, kindness to those beneath him, and generosity to all. The Romance Theme: The Romance Theme Romances were the literary expression chivalric ideals: Arthurian romances were among the most popular. Chrétien de Troyes who wrote in French in the late 12th c., was the most famous of the medieval romance poets. Courtly love served to distinguish romances from earlier epic. A Tradition from France: A Tradition from France In France, the Breton lais (lai means “song”) were influenced by the ideals of courtly love. They were short stories with supernatural or fairy-tale elements, written in verse and sung to the accompaniment of the lyre or lute by troubadours. A number of lais were collected by Marie de France who lived in the English court not long after the Normans of France had conquered England. Education: Education “Woe to our day, since the pursuit of letters has perished from among us.” History of the Franks, Gregory of Tours With the collapse of the Roman Empire, learning became the province of church officials. From the late 500’s, when Gregory wrote the History of the Franks, until the mid-700’s, learning was a neglected art. In the late Middle Ages, the academic disciplines were divided into Trivium: grammar, rhetoric and dialectic & the Quadrivium: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music. The Late Middle Ages: The Late Middle Ages Dated from about 1300-1500 and was a time of enormous upheaval that dealt severe blows to the feudal system and the Church. The Crusades (1096-1270) were Christian attempts to forcefully regain the Holy Land from the Muslims. The Little Ice Age, the Black Death, & the development of gunpowder were all dramatic changes during this time. Important Literary Developments: Important Literary Developments Power of the Church was challenged (see the movie Luther) because its power as Bible interpreter was challenged. Reformers were able to write, print, and circulate literary satires that ridiculed the Church corrupt practices. The rise and use of the vernacular: the most significant development.