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4.2: Historic Context

  • Page ID
    51179
  • Fall of the Roman Empire around 450.

    Rise of the Byzantine/Eastern Roman, Frankish/Western Roman, Persian, Moslem, and Turkish Empires.

    Plague of 542–594 kills half the population of Europe.

    Charlemagne (742–814) crowned Holy Roman Emperor, 800.

    Viking shipbuilding flourishes ca. 900.

    Heroic poem Beowulf ca. 1000.

    Discovery of the Americas by Leif Eriksson ca. 1000.

    First Crusade 1095–1099 followed by succession of crusades ending in 1291.

    Signing of the Magna Carta, limiting the power of the English king, 1215.

    Black Death 1347–1349 and 1361 kills a third of the population of Europe.

    “Death of Knighthood” at Battle of Agincourt, 1415; French knights in armor are defeated by English armed with crossbows.

    Joan of Arc burned at the stake, 1431.

    Establishment of major European cities: Venice (ca. 450), Granada (ca. 750), Dublin (ca. 840), Leipzig (ca. 1015), Vienna (ca. 1220), Copenhagen (ca. 1040), Nuremberg (ca. 1050), Oslo (ca. 1050), Munich (ca. 1100), Moscow (ca. 1150), Belfast (ca. 1170), Heidelberg (ca. 1200), Liverpool (ca. 1200), Amsterdam (ca. 1200), Berlin (ca. 1230), Prague (ca. 1250), Stockholm (ca. 1250).

    Spread of Christianity through Europe: Vatican Palace built ca. 500; Benedictine Order founded 529; Wales converted to Christianity ca. 550; Papacy of Gregory I 590–604; Parthenon in Rome consecrated as Church of S. Maria Rotunda, 609; Monastery of St. Gallen, Switzerland, founded 612; Gloucester Abbey founded 681; first canonization of saints 993; Iceland and Greenland converted to Christianity ca. 1000.

    Building of cathedrals and basilicas: building of St. Sophia Basilica in Constantinople 532–537; Arles Cathedral founded ca. 600; St. Paul’s Church, London, founded ca. 603; founding of Winchester Cathedral 685; Basilica of St. Mark, Venice (975–1094); consecration of Westminster Abbey (1065); Canterbury Cathedral (1070–1503); Chartres Cathedral 1134– 1260; Verona Cathedral (1139–1187); Notre Dame Cathedral (1163–1235); Sainte-Chapelle, Paris (1246–1258); Cologne Cathedral, 1248–1880; Seville 1402.

    Founding of universities: Salerno (850); Paris (1150); Oxford (1167); Bologna (1119); Siena (1203); Vicenza (1204); Salamanca (1217); Toulouse (1229); The Sorbonne (1254); Montpellier (1289); Lisbon (1290); Rome (1303); Grenoble (1339); Pisa (1338); Prague (1348); Vienna (1366); Heidelberg (1386); Cologne (1388).

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