Medieval Cultural Achievements Life was very chaotic during the Dark Ages. People concentrated on protecting themselves from invasions and taking care of their own physical needs Toward the end of Middle Ages, as Europe stabilizes, society begins to make gains in the fields of Literature, Art and Architecture • Literature • Architecture and Art Roman Influence The Gothic Tradition
Language and literature • Although the language of scholars was Latin, new stories began to appear in everyday languages of the people. • Literature included stories of knights and feudal lords as well as common people • Authors like Dante and Chaucer wrote stories about warrior heroes and oridinary people who showed courage, humor and morality
Architecture and Art • Architecture and art focused on glorifying God • Most art was a reflection of the power of the church • During late Middle Ages money from trade begins to contribute to the great works of architecture and art
Roman Influence In 1000, towns began to build stone churches that reflected the influence of Rome.
The Gothic Tradition The Gothic style of architecture appeared in Europe in the early 1100s. These new buildings, unlike Roman Architecture, seemed to soar upwards Gothic style was characterized by pointed arches and flying buttresses, stone supports that stood outside the building.
The Gothic cathedral forms a total experience that we can still understand today. Gothic is considered urban since many churches of this style were built in towns The Cathedral of Amiens serves as an example. Begun in 1220 by the architect Robert de Luzarches, the facade of Amiens is dominated, like St. Denis, by two towers
A Viking "Bearded Axe" ca. 1000 (top) and a German Horsemans Axe ca. 1100 (bottom)
The proliferation of plate armor across Medieval Europe was shadowed by the development of crushing weapons like the war hammer. Since swords were virtually useless against plate armor, mounted knights used short hammers, axes and maces to defeat an opponent's improved protection.
This Zinc Plated Chain Mail Shirt was difficult to produce in its time, yet was greatly desired for its protective qualities.
The flail was an early agricultural implement that was used to separate grain. However, it was soon discovered that it was also excellent for bashing people. Most flails were two handed, but it wasn't long before a smaller version was in use. The spiked flail has been a favorite of movies, books, legends, and people in general for many, many years. For one thing, it simply looks ferocious and intimidating.
The mace, a short club like weapon with a flanged head, was a symbol of rank and status as well as an effective weapon against plate and mail armour. Unlike the sword or axe, the mace was easy to use, very tough and did not require sharpening. The morning star is similar to the mace however it typically has longer and sharper spikes
The Medieval crossbow spent a long time as a dominant weapon in the middle ages. It had several advantages. It could be used by relatively untrained soldiers with good results. It also was a very fine ranged weapon in that it could penetrate armor from distances up to 200 yards.