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The Journey from the Middle ages to Renaissance Europe
Transcript of The Journey from the Middle ages to Renaissance Europe
Winter never came...we had a Renaissance instead! :)
The movement began in Italy and encompassed almost all facets of life including politics, intellect, and art. The main contributors to the Renaissance (such as Petrarch, Da Vinci, and Dante) classified the medieval period as slow and dark, a time of little education or innovation. They viewed the medieval period as an interruption of culture between the classical world of Greece and Rome and themselves.
its a whole new world...a new fantastic point of view..
But did anything really change for the majority of people?
As we now know, the term ‘Medieval’, was first referred to by italian scholars and academics of the late fifteenth century. They were basically
stating that the society in which they now lived was significantly more civilized and advanced in many ways than that which had existed during the previous thousand years.
This was certainly true within the elite sections of Italian society, which had begun to emulate the art and philosophy of ancient Greece.
On the other hand, perhaps there is also evidence that overall, no all-pervading change had occurred for regular peoples everyday lives?
Measly Middle Ages
The Middle Ages have this name because they were the
middle period between the decline of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance
. They are also often referred to as the Dark Ages or the Medieval era.
For safety and for defense, people in the Middle Ages formed small communities around a central lord or master. Most people lived on a manor, which consisted of the castle, the church, the village, and the surrounding farm land. These manors were isolated, with occasional visits from peddlers, pilgrims on their way to the Crusades, or soldiers from other fiefdoms.
In this "feudal" system, the king awarded land grants or "fiefs" to his most important nobles, his barons, and his bishops, in return for their contribution of soldiers for the king's armies. At the lowest echelon of society were the peasants, also called "serfs" or "villeins." In exchange for living and working on his land, known as the "demesne," the lord offered his peasants protection.
The Catholic Church was the only church in Europe during the Middle Ages. Church leaders such as bishops and archbishops sat on the king's council and played leading roles in government.
The Medieval Church played a far greater role in Medieval England than the Church does today. In Medieval England, the Church dominated everybody's life. All Medieval people - be they village peasants or towns people - believed that God, Heaven and Hell all existed. From the very earliest of ages, the people were taught that the only way they could get to Heaven was if the Roman Catholic Church let them. Everybody would have been terrified of Hell and the people would have been told of the sheer horrors awaiting for them in Hell in the weekly services they attended.
The control the Church had over the people was total. Peasants worked for free on Church land. This proved difficult for peasants as the time they spent working on Church land, could have been better spent working on their own plots of land producing food for their families.
The all powerful Church
Crime & Punishment
Throughout the medieval period it was believed that the only way to keep order was to make sure that the people were scared of the punishments given for crimes committed. For this reason all crimes from stealing to murder had harsh punishments.
Although there were gaols, they were generally used to hold a prisoner awaiting trial rather than as a means of punishment. Fines, shaming (being placed in stocks), mutilation (cutting off a part of the body) or death were the most common forms of punishment.
There was no police force in the medieval period so law-enforcement was in the hands of the community.
Art during the Middle Ages saw many changes up to the emergence of the early Renaissance period. Early art subjects were initially restricted to the production of Pietistic painting (religious art or Christian art) in the form of illuminated manuscripts, mosaics and paintings in churches. There were no portrait paintings in the art of the Middle Ages. The colors were generally somewhat muted.
The Early Middle Ages represent European history from the time of Rome's demise in 455. This period is known as the Dark Ages because
the glory and intellectual endeavors of Rome were given much lower importance while people needed to focus mainly on survival
Living in such hard times, it was no wonder the masses of poor people turned to a life of serfdom (kind of like a slave) to get protection in return in order to survive. And so we saw the rise of
We were then left with a system where powerful military forces, kings & the greedy Catholic church combined to
control the people
Medieval times were very difficult. Wars, famine and disease wiped out most of the continent, and also, the problems with climate and excessively rainy weather led to the Great Famine off 1315-1317. These
also led to economic problems which furthered the problems for your average European. As if this was not enough the
Black Plague decided to rear its dark head in 1347
With the lord of the great house at the top, holding dominion over one of the nine regions of the seven kingdoms - It is the Lord's responsibility to see to the affairs of his lands, keep the King's peace, judge on local matters, and ensure that taxes due to the king are collected in a timely manner.
Commoners / Serfs
Lords of the Houses
Knights are the lowest rank of the nobility. They have their own peasants and men-at-arms, and may even take sworn swords. Landed knights are sworn to fight for the lord who holds dominion over their land.
Commoners or smallfolk are the bottom of the social structure. They do not own lands or titles; they work the land of their lords, and do not have a say in their own governing. While this may seem similar to slavery, the difference is that commoners own themselves, and can make appeal to their local lord regarding violations of the law or general disagreements between parties; they are recognized as having a right to fair and just treatment by the nobility and society in general.
There is little social mobility; odds are that if you are born a commoner, you will never be able to rise above commoner status.
And then there was the"peoples health" situation that no one seemed to worry about...
In spite of all this hardship, Europe survived and numerous other changes occurred during the Late Middle Ages. The corruption and splitting of the Roman Catholic Church into two halves greatly diminished its power and influence and led to the rise of stronger state governments.
These governments sponsored numerous intellectual and exploratory endeavors to gain power, prestige and wealth for their countries.
In fact, the success of the feudal system seemed to result in its own downfall as we saw a new age of prosperity and progress.
Growth of Trade and Towns
The use of money, rather than goods, as a means of exchange led to a revival of commerce (business). A merchant (business man) class developed, renting land in places suitable for trade, often near a castle or abbey. These settlements often became thriving marketplaces for all sorts of goods.
The revival of commerce and the widespread use of money changed the relationship between feudal lord and serf. Lords began to rent out their lands to tenant farmers. Some serfs, by engaging in trade, were able to substitute a money payment for their feudal obligations and become tenant farmers. This was helped by the labour shortage and the rise in wages caused by the Black Death. By the end of the Middle Ages many serfs had become able to purchase their freedom and most feudal lords had become landlords.
Rise of Royal Power
As stability and security in Europe were gradually restored during the Middle Ages, the demand for a feudal knight's military service declined. At relatively low cost, monarchs were able to assemble large mercenary (paid) armies, which they used to conquer feudal domains and to reestablish royal authority.
All of these factors led to the end of feudalism as a system of government.
The idea of community distinguished the medieval period. People faced real threats from famine, disease, and warfare — dangers that fostered dependence on the community in areas such as work and religion. For instance, a medieval craftsman belonged to a guild that dictated all aspects of his business. The idea was that all craftsmen should make a good living, but no one should do substantially better than the rest.
The Renaissance, on the other hand, stressed the importance of the individual and individual talents. This idea, known as individualism, is apparent in the philosophy and art of the period. In addition, while medieval scholars had studied ancient Greek and Roman documents to learn about God and Christianity, Renaissance scholars studied them to discover more about human nature. This new interpretation was known as humanism.
Renaissance art also reflects humanism. While medieval art was meant to teach a lesson, perhaps a bible story, Renaissance art glorified the humanity of the individuals being portrayed. Medieval statues tended to be of unnatural-looking saints. In contrast, Michelangelo's David appears lifelike. Statues no longer were frozen images of piety; instead, they seemed ready for action.
What makes up our society?
& how have these things changed?
crime & punishment - LAW
Science, medicine & inventions
Our daily life
Entertainment & the Arts
Beliefs & Myth
So here is your challenge
Can you decide whether or not "Compared to the Middle Ages, Renaissance Europe was a completely different world" ?