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Middle English (1066-1485)

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Jimmy T.

on 25 September 2014

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Transcript of Middle English (1066-1485)

Middle English (1066-1485)
French Language
Normans brought with them some kind of French in 1066
Initial introduction of French in England
Lower classes spoke English and the upper classes spoke French
10,000 French words by 13th century
Resulted in many works of French literature

Motivation for French Language
Norman Conquest of 1066
William the Conqueror lived in Normandy (part of modern France)
William invaded England and forced the French language upon the country
English Romantic Literature
Introduced during the 13th century
Included three rich sources
the legends of Charlemagne
the legends of ancient Greece and Rome
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
Sudden excitement for adventure and heroism
English Language and Motivations
English was the primary language before 1066
It was based on the Latin alphabet
Overtaken by French after the Norman Conquest
Became dominant again in the 14th century
French Romantic Literature
Far more influential than English Romantic Literature
Different ideas, values, and tastes from English
Focused more on love rather than bravery
The French had more of a modern-day romance perspective
Popular method in expressing romantic love stories
Expressed heroic acts
People needed a medium for expressing their English and French literature
Life Before the Printing Press
Writings and drawings completed by hand and usually only done by scribes
Books only owned by monasteries, educational institutions, and rich people
Most books were religious in nature
Impact of Printing Press
Made the printing process a lot faster
Reproduce texts in great numbers
First way that gave the lower classes an insight on a variety of topics
Spread information to vast audiences quickly and cheaply
Academics benefited
Largely responsible for decline of Latin alphabet

Motivation for the Printing Press
The Great Vowel Shift
A massive sound change affecting the long vowels of English
Took place between the 12th and 18th century
Sounds of the long stressed vowels in English changed their places of articulation
Motivation for the GVS
No clear motivation for there are many different theories
Ex. loan words from Romance languages and France helped shaped the English vowels
GVS Diagram
Note that not all, but only the first few changes took place during Middle English.
Daily Life
Dictated by wealth, power and status and the feudal system
Feudal System outlined the different social classes by their rights and privileges
Daily Life of Lords and Nobles
Attend to business matters in relation to his land
Exercise his judicial powers
Resolve complaints and disputes by tenants
Political discussions and decisions
Weapon practice
Some entertainment
Daily Life of Noblewomen
Served by her ladies in waiting
Discussions on tournaments, betrothals, marriages, poetry and courtly love
Supervise the education of girls
Be able to take their husbands places at all times
Leisure time was spent on embroidery and dance practice
Some entertainment
Daily Life of Knights
Weapons practice
Discussions on warfare strategy
Dance practice
Increasing their skills in horsemanship
Accompany their lord in hunting or hawking
Some entertainment
Daily Life Of Peasant
Woke up very early in the morning
Work in the fields
Worked late hours
Little leisure time

Daily Life of Peasant Women
Woke up very early in the morning
Prepare daily meals
Work in the fields
Look after small animals
Making and mending clothes
Harvesting vegetables, berries and herbs
Responsible for the children
Worked late hours
Little leisure time

Leisure Activities
Hurling or Shinty

The code of conduct a knight in the Middle Ages must follow.
Expected to have strength, but also have calm and humble personality.
This includes: bravery, honour, generosity, and gallantry.
The Norman Conquest (1066)
Marked the transition from the Old English period into the Middle English Period.
William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, invades and captures Britain.
Ruled with an iron fist.
The Magna Carta (1215)
King John of England violated many ancient laws
Forced to sign the Magna Carta, as riots were happening everywhere
With the Magna Carta, no one was above the law, even the king.
The Great Famine (1315-1317)
The population was growing so fast that the food supply could not catch up in time
Europe climate was also changing, bringing down heavy rainfall almost everyday
It was to the extent of seniors sacrificing themselves so the younger generation could have food to eat.
The Hundred Year War (1337-1453)
Charles IV of France dies, leaving now heir to the throne
His nephew, Edward III of England, wanted the throne, but the French decided Philip (Charles cousin) would be crowned the king
Edward, with the English army, declares war on Philip and France
The Black Death (1346-1351)
Arriving from Asia, a trading boat landed in Europe, infected with a disease called Y. Pestis, and it quickly spread to rats, and soon after, people.
People soon realized that life was precious, and they learned new attitudes toward death.
Poisoned Wells (1348)
Rumours spread on how the Jews poisoned the water, and that's what caused the Black Death
People started massacring Jews in France, while the situation quickly rose when a Jewish doctor admitted that he poisoned wells (a mission sent from a rabbi)
The Western Schism (1377-1409)
Originally from Avignon, Gregory XI successfully moved the Papacy to Rome.
When he died, Urban VI was elected, but he was abusive, and treated his Cardinals poorly.
The Cardinals eventually elected another "Pope", Clement VII, in Avignon.
With that, the Church was divided, causing a great war, which neither won in the end.
The Printing Press 1440
The only recognized religion in Europe was Christianity
The Church had many powers given to them, including their own land, and laws, and imposed their own taxes
Johannes Gutenberg was a businessman and goldsmith.
Using borrowed money, he created the first printing press.
This changed the world, as books became readily available now.
Chretien De Troyes
Always includes a prologue, describing his motivations and inspirations for each story he makes
Regularly puts an underlying message inside his stories
Very famous for creating parodies, or recreating popular works of literature
Popular Works
Erec and Enide (1170)
Cliges and Yvain(1178)
The Knight of the Lion and Lancelot (1177- 1181)
The Knight of the Cart (1177-1181)
St. Thomas Aquinas
Still praised today as one of the most influential philosophers, nicknamed the "Christian Apostle"
Studied in the University of Naples, and later joined the order of monks, where his philosophy grew
Believed that reason can lead the mind to God, he came up with the Five Ways of Proving God's existence.
Popular Works
On Being and Essence (1250)
Against Those Who Assail the Who Assail the Worship of God and Religion (1256)
Summa Theologica (1265-1274)
Summa Contra Gentiles (1265-1274)

Geoffrey Chaucer
Grew up in a wealthy family; was taught in St. Paul’s Cathedral School
After graduating, he became a public servant to Countess Elizabeth of Ulster for a few years
Then enlisted himself in the Hundred Year War
He then worked as a public servant again

Popular Works
Parliaments of Foules (1380)
Troilus and Criseyde (1385)
The Canterbury Tales (1392)
A Treatise on the Astrolab
Develop books faster and more affordable
Therefore more people were motivated to read and learn
Giovanni Boccaccio
Grew up in a rich family with prominent education, and went to Naples to study law and business.
Good friends with Petrarch, another known writer
Giovanni depressive and his writing started showing signs of bitterness especially towards women
Famous Works
The Great Decameron (1358)
The Genealogy of the Gods of the Gentiles (1350-1374)
Filocolo (1336-1339)
The Feudal System and Class Structure
Feudalism: based on the granting and receiving of land (called a fief or a fee) and the interactions between a lord and a vassal
Norman Kings of England
William the Conqueror
-Norman invasion of England
-Crucial event in English history
-was able to transform England by replacing the native ruling class with a French-speaking monarchy, aristocracy, and clergy
-Created new era: Norman England

William II Rufus
-disliked by the people
-expanded the boundaries of England into Wales and stopped the Scottish King from invading England
Henry I Beauclerc
-no right to the throne
-took throne from brother
-reunified England and Normandy
-organized and regulated the laws and government of England and reformed judicial matters
-when he attempted to crown his daughter, Matilda, as the future Queen of England, it caused a civil war

Stephen (1135-1154)
-considered the worst king England ever had because of his weakness
-lost the throne to his sister, Matilda, but got it back after a couple of months
-country was in chaos and always in a civil war
-Matilda’s son, Henry, became the next leader of England
-in the early middle ages, art was limited to the production of Pietistic painting
-artists usually created manuscripts, mosaics and fresco paintings
-other: Metalwork, Silversmiths and Goldsmiths, Panel paintings, Embroidery and tapestry art, Ceramic art, Tessera, Sculptures, Engravings, Stained Glass art, and Heraldry
-no portraits
-muted colours
-clothes indicated class/status
-only wealthy could dress fashionably
-fashion was both trendy and traditional
-from 1066 to 1200, architecture style was Romanesque
-looked similar to churches
-in the mid 12th century until 1500, gothic architecture was introduced
-more spacious from the use of overlapping tracery
-famous artists of the time:Donatello, Giotto, Leon Battista Alberti, Cimabue, Filippo Brunelleschi, Fra Angelico and Lorenzo Ghiberti
-had begun to break away from Roman influences and create realism movement (foundation of Renaissance style)
-before 1200, theatre was only practiced in church liturgies
-most were in latin
-by 1350, plays were performed in English and the roles were played by laymen rather than clerics and priests
-plays were becoming more and more complex
-two types of stages in the medieval times: fixed and moveable
-little sense of their history, so the theatre was inaccurate regarding historical facts
-three kinds of religious plays: mystery plays, miracle plays, and morality plays
Technological Advancements
Tidal Mills
-made storing large amounts of water possible
-creating a power source through the water wheel

The Blast Furnace
-introduced in the 12th century
-designed to increase iron production
-created more military arms

The Mechanical Clock
-created in the 13th century
-large and placed on towers
-no dial or hands

The Spinning Wheel
-originates from India, reached England during middle ages
Gunpowder Weapons
-in the fourteenth century, during the seize of Metz, England developed gunpowder
-already invented in China
-helped English progress in battle
The Long Bow
-rate of fire and overall more power than the other war technologies
-gave English advantage in 13th century battle against French

The Printing Press
-invented by the Chinese, advanced by Europeans
-pivotal point in history
-provided a greater foundation for research
-prevented corruption of texts through hand copying
-by giving all scholars the same text to work from, it made progress in education and science faster and more reliable
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