Chronological framework and periodization of the history of the Middle Ages

The Middle Ages are an epoch in the history of Europe, spanning over a thousand years. The beginning of the Middle Ages is considered to be 476, when the leader of the Germans Odoakr defeated the last Roman Emperor Romulus Augustul. The Middle Ages ended in 1492 with the discovery of America.

In the history of the Middle Ages, as a rule, three main periods are distinguished, differing in the level of economic, political and cultural development.

The first period covers the V-middle of the 11th century. and is called the early Middle Ages. In the economy of this period, subsistence economy dominated, in the political life the process of state formation was traced, in the spiritual life – the temporary decline of culture.

From the middle of XI century. before the beginning of the XIV century. the period of the developed Middle Ages lasted. In the ego, the number of people is increasing, the economic life is reviving, cities are emerging, urban culture is being


The first half of the XIV century. was characterized by a certain decline in the economy. European society embraced the crisis, which shattered its traditional foundations, changed the familiar picture of the world, gave rise to profound changes in religion and politics. This period lasted until the end of the XV century. and was called the late Middle Ages, or, according to the Dutch historian of the 20th century. Johana Heising, “Autumn of the Middle Ages.” He regarded the ego as an epoch of magnificent fading of medieval culture, its harmonious completion.

If the events of ancient history were concentrated mainly in the Mediterranean, then medieval – spread to almost the entire European continent. Here lived different peoples, with their culture and customs; most of them were united by one religion, although they belonged to different churches. It was then that the two leading traditions of European culture were laid-Western, inheriting Roman traditions and oriented toward Catholicism, and the eastern one, which followed the traditions of Byzantium and was oriented toward Orthodox Christianity.

The Middle Ages also experienced the countries of the Arab-Muslim world, India and China. Most of these countries were in constant contact with Western Europe. True, in China, India and other countries of the East, in contrast to Europe, the Middle Ages dragged on for another two centuries.

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Chronological framework and periodization of the history of the Middle Ages