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Medieval History


   Medieval era was a period of history lasting from around 500 AD - roughly corresponding to the end of the Roman Empire - to about 1500 AD. (source: Collins Dictionary). This time period is also known as the Middle Ages, and is sometimes referred to as the Dark Ages - though this usually refers to the period prior to 1100 AD. During this time, the societal chaos caused by successive waves of invaders from the north led to a relative lack of intellectual enlightenment. (source: Oxford dictionaries)

his guide is intended to help you find information about the more common aspects of Medieval History. You may also find the main History subject guide useful. However, if you don't find what you need here, please consult the History librarian. Questions about the content and requirements of History courses should be directed to your instructors.






A medieval classroom


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"The more things change ..."

As a university student of the twenty-first century you may still be able to relate to university students of the thirteenth century....

A Form Letter for University Students (circa 1220 AD):

"B. to his venerable father A., greeting. This is to inform you that I am studying at Oxford with the greatest diligence, but the matter of money stands greatly in the way of my progress, as it is now two months since I spent the last of what you sent me. The city is expensive and makes many demands: I have to rent lodgings, buy necessaries, and provide for many other things which I cannot now specify. Wherefore I respectfully beg your paternity that by the promptings of divine pity you may assist me so that I may be able to complete what I have well begun. For you must know that "without Ceres [bread] and Bacchus [wine], Apollo [truth] grows cold". Therefore act now so that with the means you provide I can finish what I have begun. Farewell."

source: The Broadview Book of Medieval Anecdotes