The Middle Ages in Europe

Events

Byzantine Empire

330 - 1453

Originally Western region of Roman Empire. Becomes its own empire after the collapse of the Eastern Roman Empire in the 5th century. Its Capital was the great city of Constantinople. Falls to the Ottoman Empire in 1453

Rome sacked by Visigoths

Aug 24 410

End of Western Roman Empire. The ousting of the last Roman Emperor in 476 is seen as the start of the Middle Ages.

Anglo-Saxons start settling in England

495

Beginning of Early Middle Ages

500

Anglo-Saxon England

500 - 14 Oct 1066

First christian monastery in Britain established on Iona.

563

Kingdom of the Lombards in Italy

568 - 774

Muhammad is born

570

Battle of Deorham

577

West Saxons defeat Britons, driving them West into Devon and Cornwall. Leaves most of England in Saxon control.

Benedictine monk Augustine arrives in England

595

Death of the Prophet Muhammad

June 8 632

At the time of his death all of Arabia is Muslim

Jerusalem captured by Arab Army

638

Battle of Nahavand

642

Muslims conquer Persia

Battle of Tours

732

Franks under Charles Martel defeat Moors and stop their advancement into south west Europe

Abbasid Caliphate

25 Jan 750 - 1519

Muslim Caliphate that ruled most of Arabia, North Africa and Asia Minor.

Viking Age

793 - 1066

Height of Viking rule and influence in Europe

Vikings raid Lindisfarne

793

Vikings raid Christian monestary on Lindisfarne in Northern England. Start of Viking raids.

Battle of Ellandun

825

Kingdom of Wessex decisively beats Kingdom of Mercia, establishing their dominance of Southern England

Vikings settle in Normandy

911

Vikings settle in Normandy, France. Would come to be known as Normans.

Aethelstan becomes King of a united England.

927

Anglo-Saxon nations of Wessex, Sussex, Mercia, Kent, East Anglia and Northumbria united under one ruler creating Kingdom of England.

Beginning of High Middle Ages

1000

The Great Schism

1054

Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches break communion. The Churches have remained split ever since.

Norman invasion and conquest of England

1066

William, Duke of Normandy defeats Anglo-Saxon King Harold at the Battle of Hastings, and becomes King of England.

Battle of Stamford Bridge

25 Sept 1066

Norwegian King Harold Hardrada attempts to take English throne from Harold Godwinson. Despite bringing a massive army from Scandinavia he is defeated and killed by Harold's army at Stamford Bridge near York. Harold's ability to march his army over 300km north in only four days allows him to surprise and annihilate a formidable Viking army. Only 24 of the 300 Viking ships where needed to return the survivors to Norway. This battle is seen by many historians as the end of the age of the Vikings.

Battle of Hastings

14 Oct 1066

William, Duke of Normandy defeats the English King Harold. It took the entire day to defeat the Anglo-Saxon army, which was exhausted following a 300 km march south from the Battle of Stamford Bridge which had taken place just three days before the Normans had landed. Harold famously killed by an arrow in the eye as depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry.

Domesday Book Completed

1086

Commissioned by William the Conqueror the Domesday Book was a incredibly detailed survey of medieval England.

1st Crusade

1095 - 1099

The Pope sends an army of Christian's from across Europe to retake the Holy Land form the Muslims.

The Anarchy

1135 - 1154

Civil war between Henry I's daughter Matilda, and his nephew Stephen. Stephen claims and holds onto the throne, but Matilda is able to ensure that her son Henry succeeds Stephen.

2nd Crusade

1147 - 1150

Neither side gained a decisive advantage.

3rd Crusade

1189 - 1192

Partly successful but failed to capture Jerusalem.

4th Crusade

1202 - 1204

Ended up embroiled in a conflict with the Byzantine empire on the way to the holy land which they never reached. Resulted in the Crusaders sacking Constantinople, which had serious long term repercussions for the Byzantine empire.

Mongul Empire

1206 - 1368

Created by Genghis Khan, it quickly covers almost all of central Asia and reaches Eastern Europe.

Magna Carta

1215

English Baron's force King John to sign a charter that limits some of his power over them and the church. Although it was annulled by the Pope, similar charters would become part of English law later in the century.

Marco Polo travels through Asia

1271 - 1295

9th Crusade

1271 - 1272

Last major Crusade. Unsuccessful.

1st War of Scottish Independence

1296 - 1328

After years of struggle against English rule the Scots eventually prevail. William Wallace and Robert the Bruce become national heroes.

Battle of Stirling Bridge

11 Sept 1297

Scots under William Wallace win a major victory against the English.

Ottoman Empire

1299 - 1922

Empire that began in Turkey and would gradually spread across much of the Middle East.

Beginning of Late Middle Ages

1300

Battle of Bannockburn

24 June 1314

Scots under Robert the Bruce, decisively defeat English army.

Hundred Years War

1337 - 1453

A conflict for the French throne fought between various French and English Kings and their allies. French eventually prevailed.

Battle of Crecy

26 Aug 1346

English Longbowman destroy French army.

The Black Death devastates Europe

1347 - 1353

The plague arrives in Europe and kills 30-60% of Europe's population.

Bible translated into English

1381

Battle of Agincourt

25 Oct 1415

Small English army under Henry V defeat a much larger French army. The death and capture of large numbers of the French nobility cripples France. Following the battle Henry becomes heir to French throne, but he dies before he can succeed.

Printing press invented

1439

Constantinople falls to the Turks

6 April 1453 - 29 May 1453

End of Byzantine Empire.

War of the Roses

1455 - 1485

War between to rival branches of the royal family for the English throne. Both sides have periods of ascendancy but the Lancaster's eventually defeat the York's.

Battle of Bosworth Field

22 Aug 1485

King Richard III is killed when his army is defeated by Henry Tudor. Henry seizes control of the English throne and brings to an end the Wars of the Roses.

Christopher Columbus reaches the new world.

1492

End or Moorish rule in Spain

1492

End of Middle Ages

1500

English Monarch

Offa, King of Mercia

757 - 796

Consolidated Mercian control of much of Anglo-Saxon England.

Alfred the Great

23 April 871 - 26 Oct 899

King of Wessex, Alfred successfully defended his kingdom from the Vikings. By his death he was the most dominate ruler in England, and had laid the grounds from the formation of an united English monarchy. His grandson would become the first king of England.

Canute the Great

1016 - 1035

Danish Canute becomes King of England. Danes rule for the next 26 years. Famous for trying to turn back the tide.

Edward the Confessor

8 June 1042 - 5 Jan 1066

Anglo-Saxon King of England who's death led to a fight for the English throne between Harold Godwinson and William, Duke of Normandy.

Harold Godwinson

5 Jan 1066 - 14 Oct 1066

Son of a powerful Anglo-Saxon lord he claimed the throne following the death of Edward the confessor. However it soon became apparent that several other European rulers had desires for the crown, and died in battle fighting one of these William, Duke of Normandy.

William I, The Conqueror

25 Dec 1066 - 9 Sept 1087

First Norman King of England. Presided over major changes political and social changes as Anglo-Saxon England became Norman England.

William II

9 Sept 1087 - 2 Aug 1100

Son of William I who died in a suspicious hunting accident. Succeeded by his brother.

Henry I

2 Aug 1100 - 1 Dec 1135

Fought numerous wars against his brother Robert, Duke of Normandy.

Stephen

22 Dec 1135 - 25 Oct 1154

Reign marked by the Anarchy, a civil war fought against his cousin Matilda. Her son Henry succeeded him.

Henry II

25 Oct 1154 - 6 July 1189

One of medieval Europe's most influential Kings. Marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine gave him an empire stretching from the Scottish border in the North, to Spain in the South. Ruled over almost half of modern day France.

Richard I

6 July 1189 - 6 April 1199

Known to most as Richard the Lionheart, he and his brother John wrestled control of the crown from his father Henry II. Spent very little of his life in England, as he participated in numerous military campaigns and crusades. His capture in 1192 and ransom practically bankrupted England. Died in rather bizarre circumstances while laying siege to a minor castle in France.

John

6 April 1199 - 19 Oct 1216

The fifth son of Henry II, he inherited the throne following the deaths of all his elder brothers. Historically regarded as one of England's worst kings, he lost almost all of his fathers empire and infuriated the English Barons with his fiscal mismanagement. They forced him to sign the famed Magna Carta in 1215, and he died of dysentery while fleeing a French army one year later.

Henry III

19 Oct 1216 - 16 Nov 1272

One of England's longest reign monarchs, he gradually lost the support of the English Barons following numerous disastrous foreign campaigns. Imprisoned by them in 1264 only to be freed by his son Edward.

Edward I

16 Nov 1272 - 7 july 1307

Known as Longshanks, Edward was a fearsome warrior king who conqueror Wales and large parts of Scotland during his reign. He also oversaw numerous reforms to England's legal system and the creation of a permanent parliament.

Edward II

7 july 1307 - 25 Jan 1327

Failed to follow up his fathers successes, and was overthrown by Nobles led by his wife Isabella. Had a very close relationship with noble Piers Galveston (It seems highly likely Edward was gay), who he gave substantial power and influence to. This favoritism angered other members of the court who eventually deposed him. He was murdered in captivity and succeeded by his son.

Edward III

25 Jan 1327 - 21 June 1377

Became King aged 14 and went on to be one of the longest serving English monarchs. His heir apparent Edward the Black Prince died before he did, which would lead to a succession crisis and eventual conflict between his grandchildren's families.

Richard II

21 June 1377 - 30 Sept 1399

Inherited the throne at the age of King at the age of 10, and became a deeply unpopular King who was eventually overthrown and died in captivity.

Henry IV

30 Sept 1399 - 20 March 1413

His father was Edward III fourth son, and the failures of his cousin Richard II t gave him the crown. First English King from the Lancaster Branch of the Plantagenets. Died from illness.

Henry V

20 March 1413 - 31 Aug 1422

Famously the victor at Agincourt, Henry succeeded his father but died suddenly aged 36.

Henry VI

31 Aug 1422 - 4 March 1461

Son of Henry V, presided over defeat to France in the Hundred Years War. Had numerous mental breakdowns which opened the door for rivals to claim the throne. The resulting War of the Roses saw Henry lose the throne, only to regain it briefly before losing it for good in 1471. Died (probably murdered) in the Tower of London in 1471.

Edward IV

4 March 1461 - 3 Oct 1470

Son of Richard Duke of York, and a member of the house of York he won the throne in 1461 only to lose it 9 years later. He later won it back, seemly ending the war, but his sudden death and lack of adult heirs resulted in the conflict flaring up again.

Henry VI (2nd Reign)

3 Oct 1470 - 11 April 1471

Edward IV (2nd Reign)

11 April 1471 - 9 April 1483

Edward V

9 April 1483 - 26 June 1483

Young son of Edward IV, he inherited the throne on the sudden death of his father. However both he and his younger brother Richard disappeared from the Tower of London, most likely murdered. Who killed the young princes in the tower remains a mystery but their uncle Richard has long been the main suspect.

Richard III

26 June 1483 - 22 Aug 1485

Claimed the throne following the suspicious disappearance of this two nephews. Almost immediately found himself fighting for his crown against Henry Tudor, who he lost it to at the Battle of Bosworth Field. His body was recently discovered under a car park in Leicester, and it confirmed that he had 'the hunchback' that Shakespeare referenced in his history plays.

Henry VII

22 Aug 1485 - 21 April 1509

Had quiet a distant claim to the throne as a decedent of Edward III. But he ultimately won the crown at Bosworth and restored stability to England. First of the Tudor monarchs and father of Henry VIII.

Other significant figures of the age.

Pope Gregory I

590 - 604

Instigated the first large scale mission from Rome to convert pagans.

Reign of Charlemagne

9 Oct 768 - 28 Jan 814

Charles the Great, King of the Franks. United much of Europe and crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor in 800 AD.

Kenneth I

843 - 858

Kenneth MacAlpin, King of the Picts who became King of the Scots in 843. His decedents would become monarchs of Scotland.

Otto the Great

2 Feb 962 - 7 May 973

King of Germany, becomes first Holy Roman Emperor in 40 years in 962

Frederick the Great I

1155 - 1190

One of the great Holy Roman Emperors.

Saladin

1174 - 1193

Sultan of Egypt and Syria and the major opponent of the Crusader states.

Genghis Khan

1206 - 1227

Great Khan (ruler) or the Mongols. Created a large empire through several successful military campaigns.

William Wallace

1270 - 1305

Scottish nobleman who rallied and led successful resistance to English rule. Won a famous victory against the English at Stirling Bridge before being captured and brutally executed 8 years later.

Joan of Arc

1412 - 1431

A French commoner who helped rally French resistance against the English during the Hundred Years War. She was captured and burned at the stake.