Abbot – abbot of a monastery (abbey).
Absolutism – a form of government in which the monarch has unlimited supreme power.
Altar – a place in the church where only clergy, men, could enter.
Alchemy – pseudoscience, the purpose of which was to obtain gold by chemical combinations of various substances.
Albigensians – members of a heretical sect in Southern France in the 12th and 13th centuries who denied the tenets of absolutism.
Almoravids – members of the military-religious movement in Northwest Africa.
Althing – A popular assembly in Iceland.
Anathema – excommunication combined with a curse.
Apsidus – A semicircular vaulted niche in a temple facing east.
Arianism – an early Christian heresy whose proponents considered Jesus Christ to be an inferior creature in relation to God the Father.
Asceticism – suppression of desires, renunciation of luxury and even most comforts, restrictions on food and sleep, causing physical suffering in order to participate in the suffering of Jesus Christ for the atonement of sins.
Astrology – the doctrine of the relationship between the location of the stars and planets and events in the lives of people and nations.
Ases – the gods of the ancient Scandinavians.
Autodafe – the solemn execution of the sentence of the Inquisition.
Basilica – one of the architectural forms of the Christian temple.
Ballad – folk poetic tale.
Baron – a title of nobility, below the count, a representative of the highest titled nobility.
Barschina – duty of dependent peasants to perform field work for their master.
Bedouins – nomads of the desert, the Arabs.
Benedictines – monks of the oldest monastic brotherhood in Western Europe, founded by St. Benedict.
Benediction – a landed possession given for life on condition of military service; an ecclesiastical office and the income associated with it.
Berbers – nomadic people of Northwest Africa.
Berserker – ancient Norse warrior who devoted himself to the god Odin, went on a rampage during battle, fought without armor and was considered invulnerable.
Britts – Celtic people who inhabited Britain.
Bull – A papal edict binding on the faithful, less commonly an imperial decree.
Burger – A full-fledged citizen.
Vagants – wandering schoolboys (students).
Waldensians – heretical sect in the 12th and 13th centuries, mainly in France and Italy, opposed church hierarchy and property, and advocated universal asceticism.
Vassal – a person who has received a feud from a liege lord in return for his service.
The Great Migration of Peoples – migration of numerous peoples under the pressure of the Huns, as a result of which the Western Roman Empire ceased to exist.
Vergeld – Germanic reparation for murder paid by the offender to the family of the victim.
Vikings – Scandinavian warriors who set out for glory and booty in foreign lands.
Stained glass window – an image assembled from colored glass and usually placed in windows.
Eastern Slavs – ancestors of the Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian peoples.
Galea – a type of Mediterranean ship.
Hansa – union of northern German merchants and trading cities.
States-General – class-representative assembly of France.
Duke – the title of a major feudal owner.
Geuze – (beggars) – participants in the anti-Hispanic struggle during the Dutch Revolution.
Ghetto – part of the city set aside for the forced settlement of Jews.
Guild – an association of merchants.
Glagolitic alphabet – one of the two early Slavic alphabets.
Hospitallers – members of the military knightly order of S. Ion of Jerusalem (the Johannites).
Gothic – 12th-16th century architectural style, predominantly ecclesiastical.
Count – in the Frankish Empire – the representative of the king in a certain district, later – one of the highest titles of the European nobility.
Humanism – a movement in philosophical and social thought of the Renaissance, which set as its goal the study of sciences about man – philology and moral philosophy; the Renaissance worldview, which put man in the center of the world.
Hussites – followers of the Czech reformer Jan Hus.
Danes – Germanic people, ancestors of the modern Danes.
Tithe – one tenth of property and income – a tax on the maintenance of the church.
Jihad – (effort) – peaceful or armed struggle for the strengthening of Islam (against non-Muslim infidels).
Zen Buddhism – one of the branches of Buddhism, especially widespread in Japan.
Dimas – in the Byzantine Empire, self-governing organizations in the cities, created around teams of riders on the city’s racetracks.
Dirham – Oriental silver coin.
Dispute – a scholarly dispute.
Dogma – a statement of doctrine approved by the church leadership and binding on believers.
Doge – the head of the Venetian (lifelong) and Genoese (elected for a fixed term) republics.
Domain – the land holdings of a noble (royal) family.
Dominicans – members of a mendicant monastic order founded by St. Dominic. They took a vow of poverty and a commitment to preach against heretics.
Donjon (bergfried, kiip) – the main, most fortified tower of a castle.
Drakkar – a Viking ship.
Spiritual Knights Orders – organizations of European knights created to recapture and defend the Holy Land.
Denlo – “Area of Danish Law” – the part of England that remained under the dominion of the Danes.
Bishop – “overseer” – the spiritual head of an administrative-territorial unit – a diocese embracing one or more provinces of a state; a group of dioceses was headed by an archbishop.
Heresy – A doctrine recognized as false by the church.
Heretic – A person who adheres to a false doctrine, heresy.
Juggler – a wandering singer and poet.
Zoroastrianism – ancient religion of the Iranian peoples.
Hidalgo – Spanish nobleman.
Icon – pictorial representation of God, the Virgin Mary, scenes from the Bible.
Iconoclasts and iconoclasts – Byzantine supporters of a different attitude to images of God and saints.
Imam – (“precentor”) – in Muslims, either the person in charge of the mosque and “coming” during public prayers, or the spiritual head.
Empire – a state consisting of territories deprived of economic and political independence and governed from a single center.
Investiture – A symbolic induction by the handing over of an object from hand to hand.
Indulgence – absolution and a certificate of absolution.
Inquisition – An organization of the Catholic Church for the persecution of heretics and the eradication of heresies.
Interdict – prohibition – a temporary, without excommunication, ban on the performance of worship and religious rites.
Islam – “submission” – Islam is one of the most widespread religions, originating in Arabia in the 7th century, founded by Muhammad.
Confession – a Christian sacrament consisting of revealing one’s sins to a priest and receiving forgiveness from him in the name of Jesus Christ.
Judaism – from the name of Judah, the ancestor of one of the ancient Hebrew tribes, and the state inhabited by that tribe – Judaism – the religion of the Jews, the scripture for the Jews is the Old Testament.
Kaganate – a country headed by a Kagan (a title of a sovereign in some Eastern nations).
Calligraphy – the art of beautiful writing.
Canon – the strict rules of temple decoration.
Kapitul – “kaput” – head, head – a council made up of clergymen under the bishop or the leadership of an order.
Capitularium – collection of edicts of Frankish kings.
Caravel – A type of European ship common in the 15th century.
Cardinal – “chief” – in the Catholic Church, the highest spiritual person, inferior only to the pope; cardinals are the pope’s closest advisors and assistants and elect him from their midst.
Catholicism, Catholicism – “catholicos” – “universal” – one of the branches of Christianity that took shape in Western Europe; otherwise, the Latin Church.
Cathedral – the main cathedral of a church district – the temple in which a bishop serves and where his “cathedra” – the bishop’s throne – is located.
Cyrillic alphabet – one of the two Slavic alphabets.
Clear – the clergy.
Cleric – a member of the clergy.
Colons – “settlers” – in the late Roman Empire, tenants of small plots of land belonging to large landowners.
Collegium – an organization at a medieval university that provided housing, food, and study for a certain number of students.
Commune – towns in France that had been freed from the power of the lordship.
Condottieri – in 14th–16th-century Italy, leaders of military detachments hired to serve communal towns and sovereigns.
Concordat – “agreement” – an agreement between the pope, as head of the church, and the state, regulating the relationship between them and the church’s position in the state.
Consistory – In Catholicism, a special council under the pope; in Protestantism, a body for governing a religious community.
Konung – ruler (leader, king) of the Scandinavians.
Koran – “reading” – the holy book of Muslims.
Cortes – class and representative bodies in the kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula.
Crusader – a person who, at the call of the Pope, has taken a vow to make an armed pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Curia – “place of assembly” – the highest deliberative body under kings and popes (Roman curia), consisting of the closest advisors and the highest officials.
Courtoisie – rules of chivalrous behavior.
Electors – The highest spiritual and secular princes of the Holy Roman Empire, who had the right to choose the emperor.
Langobards – Germanic people.
Landtag – body of class representation in the possessions that were part of the Holy Roman Empire.
Legate – papal envoy.
Legists – lawyers, advisors to the king.
Lettera – an individual letter made of metal for printing books.
Personal dependence – lack of freedom to dispose of one’s own person.
Lord – in England – a nobleman, the owner of large land holdings.
Moors – European term for Muslims in Spain and North Africa.
Majordom – “governor of the palace” – the highest court and government position in the Frankish kingdom under the Merovingians.
Magnate – representative of the highest aristocracy.
Macrocosm – the universe as a whole.
Mamluks – the Sultan’s guard in Egypt, which from the 13th century actually ruled the country.
Marranes – Jews converted to Christianity in Spain.
Master – a full-fledged craftsman, member of a shop, owner of his own workshop.
Madrasah – Muslim school for boys.
Inter-family war – war between feudal lords for the expansion of the borders of their estates.
Minstrel – court poet and singer.
Mass – the central daily worship service in Catholicism, Mass.
Microcosm – man as part of the universe.
Minbar – an elevation in a mosque from which a sermon is preached.
Miniature – A small pictorial image in a handwritten book.
Minnesingers – “love singers” – German lyrical singers-poets who sang of chivalrous love.
Miro – a special church oil used in anointing – a rite of anointing the forehead, hands, chest, eyes, ears, which meant the sanctification of a person; used at the coronation of the king.
Mysticism – “mysterious” – a religious doctrine that allowed direct communication with God.
Metropolitan – bishop of a metropolis, i.e., the main city of a church province that includes several regular bishoprics.
Mihrab – An indentation in the wall of a mosque pointing in the direction of Mecca.
Mosaic – an image made of colored pebbles or pieces of colored glass.
Monasticism – a religious group whose members (monks) take vows to renounce all family and social ties and property, with the goal of saving the soul.
Moriscos – Arabs converted to Christianity in Spain.
Mullah – head of a Muslim community.
Allotment – a piece of land at the disposal of a peasant.
Subsistence Farming – The organization of a farm in which everything necessary is produced locally, not bought at the market, and in which nothing is produced for sale.
Negus – The title of the ruler of Ethiopia.
Nave – Part of a temple, the space between two adjacent longitudinal rows of columns or between one such row and a longitudinal wall.
Normans – the common name for Scandinavian peoples, common in the rest of Europe.
Vow – an obligation not to do something, an obligation to follow something.
Tribute – the duty of dependent peasants – regular payments to the lord in the form of products or money.
Community – the organization of peasants, regulating all the main aspects of life in the medieval village.
Bodies of estate representation – assemblies of representatives of the main estates of the land, convened by the sovereign in case of political necessity.
Order – centralized organization of monks, who have adopted the same charter, in times of the Crusades – also organizations of knights who took, in addition to monastic vows, the oath to fight against non-Christians (spiritual-chivalric orders).
Ordonnance – a royal decree.
Orthodoxy – a doctrine approved by the highest church authorities.
Excommunication – exclusion from a religious community or from the church as a whole.
Absolution – forgiveness of sins given by a priest after confession and repentance.
Pilgrims (pilgrims) – wanderers who set out on a journey to visit distant shrines and thereby relieve their souls of sins.
Pilgrimage – the journey of believers to places marked by special holiness; the name originated from the custom of bringing palm leaves from Palestine.
Pantocrator-“Almighty”-that is, Jesus Christ as the supreme ruler of the universe.
Pope – “father” – head of the Catholic Church, concurrently bishop of Rome.
Parliament – the body of class representation in England, the legislative body.
Patriciate – the upper stratum of townspeople: the most influential and wealthy families who had power in the city.
Tolls – the servitude and tribute that peasants had to perform for the feudal lords.
Apprentice – an artisan who had completed a term of apprenticeship and worked for the master for pay.
Prevost – In France, an official appointed by the king to exercise administrative and judicial authority in the district.
Privilege – an advantage, an exclusive right given to someone unlike others.
Primate – a room at the western main entrance to a temple.
Parish – The lowest administrative unit of the church, including church staff and community members (parishioners).
Protector – in England, a regent, a ruler under an incapacitated monarch.
Peer – the title of the highest aristocracy in France and England, in relation to which the monarch was “first among equals.
Rabbi – the leader of the Jewish community in Judaism.
Town Hall – the building that housed the state council in cities that enjoyed self-government.
Reichstag – the imperial assembly – an assembly of representatives of the imperial estates in Germany – the electorates, princes, and imperial cities.
Reconquista – the “reconquest” – the expulsion of Muslim rulers from the Iberian Peninsula by Christians.
Relic – preserved remains (relics) of saints and objects belonging to them, which had a special attractive and beneficial power in the eyes of believers.
Reformers – supporters of profound change – a reform of the church.
Rose – a round window with a stained-glass window in a cathedral.
Romanesque style – from the Latin “Roma” – Rome – architectural style of the 10th -12th centuries.
Loan shark – a person who lent money to someone and then enriched himself by returning it with interest.
Ordination – the rite of ordination as a priest or bishop.
Knights are a particularly privileged class of professional warriors. They were small feudal lords who had no vassals.
Saga – Scandinavian historical narrative.
Samurai – a class of professional warriors in Japan.
Saracens – A common Western term for all kinds of Muslims, especially Arabs and Turks.
Shogun – “commander in chief” – the title of the de facto ruler in Japan.
Sect – A religious group that has broken away from the dominant church.
Señor – a lord, landowner, who has peasants and vassals dependent on him.
Synagogue – in Judaism, a community of believers and a house of prayer.
Shintoism – traditional Japanese religion.
Skald – ancient Scandinavian poet.
Scriptorium – a workshop for transcribing and decorating manuscripts.
Cathedral – a large Christian temple, as well as a gathering of the highest clergy within the state or the entire church.
estate – a large group of people occupying a similar position in society, and usually passing on their status from generation to generation.
Elder: the head of a craft shop, elected by the craftsmen.
Sunnah – a collection of Muhammad’s sayings not included in the Qur’an.
Sunnis – supporters of one of the two schools of thought in Islam, Sunnism.
Schism – a schism in the church.
Scholasticism – “school learning” – a method of acquiring knowledge by rigorous logical interpretation of sacred Scripture and the writings of particularly authoritative writers.
Süseren – the supreme lord.
Templars (Templars) – members of the oldest spiritual knightly order.
Theology – theology, the science of divinity.
Transept – the transept in a temple.
Troubadours – lyric poets-singers in Southern France who sang of chivalrous love.
Trouvers – lyric poets-singers of Northern France who sang of chivalrous love.
Tournament – a military contest of knights.
Ulus – hereditary inheritance of a Mongol ruler.
University – a corporation of masters and schoolmasters gathered together for the sake of acquiring and multiplying knowledge.
Union – an alliance, union (between dynasties, states, or churches).
Statute – rules of craftsmanship, obligatory for all members of the workshop.
Apprentice – a master’s assistant, working for him for free, but gaining skills and knowledge in this way.
Fablio – a short humorous story in verse in France.
Feud – a hereditary land granting under the condition of military service.
Feudal – the owner of a feud.
Feudalism – a system of relations in medieval society, based on the distribution of land not as property, but on certain conditions.
Feudal lords – members of the ruling stratum in medieval society – the main owners of land.
Feudal ladder – the relationship between feudal lords in medieval society. The richer the feudal lord, the higher he is on the feudal ladder.
Feudal fragmentation – a period in the history of the state, when its territory was broken up into separate small independent possessions.
Franciscans – members of the mendicant order founded by St. Francis.
Hajj – pilgrimage to Mecca.
Khazars – Turkic people who by the 8th century had subjugated large areas of the North Caucasus, the Volga region, and the Northern Black Sea coast.
Khalif – “deputy” (of the prophet or even God) – the secular and spiritual head of Muslims.
Harakiri – Japanese method of suicide by ripping open one’s stomach.
Hijra – Muhammad’s migration from Mecca to Yasrib (Medina), the starting point of Muslim chronology.
Church Council – a gathering of the highest church officials.
Workshop – “feast” – an organization of artisans of one or more trades.
Cistercians – monks of the Cistercian order.
Jurchens – Tungus tribes who subjugated part of the Northern Caucasus in the 12th century.
Shariah – Code of Muslim law, both secular and spiritual.
Schwanki – “jokes” – in Germany, a short humorous poetic story.
Masterpiece – “major work” – a product that a journeyman had to make in order to pass an examination and become a master.
Sheriff – the representative of the English king in a separate county.
Supporters of a particular trend – Shiism in Islam.
Emir – “lord” – in Muslim countries the title of commander, ruler, prince.
Earl – a nobleman among the Anglo-Saxons.
Janissaries – a special army in Turkey since the 14th century.
Fair – a large market, regularly (originally annually) organized in the same place at the same time.
Dates in Medieval History.
1. 476 – The fall of the Western Roman Empire, the end of the slave system.
2. 630 – formation of the Arab state on the basis of Islam.
3. 800 – establishment of Charlemagne’s Empire.
4. 843 – division of Charlemagne’s empire into parts – France, Germany, Italy.
5. 863 – creation of the Slavic script (Cyrillic alphabet).
6. 882 (IX century) – formation of the ancient Russian state – Kievan Rus.
7. 988 – acceptance of Christianity in Russia, under Prince Vladimir.
8. 1054 – division of Christianity into Catholicism and Orthodoxy.
9. 1066 – the conquest of England by the Duke of Normandy, William.
10. 1086 – “Book of the terrible judgment” in England, census of lands, population, property.
11. 1096-1291 – Crusades.
12. 1096-1099 – 1st Crusade of the Knights.
13. 1099 – The capture of Jerusalem by the crusaders.
14. 1185 – “The Tale of Igor’s Campaign”.
15. 1202-1204 – The 4th Crusade.
16. 1204 – the capture of Constantinople by crusaders.
17. 1206 – creation of Delhi sultanate in northern India (Aibek sultan).
18. 1215 – “Great Charter of Liberties” in England.
19. 1223 – the battle at the river Kalka of the Russian-Slavic army with the Mongols.
20. 1240-1480 – the years of Mongol-Tatar yoke in Russia.
21. 1240 – a battle between Novgorodians and Swedes (Alexander Nevsky) at the Neva river.
22. 1242 – Battle of the Ice, the German knights were defeated by Alexander Nevsky.
23. 1265 – Creation of the English Parliament.
24. 1302 – creation of French parliament (General Staats).
25. 1356 – Golden Bull of the Holy Roman Empire, legislated the political fragmentation of Germany.
26. 1358 – Jacquerie rebellion in France.
27. 1380 – Battle of Kulikovo, 1st major victory of Russian troops over the Mongols.
28. 1381 – the rebellion of Wat Tyler in England.
29. 1389 – Battle of Kosovo Field (Milos Obilic), defeat of the Serbs by the Turks
30. 1429 – the lifting of the siege of Orleans with the participation of Joan of Arc.
31. 1337-1453 – years of the Hundred Years’ War between France and England.
32. 1453 – capture of Constantinople by the Turks (fall of the Byzantine Empire).
33. 1445 – the invention of printing by Johannes Gutenberg.
34. 1455-1485 – the years of the Wars of the Scarlet and White Roses in England.
35. 1479 – creation of the Spanish Kingdom (Castile + Aragon).
36. 1480 – standing on the Ugra river. End of the Mongol-Tatar yoke in Russia.
37. 1492 – end of Reconquista in Spain. Discovery of America by Columbus.
38. 1498 – Vasco da Gamma’s discovery of the sea route to India.
39. 1517 – Martin Luther’s “95 Theses” – condemnation of the indulgence trade, the beginning of the Reformation (struggle for the reorganization of the church) in Germany.
40. 1526 – creation of the Mughal Empire (Shah Babur).
41. 1539 – introduction of French as the state language.
42. 1555 – treaty between the princes and the emperor. The prince personally chooses the faith of his subjects.
43. 1588 – England defeats Spain’s “Invincible Armada”. Spain loses supremacy at sea.
44. 1607 – 1) The English anthem is adopted and first sung. 2) The 1st English colony is established in Virginia (North America).45. 1608 – Quebec, the future center of the French colony in Canada, is founded.