Starting around the 14th century, European thinkers, writers and artists began to look back and celebrate the art and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. After the fall of Rome, no single state or government united the people who lived on the European continent. Instead, the Catholic Church became the most powerful institution of the medieval period. Kings, queens and other leaders derived much of their power from their alliances with and protection of the Church. These policies helped it to amass a great deal of money and power. Meanwhile, the Islamic world was growing larger and more powerful.
Timeline of the Middle Ages
Middle Ages - Wikipedia
If these words, taken from a manuscript preserved in the Vatican and dating from the year , were for a bride and bridegroom, no one would find them startling:. Grant unto them Thy grace to love each other in joy without injury or hatred all the days of their lives. That prayer, however, is part of a ritual joining two men in some kind of a solemn, personal, affectionate relationship, a ritual that, according to John Boswell, the A. Whitney Griswold Professor of History at Yale, "functioned in the past as a 'gay marriage ceremony. Amid the debate about whether Christianity should bless unions between homosexuals, Professor Boswell contends that it already has.
Matthes in The NASA Earth Observatory notes three particularly cold intervals: one beginning about , another about , and the last in , all separated by intervals of slight warming. At most, there was modest cooling of the Northern Hemisphere during the period. Several causes have been proposed: cyclical lows in solar radiation , heightened volcanic activity , changes in the ocean circulation , variations in Earth's orbit and axial tilt orbital forcing , inherent variability in global climate, and decreases in the human population for example from the Black Death and the epidemics emerging in the Americas upon European contact . Evidence from mountain glaciers does suggest increased glaciation in a number of widely spread regions outside Europe prior to the twentieth century, including Alaska , New Zealand and Patagonia.
As most genealogists know, dating conventions in English documents can cause problems even as late as the 18th century. These problems can become quite complicated in medieval documents. For example, medieval charters are commonly dated by specifying the week day, a nearby religious feast day, and the year of the monarch's reign - a convention which clearly has little in common with the modern system of day, month and calendar year. Although the process of dating medieval documents can seem off-putting, fortunately most of the necessary resources are available on the internet. Today's genealogist can, with care, date a document at the push of a button, where yesterday's had to hunt laboriously through tables.