Various - medieval & renaissance


Though the age of the knight was over, armour continued to be used in many capacities. Soldiers in the American Civil War bought iron and steel vests from peddlers (both sides had considered but rejected body armour for standard issue). The effectiveness of the vests varied widely- some successfully deflected bullets and saved lives but others were poorly made and resulted in tragedy for the soldiers. In any case the vests were abandoned by many soldiers due to their weight on long marches as well as the stigma they got for being cowards from their fellow troops.

With its roots medi- , meaning "middle", and ev- , meaning "age", medieval literally means "of the Middle Ages". In this case, middle means "between the Roman empire and the Renaissance"—that is, after the fall of the great Roman state and before the "rebirth" of culture that we call the Renaissance. This same period used to be called the "Dark Ages", since it was believed that in these years civilization all but vanished. And indeed, for most Europeans in these centuries, it was a time of poverty, famine, plague, and superstition, rather than the age of magic, dazzling swordplay, towering castles, and knights in splendid armor displayed in today's graphic novels and video games.

The Torture Museum organises guided tours  for schools, associations and other groups on request. For secondary schools there is a thought-provoking learning package for young people about torture and the death penalty  in today’s “civilised” world.

You'll never forget Medieval Times Dallas dinner theater! With pure-bred horses, knights in combat, falconry, swordplay, jousting - will your champion win?

In 376, the Goths , fleeing from the Huns , received permission from Emperor Valens (r. 364–378) to settle in the Roman province of Thracia in the Balkans . The settlement did not go smoothly, and when Roman officials mishandled the situation, the Goths began to raid and plunder. [D] Valens, attempting to put down the disorder, was killed fighting the Goths at the Battle of Adrianople on 9 August 378. [31] As well as the threat from such tribal confederacies from the north, internal divisions within the empire, especially within the Christian Church, caused problems. [32] In 400, the Visigoths invaded the Western Roman Empire and, although briefly forced back from Italy, in 410 sacked the city of Rome . [33] In 406 the Alans , Vandals , and Suevi crossed into Gaul ; over the next three years they spread across Gaul and in 409 crossed the Pyrenees Mountains into modern-day Spain. [34] The Migration Period began, when various peoples, initially largely Germanic peoples , moved across Europe. The Franks , Alemanni , and the Burgundians all ended up in northern Gaul while the Angles , Saxons , and Jutes settled in Britain , [35] and the Vandals went on to cross the strait of Gibraltar after which they conquered the province of Africa . [36] In the 430s the Huns began invading the empire; their king Attila (r. 434–453) led invasions into the Balkans in 442 and 447, Gaul in 451, and Italy in 452. [37] The Hunnic threat remained until Attila's death in 453, when the Hunnic confederation he led fell apart. [38] These invasions by the tribes completely changed the political and demographic nature of what had been the Western Roman Empire. [35]

As was plainchant, troubadour songs were monophonic, although today many people believe that they were often accompanied by one or more instruments (generally harp or lute, or maybe fiddle) playing improvised elaborations of the main melody. Unfortunately, not nearly as many melodies survived as do texts, and they sometimes survived separately. This makes troubadour performances rather more dependent on the whims of the performers than some other music of this era, but that may also have been true at the time. The troubadour phenomenon spread quickly to Catalonia and northern Italy, and included a prominent role for female composers, called trobairitz . Prominent troubadours included Bernart de Ventadorn (-) and Guiraut Riquier (-1292), the so-called last of the troubadours. Much of the decline in Occitan culture can be traced to the Crusade against the Cathars (1209-1255), and its resulting destruction. By that time, the artistic lead returned to northern France.


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