The Latin West, 1200-1500
Black Death in Europe and AsiaThe
Spread of the Black Death in EuropeMedieval
Map of Europe in the Middle AgesHoly
Roman Empire and Central Europe, c 1490Italy
in the Fifteenth CenturyMaps
Exploring the Hundred Years WarEurope
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Medieval Art
This comprehensive site offers images of early Gothic cathedrals
from the thirteenth century.Late
A companion site to the one above.Italian
A comprehensive site that explores the architecture of
the Italian Renaissance.End
of Europe's Middle Ages: Visual Arts, Architecture
Observe and learn
about architectural developments in the later Middle Ages.End
of Europe's Middle Ages: Visual Arts, Art
Observe and learn about
painting during the later Middle Ages.WebMuseum:
Jan Van Eyck
Explore the life of this influential Flemish painter
and view several images of his masterpieces.WebMuseum:
Explore the life of this influential Italian artist and
view several images of his masterpieces.WebMuseum:
Leonardo da Vinci
Explore the life of this influential Italian artist
and view several images of his masterpieces.The
Bibliothèque Nationale de France: The Age of King Charles V (1338-1380),
The Hundred Years War
Explore this important event through these medieval
This site provides many images of this medieval
Books, and Maps: The Printing Press and a Changing World
four chapters of this site contain links to images of manuscripts both before
and after the Gutenberg's development of his printing press.JOHANNES
This site contains two images of Gutenberg's Bible.
The Black Death that ravaged western Europe in the middle of the
fourteenth century set into motion many changes. For
a brief overview of the plague's destruction, go to The
Pestilence Tyme Home Page
and read Chapters 3 and 9.
According to this author, what impact did the plague
have on western Europe? What was its physical toll? What were its psychological
and emotional effects? To understand the plague and its role in history,
it is essential to understand its global scope in the fourteenth century. Return
to The Pestilence
Tyme Home Page
and read Chapters 1 and 2. Also examine Map
. Where did the Black Death begin? How did it spread?
What impact did it have on other areas of the world? For an Islamic
scholar's account of the plague, see IBN
KHALDUN: THE PLAGUE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
(note that he uses a
different calender--the western dates are in parentheses). According
to Khaldun, was the plague as disruptive to society in the Middle East
as it was in western Europe? One reason for the plague's rampant
destruction, both physical and emotional, was ignorance. Return to
The Pestilence Tyme
and review Chapter 2. According to this site, how
did medieval doctors and other intellectuals explain the Black Death?
Why were they so unprepared to understand its causes and cures?
Read Chapters 7 and 8 at this site. What did western Europeans do
to stop the spread of the disease? How did ordinary people cope with
its devastation? Historians have debated the long-term impact
of the plague on European and world history. Examine
Black Plague: Population Change
Black Plague: Economic Trends
, and the The
Black Plague: Prices and Wages in England
. After studying these
charts and texts, make a list of changes the Black Death brought about in Europe.
Consider how changes in population, prices, wages, and rents affected the
social and economic structure in the decades after the plague. Who
might have benefited in the long run? Who might have suffered?
Read the essay In
the Wake of the Black Death
. How do your responses compare to
The legacy of the Black Death was not the only
force bringing change to the Latin West between 1200 and 1500. The
fourteenth century also witnessed other significant developments that would
deeply change western European civilization. Study The
End of Europe's Middle Ages: The Church
, focusing on the sections
covering the Babylonian Captivity. According to this site, what major
trend in the fourteenth century undermined the political institutions of
the Latin West? Compare and contrast
this development with the plague. Did they have similar or different effects?
How did they reinforce each other?
Another important event that began in
the fourteenth century was the Hundred Years War. For a brief overview
of this conflict, go to
HUNDRED YEARS' WAR
. Who were the winners and losers in this conflict?
According to this site, what were the major effects of this long conflict?
What impact did technology have on the outcome of this struggle?
Go to Gunpowder
Weapons of the Late Fifteenth Century
and answer the following questions.
How did this new military
technology transform traditional political institutions in western Europe?
Explain the long-term impact of the Hundred
Years War on the Latin West. How did it alter previous political
Changes in the economic environment
also undermined medieval institutions and traditions in the Latin West.
The rise of towns symbolized the growth in commerce and industry between
1200 and 1500. To put this growth of towns in a global context, go
of the Larger Urban Areas
and trace the urbanization of western
Europe. Begin by identifying western European cities. You
might also want to consult Map 16.2 on page 400 of The Earth and
(Second Edition) for help. According
to this chart, when did European cities become as large as other major
urban areas in the world? During what time did the number of large-scale
European cities increase? For a brief description of the impact
of cities on western Europe during the central and later Middle Ages, go
(be sure to read the entire essay by clicking the link
at the bottom). According to this site, what role did cities play
in Europe during this time period? How did they challenge the existing
One result of the growth of cities in western Europe
during the central and later Middle Ages was the increase in commerce.
Go to Map 1
This map shows the trade routes in Europe around the year 1300. If
you can not read every word on the map, do not worry; analyze the
big picture. What role did cities play in these trade routes? Which
cities in particular do you think served as emporia? How did this
trade promote greater contact between western Europe and other civilizations?
With which civilizations in particular did merchants have extensive contact?
For more information on the role of towns and the growth of long-distance
trade, see Old
World Contacts: Venice
. The growth of cities and commerce brought
western Europe into contact with the wider world. One outgrowth of
this trend was the diffusion of new technologies into western Europe.
Go to the
and click on the years 1000-1200. Review
this timeline up until the year 1500. Click on all hyper links. As
you study the technological developments in western Europe during this
period, keep a list of those you can identify as having originated elsewhere.
For example, paper was first developed in China but did not
appear in western Europe until the central Middle Ages. When finished,
analyze the role of towns in the transformation of the Latin West.
Be sure to consider the increase in knowledge, technology, and wealth.