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The Middle Ages: Humanities Reflecting Social Trends

Can you give me some insight? This is for a Humanities Class.

I need to write a 1,750- to 2,100-word paper that explores the ways in which the humanities reflect changing concepts of nature and the individual in different historical periods. Focusing on the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages. Give a brief summary for each period of the important developments in the humanities that characterized the period.

Select specific works to illustrate your view of the changes that have occurred, and present an explanation of how and why the concepts evolved in the way they did.

Make connections to at least three other eras discussed during the course and discuss the changes that are evident

Provide sources.

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Dear Student,
This solution was created for you as a guide to become your point of reference and source to answer the questions you posed in your posting. It was written in the APA-format listing references used. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Thank you for using Brainmass.

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

The Middle Ages: A quick Historical Background

The Middle Ages is a vast period in Human History that lasted for roughly a millennium, particularly geo-centered around the territories of the former Western Roman Empire. It starts from the Fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century to the beginning of the early Modern Period in the 16th century, a period history refers to as that of the 'High Renaissance' marked by wide development and revolutionary thinking in the arts, humanities and burgeoning scientific practices. Some historians refer to the Middle ages as the Dark Ages because it is in this period where the feudal system and increased warfare between territories and pseudo 'warlords' were frequent. This was expected however because of the power vacuum left by the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The feudal system allowed for a semblance of order: the peasants worked the land and in return they are provided protection by their feudal Lord who maintains strength of arms. This is how Monarchies came to strength in Europe with nobles as vassal lords controlling vast tracks of land for agricultural and administrative purposes. One are of power however remained - that of the seat of the Christian Church and its leadership. Much of the former Western Roman Empire, if not all was Christian and the church exerted great power in influencing people and the nobility. The Church and the feudal lords and nobles became great patrons of the arts and humanities and it is through their donations and patronage that great art happened.

The early Middle or Medieval Ages occurred from about 500 AD to 1000 AD. It is referred to as a period to be the 'Dark Ages' as it the period that occurred right after the Fall of the Western Roman Empire. While monarchies and alliances started to be rebuilt around the ruins of the empire and new leaders and kings emerged, the conquest of Europe by the Huns, the Mongols, the Germanic peoples, the Arabs (Islam reached its peak at this point and via the Iberian Peninsula worked to penetrate Europe) and the Vikings came one after the other. It was a period of political and military struggle between factions and loyalties that made life hard for the most ordinary people as frequent warfare all but stopped the flourishing of trading centers and urban areas. It was the feudal system that eventually allowed for a sense of organized semblance in the social disorder of the Dark Ages which fostered the next period, that of the High Middle Ages. Development in this period further led to the Late Middle Ages also known as the Renaissance.

During the High Middle Ages (500AD to 1600 AD), the population of Europe was increasing, feudal Lords and nobles due to increase in labour source began to consolidate their influence and power, bringing about key social and political change that would ultimately lead to the Renaissance. This consolidation and increased trade among the territories saw the last of the barbaric invasions in 1000AD and even the Vikings have chosen to settle in Scandinavia in the same feudal system. Increased agriculture output saw the economic order change as specialist professions began to order themselves into guilds to further answer the demand - blacksmiths, glass makers, basket weavers, potters, dressmakers, and shoemakers were among the many and their cooperation as a union resulted in production levels never seen before. The idea of Laissez Fraire (free trade) began here. Markets were set up in major population centres that turned to become ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a comprehensive humanities essay that explores the way in which The Humanities reflect the changing ideas, trends and concepts of nature and man over different historical periods. The essay looks at the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages for the purpose of examining changes and trends in terms of development and practice. Examples of certain works plus the manner by which they reflect the period are provided. The solution follows the APA format. References are listed. A word version is attached for easy printing.