Medieval Information

The Middle Ages is a period of European history covering roughly a millennium from the 5th century through to the 16th century. It is commonly dated from the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and contrasted with a later Early Modern Period; the time during which the rise of humanism in the Italian Renaissance and the Reformation unfolded, are generally associated with the transition out of the Middle Ages, with European overseas expansion as a succeeding process, but such dates are approximate and based upon nuanced arguments.

More specific starting and ending points are sometimes adopted by scholars to suit their respective specializations or current focus. In particular, in British history, the Middle Ages are often understood to start at the Norman conquest of 1066 and continue through to about the end of the 15th century . "Periodization issues" are discussed in a later section of this article.

The Middle Ages included the first sustained urbanization of northern and western Europe. Many modern European countries owe their origins to events and trends in the Middle Ages; present European political boundaries are, in many regards, the result of the military and dynastic outcomes during this period.

Wikipedia, Medieval, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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