Once described as the Dark Ages-"a thousand years without a bath"-the Middle Ages were truly a time of immense social change, of outstanding achievements in art and science, and of deep spirituality. During the period from about A.D. 500 to 1500, nobles became kings and took power over increasingly vast regions. Knights pledged allegiance to kings and other lords and fought to acquire riches or went on Crusades to take the Holy Land from Muslims. Christianity spread throughout the region, and with increasing trade, towns grew into cities. While peasants worked the land, European travelers took off for lands previously unknown to them. Using primary sources and colorful reproductions of medieval manuscripts and artwork, each title in the World Almanac® Library of the Middle Ages covers a different aspect of this fascinating, but often unappreciated, time period. Time lines and focus boxes enhance the text and direct readers to other sources of information.
In Monarchs in the Middle Ages, learn about the migrations that brought new groups to Europe. Discover how kings and emperors gained control of regions that evolved into the major kingdoms of Europe. While early monarchs battled and schemed for their right to rule, many later ones inherited their thrones-though often not without a fight. Find out how the right to rule developed and how heirs were chosen. Explore the rivalries that arose and how they were resolved through wars, negotiations, or even marriages.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Royal Responsibilities 6
Chapter 2 The Age of Migrations 14
Chapter 3 Building Kingdoms 22
Chapter 4 Europe and Beyond 30
Chapter 5 Rival Rulers 36
Chapter 6 A New Europe 42
Time Line 44
Further Information 47