Medieval Period

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					              World View
• A world view is how a person or a group of
  people look at the world.
• Many factors impact a worldview, personal
  choices, societal factors, and metaphysical
  conditions.
Construction of a World View

      Structures of Society


          Culture
           Values
   Concept of Humanity
   Concept of the Divine
      Construction of a World View
• Structures of society
  – Governments, religious institutions, education
  – Historical events and institutions
• Culture
  – Customs, holidays, traditions, art
  – Literature
• Values
  – Qualities of a good/bad person
  – Ethics
    Construction of a World View
• Concept of Humanity
  – Mankind’s role in the universe/role
• Concept of the Divine
  – Existence of?
  – Life after death?
  – Nature of a divine Being – benevolent, judging,
    impersonal?
Medieval
 Period
        Structures of society
• Began:
  – 1066 Battle of Hastings
• William the Conqueror
  – Didn’t destroy Anglo-Saxon culture
  – French (Normandy)
  – Brought in Feudalism …
                Feudalism
• Everyone lives under a social hierarchy
• A caste system, property system, militarism
• Ultimate Power of the Catholic Church – led
  to corruption
                      God
                     (Pope)
              King – “Divine Right”
                 Barons/Lords
               Knights (landless)
                      Serfs
Other events in history …
            • Magna Carta
              – Foundation for democracy
            • Bubonic Plague
              – Created a labor shortage,
                giving lower classes more
                clout
            • Crusades
              – Exposure to world
            • 100 Years War
              – Britain dominates
              – People identify themselves as
                British
            • Martyrdom of Thomas a
              Becket at Canterbury
              – Many went on pilgrimages to
                Canterbury
                    Culture
• Had a strong sense of form and manners that
  permeated life, art, and literature
• Chivalry
  – As system of ideals and social codes
  – Like the heroes of Westerns – the classical cowboy
                    Culture
• Courtly love
  – A Knight admired and fought on behalf of a lady
  – Love inspired the knight to do great deeds
  – But nonsexual; lady remained out of reach & pure
  – Against human nature, and created drama (Lancelot
    – Guinevere – Arthur love triangle)
  – Gave rise to a new literature …
           The Romance
• genre of aristocratic literature
• combined tales of adventure and
  courtly love with moral teaching.
• literature of chivalry
• It taught the aristocracy how to behave
  in order to maintain the social order,
  while entertaining them at the same
  time.
           The Romance
• Eleanor of Aquitaine popularized it
  – Wife of Henry II,
  – mother of Richard the Lionheart & King
    John
  – She was the most powerful woman of her
    time (Queen of France, then Queen of
    England)
  – “Lion in Winter”
       Major Literary Works
• Geoffrey Chaucer
  – The Canterbury Tales
• The Arthurian Legends
  – Sir Gawain and the
    Green Knight
  – Thomas Malory
• Robin Hood (oldest
  reference in Piers
  Plowman)
• Dante Alighieri
  – The Divine Comedy, The
    Inferno
  – Trip to Hell, then
    Purgatory, then Paradise
                     Values
• Order and structure
• Chivalry
  – Loyalty & Honor above all else
• Courtly Love
  – If a Knight & his lady consummate love it
    means the breakdown of the entire society
    (King Arthur)
  – Women idealized but power depended on
    husband or father’s status
    • Supposed to be weak and subservient
    • Damsels in Distress
  Code of Chivalry

• Prowess   • Faith
• Justice   • Humility
• Loyalty   • Largesse
• Defense   • Nobility
• Courage   • Franchise
Concept of Humanity
        • The world is ordered
          – Everyone has their place,
            and they must not step out
            of it
             • Translation of the Bible
        • Evil
          – Strict or Black/White
            concept of good and evil
          – Destroy enemies of the
            Church
        Concept of the Divine
• Christian concept of the world
   – God of the Bible
• Generally viewed God as distant (hierarchy)
• the world is spiritual
   – Explained events of the natural world through metaphysical
     definitions
      • Black Plague - Demons
Medieval
 Period
  Ends
• Gunpowder
 – Pierces armor
• Fleas
 – Freed the serfs
• Money
 – Middle class has purchasing
   power

				
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