Medieval Europe - Introductory

Don’t know a fief from a friar? Then you'll want to study this list of terms related to medieval Europe. Take a spin through the Middle Ages and learn about the Black Plague, the Crusades, and the legendary kingdom of Camelot.
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Full list of words from this list:

  1. abbess
    the superior of a group of nuns
  2. abbey
    a church or building associated with a monastery or convent
  3. abbot
    the superior of a community of monks
  4. Alfred the Great
    king of Wessex
  5. apprentice
    someone who works for an expert to learn a trade
  6. aristocrat
    a member of the nobility
  7. armor
    protective covering made of metal and used in combat
  8. artisan
    a skilled worker who practices some trade or handicraft
  9. bishop
    a senior member of the Christian clergy
  10. Black Death
    the epidemic form of bubonic plague experienced during the Middle Ages when it killed nearly half the people of western Europe
  11. Camelot
    the capital of King Arthur's kingdom
  12. catapult
    an engine providing medieval artillery used during sieges
  13. cathedral
    any large and important church
  14. chain mail
    (Middle Ages) flexible armor made of interlinked metal rings
  15. Charlemagne
    king of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor
  16. charter
    a document creating an institution and specifying its rights
  17. chivalry
    the medieval principles governing knightly conduct
  18. Christianity
    a monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as savior
  19. chronicle
    a record or narrative description of past events
  20. clergy
    the entire class of religious officials
  21. cloister
    residence that is a place of religious seclusion
  22. coat of arms
    the official symbols of a family, state, etc.
  23. court
    the family, advisors, and retinue of a sovereign or prince
  24. crusade
    fight a holy war
  25. Eleanor of Aquitaine
    queen of France as the wife of Louis VII
  26. epic
    a long narrative poem telling of a hero's deeds
  27. epic poetry
    poetry celebrating the deeds of some hero
  28. estate
    a major social class regarded as part of the body politic
  29. falconry
    the art of training birds of prey to hunt and return
  30. feudalism
    the social system in which vassals were protected by lords
  31. fief
    a piece of land held under the feudal system
  32. friar
    male member of a religious order originally relying on alms
  33. guild
    a formal association of people with similar interests
  34. Guinevere
    wife of King Arthur
  35. heresy
    a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion
  36. hoard
    a secret store of valuables or money
  37. Islam
    the monotheistic religious system of Muslims
  38. Joan of Arc
    French heroine and military leader inspired by religious visions to organize French resistance to the English and to have Charles VII crowned king; she was later tried for heresy and burned at the stake (1412-1431)
  39. joust
    a combat between mounted knights tilting against each other
  40. jury
    a body of citizens sworn to give a verdict in a court of law
  41. King Arthur
    a legendary king of the Britons
  42. knight
    a person of noble birth trained to arms and chivalry
  43. lance
    a long pointed rod used as a weapon
  44. Lancelot
    one of the knights of the Round Table
  45. Latin
    any dialect of the language of ancient Rome
  46. longbow
    a powerful wooden bow drawn by hand
  47. lord
    a person who has general authority over others
  48. Magna Carta
    the royal charter of political rights given to rebellious English barons by King John in 1215
  49. manor
    the landed estate of a lord, including the house on it
  50. manuscript
    handwritten book or document
  51. medieval
    relating to or belonging to the Middle Ages
  52. merchant
    a businessperson engaged in retail trade
  53. Middle Ages
    the period of history between classical antiquity and the Italian Renaissance
  54. monarchy
    autocracy governed by a ruler who usually inherits authority
  55. monastery
    the residence of a religious community
  56. monk
    a male member of a religious community living under vows
  57. nobility
    a privileged class holding hereditary titles
  58. Norman Conquest
    the invasion and settlement of England by the Normans following the battle of Hastings (1066)
  59. nun
    a woman religious
  60. page
    a youth acting as a knight's attendant
  61. parchment
    skin of a sheep or goat prepared for writing on
  62. parliament
    a legislative assembly in certain countries
  63. peasant
    one of a class of agricultural laborers
  64. pilgrimage
    a journey to a sacred place
  65. pillage
    steal goods; take as spoils
  66. plague
    a serious infection of rodents transmitted to humans
  67. pope
    the head of the Roman Catholic Church
  68. saga
    a narrative telling the adventures of a hero or a family
  69. saint
    a person who has died and has been canonized
  70. scribe
    someone employed to make written copies of documents
  71. serf
    a person bound to the land and owned by the feudal lord
  72. siege
    an action of an armed force that surrounds a fortified place
  73. squire
    a young nobleman attendant on a knight
  74. stained glass
    glass that has been colored in some way
  75. tapestry
    a wall hanging of heavy fabric with pictorial designs
  76. the three estates
    a major social class or order of persons regarded collectively as part of the body politic of the country (especially in the United Kingdom) and formerly possessing distinct political rights
  77. troubadour
    a singer of folk songs
  78. university
    an institution of higher learning that grants degrees
  79. vassal
    a person who owes allegiance and service to a feudal lord
  80. Viking
    any of the Scandinavian people who raided the coasts of Europe from the 8th to the 11th centuries
  81. villein
    (Middle Ages) a person who is bound to the land and owned by the feudal lord
  82. William the Conqueror
    duke of Normandy who led the Norman invasion of England and became the first Norman to be King of England; he defeated Harold II at the battle of Hastings in 1066 and introduced many Norman customs into England (1027-1087)
Created on February 13, 2017 (updated March 31, 2017)

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