King Charlemagne had a very huge impact on the early medieval period. Today he is referred to by many as the father of Europe. Charlemagne ruled a huge chunk of western Europe between the years 769 to 814 AD. Williams (2010), argues that through encouraging education, arts and culture, he turned on the light of Europe that would shine for thousands of years after his rule. He went on to be the first Holy Roman Emperor due to his outstanding leadership skills.
During the 5th century, the Roman Empire disintegrated, the eastern half of the former empire, flourished while the western side broke up into many kingdoms without any central authority. After becoming one of the rulers of the many kingdoms he immediately set his eyes on expanding his territory in which he was able to conquer almost all of the Europe. He ensured his kingdom remained united by instituting major reforms and ensuring that all of Europe had a common identity. He abolished the gold standard and replaced it with the silver currency. This helped boost commerce as trade became easier. He also took away powers from the nobles and ensured peasants had the same rights as the nobles. He was also a staunch believer of education and he encouraged schooling throughout his kingdom (Williams, 2010). By doing so he was able to unite Europe and boost trade. He also helped spread Christianity. Under his role as emperor, he encouraged the Carolingian Renaissance and was the driving force for the Carolingian miniscule.[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
After the fall of the roman empire, there were many changes that took place and these changes influenced architecture in the middle ages. The rise of Christianity and the frequent wars helped architecture evolve. Since Christianity experienced tremendous growth during these times, Christians built very big churches whose design consisted transepts, alters and a nave. This architectural design was known as basilica. Kings and lords during this time also built large castles which were fortified by a wall for protection. Architecture under the middle ages can be categorized into pre-Romanesque, Romanesque and Gothic architecture (Harvey, 1971). [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
According to Harvey (1971), Romanesque architecture was highly influenced by Roman architecture and was prevalent during the years 800-1100 AD. It was characterized by vaults and round arches and the building stones were usually cut to precision. Years later the Romanesque architecture would lose its appeal and would give way to the gothic architecture. This type of architecture was prevalent during the years 1200-1500 AD. The structures were lighter, had proper light and were airy and spacious. The buildings had large windows and doors and used flying buttress. The buildings were also taller and they were highly decorated using gargoyles (Harvey, 1971).
Christianity and visual art helped shape the architectural designs of the medieval ages. Stained glass art, carvings on columns and buildings, domed ceilings and large murals are some of the architectural details influenced by Christianity and visual art (Onians, 1988). Very few people could read and write in the middle ages. The urban population would read and listen for entertainment purposes as well as for education. The books told of love stories, adventures, ancient battles and noble men and women. The appetite to read and the availability of books improved the literacy levels especially among the nobles. Music was part of the spiritual and secular cultures. During this time people developed ways to write down music.
The 1300 century saw a series of famines, plagues among other calamities that reduced the population by almost half. Endemic warfare, peasant uprising coupled with the lack of unity in the catholic church were the highlights of the late medieval ages (Onians, 1988). The invention of printing, the fall of the Constantinople in 1453 and the rise of the Ottoman Empire are some of the developments that lead to the Renaissance period. [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
Illuminated manuscripts, mosaics and sculptures were the most important arts which were influential in the middle ages. Sculptures were largely used in many buildings to beautify them during the Romanesque architecture era (Harvey, 1971). Illuminated manuscripts and mosaics on the other hand were used to spread Christianity, which was a highlight of the medieval ages.
Harvey, J. H. (1971). The master builders: architecture in the Middle Ages. McGraw-Hi
Onians, J. (1988). Bearers of Meaning: The Classical Orders in Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance (p. 271). Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Williams, H. (2010). Emperor of the West: Charlemagne and the Carolingian Empire. Quercus