The Middle Ages is referred to the period of European history which marks the fall of Western Roman Empire in the 5th Century and the beginning of the Renaissance or the Age of Discovery in the 15th Century.
The Middle Ages saw a lot of ups and downs in the politics of the continent as well as the art and culture pertaining to the different empires across the land. However, historians still have different views regarding the beginning and the end of the Middle Ages that depends on the point of view taken.
Some assume that the migration of Germans in 375 AD that led to the fall of Western Roman Empire as the beginning while others believe it to be the year 476 AD when the Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was overthrown by Odoacer. Another set of historians extend the date much later to the early years of the 7th Century when Venatius Fortunatus, the final classical Literature representative, died in 609 AD.
The most widely accepted belief regarding the beginning of the Middle Ages is the fall of Augustulus. Apart from this, the Middle Ages is divided into three groups : Early Middle Ages, Higher Middle Ages and the Late Middle Ages. Here is a look at the timeline of the Middle Ages.
The Early Middle Ages (5th Century – 10th Century)
- September 4th, 476 AD- The Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus defeated by the leader of German Scirii and Heruli tribes, Odoacer.
- 481 AD- The Frankish tribes are united by Clovis after he became the king of Franks by defeating the Visigoths in the Battle of Vouille.
- 529 AD- The Code of Civil Law published by Justinian 1. This body of law containing three parts compiled the centuries of imperial pronouncements and legal writings.
- 542 AD- The bubonic plague spreads to all urban establishments in the Mediterranean Basin.
- 552 AD- Byzantines completely conquer Italy
- 570 AD- Prophet Mohammed, the preacher of Islam was born in this year. Islam later became a major religion of the Middle Ages.
- 590 AD- Christianity receives a new Pope in the form of Gregory the Great under whose command the missionary works reach new heights.
- 597 AD- Augustine, the Roman missionary to Britain sent by Gregory the Great, arrives in Kent
- 622 AD- Prophet Mohammad and his followers start their journey from Mecca to Medina called Hijra. This marks the beginning of the Islamic Calendar.
- 631 AD- The death of Prophet Mohammad.
- 641 AD- Muslims conquer Persia in the Battle of Nehawand
- 674-678 AD- First Islamic attacks on Constantinople fails
- 711 AD- Muslims invade Spain and it marks the beginning of Muslim rule in Iberian Peninsula
- 718 AD- Second Muslim attack on Constantinople failed.
- 732 AD- Franks defeat Muslims in the Battle of Tours and check their advance in Europe.
- 750 AD- Marks the start of the longest Caliphate named as Abbasid Caliphate.
- 768 AD- Charlemagne’s reign begins as the King of Franks.
- 800-814 AD- Charlemagne is crowned the Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III
- 835 AD- Marks the beginning of invasion of Northern Europe by the Vikings from Scandinavian Islands.
- 843 AD- Treaty of Verdun is signed between the three grandchildren of Charlemagne separating Holy Roman Empire and France.
- 871-899 AD- Alfred the Great becomes the first king of united England. New laws are formed and religion as well as education experience revival.
- 896 AD- Alfred the Great defeats and sends back Vikings from England.
- 919 AD- Henry 1 assumes the throne becoming the founder of the medieval German State.
- 955 AD- Otto the Great, son of Henry 1, defeats Magyars in the Battle of Lechfeld. This defining battle prevents the advance of Hungarians in Central Europe.
- 962 AD- Otto the Great crowned the Holy Roman Emperor in 40 years.
- 989 AD- Formation of Peace and Truce movement by the Catholic Church. The first of its kind movement in the Medieval Europe for the control of society using non-violet means.
The High Middle Ages (11th Century-13th Century)
- 1016 AD- England receives Danish King in the form of Canute the Great
- 1049 AD- Papal throne is ascended by Pope Leo IX. This marks the beginning of the Great Schism
- 1054 AD- East-West Schism divides the church into Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Catholicism
- 1066 AD- French Duke, William the Conqueror conquers England after the Battle of Hastings.
- 1067 AD- Period of church reform begins under the Pope Gregory VII
- 1077 AD- Henry IV begs forgiveness from Pope. Holy Roman Emperor’s action helps to establish Papal rule over the European heads of states.
- 1077 AD- Construction of Tower of London commences.
- 1086 AD- Doomsday Book is compiled.
- 1099 AD- First crusades begin. Muslims are defeated on orders from Pope Urban II AND Jerusalem is retaken.
- 1100 AD- This was the peak of Medieval Warm Period.
- 1117 AD- University of Oxford, the oldest university in United Kingdom founded.
- 1119 AD- Order of Knights formed. Knights Templar founded.
- 1130 AD- Antipope Anacletus II Crowns Roger II as King of Sicily. Kingdom of Sicily if formed that later defeats the Holy Roman Empire, the Papacy and Byzantine Empire later.
- 1135 AD- England is submerged in The Anarchy.
- 1147 AD- The Second Crusades start.
- 1171 AD- Synod of Cashel acknowledges King Henry II’s supremacy in Ireland.
- 1185 AD- First windmills are recorded
- 1187 AD- Saladin recaptures Jerusalem.
- 1189 AD- Third Crusades commence.
- 1202 AD- Era of Forth Crusade.
- 1206 AD- Genghis Khan elected as Khagan. Establishment of Mongol Empire.
- 1215 AD- Fourth Lantern Council established.
- 1272 AD- The period of Ninth Crusade.
- 1299 AD- Ottoman Empire formed.
The Late Middle Ages (14th Century-15th Century)
- 1337 AD- England and France begin the Hundred Year’s War for supremacy over Europe.
- 1347 AD- Black Death spreads in all Europe killing nearly 40-50 % of population
- 1399 AD- Richard II becomes the new King of England.
- 1415 AD- Henry V defeats French army in the Battle of Agincourt becoming the heir of France.
- 1429-1431 AD- Period of Joan of Arc
- 1439 AD- Johannes Gutenberg invents Printing Press
- 1453 AD- Ottoman Turks take over Constantinople
- 1453 AD- Hundred Years War ends
- 1485 AD- Battle of Bosworth Field
- 1492 AD- Christopher Columbus lands in Americas
- 1497 AD- Vasco-da-Gama becomes the first European to travel to India through sea route.