The myth of the Flat Earth & The Central Point of “Questions of Conquest”

Many today believe that people in the Middle Ages believed in a flat earth. They say that Christopher Columbus was considered by many people to be crazy because he might fall off the edge of the earth, where there may have been dragons or other fearsome creatures. In reality, people did not believe in a … Continue reading The myth of the Flat Earth & The Central Point of “Questions of Conquest”

Louis of Bavaria and the teachings of Marsilius of Padua

Marsilius of Padua was a philosopher who lived in the 13th and 14th centuries AD. He wrote a book called Defensor Pacis, which dealt with political and religious themes. He believed that the state was not subject to ecclesiastical oversight and in the autonomous state. He said that governments should not be subject to any … Continue reading Louis of Bavaria and the teachings of Marsilius of Padua

The Italian War of 1494-1498

During the time of the Renaissance and the Middle Ages, Italy was not one whole country as it is today. Italy was divided into many smaller states, such as Venice, Florence, Naples, Milan, and the Papal States. Milan was Italy’s greatest land power during the time of the Renaissance. It was a wealthy city and … Continue reading The Italian War of 1494-1498

The papacy during the Renaissance & Erasmus.

After the great Schism, Martin V became the new pope. He cracked down on crime in Rome, and now that the papacy had returned to Rome after the Schism, merchants and pilgrims came back to Rome. During his pontificate and those of later Renaissance popes, local strongmen owned a lot of land that previously belonged … Continue reading The papacy during the Renaissance & Erasmus.

Machiavelli and The Prince

The Prince is a political work written in 1513 during the Renaissance by the humanist writer Machiavelli. Machiavelli suggested several strategies to his readers on how to be a good prince. He suggested that it is better to be feared than loved, because fear motivates people to do things, while love of a prince can … Continue reading Machiavelli and The Prince

John Wycliffe & The Great Western Schism

John Wycliffe was an English priest and a professor at Oxford University in the 14th century. He lived from 1320-1384. Wycliffe taught many things contrary to the beliefs of the church in his day, including the denial of the authority of the pope, predestination, the denial of the necessity of confessing to a priest, among … Continue reading John Wycliffe & The Great Western Schism

The conflict between Philip IV and Boniface VIII & Defensor Pacis

Philip IV the Fair and Pope Boniface VIII had several conflicts in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. These conflicts are important because the result led to the Avignon period of the papacy, which is sometimes called the “Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy”. When Philip IV taxed the clergy without the Pope's permission, Pope … Continue reading The conflict between Philip IV and Boniface VIII & Defensor Pacis

The conflict between the Popes and the Holy Roman emperors in the Middle ages

Many of the Holy Roman emperors had serious conflicts with the Popes in Rome. In the investiture controversy, which I wrote about before, Pope Gregory VII and Henry IV quarreled over the authority of the church. But, the conflict did not stop there. The Holy Roman emperors brought forth opposition to the Popes once again … Continue reading The conflict between the Popes and the Holy Roman emperors in the Middle ages

Medieval Cathedrals & The economic success of Europe

Some of the most impressive buildings in the Medieval period were the Cathedrals. The Cathedrals were large churches which took a very long time to build. They were first built in the Romanesque style, which had influences of Rome, Byzantium, and even Islam. They usually had very thick walls, and did not have much space … Continue reading Medieval Cathedrals & The economic success of Europe