Since the Church was the big institution of the times, we can do some church Latin...

INRI: Iesus Nazaranus Rex Iudaeorum: Jesus of Nazarenth ,king of the Jews

initials for the Latin title that Pontius Pilate had written over the head of Jesus Christ on the cross (John 19:19).


Pater Noster: Our Father; the Lord's Prayer

patriarch: the male leader of a family; the "father of the family"

Judaic: pertaining to Jews or Judaism

The Dark Ages, the early medieval period of western European [history. Specifically, the term refers to the time (476–800) when there was no Roman (or Holy Roman) emperor in the West; or, more generally, to the period between about 500 and 1000, which was marked by frequent warfare and a virtual disappearance of urban life. It is now rarely used by historians because of the value judgment it implies. Though sometimes taken to derive its meaning from the fact that little was then known about the period, the term’s more usual and pejorative sense is of a period of intellectual darkness and barbarity.
dark ages 1

Barbarian Tribes of Europe : fall of Rome Barbarians at the Gate!
Barbari ad Portas! Alaric ; Visigothic Chieftan who led a sack on ROme in early 400's.


Corpus Christi: the body of Christ

in hoc signo vinces: in this sign you will conquer ( Constantine)

incorporate: to make into one body

convince: to persuade ( conquer) somebody to do something

Visigoths,Ostrogoths,Burgunds, Franks, Saxons, Britons: Germanic Tribes who took over the Roman Empire
Map of Empire with provinces 3oo's.png germanic tribes 5th century map.gif

fall of rome

St Jerome ( Sanctus Hieronimus): Priest who translated the Bible into Latin around the 5th Century; the Vulgate
"Who could believe this?"
St. Jerome was born around the year 340. He came to Rome and was baptized there around 360. He devoted the rest of his life to scholarly pursuits and the translation of the Bible into Latin. He died in 420. He wrote the following observations describing the devastation of the Empire around 406:

"Nations innumerable and most savage have invaded all Gaul. The Whole region between the Alps and the Pyrenees, the ocean and the Rhine, has been devastated by the Quadi, the Vandals, the Sarmati, the Alani, the Gepidae, the hostile Heruli, the Saxons, the Burgundians, the Alemanni, and the Pahnonians.
Oh wretched Empire! Mayence [Mainz, Germany], formerly so noble a city, has been taken and ruined, and in the church many thousands of men have been massacred. Worms [Germany] has been destroyed after a long siege. Rheims, that powerful city, Amiens, Arras, Speyer [Germany], Strasburg, - all have seen their citizens led away captive into Germany. Aquitaine and the provinces of Lyons and Narbonne, all save a few towns, have been depopulated; and these the sword threatens without, while hunger ravages within.
I cannot speak without tears of Toulouse, which the merits of the holy Bishop Exuperius have prevailed so far to save from destruction. Spain, even, is in daily terror lest it perish, remembering the invasion of the Cimbri; and whatsoever the other provinces have suffered once, they continue to suffer in their fear.
I will keep silence concerning the rest, lest I seem to despair of the mercy of God. For a long time, from the Black Sea to the Julian Alps, those things which are ours have not been ours; and for thirty years, since the Danube boundary was broken, war has been waged in the very midst of the Roman Empire. Our tears are dried by old age. Except a few old men, all were born in captivity and siege, and do not desire the liberty they never knew.
Who could believe this? How could the whole tale be worthily told? How Rome has fought within her own bosom not for glory, but for preservation - nay, how she has not even fought, but with gold and all her precious things has ransomed her life...
Who could believe that Rome, built upon the conquest of the whole world, would fall to the ground? That the mother herself would become the tomb of her peoples? That all the regions of the East, of Africa and Egypt, once ruled by the queenly city, would be filled with troops of slaves an


In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritu Sancti - In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit

urbi et orbi: to the city and the world; denotes a papal address and Apostolic Blessing given to the City of Rome and to the entire world on certain occasions. It was a standard opening of Ancient Roman proclamations.

Clovis: King of the Franks, a Germanic tribe that eventually took over most of Gaul; France is the land of the Franks; founder of the Merovingians, converted to Christianity united Gaul under his reign

clovis baptism.jpg

Trial by Ordeal:

the guilt or innocence of the accused was determined by subjecting them to an unpleasant, usually dangerous experience. Classically, the test was one of life or death and the proof of innocence was survival. In some cases, the accused was considered innocent if they escaped injury or if their injuries healed (or sometimes the reverse: see below, "Ordeal of cold water"). Another fun way of metting out justice was trial buy combat, which was also part of Germanic law. It was a way to settle accusations in the absence of witnesses or a confession in which two parties in dispute fought in single combat; the winner of the fight was proclaimed to be right.

What happened to the rule of law? It's gone along with the [[#|monuments]]....

...it's a little superstitious.

dark ages history channel


beati pacifici Blessed are the peacemakes (Beatitudes)

The Beatitudes

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall possess the earth.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice' sake,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men reproach you,
and persecute you,
and speaking falsely, say all manner of evil against you, for My sake.

Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10

dies irae: the Day of Wrath; Judgement Day

check this out..who knew?

beatific: blissfully happy; as if one has been blessed (Beatitudes : Pronouncements from the Sermon on the Mount); a beatific expression

ire: strong anger; wrath

Justinian and Theodora: emperor and empress of the Byzantine ( Eastern) Empire; attempted( unsuccessfully) to reunite the Eastern and Western Roman Empires, among other things. This attempt went on for about 20 years or so, and it did not work. It did however, manage to ravage parts of the former Roman Empire...as if the people there needed any more trouble.


The Corpus Juris (or Iuris) Civilis ("Body of Civil Law") is the modern name for a collection of fundamental works in jurisprudence, issued from 529 to 534 by order of Justinian I,Eastern Roman Emperor. It is also referred to as the Code of Justinian.

This code compiled, in Latin, all of the existing imperial constitutiones (imperial pronouncements having the force of law), back to the time of Hadrian.

Justinian gave orders to collect legal materials of various kinds into several new codes, spurred on by the revival of interest in the study of Roman law in the Middle Ages. This revived Roman law, in turn, became the foundation of law in all civil law jurisdictions. The provisions of the Corpus Juris Civilis also influenced the Canon Law of the church since it was said that ecclesia vivit lege romana — the church lives by Roman law.

Justinian And Theodora ...ooohlala


ad majorem gloriam Dei: To the greater glory of God (AMGD); motto of the Jesuits

opus Dei : the work of God

a Roman Catholic organization of laymen and priests founded in Spain in 1928 with the aim of re-establishing Christian ideals in society.

and check out this craziness: nutty old lady

majority: a greater number or amount

venerable: able to be revered; worthy of respect

St. Benedict:

Benedict of Nursia (Italian: San Benedetto da Norcia) (c. 480 – 21 March 543 or 547) is a Christian saint, honoured by the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church as the patron saint of Europe and students.

Benedict founded twelve communities for monks at Subiaco, Italy (about 40 miles (64 km) to the east of Rome), before moving to Monte Cassino in the mountains of southern Italy. The Catholic Order of St Benedict and the Anglican Order of St Benedict are of later origin and, moreover, not an "order" as commonly understood but merely a confederation of autonomous congregations.

Benedict's main achievement is his "Rule of Saint Benedict", containing precepts for his monks. It is heavily influenced by the writings of John Cassian, and shows strong affinity with the Rule of the Master. But it also has a unique spirit of balance, moderation and reasonableness (ἐπιείκεια, epieikeia), and this persuaded most religious communities founded throughout the Middle Ages to adopt it. As a result, his Rule became one of the most influential religious rules in Western Christendom. For this reason, Benedict is often called the founder of western monasticism.

Seventy-three short chapters comprise the Rule. Its wisdom is of two kinds: spiritual (how to live a Christocentric life on earth) and administrative (how to run a monastery efficiently). More than half the chapters describe how to be obedient and humble, and what to do when a member of the community is not. About one-fourth regulate the work of God (the Opus Dei). One-tenth outline how, and by whom, the monastery should be managed. And two chapters specifically describe the abbot’s pastoral duties.


The Venerable Bede:

St Bede - also known as the Venerable Bede - is widely regarded as the greatest of all the Anglo-Saxon scholars. He wrote around 40 books mainly dealing with theology and history.

Bede was probably born in Monkton, Durham. Nothing is known of his family background. At the age of seven he was entrusted to the care of Benedict Biscop, who is 674 AD had founded the monastery of St Peter at Wearmouth. In 682 AD, Bede moved the monastery at Jarrow, where he spent the rest of his life. By the age of 19 he had become a deacon and was promoted to priest at 30.

His scholarship covered a huge range of subjects, including commentaries on the bible, observations of nature, music and poetry. His most famous work, which is a key source for the understanding of early British history and the arrival of Christianity, is 'Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum' or 'The Ecclesiastical History of the English People' which was completed in 731 AD. It is the first work of history in which the AD system of datingis used.

Bede died in his cell at the monastery in May 735 AD.



peccavi:I have sinned; part of confession

pax vobiscum: peace be with you

peccadillo: a small sin; a transgression of some kind, not something like murder

pacify: to make peaceful

Now, to one of my [[#|favorite]] families in history

Charles Martel ( the Hammer) :

(688?-741). In 732 Charles Martel and his Christian Frankish army fought a crucial battle near Tours, France. Their foes were Muslims, also known as Saracens. In only 100 years following the death of the prophet Muhammad, the Muslims had built up a vast empire that stretched from Persia (now Iran) westward through the Middle East and across northern Africa. They had gained a foothold in Europe by taking Spain and were poised to advance into the region that is now France. But it was not to be, because of the Franks, and their fearless leader, Charles Martel.

Charles Martel was an illegitimate heir of Pippen II. He was left out of the will...go figure. But, he was one tough dude, so what he was not given he took. And it's a good thing too, because the Moors were on the March, and quite successfully.

Ever since their arrival in Spain from Africa in 711, the Muslims had raided Frankish territory, threatening Gaul and on one occasion (725) reaching Burgundy and sacking Autun. In 732 ʿAbd ar-Raḥmān, the governor of Córdoba, marched into Bordeaux and defeated Eudes. The Muslims then proceeded north across Aquitaine to the city of Poitiers. Eudes appealed to Charles for assistance, and Charles’s cavalry managed to turn back the Muslim onslaught at the Battle of Tours. The battle itself may have been only a series of small engagements, but after it there were no more great Muslim invasions of Frankish territory.

In 733 Charles began his campaigns to force Burgundy to yield to his rule. In 735 word arrived that Eudes was dead, and Charles marched rapidly across the Loire River in order to make his power felt around Bordeaux. By 739 he had completely subdued the petty chieftains of Burgundy, and he continued to fend off Muslim advances into Gaul during the decade.

Charles’s health began to fail in the late 730s, and in 741 he retired to his palace at Quierzy-sur-Oise, where he died soon after. Before his death he divided the Merovingian kingdom between his two legitimate sons, Pippin III and Carloman. He continued to maintain the fiction of Merovingian rule, refraining from transferring the royal title to his own dynasty.


charles martel.jpg Charles Martel Battle of Tours.jpg

Lux sit: Let there be light
Opus Dei: the work of God; a Catholic organization that encourages expressesions of faith in everyday [life and teaches that all people are all called to do God's work

lucid: easily understood; completely intelligible or comprehensible: a lucid explanation.
characterized by clear perception or understanding; rational or sane: a lucid moment in his madness.

operose: full of work;involving a lot of work

Charlemagne (c.742-814), also known as Karl and Charles the Great, was a medieval emperor who ruled much of Western Europe from 768 to 814. In 771, Charlemagne became king of the Franks, a Germanic tribe in present-day Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and western Germany. He embarked on a mission to unite all Germanic peoples into one kingdom, and convert his subjects to Christianity* ( Saxon massacre). A skilled military strategist, he spent much of his reign engaged in warfare in order to accomplish his goals. In 800, Pope Leo III (750-816) crowned Charlemagne emperor of the Romans. In this role, he encouraged the Carolingian Renaissance, a cultural and intellectual revival in Europe. When he died in 814, Charlemagne’s [[#|empire]] encompassed much of Western Europe, and he had also ensured the survival of Christianity in the West. Today, Charlemagne is referred to by some as the father of Europe.
Carolus Magnus

Aix la Chapell/ Aachen
Palatine Chapel

The Palatine Chapel is an early medieval chapel that is a remaining component of Charlemagne's Palace of Aachen in what is now Germany. Although the palace itself no longer exists, the chapel has been incorporated into Aachen Cathedral. It is the city's major landmark and a central monument of the Carolingian Renaissance. The chapel holds the remains of Charlemagne. Later it was appropriated by the Ottonians and their coronations were held there from 936 to 1531.
aix la chappell.jpgAachen.jpg
misere nobis: have mercy on us

Deo gratias: thanks be to God

gratuity: a tip; a way of showing thanks

gratuitous: freely bestowed; unnecessary; gratuitous sex and violence in movies(i.e. it doesn't further the plot)

So, if one;s is fortunate enough to find one's self in the bosom] of Charlemagne's kingdom, things are probably looking up, but if you are in the wild and wooly west...like England Scotland,Ireland anywhere close to the North Sea, not so much.
Because of the Vikings. I think we hear them knocking, and I think.
they're coming in.

The term Viking commonly denotes the ship-born warriors and traders of Norsemen (literally, men from the north) who originated in Scandinavia and raided the coasts of Britain, Ireland and mainland Europe as far east as the Volga River in Russia from the late 8th–11th century. This period (generally dated 793–1066) is often referred to as the Viking Age. The term Viking has also denoted entire populations of Viking Age Scandinavia and their settlements, as an expanded meaning.

The Vikings attack on the holy island of Lindisfarne off the northern coast of Northumbria is the earliest recorded and the best known of the Viking raids in the west. There was situated the monastery of St. Cuthbert, one of the most sacred places of pilgrimage in Britain, and it was there that the Lindisfarne gospels had been copied and illuminated. For more than one hundred and fifty years, Lindisfarne had been a sanctuary of learning and a repository for riches bequeathed by both the pious and the wicked for the repose of their souls. In its chapels and on its altars were golden crucifixes and crosiers, silver pyxes and ciboria, ivory reliquaries, tapestries, and illuminated manuscripts.
All were plundered.
The attack on Lindisfarne was unprecedented and horrified those who wrote of it. For Alcuin, who was at the court of Charlemagne and a leader of the Carolingian Renaissance, it was inconceivable that ships could suddenly appear from over the horizon.
  • "Lo, it is nearly 350 years that we and our fathers have inhabited this most lovely land, and never before has such terror appeared in Britain as we have now suffered from a pagan race, nor was it thought that such an inroad from the sea could be made. Behold, the church of St. Cuthbert spattered with the blood of the priests of God, despoiled of all its ornaments; a place more venerable than all in Britain is given as a prey to pagan peoples."
  • Alcuin, Letter to Ethelred, King of Northumbria
  • http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/britannia/anglo-saxon/lindisfarne/lindisfarne.html

vikings lindesfarne

horrible histories vikings

What's in your wallet?viking-ship.jpg

horrible histories vikings
middles ages teeth
Ave, Maria: Hail Mary; prayer for intercession from the Virgin Mary
Avé María, grátia pléna, Dóminus técum.
Benedícta tu in muliéribus
et benedíctus frúctus véntris túi, Iésus.
Sáncta María, Máter Déi,
óra pro nóbis peccatóribus,
nunc et in hóra mórtis nóstrae. Ámen.

franz schubert ave maria

Deus vult: God wills it; rallying cry of the First Crusade

benediction: a blessing
malediction: a curse
The Crusades
In part because of the Viking threat, many nobles in Europe had amassed small personal armies that did not have a lot to do, except fight one another and create all kinds of problems. So, what to do, what to do?
For a long time, Christina pilgrims had been making the trek to Jerusalem without incident ( for the most part) but, then Jerusalem was taken over by the Seljuk Turks who were not as nice as their predecessors, the Abbasid Muslims. Tales of mistreatment of Christians at the hands of the Seljuk Turks floated all around Europe, and a new enemy and purpose was found: taking back Jerusalem from the Muslims.
In 1095 Pope Urban II proclaimed the First Crusade to regain the Holy Land. Preaching at the Council of Clermont in that year, he exhorted Christians to take up the cross and strive for a cause that promised not merely spiritual rewards but material gain as well. At the end of his impassioned oration the crowd shouted "God wills it" - the expression the crusaders later used in battle.

horrible histories crusades



agnus Dei: lamb of God; Christ
agnus dei.jpg

anathema sit: Let him ( or her) be an anathema ( denounced) ; an excommunication

anathema: somebody or something formally denounced: somebody or something cursed, denounced, or excommunicated by a religious authority

deism: belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe. The term is used chiefly of an intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries that accepted the existence of a creator on the basis of reason but rejected belief in a supernatural deity who interacts with humankind.

In most of medieval Europe, society was dependent on the "feudal" system, which was based on allocation of land in return for service. The king would give out grants of land to his most important noblemen (barons and bishops), and each noble would have to promise to loyally follow him and supply him with soldiers in time of war. They did this at a special - kneeling before the king, he swore an oath with the words "Sire, I become your man." The nobles then divided their land among lower lords, or knights who also had to become their vassals(servants). In the lowest spot in society sat the peasants who worked on the land itself. They had almost no rights, tiny pieces of property - and no vassals.

Serfs: also called "villeins" and peasants; belong to the land itself; were given land by Knights. They had to provide the Knight with free labour, food and service whenever it was demanded. They had no rights. They were not allowed to leave the Manor and had to ask their Lord's permission before they could marry. It was not a fun life, not to mention the clothes...quelle horreur! horrible histories medieval makeover

and, being a knight wasn't always a walk in the park, either it's hard out there for a knight

Via Dolorosa: the road of sadness; the street where Jesus carried the cross to his crucifixion
the route in Jerusalem that Christ is believed to have followed from Pilate's judgement hall to Golgotha; an extremely painful experience that has to be borne with fortitude
via dolorosa street sign.png Via_Dolorosa1.jpg

lux mundi: the light of the world; Christ

these words from the Vulgate (John 8:12) are Jesus' description of himself: "I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

dolorous: full of grief
deviant: one who has gone off the path ( of that which is normal)

The Bubonic Plague aka The Black Death

in the early 1330s an outbreak of deadly bubonic plague occurred in China. The bubonic plague mainly affects rodents, but fleas can transmit the disease to people. Once people are infected, they infect others very rapidly. Plague causes fever and a painful swelling of the lymph glands called buboes, which is how it gets its name. The disease also causes spots on the skin that are red at first and then turn black.

Since China was one of the busiest of the world's trading nations, it was only a matter of time before the outbreak of plague in China spread to western Asia and Europe. In October of 1347, several Italian merchant ships returned from a trip to the Black Sea, one of the key links in trade with China. When the ships docked in Sicily, many of those on board were already dying of plague. Within days the disease spread to the city and the surrounding countryside.
An eyewitness tells what happened:

"Realizing what a deadly disaster had come to them, the people quickly drove the Italians from their city. But the disease remained, and soon death was everywhere. Fathers abandoned their sick sons. Lawyers refused to come and make out wills for the dying. Friars and nuns were left to care for the sick, and monasteries and convents were soon deserted, as they were stricken, too. Bodies were left in empty houses, and there was no one to give them a Christian burial."

The disease struck and killed people with terrible speed. The Italian writer Boccaccio said its victims often

"ate lunch with their friends and dinner with their ancestors in paradise."

By the following August, the plague had spread as far north as England, where people called it "The Black Death" because of the black spots it produced on the skin. A terrible killer was loose across Europe, and Medieval medicine had nothing to combat it.

In winter the disease seemed to disappear, but only because fleas--which were now helping to carry it from person to person--are dormant then. Each spring, the plague attacked again, killing new victims.

Even when the worst was over, smaller outbreaks continued, not just for years, but for centuries. The survivors lived in constant fear of the plague's return, and the disease did not disappear until the 1600s.

Medieval society never recovered from the results of the plague. So many people had died that there were serious labor shortages all over Europe. This led workers to demand higher wages, but landlords refused those demands. By the end of the 1300s peasant revolts broke out in England, France, Belgium and Italy.

The disease took its toll on the church as well. People throughout Christendom had prayed devoutly for deliverance from the plague. Why hadn't those prayers been answered? A new period of political turmoil and philosophical questioning lay ahead.
plague_doctor.jpgPlague Doctor...creepy!!!!black_death.jpg

Boccaccio's description is graphic:

In men and women alike it first betrayed itself by the emergence of certain tumours in the groin or armpits, some of which grew as large as a common apple, others as an egg...From the two said parts of the body this deadly gavocciolo soon began to propagate and spread itself in all directions indifferently; after which the form of the malady began to change, black spots or livid making their appearance in many cases on the arm or the thigh or elsewhere, now few and large, now minute and numerous. As the gavocciolo had been and still was an infallible token of approaching death, such also were these spots on whomsoever they showed themselves.]

Death toll

external image 180px-Burying_Plague_Victims_of_Tournai.jpgCitizens of Tournai bury plague victims.
There are no exact figures for the death toll; the rate varied widely by locality. It killed some 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia.According to medieval historian Philip Daileader in 2007:
  • The trend of recent research is pointing to a figure more like 45–50% of the European population dying during a four-year period. There is a fair amount of geographic variation. In Mediterranean Europe, areas such as Italy, the south of France and Spain, where plague ran for about four years consecutively, it was probably closer to 75–80% of the population. In Germany and England ... it was probably closer to 20%.

  • Imagine that.

horrible histories plague song
black death

history channel bubonic plague

And lest we all get comfortable: run for your life!