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The Social and Historical Influences on Literature in the Mi

            The Middle Ages was a period in the history of Europe that lasted from about AD 350 to about 1450. Growth in land size and many advances in learning marked the period. There were also a few sorrows in the period but they were few and far apart. While the Middle Ages seemed like an ideal period in which to live with its thoughts of chivalry and letting life revolve around the church the bubonic plague and witchcraft trials revealed another side of the fantasy period. .
             The Middle Ages is the name given to the time span from the collapse of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance and the "rebirth- of Greek and Latin learning, roughly from the fifth century to the fifteenth (www.berkelyprep.org). People during the Renaissance, a period of cultural and literary change in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries invented the term Middle Ages. (Middle Ages Encarta). The term Middle Ages was not meant as a compliment but to belittle the period. .
             Even though the Middle Age period was harshly criticized, it had numerous admirable characteristics. The Middle Ages or Medieval period is characterized by the battles that occurred during it, forms of government, religion, and literature. .
             The church of the Middle Ages was very important. One of the characteristics of the church was the papacy. The Roman Catholic Church traces papacy back to the apostle Peter. Papacy led to popes who held great power. During the Medieval Church, much of history included the popes. Certain popes were strong leaders, heavily involved in politics and unfortunately, many were of less than high moral character. Papal problems became so great that around 1400 the papacy was divided among two and then three different men claiming the title. It was the failure of the papacy that ultimately led to the Protestant Reformation (teacheroz.com). .
             Another characteristic is monasticism. The informal asceticism of the many individuals in the early church gradually developed into monasticism, formally organized congregations.

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