Medieval farm (Image: Unknown/Public domain)
European History

Medieval Farming Technology Transforms Europe

October 3, 2019

Europe witnessed massive population growth in the High Middle Ages, from 1000 to 1300. This growth was largely due to the refinement of medieval farming technology, such as the plow, which improved upon previous models, and resulting in increased efficiency and output to feed more people than ever before. Explore the key technological advances in medieval farming that made such a transformation possible. […]

The Fight Between Carnival and Lent. Painting by Pieter Brueghel the Elder [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
European History

How Europe’s Population in the Middle Ages Doubled

October 2, 2019

Europe’s population in the Middle Ages, between the years 1000 and 1300, roughly doubled. This fact may not seem remarkable to modern readers, but historically, it was unprecedented. Discover previous obstacles to population growth, as well as the factors accounting for this expansion. […]

Medieval knights (Image: Nejron Photo/Shutterstock)
European History

Introducing the Chivalric Knights

October 2, 2019

The High Middle Ages were home to a class of warrior aristocrats perched atop high medieval society, but these nobles were a far cry from the chivalric knights that one often associates with the era. Where did the chivalric ideal come from? Take a close look at origins and nature of the chivalric code. […]

Battle of Agincourt (Image: Chroniques d’Enguerrand de Monstrelet (early 15th century) /Public domain)
History

The Democratization of the Hundred Years War

December 1, 2017

During the first phase of the Hundred Years War, the kings of France and England tended to hire lots of mercenaries who were paid by campaign. When there was no fighting, the pay stopped. This caused serious societal difficulties because one of the last things you want is a lot of unemployed armed individuals. […]

Ancient inca sculptures carved out from rock near Machu Picchu, Peru
History

The Rise of the Inca: From Rags to Riches

December 1, 2017

The historical accounts of the rise of the Inka from total obscurity to imperial fame is the definition of a rags-to-riches story. Their achievements in economy, government and architecture continue to resonate to this day. […]

Charlemagne (742-814), (Image: Everett Historical/Shutterstock)
European History

The Reign of Charlemagne: Living in Charlemagne’s Kingdom

December 1, 2017

Charlemagne, Carolus Magnus, Charles the Great, was the greatest member of the Carolingian family, which arose in the early 7th century in the northeastern region of the Frankish world. He reigned over the Franks from 768 to 814. His reign marks a turning point in European history. […]

Earth (Image: Triff/Shutterstock)
Ancient History

The Eight Fundamental Thresholds of Big History

December 1, 2017

David Christian structures his groundbreaking Big History course around eight fundamental thresholds. Each of them is associated with new forms of complexity, and each of which has new emergent properties. Here we will take a high-level look at the eight fundamental thresholds of Big History and the material covered within each. […]

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