Hagondange is a commune in the Moselle department in Grand Est in north-eastern France. It is located 20 km north of 20 km south of Thionville. La Tour de Guet, a tower from the twelfth century, is found within the commune. Eduard Isken was a Luftwaffe fighter pilot and flying ace during World War II. Communes of the Moselle department
Metz is a city in northeast France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers. Metz is the prefecture of the Moselle department and the seat of the parliament of the Grand Est region. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France and Luxembourg, the city forms a central place of the European Greater Region and the SaarLorLux euroregion. Metz has a rich 3,000-year-history, having variously been a Celtic oppidum, an important Gallo-Roman city, the Merovingian capital of Austrasia, the birthplace of the Carolingian dynasty, a cradle of the Gregorian chant, one of the oldest republics in Europe; the city has been steeped in Romance culture, but has been influenced by Germanic culture due to its location and history. Because of its historical and architectural background, Metz has been submitted on France's UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List; the city features noteworthy buildings such as the Gothic Saint-Stephen Cathedral with its largest expanse of stained-glass windows in the world, the Basilica of Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains being the oldest church in France, its Imperial Station Palace displaying the apartment of the German Kaiser, or its Opera House, the oldest one working in France.
Metz is home to some world-class venues including the Arsenal Concert Hall and the Centre Pompidou-Metz museum. A basin of urban ecology, Metz gained its nickname of The Green City, as it has extensive open grounds and public gardens; the historic city centre is one of the largest commercial pedestrian areas in France. A historic garrison town, Metz is the economic heart of the Lorraine region, specialising in information technology and automotive industries. Metz is home to the University of Lorraine and a centre for applied research and development in the materials sector, notably in metallurgy and metallography, the heritage of the Lorraine region's past in the iron and steel industry. In ancient times, the town was known as "city of Mediomatrici", being inhabited by the tribe of the same name. After its integration into the Roman Empire, the city was called Divodurum Mediomatricum, meaning Holy Village or Holy Fortress of the Mediomatrici it was known as Mediomatrix. During the 5th century AD, the name evolved to "Mettis".
Metz has a recorded history dating back over 2,000 years. Before the conquest of Gaul by Julius Caesar in 52 BC, it was the oppidum of the Celtic Mediomatrici tribe. Integrated into the Roman Empire, Metz became one of the principal towns of Gaul with a population of 40,000, until the barbarian depredations and its transfer to the Franks about the end of the 5th century. Between the 6th and 8th centuries, the city was the residence of the Merovingian kings of Austrasia. After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, Metz became the capital of the Kingdom of Lotharingia and was integrated into the Holy Roman Empire, being granted semi-independent status. During the 12th century, Metz became a republic and the Republic of Metz stood until the 15th century. With the signature of the Treaty of Chambord in 1552, Metz passed to the hands of the Kings of France; as the German Protestant Princes who traded Metz for the promise of French military assistance, had no authority to cede territory of the Holy Roman Empire, the change of jurisdiction wasn't recognised by the Holy Roman Empire until the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.
Under French rule, Metz was selected as capital of the Three Bishoprics and became a strategic fortified town. With creation of the departments by the Estates-General of 1789, Metz was chosen as capital of the Department of Moselle. Despite that Metz was a French-speaking city, after the Franco-Prussian War and according to the Treaty of Frankfurt of 1871, the city was annexed into the German Empire, being part of the Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine and serving as capital of the Bezirk Lothringen. Metz remained German until the end of World War I. However, after the Battle of France during the Second World War, the city was annexed once more by the German Third Reich. In 1944, the attack on the city by the U. S. Third Army freed the city from German rule and Metz reverted one more time to France after World War II. During the 1950s, Metz was chosen to be the capital of the newly created Lorraine region. With the creation of the European Community and the European Union, the city has become central to the Greater Region and the SaarLorLux Euroregion.
Metz is located on the banks of the Moselle and the Seille rivers, 43 km from the Schengen tripoint where the borders of France and Luxembourg meet. The city was built in a place where many branches of the Moselle river creates several islands, which are encompassed within the urban planning; the terrain of Metz forms part of the Paris Basin and presents a plateau relief cut by river valleys presenting cuestas in the north-south direction. Metz and its surrounding countryside are included in the forest and crop Lorraine Regional Natural Park, covering a total area of 205,000 ha; the climate of Lorraine is a semi-continental climate. The summers are warm and humid, sometimes stormy, the warmest month of the year is July, when daytime temperatures average 25 °C; the winters are snowy with temperature dropping to an average low of − 0.5 °C in January. Lows can be much colder through the night and early morning and the snowy period extends from November to February; the length of the day varies over the course of the year.
The shortest day is 21 December with 7:30 hours of sunlight. The median cloud cover is 93% and
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was a war fought in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. One of the most destructive conflicts in human history, it resulted in eight million fatalities not only from military engagements but from violence and plague. Casualties were overwhelmingly and disproportionately inhabitants of the Holy Roman Empire, most of the rest being battle deaths from various foreign armies. In terms of proportional German casualties and destruction, it was surpassed only by the period January to May 1945. A war between various Protestant and Catholic states in the fragmented Holy Roman Empire, it developed into a more general conflict involving most of the European great powers; these states employed large mercenary armies, the war became less about religion and more of a continuation of the France–Habsburg rivalry for European political pre-eminence. The war was preceded by the election of the new Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand II, who tried to impose religious uniformity on his domains, forcing Roman Catholicism on its peoples.
The northern Protestant states, angered by the violation of their rights to choose, granted in the Peace of Augsburg, banded together to form the Protestant Union. Ferdinand II was a devout Roman Catholic and much more intolerant than his predecessor, Rudolf II, who ruled from the Protestant city of Prague. Ferdinand's policies were considered pro-Catholic and anti-Protestant; these events caused widespread fears throughout northern and central Europe, triggered the Protestant Bohemians living in the relatively loose dominion of Habsburg Austria to revolt against their nominal ruler, Ferdinand II. After the so-called Defenestration of Prague deposed the Emperor's representatives in Prague, the Protestant estates and Catholic Habsburgs started gathering allies for war; the Protestant Bohemians ousted the Habsburgs and elected the Calvinist Frederick V, Elector of the Rhenish Palatinate as the new king of the Kingdom of Bohemia. Frederick took the offer without the support of the Protestant Union.
The southern states Roman Catholic, were angered by this. Led by Bavaria, these states formed the Catholic League to expel Frederick in support of the Emperor; the Empire soon crushed the perceived Protestant rebellion in the Battle of White Mountain, executing leading Bohemian aristocrats shortly after. Protestant rulers across Europe unanimously condemned the Emperor's action. After the atrocities committed in Bohemia, Saxony gave its support to the Protestant Union and decided to fight back. Sweden, at the time a rising military power, soon intervened in 1630 under its king Gustavus Adolphus, transforming what had been the Emperor's attempt to curb the Protestant states into a full-scale war in Europe. Habsburg Spain, wishing to crush the Dutch rebels in the Netherlands and the Dutch Republic, intervened under the pretext of helping its dynastic Habsburg ally, Austria. No longer able to tolerate the encirclement of two major Habsburg powers on its borders, Catholic France entered the coalition on the side of the Protestants in order to counter the Habsburgs.
The Thirty Years' War devastated entire regions, resulting in high mortality among the populations of the German and Italian states, the Crown of Bohemia, the Southern Netherlands. Both mercenaries and soldiers in fighting armies traditionally looted or extorted tribute to get operating funds, which imposed severe hardships on the inhabitants of occupied territories; the war bankrupted most of the combatant powers. The Dutch Republic enjoyed contrasting fortune; the Thirty Years' War ended with the Treaty of Osnabrück and the Treaties of Münster, part of the wider Peace of Westphalia. The war altered the previous political order of European powers; the rise of Bourbon France, the curtailing of Habsburg ambition, the ascendancy of Sweden as a great power created a new balance of power on the continent, with France emerging from the war strengthened and dominant in the latter part of the 17th century. The Peace of Augsburg, signed by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, confirmed the result of the Diet of Speyer, ending the war between German Lutherans and Catholics, establishing that: Rulers of the 224 German states could choose the religion of their realms.
Subjects had to follow that emigrate. Prince-bishoprics and other states ruled by Catholic clergy were excluded and should remain Catholic. Prince-bishops who converted to Lutheranism were required to give up their territories. Lutherans could keep the territory they had taken from the Catholic Church since the Peace of Passau in 1552. Although the Peace of Augsburg created a temporary end to hostilities, it did not resolve the underlying religious conflict, made yet more complex by the spread of Calvinism throughout Germany in the years that followed; this added a third major faith to the region, but its position was not recognized in any way by the Augsburg terms, to which only Catholicism and Lutheranism were parties. The rulers of the nations neighboring the Holy Roman Empir
Battle of Sedan
The Battle of Sedan was fought during the Franco-Prussian War from 1 to 2 September 1870. It resulted in the capture of Emperor Napoleon III and large numbers of his troops and for all intents and purposes decided the war in favour of Prussia and its allies, though fighting continued under a new French government; the 130,000 strong French Army of Châlons, commanded by Marshal Patrice de MacMahon and accompanied by Napoleon III, was attempting to lift the Siege of Metz, only to be caught by the Prussian Fourth Army and defeated at the Battle of Beaumont on 30 August. Commanded by Generalfeldmarschall Helmuth von Moltke and accompanied by Prussian King Wilhelm I and Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the Fourth Army and the Prussian Third Army encircled MacMahon's army at Sedan in a gigantic battle of annihilation. Marshal MacMahon was wounded during the attacks and command passed to General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot, until it was taken over by General Emmanuel Félix de Wimpffen. Pulverized from all sides by superior German artillery firepower and with all breakout attempts defeated, the French Army of Châlons capitulated on 2 September, with 104,000 men passing into German captivity along with 558 guns.
Napoleon III was taken prisoner, while the French government in Paris continued the war and proclaimed a Government of National Defense on 4 September. The German armies besieged Paris on 19 September. After its defeat at the Battle of Gravelotte on 18 August, Marshal François Achille Bazaine's 154,481-man Army of the Rhine retreated to Metz where it was surrounded by 168,435 Prussian troops of the First and Second Armies in the Siege of Metz beginning on 19 August. Emperor Napoleon III, along with Marshal Patrice de MacMahon, formed the new French Army of Châlons on 17 August to march on to Metz to rescue Bazaine. With Napoleon III leading the army, with Marshal MacMahon in attendance, they led the Army of Châlons after 23 August in a left-flanking march northeast towards the Belgian border in an attempt to avoid the Prussians before striking south to link up with Bazaine; the Prussians had outmaneuvered the French in the string of victories through August 1870, the march both depleted the French forces and left both flanks exposed.
The Prussians, under the command of von Moltke, took advantage of this maneuver to catch the French in a pincer grip. Leaving the Prussian First and Second Armies besieging Metz, Moltke took the Prussian Third and Fourth Armies northward where they caught up with the French at the Battle of Beaumont on 30 August. After a major defeat in which he lost 7,500 men and 40 cannons, MacMahon aborted the planned link-up with Bazaine and ordered the Army of Châlons to withdraw north-west towards the tiny, obsolete 17th-century fortress of Sedan, his intention was to rest the army, involved in a long series of marches, resupply it with ammunition and, in his words, maneuver in front of the enemy. MacMahon underestimated the German strength and believed the hills surrounding Sedan would offer him a major defensive advantage; the French rear was protected by the fortress of Sedan, offered a defensive position at the Calvaire d'Illy, which had both hills and woods to provide cover for any defense. MacMahon denied a request from General Félix Douay, commander of 7th Corps, to dig trenches, claiming the army would not remain at Sedan for long.
Upon arrival in the vicinity of Sedan on 31 August, MacMahon deployed Douay's 7th Corps to the north-west on the crest between the Calvaire and Floing. Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot's 1st Corps faced east; the recently-arrived General Emmanuel Félix de Wimpffen took over command of 5th Corps from Pierre Louis Charles de Failly, the unit having been routed at Beaumont. 5th Corps was placed in reserve in the centre. Moltke divided his forces into three groups: one to detain the French where they were, another to race forward and catch them if they retreated, a third to hold the river bank; the Saxon XII Corps crossed the Meuse with the Prussian Guards on their right. The I Royal Bavarian Corps under General Baron von der Tann moved up to Bazeilles and the Bavarian engineers threw up two pontoon bridges across the Meuse to secure their way across; the Prussian V and XI Corps completed the encirclement of the French army to the north-west by 0900 on 1 September. The battle opened with the Army of Châlons, with 202 infantry battalions, 80 cavalry squadrons and 564 guns, attacking the surrounding Prussian Third and Fourth Armies, which totaled 222 infantry battalions, 186 cavalry squadrons, 774 guns.
Napoleon had ordered MacMahon to break out of the encirclement, the only point where that seemed possible was La Moncelle, whose flank was protected by a fortified town. The Prussians picked La Moncelle as one point where they would mount a breakthrough. Prince George of Saxony and the Prussian XI Corps was assigned to the task, General Baron von der Tann were ordered to attack Bazeilles on the right flank; this was the opening engagement, as the French 1st Corps had barricaded the streets, enlisted the aid of the population. Von der Tann sent a brigade across pontoon bridges at 0400 hours in the early morning mist, the Bavarians rushing the village and capturing it through surprise; the French Marines of the 1st Corps fought back from stone houses and the Bavarian artillery shelled the buildings into blazing rubble. The combat drew new forces, as French brigades from the 1st, 5th, 12th Corps arrived. At 0800 the Prussian 8th Infantry Division arrived, von der Tann decided it was time for a decisive attack.
He had not been able to bring artillery to bear from long range, so he committed his last brigade to storm the town, supported by artillery from the other side of the Meuse. His art
The Swedish Army is a branch of the Swedish Armed Forces whose main responsibility is land operations. See Swedish Armed Forces The peace-time organisation of the Swedish Army is divided into a number of regiments for the different branches; the number of active regiments has been reduced since the end of the Cold War. The regiment forms training organizations that train the various battalions of the army and home guard; the Swedish Armed Forces underwent a transformation from conscription-based recruitment to a professional defence organisation. This is part of a larger goal to abandon the mass army from the Cold War and develop an army better suited to modern maneuver warfare and at the same time retain a higher readiness. Since 2014, the Swedish army has had around 50,000 soldiers in either full-time or part-time duty, with eight mechanized infantry battalions available at any time and the full force of 71 battalions ready to be deployed within one week; the regular army consists of 8 mechanised maneuver battalions, 19 support battalions of different kinds including artillery battalions, anti-aircraft battalions, combat engineer battalions, logistics battalions and 4 reserve heavy armoured battalions and 40 territorial defence battalions.
The battalion is the core unit but all units are modular and can be arranged in combat teams from company to brigade level with different units depending on the task. There are a total of 6 permanent staffs under the central command capable of handling large battlegroups, 4 regional staffs and 2 brigade staffs; until 1975 the Swedish monarch was the formal head of the army. In 1937, the staff agency Chief of the Army was created to lead the army in peacetime. Following a larger reorganisation of the Swedish Armed Forces in 1994, CA ceased to exist as an independent agency. Instead, the post Chief of Army Staff was created at the newly instituted Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters. In 1998, the Swedish Armed Forces was again reorganized. Most of the duties of the Chief of Army Staff were transferred to the newly instituted post of "Inspector General of the Army"; the post is similar to that of the "Inspector General of the Swedish Navy" and the "Inspector General of the Swedish Air Force" renamed to "Inspector of the Army".
In 2014, the Chief of Army position was reinstated. Per Sylvan, 1937–1940 Ivar Holmquist, 1940–1944 Archibald Douglas, 1944–1948 Carl August Ehrenswärd, 1948–1957 Thord Bonde, 1957–1963 Curt Göransson, 1963–1969 Carl Eric Almgren, 1969–1976 Nils Sköld, 1976–1984 Erik G. Bengtsson, 1984–1990 Åke Sagrén, 1990–1994 Åke Sagrén, 1994–1996 Mertil Melin, 1996–1998 Paul Degerlund, 1998–2000 Alf Sandqvist, 2000–2003 Alf Sandqvist, 2003–2005 Sverker Göranson, 2005–2007 Berndt Grundevik, 2007–2012 Anders Brännström, 2012–2013 Anders Brännström, 2013–2016 Karl Engelbrektson, 2016–present Swedish Army regiments are tasked with training conscripts and Home Guard troops. Additionally each regiment can mobilise in times of crisis or war operational battalions for the army's rapid reaction organisation; the active regiments and their main peacetime subordinate units are: Life Guards, in Stockholm Stockholm Command Staff Armed Forces International Centre Armed Forces Dog Service Unit Armed Forces Military Music Center Dalregementsgruppen and supports the Home Guard in Dalarna County Dalarna Battalion, in Falun Gävleborgsgruppen and supports the Home Guard in Gävleborg County Gävleborg Battalion, in Gävle Livgardesgruppen and supports the Home Guard in Stockholm County Attundaland Battalion, in Kungsängen Stockholm Battalion, in Kungsängen Taeliehus Battalion, in Kungsängen Järva Battalion, in Kungsängen Göta Engineer Regiment, in Eksjö Engineer Battalion, trains the troops of the 21st and 22nd engineer battalions Field Works School Norra Smålandsgruppen and supports the Home Guard in Jönköping County North Småland Battalion, in Eksjö Life Regiment Hussars, in Karlsborg Training companies, train the troops of the 31st light and 32nd reconnaissance battalions Armed Forces Survival School Örebro-Värmlandsgruppen and supports the Home Guard in Örebro and Värmland counties Värmland Battalion, in Karlstad Sannahed Battalion, in Örebro Skaraborg Regiment, in Skövde Training unit, trains the troops of the 41st and 42nd mechanized battalions, 18th battle group, 1st heavy transport company, 2nd brigade reconnaissance company Skaraborgsgruppen and supports the Home Guard in Västra Götaland County Kinne Battalion, in Skövde Kåkind Battalion, in Skövde Bohusdalgruppen and supports the Home Guard in Bohuslän and Dalsland Bohusläns Battalion, in Skredsvik Air Defence Regiment, in Halmstad Air Defence Battalion, trains the troops of the 61st and 62nd air defence battalions Hallandsgruppen and supports the Home Guard in Halland County Halland Battalion, in Halmstad South Scania Regiment, in Revingehed Training companies, train the troops of the 71st light mechanized and 72nd mechanized battalions Skånska Gruppen and supports the Home Guard in Skåne County South Scania Battalion, in Revingehed Malmöhus Battalion, in Malmö Scania Dragoon Battalion, in Helsingborg North Scania Battalion, in Hässleholm Artillery Regiment, in Boden Artillery
The Orne is a river in Lorraine, north-eastern France, a left tributary of the Moselle and sub-tributary of the Rhine. Its source is in the hills northeast of Verdun, it joins the Moselle near Mondelange, between Metz and Thionville. "Orne" may originate from autura, or onna as mentioned in Endlicher's glossary of Gallic names De nominibus Gallicis, in which these words are translated into Latin as flumen. If so there is no relationship with the name of the Orne river in Normandy, referred to as the Olina by Ptolemy, a homonym of Fluvius Olne, the Orne saosnoise in Sarthe, which Xavier Delamarre traces back to the Celtic olīnā; the Orne is 85.8 kilometres long. It rises in the commune of Ornes, it flows through Étain, Conflans-en-Jarnisy, Auboué, Homécourt, Jœuf, Moyeuvre-Grande, Rombas, Vitry-sur-Orne and Richemont, where it joins the Moselle at an elevation of 155 metres. The people of the Pays Orne-Moselle and Pays de l'Orne communes have formed an association for the creation of a riverside trail named "Fil Bleu" or "Promenade des Berges de l'Orne", which will extend the length of the riverbed.
The trail extends about 22 kilometres between the communes of Rombas/Clouange and Valleroy, is either concrete or macadamised over all of this length. Between Rombas/Clouange and Rosselange, it exists on both sides of the river; the section of about 2 kilometres from Joeuf to the naval base at Homècourt is marked by a number of bridges and footbridges permitting passage from one bank to the other. Two of these footbridges are however no longer passable: the "passerelle de Moyeuvre Grande" and the "passerelle de la base nautique d'Homècourt"; the trail is used by both pedestrians and cyclists, as well as by those on rollerblades. It crosses the communes of Rombas, Rosselange, Moyeuvre Grande, Homècourt, Aubouè, Moineville and Valleroy. Since 2011, the trail has been extended from its prior endpoint to the commune of Amnéville-les-Thermes. Between 500 and 600 metres of it have been built and are being maintained by the municipality of Rombas; the Orne's principal tributaries and subtributaries are: The Orne is fed by water pumped out of the mines at Jarny, Auboué and Orne-Roncourt.
The Orne is a substantial river, similar to its neighbours in the West Lorraine region which rise in the Côtes de Meuse. The Orne's flow rate has been measured over a period of 40 years at Rosselange, in the Moselle department a short way upstream of the confluence; the watershed of the Orne at Rosselange is 1,226 square kilometres its entire watershed of 1,268 square kilometres. The mean annual flow rate, or discharge of the river at Rosselange is 12.6 cubic metres per second. The Orne exhibits marked seasonal fluctuations, such as are often found in the east of France, with high water in winter/spring bringing the monthly average up to between 20.2 and 26.9 cubic metres per second from December to March inclusive, with a maximum in February. Summer low waters are quite prolonged, from June to early October, with a low monthly average of 2.81 cubic metres per second in September. These monthly figures, are just averages, conceal more pronounced short-term variation. Monthly average flow rate in m3/s measured at Rosselange hydrological stationData taken over a 41-year period At low water, the 3-year low instantaneous flow rate can drop to 0.56 cubic metres per second, as is seen for rivers of the region.
Flooding of the Orne can be significant. The maximum instananeous flow rate recorded was 318 cubic metres per second on 22 December 2003, while the maximum recorded daily average was 292 cubic metres per second on the preceding day; the Orne's instantaneous maximum flow rate for 2 and 5 years are 170 and 230 cubic metres per second respectively. These figures indicate that the flood of December 2003 was speaking, a 20-year event and thus not unusual; the Orne's IMFRs are over half that of the Meurthe, the Moselle's most significant French tributary and whose basin is 2.5 time larger. To compare with a significant river in the Paris basin, the Loing, a river known for its substantial flooding, has an IMFR10 of 190 cubic metres per second as against 280 cubic metres per second for the Orne, its IMFR50 reaches only 270 cubic metres per second as against 370 cubic metres per second for the Orne; this is despite the Loing's watershed being three and a half times larger than the Orne. The Orne is fed by heavy rainfall in the western part of its watershed.
The runoff curve number in its watershed is 326 millimetres annually, equal to the average of all France, but less than the average in the French part of the Moselle basin, 445 millimetres at Hauconcourt. The specific flow rate reaches 10.3 litres per second per square kilometre of watershed. List of rivers of France Moselle "Characteristic flow rates of the Orne". Archived from the original on 2006-11-21. Http://www.geoportail.fr The Orne at the Sandre database
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late