A pole weapon or pole arm is a close combat weapon in which the main fighting part of the weapon is fitted to the end of a long shaft of wood, thereby extending the user's effective range and striking power. Because many pole weapons were adapted from farm implements or other tools, contain little metal, they were cheap to make and available; this peasant rebellions the world over. Pole arms can be divided into three broad categories: those designed for extended reach and thrusting tactics used in pike square or phalanx combat. Spears, guandaos, poleaxes, harpoons, tridents, war scythes and javelins are all varieties of pole arms. Pole arms were common weapons on post-classical battlefields of Europe, their range and impact force made them effective weapons against armored warriors on horseback, because they could penetrate armor. The Renaissance saw a plethora of different varieties. Pole arms in modern times are constrained to ceremonial military units such as the Papal Swiss Guard or Yeomen of the Guard, or traditional martial arts.
Chinese martial arts in particular have preserved a wide variety of techniques. The classification of pole weapons can be difficult, European weapon classifications in particular can be confusing; this can be due to a number of factors, including uncertainty in original descriptions, changes in weapons or nomenclature through time, mistranslation of terms, the well-meaning inventiveness of experts. As well, all pole arms developed from one weapon, the spear. For example, the word'halberd' is used to translate the Chinese ji and a range of medieval Scandinavian weapons as described in sagas, such as the atgeir. In the words of the arms expert Ewart Oakeshott, Staff-weapons in Medieval or Renaissance England were lumped together under the generic term "staves" but when dealing with them in detail we are faced with terminological difficulty. There never seems to have been a clear definition of. To add to this, we have various nineteenth century terminologies used by scholars. We must remember too.
While men-at-arms may have been armed with custom designed military weapons, militias were armed with whatever was available. These may not have been mounted on poles and described by one of more names; the problems with precise definitions can be inferred by a contemporary description of Royalist infantry which were engaged in the Battle of Birmingham during the first year of English Civil War. The infantry regiment that accompanied Prince Rupert's cavalry were armed:with pikes, half-pikes, hedge-bills, Welsh hooks, pitchforks, with chopping-knives, pieces of scythes. Falx Rhomphaia Kontos Dory Sarissa Xyston Ji, the Chinese halberd, was used as a military weapon in one form or another from at least as early as the Shang dynasty until the end of the Qing dynasty; the ji resembles a Chinese spear with a crescent blade attached to the head, as sort of an axe blade. Sometimes double-bladed with 2 crescent blades on opposing sides of the spearhead, it was created by combining the dagger-axe with a spear.
The dagger-axe, or gee is a type of weapon, in use from Shang dynasty until at least Han dynasty China. It consists of a dagger-shaped blade made of bronze mounted by the tang to a perpendicular wooden shaft: a common Bronze Age infantry weapon used by charioteers; some dagger axes include a spear-point. There is a variant type with a divided two-part head, consisting of the usual straight blade and a scythe-like blade. Other rarities include archaeology findings with 2 or sometimes 3 blades stacked in line on top of a pole, but were thought as ceremonial pole arms. Though the weapon saw frequent use in ancient China, the use of the dagger-axe decreased after the Qin and Han dynasties; the Ji combines the dagger axe with a spear. By the medieval Chinese dynasties, with the decline of chariot warfare, the use of the dagger-axe was nonexistent. A Guan dao or Kwan tou is a type of Chinese pole weapon. In Chinese it is properly called a Yanyue dao; some believed it comes from the late Han Era and used by the late Eastern Han Dynasty general Guan Yu, but archaeological findings so far showed that Han dynasty armies were using straight single-edged blades, as curved blades came several centuries later.
There is no reason to believe. Besides, historical accounts of the Three Kingdoms era had several specific records of Guan Yu thrusting his opponents down in battles, instead of cutting them down with a curved-blade. Alternatively the guan dao is known as Chun Qiu Da Dao, again related to Guan Yu's loyal image depicted in the Ming dynasty novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but poss
Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens
Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens or, in English: A Foundational Description of the Art of Fencing: A Thorough Description of the Free and Noble Art of Fencing, Showing Various Customary Defenses and Put Forth with Many Handsome and Useful Drawings is a German fencing manual, published in 1570. Its author was the Freifechter Joachim Meyer; this manual was dedicated to Meyer's patron Count Palatine Johann Casimir. This fechtbuch builds on his earlier work, a manuscript written in 1560 - the MS A.4°.2, presents a complex, multi-weapon treatise. Meyer's complete system marks the end of and the compilation of the German fencing system in the Johannes Liechtenauer tradition, it is the only fechtbuch in the Liechtenauer tradition, written for both laymen and beginners of the art. The first edition of Gründtliche Beschreibung der Kunst des Fechtens was published in 1570 in the city of Strasbourg, it was printed just a couple months before Joachim Meyer's death in 1571. After Meyer's death, his widow, Appolonia Ruhlman, republished the manual in order to gain money to pay back the 1300 crown debt that Meyer had incurred over the writing and publishing of his fechtbuch.
In 1600, Meyer's widow republished the book in Germany. According to some sources, the book may have been republished in 1610 and again in 1660, but so far only the 1570 and 1600 editions have been recovered; the treatise contains five books within its 379 pages. Book 1 - Longsword Book 2 - Dussack Book 3 - Side sword or rapier Book 4 - Dagger Book 5 - Staff and pole arms Meyer, Joachim; the Art of Combat: A German Martial Arts Treatise from 1570, trans. by Jeffrey L. Forgeng. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. Jeffrey L. Forgeng, The Art of Combat: A German Martial Arts Treatise of 1570 wiktenauer.com
Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department. In 2016, the city proper had 279,284 inhabitants and both the Eurométropole de Strasbourg and the Arrondissement of Strasbourg had 491,409 inhabitants. Strasbourg's metropolitan area had a population of 785,839 in 2015, making it the ninth largest metro area in France and home to 13% of the Grand Est region's inhabitants; the transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014. Strasbourg is one of the de facto capitals of the European Union, as it is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe and the Eurocorps, as well as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of the European Union; the city is the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine and the International Institute of Human Rights.
Strasbourg's historic city centre, the Grande Île, was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, the first time such an honour was placed on an entire city centre. Strasbourg is immersed in Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a cultural bridge between France and Germany for centuries through the University of Strasbourg the second largest in France, the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture, it is home to the largest Islamic place of worship in France, the Strasbourg Grand Mosque. Economically, Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as a hub of road and river transportation; the port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Germany. Before the 5th century, the city was known as Argantorati, a Celtic Gaulish name Latinized first as Argentorate, as Argentoratum; that Gaulish name is a compound of -rati, the Gaulish word for fortified enclosures, cognate to the Old Irish ráth, arganto-, the Gaulish word for silver, but any precious metal gold, suggesting either a fortified enclosure located by a river gold mining site, or hoarding gold mined in the nearby rivers.
After the 5th century, the city became known by a different name Gallicized as Strasbourg. That name is of Germanic origin and means "Town of roads"; the modern Stras- is cognate to the German Straße and English street, all of which are derived from Latin strata, while -bourg is cognate to the German Burg and English borough, all of which are derived from Proto-Germanic *burgz. Gregory of Tours was the first to mention the name change: in the tenth book of his History of the Franks written shortly after 590 he said that Egidius, Bishop of Reims, accused of plotting against King Childebert II of Austrasia in favor of his uncle King Chilperic I of Neustria, was tried by a synod of Austrasian bishops in Metz in November 590, found guilty and removed from the priesthood taken "ad Argentoratensem urbem, quam nunc Strateburgum vocant", where he was exiled. Strasbourg is situated at the eastern border of France with Germany; this border is formed by the Rhine, which forms the eastern border of the modern city, facing across the river to the German town Kehl.
The historic core of Strasbourg however lies on the Grande Île in the river Ill, which here flows parallel to, 4 kilometres from, the Rhine. The natural courses of the two rivers join some distance downstream of Strasbourg, although several artificial waterways now connect them within the city; the city lies in the Upper Rhine Plain, at between 132 metres and 151 metres above sea level, with the upland areas of the Vosges Mountains some 20 km to the west and the Black Forest 25 km to the east. This section of the Rhine valley is a major axis of north–south travel, with river traffic on the Rhine itself, major roads and railways paralleling it on both banks; the city is some 397 kilometres east of Paris. The mouth of the Rhine lies 450 kilometres to the north, or 650 kilometres as the river flows, whilst the head of navigation in Basel is some 100 kilometres to the south, or 150 kilometres by river. In spite of its position far inland, Strasbourg's climate is classified as oceanic, but a "semicontinental" climate with some degree of maritime influence in relation to the mild patterns of Western and Southern France.
The city has warm sunny summers and cool, overcast winters. Precipitation is elevated from mid-spring to the end of summer, but remains constant throughout the year, totaling 631.4 mm annually. On average, snow falls 30 days per year; the highest temperature recorded was 38.5 °C in August 2003, during the 2003 European heat wave. The lowest temperature eve
Schwerin is the capital and second-largest city of the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It has a population of about 100,000. Schwerin was first mentioned in 1018 as Wendenburg and was granted city rights in 1160 by Henry the Lion, thus it is the oldest city of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, it is globally known for its romantic Schwerin Palace, situated on an island in the Lake Schwerin. The palace was one of the main residences of the dukes and grand dukes of Mecklenburg until 1918 and is the official seat of the state parliament since 1990; the city has a intact old town, thanks to only minor damage in World War II. Schwerin is located within the metropolitan region of Hamburg and close to that of Berlin, to nearby regiopolises of Rostock and Lübeck. Major industries and employers include high technology, machine building, government agencies, railway supply, consumer goods and tourism. Schwerin has the FHM, HdBA and the Design School. Schwerin is enclosed by lakes; the largest of these lakes, the Schweriner See, has an area of 60 km2.
In the middle part of these lakes there was a settlement of the Slavic Obotrite. The area was called Zuarin, the name Schwerin is derived from that designation. In 1160, Henry the Lion defeated the Obotrites and captured Schwerin; the town was expanded into a powerful regional centre. A castle was built on this site, expanded to become a ducal palace, it is haunted by the small, impious ghost, called Petermännchen. In 1358, Schwerin became a part of the Duchy of Mecklenburg, making it the seat of the duchy from on. About 1500, the construction of the Schwerin Palace began, as a residence for the dukes. After the division of Mecklenburg, Schwerin became the capital of the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Between 1765 and 1837, the town of Ludwigslust served as the capital. In the mid-1800s, many residents from Schwerin moved to the United States, many to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Today Milwaukee and Schwerin are sister cities. After 1918, during the German Revolution, resulting in the fall of all the German monarchies, the Grand Duke abdicated.
Schwerin became capital of the Free State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern thereafter. At the end of World War II, on 2 May 1945, Schwerin was taken by United States troops, it was turned over to the British on 1 June 1945, one month on 1 July 1945, it was handed over to the Soviet forces, as the British and American forces pulled back from the line of contact to the predesignated occupation zones. Schwerin was in the Soviet Occupation Zone, to become the German Democratic Republic, it was the capital of the State of Mecklenburg which at that time included the western part of Pomerania. After the states were dissolved in the GDR, in 1952, Schwerin served as the capital of the Schwerin district. After reunification in 1990, the former state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was recreated as one of the Bundesländer. Rostock was a serious contender for state capital but the decision went in favour of Schwerin; the urban area of Schwerin is divided into each with a local council. The districts consist of one or more districts.
The local councilors have between 15 members depending on the number of inhabitants. They are determined by the city council for the duration of the election period of the city council after each municipal election; the local councilors are to hear important matters concerning the district and have a right of initiative. However, the final decisions are made by the city council of the city as a whole; the eighteen current districts are the following: District 1: Schelfstadt, Schelfwerder District 2: Altstadt, Paulsstadt, Lewenberg District 3: Grosser Dreesch District 4: Neu Zippendorf District 5: Mueßer Holz District 6: Gartenstadt, Ostorf District 7: Lankow District 8: Weststadt District 9: Krebsförden District 10: Wüstmark, Göhrener Tannen District 11: Görries District 12: Friedrichsthal District 13: Neumühle, Sacktannen District 14: Warnitz District 15: Wickendorf Locality 16: Medewege Locality 17: Zippendorf Locality 18: Mueß City buses and trams are run by NVS. Schwerin Hauptbahnhof is connected by rail to Berlin and Rostock.
The landmark of the city is the Schwerin Palace, located on an island in the lake of the same name. It was, for centuries, the residence of the Dukes of Mecklenburg and today is the seat of the Landtag. Schwerin Cathedral, built in 1260–1416 in Brick Gothic style; the Alter Garten square, surrounded by buildings such as the 18th-century Altes Palais, the neoclassical Staatliches Museum Schwerin, the Staatstheater. The town hall. Schelfkirche built 1238, but rebuilt in 1713 after destruction by a storm. TV Tower Schwerin-Zippendorf; the Staatliches Museum Schwerin-Kunstsammlungen houses a remarkable collection of 17th-century Dutch paintings and German art from medieval and renaissance masters up to the present day. There are a collection of Greek vases, the notable collection of Paintings of Jean-Baptiste Oudry, a collection of sculptures of Houdon, German 18th-century court paintings, works by such modern artists as Max Liebermann, Franz Stuck, Marcel Duchamp etc; the Graphic cabinet houses rich collections of Dutc
Bladesmithing is the art of making knives, swords and other blades using a forge, hammer and other smithing tools. Bladesmiths employ a variety of metalworking techniques similar to those used by blacksmiths, as well as woodworking for knife and sword handles, leatherworking for sheaths. Bladesmithing is an art, thousands of years old and found in cultures as diverse as China, India, Korea, the Middle East and the British Isles; as with any art shrouded in history, there are misconceptions about the process. While traditionally bladesmithing referred to the manufacture of any blade by any means, the majority of contemporary craftsmen referred to as bladesmiths are those who manufacture blades by means of using a forge to shape the blade as opposed to knifemakers who form blades by use of the stock removal method, although there is some overlap between both crafts. Many blade smiths were known by other titles according to the kind of blade that they produced: A swordsmith's specialty is making swords.
A knifemaker makes other cutlery. A scythesmith is a smith. Speaking, bladesmithing is an art that has survived and thrived over thousands of years. Many different parts of the world have different styles of bladesmithing, some more well-known than others. Ancient Egyptians referred to iron as "copper from the heavens" because their lack of smelting technology limited their accessible iron supplies to what little native iron they could recover from meteorites. Despite iron's rarity, they gained enough familiarity with ironworking techniques to have used wrought iron in the manufacture of swords and blades as early as 3000 BC, they exported this technique to Assyria and Greece through trade and as they conquered other lands and were conquered themselves. The Proto-Celtic Hallstatt culture were among the earliest users of iron swords. During the Hallstatt period, they made swords both in bronze as well as iron with rounded tips. Toward the end of the Hallstatt period, around 600-500BC, these swords were replaced with short daggers.
The La Tene culture reintroduced the sword, which were different from the traditional shape and construction of the Bronze Age and early Iron Age, characterized by a more pointed tip. Traditional Chinese blades are of sanmei construction, which involved sandwiching a core of hard steel between two plates of softer steel; the central plate protrudes from its surrounding pieces, allowing for a sharp edge, while the softer spine protects the brittle core. Some blades had wumei or five plate construction, with two more soft plates being used at the central ridge. Bronze jian were made in a somewhat similar manner: in this case an alloy with a high copper content would be used to make a resilient core and spine, while the edge would be made from a high-tin-content alloy for sharpness and welded onto the rest of the blade; the swordsmiths of China are credited with the forging technology, carried to Korea and Japan, allowing swordsmiths in those places to create such weapons as the katana. This technology included folding, inserting alloys, differential hardening of the edge, the most common technique around the world.
While the Japanese would be more influenced by the Chinese dāo, the early Japanese swords known as ken are based on the jian. One-sided jians from the Tang dynasty provided the basis for various Japanese forging styles and techniques; the Korean version of the jian is known as the geom or gum, these swords preserve features found in Ming-era jian, such as openwork pommels and angled tips. Korea has a history of swordsmithing dating back 3,000 years. Although Korea was in close proximity to both Japan and China, no native systems of swordsmanship and swordmaking developed in Korea. Korean swords include long swords such as the yeoh do, hyup do and curved swords such as Samindo. Metal swords of double bladed leaf structure have been found throughout Korea dating back to the Bronze Age; these bronze swords were around 32 cm with a short handle. The technology that led to the development of the Japanese sword originated in China and was brought to Japan by way of Korea; the oldest steel swords found in Japan date to the fourth or fifth century A.
D. Although appearing to be ceremonial in nature, samples of these straight blades preserved in the Shōsōin were hand-forged with hardened cutting edges. By the time of the Heian period the Japanese sword took on its distinctive curved shape as a mounted horseman would have more use for a slashing type of blade as opposed to a thrusting type; these swords were known as tachi. Due to the quality of metal found in Japan, Japanese bladesmithing became an rigid, precise process, involving folding and forge-welding the steel many times over to create a laminated blade. By the time of the Kamakura period, Japan was under the rule of a military class and repelling Mongol invasions; this became known as the "Golden era" of Japanese bladesmithing under Emperor Toba II, who became a bladesmith himself. After adbicating, Toba II summoned Japan's finest bladesmiths around him in an effort to develop the perfect sword, it was determined that a sword had to be hard in order to maintain a sharp cutting edge, yet hard steel is brittle and can shatter under the stress of a heavy blow.
Swordsmiths in Japan found the solution by wrapping a softer low-carbon steel core such as wrought iron, in a jacket of high-carbon steel and hardening the edge. However, under heavy usage, the edge would be more prone to chipping than its European counterparts, which w
Woodcut is a relief printing technique in printmaking. An artist carves an image into the surface of a block of wood—typically with gouges—leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts. Areas that the artist cuts away carry no ink, while characters or images at surface level carry the ink to produce the print; the block is cut along the wood grain. The surface is covered with ink by rolling over the surface with an ink-covered roller, leaving ink upon the flat surface but not in the non-printing areas. Multiple colors can be printed by keying the paper to a frame around the woodblocks; the art of carving the woodcut can be called "xylography", but this is used in English for images alone, although that and "xylographic" are used in connection with block books, which are small books containing text and images in the same block. They became popular in Europe during the latter half of the 15th century. A single-sheet woodcut is a woodcut presented as a single image or print, as opposed to a book illustration.
Since it's origins in China, the practice of woodcut has spread across the world from Europe, to other parts of Asia, to Latin America. In both Europe and the Far East, traditionally the artist only designed the woodcut, the block-carving was left to specialist craftsmen, called block-cutters, or Formschneider in Germany, some of whom became well-known in their own right. Among these, the best-known are the 16th-century Hieronymus Andreae, Hans Lützelburger and Jost de Negker, all of whom ran workshops and operated as printers and publishers; the formschneider in turn handed the block on to specialist printers. There were further specialists; this is why woodcuts are sometimes described by museums or books as "designed by" rather than "by" an artist. The division of labour had the advantage that a trained artist could adapt to the medium easily, without needing to learn the use of woodworking tools. There were various methods of transferring the artist's drawn design onto the block for the cutter to follow.
Either the drawing would be made directly onto the block, or a drawing on paper was glued to the block. Either way, the artist's drawing was destroyed during the cutting process. Other methods were used, including tracing. In both Europe and the Far East in the early 20th century, some artists began to do the whole process themselves. In Japan, this movement was called sōsaku-hanga, as opposed to shin-hanga, a movement that retained traditional methods. In the West, many artists used the easier technique of linocut instead. Compared to intaglio techniques like etching and engraving, only low pressure is required to print; as a relief method, it is only necessary to ink the block and bring it into firm and contact with the paper or cloth to achieve an acceptable print. In Europe, a variety of woods including boxwood and several nut and fruit woods like pear or cherry were used. There are three methods of printing to consider: Stamping: Used for many fabrics and most early European woodcuts; these were printed by putting the paper/fabric on a table or other flat surface with the block on top, pressing or hammering the back of the block.
Rubbing: Apparently the most common method for Far Eastern printing on paper at all times. Used for European woodcuts and block-books in the fifteenth century, widely for cloth. Used for many Western woodcuts from about 1910 to the present; the block goes face up with the paper or fabric on top. The back is rubbed with a "hard pad, a flat piece of wood, a burnisher, or a leather frotton". A traditional Japanese tool used for this is called a baren. In Japan, complex wooden mechanisms were used to help hold the woodblock still and to apply proper pressure in the printing process; this was helpful once multiple colors were introduced and had to be applied with precision atop previous ink layers. Printing in a press: presses only seem to have been used in Asia in recent times. Printing-presses were used from about 1480 for European prints and block-books, before that for woodcut book illustrations. Simple weighted presses may have been used in Europe before the print-press, but firm evidence is lacking.
A deceased Abbess of Mechelen in 1465 had "unum instrumentum ad imprintendum scripturas et ymagines... cum 14 aliis lapideis printis"—"an instrument for printing texts and pictures... with 14 stones for printing". This is too early to be a Gutenberg-type printing press in that location. Main articles Old master print for Europe, Woodblock printing in Japan for Japan, Lubok for Russia Woodcut originated in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and on paper; the earliest woodblock printed fragments to survive are from China, from the Han dynasty, are of silk printed with flowers in three colours. "In the 13th century the Chinese technique of blockprinting was transmitted to Europe." Paper arrived in Europe from China via al-Andalus later, was being manufactured in Italy by the end of the thirteenth century, in Burgundy and Germany by the end of the fourteenth. In Europe, woodcut is the oldest technique used for old master prints, developing about 1400, by using, on paper, existing techniques for printing.
One of the more ancient woodcuts on paper that can be seen today is The Fire Madonna, in the Cat
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