How Well Do You Know Medieval Europe?

HISTORY

By: Isadora Teich

5 Min Quiz

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

The Dark Ages were a time of chaos, religion and intrigue. For nearly 10 centuries kings and queens vied for power while serfs toiled and starved. Test your medieval IQ with this HowStuffWorks quiz!

The Middle Ages is also known as the ________.

Renaissance intellectuals looked back on the medieval period with disdain. Many considered it a time of stale ideas and lack of change, leading to them calling it the Dark Ages.

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What disease struck Europe at the end of the Middle Ages?

The Black Death, or bubonic plague, spread along the silk road from Asia in the 14th century. It killed millions of Europeans, Mongols and more.

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Horoscopes were taken very seriously during the Middle Ages: True or False?

Horoscopes were serious business in medieval Europe. Doctors had to consult patient's horoscopes, and there were used to predict everything from births to harvests.

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When did the Middle Ages begin in Europe?

The European Middle Ages began in the 5th century. Historians generally agree that they began after the fall of the western half of the Roman Empire.

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What followed the Middle Ages in Europe?

The Middle Ages ended with the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery In Europe. This was roughly 1500 AD.

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Which wars took place during the Middle Ages?

During the Middle Ages, Europe fought the Islamic Empire in the Crusades. One goal was to conquer Jerusalem in the name of Christianity.

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The __________ was the most powerful institution of the medieval period.

During the Middle Ages, the church was the only thing that united all of Europe. This, as well as amassing vast wealth over the centuries, gave the church incredible power.

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What kind of system defined life for medieval Europeans?

Under Europe's feudal system there were royalty, clergy, knights, vassals and peasants. People born into one group would rarely leave it.

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What religion was a big part of life in medieval Europe?

After Emperor Constantine declared Christianity the official religion in order to unite his empire, it became integral to life in Europe. The church was incredibly powerful for centuries.

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Under feudalism, the lower classes worked for the upper classes in exchange for:

Peasants worked for their lords, and in exchange were sheltered in their castles during times of violence and conflict. Peasants would leave their fields and villages to seek shelter.

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Did peasants eat well?

One of the main staples of the peasant diet was pottage. It consisted of whatever they could dig up in the fields and boil for a few hours.

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Who lived in castles during the Middle Ages?

Royalty and lords lived in castles during the Middle Ages. They were attended by servants.

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Who did knights fight for?

Knights were soldiers who fought for their king or lord. They were who would fight during conflict.

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Kings ruled according to:

Kings in the Middle Ages ruled by divine right. They believed that they had been chosen to rule by God and their successors would also be.

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The rich lived in castles but the poor lived in __________.

Medieval peasants often lived in homes made of mud, sticks, straw and other debris. It was a hard life.

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How much of Europe's population died due to the plague?

20 million Europeans -- about 30 percent of the overall population -- died due to the plague. This disease hit especially hard in cities.

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How long did the Crusades last?

The Crusades went on and off from 1095 AD to the 15th Century. That is centuries of war.

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Vassals were servants who attended:

Vassals were servants who attended kings and lords in their castles. They were the personal servants of the upper class.

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The Middle Ages are usually divided into ________ periods by historians.

The entire 1,000-year period known as the Middle Ages is usually divided into three smaller periods of time by historians. These are the Early Middle Ages, the High Middle Ages and the Late Middle Ages.

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During the Dark Ages, people gave what to the church?

During the Middle Ages, ordinary people had to tithe. They gave 10 percent of their earnings to the church, while the church paid no taxes.

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Which other religion gained power during the Middle Ages?

Muslim armies had conquered vast portions of the Middle East by this time, leading to a civilization three times larger than that of Europe. While Europeans toiled in an age known for its lack of innovation, the Muslim world was full of cultural and scientific advancement.

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Which of these were Muslim inventions during the Middle Ages?

The system of numerals we use today, as well as a vast number of other luxuries of the modern world, are Muslim inventions. Their scholars, mystics, mathematicians, doctors and scientists were doing incredibly important work during this era.

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Where did Christian crusaders hope to remove Muslims from?

The goal of the Crusades was for the church to expel Muslims from their home in Jerusalem and take back the Holy Land for Christendom. Jerusalem is a holy place to Muslims, Jews and Christians.

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Early medieval cathedrals were built in which style?

Between the 10th and 13th centuries, the majority of cathedrals were built in this style. They feature rounded roofs, thick stone walls and few windows.

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Who won the Crusades?

No one ever won or lost the Crusades. Thousands of people lost their lives on both sides in a conflict spanning centuries.

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What were the largest buildings of medieval Europe?

Medieval Europeans showed their devotion to the church and God by building ornate cathedrals. They can be found in the center of towns across Europe to this day.

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Later medieval cathedrals were built in which style?

Around the 13th century, grand cathedrals began to be built in this style, which features large stain glass windows, ornate decoration and flying buttresses.

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During the Middle Ages, Europeans began to move from farms to:

In the 11th century innovations in farming equipment meant less actual labor was needed. This drove many Europeans from farms to cities.

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What did the Crusades expand?

The Crusades expanded trade routes from Europe throughout the Middle East. Europeans got used to things like wine, olive oil and rich fabrics.

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What thrived during the Middle Ages?

The commercial economy and the innovation of farming techniques led to an explosion in city populations during the Middle Ages. Port cities boomed and by 1300 there were roughly 15 cities in Europe with a population of more than 50,000.

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In a feudal society, ______ gives land to nobelmen.

The king would give large pieces of land to nobles and bishops under this system. These pieces of land were called fiefs.

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English was originally spoken by who in society?

Early French was originally the language of the aristocracy and English spoken by the poor of England. Most early medieval kings could barely speak English at all and before Henry IV even English kings had their coronations in French.

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Who were the only people allowed to openly mock the king?

Jesters were members of the court and the only people allowed to openly insult the king. They were given this freedom of speech because everything they said was supposed to be expressed in jest.

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Peasants had better teeth than modern people: True or False.

Peasants ate rough diets which contained mostly what they could grow, with little sugar. Since sugar is what causes tooth decay, their teeth were in excellent condition.

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Those that remained after the plague had ______ opportunities.

Such a large portion of Europe's population was wiped out by the plague that those who were left had more options for mobility as they could get a much better price for their more in-demand work.

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