November 27, 2021
The Middle Ages in the triple historical age division of European history means the Middle Ages: the period from antiquity to the beginning of the New Age. The concept began to crystallize in 1442 in the series XII of the humanist Leonardo Bruni Historiarum Florentini populi libri, and then appeared as media tempestas in 1469 in a letter to Nicolaus Cusanus, the papal envoy of Giovanni Andrea dei Bussi. Today's triple division (ancient, medieval, modern) was first used by Cristophorus Cellarius, who said that the medium aevum began in 313 with the Milanese edict, that is, the recognition of Christianity, and ended in 1453 with the conquest of Constantinople. Later, the beginning was long since the “fall” of the Roman Empire (476). The end of the Middle Ages is associated with the discovery of America (1492) and the beginning of the Reformation in 1517. Historians of individual nations have often adapted the end of the Middle Ages to the limits of their own history, so the English, for example, date the beginning of the New Age from the date of the Battle of Bosworth (1485), while Hungarian historiography marks the end of the Battle of Mohács (1526). When did the Middle Ages begin? For humanists, the thousand years between the fall of the Western Roman Empire (476) and their own age were a period of darkness and cultural decline. However, the Middle Ages received a negative rating in all respects only in the 18th century, at the time of the Enlightenment. It was then that the term “Dark Ages” became common. The Middle Ages are an era in the history of Europe and, more broadly, in the Byzantine and Arab worlds adjacent to it, that is, the Mediterranean territories (Asia Minor, the Middle East, and North Africa). South Asia (such as India) and East Asia (such as China and Japan) have developed in isolation from Europe and the Mediterranean. Eastern civilizations in this age did not collapse like Roman civilization, and even flourished and developed continuously, so the separation of antiquity and an intermediate, middle age, the Middle Ages, has no meaning in their history. That is why Asian historians use a different era. Nor can we talk about the Middle Ages in European history for other continents, such as most of Africa (Black Africa), America, Australia and Oceania.