Do you believe 1453 or 1492 is a "better" end-point for the Medieval Era?

Mar 2016
910
Australia
#1
I know that assigning any one year as the definitive "end-point" for an era is bound to be highly subjective and arbitrary, but nonetheless, as human beings we like to categorise and sort things into neat orders, and this is a history forum, so why not? Even if we reach no consensus, it's still a fun thought experiment and discussion on what makes something medieval or not.

As for the years in question, the two that I've seen argued the most as the conclusion of the Medieval Era is 1453 and 1492, and the reasons are fairly convincing overall: 1453 saw not just the fall of Constantinople to the Turks and the eradication of the last vestiges of the Roman Empire, severing a link that stretched back all the way to Augustus, but also the conclusion of the Hundred Years War, a conflict that started as a dynastic squabble over which French-descended House had superior claim to regions of France and ended with the establishment - or at least seeds of future establishment - of the nation-states of England and France.

And 1492 saw not just the monumentally important discovery of the Americas by Columbus, which forever changed Europe's perception of the world and introduced a completely new theatre of war, commerce and conquest, but also the conquest of Granada, the last Muslim stronghold in Iberia, finally bringing an end to seven centuries of the Reconquista begun all the way back with Charlemagne, and finally the death of Lorenzo the Magnificent, the most prominent patron and supporter of the Renaissance in Italy.

I've seen some people claim that 1517 is another valid end-point for the Medieval Era, with Martin Luther beginning the Protestant Reformation, and while I see the argument behind it, I'm personally more inclined to support either 1453 or 1492 as a more valid year. What are your thoughts on this topic?
 
Nov 2018
181
Wales
#2
I know that assigning any one year as the definitive "end-point" for an era is bound to be highly subjective and arbitrary, but nonetheless, as human beings we like to categorise and sort things into neat orders, and this is a history forum, so why not? Even if we reach no consensus, it's still a fun thought experiment and discussion on what makes something medieval or not.

As for the years in question, the two that I've seen argued the most as the conclusion of the Medieval Era is 1453 and 1492, and the reasons are fairly convincing overall: 1453 saw not just the fall of Constantinople to the Turks and the eradication of the last vestiges of the Roman Empire, severing a link that stretched back all the way to Augustus, but also the conclusion of the Hundred Years War, a conflict that started as a dynastic squabble over which French-descended House had superior claim to regions of France and ended with the establishment - or at least seeds of future establishment - of the nation-states of England and France.

And 1492 saw not just the monumentally important discovery of the Americas by Columbus, which forever changed Europe's perception of the world and introduced a completely new theatre of war, commerce and conquest, but also the conquest of Granada, the last Muslim stronghold in Iberia, finally bringing an end to seven centuries of the Reconquista begun all the way back with Charlemagne, and finally the death of Lorenzo the Magnificent, the most prominent patron and supporter of the Renaissance in Italy.

I've seen some people claim that 1517 is another valid end-point for the Medieval Era, with Martin Luther beginning the Protestant Reformation, and while I see the argument behind it, I'm personally more inclined to support either 1453 or 1492 as a more valid year. What are your thoughts on this topic?
I know that assigning any one year as the definitive "end-point" for an era is bound to be highly subjective and arbitrary, but nonetheless, as human beings we like to categorise and sort things into neat orders, and this is a history forum, so why not? Even if we reach no consensus, it's still a fun thought experiment and discussion on what makes something medieval or not.

As for the years in question, the two that I've seen argued the most as the conclusion of the Medieval Era is 1453 and 1492, and the reasons are fairly convincing overall: 1453 saw not just the fall of Constantinople to the Turks and the eradication of the last vestiges of the Roman Empire, severing a link that stretched back all the way to Augustus, but also the conclusion of the Hundred Years War, a conflict that started as a dynastic squabble over which French-descended House had superior claim to regions of France and ended with the establishment - or at least seeds of future establishment - of the nation-states of England and France.

And 1492 saw not just the monumentally important discovery of the Americas by Columbus, which forever changed Europe's perception of the world and introduced a completely new theatre of war, commerce and conquest, but also the conquest of Granada, the last Muslim stronghold in Iberia, finally bringing an end to seven centuries of the Reconquista begun all the way back with Charlemagne, and finally the death of Lorenzo the Magnificent, the most prominent patron and supporter of the Renaissance in Italy.

I've seen some people claim that 1517 is another valid end-point for the Medieval Era, with Martin Luther beginning the Protestant Reformation, and while I see the argument behind it, I'm personally more inclined to support either 1453 or 1492 as a more valid year. What are your thoughts on this topic?
1453. If the Renaissance had already started in Italy by 1453, and it had, the fall of Constantinople saw a real input of both culture and money enter Europe, particularly Italy. While Venice had already had a spur from the 4th Crusade that sacked Constantinople in 1204, it was 1453 that saw a real input to a cultural change.

1492 as a year is relatively unimportant. N America had already been known about by British fishermen long before, nevermind the Vikings around c400 years earlier.

If we really want to talk about making the modern world, I am open to suggestions why the 30 years war was not the most important European, and thus N American, war ever.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,939
Las Vegas, NV USA
#3
1492. While some knowledge of land beyond the Atlantic may have existed, there was no appreciation of its extent or value. 1492 was only the first of five voyages by Columbus and he was soon joined by many others. As a result, Western Europe came to dominate the world for centuries after.
 
Likes: Rodger

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,097
Sydney
#4
1453 was certainly the end of something ,
1492 the start of something else
1455 the Guttenberg bible hit the shops
1472 Ivan III (the Great) marry sophia , daughter of the last Cesar , take the style of Czar and reject the Mogol Yoke
certainly things were cooking
 
Likes: Rodger

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,531
#5
1488 when Portuguese went round and came back from the Cape of Good Hope. Showing seaborne navigation was the future of European commerce and making the world much smaller.
 
Apr 2018
278
USA
#6
I like 1525, the battle of Pavia. If you want to focus on england though I'd say they didn't really end until the mid-16th century, maybe 1547.

putting the end of the middle ages at just 1500 AD tends to be a good, round-numbered compromise.
 
Likes: Olleus

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,097
Sydney
#7
1483 death of Louis XI "the spider " born in the depth of the one hundred years wars ,
he made France the first power of Europe , he crushed the old Feudal order replacing it with the new Royal administration ,
liquidating the old Burgundian power and dismissing the old knighthood fantasies
friend of Cossimo Medici and Ludovico Sforza ,protector of the Italian cities
he was one of the major influence of the renaissance north of the Alps
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,138
Portugal
#8
I know that assigning any one year as the definitive "end-point" for an era is bound to be highly subjective and arbitrary, but nonetheless, as human beings we like to categorise and sort things into neat orders, and this is a history forum, so why not? Even if we reach no consensus, it's still a fun thought experiment and discussion on what makes something medieval or not.

As for the years in question, the two that I've seen argued the most as the conclusion of the Medieval Era is 1453 and 1492, and the reasons are fairly convincing overall: 1453 saw not just the fall of Constantinople to the Turks and the eradication of the last vestiges of the Roman Empire, severing a link that stretched back all the way to Augustus, but also the conclusion of the Hundred Years War, a conflict that started as a dynastic squabble over which French-descended House had superior claim to regions of France and ended with the establishment - or at least seeds of future establishment - of the nation-states of England and France.

And 1492 saw not just the monumentally important discovery of the Americas by Columbus, which forever changed Europe's perception of the world and introduced a completely new theatre of war, commerce and conquest, but also the conquest of Granada, the last Muslim stronghold in Iberia, finally bringing an end to seven centuries of the Reconquista begun all the way back with Charlemagne, and finally the death of Lorenzo the Magnificent, the most prominent patron and supporter of the Renaissance in Italy.

I've seen some people claim that 1517 is another valid end-point for the Medieval Era, with Martin Luther beginning the Protestant Reformation, and while I see the argument behind it, I'm personally more inclined to support either 1453 or 1492 as a more valid year. What are your thoughts on this topic?
Choosing a year is much more a reference to define frontiers between arbitrary time periods, than any other thing. But, in my opinion, the arrival of the Spanish to America in 1492 and its consequences, and the arrival of the Portuguese to India in 1498 made the world much bigger to the European minds, as Ichon already noted for the year of 1488. And it was that bigger world defines much better the end of the Medieval Period.

1492 as a year is relatively unimportant. N America had already been known about by British fishermen long before
Let us begin with the source. What is your source on this?
 
Nov 2018
181
Wales
#9
Choosing a year is much more a reference to define frontiers between arbitrary time periods, than any other thing. But, in my opinion, the arrival of the Spanish to America in 1492 and its consequences, and the arrival of the Portuguese to India in 1498 made the world much bigger to the European minds, as Ichon already noted for the year of 1488. And it was that bigger world defines much better the end of the Medieval Period.



Let us begin with the source. What is your source on this?
English Voyages before Cabot
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,659
Dispargum
#10
I'm not a big fan of the Byzantine Empire or of its impact on world history, but as the end of the Hundred Years' War, Guttenberg's printing press (close enough), and the beginning of the Renaissance (again, close enough), 1453 is more important than 1492.
 

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