Most important century of the Middle Ages (6th-15th centuries)

The most decisive Medieval century is the...

  • 6th

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 7th

    Votes: 1 8.3%
  • 8th

    Votes: 1 8.3%
  • 9th

    Votes: 2 16.7%
  • 10th

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 11th

    Votes: 2 16.7%
  • 12th

    Votes: 3 25.0%
  • 13th

    Votes: 2 16.7%
  • 14th

    Votes: 3 25.0%
  • 15th

    Votes: 2 16.7%

  • Total voters
    12

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,089
Canary Islands-Spain
For me, there's a crossroad of events in the period 1180-1220 that seem to be particularly important

However, once I move back and forth, lot of key events are equally or more important.

Which of the Medieval centuries is for you the most decisive one? (roughly 500-1500)
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,395
Netherlands
Always a tough sort of question. From my completely unbiased and objective standpoint, I'd go for the 9th. The coronation of Charlemagne gave a first Western Europe and an image which is still in force today (yes I am looking at the EU idiots). Plus there were a couple of Vikings who then again ravaged the image.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,171
US
Wow. Great question. There are so many pivotal occurrences from every one of those centuries, but since you used the term, "decisive," i voted for the 14th and 15th centuries. Starting with the latter, the rediscovery of the New World has had enormous consequences. I believe Spain gained its independence during this century as well. In the 14th century the Renaissance began to form, which had major implication on development and technology.
 
Last edited:
Jan 2016
1,139
Victoria, Canada
I voted for the 13th. Constantinople is sacked and the Roman Empire splinters, the Crusader states in the Levant are finally snuffed out, the Angevin Empire falls apart and the French royal government is strengthened, the communes and republics in Italy truly come into their own, Andalusia is almost entirely conquered by Christian powers, the Mongols invade eastern Europe, universities as we understand them develop and spread through western Europe, the production of scholarship and philosophy explodes, eyeglasses are invented, mechanical clocks are invented, gunpowder weapons are introduced into Europe, the European economy and population grow enormously (the massive growth of towns and cities being of particular note), the European economy becomes largely monetized, feudal institutions and arrangements weaken considerably, proto-Renaissance forms develop, etc., etc. The 9th century is an important prelude to the rest of the medieval period, particularly in England, France, Germany, and the Benelux, but the changes of the 13th were much more far-reaching, and had an enormous impact on every section of medieval society. The 14th century is also very important, particularly for the Black Death, Hundred Years' War, and collapse of Roman authority (again), but the political, cultural, philosophical, technological, and scholarly developments of the century all seem to hearken back very strongly to the radical changes of the 13th more than being radical changes in their own right.
 
Last edited:
Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
Always a tough sort of question. From my completely unbiased and objective standpoint, I'd go for the 9th. The coronation of Charlemagne gave a first Western Europe and an image which is still in force today (yes I am looking at the EU idiots). Plus there were a couple of Vikings who then again ravaged the image.
I voted for the 9th too - for almost the opposite reasons :p

Even though later European feudal kingdoom's were quite different from what Karl had in mind, it was still tremendously influential as an ideal. However, I think the fact that the Carolongian Empire splintered is what makes the 9th century so important. It seems to me this is the prime time to unite most of Western Europe under a single regime - once the Empire splits the window closes, setting the stage for everything that is to come later. I think the fact that Europe has been politically divided is quite possible the most important practical legacy of the middle ages, the Carolingian ideal of unity aside.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,028
Sydney
12th century , the Vikings , Magyars and Saracens had been contained or beaten back

the monasteries , the first multinationals were opening the forests and founding villages
leading to a population rise which pushed higger in the mountains and East ward across the great Northern plain

the cities with their great markets were creating links across the continent and beyond

universities sprouted like mushrooms and fiercely defended their freedoms

the Crusades showed the thick skulled European feudal lords that there was a world out there

the new style cathedrals were a space program made of stone to reach toward the Heavens
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,693
Cornwall
Wow. Great question. There are so many pivotal occurrences from every one of those centuries, but since you used the term, "decisive," i voted for the 14th and 15th centuries. Starting with the latter, the rediscovery of the New World has had enormous consequences. I believe Spain gained its independence during this century as well. In the 14th century the Renaissance began to form, which had major implication on development and technology.
'Spain' didn't gain any independence. The ever warring states of Castilla, Aragon/Catalonia, Navarra added with Granada and Valencia (kingdoms thereof) ended up merging together in the 16th century under Carlos V, due to the epic works and legacy of Ferdinand and Isobel. At the risk of incurring Martin's wrath, 'Spain' had been Hispania under the Romans and Visigoths and, mostly, Al Andalus under various muslim proprietors over many centuries! (Many of whom formerly Visigoths as it happens)

Can't answer Franks question really (too many options), I guess the most lasting surrounds Ferdinand and Isolbel and Columbus and the Catholic 'fundamnetalism' so it would be the end of the 15th C.

Then again maybe it was the 5th? Gradual disappearnce of the Roman Empire. That was significant


12th century , the Vikings , Magyars and Saracens had been contained or beaten back

the Crusades showed the thick skulled European feudal lords that there was a world out there
Even being heavily euro-centric myself (with a bit of N Africa) I ought to point out it wasn't so great for said Vikings and Magyars! Saracens means muslims but the Almohad Empire in the west and Saladin in the near east reached their absolute peak in the 12th century.

However as someone said above - if you look at the end of the 12th and the first part of the 13th century, there was one hell of a lot going on !!!
 
Oct 2018
1,547
Sydney
I went with the 13th and 15th for the many great reasons given by other users in this thread, and the 8th for its significance as a transitional century from antiquity.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,395
Netherlands
I voted for the 9th too - for almost the opposite reasons :p
Great minds think contrarian.
Even though later European feudal kingdoom's were quite different from what Karl had in mind, it was still tremendously influential as an ideal. However, I think the fact that the Carolongian Empire splintered is what makes the 9th century so important. It seems to me this is the prime time to unite most of Western Europe under a single regime - once the Empire splits the window closes, setting the stage for everything that is to come later. I think the fact that Europe has been politically divided is quite possible the most important practical legacy of the middle ages, the Carolingian ideal of unity aside.
Yeah that too.
 
Mar 2018
800
UK
I went for the 11th. The Norman invasion of Britain, the great Schism, and the first crusade all had long last implications.