The Medieval Era, also known as the Middle Ages, took place between 500 AD and 1500 AD in Europe. Though the medieval era occurred many centuries ago, a few exceptional individuals from that time have made their impact on our world known even to this day. Here are just four of those important and famous medieval figures.
Charlemagne (742– 814)
Charlemagne, who was previously King of the Franks, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in the year 800 AD. Thanks to his undisputed leadership prowess, Charlemagne was able to unite most of Western and Central Europe through methods like military conquests. However, Charlemagne’s influence does not stop there. In fact, Charlemagne was involved in what is known as the Carolingian Renaissance. This was a rapid period of progress and advancement for Europe, with changes in various fields such as the monetary system, education, and the arts. Thanks to his contributions, Charlemagne is often regarded as the father of modern Europe, as well as the father of the French and German monarchies.
William the Conqueror (1028– 1087)
William the Conqueror was a Norman (a descendant of the Vikings). Under his leadership, the Normans were the last foreign force to invade what is now modern Great Britain. His conquest of Great Britain began with the famous Battle of Hastings in 1066, following which he was crowned King William I – the first Norman King of England. Under William’s rule, England underwent many important changes. For instance, he adopted various church reforms and instituted English as the official languages. Additionally, he began building castles and fortresses all over England to boost his military strength and control rebellions; arguably the most famous building of his is the Tower of London.
Johann Gutenberg (1398 – 1468)
Johann Gutenberg is most renowned for inventing the printing press and movable type. This made the printing and book-making process far more efficient than old methods like painstakingly copying the text out by hand. Thanks to his invention, books became more affordable and widely available to the masses, resulting in the much quicker dissemination of information to all parts of the world.
Joan of Arc (1412 – 1431)
Whenever the phrase “greatest woman in history” is mentioned, Joan of Arc is almost always one of the names that comes to mind. In her youth, Joan of Arc claimed to have visions from heaven that instructed her to free her homeland of France from the tyrannical rule of the English. Though she originally started this God-given task as a missionary, she soon transformed into a formidable and powerful military leader who led French forces to decisive victories – for instance, the lifted the siege of Orleans in just nine days! Unfortunately, aged just 19, she was captured and executed by the English. However, her impact remains strong and clear today – this brave and strong young woman is widely recognized today as one of France’s national heroines and has even been canonized as Saint Joan.
These four figures truly had a major impact on the medieval era, and some of the effects of their choices can still be felt even till today. With all this in mind, it’s easy to see why so many people still respect and admire these exceptional, famous medieval figures!