One of the longest Age sin European History
The Middle Ages lasted from around the 5th century to the pre-Renaissance time period in the 15th century. The Middle Ages were a time when Religion and faith held sway. Wedged in between the Classical Age and the Renaissance, the Middle Ages saw people and individuals trying to fill the void left by the retreating Roman Empire. The Middle Ages are also a time when the masses, the people were more important then the person.
Faith is one of the biggest factors in the formation of the Middle Ages. The church, having been established as the state religion by Constantine was the most powerful force in Europe. With the Roman Empire failing, the church did not retreat or leave the area. The people that the church had in Europe, especially Western Europe, stayed, they kept proselytizing, they kept the bringing converts to the faith. They are also the ones that kept the Roman Common Law going. From that they helped establish the English Common Law. Thus began the political history fo the Middle Ages.
The English Common Law, of course, has the faith of the people tied into it directly. The people that were running the church wanted to put their people, their family, or at least families they were involved in, into power. Using the church, which had grown to power in the burgeoning territories of Europe to help establish a monarch worked very well. It also made sure that the church, which had buildings on lots of land in Europe had helped put the king onto the throne. With the Chruch placing the king on the throne, the people, who were told that they mattered a s agroup and not as individuals, worshiped their king that was put their by God.
The Masses vs The Individual
And yes, the Middle Ages were also symbolized by the people as groups and not by individuals. If the Renaissance is the age of the Re-Birht of the human spirit, then there had to be a time when the human spirit was shut down. The excess of the Roman Empire and the knowledge and self-actualization of the Renaissance is in stark contrast to the centuries of the Middle Ages. The church told the people what they could do. The people were kept ignorant so that they would not seek freedom, so that they would not explore. The people fought wars, that they had no stake in, for monetary reasons – because the king said so. The people fought wars and worked to supply wars due to the fact that religious concepts were involved – The Crusades.
Look at the Middle Ages as a dumbing-down period between the Classic Age and the age of the Renaissance. Look at the Middle Ages as a time when people were taught to think about the masses and not about themselves. You were born into a class and you stayed in that class. It was an age of war, an age of castles and knights.