"A World Lit Only By Fire"by William Manchester: What was the life like during the medieval period? Support with specific examples.

Essay by Gidz.08High School, 11th gradeA+, November 2007

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Centuries of Roman rule in Western Europe came crashing to an end in 4th century when the emperor was driven from his throne by barbarian invaders from the north. Soon after, hundreds of tiny kingdoms began to form in once Roman lands. The nature of European life began to change with successive attacks by Vikings, Goths, Moors, and fighting among the bordering kingdoms. The life during the medieval period was full of treachery, abduction, fratricide, depravity, barbarism, and sadism. Drought, floods and many more natural disasters made the life during medieval period even harder.

Ferdinand Magellan, a great sailor, sailed across the world to prove that the world is round. This, however, contradicted the belief held by Christians. It was one of the first uprisings against the Church (though Magellan himself was a devote Christian), which led many people to realize the world wasn't all that simple, and the church wasn't always right.

This is how men of Renaissance were born. Men of renaissance thought rationally and philosophers, scholars, and even educated men in Church challenged many medieval concepts, such as the shape of the earth, its size, and its position and movement in the universe. Magellan's journey gave an insight of world's dimensions, of its vast oceans and the distribution of landmasses. Exploration, however, came with a downside. Medieval Europeans were extremely vulnerable to diseases. The explorers had passed on their European germs to far-away places, transmitting diseases to local people. It was even worse when they returned. They carried foreign diseases that spread across the continent rapidly and went unchecked. Black Death, syphilis and many more diseases were spread without any awareness of where it started and many people died.

Murderers were ample and many were high-ranking officials, such as priests and kings. Drinking...