Medieval Europe

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Migration is a significant feature of ancient and medieval life. Using examples from the medieval world, consider how these movements of peoples shape our view of their cultures.

The Roman Empire conquered most of Europe in the Early Middle Ages, and its movement of empire is considered to be the origin of European civilization today. The movement of French-speaking Normans into the British Isles has shaped our view of the French culture as associated with wealth and the elite classes. The movement of Vikings into the British Isles influences how we see Scandinavians today as seafaring and adventurous travelers who influenced the formation of European naval power.

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In the Early Middle Ages, the Roman Empire conquered and moved across Europe, and this movement is considered to be the foundation of modern European civilization today.

In 1066, the Norman Conquest of England led by William the Conqueror began a mass movement of Normans living in Normandy, France, into...

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In the Early Middle Ages, the Roman Empire conquered and moved across Europe, and this movement is considered to be the foundation of modern European civilization today.

In 1066, the Norman Conquest of England led by William the Conqueror began a mass movement of Normans living in Normandy, France, into the British Isles. From this event, the English language gained French vocabulary that shapes how we view French culture even today. We think of French terms as having a more elite status than English terms, and this is because the Normans, as French speakers, imposed new names for food and terms for authority and power. For instance, the Old English cow became the French boef, or beef. The French dined; the English served. Words of authority and power such as "government," "army," and "fort" are all from French. English terms such as "cow" and "plough" were often used among the peasantry and are associated with the working class.

Additionally, the movement of Scandinavians beginning with the Viking invasions into the British Isles during the Middle Ages associates Scandinavians with their seafaring ancestors, who are considered to have influenced European countries to become the naval powers they are today.

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