Key Dates in Europe’s Middle Ages

Part of the European History For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The Middle Ages in European history have a bad press, as if everyone was barbaric and always burning witches and torturing people. But it was a time when Europeans achieved their most breathtaking achievements in art and architecture, and set in place much of the thinking and ideas we rely on today.

Year Event
529 St Benedict founds the monastery of Monte Cassino
711 Muslim invasion of Spain
732 Charles Martel defeats Arabs at Battle of Poitiers
787 Viking raid on Lindisfarne
800 Charlemagne crowned ‘Roman’ emperor in the west
1054 Schism between ‘Catholic’ Roman Church and ‘Orthodox’ Greek Church
1066 Norman conquest of England
1071 Battle of Manzikert: Turks overrun Anatolia
1099 Jerusalem falls to First Crusade
1204 Fourth Crusade sacks Constantinople
1241 Mongols overrun eastern Europe
1337 Start of the Hundred Year’s War
AD 313 Edict of Milan: Constantine accepts Christianity
AD 395 Roman Empire divides in two
AD 410 Rome sacked by Alaric, king of the Visigoths
AD 476 Last western Roman emperor deposed
1346 Black Death arrives in western Europe
1309–1417 The Great Schism
1450 Gutenberg’s printing press
1453 Fall of Constantinople
1492 Fall of Granada: Moors expelled from Spain; Columbus lands in the New World
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