Adelaide widowed queen of Lomburdy who, in 951. asked Otto the Great for aid against the usurper Berengar II, making possible Otto's rise to power.
Aethelred the Unready (c. 968-1016) Anglo-Saxon king of England (978-1016) called “The Unready” from the Old English unraed (bad counsel). His marriage to Emma, daughter of Richard II. duke of Normandy, laid the basis for the Norman claim to the English throne.
Alcuin (or Albinus) (735-804) AngloSaxon scholar and abbot of St. Martin of Tours; at the request of Charlemagne, initiated the Carolingian Renaissance between 781 and 790.
Alexius I Comnenus (1048-1118) Byzantine emperor (1081-1118). His request to Urban II for troops to fight the Muslims sparked the First Crusade in 1095.
Alfred the Great (849-899) king of the West Saxons (871-899); king of England (886-899). He provided the basis for English unification.
Almohads Islamic reformers from North Africa who drove the Almoravids out of southern Spain between 1146 and 1269. establishing a strong caliphate.
Almoravids a fundamentalist Muslim tribe from the southern Sahara who conquered North Africa and aided the Muslims in Córdoba against the Christians between 1086 and 1146.
Anglo-Saxons Germanic tribes made up of Angles, Saxons, and Jutes living in England before the Norman conquest. They gradually conquered Britain over the fifth century.
Antioch (Antaka) founded in 301 BC by Seleucus I, it was the capital city of Syria until Rome's conquest of Syria in 64 BC. In the eleventh century, it was a Muslim center of government. The Christians conquered it in 1098 during the First Crusade, establishing it as a Christian principality under Bohemund of Taranto.
Aragon a Christian kingdom in northeastern Spain, south of the Pyrenees.
Armenia a region in southwestern Asia south of the Caucasus Mountains.
Armenian emperors a succession of Byzantine emperors between 813 and 842. begun by Leo V.
Austrasia a Prankish kingdom in the seventh century, the eastern part of the original Merovingian Empire.
Baldwin (Boudewijn) with the Iron Arm first count of Flanders (863-879), he defended it against the Vikings. Abducting and marrying the daughter of Charles the Bald, he founded a dynasty of Baldwins in Flanders lasting through the eleventh century.
Baldwin I (of the Latin Empire) (1172-1205) first Latin emperor of Constantinople (1204-1205), born in France.
Baldwin I (of Jerusalem; Boudewijn of Bouillon) (1058-1118) king of Jerusalem (1100-1118). brother of Godfrey of Bouillon and a leader in the First Crusade. In 1098, he conquered Edessa and set up a Christian stronghold there.
Baldwin II (of the Latin Empire)
(1217-1273) last Latin emperor of Constantinople (1228-1261).
Baldwin II (of Jerusalem) (?—1131) king of Jerusalem (1118-1131), cousin and successor of Baldwin of Bouillon.
Baldwin III (c. 1130-1162) Latin king of Jerusalem (1143-1162). He lost Damascus in 1154 to Nur ad-Din, Turkish ruler of Aleppo.
Basil II (c. 958-1025) Byzantine emperor (963-1025), called Bulgaroctonus (Killer of Bulgars), most powerful of the Macedonian dynasty.
basileus (king) title of the Byzantine emperor, regarded as the head of Christendom and God's representative on Earth.
Battle of Manzikert 1071 defeat marking the end of Byzantine imperial power in Asia Minor.
Bernard of Clairvaux, St. (1090-1154) a Cistercian monk who summoned the French for the Second Crusade in 1146. Canonized in 1174.
Bohemund of Taranto (1052-1 111) son of the Norman duke Robert Gestured and a leader in the First Crusade. In 1098, established a kingdom in conquered Antioch.
Bulgaria constituted the strongest empire in eastern Europe in the ninth and early tenth centuries. Incorporated into the Byzantine Empire in 1018, Bulgaria rebelled in 1185, forming another empire which collapsed over the fourteenth century.
Byzantium (Constantinople) rebuilt and renamed by Constantine the Great in 313. Also called the New Rome (Nova Roma), it was capital of the Byzantine Empire and residence of the emperor until its fall in 1453.
caliph title taken by Muhammad's successors as secular rulers and religious leaders of Muslim states.
Caliphate of Córdoba Islamic state in Spain (929-1031) first proclaimed by Emir Abd al-Rahmon III.
Capet, Hugh (c. 938-996) king of France (987-996). Founder of the Capetian dynasty that united France and lasted until 1328.
Caroline minuscule a script introduced during the Carolingian Renaissance to replace the illegible Merovingian handwriting. It formed the basis for lowercase letters of the Latin alphabet.
Carolingian Renaissance a Frankish revival of Roman culture in the late eighth and ninth centuries, reorganizing education and reviving art and literature.
Carolingians Frankish dynasty of kings and emperors, called Carolingian after Carolus, the Latin form of Charlemagne.
Castile originally a Christian kingdom in northern Spain, in the eleventh century it annexed León and spread Castilian culture throughout Spain.
castle fortified farmstead built by a feudal lord to protect himself and his serfs against raids. Originally wooden towers, by the thirteenth century, castles were commonly huge stone strongholds.
cavalry mounted soldiers.
Charlemagne (Charles the Great) (742-814) Frankish king (768-814) and Holy Roman emperor (800-814). He established the Holy Roman Empire.
Charles II (the Bald) (823-877) Holy Roman emperor (875-877), king of France (as Charles I. 843-877), fourth son of Holy Roman emperor Louis I.
Charles Martel (The Hammer) (c. 688-741) ruler of the Frankish kingdom of Austrasia (719-741), illegitimate son of Pépin of Herstal and grandfather of Charlemagne.
Cluny abbey in Burgundy founded by William of Aquitaine in 910 and put under direct papal authority to prevent influence by nobles and corrupt bishops; noted for church reform. Many monasteries were founded under its auspices.
Concordat of Worms 1122 compromise between Pope Calixtus II and Holy Roman emperor Henry V on investiture. The church was accorded the right to elect and invest bishops but only in the presence of the emperor who retained the right to confer any land and wealth attached to the bishopric.
Conrad II of Swabia (c. 990-1039) king of Germany (1024-1039); Holy Roman emperor (1027-1039); king of the Lombards (1026). In 1033, he inherited the kingdom of Burgundy.
Constantine VI Byzantine emperor (780-797), son of Emperor Leo IV and Irene, who seized power and blinded him.