Medieval baby names are all about the stories they tell. The medieval era was all about bringing in the burgeoning cultures of an early western society. Taking influences from Germany, France, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and England—with Spanish and Dutch touches, too!—these names offer a multi-cultural experience. They detail stories of mythical kings and queens, old-timey habits, and just how the world used to work. Medieval baby girl, boy, and gender-neutral names offer surprises, too, because of how often modern names are deeply tied to the past.
When was the medieval era?
Though the quick answer to the question “when was the medieval era” is from approximately the year 500–1485, understanding the “why” is a little more involved. The Latin term “medieval” actually means “middle age” and generally refers to the period after the fall of the Roman Empire. Not the complete fall, of course, because the Eastern Roman Empire lasted well into the 15th century. Scholars often refer to the long period of the Middle Ages in two sections, the Early Middle Ages and the Late Middle Ages, taking the approximate years 500–1000 and 1000–1500, respectively. With the fall of the Roman Empire came the rise of Christianity and Catholicism, creating quite dominant eras of history to identify.
What happened in the medieval era?
Conquering aplenty and the rise of religion ruling the way of life was the name of the game in the medieval period. The church saw fit to approve the Crusades, conquering and changing Muslim holy sites to ones under Christian rule. This was a long period of time where the Catholic church mostly determined education and its opportunities; this created a lot of situations in which the literacy rate was low, health was generally declining, and peasants looked to the church for comfort and reprieve from these daily woes. However, there was also an education revolution spurred on by philosophers of the time like Thomas Aquinas. This encouraged the rise of universities and helped people through the darkness of the Middle Ages.