The “High” Middle Ages, 1100-1300:

Economy, Towns, and Intellectual Revival



Š     What were the social and economic foundations of the High Middle Ages?

Š     How did scholasticism restore the rational tradition to Western Civilization?


Key Terms

1) The High Middle Ages         5) scholasticism

2) “Agricultural Revolution”   6) Peter Abelard

3) burghers and bourgeoisie     7) Bernard of Clairvaux

4) guilds                                    6) Thomas Aquinas

     and Summa Theologica



I.  Stability and Economic Transformation


Š     The End of the Invasions and the “Success” of Feudalism

Š     The Agricultural “Revolution” and the Decline of Manorialism

Š     Population Increase (1000 – 35 million, 1350 75 million)

Š     The Revival of Trade, Commerce, and Banking


Š     Rise of Towns

o  Burghers and bourgeoisie

o  Rothenburg ob der Tauber  2  3  4



II.  Intellectual Culture and Dynamism:  Restoring the Rational Tradition


Š     The Growth of Universities and a Secular Curriculum

o  Medieval Lecture


Š     Scholasticism:  Harmonizing Revelation and Reason


Š     Peter Abelard (1079-1142) vs. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

o  Heloise and Abelard

Š     Rediscovering Aristotle


Š     Thomas Aquinas’s (1225-1274) Synthesis

o  Summa Theologica