The Late Middle Ages : The Age Of Discovery And Innovation

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The Late Middle Ages were characterized by both periods of decline and periods of transition into the Renaissance. Therefore, if only viewed through some aspects, the overall quality of the Late Middle Ages can be interpreted in vastly different ways. When all events are taken into account, it is evident that even though there were periods of extreme decline and cultural deficiency, numerous events helped transition Europe into an age of discovery and innovation. The Late Middle Ages are sometimes considered “the Dark Ages” due to the decline in literary advancement and the increase in adversities and superstitions. The Black Death, or Bubonic Plague, had a major influence on the overall decline of the Late Middle Ages. Some records indicate that the Plague killed nearly 60 percent of the population of Europe, about 50 million people, in the 14th century. Europeans, most of them devout Christians, frantically searched for an explanation beyond their understanding. By turning to God, many believed that He was punishing them. Giovanni Boccaccio’s “The Decameron” gives us an in-depth look into the calamity that was the Bubonic Plague. “And some holding it best to live temperately, and to avoid excesses of all kinds, made parties, and shut themselves up from the rest of the world; eating and drinking moderately of the best, diverting themselves with music, and such other entertainments as they might have within doors; never listening to anything from without, to make them
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