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Medieval Literature and Poetry Illuminated Manuscripts The Middle Ages was a period of about one thousand years between the collapse of the Roman Empire during the fifth century AD and the revival of classical art and learning known as the Renaissance around the fifteenth century During this dark and chaotic period small groups of devout Christians could live with security and pursue a religious life These people were doing something that almost no one else could do at the time- reading and writing They were making something that almost no one else could make or have any use for- books The first of these books was the Bible and as time passed more forms of literature such as poetry and illuminated manuscripts were created Christianity like Judaism and Islam is a written religion The Bible is regarded as a sacred text for Christianity containing the revealed truth of G-d The most important part of early monastic life was the preservation reading and copying of these texts The connected to and interested in all types of literature Up until the end of the twelfth century nearly all books were produced by and for the church For many centuries the church remained the center of all learning and literacy in Europe In time however the art of reading writing and bookmaking passed outside the monastery and into the court and town Books came to reflect nearly every aspect of medieval life Books also began to be written in the vernacular Books changed as the medieval world changed but the tradition of making them as beautiful as possible continued into the Renaissance and into the age of the printing press The Bible was the starting point which sparked the interest of creating other forms of literature in the Middle Ages Another form of literature in the Middle Ages was poetry One of the greatest poets of the middle ages was Geoffrey Chaucer 1342-1400 Chaucer was one of the
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