The literature of Middle Ages is the period in history of world literature, which begins in late antiquity (4-5 centuries) and ends in the 15th century. The first signs of medieval literature were the emergence of the Christian Gospels (1st century), religious hymns and works of Aurelius Augustine ("Confessions"), the translation of the Bible into Latin made by Saint Jerome.
The origin and development of literature of the Middle Ages is determined by three main factors: the traditions of folk art, the cultural influence of the ancient world and Christianity. Its culmination of medieval art reached in the 12-13 century. At this time his most important achievements was the Gothic architecture (Notre Dame Cathedral), chivalric literature and heroic epic. The extinction of medieval culture and its transition to a qualitatively new stage — the Rebirth (Renaissance) — takes place in Italy in the 14th century, the rest of Western Europe in the 15th century. This transition through the so-called literature of the medieval city, which in aesthetic terms has a completely medieval character and experiencing its heyday in the 14th-15th and 16th centuries.
In the literatures of the East is also characterized by the Middle Ages, but its timing are somewhat different, as a rule, its completion will take until the 18th century. The middle ages historians call a huge period since the fall of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the bourgeois revolutions. The most important consequence of attention to the culture of the middle ages was that of the literary-philosophical thought of the late XVIII – early XIX century for the first time comprehended that culture as a coherent historical phenomenon, which further influenced the cultural processes in contemporary Europe. However, there is another view, that long made it impossible to assess the culture of the Middle Ages objectively. According to this view it is the embodiment of dogmatism, religious fanaticism, suppression of individual freedom – all, against what were and what were fighting not only the word progressive forces of subsequent ages.
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