A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, Volume 82
The 14th century gives us back two contradictory images: on the one hand a glittering time of crusades and castles, cathedrals and chivalry and exquisitely illuminated Books of Hours; on the other, a time of ferocity and spiritual agony - a world plunged into chaos. These are the years when the Black Death struck in the great plague of 1348-50, killing more than a third of the entire population between India and Iceland, and returned four times during the rest of the century... when freebooting companies of brigands terrorized Europe with impunity... when a "hundred years' war" seemed to have no beginning and no end, and, defying the belligerents' own efforts to end it, acquired a life of its own, "an epic of brutality and bravery checkered by disgrace"... when chivalry, the ideal that had formed and nurtured the nobility, was crumbling under the impact of new weapons, new tactics, and knightly follies...
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14th century Anjou archers armor arms army Avignon battle Bernabo Bishop Black Death bourgeois Brittany brother Burgundy burned Calais cardinals castle Charles d'Espagne Charles of Navarre chivalry Christian Chron chronicler Church Clement clergy Clisson combat companies Coucy's Council Count court crown crusade daughter Dauphin died Duke Duke of Brittany Duke of Burgundy Edward enemy England English Enguerrand Enguerrand de Coucy Estates fear fight Flanders Florence force French Froissart Gian Galeazzo gold Guesclin honor horses Italy Jacques Jean Jean de Venette Jews killed King of France King's knights ladies Lancaster land Languedoc livres lord Louis marriage medieval men-at-arms monks Navarre never nobles Normandy papacy papal Paris peace peasants Petrarch Philip Picardy plague Poitiers Pope priests Prince prisoners ransom rich royal schism seigneur Sire de Coucy squires sword taxes took towns treaty truce Valois villages Visconti wife women wrote