Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Amiens Cathedral
This multimedia tour of the Amiens cathedral includes architectural sketches and drawings, a virtual tour of the cathedral, and text describing the construction process.

Notre Dame
The history of the Notre Dame cathedral told through text and photos.

Aerial View of Notre Dame Cathedral
Learn about a new type of monumental church building that emerged in the medieval period.

The Rule of Saint Benedict
The history of the Rule of Saint Benedict and the Benedictine Order.


Monks and Nuns
Monasteries in the Middle Ages were based on the rules set down by St. Benedict in the sixth century. The monks became known as Benedictines and took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to their leaders. They were required to perform manual labor and were forbidden to own property, leave the monastery, or become entangled in the concerns of society. Daily tasks were often carried out in silence. Monks and their female counterparts, nuns, who lived in convents, provided for the less-fortunate members of the community. Monasteries and nunneries were safe havens for pilgrims and other travelers.

Monks went to the monastery church eight times a day in a routine of worship that involved singing, chanting, and reciting prayers from the divine offices and from the service for Mass. The first office, "Matins," began at 2 A.M. and the next seven followed at regular intervals, culminating in "Vespers" in the evening and "Compline" before the monks retired at night. Between prayers, the monks read or copied religious texts and music. Monks were often well educated and devoted their lives to writing and learning. The Venerable Bede, an English Benedictine monk who was born in the seventh century, wrote histories and books on science and religion.

Pilgrimages
Pilgrimages were an important part of religious life in the Middle Ages. Many people took journeys to visit holy shrines such as the Church of St. James at Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the Canterbury cathedral in England, and sites in Jerusalem and Rome. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is a series of stories told by 30 pilgrims as they traveled to Canterbury.

 
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The Middle Ages is inspired by programs from The Western Tradition.

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