The Middle Ages or Medieval Age is generally considered to stretch from the 5th to the 15th centuries.
In recognition of the vast time span, the period is generally broken into at least two sections. Many consider the period from the 5th to the 11th century to be the Early Middle Ages and the period from the 12 century onward to be the High Middle Ages. Others refer to this earlier period as the Dark Ages and the latter period as the Middle Ages.
Life in the Middle Ages is often described as “nasty, brutish, and short”, and sadly, this is terribly accurate. For Europe, the Middle Ages represents a decline in the standard of living from the rule of the Roman Empire. The period was marked by freqent battles between kings and warlords, a decline in literacy, technology and science, and an increase in famine and disease.