English Mini-Essay Compilation Week 2

(This essay is a collection of smaller essays, combined into one.) Continue reading


The Black Death

The Black Death was a plague epidemic that started and ended in Europe during the mid-14 century. It was a deadly disease, and due to little known knowledge of medication and vaccination during the time, the Black Death managed to kill a whopping 30-60% of Europe’s entire population. 

The disease was primarily spread by fleas and rodents. Back at that time, houses weren’t as well-kept as they are today, so rats would be a common household problem back then. The Black Death started it’s way at big European trade cities. Then, it spread towards the countryside. It was officially recognized in 1348.

The disease made the patient have large boils on the skin, that would gradually turn black. Alongside that, the patient would have fever, chills, vomiting, and aching. Usually the patient would die in 3 days. People knew about the plague and would genuinely scared when it came to their town.

Doctors didn’t know how to treat the plague, so they attempted to cure it by dangerous practices, like bloodletting. Because of their little knowledge of germs, the didn’t understand how easy it was to catch the plague. Those infected were quarantined, but it wasn’t always successful.

Some people managed to see the Black Death as a punishment from God. People publicly whipped themselves, despite it not doing any good. This might have helped raise the sprits of people, but it did not stop the plague.

Due to the death of so many people, the economy of Europe was shaken by the plague. Also due to the deaths of so many, food couldn’t be grown effectively. Famine was a common problem alongside the Black Death. The plague was mostly over by 1350. But it did strike again from time to time until the 19th century.

John Wycliffe

Today’s essay will be on John Wycliffe.

In 1320, in a village near Yorkshire, England, John Wycliffe was born. He received great education, earning a bachelor’s degree in theology from Oxford University. In 1374, he went to live in Lutterworth, staying there for the rest of his life.

John Wycliffe was a great teacher and preacher. However, he was known for disputing religious practices in his day. In his preachings, he stated that the Bible was the authority of the church, not the pope. He also preached against indulgences.

Not really a surprise, the Pope disagreed with these teachings. However, Wycliffe was a very popular figure in England at the time, so the Pope decided to not to take a stance too strong on the matter. Pope Gregory issued five bulls against John, however he did not excommunicate him initially.

Wycliffe made the Wycliffe Bible due to him thinking that it was important that everyone had a Bible in their language. Prior to this, all teachings of the church were in Latin. The church felt that the Holy Word shouldn’t be accessible for everyday use, however Wycliffe believed that it was more important to let everyone have access to it.

Wycliffe was assisted in the translation project by John Purvey. After Wycliffe died, Purvey continued on with the project and finished it, and it’s ultimately thanks to him we have the Wycliffe Bible today.

Wycliffe didn’t die the death of martyr. Instead, he died of a stroke in 1384. His followers, called Lollards, continued his work and spread his teachings. Their view ended up becoming the norm during the Reformation.

31 years after his death, the Council of Constance declared Wycliffe as a heretic. His works were burned and his bones burned. The church tried using this and many other methods to try to get rid of Wycliffe’s works and teachings, but this ultimately failed, as his message was remembered and spread for hundreds of years.

Pepin the Short

Pepin the Short was the king of France, as well as the son of Charles Martel. Charles was a great leader, but once he died, the Franks had no ruler for 4 years due to Charles never appointing a new king. However, his sons Pepin and Carloman split the kingdom in 741.

Pepin was a great general. He was able to see potential in dangers, and then make plans for them. He was able to adapt in battle, and had great powers as an administrator. Pepin also appointed Childeric III as king of France, but Pepin later became the ruler of France himself.

Pepin was crowned as king by Pope Zachary. Pope Zachary eventually crowned Pepin’s two sons; Charles and Carloman (different from the one mentioned earlier.)

Pepin was able to accomplish many things in his lifetime, even though he was never as successful as his father or son, he was considered a great mayor overall. Some of his accomplishments were being able to expand Frankish territory, being able to spread Frankish church in Germany, and contain Iberian Muslims, as well as preventing expansion.

Pepin died during a military campaign in 768. And again, although not being as great as his father or son, Pepin had unique abilities and accomplishments that made him a great ruler of the Franks.


Saxon Culture

Saxons were a tribe of people who inhabited Britain. Saxon culture contained of architecture, art, literature, etc.

Saxon buildings were quite simple. They were made mostly of wood, and the roof being made of thatch. They usually built their houses around agricultural sites. Also, the Saxons were very fond of wood, using it for cups and halls.

Saxon art was mostly comprised of jewelry. They have made several brooches, buckles, beads, and wrist-clasps, many of which were made of outstanding quality. They most commonly used gold and silver to create these pieces.

Saxon literature was written in Old English. They wrote Bible translations, riddles, chronicles, legal works, and more. Their works weren’t focused around rhyming, rather alliteration. Alliteration was basically repeated stressed vocals, sound, etc. At the start of the next line of a writing, there would also be a brief pause between sentences.

Source: wikipedia.com