Middle Ages
The Middle Ages are the period in history between about AD 1000 and AD 1400. They were the time when all the big Gothic cathedrals were built, like York Minster, Lincoln Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. In the Middles Ages life was dominated by the church and by clergymen. Schools were run by monks and were often in monasteries. Politics was controlled by the church and often people were only allowed to do only what the Pope said they could.

The term Middle Ages was actually invented by scholars in the Renaissance. They used the term in a nasty way to try to imply that no worthwhile scholarship or learning happened in the Middle Ages. However, we now think that the Middle Ages was an important time for research in schools connected with abbeys and monasteries. The first universities were started in the Middle Ages. Geometry and arithmetic was taught in the universities, as well as astronomy, music and optics, which were all very mathematical subjects. One of the main reasons these subjects were studied was to do with religion: maths and astronomy helped clergymen work out when Easter should be, for example, and music was played in church more than anywhere else