The period from the Roman decadence (5th cent. ad) to the Renaissance (about 1500), to designate the period between the end of classical culture proper and its revival at the Renaissance. The high point of its culture is the 12th and 13th cents. The earliest use of ‘Middle Age’ in this sense yet discovered is in one of Donne's sermons (1621), but the corresponding Latin terms, medium aevum, media aetas, etc., are found in the 16th cent. The term is sometimes restricted to the 11th–15th cents, the earlier part of the period being called the Dark Ages.
Subjects: Literature — Music.