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When did the Middle Ages start and end?

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Quick Answer

According to most historians, the Middle Ages began with the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D. and ended with the beginning of the Renaissance in the 13th, 14th or 15th century A.D.

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Full Answer

The end date of the Middle Ages varies because the Renaissance started at different times in different parts of Europe. The term "Middle Ages" was conceived as an insult to the period, saying that it lay between two more important eras: the Classical era of Greece and Rome and the revival of Classicism that the Renaissance embodied. Because of this, many historians prefer the neutral term "medieval" to refer to the period.

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