Summary: For centuries Europe has been dominated by the church and nobility. On the shoulders of ordinary people the servants of god and the noble families justified their power and wealth. This was the incontrovertible, divine world order. A truly dark era In the 14th Century the world order is beginning to transform itself. Due to trade and commerce an increasing middle class obtains more and more power and wealth. Entire towns purchase their freedom and more privileges from the nobility. Reading and writing is no longer the domain of the nobility and the clergy and the invention of printing information may eventually be spread everywhere. This is the beginning of the renaissance...