I picked 1492 and the discovery of North and South America by Europeans as my point at which the Middle Ages ended but lately I have been wondering if that is the best date.
It is a time when the discovery of this whole other continent and foods and peoples changed the face of Europe but 1453 has much to recommend it also.
The Middle Ages are held to have begun with the fall of Rome in 410 at the hands of Alaric the Visigoth. It is an important moment and shook the faith of the Christians so much so that Augustine of Hippo wrote his book City of God in response to the question that if this was the true faith, why did God allow the city to fall. It had stood for so many centuries while it was pagan.
Constantine, fearing the advances of the Germanic tribes, had already removed the capital of the Roman Empire to a new city which he named Constantinople, now called Istanbul. This move split the empire into the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern. So it is fitting, in a way, that the Middle Ages end with the fall of the Eastern Empire since it began with the fall of the Western.
Petrach was an Italian writer who re-discovered Classical writers and 'began' the movement towards Humanism. He is also credited with coining the phrase "Dark Ages".
When Martin Luther translated the Bible into German so that everyone could read it, it heralded the end of the power of the Roman Church which had ruled the Middle Ages.
So what do you think? Which year really showed that the Middle Ages were over and done with?
There are other options like the arrival of the Black Death. The end of the Hundred Years War and some even choose the French Revolution as the final nail in the casket of the Middle Ages.
(voting is over, results shown in previous post)