Period of time that fits in between the very late Roman period when the whole of Europe (except a few hairy, uncouth bits) was civilized and threw Christians to the Lions AND the rediscovery of all the stuff that had been lost during when the Vikings stole or burned it down (Renaissance). Lets call it 800ad till 1400ad.
During this time the Feudal system was created. Here you had a liege Lord who taxed your ass but promised to protect you from anyone else who might try to tax your ass. Someone bigger and tougher was his lord to whom he paid part of your taxes and so on up to the King (who in theory was the baddest ass). Think pyramid selling with violence and major intimidation OR even as protection money.
Your Lord allegedly also had a thing called Droit de Seigneur (the right of the lord) which meant he could boff your virgin daughter if he fancied a bit. Not many virgins around during this period. Bit like Liverpool.
During this period Jews were persecuted, Muslims and Christians fought The Crusades and Jihad. The rulers of the European nations were corrupt megalomaniacs who fought wars on a whim and were out for personal enrichment and their legacies. The people thus suffered mightily though taxes, plagues and poor government. JEEZ dont things never change!
The nailest of the nailest during this time was the knight. Forerunner of the Chally 2, this was a man wrapped in plate steel, mounted on a semi-insane herbivore, given a large stick with a spike on the end and sent (en mass) screaming into groups of prototype squaddies with the aim of proving their body armour sucked. This lasted till the proto-squaddies started using the L1A1 Longbow (a device for archery, not the helicopter) to render a shoeing to the Knights while they were still 200 yards away. 600 years later, still not much has changed.
will add more later
FB adds: - also know for folk being quite horrid to each other at times, often with pointy bits of metal or hot branding irons. This has led to "medieval" being used as a verbal shorthand for overly violent, as heard in the film "Pulp Fiction" by Quentin Taranteatime (shall i be motherfucker?) when the Ving Rhames character is heard to suggest that he will get some of his focus group facilitators to "get medieval on yo' ass!". One suggests this means they would resort to some unpleasantness as opposed to dance in a courtly manner to Greensleeves.