Victorian Age vs Middle Ages

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  • Sabelotodo

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    Perhaps because the Middle Ages were a longer period of time made of other divisions of time during which many rulers came and went. It is also used to refer to the history of all of Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East. The specific dates of the "middle age" of each country or region differed.

    The Victorian Age is a shorter period of time during which there was only one monarch, Victoria, and it only refers to the history of England and the countries connected to England culturally.

    Just my own supeculation.

    Chaska Ñawi

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Actually, I've never heard it called the Victorian Age.

    We talk about the Victorian period, the Victorian reign, Victorian times, say "That's so Victorian" meaning it's prudish, or about Victorian houses or furniture.

    Maybe that's your answer...


    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Chaska Ñawi said:
    Actually, I've never heard it called the Victorian Age.
    "Victorian age" garners quite a few hits at google, including this one from the BBC. But I also seem to recall hearing "Victorian era" or other phrases more frequently than Victorian age.



    Senior Member
    Queen Victoria's reign was very long and it was at the culmination of her reign that England had her Empire (Imperialism). It was not until after she passed that the Empire began to break up. England had China, India, Africa and the Commonwealths during her reign. QV also had a huge impact on social morals during her reign because she was very in love with her husband.

    Victorian Age simply represents her reign and its lasting power after her death. The Middle Ages spans centuries, without a specific reference to an historical personage: on the other hand, as a subset of the Gothic period (evolving from the Dark Ages) there was the Age of Charles Martel (Charlemagne) which represents the time span of his reign.


    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I don't think there's any special reason why we say "Middle Ages", plural. It's just a convention.


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Here is a suggestion...
    It is about English monarchs.
    The singular "ages" are the reign of one Victoria, one Elizabeth, one "run" of Georges ...

    The Middle Ages are the reigns of a number of monarchs.

    ... rushing off to look for evidence either for or against:)


    Senior Member
    Australia English
    Interestingly enough, the Middle Ages are singular in German (das Mittelalter) and French (le moyen âge). Ditto for Dark Ages


    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    "English is one of the few languages to interpret "Middle Ages" as a plural; the equivalents in most other languages, as Medieval Latin medium aevum, French moyen âge, German mittelalter, and Italian il Medioevo are all singular." Maybe this was to avoid confusion with middle age or mid-life which was first used in the fourteenth century.(Mavens' Word of the Day)


    Senior Member
    UK English
    In the sense of a long time individual speakers are divided between using the singular and plural. For example, It's an age since I've seen her and It's ages since I've seen her.

    In respect of the Middle Ages I can only think that speakers think of there being several ages within that period (different dynasties, changes in society etc.). What happened in the Bronze Age? Well, one thing only - people used bronze and started to compose some epic stories!


    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    "The plural form of the term, Middle Ages, is used in English, Dutch, Russian and Icelandic while all other European languages uses the singular form. This difference originates in different Neo-Latin terms used for the Middle Ages before media aetas became the standard term. Some were singular (media aetas, media antiquitas, medium saeculum and media tempestas), others plural (media saecula and media tempora)." (
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