What was the time period for the middle ages?

1st Answer:

410 AD with the fall of the Roman empire to the 1400's with the start of exploring.

2nd Answer:

Most historians use 476 as a date for the start of the Middle Ages, and 1453 as the end. Many dates have been suggested for both beginning and end, however.

The Fall of the West Roman Empire is most often used for the beginning of the Middle Ages, but the year 410 (when Rome was sacked) seems a bit unusual for this event, especially since Emperor Honorius continued to rule for another thirteen years until he died of natural causes and the government continued quite a while after that. There were emperors in the West until 476 or 480, depending on who you count as emperor, the Senate of the West Roman Empire continued to function until 603, and the East Roman Empire was not destroyed until 1453.

The dates for the end are just as difficult to nail down. I have seen historians use dates as early as 1401 and as late as 1517, when Martin Luther made public the 97 Theses. But 1453 was the date of the end of the Hundred Years' War and the Fall of Constantinople (East Roman Empire). British historians tend to use 1485, when the Wars of the Roses ended.