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Medieval Europe (dark ages)

Middle age because it comes between the era of Greco-Roman civilizations and the Renaissance in the 14th
Transforming Rome
- in 395 the Roman Empire was divided into an eastern and western half
- in the west Gaul, Britain, Spain and North Africa fell to the Germanic people in the early 5th
- Rome was sacked in 410
- The last Roman Emperor was disposed of
New Germanic Kingdoms
- fear and physical insecurity led communities to seek protection
- the Visigoths occupied Spain and Italy from the 3rd century until the Ostrogoths took control of
Italy in the 5th century
- Both kingdoms retained the Roman structure of government
- pushed the Roman citizens out of power
- Anglo-Saxons took power in Britain
- roman influence was much weaker in Britain
- Vandals in North Africa
- The Kingdom of the Franks in Gaul was the only long lasting German state
Kingdom of the Franks
- Est. by Clovis
- First Germanic leader to convert to Christianity in 500
- Clovis converted after a battle he thought he was going to lose
- His conversion to Christianity gained him support of the Roman Catholic Church
Germanic Society
- overtime the Germans and Romans intermarried and created a new society
- extended family was very important
- crime was more personal which led to blood feuds and savage acts of revenge
- Wergild developed “money for man”
- Ordeal was used to determine
The church
- Christianity had become the supreme religion of the Roman Empire by 400
- As the roman empire fell the church played a larger and larger roll
Church Organization
- Local Communities called parishes were led by priests
- Groups of parishes (diocese) were headed by a bishop
- Over time the bishop of Rome became the leader of the roman catholic church
- Bishop of Rome became pope
Gregory I
- Pope from 590 – 604
- Helped strengthened the power of the Pope
- Leader of the Papal states ( Rome and surrounding territories)
- Active in converting non- Christians
- Pushed the monastic movement
- Monk- a man who separates himself from ordinary society in order to pursue a life of total
devotion to god
- Originally the monks lived isolated lives
- In the 6th century Saint Benedict founded a community of monks and set up rules
- Each monastery ruled by an abbot
- Monks became new heroes
- Women began to withdraw from the world to dedicate themselves to god
- Called nuns
- Convents headed by abbesses
- Hilda founded the monastery of Whitby in 657 educating 5 future bishops
Charlemagne- Origin
- The Frankish Kingdom lost power during the 600’s and 700’s to local leaders
- Pepin a local Leader and the son of Charles Martel (defeated the Muslims in 732)
- When Pepin died in 768 his son who became known as Charles the Great took throne of the
Frankish Kingdom
Charles the Man
- Athletic, well-spoken, and charismatic
- Married 4 times
- Understood Greek and spoke Latin
- Possibly could not write
- Left the empire to his sole surviving son
Charles the Administrator
- Delegated authority to loyal nobles
- Retained local laws of conquered areas
- Divided kingdom into districts
- Used messengers of the lord king to inspect and report on provinces
Charles the Conqueror
- was an aggressive warrior
- strengthened the Frankish military
- expanded and consolidated the Frankish kingdom
Charles the Patron of Learning
- revived classical studies
- preserved Latin culture
- est. monastic and palace schools
- the Carolingian Empire began to fall apart after Charlemagne’s death in 814
- western Europe was invaded many times during the 9th and 10th centuries
- rulers found it difficult to protect large kingdoms
- people began to turn to local leaders
- warriors swore an oath of loyalty to leaders – became known as a vassal
- knights – heavily armored horsemen began to dominate the warfare in Europe
- lords granted each Vassal a piece of land to support him and his family – fief
- the making of the feud contract was a very public ceremony
- A code of ethics that knights were supposed to uphold
- Institution of knighthood united them all
- Young knights had little to do but fight
- Tournaments were created to allow the young knights to show their skill
Aristocratic Women
- the lady had to manage the estates since the men were away at court or war
- overseeing the large staff, castle, food and supple and money took skill
- Eleanor of Aquitaine an example of a strong woman
o Married to king Louis VII of France
o Married to king Henry II of England
European Kingdoms High Middle Ages
William of Normandy
- October 14, 1066 – battle of Hastings
- Defeated King Harold
- Crowned king of England
- Norman Conquest
- Blended with Anglo-Saxons
- reigned 1154- 1189
- power of the English Monarchy was expanded during his reign
- expanded the royal court system which helped create the common law system
- fought with the church
- had Thomas a Becket the archbishop of Canterbury murdered
Magna Carta
- English nobles resented the Kings power
- At Runnymede in 1215 King John was forced to sign a document of rights
- A feudal document
- Based on Mutual rights and obligations
- Monarch’s power was limited not absolute
- during the reign of Edward I
- 2 knights from every county, 2 ppl from every town and all the nobles and bishops
- Nobles and church lords formed the House of Lords
- Knights and towns ppl formed house of commons
French Kingdom
Capetian Dynasty
- from the former Carolingian Empire
- Capetian dynasty of French Kings est. in 987
- Little power
- Controlled the land around Paris
Phillip II Augustus
- Reigned from 1180-1223
- Turning point in the growth of the French monarchy
- Leaders after Phillip II continued to add lands
- By 13000 France was the largest and best-governed monarchal state in Europe
Otto I
- Saxon king Otto I of the German lands protected the Pope
- In return the pope crowned him emperor of the Romans in 962 – a titled unused since
Frederick I
- tried to create a new kind of empire by controlling Italy
- Should have concentrated on Building a strong German Kingdom
- Defeated by the Pope in 1176
The End
- the struggle between popes and emperors hurt the holy Roman Empire
- by fighting in Italy the kings lost power to the German lords
- many smaller independent kingdoms created
Eastern Europe
- Originally One ppl
- Western Slavs formed the Polish and Bohemian Kingdoms
- Southern Slavs embraced Roman Catholic church
- Easter Slavs formed kingdom of Kiev in Russia
- Swedish Viking invaded the kingdom of Kiev
- Oleg – Viking leader who settled in Kiev
- Adopted Christianity
- Mongols conquered Russia
- Prince Alexander Nevsky of Novgorod defeated the German army and was rewarded the Grand
prince by khan
Byzantine empire
- became emperor of eastern roman empire in 527
- determined to reestablish the empire
- by 552 restored Roman Empire in Mediterranean
- created code of roman law (the body of civil law)
- Justinian spread the empire too much
- Too little money and resources
- Provinces of Syria and Palestine lost in 636
- Lost part of the Balkans in 679
- Smaller empire became known as the Byzantine empire
- Lasted until 1453
- Greek and Christian state
- Easter Orthodox Church
- Emperor chosen by God – power absolute
- Constantinople was a center of commerce