Early Middle Ages

20/07/2007 12:13:00

Reading: • “Lex Familie Wormatiensis” o http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/lexworms.html The end of Rome: • Barbarian Kingdoms sacked Rome • Constantine had moved the capital eastward, called Constantinople • Rome remained a cultural and political hub o then the Visigoths came in and took over the city o is like Rome was New York and Constantinople was DC • An empire in name only o roman titles o barbarians kings  they also fought each other  firmly in control of the French kingdom along with spain  some of Denmark  ruling was a combination of roman and barbarian customs • Ostrogoths came to rule Rome, even though Visigoths took it over o Ruled by theodoric o they used Romans to administrate Rome

o Christians and Arians lived side by side o theodoric converted to Christianity in his lifetime  his conversion enabled him to rule the Christians in his area o Christians and Aryans did not live together very happily  Aryans feared their relatives would convert to Christianity  theodoric held them together  when he died his successors were not able to maintain his empire  no strong unifying leadership  around the same time the Byzantines thought it was a great time to invade  the former/continuing eastern roman empire  they wanted to recapture the glory of the old empire  he wanted to take over Italy  led to 20 years of warfare  neither side really maintaining an advantage  during the war the plague broke out (not the black death) the ostrogoths were losing their power and the Lombards (another group of barbarians) took over o they had no interests in theodoric ideas or the old roman customs o ruled with an iron fist o divided the kingdom into 20 military sections what is the Pope doing during all this time? o Pope Gregory

o Ostrogoths gone and Byzantine in shame the church was left protecting Rome o Kept the lombards from taking Rome and the 3Vatican o the lombards by the 7th century converted to 3Christianity • The Franks o A lose connection of tribes around the Rhine river (France and Germany) o in the 4th century the franks were conquered by the roman people and resettled by an area of present day Belgium and 3Holland o they were also sent to be soldiers of the roman empire o defended Gaul from other barbarian invaders  gaining favor from the empire and great power  they had gained so much power that the French leader Clovis took over the French and established the Merovingian kingdom o Merovingian Kingdom  Clovis’s Conversion  Converted to Christianity  gave him legitimate power over the Christians  established relationships with the Gallo-Roman aristocracy  had to intent to change the French way of living  when he died in 511 was successful to leave successors in his place  they have an enduring dynasty  Clovis’s successors shared power to controlling the kingdom  No infighting unlike the ostrogoth’s kingdom The early middle ages

Peasant o Day to day life still dirty and harsh o As a peasant you are pretty much occupied with the day to day things for survival  Making sure nobody steals your animals, crops o Slavery ends with the end of the roman empire o no single group is powerful enough to make slavery economically viable  instead you have people living in estates  essentially the work the land for you, give you most of the crops, and they have a place to live  the household became the basic economic unit and social unit  houses tended to be small  3 rooms was usual  live with animals • kept you warm  the father of the family held final authority  living in mid-evil household sometimes you had more than one family living together  division of labor was that men worked the field, women cared for animals and prepared food  you did have the church  the church managed to establish itself throughout the country side  built churches and recruit priests from the areas  before Christianity came to the country side • peasants had pagan rituals

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celebrated the harvest Christians replaced this with Christian celebrations became daily life of the peasants

Aristocracy o Came from Germanic and roman traditions  Overlapping traditions  if you had enough land of a skilled warrior you were part of the elite  roman law allowed the title to be inherited  not part of barbarian law, but eventually recognized it  even if you inherited a title you had things expected of you  you are supposed to be a leader  the general ability to protect people o Raising an army was the formal way to praise the king  They did not do this all the time so they spent most of the time doing whatever they wanted with their lands  Divide land as they pleased  land lords could be in bed with daughters of people serving under your area o Aristocratic life  They had feasts  invited people to their lands  a way to maintain and establish alliances  and then you had wars

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they occupied a great deal of their time hunting as practice for warfare fought other aristocrats over their estates to grow their estates make conquests and bring back treasures for the king

o Women  You would enjoy changes in status  Christianity forbade the tradition of multiple wives  greater power in their marriage  grater access to religious life  allow to worship  and part in church administration  wives could be given power of the day to day things of the estate while the husbands were away The King o Aristocracy: Uneasy Alliance  Had to be in an uncomfortable relationship with aristocrats  The king did not want to get overthrown by others  the aristocrats did not like the king to had too much local power in their areas  a way to maintain power was to divide the spoils of war  give more to the aristocrats o Law  In the early middle ages the king was not the absolute source of law  he has rights to collect taxes

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law was still based on a estate by estate basis important relationship with the church  monks and priests performed a vital part of any royal administration  they believed themselves as upholders of the Church • gave them greater legitimacy over the people • seen in the eyes of the Church as a keeper of his word  not a situation in which they are bound • they exist independent of one another but stay together for their own interests

Carolingian Empire (by 7th century) • Charles Martel o Most powerful duke  extended his power in two ways  Conquered other lands  number of daughters that married into other kingdoms  alliance with the pope  actively seeks a relationship with the pope • travels to Italy and defends the pope from the lombards • halts the Muslim invasion giving him recognition by the pope • Pippin (son of Charles martel) o Becomes first king to be consented by the Pope

o single ruler of the Merovingian Kingdom  the pope says Pippin is the one doing all the actual ruling, therefore he deserves the title o first time that you have ecclesiastical sanction of the king  from here one you don’t have a lose relationship with the pope, you have his approval and your actions are done with his participation Charlemagne (Pippin’s son) o Sanctioned by the Pope o Believes it is his duty to maintain the divine will of God  To do this he needed a more powerful and effective clergy  He reforms the church  creates standards of training for the clergy  he also believed it was important to train the clergy in the heritages of the European history  teach them philosophy and make them well rounded leaders o this creates a cultural renaissance  new artistic tradition that combines styles of antiquity from the Romans with new artistic themes The Carolingian Kingdom is the first Christian empire o All the rulers are Christians along with their followers o the pope likes it a lot  he is much more powerful o in 800 AD the pope pronounces in Rome, Charlemagne Emperor  later to be known as the holy roman empire o death of Charlemagne (814 AD) Carolingian Legacy o Template of European Kingship o model of medieval government o symbol of European unity that exists today

20/07/2007 12:13:00

20/07/2007 12:13:00