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Foundations of Medieval Europe

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Foundations of Medieval Europe The German Kingdoms – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Foundations of Medieval Europe


1
Foundations of Medieval Europe
  • The German Kingdoms

2
The German Kingdoms
  • During the early Middle Ages, small German
    kingdoms ruled Italy, Gaul, Spain, Britain, and
    North Africa
  • These small kingdoms were constantly at war with
    one another
  • Eventually the Kingdom of the Franks gained
    control of the Western Roman Empire

3
Roman Influence on Government
  • The form of government used by the German tribes
    was simple compared to what the Romans had used
  • The Germans depended on loyalty of their warriors
    instead of the Roman method of organized
    government
  • The German tribes also had few government
    officials and few taxes

4
Roman influence on Gov. cont.
  • German laws were based on custom instead of the
    extensive Roman law codes
  • German laws were meant to prevent feuds between
    families
  • Only written laws were lists of fines for
    specific crimes
  • Theodoric, the Ostrogoth King, issued a
    simplified version of Roman law
  • Many German kingdoms kept their customs and
    languages which eventually became modern English

5
Roman Influence on Gov. cont.
  • The Christian Church preserved some Roman
    traditions in the German kingdoms
  • Some Anglo-Saxons converted to Christianity and
    new Christian communities were set up along Roman
    lines
  • German kings relied on the clergy because they
    were the only educated people they had access to

6
The kingdom of the Franks
  • The Franks emerged as the strongest kingdom in
    the early Middle Ages
  • They lived in present-day Belgium and Germany
  • King Clovis, the cunning, ruthless Frank leader,
    conquered lands from the Pyrenees Mountains to
    central Europe
  • Clovis converted to Christianity

7
Kingdom of the Franks cont.
  • Clovis converted because he believed that the
    support of the Church in Rome would make him more
    powerful than neighbouring leaders
  • The neighbouring kings were Christians that
    belonged to the Arian sec, one of the earliest
    Christian sects
  • This was seen as a heretic group

8
Kingdoms of the Franks cont.
  • heretics untrue Christians
  • The Church in Rome and its followers were now
    known as the Roman Catholic Church
  • When Clovis died his lands were divided among his
    sons
  • The power of the Franks diminished by the mid
    600s

9
Invasion by the Muslims
  • In the 700s, the German Kingdoms faced invasion
    by the Muslims
  • Muslims followed Islam, a religion founded in the
    Middle East in the 7th century
  • They pushed into Europe through Spain and started
    to push into France
  • Charles Martel, the Frankish Mayor of the Palace
    (the real ruler of the court) rallied the
    Christians against the invaders

10
Age of Charlemagne
  • After defeating the Muslims, Charles Martel
    founded the Carolingian dynasty
  • He began to organize a strong central government
  • His son Pepin was elected king and his election
    was approved by the pope
  • After Pepin died, his son Charles continued to
    build on his grandfather and fathers strong
    governments

11
Age of Charlemagne cont.
  • During his long reign he impressed his
    contemporaries and earned the name Charlemagne or
    Charles the Great
  • He conquered an empire that reunited most of the
    Western Roman Empire
  • He won lands back from the Muslims in Spain
  • He battled non-Christians in an effort to spread
    Christianity

12
Age of Charlemagne cont.
  • In 800 Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the
    Romans by Pope Leo III
  • He was an efficient, energetic ruler
  • He kept firm control over the empire from his
    court at Aachen
  • He recruited officials to carry out his policies
  • His policies were designed to improve government
    and unify the empire

13
Age of Charlemagne cont.
  • Missi dominici, or lords messengers, checked on
    local nobles who were responsible for justice and
    defense of their own lands
  • Charlemagne helped established uniform laws and
    established judges to upholds those laws

14
Age of Charlemagne cont.
  • Charlemagne promoted Christianity
  • Supported the work of missionaries who converted
    the Saxons
  • Encouraged the Church to organize parishes or
    rural districts
  • The parishes were each run by a priest
  • In order to support the parishes all Christians
    had to pay a tithe (10 of their income) to the
    church

15
A Revival of Learning
  • Charlemagne encouraged education by inviting
    scholars from all over Europe to his court
  • An Anglo-Saxon monk named Alcuin, set up a palace
    school to teach Charlemagnes children and the
    children of his nobles
  • Charlemagne issued rules for the education of the
    clergy
  • He ordered monasteries to establish schools and
    libraries where students could learn Latin

16
Revival of Learning cont.
  • Monks also were responsible for making copies of
    the bible and the few surviving ancient Greek and
    Roman texts
  • They also developed the art of Illumination and a
    clear written script known as Carolingian
    miniscule
  • Charlemagne strengthened the foundations of
    medieval civilization by encouraging scholarship

17
A New Wave of Invasions
  • Charlemagne's heirs weakened the empire by
    fighting among themselves
  • In 843, Charlemagnes grandsons drew up the
    Treaty of Verdun that divided the empire into
    three kingdoms
  • The fighting for control over these regions would
    effect events in Europe for 1000 years

18
Invasions cont.
  • The division of the empire occurred at the same
    time as a new wave of invaders was attacking
    Europe
  • The Slavs, the Magyars, and the Muslims were
    threats to the empire
  • The biggest threat however was from the Vikings

19
Invasions cont.
  • The Vikings
  • The Vikings were farmers and traders that came
    from Scandinavia (present day Norway, Sweden, and
    Denmark
  • A growing population is believed to have forced
    them to seek lands in other parts of Europe
  • The king of the Franks gave an area in Northern
    France to some Viking raiders
  • This area is known as Normandy which comes from a
    French word meaning men from the north

20
Invaders cont.
  • Viking settlements
  • Vikings explored, raided and traded in Eastern
    Europe, Iceland and Greenland
  • In 1000, Lief Ericson travelled to Newfoundland
  • In the 9th century the Vikings occupied part of
    England where they were known as the Danes
  • The area they occuped became known as the Danelaw
    because they lived there under their own laws

21
Invaders cont.
  • The invasions disrupted life in Western Europe
    but they did not completely destroy all the work
    of Charlemagne
  • The church sent missionaries to convert the
    Vikings
  • Under strong leaders the people of Western Europe
    resisted the invaders
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