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Early Medieval Europe


'Civilization requires a modicum of material prosperity enough to provide a ... No social intercourse or travel. No stable organizations. Lack of incentives ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Early Medieval Europe

Early Medieval Europe
General Concepts
  • Medieval or Middle Ages
  • Time between Rome and Renaissance
  • (2 classical periods)
  • 476-1450 AD
  • Only applies to European history
  • Sometimes called the Age of Faith

General Comments
  • Civilization requires a modicum of material
    prosperity enough to provide a little leisure.
    But, far more, it requires confidence
    confidence in the society in which one lives,
    belief in its philosophy, belief in its laws, and
    confidence in ones own mental powers...Vigor,
    energy, vitality all the great civilizations
    or civilizing epochs have had a weight of
    energy behind them. People sometimes think that
    civilization consists in fine sensibilities and
    good conversation and all that. These can be
    among the agreeable results of civilization, but
    they are not what make a civilization, and a
    society can have these amenities and yet be dead
    and rigid.
  • Kenneth Clark, Civilization

Life in the Middle Ages
  • Reversion to tribal society
  • Roman infrastructure disintegrated
  • Germanic tribes ruled by might
  • Goths, Vandals
  • Franks
  • Anglos and Saxons
  • Lombards
  • Marauding tribes (lawlessness)
  • Agriculture dominated society

Life in the Middle Ages
  • Home made clothing
  • Disease was common
  • Sports
  • Baiting Animals
  • Ignorance of time
  • Striving for protection
  • Rise of Feudal System
  • Costs of protection
  • Tenant Farmers (Serfs)
  • "Life in the Middle Ages"

  • What was really lost when a civilization
    wearies and grows small is confidence, a
    confidence built on the order and balance that
    leisure makes possible.
  • Thomas Cahill, How the Irish Saved
    Civilization, p. 59

  • When you seek to bring the gospel to pagans,
    you must be exceptionally patient. Dont offend
    their beliefs but assimilate them. dont pull
    down their temples or places of prayer, but
    little by little without their even knowing, you
    must Christianize their temples and replace their
    idols with the images of Christianity, their
    amulets with our sacred relics, their festivals
    with our celebrations of the Lord and of the
    blessed saints.
  • Pope Gregory I (590-604)

Religion and the People
  • Turned to God rather than emperor
  • Paganism retained (Pope Gregory)
  • Holidays
  • Saints of various things (pantheism)
  • Mary worship
  • Statues
  • Benedictine order

Church/State Relationships
  • Monastic revival
  • Abbey of ClunyBurgundy, France
  • Responsible to Pope
  • Monks rededication
  • Cluny represented stability
  • Restrictive ordered
  • Isolated from society
  • No speaking
  • 525 new monasteries
  • Huntsville, Utah

  • As Roman culture died out and was replaced by
    vibrant new barbarian growths, people forgot many
    things how to read, how to think, how to build
    magnificently but they remembered and they
    mourned the lost peace. Call them the people of
    the Dark Ages if you will, but do not
    underestimate the desire of these early medieval
    men and women for the rule of law. There was,
    moreover, one office that survived intact from
    the classical to the medieval polis society
    the office of Catholic bishop.
  • Thomas Cahill, How the Irish Saved
    Civilization, p. 61.

Religion and the People
  • Bishops had power
  • Popes were weak
  • 1/3 died violently
  • Political/family ties
  • Pope Gregory
  • Strengthened papacy
  • Missionary Oriented
  • Gregorian Chants
  • Hildegard von Bingen
  • Promoted monasteries and convents
  • Priests could not marry

Kingdom of the Angles/Saxons
  • Saxons immigrated even while Romans were in
  • Chaos following Roman withdrawl
  • Saxons had been mercenaries
  • Celts/Romans (Britons) against Saxons
  • King Arthur
  • Victory of Britons in 496 AD by Ambrosius (man of
    temperance) (Arthur?)
  • Died in 542 AD
  • Evidences
  • Cadbury (Camelot) has Christian burial of king
    and queen
  • Bodies facing Glastonberry (Avalon)
  • Round table in Somerset church

Kingdom of the Franks
  • Franks settled in Gaul
  • ClovisKing of Merovingian dynasty
  • Converted to Christianity
  • Accepted Catholic Authority
  • War between sons of Clovis
  • Charles Martel's rise
  • Pepin the Short declared royal by Pope

Carolingian Dynasty
  • Named after Charles the Great (Charlemagne)
  • Charlemagne
  • Son of Pepin the Short
  • Became sole king of the Franks, Lombards, Saxons
  • Ruled from Aachen
  • Fought over 50 wars
  • Crowned as Holy Roman Emperor (800AD)

Charlemagne's Cathedral in Aachen
Carolingian Dynasty
  • Stable government
  • Legal system
  • Missi dominiciagents of the lord king
  • Chivalry system
  • Intellectual revival
  • Influenced by Northumbria and Alcuin
  • Became Charlemagnes advisor
  • Books
  • Venerable Bede
  • Beowulf
  • Scholars copied books (Carolingian script)
  • Educational system

Carolingian Dynasty
  • End of the Carolingian period
  • Charlemagnes son succeeded him
  • Louis Pious was weak a leader
  • Louis 3 sons divided the kingdom
  • Treaty of Verdun

Carolingian Dynasty
  • Post Carolingian invasions
  • Norseman or Vikings
  • Magyars from Hungry
  • Muslims from N. Africa
  • Effects
  • Manorial system
  • Feudalism
  • Castles

Viking Invasions
Viking Invasions Creativity
  • Shallow draft to invade up rivers
  • Enough keel for ocean stability
  • Sailors/fighters

Church/State Relationships
  • 9th and 10th Century
  • Popes were appointed
  • Fulfilled political purposes
  • Gave little direction to the church
  • Forsook vows of celibacy

  • "The foundation of the Pope's political claims
    was the Donation of Constantine a document by
    which the Emperor Constantine the Great had
    allegedly divided the Roman Empire in two,
    transferred imperial authority over the Western
    Provinces to bishop Sylvester of Rome and his
    successors, and reserved for himself only the
    Eastern empire, governed from his newly-founded
    capital of 'Constantinople'. By the 1430s, the
    authenticity of this document had been accepted
    without question for more than five hundred
    years in mediaeval political thought it had
    occupied a place like that of the Declaration of
    Independence in the American constitution today.
    Scholars now believe that the Donation was
    counterfeited during the eighth-centurypossibly
    at a time when Pope Paul I was anxious to cut his
    ties with the iconoclastic authorities of the
    byzantine Empire."
  • Toulmin, Stephen and June Goodfield, The
    Discovery of Time, The University of Chicago
    Press, 1965, p.104-105.

  • Why was creativity stifled during the early
    Middle Ages?
  • Lawlessness
  • No leisure time
  • Not urban
  • No social intercourse or travel
  • No stable organizations
  • Lack of incentives
  • What were the incentives for the Carolingian

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