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OSTROGOTHS Encountered a well-preserved system of Roman government when they invaded Italy in 489 AD –King Theodoric was determined to preserve this system.

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Presentation on theme: "OSTROGOTHS Encountered a well-preserved system of Roman government when they invaded Italy in 489 AD –King Theodoric was determined to preserve this system."— Presentation transcript:

1 OSTROGOTHS Encountered a well-preserved system of Roman government when they invaded Italy in 489 AD –King Theodoric was determined to preserve this system Program of civil government, called civilitas implemented under his leadership –Aimed to preserve Roman administrative system, economy, and culture –Roman tradition of orderly government was maintained more successfully by Ostrogoths than in any other Germanic kingdom Theodoric

2 CIVILITAS Theodoric retained Roman administrators in order to continue the preexisting system –Did not entrust these jobs to his fellow tribesmen Ostrogothic warriors given a purely military role –Supported by land given to them by wealthy Italian landowners who were required to set aside portions of their estates for the use of the Ostrogoths Ostrogoth coin

3 SOCIETY AND CULTURE Ostrogoths lived alongside the Romans but separately from them –Under the leadership of their own chieftains and governed according to their own customs and traditons Also practiced their own religion –Arianism Believed Jesus was inferior to God the Father because God the Father had created Jesus Theodoric tolerated the religion of his Italian subjects and governed them impartially Theodoric

4 DIPLOMACY Theodoric’s ultimate ambition was to blend Roman and Germanic traditions and provide peaceful environment for the growth of culture –Used marriage diplomacy to achieve peace Arranged marriage between Vandal king and his sister Married sister of Clovis, king of the Franks One daughter married king of the Burgundians and another married the king of the Visigoths –Created an intricate system of alliances that involved the leaders of most of the German tribes Clovis

5 LEGACY Theodoric’s legacy of good government did not last long –Shortly after his death in 526, the armies of Justinian besieged Italy –A few decades later, the Lombards invaded Italy Much of what Theodoric had accomplished was lost But some of the Roman cultural legacy that he had tried to preserve survived –Notably the Roman system of education with its emphasis on the 7 Liberal Arts »Logic, grammar, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music Theodoric’s tomb

6 CLOVIS Rise of the Franks is closely tied to the parallel rise of one Frankish chieftain, Clovis –Started as just one of many petty Frankish chieftains but, by his death in 511, he had become the powerful barbarian rule in the West Extraordinarily ruthless in achieving this goal –Also successful in enlarging Frankish territory Took southwest Germany from the Alamanni and drove Visigoths out of southern France Controlled most of what is modern-day France and modern- day Western Germany by 511 –As well as Belgium, Luxembourg, and southeastern Netherlands

7 CONVERSION Converted to Christianity –Historians doubt the sincerity of his conversion because it had no impact on his violent behavior –But it did open the way for the Franks to be genuinely converted to Christianity by bishops and missionaries over the following century –Conversion also gave Clovis a political advantage Gave him a justification to attack the Arian Visigoths

8 ADMINISTRATION All higher levels of Roman administration had collapsed before the conquests of Clovis and he had no idea of how to preserve what still existed –Appointed loyal followers to rule areas of his kingdom Called “counts” Appeared as though he preserved semblance of old Roman administrative practices –But his kingdom remained a primitive German monarchy

9 MEROVINGIAN DYNASTY Claimed to be descended from some pre-Christian god and thereby had a divine right to rule –Real power rested on the loyalty of the counts Basically illiterate warriors who knew nothing of Roman law and government Viewed kingdom as private property of ruler and his family –Divided up among surviving sons when a king died Roman tradition of maintaining order through efficient corps of highly trained administrators did not survive under these conditions –Rational administration based on law was replaced by one based on personal ties Childeric, Merovingian king

10 Kingdom divided among four sons when Clovis died in 511 Only one son, Clothar I, survived ensuing civil war When Clothar I died in 562, kingdom was again divided between his four sons—resulting in the creation of four more-or-less independent subkingdoms These four sons also continually fought among themselves Ultimate victor was Clothar II of Neustria, who became sole ruler of reunited kingdon

11 A LITTLE HOPE Violent time –Also possible to glimpse another world where poets and intellectuals still tried to preserve Latin culture and where saints maintained high standards of Christian life Like tiny islands of peace, culture, and piety in a vast ocean of savage violence But they were there to preserve a little piece of civilization and culture in a world dominated by vicious and bloodthirsty rulers

12 FUSION Slow fusion of Franks and Gallo-Romans also took place during Merovingian Period –Two cultures would gradually merge together to eventually produce an entirely new nation and civilization Frankish language and Gallo-Roman Latin merged to eventually become French Roman Church gradually modified the more brutal and crude Frankish traditions and customs But fusion did not take place in government –Roman institutions replaced by Frankish ones Formed the foundation for early medieval government everywhere in Western and Central Europe

13 ROMAN THEORY OF THE STATE Roman idea of the state was that the fundamental duty of sovereign authority was to promote and protect public welfare –Enacted appropriate laws and collected taxes to do this Taxes used to maintain army, a professional civil service, and a program of public works –In return the citizen was expected to be loyal to the state

14 FRANKISH SYSTEM Frankish kingdom was only united by the personal loyalty of warrior-nobles to their king and through their ability to command loyalty from their followers –No concept of king as public official He was a war leader Had no bureaucracy Counts were different from old Roman administrators –Maintained order within their territory but were not paid by the state –Lived instead off income king provided for them –Relationship with king was based on personality loyalty When a king was unable to retain this loyalty, counts tend to become independent and defied the ruler

15 THE LAW Frankish “law” was radically different from Roman law –Roman law based on the assumption that individual laws should reflect universal principles of justice Franks did not believe this Frankish laws were simply the ancient customs of the tribe –Unwritten, handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth No concept that law of the conqueror should be imposed on the conquered –A man’s law was part of his inheritance and not to be tampered with

16 SALIC CODE Every crime, from smashing someone’s head in, to adultery, to murder was punishable by a fine Why? –A crime against an individual had traditionally involved the relatives of both the criminal and the victim Duty of relatives of murdered man was to get vengence on murderer and his relatives –But these sort of vendettas and blood feuds often weakened the fighting strength of the tribe Fines were devised to provide an honorable alternative to wiping out entire families or clans

17 GUILT OR INNOCENCE Only way to determine guilt or innocence was to appeal to the supernatural –Compurgation Bunch of men would swear oath that the accused was not guilty –Ordeal Ordeal of hot iron Ordeal of cold water Trial by combat

18 LEGAL EVOLUTION Frankish legal institutions common to most Germanic tribes –Use of compurgation and ordeal would be the dominant way to determine guilt all the way to the beginning of the 13 th century At that point, the Church prohibited priests from participating in such trials and alternative methods of determining guilt or innocence had to be devised

19 CHURCH AND STATE Frankish rulers realized that alliance with the Church was valuable –Made generous gifts of property and privileges to the clergy Huge tracts of land Right to try clergy in Church courts Immunity –Church gave up some independence in exchange for gifts Most rural churches had a lay patron who could appoint local priest Kings began to appoint bishops –No longer elected by lay people Hierarchy of Church became increasingly Germanic –Accompanied by decline in clerical literacy and religious discipline

20 A DARK AGE? Complex economic organization of old Roman Empire fell apart under the Franks –Mainly through neglect –Franks were basically warriors and had little interest in trade, commerce, and urban life Kings did not consider the encouragement of commerce to be their job –Did not keep up roads and bridges, did not police trade routes, and did not protect merchants –Trade almost completely disappeared in the interior of Europe as a result »Some seaborn trade along Mediterranean coast survived France became a predominantly agricultural region with a localized, self-sufficient economy –Little money in circulation and few merchants –A Dark Age

21 RISE OF MAYOR OF THE PALACE Last strong Merovingian king was Dagobert (629-638) –Kingdom split up again after his death and kings came and went with alarming frequency During this period of royal weakness, real power passed to the Mayor of the Palace –Chief officer in the king’s household Under King Dagobert, Pepin of Landen made position of Mayor of the Palace hereditary to his family –Family known as the Carolingians Dagobert

22 CAROLINGIANS ON THE RISE Pepin of Landen’s grandson, Pepin of Heristal, reunited kingdom –In name of King Theodoric III But Pepin was real ruler of the kingdom as Mayor of the Palace Charles Martel became Mayor of the Palace in 714 –Increased size of kingdom by defeating the Frisians and Bavarians –Strengthened hold over puppet Merovingian ruler –Carolingian family was on the rise and the days of the Merovingians even as puppet rulers were numbered Charles Martel

23 SUMMARY A mingling of Roman and Frankish cultures took place during the 6 th and 7 th centuries AD –But it was accompanied by a terrible decay in the standards of civilization German kingship and primitive customary law replaced the institutions of the Roman state Roman order gave way to frequent internal warfare Christianity was generally accepted but in a debased form Tendencies towards local self-sufficiency and a primitive agrarian economy were greatly accentuated In language, Frankish German mixed with the Latin of Gallo-Romans to become French

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