2 Roman Numerals I = 1 V = 5 X = 10 L = 50 C = 100 D = 500 M = 1,000 Quiz:VIII =XIV =XLII =XCIX =DLXXIVMCMLXXXII81442995741,982
3 Cracks AppearA Denarius featuring Marcus AureliusRome wasn’t built in one day. It didn’t collapse in one day either. From about the year 200 on, Rome faced military, social and economic crisis it never overcame.The first problem was the economy. The Romans didn’t have enough gold or silver to keep the value of their money throughout their huge empire.Instead they used more and more copper money, which became worth less and less, leading people (especially soldiers) to violence and crime.
4 Cracks AppearThe military was a huge problem. The empire was so large that it was nearly impossible to protect.Rome was forced to hire barbarian (non-Roman) armies to protect the borders from other barbarians. These soldiers were poorly trained and poorly equipped.The cost of maintaining all of these armies devastated the Roman economy.Visigoth Warrior
5 InstabilityStarting in 192, the Roman army made a palace guard named Pertinax emperor. Pertinax promised to make soldiers wealthy, but couldn’t fulfill his promise. He was killed by his own men within 3 months.Until 270, Rome was led by puppet emperors put in place by the military. Each usually lasted around a year before he was murdered and replaced.
6 One Last GaspStarting in 270, the emperors Aurelian and later Diocletian stabilized the empire for a time by holding off the barbarians, ending imperial assassinations and trying to fix the economy.One of ancient Rome’s greatest contributions to the world was an organized system of laws.Diocletian, however, changed the way people saw the emperor. He made the people of the empire worship him as a living god.He also split the empire in two.
7 An Empire DividedRather than take the western half of the empire, Diocletian moved to Byzantium where there was little barbarian threat, the people were more supportive and great riches still existed.Diocletian left the western empire and all of its problems to a supporter named Maximian.As time went on the east became the important part of the Roman Empire and the west became insignificant. In the east the emperors solved the problems facing them and thrived for another thousand years.
8 Christian SupremacyOne major change in the empire was the rapid conversion of most people to Christianity.In 312 the emperor Constantine had a vision that led him to victory in a battle. He credited the victory to the Christian God and made it the favored cult of the empire.By the end of Constantine’s reign, Christianity was the main religion of the empire. Churches were built, bishops were given authority by the state and the bishop of Rome became the leader of the Christian world.Constantine himself converted on his deathbed. The city of Byzantium was renamed Constantinople after this powerful ruler.
9 The Barbarian Invasion In the 300’s, the brutal Huns invaded the empire and created a domino effect on other barbarian groups.By this time, most of Rome’s armies were made up of barbarians. Many even considered themselves Roman.These frightened groups looked for protection from the Romans, but were refused help.
10 The Barbarian Invasion Barbarian groups entered the empire anyway, usually with a chip on their shoulders.Beginning in the late 300’s, Rome was repeatedly sacked. Though this had happened before, it had always been from other Romans.The once great city was invaded and looted by Celts (390), Visigoths (410) and Vandals (455).These barbarians settled in the empire and barbarian generals replaced Roman emperors in the west. Gaul and Britain were abandoned to Germanic tribes like the Franks, Angles and Saxons.
11 What RemainedAcross the west, wealthy land owning families called aristocrats gained power. They could afford to hire soldiers to protect their lands and the people living on them.Most record keeping of this time was done by the Catholic church, which also acted as a protector of the people.Though the west still claimed to be part of the empire, everyone knew that this wasn’t true.The empire didn’t crash down, instead it slowly faded away as the Roman military and government left western Europe bit by bit. By 500, not even barbarian kings claimed to be Roman anymore.
12 The Eastern EmpireAfter the fall of Rome, the Eastern Roman Empire survived and sometimes even thrived under leaders like Justinian and Theodora.The powerful Byzantine (eastern Roman) emperors were absolute rulers. Their empire was run by eunuchs who could not have children.The Byzantines also spread Orthodox Christianity throughout eastern Europe at this time.
13 The Eastern EmpireThe Byzantines slowly lost their territory to barbarians in the west and Turks and Muslims in the east. Soon, the empire was limited to a small territory around Constantinople.“The City” itself remained strong with a population over a million. It was a beacon of pride and glory to Europeans during an age of turmoil.
14 MuhammadIn 610, an Arabian merchant named Muhammad claimed to have been visited by the angel Gabriel, who spoke verses to him that would later be written down in the Muslim holy book, the Koran.Muhammad’s Muslim teachings stressed that there was one God – the same one worshipped by Christians and Jews.Muhammad gradually built up a following of “true believers” (Muslims), first in Medina, then Mecca, then all across the Middle East.
15 Reasons for SuccessIslam spread rapidly through the world for a number of reasons. Muslim women, though not equal, had more rights than other women.Muslims are not allowed to fight one another, so within the Islamic world there was great security.Christians and Jews, as fellow believers of the one God, were protected by law.Muslims controlled a wealthy trading region. Many people became Muslims to share in economic prosperity.
16 IslamTo continue gaining plunder, Muslims had to attack non-Muslims. In this way they conquered as far west as India, across north Africa and even into Spain.In the mid-600’s the Muslims conquered most of the Byzantine Empire including the Middle East, and northern Africa. They also conquered the enemy of the Byzantines, the Sassanid Empire.Muslim empires would be a constant threat to European nations for the next thousand years.
17 New Western EmpiresWhile Byzantine power grew and shrank, new empires in the west emerged.These new empires combined barbarian and Roman ways. Even their languages blended.The Ostrogoths of Italy fell to the Byzantines and the Lombards during the 500’s.The Visigoths of Spain proved to be brutal rulers. They were conquered by a Muslim people called the Moors during the 700’s.The Angles and Saxons divided Britain, uniting only to resist Viking invaders during the 800’s.
18 The FranksThe Franks (“Fierce” or “Free”) built a Germanic empire in the 500’s that surpassed all the others.Clovis, their first great King, worked with the remaining Romans to create an advanced government. He also converted to Orthodox Christianity in the hope that God would bring him victory.
19 The Carolingian Empire In the late 700’s, the Frankish king Charlemagne began a 40 year rule. By the end of his life, he had conquered nearly all of Europe.Charlemagne was an invincible warrior. Every spring, he would lead his armies against an enemy. His heavily armored cavalry stomped over enemy forces.
20 The Carolingian Empire Charles the Great was more than a warrior though. His government was the most complex since Rome.He worked closely with the Catholic church to create an educated clergy that could run his empire.By this time, western European Christians were different than Eastern Orthodox Christians. The Roman Christians became known as Catholics.When Charlemagne visited the Pope in Rome on Christmas Day in 800, the Pope surprised everyone by crowning Charlemagne – declaring him to be a holy emperor.
21 The Carolingian Empire After his death, Charlemagne’s three grandsons fought over and divided the Carolingian Empire.All three kingdoms eventually collapsed in the 900’s because of their own weakness.Supporters of the empire had become rich from victory. Now, rather than expanding, the empire was defending itself from Vikings, Magyars and Saracens Muslims.A bulky imperial army was useless against raids. Only local lords could counter these attackers. These lords quickly became independent rulers.
22 The Dark AgesFor most people, medieval times were brutal and harsh. The knowledge, security and technology of the Roman Empire had disappeared.This thousand year dark age is known as the Middle Ages.During the Middle Ages, society was organized according to a system called feudalism.
23 VikingsIn the 700’s, Scandinavians developed a longboat that was fast and flexible. With a longboat, they could cross an ocean or row up a shallow river.Scandinavian culture gloried in war and pillaging. Their kings were warriors chosen by chiefs called jarlars (earls).With their new boats, many Scandinavian groups began to go Viking (raiding).
24 Viking InvasionsNorwegian Vikings invaded Ireland, Scotland, Greenland and even North America.Swedish Vikings known as the Rus expanded into eastern Europe in search of slaves and furs. They mixed with the local Slavs to become the first Russians.The Danish Vikings attacked England and France, Spain and Italy. They established themselves in Normandy and mixed with the French.In 1066, the Normands would invade and rule England.
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