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Europe 600-1450 Unit 3 Section 4.

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1 Europe Unit 3 Section 4

2 Early Medieval Western Europe: 600-1000
The period from the fall of the Romans until the beginning of the Renaissance is known as the Medieval period, or the Middle Ages, chiefly because it is bracketed by periods of cultural, economic, and political ascendancy – the once-great Roman Empire & the Renaissance The fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th Century, brought drastic changes to western Europe, which entered a period of economic decline and subsistence living Local lords and chieftains replaced Roman imperial rule the laws of the Roman Empire were supplanted by the Germanic traditions and practices of the tribes in the area With the absence of centralized imperial authority, safety became the primary concern, and peasants turned to local lords rather than faraway kings to provide safety This need for protection was the political and cultural context out of which the feudal system emerged in the 7th century


4 Charlemagne Charlemagne Song One exception to the weak kings of the early medieval period was Charlemagne, whose grandfather, Charles Martel, had prevented the Muslims from taking over France (Gaul at the time) at the Battle of Tours in 732 By that time Muslims controlled all of the Iberian peninsula, having taken over the Visigoth kingdom and pushed the Christians back By then, Charlemagne’s family, the Carolingians, and created an empire that included all of Gaul and parts of Germany and Italy Charlemagne brought about a brief period of intellectual revival, but with the death of his son Louis the Pious, the Treaty of Verdun split the empire into 3 parts, - one for each of Louis’s sons and this brief period of empire in Medieval Europe came to an end.

5 Collapse of Roman World
While the Roman Empire had focused on urban life, exemplified by the city of Rome itself, western European cities declined and in some cases became smaller villages. Roman roads also fell into disrepair, as did the great buildings of Rome The Roman coin became a thing of the past, and local trade was by barter Contact with the larger world through long-distance trade around the Mediterranean severely declined With less communication with the larger world and no strong central government, most Europeans relied on their own local resources for both political control and economic survival

6 Medieval Life & Serfdom
Organization of medieval life thus settled around the institution of the manor, which became the primary source of local agricultural production in both northern and southern Europe. The manor was far more than a single fortified dwelling Life behind its walls sustained a small community of people and included a mill, church, workshops and a village where serfs lived Serfs, both men and women, worked the lands of the manor in exchange for protection and were under the complete control of the lord of the manor, the noble whose armed men provided for their safety. Serfs were tied to the land and could not leave Most peasants across France, England, and western Germany in the 10th & 11th centuries were serfs


8 Feudalism The rigid system of serfdom did not allow for much personal or political advancement However, for the noble class, opportunities for political and economic advancement centered on warfare to protect lands from distant enemies like the Vikings as well as other competing lords This centuries-long traditions of linking land rights to military service was termed feudalism The feudal society was based on the vassal relationship, in which kings and lords gave land to vassals in exchange for sworn military allegiance This vassal relationship looked different from region to region, but by the 11th Century the key person in the medieval military was the knight Land given to a knight by his lord or king allowed him to afford armor and horses, and the land, known as a fief, could be passed down through generations This allowed knights themselves to become wealthy lords, who could then enter into vassal relationships with other knights Knights could also be in a vassal relationship with more than one lord at a time

9 Role of Women Noblewomen were also an important part of this system of land ownership and inheritance and were carefully and strategically married Marriage became a tool to make military alliances or gain more lands, and noble children had very little choice in whom to marry Likewise, kings used marriage alliances to increase their territorial and political control Women could own land, however, and while husbands were away on military service, women could manage the estate

10 Catholic Church The other central institution of medieval Europe was the Catholic Church, the strongest unifying force in medieval Europe The church created the moral framework for society, a task it took very seriously The church also owned and controlled extensive lands throughout medieval Europe on which it placed its monasteries and converts The Catholic Church wrestled with secular lords and kings to be the dominant authority over all matters, ecclesiastical or not This tension was not present in the Byzantine Empire; because as the appointed patriarch of Constantinople, the emperor had both political and religious supremacy (one Guy – Two Jobs but no competition or battle of Ego)

11 Pope The head of the western Church was the pope, whose authority continued to grow stronger and stronger in the early medieval period The pope was based in Rome and controlled territory in Rome and central Italy He exercised authority over all clergy and, through his councils of bishops, drew up the rules and doctrines that priests communicated to lay people Catholics who were not part of the clergy He also demanded that secular leadership honor and respect his authority

12 Investiture Controversy
Needing political allies, the pope crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor in 962 to serve as the defender of Christendom The Holy Roman Empire started out as a basic alliance of German princes and held more symbolic than practical power The creation of the Holy Roman emperor did little to prevent the struggle for control between secular authority and the church from climaxing into what is known as the investiture controversy Kings and lords had grown used to investing, or handing over authority to, the bishops in their territories Technically, canon or church law, assigned responsibility for appointing bishops to the church But many bishops were also in a vassal relationship to a lord or king Lords & kings argued that they should be the ones to appoint the bishops in their lands in order to make sure bishops fulfilled their feudal duties Exacerbated by the proclamations of Pope Gregory VII in 1073, which declared the Catholic Church infallible, capable of removing emperors, and solely responsible for appointing bishops, the controversy came to symbolize the general struggle over who had more political control The Concordat of Worms finally eased tensions in 1122 The Holy Roman emperor and the Pope agreed that the emperor could invest papally appointed bishops with their secular responsibilities and rights

13 Fight for power The tensions between the church and secular monarchs in England, Germany, & France boiled down to competing legal systems Feudal law, based on Germanic traditions, gave all power to the king Canon law, based on Roman traditions, held that one legal system should govern all of western Christendom The Catholic Church would continue to come into conflict with royal control, but as the feudal system and the status of knights declined because of changes in weaponry like the crossbow and firearms, kings began to tighten their control over their territory and the church In 1302 Pope Boniface asserted papal supremacy, which the French King Philip challenged by orchestrating the election of a French pope. The papal seat was moved to Avignon, giving rise to a period of competing papal claimants, which in turn precipitated the Great Western Schism ( ) The papacy was eventually returned to Rome, but these events showed how far monarchs could go in challenging papal authority

14 Monasticism One other unique aspect of medieval European Christian life was monasticism Monks and nuns separated themselves from daily life and lived in gender-specific communities focused on a celibate life of devotion, religious work, and simple living Nuns provided a refuge for women who were widowed or selected a spiritual life instead of their traditional obligations to marry Monks served as missionaries, produced foods on their lands, and made their monasteries resting places for weary pilgrims and other travelers Monks were also the essential link between the past and the future They were the keepers of literacy and learning In addition to writing their own books on religious matters, monks conserved the works of the Latin world by painstakingly copying them

15 Late Medieval Western Europe: 1000-1450
Important changes occurred in late medieval Europe between 1000 and 1200 Increases in population and agricultural production allowed for a Food surplus, This created more opportunities for trade and towns A surplus of food freed people to focus on other industries in artistry and construction These changes resulted from technological advances in agriculture A new plow the use of the horse collar the use of horses instead of oxen

16 The Black Death The most dramatic shift in population – a reversal – came to medieval Europe in the 14th century because of the bubonic plague Known as the Black death, it ravaged Europe from 1347 to 1351, killing one in three Europeans the plague first hit Mongol armies stationed in Kaffa, a port on the Black Sea Italian traders brought the disease from Kaffa to Italy, and from there it traveled across the continent and to England Not until 1500 did Europe’s population rebound to its level before the plague

17 Aftermath of the Black Death
The Black death left an impact far more significant than just demographic change In many ways, the Black death killed serfdom With so many dead, laborers could charge more for their services, and they rebelled against nobles who initially refused to comply Demand for the end of serfdom sparked uprisings across Europe Production rose as free laborers bought land for themselves or became urban workers and could demand higher wages For those still working the land, technological improvements such as the waterwheel and windmill – technologies that had long been in use in the Muslim world – increasingly came into use in Western Europe These devices improved efficiency by powering a number of the necessary tasks, from the grinding of grain to papermaking These technologies were also used for iron production, which brought about the expansion of iron mining

18 Vikings In addition to the Muslims, the Scandinavian Vikings were a formidable presence in medieval Europe The Vikings, excellent shipbuilders, raided towns along the coasts of England and France and eventually settled in Normandy From there they would conquer parts of England and take Sicily permanently from the Muslims The Vikings were among the earliest European explorers, also settling Iceland and Greenland Around 1000 almost 500 years before Columbus they made it to the North American continent without the use of maritime technologies such as the compass and established Vinland, on Newfoundland

19 Changes to Cities Another important change was a revival of trade,
propelled by the politically independent cities of Italy and Flanders that were exclusively focused on seaborne trade These cities sprang up when individuals banded together to demand freedom from their lord A lord who allowed this independence was sure to benefit from the economic prosperity of the city brought to the region Laws were passed so that serfs who made their way to these cities were guaranteed their freedom and were able to engage in other forms of industry These laws would be very important after the Black death Walled cities like Pisa, Florence, and Siena had to keep expanding as their population increased Other Italian cities that rose to tremendous economic importance were: Genoa, with its access to the western Mediterranean, Venice which would become a trading powerhouse on the Adriatic Sea Venice engaged in trade with the Muslim courts of North Africa and the Mediterranean In this way Western Europe was slowly exposed to the wealth of goods traveling along the silk Road and circulating in the Indian Ocean trading system Mongol control of the entire Eurasian landmass further opened trade between Italian ports in the great ports of the East

20 Trade and Coinage Two other vibrant centers of sea trade in Europe were: The Hanseatic League – a network of trading cities centered in the Baltic Flanders network – which include cities around the North Sea like Ghent and Bruges They focused on the fishing industry and the growing trade in wool and other textiles With the increase in trade came increased demand for coined money Most coinage in the ninth and 10th centuries came from the Muslim world and Byzantium, but with trade reviving in the Mediterranean, gold and silver coinage no longer was a luxury

21 Society and Scholasticism
As the autonomous trading cities began to flourish, they offered more opportunities for social mobility and individual opportunity Most of Europe’s Jews lived in cities, where they experienced periods of great tolerance, as in Muslim Spain, but also periods of horrific persecution most often during times of uncertainty and disaster like the Black Death Cities also became centers of learning as universities specializing in fields such as education, law, and theology sprang up across Europe Universities allow for new questions about the relationship between reason and faith, a pursuit that came to be known as scholasticism Scholars like Thomas Aquinas and other pre-Renaissance thinkers tried to reconcile the Bible with discovered Greek works from philosophers like Aristotle Architecture also flourished; the best example of this is the Gothic cathedral, which first appeared in France in the 12th century By trial and error, European architects mastered the mathematical and engineering skills required to construct these huge soaring buildings

22 Setting the Stage for the Renaissance
All of the changes in the late medieval period set the stage for the Renaissance A rebirth of classical learning and artistry stimulated by urban revival, a growing merchant class, renewed economic contact with the Muslim world, the rise of new scholarship and artistry in the cities of Europe, the Renaissance began in Italy and spread to northern Europe over the coming centuries

23 The Crusades Economic revival in Western Europe occurred alongside of and contributed to the Crusades, which had a profound effect on Europe as a whole and on Western Europe in particular The series of military expeditions, spanning more than 100 years, began with Pope Urban II’s call in 1095 for Frankish (a broad term synonymous with Western European) princes to take back the holy land from Muslim control

24 The Crusades - The Crusade Report with Bob Hale Many elements of European culture contributed to the Crusades: In an effort to calm the constant warring characteristic of the feudal system, the church had introduced truces – limits to times of fighting These truces redirected warring from Christian versus Christian to Christian versus the enemies of Christendom To a much smaller degree, land was inherited only by eldest sons, so younger sons could participate in religious pilgrimage and the proceeds provided an opportunity for younger sons to gain new lands and titles for themselves Italian merchants, having reestablished a foothold in Mediterranean trade, encouraged Crusades as a way to gain access to ports under the control of Muslims

25 The Crusades By the 11th century, Muslim leaders had long been in control of the holy Land; territory sacred to Christians included cities like Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria Christians had been able to make pilgrimages to the cities, but as Islamic control continued to expand into Byzantine – and therefore Christian – territory, the calls for Crusade quickened Despite the differences between the Latin Church and the Orthodox Church, the Byzantine emperor requested help – (both secular and religious) – in securing the land in the name of Christendom Pope Urban II raised the call to fight in 1095 and the first Crusade resulted in the capture of Jerusalem in 1099 and the establishment of four Crusader kingdoms The following two crusades focused on holding these territories, but in 1187 Muslim armies took back Jerusalem The fourth Crusade had completely new goals; the capture of Constantinople was driven by economic incentives; it was encouraged by Venetians, who wanted to expand their trading to ports formally under Byzantine and Muslim control

26 The Outcome of the Crusades
The crusades failed in their attempts to take the holy land, but they had a tremendous, long-lasting impact on European life (and Really only European Life) Exposure to the Muslim world sparked the flow of an enormous amount of information, ideas, goods, and resources to Europe (which were now in demand among more classes) Crusaders brought back discoveries and manufacturing techniques that allowed Europeans to make many of the goods they originally could only import Demand for these goods from the Middle East stimulated the markets of late medieval Europe and also expanded trade between the Muslim world, Western Europe, and the Byzantine Empire The incredible intellectual contributions of Muslims made their way to Europe in two forms: 1st the knowledge of the ancient Greeks preserved by Muslims 2nd scientific and technological understanding, which were enhanced in the Muslim world Together they served as the intellectual underpinnings for Western Europe’s transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

27 Byzantine Empire After the fall of the Roman Empire, the eastern portion continued as the Byzantine Empire, with Constantinople as its great capital, and the empire would endure until its defeat by the Ottoman Turks in 1453 Geographically centered in Greek and Anatolian areas, the Byzantine Empire, or Byzantium, used Greek as its language, and the empire maintained and built upon many of the traditions of the Roman Empire in terms of both law and economics Economically, the Byzantine emperors continued to regulate prices, the trading of luxury goods, and grain shipments, which may have slowed technological and economic advancements Constantinople received the most economic attention to the detriment of other Byzantine cities and countryside, where farm tools and practices lagged in efficiency when compared with those in Western Europe Part of Constantinople’s appeal was its ideal location between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, which made it an ideal center for trade and travel, attracting merchants, aristocrats, and journeying pilgrims For hundreds of years, this port city – one of the five great patriarchal seats of Europe – would be envied by many Constantinople’s glory hid the reality that the Byzantine Empire was on a slow and steady decline

28 Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire enjoyed many cultural and artistic achievements, all reflecting the Greek orthodox interpretations of Christianity as opposed to the Latin interpretations used in Western Europe The empire reached its height under the Emperor Justinian who ruled from 527 until 565 He commissioned the building of the Hagia Sophia, the greatest example of Byzantine architecture Byzantine sacred art had a great influence on pre-Renaissance painting in Western Europe

29 Cyrillic & Orthodox Christianity
The Byzantine Empire also had a tremendous impact on the religious and cultural traditions of Slavic Christians Followers of two Byzantine missionaries (Cyril & Methodius) sent in the ninth century to preach to the Slavs in their local language developed the Cyrillic writing system, which became the written language of the Slavic and Russian orthodox Christians

30 Byzantine Social Structure
Socially, the Byzantine Empire gradually moved from an urban way of life to a more rural one, although cities, particularly Constantinople, remained important Local urban elites holding power up through the seventh century gave way to an increase in the power of rural landowners and imperial court aristocrats This change could in part be the result of the demographic impact of the bubonic plague, which hit the Byzantine Empire in the 6th century – much earlier than in Western Europe – as well as the loss of territory to Muslims Byzantine women also saw a change in their position, moving from a freer status in the public arena during the Roman period to a more secluded existence in the home, marked by wearing the veil in public Social interactions with men were limited to family members Despite this, there are strong examples of women ruling with their husbands in the 11th century the increasing seclusion of women in the Byzantine Empire can be compared with the seclusion of women in the neighboring Muslim empires

31 The Fall of the Byzantines
The rising strength of the Muslim empire always proved to be a formidable challenge for the Byzantine Empire, despite the growing importance of the military, which was the basis of the aristocratic class by the 11th century Arab Muslims quickly took territory away from the Byzantine Empire in the seventh century At the same time, the patriarchal cities of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem came under Muslim control Other groups, such as the Slavic and Turkic peoples, would also serve as threats to the borders of the Byzantine Empire The Seljuk Turks in particular would establish a Turkish Muslim state in the early 11th century It became the main enemy of the Crusaders The fourth Crusade in 1204 was a mortal blow for the Empire because Western European Crusaders sacked and destroyed much of Constantinople After 1200, the Byzantine empire declined, largely because of a weak military For the next 200 years the empire continued to lose territory It would limp along until 1453 when Sultan Mehmed II captured Constantinople and ended the Byzantine Empire’s rain of over 1100 years

32 The Schism Not only did the Roman Empire split politically into east and west; the church would eventually as well A series of doctrinal disputes over issues weakened the relationship between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church such as: the humanity and divinity of Jesus, the place of icons, the role of Mary At one point the patriarch in Constantinople also challenged the territorial control that the Western Church enjoyed These disagreements eventually resulted in schism in 1054, a formal split of Christendom that has endured through the centuries This split produced two different cultural expressions of Christianity in the period

33 Kievan Russia To the north of the Byzantine Empire, a unique society developed in Russia that also followed the traditions of the Orthodox Church The word Rus, from which Russia derives, came to refer to Slavic speaking peoples who were ruled by the Varangians, Swedish Vikings who sailed down into Russia from the Baltic Varangian princes lived in cities and focused on trade while the Slavs worked the lands Kiev was one of the key cities for trade with the Byzantine Empire In 980, Vladimir I made himself grand Prince of Russia He chose Orthodox Christianity as the religion of the region, married an Orthodox princess of the Byzantine imperial family, and let in Orthodox missionaries Until the arrival of the Mongols in the 13th century, Kievan Russia stood as an independent state that spread Orthodox Christianity to Eastern Slavs and prevented the spread of Latin Christianity from the West

34 Kievan Russia Economic prominence in Kiev came from trade,
which provided the money to pay soldiers, artisans were valued above peasants Churches were built in the Byzantine style, and slowly Christianity obliterated the polytheistic traditions of the Slavs By the 12th century the church had taken over some economic roles such as tax collection and had also assumed political responsibilities Nonetheless, the large cities of Kiev and Novgorod never matched the population levels or cosmopolitan life found in cities like Constantinople and Baghdad

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