The raids by Muslims, Magyars, and Vikings helped To destroy the Frankish Kingdoms. The eastern Frankish kingdom today known as Germany was divided into many tiny states ruled by counts, dukes, and other nobles who wanted to be independent. Eventually, a group of nobles tried to unite Germany by appointing a king.
One of the stronger kings of Germany was Otto I Otto I fought the Magyars and sent troops to Italy to protect the pope. To reward Otto the pope declared him emperor of the Romans in A.D. 962 Otto’s territory then included most of Germany and northern Italy and became known as the Holy Roman Empire.
Most emperors of the Holy Roman Empire were not very strong. Two of the more Powerful emperors Were Frederick I And Frederick II Who both tried to Unite northern Italy and Germany Under a single Ruler with a Strong central Government. The popes fought against these plans because they did not want the emperor to control them Or the church. As a result, Germany And Italy remained Divided into small kingdoms Until the 1800’s. Holy Roman Empire
Main Idea: The Catholic Church spread Christianity through Western Europe. After the Roman Government fell apart, The Roman Catholic Church began to play an important role in the growth of Western Europe. Christianity became the official religion of Rome. Religion and geography played an important role in shaping life in Europe.
In the A.D. 400’s a priest named Patrick traveled to Ireland, where he spread the Christian message and set up churches and monasteries. Irish monks helped to preserve Roman learning and passed it on to the People of Europe. Pope Gregory I, also known as Gregory the Great, wanted all of Europe to become Christian and he asked monks to become Missionaries. He sent monks to Britain to teach Christianity.
The ruler of Britain, Ethelbert, allowed the missionaries to build a church in his capital city of Canterbury. By A.D. 800, Monks were spreading Christianity throughout Europe and as a result, most people in Western Europe had become Catholics by 1050.
Monasteries played an important role in medieval Europe such as: 1. Opened schools to educate the people. 2. Provided food and rest to travelers. 3. Offered hospital care for the sick. 4. Taught carpentry and weaving. 5. Developed better methods of farming. 6. Helped preserve knowledge.
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Monks took a vow of poverty, wore simple clothes, and ate simple food, while the monasteries made money. Many monasteries had Writing rooms called scriptoria where monks made copies of important works. Monks copied Christian writings, including the Bible, as well as works of Roman and Greek writers. Each monastery produced goods and owned land that could create wealth. The leader of a monastery is called an abbot and many abbots became involved in politics by serving as advisors to the king and acting as rulers of lands near monasteries.
Gregory VII did not want the king or nobles to interfere in church affairs by choosing high ranking church officials, such as bishops, and issued a decree to stop them. King Henry IV declared that Gregory was no longer the pope and Gregory VII declared Henry was no longer the king!! Gregory VII was elected pope in A.D. 1073. The role of the abbots became so important that it led to conflict between the church and the kings over “who is in charge”. Why is Gregory VII Important?
What happened next? As result, Gregory VII excommunicated Henry IV. Excommunication excludes a person from Church membership and Catholics believed that person could not go to heaven. When the German nobles supported the pope, Henry IV had to back down ask the pope for forgiveness. Even though Pope Gregory VII forgave Henry IV, the conflict was not resolved until A.D. 1122 when a new pope and another German king made a deal called the Concordat of Worms, which said that only the pope could choose Bishops but only the emperor could give them jobs in the government.
An interdict forbids priests from providing Christian rituals to a group of people. The people believed that they could not go to heaven and would put pressure on their ruler to obey the pope. When Innocent III was pope in A.D. 1198,The Catholic Church was at the height of its power and could control the kings. If a ruler did not obey, Innocent would excommunicate him or issue an Interdict against his kingdom and people. A concordat is an agreement between the pope and the ruler of a country.