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Week 4 Notes

by: Wendell Rodrigues

Week 4 Notes HUM1B

Wendell Rodrigues
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About this Document

Notes cover Feudalism and Beowulf
Humanities Honors 1B
Dr. Cooper
Class Notes
HUM1B, Humanities, beowulf, Feudalism




Popular in Humanities Honors 1B

Popular in Arts and Humanities

This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Wendell Rodrigues on Monday February 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HUM1B at San Jose State University taught by Dr. Cooper in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 135 views. For similar materials see Humanities Honors 1B in Arts and Humanities at San Jose State University.


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Date Created: 02/22/16
• St. Boniface • Chopped down a tree • Got chopped down as well • Beowulf • First piece of literature in English • Had no influence on literature • Was lost for a long time • Germanic people • Folks • The people of the society • Gathered into clans of folks • Wergild • Payment for crimes • Everything needs to be made equal (debts payed) • Warrior kings • The greatest warriors were elevated to the position of King • Gift-Giving • Lots of warriors were given gifts according to contribution • Kinship • Very important in their society • Blood Feud • If debts are not paid, it is paid in blood • Trial by Ordeal • God intervenes in conflicts/battles • The outcome is decided by God • As Rome declines, they vacate England • The Angles and the Saxons fight over England • Vikings • Explorers • Settled Iceland, Greenland, and parts of Canada • Lief Ericcson settled Newfoundland • Bards • Performed stories in entertaining ways to audiences • Spoke about Odin and Thor • Odin intervenes on human affairs • Lives in Valhalla • Thor is the god of the common man • Defends the palace of Asgard • All the gods were war gods • Apocalypse story • A long winter followed by a 3 year war • The gods have to battle giants of the earth • The gods lose • Vikings were Effective Pillagers • Armor - Chain mail • The rings symbolized the warriors kinship • Swords • Very advanced, well crafted swords • decorated • Battle Axes • Denting someone to death • Vikings were good at throwing this • Boats • Technologically advanced • Very large canoes • Low draft and very maneuverable • Wrote runic script on stones • In 1064, King Edward the Confessor sends a message to the Duke of Normandy that he is chosen to be the next king of England • Harold of Wessex, the messenger declares himself king again • He faces off the vikings in the battle of Stanford Bridge • Then travels to Hastings, in the south to battle the Duke of Normandy • William of Normandy wins the battle • This changes the culture • William of Normandy changes the culture • Brings feudalism • Forces the Anglo Saxons to speak French • This is the birth of modern English • Beowulf • One text survives from the ancient world • Written around 1000 in England • The character Beowulf embodies all the cultural importances • Includes many monsters in the story • Warrior halls are important • Celebrations were necessary to build bonds • When Grendel attacks Herot, he is breaking down the celebratory core of Danish society Feudalism • How did Rome fall? • Gibbons’ Overextension • Roman Empire expanded so large that it couldn't be controlled • The slave economy can only function with a steady influx of new slaves • Machiavelli and Montesquieu • Attribute the decline of Rome to its shift from a Republic to an Empire • There would be no longer an incentive for the people to make sacrifices • Thus, Rome began its long spiral into decay • Military obsolescence • Horses were widely used • The horseshoe was invented in Germany • Declining birth rate • Lead poisoning may have killed many • Poorly managed economy • declining Research and Development • the ownership of land was more important than industry • growing inequality • level of trade began to decline as regions became self sufficient • lots of taxes were based on trade • Plague • A bubonic plague killed 1/4 of the people • Political Division • The divide between Constantinople and Rome • The wealth of Egypt was responsible for 80% of the wealth of Rome • The divide of the east and the west hurt the western Roman Empire • Economic Regression • 70% of cultivated land goes back to forest • A lot of crops were cultivated on terraces • A lack of maintenance of the terraces brought about the erosion of topsoil • Transportation network collapses under piracy and brigandage • Only the super elite were able to travel • Travel over the seas became impossible • Pirates became common • Without cities, loss of division of labor in all fields • Loss of coinage, regression to barter economy • In Rome, currency was widely used • When Rome declined, people stopped using money • People began to barter • They began to horde their money, and didn't spend it • People left cities(de-urbanization) • They began to move to villages, where it was safe from invasion • Invaders began to destroy the aqueducts • Feudalism: Personal “Leige” • Authority was decentralized down to lords • Serfs were controlled • Gangs work similarly to Feudalism • Stuck in a violent region • Gangs approach people offering protection in exchange for loyalty • Lords protect peasants from attackers • May approach a duke when threatened by another lord • The duke may approach a king • Ancient and Modern politics is based on abstract loyalty • You are loyal to an idea (i.e.: Athens, the Constitution, etc) • Feudalism was based on personal loyalty • You are loyal to a person (i.e.: Lord Hygelac or King Hrothgar) • The Manorial System • There was a plot of land held by a knight • House in the middle with a church • Farmland and pastures would surround the house • Serfs were bound to this land (property) • Organized Christianity: The Monastic Response • At this time, people have begun practicing paganism along with Christianity • People began to preach unorthodox teachings • Monasticism • Based on the order of St. Benedict • Were the only literate people in the world • Began to form schools and libraries • Made them available to the public • Monasteries became very wealthy as people contributed • Organized Christianity: The Papal Response • Were not as powerful as they were later • Pope Gregory • First Benedictine Pope • Faced the disintegration of the Catholic Church • Had to restructure and save the Church • Gelatin Doctrine • In the West: Doctrine of the two swords • There are two forms of power • The sword of State (for kings) • The sword of the Church (for the Pope) • In the East: Caesaropapism • The Emperor would be the head of the Church • Pressures from the North • Vikings • Were peaceful farmers in their own territory • Gathered groups of men to go on raids (to hunt for treasure) • Began to hit England and France (793 CE) • Used long, skinny boats to go down rivers • Began to target the relatively unguarded monasteries • Used terrorism in order to avoid violence • People would pay them off or surrender immediately • Pressures from the South • Islam • The fall of Egypt in 640 • 80 percent of Roman resources were now gone • Spread across north Africa • Spread to Spain • Spread to Sicily and Italy • People in Europe were wary of an Islamic invasion


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