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Early Middle ages, Western Europe

by: Jasmene Monique Ramirez

Early Middle ages, Western Europe Hist 101

Marketplace > University of New Mexico > History > Hist 101 > Early Middle ages Western Europe
Jasmene Monique Ramirez
GPA 3.8
Western Civilization I
Professor Davis-Secord

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About this Document

Covers Frankish Kingdoms, Anglo Saxons, Monasticism and social organization of the time.
Western Civilization I
Professor Davis-Secord
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jasmene Monique Ramirez on Monday October 19, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Hist 101 at University of New Mexico taught by Professor Davis-Secord in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Western Civilization I in History at University of New Mexico.


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Date Created: 10/19/15
Early Middle Ages The Western Roman empire was characterized by localized rule being rural and impoverished The Eastern Roman empire had a centralized authority and had cities urban areas and a monetized system Justinian I 527565 was the ruler of the Eastern Roman empire in Constantinople At this time the Eastern side of the roman empire was also refered to as Byzantium From this region Justinian tried to reacquire the lost Roman lands in the west in an effort to restore Roman glory He battled the Persians and barbarians and assigned general Belisarius to begin conquest programs in the west The general reconquered Vandal territory in north Africa Ostrigothic Italy and Sicily but had no progress on the Visigoths and the franks The destruction caused by the gothic wars decimated ltaly Upon the deaths of the general and Justinian there was a power vacuum and the Lombard Germanic tribe moved into Italy as soon as it saw the chance Subsistence farming was the norm in the west Cities disappeared and the elites lived on large land estates farmed by serfs Frankish Kingdoms Merovingian Dynasty Clovis 511 takes over all frank tribes note that merovac was a demigod in frank tribal religion who was a Germanic warrior and whose name the dynasty took on Clovis united Frankish territories and then converted to orthodoxy Christianity Why is unclear Rumors of a battle eld conversion but others believe his wife convinced him to convert Frankish Gaul turns to Rome and the popes gain power through this alliance The power of the Merovingian king declines as the new position of mayor of the palace rises At the end of the dynasty it is the mayor of the palace and not the king who holds the real power The mayor of the palace decided whether or not to go to war how land was partitioned and what to use the money in the treasury for There was no paid army but warriors were given material wealth such as land in exchange for service Serfs would then work the land for the warriors However the situation was complicated when two or more nobles going into battle had granted warriors land in exchange for service The warrior then had the problem of deciding who to serve Pepin mayor of the palace Writes the pope explaining the mayors really rule and should be called kings In exchange the new kings would protect the pope This resulted in a change in dynasty and it becomes the Carolingian dynasty the most famous member who would be known as Charles Charlessolidi es united kingdom and begins outward conquest on a two fronted war To the north he ghts the Saxons and to the south east the Lombards In 774 he takes the Lombard kingdom and then eventually beats the pagan Saxons The Saxons undergo conversion part of the strategy of the conquest Charles also standardized ecclesiastical practice in the roman papal style In 800 799 pope Leo lll taken by Lombards in an internal conspiracy Blinded and tongue ineffectiver cut out The pope ed north to Charles and Charles marched on Rome installs garrison to protect the pope on Christmas pope leo lll decides to give Charles the crown of the Roman empire ad made him emperor This sets up a longstanding con ict between the popes and secular kings The pope argues that he is really in charge because the secular kings wouldn39t be kings without his say so and he has the power to excommunicate The kings however argue that the pope wouldn39t even be alive if it weren t for his protection Charles kingdom did not have a single uni ed law system Instead each territory had a different law code however administrative and monetary systems were the same for the whole kingdom The economic and monetary system sticks throughout the middle ages however not many peasantry used coinage but bartered instead Counts of lands are responsible forjustice infrastructure toll collection etc The administration was localized After the death of Charles his oldest son Louis takes over However the younger sons also want control and ghts result and under the Treaty of Verdun the empire is split into three different kingdoms Anglo Saxon Kingdoms Germanic tribes ood into former roman territory in Britain This land had previously been inhabited by Britons Scots and the Irish ln 407411 the Britons move west to Wales away from Germanic tribes from Germany and Scandinavia A ship burial excavation revealed Viking in uence from prechristain era This culture adheres to traditional Scandinavian ideas and beliefs Once Christianity in ltrated there was evidence of Christianization but the warrior culture remained Christianity reintroduced 597 by St Augustine of Canterbury Sent by pope Gregory the great to baptize king Ethelbert of Kent and establishes a monastery in Canterbury which served as the center for Roman Christianity A struggle eventually broke out between Irish and Roman Christianity The main con ict was based on the date of Easter There were two ways of determining the date but each yielded a different result The Roman style eventually won out which was important because England was now drawing closer to Rome and other Roman Christian states 89 centuries Increased Viking invasions from Scandinavia NE shores of Anglo saxon kingdoms targets of pillaging and raiding Renewed attacks lead to the consolidation of various kingdoms under one king Alfred the Great who was the king of Wessex originally A naval force was constructed and military forces consolidated Alfred succeeds in battle against the Vikings and settles a peace with the Vikings He had single command over the kingdoms and in the 11th century this was institutionally the strongest kingdom of Europe They had a rudimentary jury trial decided by a sheriff sheriff has control over a shire and hears complaints and decides between people and follows set of laws kings place intellectual development occurs under Alfred who patronizes writing and translation of literature from latin to old English This was the beginning of when English begins to triumph as a literary language Early Medieval Society and culture Latin West Europe Monasticism the idea that spiritual enlightenment was achieved through withdrawal from the world and worldly pleasures Monasteries were self suf cient and had scriptoriums farms orchards breweries libraries kitchens and dorms Monastic rule set of guidelines for living in monasteries The one that ultimately prevailed was Benedictine Rule set up by Benedict of Nursia Benedictine rule stated that everything that a monk or nun did they had to do with God in their hearts and had to establish a fatherlyloving relationship with God based on obedience to God and the abbot or abbess Humility was a big characteristic that must be exhibited such as through helping the poor and others through prayer and chant Monks and nuns did a lot of praying for the souls of all people and they were required to pray during liturgical hours which was every three hours Benedictine rule set down guidelines for how to dress sleep etc Life was strict in a monastery The abbot or abbess made all of the decisions including how much monks or nuns ate Poverty chastity and obedience were part of the vows every monk or nun took Monasteries became very powerful by acquiring lots of land Nobles would found monasteries place in power abbots that were loyal to them donated to monasteries all in exchange for prayers and blessings from holy people Monasteries control land agricultural output power over economy and spiritual power Wives of nobles often participated in the prayer hours of the monks Monasteries became centers of learning for nobles children as they were the only thing even resembling schools Book production took place here Land Use Manorial system a medieval manor is a small village supported by a lord A lord controls the village and lives in the manor house Serfs work the land graze animals pick from the orchards do the farming baking work the blacksmith shop mills and brew beer Serfs divide the land into thirds The land cultivated for the lord is one third of the crop they grow The rest is common elds used for subsistence farming Serfs are technically free but they are tied to the lands they work on and it is almost impossible to leave The heavy plow was an important technological achievement of this time period turning more land into greater productive land A three eld crop rotation system was established in which two elds were in production while one eld was allowed to lie fallow and nutrients replenish Legumes and buckwheat were often planted in the fallow eld since they discovered that those plants replenish nitrogen in the soil Motte and Bailey castle An Earthen hill on top of which is a timber tower called the motte An area of land surrounded by a wall and sometimes even a moat is the area called the bailey where serfs retreated during times of external aggression for protection Social organization People were identi ed by their relationships to one another such as lord knight serf etc The Lordknight relationship was called feudalism based on loyalty Sealed through ritual bonding and vows It is a relationship based on honor and the vows are unbreakable but can be complicated as previously mentioned


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