Unit 8 - Early Medieval Christian, Islamic Societies
Unit 8 - Early Medieval Christian, Islamic Societies Hist 101
Popular in European Civilization from Ancient Times to the Mid-17th Century
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Margot Clary on Saturday October 31, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Hist 101 at University of South Carolina taught by Dr. Schor in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 41 views. For similar materials see European Civilization from Ancient Times to the Mid-17th Century in History at University of South Carolina.
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Date Created: 10/31/15
Podcast Outline section 8 Early Medieval Islamic and Christian Societies Key Question How dark were the Dark Ages in various Christian and Islamic societies Podcast 8a Early Medieval Islamic Societies and Cultures The Early Medieval Dark Ages and the Early Islamic Caliphate 0 Our common image of Early Medieval Period 6501050 poverty violence isolation ignorance etc I Not entirely wrong if one is looking at a few isolated parts of NW Europe esp I But not for the whole Mediterranean not the Christian Roman Empire Byzantium not Islamic societies 0 RECAP Conquest of the Early Islamic Caliphs 632651 0 New Empire 200000 Arab Muslims some in Garrison cities 30 million nonMuslim protected subjects I Rivals for the office of caliph the Umayyads vs Ali and his Shiites 0 Big arguments started over who should be caliph what it meant o Umayyads including 3rd caliph old leading family in Quraysh best political connections best chance of keeping order 0 Ali Muhammad s cousin and soninlaw knowledgeable in Islamic prophecy claims of family holiness 0 Civil war 656661 Ali murdered in 661 Umayyads take over 0 Ali s followers his shia origins of Shiite sect of Islam I The Umayyad dynasty in Damascus and its policies 0 Umayyad family ruled from 661 to 750 mostly based in Damascus Umayyad policies of Arab Muslim separation To rule NonMuslims Amirs and local religious leaders Tribal leaders and constant expansionist war to keep Arab Muslim warriors busy Umayyad Religious Authority I Umayyad caliphs try to limit Islam to Arabs not always enforced far from Syria I Resentments of other Arab families Abbasids and Shiites I Esp nonArab wouldbe converts to Islam NW Africa Iran lead to revolution in 740 s I New Abbasid regime in 751 0000 I The Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad and its policies 0 Capital moved to Baghdad close to Iranian support base of regime 0 Policy of separation ended under Abbasids One system of amirs o A steady process of conversion to Islam began but not all converted by 1000 about 20 were still Jews Christians and Zoroastrians Decline of Abbasid Caliph s authority Amirs Turkish generals and scholars o Abbasid caliphate did not fall but decentralized and then fractured Early 9th c growing power of viziers prime ministers and bureaucrats Rise of legal scholars ulama only God writes laws Amirs began founding dynasties mostly autonomous Mid 9th c use of Turks as freedslave soldiers led to powerful Turkish generals even in Baghdad 0000 I Shiite Sunni political rivalry and the rise of multiple caliphs Three Divided Caliphates o Sunnis vs Shiites mostly peaceful religious division 8 h10th c o Sunnis followed example of prophet exclusively Shiites followed Ali and his descendants true imams Shiites sometimes caught messianic fervor waiting for rise of Mahdi to restore rightful Islamic rule 10th c Fatimids Shiites claiming descent from Ali claim title of caliph took over in N Africa then later Egypt and W Arabia By 970 three caliphs hostile divisions among Islamic states Explanations for Decline of Abbasid Caliphate climate shifts political problems 0 Life in Early Medieval Islam economic life and social class 0 O O In the Islamic world the economy grew and slowly changed new crops rice citrus semolina made a more stable food supply New positive attitudes to commerce if done fairly encouraged trade across the Med Sea W Asia and Indian Ocean By 10th c climate change reduced farming in some places but not Egypt Mesopotamia or Spain But other sources of economic success continued 10th c Islam as capitalist society Wealthy merchants became a key part of the Islamic elite alongside big landowners state officials religious leaders A full range of classes below elite most still farmers herders 0 Gender family and slavery in the early medieval Islamic world 0 O O 0000 Islamic world was generally more patriarchal than Roman society even though Muhammad had been inclusive of women Muslim men up to 4 wives Gender segregation like anc Greece Muslim women still guaranteed share of inherited property 12 of male share Protections in case of divorce Islamic towns more private space less public space Slavery almost as common as in Roman Empire Slaves imported from outside caliphate esp C Asia and W Europe Slaves were rarely farm laborers but commonly domestic servants mailorder brides and soldiers once freed Ulama Islamic Sages and disputes over Islamic law 0 Ulama sages teachers who interpreted debated defined Islamic law sharia gathered sayings hadith offered opinions argued theology Islam started simple by 11th c complicated rules and theology SunniShiite religious arguments and many other arguments 4 different Sunni schools of law 0 Culture and learning in early medieval Islamic society 0 000000 Islamic culture beyond religion Converts brought traditions from Rome Greece Persia India Roman building bathing Persian political stores Greek philosophy and medicine esp Aristotle with eXpanded commentary Elite Muslim men less so women eXpected to be widely learned Amirs hosted scholars Ibu Sina Podcast 8b Early Medieval Christian Societies Byzantium The Remaining Christian Roman Empire aka Byzantium O O 0 Roman Empire endured massive losses raids and sieges but survived in Anatolia and the S Balkans Roman state completely reorganized Generals now in charge of regions Many towns and farms abandoned for defensible sites 0 Roman bureaucrats were all moved to Cple Greek language for government records 0 Scholars often call the medieval Roman state Byzantium they kept calling themselves Romans 0 0 Christian reactions to the rise of Islam the Iconoclast controversy 0 Christians had to ask did God support their states Was God angry o Byzantines argued over the use of pictures icons in worship partly a reaction to Muslims banning images 0 In 8th9th 0 Roman emperors banned icons then restored icons then banned icons again 0 In 840 s icons were restored finally and celebrated all the more 0 Throughout the despite Byzantine emperors ordered bishops around Church clearly worked for the state 0 Byzantine stabilization politics trade wealth and diplomacy 0 After 850 as Islamic caliphate fragmented the Byzantine empire recovered A new Byzantine dynasty created more political stability Outsiders turned into loyal Romans with grants of frontier land New offices open to men of talent even coemperorships Byzantine farming grew climate shift population grew Byzantine trade boomed linked to E Europe and Islamic realms Cple as large trade center and big city Byzantines pushed diplomacy sent missionaries to spread Christianity make alliances esp to Slavic Bulgaria and Russia 0000 00 0 Medieval Byzantine Expansionism Byzantium as prime power center 0 Econ growth diplomacy and Ismic divisions enabled Byzantines to reconquer many regions 1 N and W Syria Armenia 0 Basil 11 9761025 war with Bulgaria reconquest of whole Balkans o Cple with 500000 people Christian center one of 3 big centers in Med world also Baghdad Cairo 0 Gender class and slavery in early medieval Byzantium o In Byzantium elites included military leaders big landowners some merchants many church and state bureaucrats key to social mobility work for state or have a connection 0 Most Byzantines were free peasants with some slaves incl eunuchs in palace roles and a large slave trade with Islamic world 0 Women more public role in Byzantine society than Islamic society women s property rights monogamy but divorce only for monks and nuns some women as honored Byzantine rulers 0 Culture and learning in early medieval Byzantium o In Byzantium Christian religious learning Bible Greek church writings continued 0 BUT so did GreekRoman philosophy literature rhetoric medicine and law 0 Popular culture religion saints lives chariot racing public spectacle and ritual o Byzantine elites expected to be widely learned higher learning organized in Cple as a university Magnaura school 0 Michael Psellos philosophy prof key imperial adviser in 11 h 0 Podcast 80 Early Medieval Christian Societies The Frankish Realms 0 Early Medieval Latin Christendom o Continuation of barbarian kingdoms that took over former Roman provinces in France Spain Britain N Italy 0 By 700 CE these kingdoms had lasted for 150250 years O VisiGothic Spain was conquered by Muslims but other Germanic kingdoms survived The Carolingian Frankish dynasty and the Rise of Charlemagne O O In 8th c a new Frankish dynasty arose Carolingians when Charles Martel defeated Umayyad armies 732 CE in C France His grandson Charlemagne 768813 led conquest of N Germany N Italy and other places thanks to an elite corps of knights Charlemagne reformed laws supported some buildings supported some learning though he could not write Charlemagne s support for church missionaries to N Germany Charlemagne allied with the pope Before 730 popes authority was mostly talk since the Byzantine emperor was still an overlord in C Italy But then Rome fell between rulers Carolingian kings agreed to protect and advertise pope popes supported Carolingian authority Charlemagne was crowned a 2nd emperor by pope in 800 CE rivalry for claim to be supreme Christian ruler Collapse of Charlemagne s empire Invaders and warlords O O O O Charlemagne s empire proved less stable than Byzantium Charlemagne s 3 grandsons divided power By 870 s 3 feuding kingdoms roughly France Germany N Italy Then new invaders push Frankish state toward collapse I Vikings from Scandinavia raiding and conquering I Hungarians Magyars raiding and settling in C Europe I Muslims raiding from Mediterranean and taking slaves But worse than outside invaders Frankish warlords fought each other with no state power to stop them Warlords built crude castles offered protection to peasants for a price usually labor In Germany and N Italy the chaos faded by 930 s A German empire was reorganized partly restored by 960 s though emperor now overseeing 100s of local lords In France chaos lasted longer weaker king warlords became main form of local government 0 Gender class and serfdomslavery in early medieval Latin Christendom O O O O In Frankish lands elite was mostly warlords and their families and clergymen and monastic leaders Some Frankish peasants were free others were serfs working for warlords for life compared to mostly free peasants in Byzantium and Islamic states Slavery less common in Latin Christendom than Byzantium or Islamic lands Women played prominent public roles in Latin Christendom links between warlord families though sometimes with fewer property rights 0 Culture and learning in early medieval Latin Christendom O O 0 Medieval Latin Christians did less to support higher learning in 9th11th c Elite culture focused on war training basic religious teaching Monasteries and some court circles preserved learning in Christian writings some Latin classics Learned Latin Christian lawyers clerics monks began to build networks of ties in 10th c esp in German empire These networks would start to link up Latin Christian warlordships but their impact was limited before 1050 Podcast 8d Early Medieval Cultures in Broader view 0 Popular Images of the Early Medieval Dark Ages Typical image of Dark Ages highlights poor abused peasants violence and insecurity weird justice ideas lack of learning This is in some places but 0 O 0 Historians problems with Dark Ages stereotypes Popular dark ages images are not accurate everywhere in the region for all times The real problem they are there to fit a preset storyline of history progress which requires dark beginnings Human history does not always fit this storyline Early medieval societies varies a lot Some places more isolated less wealth Others well connected to wealth and learning Experiences depend heavily on one s social status male or female elite or ordinary etc 0 0 00000 0 Comparing early Medieval Western societies Questions and Sources Thing to look in the sources to compare experiences in different places and social circumstances 0 Politics who had in uence besides kings Bureaucrats Warriors Economic life what commerce wealth urban life do we see Gender roles what is eXpected for men and women Social class what marks the social hierarchy slavery other forms of forced labor what makes someone member of elite Culture and learning what religious traditions What forms of learning are preserved and supported how accessible is that learning and to whom How accessible is that learning and to whom
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