The Byzantine Empire
the eastern half of the Roman Empire which survived the Germanic migrations is known to modern historians as the Byzantine empire. The Byzantines called themselves romans but Greek replaced Latin as the common language. The Byzantine empire, based in the wealthy commercial cities of the east, was better able to afford armies for its defense than the rural west and thus remained intact.
The Byzantine Empire: Beginnings
constantinople was founded in 330, when the Roman Empire was united under a single emperor, Constantine the Great. In 395 however it was divided into two halves to ease administration. A dramatic effort to reclaim the west was made by Justinian the Great.
Byzantine Empire: Justinian and Theodora
Early byzantine history is dominated by a great leader, Justinian I. Much of Justinians's success was due to his wife, the Empress Theodora. A fight between political factions erupted at the chariot races and became a protest against the government known as the Nika riots.
Byzantine Empire: religion
Theodora's influence was particularly important in religion. She sympathized with the heretical Monophysites
Byzantine Empre: Architecture and the Arts
their greatest moment in Constantinople was the cathedral of Holy Wisdom
Byzantine Empire: Law
perhaps Justinian's greatest achievement was the codification of Roman Law. Justinian's code, a collection of volumes weitten in Latin and known by the title Corpus Juris Civilis. It served as the law code for the Byzantine Empire until the ninth century, when a condensed version known as the Basilica was issued in Greek.
Byzantine Empire: Aftermath of Justinian's Reign
they gave up the west for lost and turned their attention eastward, where they had to fight seemingly endless wars against the aggressive Sassanians. Heraclius' empire was so weakened by war and internal dissension that the southeastern provinces soon afterwards fell to a new eastern power- Islams
Islam: a new religion
islam was founded by Muhammad who is considered the final prophet by the muslims. the religion is a monotheistic fath within the Judeo-christian tradition whose basic tenets or practices are summed up in fice pillars. 1. the profession of fath 2. daily prayers specified times 3. almsgiving 4. fasting during the month of Ramadan 5. a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca known as the hajj. The islamic holy book is the Quaran.
In 622 Muhammad was invited to Medina as a peacemaker and became the leader of the city. This event is konwn as the Hegira, or migration and marks the first year of the Muslim calendar. After fighting several battles with the Meccans, Muhammad became the first ruler to unite all of Arabia.
the new faith inspired zeal for action and urged spreading faith through conquest. The Arabs also struck at an opportune moment: the long wars between the Byzantines and Sassanians had weakened both of these empires and prevented them from mounting effective resistance.
Islam: Succession: Division between Sunnites and sHites
Arab expansion was then momentarily checked by the outbreak of a civil war over the question of succession. Uthman was assassinated and the Muslims became divided over the next successor. The Shiites believes the caliph should be a descendent of Muhammad, who was a kinsman of Utham and demanded vengence for his death.
Islam: The Umayyads
The two civil wars established Muawiyah's dynasty, the Umayyads, and enabled the Muslims to continue their conquests. The Ummayyads transferred the capital from Mecca to Damascus
Islam: The Abbasids
In 750 they were overthrown by Abul Abbas, who founded the Abbasid dynasty. He moved the capital from Damascus to the newly-built city of Baghdad beside the Tigris River.
Islam: Division of the Muslim World
One of the Umayyads escaped the purge and set up a rival caliphate in Spain, with Cordoba as its capital. A third caliphate, that of the Fatimids, established itself in North Africa during the tenth century and challenged the Abbasids
Byzantium to 1000 c.e
The division of the Muslims saved the Byzantine Empire, which had been nearly destroyed by the Arab invaders. Strong defenses such as a secret weapon known as Greek Fire which burned even on water and could devastate enemy forced that came near the walls.
Ther Germanic Kingdoms: Visitgoths and Spain
after sacking Rome in 410, the Visigoths settled in Spain and southern Gaul, but were driven from the latter by the Franks
Germanic Kingdoms: Franks under the Eanrly Merovingians
The Roman province of Gaul came under the control of the Franks in the fifth century and a dynasty founded by Merovech united the two main groups, Salian and Ripurian, from the lower and upper reaches of the Rhine River. The most important of the Merovingian kings was Clovis. Converted to the Roman Catholic Christianity during the reign of Clovis
Germanic Kingdoms: The Late Merovingians
the frankish practice of dividing up the kingdom among all the surviving sons when a monarch died led to periodic phases of civil war as brother sfought one another to re-establish a strong monarchy
Germanic Kingdoms: The Carolingians
the most powerful of the frankish nobles were the members of the Carolingian dynasty, named after its founder, Charles Martel. In 723 Charles Martel led the frankish defense against Muslim raiders and defeated them at the Battle of Tours. This event prevented Islam from establishing itself beyond Spain.
Germanic Kingdoms: The First Carolingian King: Pepin the Short
Pope Stephen II needed to help against the Lombards, so in 754 he crowned Pepin king of the Franks. In gratitude, Pepin defeated the Lombards and in 755 gave part of their territory to the pope. This land grant, known as the Donation of Pepin, founded the Papal States.
Germnic Kingdoms: Charlemagne
Pepin's son, Charlemegne, whose name mean "Charles the Great" inherited the largest territory in the west since the days of the Roman Empire and greatly expanded it during his long reign. Pope Leo III crowned him Roman Emperor.
Germanic Kingdoms: The Carolingian Renaissance
Charlemegne regularly met with his counts and bishops and he sent special agents, called missi dominici, throughout his realm to check up on them. He also took great care to ensure the spiritual and intellectual well-being of his realm. He founded schools by promoting the use of the Benedictine Rule and gathered together the finest scholars from all over western europe. encouraged the development of a more legible script to keep errors from creeping into the text. The script, which is konwn as Carolingian miniscule. Charlemegne favored the use of Latin as the common language so that men from various parts of his diverse empire could easily communicate with one another.
Germanic Kingdoms: The Later Carolingian Kings
His son, Louis the Pious was unable to keep it intact. The sons of Louis fought over their shares of the realm but eventually came to an agreement konwn as the Treaty of Verdun. By 870, the northern parts of the middle kingdom had been swallowed up by its neighbors, and the new boundaries were then formalized in the Treaty of Mersen
Germanic Kingdoms: The Conversion of Britain
Celts and Germanic Invaders. Both groups were converted to Catholicism by monastic missionaries, one group from Ireland, the other from Rome. Irish-monks led by St. Columba began converting the Picts and Roman monks sent by Pope Gregory the Great and led by Augustine of Canterbury began to convert the Anglo-Saxons in 597. By the mid-seventh century the foundations of Christianity in Britain were laid, but the two groups of missionaries-Celts and Romans, came into conflict over discrepencies in religious practice. The conflict was resolved at the synod of Whitby in 664 when the Celtic church accepted Latin practices
Germanic Kingdoms: Anglo-Saxon England
The Germanic invaders of Britain established seven kingdoms. They fought among themselves until the tenth century, when the Kingdom of Wessex united all the others. An important source for the early history of the anglo-saxons in britain was written by the Northumbrian monk the Venerable Bede.
Germanic Kingdoms: Vikings
Around the year 800, England, Ireland and the northern coasts of the continent began to suffer raids from Scandinavian pagans known as the vikings.
Germanic Kingdoms: Invasions of the Ninth and Tenth Centuries: Vikings, Saracens and Magyars
Eventually the Vikings began to settle in Ireland, Normandy. As the Vikings struck in the north, two other groups assailed Europe from the south and east. In the south, the Muslims and in the east, a nomadic group known as the Magyars entered Europe around the year 900. However, the victory of the German ruler Otto the Great over the Magyars at the Battle of Lechfield in 955 ended their depredations
The Medieval Church: Diocesan Structure
the Christian religion was the major civilizing influence in Europe during the middle ages.
Medieval Church: Rise of the Papacy
the bishops of Rome used the title Pope to assert their claim to spritual leadership of the church. As the empire disintegrated the papcy began to assume an important political dimension. The weakness of the western emperors and later their complete absence, was a major reason for the rise of the papacy to a position of leadership
Medieval Church: Gregory the Great
demonstrates how the papacy was threatene by the chaos of the age and responded by assuming a political role. Rome was threatened at the time by the Lombards. To counter the threat, Gregory negotiated with the barbarians and paid them tribute, which he raised from the papal estates. He also used this source of wealth to feed the poor of Rome and to maintain public works.
Medieval Church: Donation of Constantine
as noted earlier, Gregory's successors established an alliance with the Carolingians against the Lombards and in 755 received a temporal state. Hoping to justify this new temporal power, the papal chancery forged a document later in the eighth century that purported to be a grant of sovereignty to the papacy from Constantine the Great.
Medieval Church: Conflicts with the Greeks
They assumed the power to convene church councils which once belonged to the emperors
Medieval Church: Iconoclasm
the controversy arose in 726 when the Byzantine emperor Leo III forbade the veneration of icons, which he condemned as idolatry. The papcy supported the use of icons in devotions
Medieval Church: The Filioque Controversy
Tensions flared again when the popes added a clause to the Nicene Creed in order to clarify the Church's teaching on the trinity. This filioque clause asserted that the Holy Spirit proceeds not only from the father but also from the son. This theological difference, coupled with centuries of antagonism over the question of papal supremacy, resulted in a schism during the ninth century between the Greek church led by the Patriarch Photius and the Latin church led by Pope Nicholas I. This temporary schism became permanent in 1054.
Medieval Church: Monasticism
many devout christians became monks in order to leave the corrupting influence of the world and to focus on the spritual life. Monasticism was a self-regulating institution-it was not imposed by the papacy or church hierarchy, but arose independent of the diocesan structure as a kind of grassroots movement. The Benedictine order, which began at Monte Cassino in Italy, became the dominant form of monasticism in western europe until the twelfth century
Medieval Church: the benedictine rule
the benedictine rule differed from other monastic rules not so much in requiring its adherents to renounce private property, sex and free will, but because it struck an ideal balance between three important requirements of monasticsm. Benedict's rule also differed from other monastic rules in focusing on the life of the community. Its aim was to put the spiritual life within the reach of any devoted soul, not just the advanced individual.
Medieval Church: Benedictine Monasticism
A benedictine monastery was governed by an abbot who was chosen by the monks of the community. The abbot had absolute power over the community. Producing their own food, tools and books
Medieval Church: Peace Movements
The central message of Christianity was at odds with the tenor of early medieval society, which was dominated by violence. In order to minimize the disruptive impact of war among christian lords, the church promoted two movements, known as the peace of god and truce of god. The peace of god began to protect non-combatants. The truce of god was an attempt begun in the eleventh century to limit the number of days on which combat could take place.
Feudalism and Manorialism: Origins of feudalism
the Carolingians granted estates called benefices to support troops as long as the troops remained in their service. It was not until about the year 1000 that the grants of land became hereditary and began to be called fiefs. The fief gave rise to a new form of political organization called feudalism.
Feudalism and Manorialism: Limitations of the Terminology
Indeed, what historians call feudalism did not appear until the eleventh century
Feudalism and Manorialism: Classical Feudalism
the abstract concept of classical feudalism designates a form of political and military organization. At its heart was the fief, a land grant made by a lord to a lower member of the nobility called a vassal. In addition to the land grant, which provided an income, the lord promised to protect his vassal from enemies. In exchange, the vassal swore oaths of homage and fealty. Fiefs were hereditary as long as the vassals heir paid an inheritance tax and swore homage and fealty to the lord or the lord's heir. If the lord granted a large enough fief, the vassal could parcel it out to yet lower members of the nobility, in which case the vassal became a lord to his own vassals. This process is known as subinfeudation.
Feudalism and Manorialism: manorialism
the economic form of organization associated with feudalism is known as manorialism. While feudalism describes the relationship between a lord and his vassal, manorialism describes the relationship between the owner of a fief and his laborers. Likewise in the middle ages these laborers called serfs were unfree.
Feudalism and Manorialism: organization of the manor
The manor was essentially a self-sufficient economic unit, as it needed to be in an age of poor transportation when there was little trade
After centuries of decline, European population experienced an explosion that was aided by improvements in agricultural and technique and technology. A three-field system replaced the two. The development of the horse-collar replaced oxen with horses as draft animals and allowed the use of a heavier plow. Climate also favored agriculture at this time. Both water mills and windmills were in use by the twelfth century
Trade and Towns: the rise of towns
a consequence of political stability and the population explosion of the eleventh century was the revival of trade and the rise of towns.
Trade and Towns: the three fold model of medieval society
the agricultural society of the early middle ages conceived of itself as three classes, or orders, characterized by the function each performed : those who fight, those who pray and those who work. The three classes depended on one another. When trade and towns arose, so did a new social class, that of the merchants.The merchants were at first frowned upon. The church in particular distrusted their interest in making money.
Trade and Towns: merchant guilds
merchants banded together in caravans for protection against highway robbery, and this cooperation was the origin of the merchant guilds which tended to dominate the economic life of the towns.
Trade and Towns: Fiars
in order to draw merchants into a given region, rulers or towns would organize fairs, which facilitated trade by bringing merchants and their goods from distant part into close contact
Trade and Towns:maritime trade
while fairs were good for stimulating trade inland, it flourished most of all along the coasts, since ships could move good more quickly and efficiently than wagons and carts
Trade and towns: trade organizations
sometimes merchants from neighboring towns joined forces. The most notable example of such an association was the Hanseatic League.
Trade and Towns: Craft guilds
the crasftsmen who bought raw materials from traveling merchants also began to organize themselves into guilds. These craft guilds were organized around specific trades. The craft guilds were eventually overshadowed by the rise of capitalism during the early modern age.
Church and state
at the time that trade and towns were beginning to revive, the church also began a process of renewal. Since the functions of the church were to an extent political, this reform movement was perceived by some rulers as a challenge to their authority and resulted in a conflict between church and state.
Church and state: the cluniacs
an attempt to free monasticism from lay control and to revive a strict use of benedictine rule began at the monastery of cluny.
Church and state: reform of the papcy
the roman nobles, hoping to expand their own power against rivals, began to treat the papcy as a secular office that oculd be used to dominate local politics so they fought one another in the attempt to get their sons elected pope. The situation deteriorated serverly in the tenth century with a series of wordly popes, most notoriously John XII, who became pontiff at the age of 18, and was infamous for his sinful behavior. John XII called upon the German ruler, Otto I for aid against his enemies in Italy, and in gratitude for the help revived the imperial title, crowning Otoo the holy roman emperor in 962.
church and state: college of cardinals
many churchmen, including the cluniace, in principle disapproved of imperial interference in the affairs of the church, even when it was beneficial. In 1059 the reformers established the college of cardinals, whose purpose was to elect the pope. Only the highest-ranking members of the church hierarchy, known as the cardinals, belonged to this electoral college which thus excluded emperors.
church and state: the gregorian reforms
the most extreme was an italian named Hildebrand, who took the papal name Gregory VII. The reform movement was named after him. The main oals of the Gregorian reform were to enforce the ideal of clerical celibacy to end the state of church offices and to end lay interences in ecclesiastical appointments.
church and state: canons regular
in order to institute clerical celibacy, the reformers promoted the foundation of the canons regular, a semi-monastic order following the rule of st. augustine which recommended that diocesan priests live together in a community
church and state:thr investiture controversy
the appointment of bishops was a major problem in the german church. the holy roman emperors who could not depend on their rebellious nobles, relied on churchmen to perform political functions for them, and they regularly appointed biships to key offices. Gregory VII's demand that they stop this practice faced the emperor henry IC with a crisis. He responded in 1076 by convening a council at Worms to despose Gregory VII, who answered with excommunication. The controversy over the appointment of bishops raged until 1122, when a compromise solution was finally reached with the Concordat of Worms. This agreement allowed churchmen to elect bishops and invest them with the sumbols of spiritual authority, but required the approval of the emperor.
The Rise of Centralized Monarchies
beginning in the late eleventh century, a movement began toward the centralization of pwoer in the hands of monarchs. Theoretically, the king was supreme in his realm, but in reality due to the fragmentation caused by the invasions and the feudal system of government, his nobles were often stronger than he was.
the holy roman empire: germany and italy
the Investiture Controversy weakened the holy roman empire by aggravating the divisions within the realm. Although the nobles generally respected dynastic continuity, they insisted on strong privileges within their own domains, thereby preventing emperors from imposing centralized power on the vast territories of the empire
holy roman empire: Hohenstaufens
when frederick II died, the nobles would not accept his infant son as emperor. The result was the Great Interregnum, a period when there was no emperor. As rivals fought for the title, nobles stengthened their hold over their own terriitories
holy roman empire: guelfs and ghibellines
in italy, politics were polarized over the question of whether to oppose the emperor and acknowledge the pope's political leadership, or vice versa. those who supported the pope against the emperor were called guelfs and their opponents were called Ghibellines
holy roman empire: the hapsburgs
the Great Interregnum was finally ended when the German nobles elected Rudolf Hapsburg of Austria. They did not try to impose their authority over Germany or Italy, but were content with the imperial title and based their real power strictly on their own dynastic possessions.
holy oman empire: the golden bull
to streamline the often difficult process of imperial succession, the emperor Charles IV of Luxemburg issued the Golden Bull which fixed an electoral college at seven members
England: the anglo-saxon kingdom
the seven kingdoms of the anglo-saxon in england were unified in the tenth-century by Wessex, whose most ilustrious ruler was Alfred the Great. The english kingdom Danelaw was the most advanced state in Europe
in the eleventh century, the anglo-saxons lost control of england to two separate groups who were descended from the Vikings: the Danes and the Normans, both of whome were now members of the christian community. When Edward died without an heir in 1066, three men struggled for control of the kingdom: Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex; harold Hardrada, King of Norway; and william, duke of normandy. William won and became known as William the Conquerer.
England: norman rule in england
william was both an outstanding warrior and administrator. he combined the english system of shires with the feudal system of government in normandy to create a powerful, centrally organized. realm. Domesday Book in order to determine taxes accurately.
England: The angevin Empire
England became the centerpeice of an empire during the reign of Henry II. Its rise illustrates how marriage and dynastic ties could be used in medieval Europe to forge a large state rapidly. It also demonstrates how the feudal system tended toward dectralization of power, for although Henry II was king of england, he was a vassal of the king of france.
England: Henry II's reign
his most important aheivement was the promotion of common law through his system of justice, which was available to all freeman, made use of juries, and was administered by judges who traveled around the country on a regular basis. Henry was unable to do away with separate ecclesiastical courts. His attempt to try churchmen accused of wrongdoing in the royal courts rather than in the church courts was opposed by the Archbishop of Canterburry, Tomas Becket. After years of bitter conflict, the quarrel ended in 1170, when Becket was murdered by four of henry's knights
England: Magna Carta
richard I kown as the lion-hearted was an adventurer who spent nearly his entire reign outside England. In the end John had to make a concession konwn as the Magna Carta. This "Great Charter" guaranteed the protection of feudal privileges traditionally held by the English barons against royal attempts to expand the powers of the monarchy.
Simon de Montfort led the barons in a revolt against Henry III who refused to recognize some amendments to the Magna Carta konwn as the provisions of Oxford. In 1264 the barons took Henry III prisoner, and in 1265 Montfort summoned an assembly with representatives from the towns-the first Parliament. As Parliament was called into session with increasingfrequency, it evlolved to aquire a broader range of powers. The house of commons and the house of commons and the house of lords and was empowered to assume responsibilities concerning laws, taxation and impeachement
the Carolingians continued to rule the western frankish kingdom until 987, when the title of king was seized by one of the powerful nobles, Hugh Capet, count of paris. The transformation of the realm from a feudal state to a national monarchy was a very gradual, since the nobles of the realm were often stronger than the kings and were unwilling to give up their power and privileges. Philip was able to challenge his most powerful and menacing vassals, the Angevins. Yet Philip succeeded in his objective of making the Capetians the dominant family in france. Louis was a very active king, committed to reularizing the system of justice in his realm, and he participated in the Crusades.
Philip IV kown as the Fair, also strengthened the french monarchy. He used his enhanced royal power to crush his enemies, including Pope Boniface VIII. Philip's reign was preoccupied with measures to raise money. He destroyed the knights templar, a military monastic order founded during the crusades. He expelled the Jews from France and debased the currency. He called the first meeting of the Estates-general which was composed of the three orders (clergy, nobles and burghers) and received their support.
The Hundred Years War (1337-1453)
the growing power of the centralized monarchies in France and England set off a long series of conflicts which are known collectively as the hundred years war. At the time the war began, england had lost most of its french possessions. The most important region still under english control was Gascony in the southwest. The Angevins hoped to revive their one-proud empire by claiming the french throne according to the rules of succession. They chose a new dynasty, the Valios to receive the crown. At the Battle of Crecy, english longbowmen repeatedly halted charges by mounted french knights, proving the superiority of ranged weapons against cavalry and sounding the beginning of the end of chivalric warfare.
Since both france and england then experienced a period of instability as each country fell into internal conflict, the fighting did not resume until 1415 It was revived by Henry V of england who invaded northern france and quickly won the battle of Agincourt. French struck back in 1429 under the leadership of the charismatic peasant girl, Joan of Arc. The last few battles were decided by the use of a new weapon, artillery.
Spain was too divided to forster a centralized monarchy, but the foundations for one were laid during the Reconquista or reconquest of the Iberian peninsula from the Muslims. Over the course of eight centuries, the sucessors of these Christian warriors gradually pushed the Muslims back. the reconquest eventually took on a strong religious overtone and was eventually declared part of the crusading movement
eastern europe did not enter recorded history until its conversion to christianty when missionaries brought literacy to the pagan peoples. The effort was begun by the byzantine church in the ninth century, when the monks cyril and methodius converted the czechs and slovaks to greek orthodoxy and gave them the cyrillic alphabet. Poland remained easternmost catholic region until the fourteenth century, when the pagan lithuanians-faced by latin christians in the west and greek christians in the east-decided to accepted catholicism. Their ruler, the grand duke Jagiello was motivated to do so by the proposed union of his people with the Poles on condition of accepting Catholicism. One of several military relgious orders founded during the crusades, the Teutonic Knights. Gregory IX, gave the Teutonic knights permission to expand their state through additional conquests of pagans. By 1300 the knights became the most powerful state in the baltic region. When the lithuanians, the last european pagans, converted to christianity in 1386, the teutonic knights faced a crisis of purpose. In the end they fought with Poland-Lithuania and were deafeated in 1410 at the battle of Tannenberg. The vikings who founded colonies in eastern europe during the ninth century were konwn as Varangians or Rus, and the lands where they lived became known as Russia. The Mongols, a nomadic people led by Genghis Khan formed an immense empire across Asia in the thirteenth century. They key to survival and success at this time was a willingness to collaborate with the mongols by paying tribute.
The church in the late middle ages: papal monarchy
while the holy roman empire was weakened by the investiture controversy, the papacy benefited from it, and used the prestige it acquired by challenging the emperors to adopt the Gregorian reforms. The popes then put forth an ambitious program of reshaping Christian society that gave them a considerable measure of political power extending far beyond the boundaries of the Papal States, as exemplified by the series of invasions that they initiated konwn as the Crusades.
church in the late middle ages: council of Clermont
pope urban II began the crusading movement at the council of clermont in france when he urged christian warriors to stop fighting one another and devote their energy to a worthier task, namely, recapturing Jerusalem from the Seljuk Turks, a group of muslims who hindered christian pilgrims from visiting the holy land. Desperate for help, the byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus asked the pope to organize ilitary support. The First Crusade was the result of this request.
church in the late middle ages: the furst crusade
in 1096, several groups led by lesser Frankish nobles or demagogues set out for Jerusalem. Four feudal states, known collectively as Outremer were carved out by their conquests. The first crusade succeeded partly because the muslims were divided against one another.
the church in the late middle ages: the second crusade
in 1144 the muslims staged a counterattack and overthrew the county of edessa. A new crusade was proclaimed to win back edessa, preached by the cistercian monk Bernard of Clairvaux. The second crusade was a failure.
the church in the later middle ages: the thurd crusade
in 1187 the muslim warrior Saladin, Prince of Egypt, dealt a crushing blow to the crusading armies at the battle of hattin and captured jerusalem. The crusade to win back jerusalem attacked three kings: Richard I the Lion-hearted of england, philip II augustus of france and frederick I barbossa of the holy roman empire. This crusade was also a failure.
church in the later middle ages: the fourth crusade
relations between the byzantines and the crusaders who mistrusted each other had been strained from the very start, but during the fourth crusade they reached an irreconcilable low. The crusaders found themselves unable to pay the venetians for passage to the holy land. diverted by the wealth of byzantium, the crusaders never reached muslim lands
the church in the later middle ages: later crusades
in 1291 the last outpost in the holy land, the city of Acre, fell to the muslims ending the crusader states.
church in the later middle ages: military religious orders
one curious development of the crusades was the rise of military religious orders. the three main orders arose in the holy land: the templars, th ehospitallers and the Teutonic knights
church in the later middle ages: new religious orders
the new military religious orders were part of a larger movement of church reform, which saw the rise of several new monastic orders. Although the Cluniac movement had arisen as a reform in the tenth century, in time the Clunaics themselves had become too wordly, and new reformers set about founding orders to live a simpler christian life.
church in the later middle ages: heretical movements
heretical movements arose as devout christians who were scandalized by luxurious lifestyles of some catholic bishops openly denounced th eclerical hierarchy. the Cathars were a dualist sext akin to the ancient Manichees and believed that the material world was created by an evil god who opposed the creator of the spiritual world. the Waldensians followers traveled throughout europe preaching against the luxurious lifestyles of many catholic bishops.
church in the later middle ages: albigensian crusade
pope innocent III declared a crusade the Cathars which was known as the Albigensian Crusade
church in the later middle ages: inquisition
Pope Gregory IX established the inquisition in 1231 to ferret out cathars who had escaped the Albigensian crusader and gone into hiding. The effort was entrusted to a new monastic order the Dominicans. The Inquisition also persecuted the Waldensians and all who opposed the authority of the Catholic Church.
church in the later middle ages: the height of Papal monarchy: Innocent III
the most prominent representative of this politically forceful "papal monarchy" was Innocent III. It was Innocent who declared the Albigensian Crusade
church in the later middle ages: fourth lateran council
innocent III most significant achievement was the fourth lateran council in 1215. This church council was the largest in the middle ages. as a canon lawyer, Innocent sought to define in detail the requirements of membership in the Roman Catholic Church.
church in the later middle ages: medicant orders
the ban on new religious rules followed Innocent III's approval of two new mendicant orders of friars, which he wanted to promote. The friars differed from traditional monks in they they did not take vows of residence at a specific monastery, but lived in the secular world as itinerant preachers. The friars were so greatly appreciated that they quickly became quite wealthy, despite their vows of poverty, and soon constructed churches as well as friaries where they slept after the day's preaching. St. Francis of Assisi founded the first mendicant order, konwn as Franciscans.
church in the later middle ages: decline of the papacy
popes after Innocent III were not as successful in controlling the rulers of europe.
church in the later middle ages: Avignon Papacy
the next pope, Clement V was a frenchmen who was presuaded by Philip IV and the french cardinal to move the papal residence from rome to Avignon on the Rhone river where the papacy came under the influence of the French monarchy
church in the later middle ages: the Great Schism
many christians were scandalized by the self-imposed exile of the papacy and demanded it return to rome. Not long afterwards, however, when Urban VI refused to make compromises with the cardinals, they protested that they had voted under duress-in fact, a roman mob had demanded they elect an italian. the disgruntled cardinals therefore declared the election invalid and chose an antipope, Clement VII. Europeans were unsure who was the true pope and became divided along political lines. They cooperated to elect a new anitpope, John XXIII but the other two refused to resign, resulting in three men claiming the papal office.
church in the later middle ages: Counciliar movement
in order to resolve the deadlock, John XXIII was persuaded to call a general council. This measure envisioned a new thoery of the church, which reasoned that ultimate authority does not reside in the papacy but in the body of all believers, so that a representiative assembly consisting of church leaders could make decisions in emergencies. The result was the council of Constance which deposed the other popes and elected Martin V as the true pope. The papacy emerged from the Schism a much humbled office. It could no longer exert significant political influence outside italy.
church in the later middle ages: Wycliffe and Huss
the Council of Constance also took measures to curb heresy, which had not been controlled during the Schism. Wycliffe was an english reformer whose theology had been condemned because he was critical of the church hierarchy and emphasized the primacy of the bible over the teachings of councils. Wycliffe rejected the doctrine of transubstantiation and translated the Vulgate into english.
church in the later middle ages: end of the counciliar movement
pope martin V called the council of Basel in 1431 to continue a general reform of the church, but this council later ran afoul of Martin's successor, Eugene IV. Eugene IV reasserted papal superiority over church councils by convening the council of Ferrara-Florence, which coincided with the Council of Basel.
medieval cultural tradition
medieval thought depended largely on the study of the ancient classics of Greece and Rome but used these pagan texts in novel ways for the benefit of christian society. At the heart of medieval education was the tradition of the liberal arts, which was used in combination with the bible and the writings of the church fathers in the study of theology. They identified seven liberal arts organized into two groups: the three disciplines of the trivium were linguistic and the four mathematical disciplines of the quadrivium. The most prominent of the liberal arts in the middle ages was logic, which relied on the writings of Aristotle.
the intellectual tradition: translations from spain and sicily
toward the year 1000, medieval scholars became acutely aware that they had lost much of the ancient tradition. They also discovered that the muslims in spain and sicily had preserved most of this tradition in Arabic translations of the Greek classics. Throughout the twelfth century, Christian scholars traveled to Spain and Sicily where they translated the works of Aristotle from Arabic into Latin.
the intellectual tradition: plato and aristotle in the middle ages
the Timaeus was in fact the only work of Plato's to be translated into Latin during the period of the late empire and therefore available in the west. Plato lost favor because he wrote dialogues on a few select topics rather than systematic treatises, and Aristotle gained favor because he had taught every subject in a comprehensive system of knowledge.
intellectual tradition: arabic and jewish influences on european philosphy
the most influential jewish thinker was Maimonides, who is best konwn for his attempt to harmonize reason and revelation in his Guide for the Perplexed.
intellectual tradition: Cathedral schools and the Renaissance of the 12th century
the new translations of Greek philosophy were studied primarily in the cathedral schools. The 12th century Renaissance focused on reviving the study of the ancient classics
intellectual traditions: universities
teachers and students organized themselves as guilds in order to set the curriculum, set fair prices for instruction and negotiate with townsmen on whom they depended for food and accommodation. Since the early universities were associations of scholars who banded together for economic and legal protection, they did not have a permanent location
intellectual traditions: colleges
the universities began to acquire a permanent physical identity when wealthy benefactors founded colleges in the thirteenth century. The colleges were originally residence halls for the support of students who could not afford to pay living expenses.
intellectual traditions: curriculum and specialized studies
the universities recognized four faculties: liberal arts, law, medicine, and theology. There were two kinds of law: civil law and canon law. Medicine was largely based on the works of the ancient physician Galen. Although theology was the most prestigious and regarded as the queen of the faculties, it was actually the least studied.
intellectual traditions: peter Abelard
the rise of Paris as a center for the study of theology is associated with the career of Peter Abelard, a charismatic teacher who promoted the use of logic in his Sic et Non. Abelard demonstrated how logic could be used to resolve seeming contradictions in Scripture and the church fathers.
intellectual traditions: scholasticism
even though Abelard's teachings were condemned, his method of resolving contradictions in religious texts by the application of logic was retained and became a standard feature of scholasticism.
intellectual traditions: St. Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologiae by the Dominican friar st. Thomas Aquinas. This text, which proposed to reconcile faith and reason, became the favored theological work of the Catholic church
intellectual traditions: Nominalism
a long-lasting debate that generated interest in the 12th century concerned the relationship between words and reality. as realism, maintained that universal conepts substantially exist in an inteligible world. The contrary school of thought, known as nominalism, objected that universals are merely words that are used to desribe abstractions and therefore do not correspond to any substantial reality.
intellectual traditions: political theory
the principal political thinkers of the middle ages were John of Salisbury who described medieval society as an organic unity in the form of a human body whose head is the king and Marsilius of Padua argued that all political authority is derived from the poeple
intellectual traditions: science and technology
Roger Bacon and another english thinker, Robert Grosseteste began to develop a theory of experimental science
Among the earliest works in Old French is The Song of Roland. A key element of chivalry was a complex form of romantic love. The most impressive example of vernacular literature was the Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri
the Black Death
During the hundred years war, most of europe was struck with bubonic plague which became known as the black death. the disease was spread by fleas living in the fur of rats. Earlier in the 14th century there were a series of crop failures which resulted in widespread famines. The long-term effects were actually beneficial to laborers but hurt the employers. Afterwards labor was in high demand and low supply, which resulted in greatly increased wages.
Art and Architecture
the revival of european economic life and culture around the year 1000 inspired a phase of church-building that evolved through architectural styles known as Romanesque and Gothic. By the 12th century medieval handwriting also changed from the simplicity of Carolingian miniscule to the more elaborate and ornate Gothic miniscule. Most painting appeared in books. Historical intial-figures painted within an oversized letter of the first word of a chapter to provide a visual accompaniment that symbolically summarizes the text. The preeminent fresco painter of the medieval period was Giotto who transformed the two-dimensional quality of Gothic painting by adding the illusion of depth, introducing a move toward naturalism, and emphasizing the human rather than divine. His innovations inspired the art of the Italian Renaissance.