Historians' name for the eastern portion of the Roman Empire from the fourth century onward, taken from 'Byzantion,' an early name for Constantinople, the Byzantine capital city. The empire fell to the Ottomans in 1453.
Refers to the dual role of head of State and leader of the Church in which the temporal ruler extends his own powers to ecclesiastical and theological matters. The Church in the East, influenced by the growing power of the patriarch of Constantinople at the hands of the emperor, tended to accept a role for the Church in which it was subservient to the interests of the State.
the Church's own body of laws; this law applied to religious teachings, the behavior of the clergy, and even marriages and morals
King of the Franks (r. 768-814); emperor (r. 800-814). Through a series of military conquests he established the Carolingian Empire, which encompassed all of Gaul and parts of Germany and Italy. Illiterate, though started an intellectual revival.
King of Franks; conquered Gaul; earned support of Gaul and Church of Rome by converting; Ruled lands in Frankish custom but kept Roman legacy
Armed pilgrimages to the Holy Land by Christians determined to recover Jerusalem from Muslim rule. The Crusades brought an end to western Europe's centuries of intellectual and cultural isolation.
exclusion from the Roman Catholic Church as a penalty for refusing to obey Church laws
a political and social system that developed during the Middle Ages; nobles offered protection and land in return for service
Germanic people who lived and held power in Gaul. Their leader was Clovis and he would later bring Christianity to the region. By 511 the Franks had united into one kingdom and they controlled the largest and strongest parts of Europe.
business associations that dominated medieval towns; they passed laws, levied taxes, built protective walls for the city, etc. Each guild represented workers in one occupation such as weavers, bakers, brewers, sword makers, etc.
Most famous example of Byzantine architecture, it was built under Justinian I and is considered one of the most perfect buildings in the world.
An economic and defensive alliance of the free towns in northern Germany, founded about 1241 and most powerful in the fourteenth century.
an opinion different from accepted belief; the denial of an idea that is generally held sacred
Holy Roman Empire
Loose federation of mostly German states and principalities, headed by an emperor elected by the princes. It lasted from 962 to 1806.
Hundred Years War
Series of campaigns over control of the throne of France, involving English and French royal families and French noble families.
Eastern Roman emperor who tried to restore unity of the old Roman Empire; known for issuing most famous compilation of Roman Law; built the Hagia Sophia
Emperor Justinian's desire that existing Roman law be collected into a simple and clear system of laws, or "code"
In this type of government everyone, including all authority figures, must obey laws. Constitutions, statements of rights, or other laws, define the liits of those in power so they cannot take advantage of the elected, appointed, or inherited postitions.
bodies representing privileged groups; institutionalized feudal principle that rulers should consult with their vassals; found in England, Spain, Germany, and France.
This document, signed by King John of England in 1215, is the cornerstone of English justice and law. It declared that the king and government were bound by the same laws as other citizens of England. It contained the antecedents of the ideas of due process and the right to a fair and speedy trial that are included in the protection offered by the U.S. Bill of Rights
An economic system based on the manor and lands including a village and surrounding acreage which were administered by a lord. It developed during the Middle Ages to increase agricultural production.
the period between the fall of the Roman Empire in the west (470) and the beginning of the European Renaissance in the 1400s. This period is also known as "Medieval."
Royal officials under Charlemagne who traveled around the country to enforce the king's laws
A pogrom is a form of riot directed against a particular group, whether ethnic, religious, or other, and characterized by killings and destruction of their homes, businesses, and religious centers. The term was originally used to denote extensive violence against Jews
A period of intense artistic and intellectual activity, said to be a 'rebirth' of Greco-Roman culture. Usually divided into an Italian Renaissance, from roughly the mid-fourteenth to mid-fifteenth century, and a Northern Renaissance 1400-1600 .
a Kurdish warrior and Muslim leader during the Crusades. In 1187, Europeans were shocked to learn that Jerusalem had fallen to him. Saladin was a brilliant warrior as was Richard the Lionhearted so after many battles they agreed to call a truce in 1192 where Jerusalem remained under Muslim control and in return, Saladin promised that unarmed Christian pilgrims could freely visit the city's holy places.
the name of the last pre-Islamic Iranian empire. It was one of the two main powers in Western Asia for a period of more than 400 years. The Sassanid empire was constantly at war with the Byzantine Empire.
A philosophical and theological system, associated with Thomas Aquinas, devised to reconcile Aristotelian philosophy and Roman Catholic theology in the thirteenth century.
In medieval Europe, an agricultural laborer legally bound to a lord's property and obligated to perform set services for the lord. In Russia some serfs worked as artisans and in factories; serfdom was not abolished there until 1861.
the wife of Justinian, she helped to improve the status of women in the Byzantine Empire and encouraged her husband to stay in Consatntinople and fight the Nike Revolt.
The common speech of the masses. They were the alternative to Latin, the language of the learned. The late Middle Ages saw the rise of vernacular literature, though Latin remained the universal tongue of scholarship, politics, and the Church in Western Europe until after the Middle Ages and the Reformation.
Refers to a member of the Norse (Scandinavian) seafaring traders, warriors and pirates who raided and colonized wide areas of Europe from the late 8th to the 11th century. These Norsemen used their famed longships to travel as far east as Constantinople and the Volga River in Russia, and as far west as Newfoundland. This period of Viking expansion is commonly referred to as the Viking Age of Scandinavian History. While once thought to be part of the "barbaric North", with traditionally accepted ideas of Viking culture remaining in popular culture even today, the historical image of the Vikings has evolved somewhat to show the Vikings as sophisticated, technologically advanced peoples, proficient sailors, ship and town builders.