APWH 16: Early Medieval Europe

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Justinian I
Byzantine emperor from 527 to 565; he reunited the parts of the Roman Empire, simplified Roman laws, and ordered the Hagia Sophia built.
Code of Justinian
Reworked law code of the eastern Roman empire. Made less contradictory and simplified. Became the basis for most European and American law systems.
Hagia Sophia
Most famous example of Byzantine architecture; built under Justinian I. The model for most Christian religious structures.
Cyrillic Alphabet
An alphabet drived from the Greek alphabet and used for writing Slavic languages.
Franks
Germanic people who first came to power under Clovis and brought Christianity into prominence in northwestern Europe.
Carolingian Dynasty
Frankish dynasty founded by Charles 'the Hammer' Martel. Included both Pepin and Charlemagne. Lasted from 751 to 987.
Charlemagne
Frankish king who greatly increased the power of the Carolingian dynasty. Though he was illiterate, he started an intellectual and cultural revival that earned him the title "Emperor of the Romans."
monastic
Living an ascetic religious life and devoting oneself to contemplation and prayer.
feudalism
A political and social system that developed during the Middle Ages where nobles offered protection and land in return for service. Used in both medieval Japan and Europe.
divine right
Belief that a ruler's authority comes directly from God.
primogeniture
The practice of bequeathing lands and titles to the eldest male.
nobles
Persons of noble or 'honorable' rank or birth.
peasant
One of the lower class of generally agricultural laborers.
serfs
Workers who were tied to the land on which they lived.
corveé
Unpaid labor (as for the maintenance of roads) required by a lord of his vassals in lieu of taxes.
paganism
Any of the indigenous religions of the Greco-Roman world. An umbrella term for ancient Mediterranean religions other than Judaism and Christianity.
syncretic belief system
When codified or organized religions mix with indigenous religions.
Great Schism
The final division between Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. Occurred in 1054.
Vikings
One of a seafaring Scandinavian people who raided the coasts of northern and western Europe from the eighth through the tenth century.