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Chapter 12:The Low Middle Ages Section 1:Early European Kingdom. Eden Core World History Period 4. A. The People and Land of the Middle Ages in Europe. Main Idea: The weakened defense of the old Roman borders cleared the path for Germanic-speaking groups to invade Europe.
Main Idea: The weakened defense of the old Roman borders cleared the path for Germanic-speaking groups to invade Europe.
*The Geography of Western Europe.
Much of the land of western Europe during the early middle ages was covered with thick forests, rich soils, large swift rivers, and many mineral resources.
Yet, in the sixth century, western Europe began to have fewer settlers, people left the cities and moved to the countryside where they could grow their own food.
Also Roman warriors were no longer assigned to old borders, because the outlying areas of the empire were soon overcome by invading groups.
*The People of the Middle Ages in Europe
The people of northern Europe did not share the culture or the Latin language of the Romans, these people spoke Germanic languages, and as a result these people were called Germanic people.
Germanic peopleslived in small groups of farmers and herders, and moved from place to place.
Sometimes they had to defend themselves from attack, and sometimes they fought to gain new lands that had better soil for farming
Main Idea: Charlemagne was crowned Roman emperor, ruler of a large empire in western Europe.
*Uniting the Franks
Around 481, Clovis was able to unite several of the Frankish groups. He combined forces and led the collapsing Roman army into Gaul.
Clovis began a dynasty of rulers that would remain in power for a long time.
Then, in the eighth century, the descendants of Clovis were displaced by the grandfather of the famous ruler Charlemagne.
*The Rise of Charlemagne
Carolus Mangus was also called Charles the Great, or Charlemagne in French, he lived as king of the Franks for 46 years from 768 to 814.
During the first ten years of Charlemagne’s rule, he conquered the Lombard Kingdom in present-day northern Italy and fought against the Saxons in northern Europe.
So for the remaining 36 years of his reign, he forced was to defend his vast territory from invasions, he improved cultures, education, and laws within his kingdom.
*A Christian King
Charlemagne forced the conquered peoples to become Christians and he had his priests perform baptisms on the populations of entire cities.
After the crowning of Charlemagne, on Christmas day in the year 800, he accomplished three things. First, it gave the Romans their first emperor since 476. It gave Charlemagne the blessing of the pope and finally, it established that the Pope had the power to crown an emperor.
Pope Leo III hoped that an alliance with Charlemagne would solve his own problems with his main rival, the emperor of Constantinople, who claimed to be sole ruler over all Roman territories.
*Schools and Learning
Charlemagne wanted to foster culture and learning . He could read but he could not write.
Under Alcuin’s influence, Charlemagne issued the Chapter of Modern Thought, he noted that the letters he had received form the clergy were filled with errors in grammar.
Under the Alcuin influence schools were set up throughout the kingdom.
Charlemagne’s interest in learning led to a revival, or renewed interest, in the cultures of Rome and Greece.
Charlemagne’s careful attention to detail extended to all parts of his kingdom, assigning nobles to travel around the kingdom and report back on everything.
His leadership brought about so many reforms and improvement that the period of his reign has come to be. known as the Age of Charlemagne.
*The Decline of Charlemagne’s Empire
With Charlemagne’s death in 814, the empire he had built went into slow decline. It ended 843 after almost 30 years of conflict.
Muslim forces attacked southern Italy and gained control of Sicily in the late 800s. A nomadic group called Magyars lived in the area that is now called Hungary around 896, they began an invasion of Europe.
The empire that Charlemagne had created did not last long after his death, however, his standards on a learning and governing remained.