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Medieval Europe. a thousand years without a bath ? collapse of classical civilization descent into dirt and superstition ?. The Middle Ages. beginning? 180 death of Marcus Aurelius 284 accession of Diocletian 325 foundation of Constantinople 395 death of Theodosius the Great

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Medieval Europe

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Medieval europe l.jpg

Medieval Europe

  • a thousand years without a bath ?

  • collapse of classical civilization

  • descent into dirt and superstition ?

The middle ages l.jpg

The Middle Ages

  • beginning?

    • 180 death of Marcus Aurelius

    • 284 accession of Diocletian

    • 325 foundation of Constantinople

    • 395 death of Theodosius the Great

    • 476 abdication of Romulus Augustulus

    • 800 coronation of Charlemange

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Three Elements

  • Graeco-Roman civilization and culture

    • the oldest and most important

  • Christianity

    • the newest

  • Germanic culture

    • the “plastic element “ of the Middle Ages

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Contest Between

  • Universality

    • formerly represented by the empire

    • claimed by the church

  • particularism

    • kingdoms and feudal society

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The Crisis of the Third Century

  • End of the practice of adoption

  • The Severian Emperors

    • the army as a social class

    • abandonment of the Augustan constitution

    • collapse of the senate and other organs of state

    • collapse of the civil adminstration

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Crisis, con’t

  • collapse of society

    • breakdown of social classes

  • collapse of the economy

    • collapse of trade and coinage

  • barbarian invasions

  • civil wars

    • Thirty emperors

    • The Danubian emperors (soldiers)

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Crisis, con’t

  • Aurelian - restituor orbis

  • Decius - persecutions of those who corrupt traditional family values

  • Diocletian

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Diocletian and Reform

  • The Tetrarchy

  • The Annona

  • The Edict of Maximum Prices

  • The “new provinces”

  • The “eastern frontiers”

  • The “new capitals”

  • The “persecutions”

    • Edict of Toleration, 311

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  • The divided empire, united

  • The Battle of the Milvian Bridge

  • The “conversion of Constantine”

  • The Edict of Milan - 314

  • The First Ecumenical Council

  • The New Capital

    • Constantinople

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  • Constantine the Great

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Collapse in the West, 476

  • Germanic invasions

  • foundation of Germanic kingdoms

  • breakdown of infastructure and the economy

  • simplification of society

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Competing Kingdoms

  • Visigoths: Spain

    • destroyed by Islam, 720 A.D.

  • Ostrogoths: Italy

    • reconquered by Romans, early 500’s

  • Franks: France

  • various minor players

    • conquered by Franks, mostly

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Feudal System

  • the political system of medieval Europe

  • the military system of medieval Europe

  • the method of government and the military power to enforce it

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Feudal System: Characteristics

  • restraints on royal power

  • possession of public power by private persons

    • “public power in private hands”

  • particular rules about the use and transfer of real property

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Definition of Feudalism

  • fragmentation of political power

    • the county is the largest viable political unit

  • fragmented power treated as a private possession

    • managed by private contracts

  • military force: “knights”

    • secured by private contracts between individuals

    • no “national armies”

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  • Roman empire: private retainers and soldiers

  • Germanic society: the comitatus

    • a warrior band

  • gifts of land for service or surrendering control of your land or talents to a superior for his protection

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Feudalism Organization

  • ascending and descending relationships:

    • secured by contracts

    • like buying a used car, each is different

  • fiefs

    • vassals

  • subinfuedation

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Obligations of the Vassal

  • Concilium and auxilium

  • military service

    • 40 days a year

  • Aids and incidents

  • hospitality

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Obligations of the Lord

  • treat vassals as social equals

  • leave them undisturbed on their fiefs

  • protect them

  • judgment by their peers

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Feudal Warfare

  • not as bloody as imagined or as dangerous

  • private warfare

  • relatively restricted until the late Middle Ages

  • The Peace of God : 900’s

  • The Truce of God: 1000’s

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  • the economic system of medieval Europe

  • the social system of medieval Europe

  • develops prior to feudalism

  • collapses prior to feudalism

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The Manor

  • based on the fief

  • one or more manors to a fief

  • each manor had a village

  • freemen and serfs

  • provided the economic support for the lord

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The Manor

  • non-capitalistic

  • self-sufficient

  • as much a social as an economic institution

  • will decline when towns reappear

    • after 1000 A.D.

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Origins of Serfdom

  • Slaves, free peasants in both Roman and Germanic societies

  • Heavy intermarriage

  • Appeals to lords, special relationships

  • Mid-7th century: recognition of serf class

    • Midway between slave and free peasant

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Serfs’ Rights and Obligations

  • Right to pass on land to heirs

  • Obligation to provide labor, payments in kind to lord

  • Unable to move from land

  • Fees charged for marrying serfs of another lord

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The Economy of Early Medieval Europe

  • Agricultural center moves north from Mediterranean

  • 8th century iron-tipped plow introduced in Europe

  • Draft animals breeded

  • Water mill technology

  • Agricultural output insufficient to support growth of cities

  • Strong Mediterranean trade despite Muslim domination of sea

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Population Growth of Europe, 200-1000 CE

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Merovingian Franks

  • control much of France

    • 480’s to mid-700’s

  • precocious debauchery

  • the Salic Principle of Inheritance

  • collapse of trade and industry

  • growth of the power of the nobility

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Clovis (ruled 481-511)

  • Major Frankish leader

  • Destroyed last vestiges of Roman rule in Gaul

  • Dominated other Germanic peoples

  • Franks establish themselves as preeminent Germanic people

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The Mayors of the Palace

  • powerful royal officials

  • de facto rulers of the kingdoms

  • military leaders

    • ex. Charles Martel

  • supervised the nobility and royal officials

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The Carolingian dynasty

  • Pepin III : king in 752

    • with papal support

  • expansion of the Frankish kingdom

  • the Donation of Pepin

    • the Donation of Constantine

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  • Charles the Great

  • king of the Franks and Lombards

  • destruction of the Avars

  • forced conversions of non-Christians

    • the Saxons

    • coexistence with non-Christians not possible

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Charlemagne, con’t

  • doubled the size of the kingdom

  • buffer between Eastern Europe and the Slavs

  • buffer state against the Vikings

  • destruction of the Lombards

  • end of Germanic paganism

  • beginning of the Reconquista in Spain

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The Carolingian Empire

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Charlemagne, con’t

  • reversal of Slavic westward movement

  • beginnings of the ideas which will become

    • lebensraum, ost front, and Drang nach Osten

  • beginning of continued attempts at Germanic expansion to the East

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Charlemagne as Emperor

  • 800 A.D. Christmas

  • crowned Emperor of the Romans by the Pope

  • did he know ?

  • Pope’s motives ?

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Charlemagne and Government

  • personal government

  • responsibilities

    • advancement of the Church

    • defense of the Empire

    • establishment of law and order

  • failure to create a civil service

  • finances: personal

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The Carolingian Renaissance

  • did not emphasize creativity

  • devoted to recovering the past

  • looked to the past for standards and ideas

  • looked to the past for art and knowledge

  • preservation of manuscripts

    • Carolingian minuscule

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Carolingian Renaissance, con’t

  • revival of learning

  • Alcuin of York

  • University as Aachen

  • Church did not control learning

  • schools in communities

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The Seven Liberal Arts

  • Trivium

    • grammar, rhetoric, dialectic (logic)

  • Quadrivium

    • arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music

  • the foundations of learning in the West

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Disintegration of the Empire

  • Louis the Pious

    • the Salic principle of inheritance

  • Lothiar, Pepin, Louis, Charles

  • the Treaty of Verdun: 843

    • arranged by the Church

  • future impact on Europe

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The Formation of Christian Europe

  • Clovis’ conversion forms strong alliance with Roman Christianity

  • Church supplies Clovis with class of literate information workers:

    • Scribes

    • secretaries

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The Franks and the Church

  • Protectors of the Papacy

  • Charlemagne destroys Lombards, who threatened Pope, Rome

  • Spreads Christianity in northern areas

  • Support of scholarship, scribal activity

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The Spread of Christianity

  • Charlemagne fights pagan Saxons (772-804)

    • Saxons later adopt Christianity

  • Scandinavia, other pockets of paganism until c. 1000 CE

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Pope Gregory I (590-604 CE)

  • “Gregory the Great”

  • Asserted papal primacy

  • Prominent theologian

    • Sacrament of penance

  • Major missionary activity, especially in England

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  • Egyptian origins, 2nd-3rd centuries

  • Monastic lifestyle expands 4th century

  • Large variety of monastic rules

    • Range from extremely ascetic to very lax

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St. Benedict (480-547)

  • Established consistent rule for monasteries

    • Poverty

    • Chastity

    • Obedience

  • St. Scholastica (482-543)

    • Sister of St. Benedict

    • Adapts Benedictine Rule for convents

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Monasticism and Society

  • Accumulation of large landholdings, serfs

  • Social welfare projects

    • Esp. labor contributions

  • Expansion of literacy

  • Inns, orphanages, hospitals

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