The Early Medieval Period. 500-1000 A.D. Christian Meeting Places. In the New Testament, the meeting place was primarily domestic—in homes. The Jerusalem church met in the temple for teaching and prayer, and also met in their homes for breaking bread.
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The Early Medieval Period
Basilicas took their form from a ship. The center portion was the nave (from Latin word for ship), flanked by side aisles, and a curved end known as an apse.
The largest and most impressive Roman basilica was built by Maxentius and finished by Constantine in the early 4th century. The apse contained a colossal statue of Constantine. It stood until largely destroyed by an earthquake in the 17th century.
Two views showing how the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine would have appeared originally
Christian Basilica (Constantine’s Basilica at Trier)
Justinian Built Hagia Sophia, 533-537
“Most beautiful church in the world”
Left: Interior of Hagia Sophia
Above: Icon of Mary & Child in Hagia Sophia with Justinian I and Constantine I presenting Hagia Sophia to them.
Mosaic in St. Vitale in Ravenna, which Justinian built
Theodora and her court, in St. Vitale in Ravenna
By 550, Constantinople had 76 monasteries and ther were over 100,000 monks within the Eastern Empire.
The image below left (from the Monastery of Dionysiou on Mt. Athos) shows monks ascending the Ladder to God (and some of them, unfortunately, falling off); the image on the right (from the Monastery of Esphigmenou on Mt. Athos) shows the "Life of the True Monk" -- with demons tormenting him, although he remains unmoved, with his whole body in the form of the Crucified Christ).
St. Benedict Established Monastery of Monte Cassino, 529
Benedictine Monasticism became model for all new orders in Middle Ages
Goal: Purity, Model of Apostolic Church, Service
Vows of Poverty, Chastity, Obedience
Summary: “pray and work”
Monastery of Monte Cassino
Restored after original monastery destroyed in Allied attack during World War II
Life of the prophet
114 chapters (saris)
Expansion of Islam 634-750
“I sketch and paint Christ and the sufferings of Christ in churches, in homes, in public squares, on icons, on linen cloth, on clothes, and in every place I paint so that men may see them plainly, may remember them and not forget them…And as you, when you make your reverence to the Book of the Law, bow down not to the substance of skins and ink, but to the sayings of God that are found in therein, so I do reverence the image of Christ. Not to the substance of wood and paint—that shall never happen!...But by doing reverence to an inanimate image of Christ…I think to embrace Christ Himself and to do Him reverence….We Christians by bodily kissing an icon of Christ, or of an apostle or martyr, are in spirit kissing Christ Himself or His martyr.”
“When He Who is without a body and without form, Who has neither quanity nor magnitude, Who is incomparable with respect to the superiority of His nature, Who exists in Divine form—accepts a bond-servant’s appearance and arrays Himself in bodily form, then do you trace Him upon wood, and rest your hopes in contemplating Him, Who has permitted Himself to be seen…I do not bow down to matter but to the Creator of matter, Who for my sake took on substance and Who through matter accomplished my salvation, and I shall not cease to honor matter, through which my salvation was accomplished.”
Thus, matter has been sanctified and has become a means of grace.
“Icon of the Holy Trinity” by St. Andrei Rublev, Russian Orthodox (1411) for the “Holy Trinity Monastery” founded by St. Sergius.
Vladimir again called together his vassals and the elders. The Prince announced the return of the envoys who had been sent out, and suggested that their report be heard. He commanded them to speak out before his vassals. The envoys reported: "When we traveled among the Bulgars, we saw how they worship in their temple, called a mosque, while they lounge about slackly. Bulgarians bow, sit down, and look here and there as if possessed. There is no happiness among them, but instead only sadness and bad smells. Their religion is not good. Next we went among the Germans. We saw them performing many ceremonies in their temples, but we saw no glory there. Then we went on to Greece. The Greeks led us to the edifices where they worship their God, and we did not know whether we were in heaven or on earth. On earth there is no such splendor or such beauty, and we are at a loss how to describe it. We know only that God lives there among men, and that the Greek service is fairer than the ceremonies of other nations. We cannot forget that beauty. Once he has tasted sweetness, no man is willing to settle for bitterness.
The Germanization of Western Europe: “Franks”
Burgundian princess who insisted he
Empire of Charlemagne
The Papal States
Creates an empire
53 military campaigns
Crowned emperor 800
Appoints own household staff
Primitive law: ordeals
Creates feudal army
Weights and Measures
Generous to church, but master of church
Charlemagne receiving gifts
Empire of Charlemagne
Alcuin of York
Appointed head of Charlemagne’s Palace School
Invasion of Vikings
Carolingian kings unable to protect people
Paris withstood the onslaught (888)
Normans invade and settle in north
Rollo first Duke of Normandy 933
Normandy strongest area in France
Lords ask Hugh Capet to be king 987
Son of Eudes’ brother Robert
Beginning of Capetian Dynasty
Hugh Capet (987-996).
Otto the Great (936-973). Otto continued the legacy of the “Holy Roman Empire” as he sought to control Italy as part of his territory.