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Early Medieval Europe. Medieval Foundations. Christianity Roman Empire Germanic Tribes. Christian Evangelism. Continuing missionary efforts  Progress beyond Roman Empire Armenia. Celtic Christianity. St. Patrick and Ireland Importance of monasteries Abbots’ authority

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Medieval Foundations

  • Christianity

  • Roman Empire

  • Germanic Tribes


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Christian Evangelism

  • Continuing missionary efforts 

  • Progress beyond Roman Empire

  • Armenia


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Celtic Christianity

  • St. Patrick and Ireland

  • Importance of monasteries

    • Abbots’ authority

    • Evangelism

      • St. Columba

      • Iona

      • Lindisfarne

    • Scholarship (“saving civilization”)


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Boethius (480-524 A.D.)

  • Advisor to King Theodoric

  • Implicated in a conspiracy and jailed

  • Authored Consolation of Philosophy

  • Blending of Christian and pagan ideas

    • God as a philosophical concept

    • Echoes of both Plato and Aristotle

  • Big influence over next 1,000 years


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New Barbarian Kingdoms

  • Italy

    • Ostrogoths

    • Lombards

  • Spain – Visigoths

  • England – Anglo-Saxons

  • Religious problems (Arianism)


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Barbarian Kingdoms (2)

  • Franks–Merovingians

    • Clovis (482-511)

    • Conversion to Orthodox Christianity

    • Expansion

    • Primitive feudalism, “counts,” & bishops

    • Latin/German fusion


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Germanic Society

  • Central role of the family

  • Family structure and marriage (Tacitus)

  • Personal nature of legal system

    • Blood feuds

    • Wergeld – “money for a man”

    • Compurgation and ordeal

  • Impersonal nature of legal system—custom and law superior to leaders


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