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Europe During the Middle Ages. AP World History Unit 2. Germanic States. Roman empire overran by Germanic groups with repeated invasions and constant warfare. Breakdown of trade: money became scarce. Cities abandoned, no longer center of economy or administration Population became rural.

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Europe during the middle ages

Europe During the Middle Ages

AP World History

Unit 2

Germanic states
Germanic States

  • Roman empire overran by Germanic groups with repeated invasions and constant warfare.

    • Breakdown of trade: money became scarce.

    • Cities abandoned, no longer center of economy or administration

    • Population became rural.

    • Decline of literacy – priests and other church officials were the few that were literate.

    • Breakup of unified empire – language began to change. No longer Latin.

    • End of Democracy.

End of democracy
End of Democracy

  • Rome

    • Unified by loyalty to public government and written law.

    • Orderly government

  • Germanic States

    • Family ties and personal loyalty.

    • People lived in small communities governed by unwritten rules and traditions.

    • Ruled by a chief who led a band or warriors loyal only to him, not some emperor they would never see.

Changes in europe
Changes in Europe

  • After the decline of the Roman Empire small kingdoms sprang up all over Europe.

  • The largest and the strongest was controlled by the Franks.

    • Lead by Clovis, first Christian king.

    • Area that is now France.

    • Greatest king was Charlemagne.

      • Most powerful king in Western Europe.

      • Encouraged learning.

The church
The Church

  • Papacy keeps power of the monarchs in check.

  • Catholic Church is largest, single landowner in Western Europe.

  • Excommunication from the Church excludes the individual from the sacraments.

  • Accused heretics are tried by a special court called the Inquisition.

  • The Church organizes hospitals, refuges and orphanages for the ill and destitute.

The clergy
The Clergy

  • Influenced all levels of society, especially kings.

  • The only group in society that was educated.

  • Guided everything in life.

    • Baptism, marriage, death, etc.

  • Power to condemn or to forgive.

  • Very powerful in people’s lives.

The church hierarchy
The Church Hierarchy

  • Pope

    • Head of the church.

    • Latin for “father”.

  • Cardinals

    • Advisors to the Pope.

    • Controlled the Archbishops.

    • Chooses new Pope from the Cardinals.

  • Archbishops

    • Controlled the archdiocese and bishops.

The church hierarchy1
The Church Hierarchy

  • Bishops

    • Controlled the diocese.

      • Diocese are located in cities and provinces.

      • They are divided into many parishes.

  • Abbots

    • Controlled the monasteries and local parishes.

  • Priests

    • Controlled the local church or parish.

    • Led religious services.

      • Weddings, baptism, funerals, etc.

    • Cared for the sick.

The church hierarchy2
The Church Hierarchy

  • Monks

    • Lived in monasteries.

    • Hard and physical labor to support the community they lived in.

    • Occasionally preached.

    • Lowest on the hierarchy, but very important because they had the most contact with the common people.

  • Nuns

    • Not considered part of the hierarchy, but the only position women could hold in the church.

    • Charitable work.

    • Worked with the poor.

    • Controlled convents.

      • Communities for nuns.

    • Sworn to never marry.


  • Complex design with many different buildings.

    • Granaries.

    • Breweries.

    • Bakeries

    • Wineries.

    • Churches.

    • Libraries.

    • Hospitals.

    • Schools.

  • Acted as a self contained town.

The seven sacraments
The Seven Sacraments

  • Sacred acts that impart grace upon the individual

  • Only members of the clergy can administer the sacraments.

    • Baptism

    • Confirmation

    • Ordination (for clergy)

    • Matrimony

    • Penance (confession and absolution of sins)

    • Eucharist (holy communion)

    • Extreme unction (last rites)

The church and nobles
The Church and Nobles

  • Church encouraged people that their souls would be saved by giving money to the church.

  • Nobles were encouraged to leave land to the church when they died in return the Noble would go to heaven.

    • This increased the wealth of the church.

  • Power struggle with the Kings and the Popes.

The good side of the church
The Good Side of the Church

  • Preserver of learning

  • Art

    • music, stained glass, and wood carvings

  • Medicine

  • Shelter for poor

  • Giver of food

  • Scientist

  • Illumination

  • People found hope

    • turned to the church for guidance and comfort

  • Church offered salvation through the sacraments

The bad side of the church
The Bad Side of the Church

  • Amassed wealth

  • Owned land

  • Some where dishonest

  • Simony

  • Political involvement

  • Corruption

  • Immorality

Evolution of medieval life

Evolution ofMedieval Life

Urban life
Urban Life

  • Crusades open up new trade routes.

  • Markets, close to rivers, expand in response to flourishing trade and increased agricultural yields.

  • Urban space provides location for merchant class (middle class) to develop.

  • Charters of self-development purchased from lords give citizens of towns degree of independence.

Urban life1
Urban Life

  • Merchants and craftspeople form guilds to protect buyers and sellers.

  • Professions develop system of training where an apprentice learns the craft from a journeyman.

  • Commercial centers, like Bruges, Florence, and Venice, become influential city-states.

  • Stone walls, cathedrals, and guildhalls are built.


  • Began as cathedral schools in the urban centers of Western Europe like Bologna, Oxford, Paris, and Cambridge.

  • Comes from the word universities, which is Latin for guild or corporation.

  • Offered Liberal Arts curriculum: grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music.


  • Programs in theology, medicine, and law also offered.

  • Women are excluded from receiving a higher education.

  • Become places of lively debate.


  • Theological scholars are influenced by Aristotle’s writings, transcribed and commented by Arabic scholars.

  • Scholars reconcile Aristotle’s rationalistic approach to knowledge with the Christian reliance on faith.

  • Aristotle’s logical explanation of the Unmoved Mover helps Aquinas prove God’s existence.


  • Aquinas elevates the use of reason to discover God’s world, yet still relies on revelation to fathom God’s mysteries.

  • Thomas Aquinas’s theology exhibits a hierarchical view of the world with man being the closest of earthly creatures to God.

    • He lived from 1225-1274.

The church in medieval europe questions
The Church in Medieval Europe Questions

These questions do not need to be turned in for a grade,

however you do need to know them for maybe a quiz or test in the future. 

  • Why do you think the Catholic Church felt the need to control the political life as well as the spiritual life of the people? How did it do so?

  • How did the development of a merchant class and urban life change the landscape of Europe?

  • Do you think scholasticism enhanced or undermined the power of the Catholic Church?

  • Why do you think the Last Judgment and visions of heaven and hell were popular subjects for literature, the visual arts and music?

  • How do the Gothic stained glass windows represent the Medieval view of the truth?