the first feudal age 300 1000 ad l.
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The First Feudal Age (300-1000 AD). -Key Concepts-. I. Successors to Rome: “Shadows of the Empire”. A. Byzantine Empire. Greatest Emperor: Justinian (527-565 AD) Handed classical learning and science back to the west --Justinian’s Code of Laws (533) Rebuilding program in Constantinople

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The First Feudal Age (300-1000 AD)

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a byzantine empire
A. Byzantine Empire
  • Greatest Emperor: Justinian (527-565 AD)
  • Handed classical learning and science back to the west

--Justinian’s Code of Laws (533)

  • Rebuilding program in Constantinople
  • The Hagia Sophia (537)
a byzantine empire cont
A. Byzantine Empire (cont)
  • The Hippodrome
  • Justinian’s wife Theodora—life and influence
  • Autocratic nature of the Eastern Emperors
  • Selection of the Emperor and his administration
a byzantine empire cont5
A. Byzantine Empire (cont)
  • Warfare and the enemies of the Empire

-- “Greek fire”

--Ottoman Turks capture Constantinople (1453)

  • Tension between the eastern and western churches over icons
  • Solemn, otherworldly preoccupation
b islam and the islamic world
B. Islam and the Islamic World
  • The life of Muhammad (570-632 AD)
  • The Koran: “recitings”
  • “Islam”: submission to Allah
  • The “Hegira” or flight to Medina (622)
  • The notion of “jihad”
  • The Ka’ba and the Black Stone
b islam and the islamic world cont
B. Islam and the Islamic World (cont)
  • The relationship of men to women
  • No distinction between clergy and laity
  • The five pillars of Islam
  • Differences from Christianity
b islam and the islamic world cont8
B. Islam and the Islamic World (cont)
  • Successors to Muhammad

--Shi’ites vs. Sunnies

  • The Muslim Empire (632-732 AD)
  • Muslim intellectual and scientific achievements

--studied the Greco-Roman classics

--the number “0”

1 germanic culture
(1) Germanic Culture
  • Centrality of the tribal unit or family
  • The leadership of the war chieftain
  • Characteristics of Germanic law

-- “wergeld”

--trial by ordeal

  • Germanic treatment of women
1 germanic culture cont
(1) Germanic Culture (cont)
  • Blending of Germanic and Roman culture
  • The decline of town life and trade
  • The role of forests in Germanic thinking
  • Settlement patterns
1 germanic culture cont12
(1) Germanic Culture (cont)
  • Views of Disease
  • Treatment of Disease

--Eye Disease

--Frequent Stomach Disorders

-- “Leech”

--Broken bones, wounds and burns

  • Cavities below the gum line were prevalent
  • The role of monasteries in providing medical care
2 the merovingian dynasty
(2) The Merovingian Dynasty
  • The Franks: least romanized and most orthodox of the Germanic tribes

--Clovis: 1st Frankish King

  • The struggles and ineffectiveness of the Merovingian kings
  • The “Mayor of the Palace”
  • Charles Martel’s defeat of the Muslims at Tours
3 the carolingian dynasty and charlemagne
(3) The Carolingian Dynasty and Charlemagne
  • Pepin the Short, the first Carolingian king (751)

--The “Donation of Pepin”

  • Pepin’s son, Charles the Great, or Charlemagne (768-814)
  • Charlemagne’s military exploits
  • Continued reciprocal relationship with the Pope
3 charlemagne cont
(3) Charlemagne (cont)
  • Crowned Holy Roman Emperor (Christmas Day, 800)
  • Charlemagne’s palace city of Aachen
  • Charlemagne’s challenges in administering such a vast empire

--missi dominici

3 charlemagne cont16
(3) Charlemagne (cont)
  • The Carolingian Renaissance

--Alcuin of York

  • The Disintegration of the Carolingian Empire
  • The Treaty of Verdun (843)

--Louis the German

--Charles the Bald


ii the dark ages 9 th and 10 th centuries
II. The “Dark Ages” (9th and 10th Centuries)
  • Agricultural Difficulties and Violence
  • Population Decline
  • Muslim and Magyar invaders
  • Chief Threat = Vikings
  • Viking strategy of terror
  • Effectiveness of Viking boats
  • The extent of Viking raids
a physical protection
A. Physical Protection
  • Offered safe haven to neighbors
  • Some churchmen were renowned fighters
  • Monasteries preserved important arts of manufacturing
  • Popes fill political vacuum in the west

--Leo I and Attila the Hun

--Gregory I and the Lombards

b preservers of greco roman culture
B. Preservers of Greco-Roman Culture
  • Significance of copying manuscripts
  • The role of Pope Gregory I

--had been secular Roman administrator

  • Realized early on that no help would be forthcoming from the Byzantine Empire
  • Church split in 1054
c spiritual protection
C. Spiritual Protection
  • Superstitious, illiterate age
  • The Church was the door to salvation
  • Seven Deadly sins: pride, envy, anger, greed, lust, gluttony, and sloth
  • Seven sacraments
  • Sacraments of ordination and extreme unction
c spiritual protection cont
C. Spiritual Protection (cont)
  • Sacrament of Matrimony
  • Sacrament of the Eucharist

-- “transubstantiation”

  • Duties and categories of the clergy

-- “regular” vs. “secular” clergy

  • The Sacrament of Penance

-- “Purgatory”

c spiritual protection cont23
C. Spiritual Protection (cont)
  • The Power of “Holy” Intercessors
  • Veneration of the Saints
  • Shift in the pattern of sainthood into the Middle Ages
  • The growing importance of female saints

--In 1100, only 10% of saints were female; by 15th Century, 29% were female

c spiritual protection cont24
C. Spiritual Protection (cont)
  • The cultural power of calling on saints for help
  • The Supernatural power of Relics
  • Christian burial near the Church altar
a physical protection26
A. Physical Protection
  • The origins of feudalism
  • The lord as the central figure of the feudal system
  • The expense of medieval warfare
  • Contractual nature of feudalism
  • The local and emotional nature of feudalism
a physical protection cont
A. Physical Protection (cont)
  • The lord’s obligations to his vassal


  • The vassal’s obligations to his lord


  • The complexity of feudal relationships

-- “subinfeudation”

--liege lord

b life in a medieval castle
B. Life in a Medieval Castle
  • William Manchester’s A World Lit by Fire and Joseph and Frances Gies’ Life in a Medieval Castle
  • Interior and furnishings of the castle
  • Servants in the castle
b life in a medieval castle cont
B. Life in a Medieval Castle (cont)
  • Daily routine and dining
  • The marriage of aristocratic women
  • The life of aristocratic women
  • The church’s view of women
  • Women and sex
  • The early life of young noblemen
  • The ceremony of knighthood
b life in a medieval castle cont30
B. Life in a Medieval Castle (cont)
  • The travels of the young knight
  • Tournaments and Jousts
  • Tension surrounding the life of a young knight
  • The ideal of chivalry

-- “troubadours”

a function
A. Function
  • Western Europe was much more rural than Eastern Europe
  • Manorialism was the economic foundation of feudal society
  • The “open field” system of medieval farming
  • Origin and status of serfdom
  • By 800 AD, nearly 60% of western Europe was enserfed
a function cont
A. Function (cont)
  • Composition and administration of the manor
  • “Custom of the Manor”
  • Tax obligations of the serfs

-- “banalities”

  • Other limitations on the activities of the serfs
b life in a medieval village
B. Life in a Medieval Village
  • Living conditions of the serfs
  • Striking lack of privacy for family members
  • Variety of dietary options for peasants
  • The central role of bread in the peasant diet—80% of caloric content
b life in a medieval village cont
B. Life in a Medieval Village (cont)
  • Types of meals eaten by villagers
  • Beer: the universal drink of northern Europe
  • Accidents as a way of life in manorial villages
  • The role of women and village clothing
  • Medieval view of children
b life in a medieval village cont36
B. Life in a Medieval Village (cont)
  • Center of manorial life was the village church
  • Village church services
  • Life was short and frightening for village peasants
  • Village life was strictly hierarchical
  • Village life was also very communal
  • Village life was always very local