The Middle Ages ~450 AD- ~1400 AD
Decay of Roman empire • Invasions end Roman protection of empire • Advances slow and people begin to forget the Roman’s advances • Literally, people lived right next to a Roman aqueduct, but had no idea how to make it
Decline of Western Europe Breakdown of trade: money became scarce. Cities abandoned – no longer center of economy or administration Population became rural. Decline of literacy – priests were the few that were literate. Languages slowly changed from Latin (Romance languages)
The Franks • 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
Characteristics of the Middle Ages Lack of a strong central government Church is powerful King less powerful Europe divided into thousands of small feudal kingdoms
More Characteristics Rural Education decreases Less trade Barter system Living conditions harsh Laws based on customs
Feudalism Feudalism becomes the dominant political system. At its head is a king. The king trades land to a lower noble for loyalty.
Fief: Vassal: Manor: Serf (or peasant):
Feudalism Provide knights in times of war Fiefs – land grants Military protection Fiefs – land grants service protection Based on mutual obligation
Drawbacks of Feudalism • Nobles constantly fought each other • Defend estates • Seize new territories • Increase wealth • Kept Europe fragmented • Glorification of warriors
Manorial System Economic system of the Middle Ages Manor – self sufficient farming communities Little trade between manors Typical had 200-300 people Heart of the manor was the manor house / castle
And over hundreds of years, ended up like the castles we think of today
Invasions • Europe continues to suffer invasions • Further disrupts trade • The need for protection strengthens feudal system
Angles & Saxons • Lived in Denmark and Germany- invaded/immigrated to England between 500- 700 AD • The modern name England or English comes from Angle • Anglo- is also a root word • What is an “Anglophone?” • Also, the French word anglais (English) • Some people think the word “Yankee” comes from a corruption of the pronunciation “l’anglais”
Vikings • People from Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark) • Due to rising populations in those countries, Vikings sought places to expand- so they started sailing to Western Europe and further • In the process, became famous for raiding towns and monasteries throughout Western Europe
Vikings Settle • By the 900’s AD, the Vikings (also called Northman, Norseman, and Norse)are beginning to settle in parts of Russia, France, Ireland, and England • In fact, modern day Normandy in France takes its name after the Northman
Magyars • Nomadic people from central Europe • Modern day Hungary • Raided villages and monasteries throughout Germany, Italy, and France often selling people into slavery
Chivalry • Chivalry – a complex set of ideals, demanded that a knight fight bravely in defense of three masters • His feudal lord • His Heavenly Lord • His Lady • Meant to protect the weak and the poor • Be loyal, brave, and courteous
To become a Knight • Sons of nobles began training at an early age for knighthood • Page – at 7 they were sent to another lord to be trained • Squire – at 14 they act as a servant to a knight • Knight- at 21 they become a knight and gain experience in local wars and tournaments
Tournaments Tournaments – mock battles that combined recreation and combat training Fierce and bloody competitions
The Church Beginning with Clovis and cemented by Charlemagne was an alliance between the Catholic Church and the secular (worldly, not religious/spiritual) rulers like kings.
Papal Bulls Papal bull is a written order by the Pope Used by the Church to justify actions like going to war Also used to control kings in Europe
Canon Law Set of church laws that govern religious practices.
Excommunication Excommunication means you get thrown out of the church. For kings, it can also mean vassals no longer owe loyalty.
Interdict • Even stronger than Excommunication is interdict, which means the Church will not perform the Sacraments (baptism, marriage, last rites, etc.) in the King’s land • Catholics believe this means you would go to Hell
Papal Power If the Pope wanted to control a King, he would threaten to excommunicate him or even his whole kingdom. This usually forced the King to do what the Pope wanted him to do. In this way, the Church controlled many of Europe’s kings
The Good Church Preserver of learning Art Shelter for poor Church offered salvation through the sacraments
The Bad Church Amassed wealth Owned land Some where dishonest Political involvement Corruption
Monasticism • Monasteries + Monks • Monasticism: • St. Benedict – Founds Benedictine Monasteries. • Monks swore to poverty, celibacy, obedience • Copied books including Bible- preserved writing • monks became missionaries to the “barbarians,” like the Germanic peoples.
Time for another installment of “Hey that’s Romanesque Architecture” Raise your hand. Tell me if it’s Romanesque, Islamic, or Classical (Greek/Roman)