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Medieval Europe . Historical Overview. The period following the end of Roman civilization, when western Europe took shape is know was the Middle Ages (medieval) It is divided into two phases. The Early Middle Ages , from 476 to about 1050, and The Late Middle Ages , 1050 to about 1450 .

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Historical overview
Historical Overview

  • The period following the end of Roman civilization, when western Europe took shape is know was the Middle Ages (medieval)

  • It is divided into two phases. The Early Middle Ages, from 476 to about 1050, and The Late Middle Ages, 1050 to about 1450

After the fall of rome
After the Fall of Rome

  • The Germanic Angles and Saxons invaded Britain in the mid-400s, and took over the land from the native Celts

  • They had a hierarchical social structure, known as feudalism

Early feudalism
Early Feudalism


Warriors/ Lords

Common People

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  • An important aspect to feudalism, this ideology is based on the idea that one family own all the land in a given area. The head of this household was Lord of the Manor.

  • These lands were farming estates. Everyone else who lived on that land worked for the Lord.

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The age of faith
“The Age of Faith”

  • Following the fall of the Roman Empire, Christianity spread across Europe.

  • In the Early Middle Ages, the church focused its efforts of converting non-Christians. They sent missionaries across the continent to bring Christianity to “heathens”.

The age of faith1
“The Age of Faith”

  • The church developed its own government, laws and educational system. It also provided spiritual comfort and helped the needy.

  • Because of this, the church became – to some – more influential than political rulers.

  • By the year 1100, the vast majority of Europeans were Christians.

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The kingdom of the franks
The Kingdom of the Franks

  • Established in the province of Gaul

  • Clovis (480-511) leader of the Franks

  • He became the only Roman Catholic king in western Europe

  • Clovis left his kingdom to four sons, which led to centuries of infighting among the Merovingians

  • The Merovingians weakened their power by appointing a royal official called the “mayor of the palace.”

Charles martel 688 741
Charles Martel (688-741)

  • A mayor of the palace who defended Gaul from Muslim invaders in 732

  • Made ties with Christian leaders

  • Martel’s son Pepin was elected king by the Frankish nobles (the Carolingians)

Charlemagne 768 814
Charlemagne (768-814)

  • He wanted to expand the size of the kingdom, so he waged war on enemies and surrounding areas

  • He was called “Charles the Great”

  • In 800, the pope crowned Charlemagne “Emperor of the Romans”- rebirth of the old western Roman empire


  • Ruled his empire in Aachen (Germany)

  • Attempted to create uniform laws

  • Nobles were to defend their own lands

  • Royal inspectors

  • Made learning and literacy important

  • Art and culture thrived during his reign

After charlemagne s death
After Charlemagne’s death

  • Civil war broke out

  • In 843 his three grandsons signed the Treaty of Verdun

  • They divided the empire among themselves

Questions textbook pgs 267 270 1
Questions (textbook pgs 267, 270-1)

  • Who was Clovis, and what role did he play in the spread of Christianity in Europe?

  • Explain how Charles Martel worked with the church to gain power.

  • What was the result of this alliance?

  • Who was Charlemagne? How did he get that name? What was his title?

  • What was his “most significant activity”? Why do this think this is so important?