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The Early Middle Ages. Chapter 7 Sect. 1. The period between ancient times and modern times during A.D. 500–1500 was called the Middle Ages. After winning a battle in 496, King Clovis established a Christian kingdom in Western Europe.

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the early middle ages

The Early Middle Ages

Chapter 7 Sect. 1

The period between ancient times and modern times during A.D. 500–1500 was called the Middle Ages.

After winning a battle in 496, King Clovisestablished a Christian kingdom in Western Europe.

It was one of many kingdoms that developed when Roman authority collapsed.

The unifying force of the Roman empire was gone.

Europe declined during the early Middle Ages, for several reasons.

2. The region was invaded repeatedly.

  • Trade and classical learning decreased.
At the same time, Muslims were creating a new civilization and empire in the Mediterranean region.

Many Germanic tribes conquered parts of the Roman empire.

After converting to Christianity, Clovis earned the support of his subjects in Gaul and the pope in Rome.

Muslim armies overran Christian lands and crossed into France.

Charles Martel “The Hammer” led Frankish warriors in the battle of Toursto push them back.

Charlemagne, Martel’s grandson, briefly united Western Europe.
  • He fought Muslims, aided the pope in Rome, and was crowned Emperor of the Romans. Christians unified once again.
  • Charlemagne was a skilled leader who revived Latin learning and brought scholars to his court.
How did Charlemagne enlarge his kingdom?
  • Conquest
  • How did he spread Christianity?
  • Allied with the Pope, sent missionaries to outlying parts of his kingdom
  • Why did Charlemagne support education?
  • To unify his kingdom and to revive the glory of Rome
Charlemagne spread Christianity to conquered people throughout his kingdom and set up a strong, efficient government.

However, the pope’s action angered the emperor in Constantinople and deepened the split between east and west.

When Pope Leo crowned Charlemagne Emperor of the Romans, the idea of a united Christian empire was revived.

How did Charlemagne’s empire split?
  • His grandsons fought over it and divided it into three parts
  • What invasions threatened these kingdoms?
  • Muslim, Magyar, Viking
  • How was the collapse of Charlemagne’s empire similar to the collapse of the Roman Empire?
  • Weakened when divided, then suffered attacks by outside plundering tribes
They went on to plunder parts of Western Europe.
  • After 50 years, the Magyars were pushed back to Hungary.

Invaders included the nomadic people called the Magyars, who overran Eastern Europe around 900.

These Scandinavian people were expert sailors.
  • They opened trade routes linking northern Europe to the Mediterranean.

Charlemagne’s empire broke apart even more when the Vikings began attacking European coastal and river towns.