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Eastern Europe Byzantine Empire. Continuation of Eastern portion of the Roman Empire (the West fell in 476 to Germanic invasions) Ruled by caesaropapist ruler ( combining secular and religious authority in one person). Byzantine Basics.

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byzantine basics
Continuation of Eastern portion of the Roman Empire (the West fell in 476 to Germanic invasions)

Ruled by caesaropapist ruler (combining secular and religious authority in one person)

Byzantine Basics
compare and contrast the west europe v byzantines
West = breakdown of Roman society, law, custom, language

Byzantine East = retain Roman laws, customs, urban-centered life, & Greek language

Both = Christian, BUT

Great Schism = 1054; final division between Eastern Orthodox (led by patriarch) and Roman Catholic (led by pope) Christianity

Compare and Contrast:The West (Europe) v. Byzantines
byzantine achievements
Capital at Constantinople =

very cosmopolitan

Hagia Sophia Cathedral (“Scared Wisdom”)

Emperor Justinian (500s CE): “The Lawgiver” (systematically compiled Roman Law); re-conquered parts of Italy & N. Africa in Western Rome (draining the economy, unfortunately!)

Art = Religious Icons

Converted Russia to Orthodox Christianity

Byzantine Achievements
byzantium under pressure
Invaded by Abbasid Islamic forces in late 600’s

Strong gov’t control of economy (capital enriched at expense of rural areas)

Conquered in 1453 by Ottoman Turks (Central Asians converted to Islam)

Byzantium Under Pressure

Western Europe:

The Middle Ages

The Middle Ages: 476-1450


Europe in the 500s CE

Effects of the Roman Empire’s Collapse

-Population reduced by over 25%

-Lack of centralization in government – strong local elites took control of smaller areas

- Christianity provided limited unity throughout Europe

- New Germanic rulers of disunited kingdoms tried to retain some aspects of Rome (they admired it!)

- Germanic people become the “dominant peoples”


The Medieval Catholic Church

  • Roman Catholic church filled the vacuum of the collapse of Roman Empire
  • Monasticism: monks & nuns living together in organized communities
    • poverty, chastity, and obedience.
    • provided schools
    • monasteries = inns, hospitals, refuge
    • libraries & copying books- seen as a religious calling
    • monks  missionaries

The Power of the Medieval Church

  • church controlled 1/3 of the land in Western Europe.
  • tithe  1/10 tax given to the church.
  • Canon law: The Law of the Church

Pope Crowned CharlemagneHoly Roman Emperor: Dec. 25, 800

-First in western Europe to have the title emperor in over 300 years

-Symbolizes the papal authority over secular authority

-Charlemagne used the church and authorities to accomplish Christianization

-Europe briefly experience some unity under his rule

  • A political and social system based on loyalty, land, and military service.

-Occurs due to weakness in the centralized government

- As central authority breaks down, people look to local leaders for protection

Serf: Landless peasant who offers labor in exchange for protection

Fief: A grant of land in return for a pledge to provide military service


  • An localized economic system
  • Needed products were made on a large land estate called a Manor
  • Barter was common
  • Trade was not as prominent
the late middle ages
The Late Middle Ages

-Increasing stability and security in Western Europe

-Climate change (warmer!)

-Population grew from 35 million people to 80 million people by 1340

-Growth of trade due to agricultural expansion

changes during the late middle ages
Changes During the Late Middle Ages
  • Populations of cities and towns grew
  • New sources of power (wind & water) increased production
  • Trade picked up in the Mediterranean
  • Groups of people organized themselves into guilds

Medieval Guilds

Guild Halls

  • Associations of Craftsmen controlling trades (ex: shoe makers, stained glass makers, etc.)
    • Controlled membershipapprentice journeyman  master craftsman
    • Controlled quality of the product & prices

The Pope can be judged by no one

  • The Roman church has never erred and never will err till the end of time
  • The pope alone can depose and restore bishops
  • He alone can call general councils and authorize canon law
  • He can depose emperors
  • He can absolve subjects from their allegiance
  • All princes should kiss his feet
popes vs kings
Popes vs. Kings
  • Relationship between the Church and State became more tense as Kings began to centralize control
  • Pope Gregory VII vs. Henry IV of France
  • Investiture Controversy
    • Issues over appointments
    • Papacy over the crown?

Magna Carta, 1215:ENGLAND

  • English Kings had the most difficulty centralizing control
  • “Great Charter”
  • kings had to consult a council of advisors to tax
  • Rights of NOBILTY

Pope Urban II: Preaching a Crusade

  • -Series of “Holy Wars” with a goal to recapture the Holy Lands (E. Mediterranean) from Muslims
  • Viewed as being done at God’s command and authorized by the Pope
  • Results: Europe came into contact with more advanced civilizations to the East, trade picked up, more luxury goods flowed into Europe