Western europe in the middle ages
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Western Europe in the Middle Ages:. Medieval Europe. Justinian’s Code. Byzantine Law Code (529 AD) that influenced European laws The eastern Byzantine Empire carries on the Roman law while the western part of the empire goes through a period of lawlessness .

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Justinian s code
Justinian’s Code

  • Byzantine Law Code (529 AD) that influenced European laws

  • The eastern Byzantine Empire carries on the Roman law while the western part of the empire goes through a period of lawlessness

The reign of charlemagne christianity in the middle ages
The Reign of Charlemagne & Christianity in the Middle Ages

  • Son of Frankish King Pepin who became king in 768

  • At the request of the Pope, Charlemagne was crowned “Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire” in 800.

  • Officially made Western Europe independent from the Byzantine emperor.

  • Also signified the new political and religious unity of Western Europe under the concept of Christendom

The age of faith
The Age of Faith

  • During the Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church remained the single most powerful organization in Western Europe due to:

    • The Role of Faith: People believed the church represented God and held the power to send them to Heaven or Hell.

    • Power & Wealth: Many nobles left land to the Church when they died, hoping to gain entry into Heaven. The church became Europe’s largest landowner. Church wealth also increased through tithes (church taxes).

    • Center of Learning: The Church was the main center of learning. Church officials were usually the only people who could read and write. Rulers often relied on Church officials, since they were the most educated people

Two christian thinkers st augustine st thomas aquinas
Two Christian Thinkers:St. Augustine & St. Thomas Aquinas

  • St. Augustine (354-430): Wondered why God was letting barbarians destroy the Christian civilization of Rome. Concluded that no earthly city, like Rome, can last forever. Only the “City of God” in Heaven is eternal. Because our understanding is limited, he said we must put our faith in God, who will reward us in the afterlife.

  • St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274): Studied writings by Aristotle and how they were compatible with Christian teachings. Said we should trust reason as well as faith. Believed in the existence of natural law

Western europe in the middle ages

Carolingian Empire

Named for Charles Martel (Carolus is Charles in Latin)

732 he turned back a Muslim army at the Battle of Tours. Muslims decided not to conquer past Spain

Charlemagne the carolingian empire 768 814
Charlemagne & the Carolingian Empire 768-814

Charles Magnus (the Great)

  • On Christmas day in 800, He’s crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III– uniting Roman, Christian & German elements The Byzantine Emperor wasn’t happy

  • His rule spurred the Carolingian Renaissance, a revival of art, religion, and culture through the medium of the Catholic Church.

  • Through his foreign conquests and internal reforms, Charlemagne encouraged the formation of a common European identity.

  • Both the French and German monarchies considered their kingdoms to be descendants of Charlemagne's empire.

  • Charlemagne died in 814 after having ruled as Emperor for just over fourteen years.

Carolingian empire
Carolingian Empire

  • the realm of the Franks under the Carolingian dynasty in the Early Middle Ages.

  • This dynasty is seen as the founders of France and Germany, and its beginning date is based on the crowning of Charlemagne, or Charles the Great.

  • The term refers to the coronation of Charlemagne by Pope Leo III in 800. Because Charles and his ancestors had been rulers of the Frankish realm earlier (his grandfather Charles Martel had essentially founded the empire during his lifetime), the coronation did not actually constitute a new empire.

  • Martel was also the founder of all the feudal systems that marked the Carolingian Empire

Barbarian invasions
Barbarian Invasions

  • Germanic tribes like the Goths, Vandals, Lombards, Burgundians, and Franks.

  • The Romans considered them to be Barbarians (their definition for anyone who came from a foreign, non-roman culture).

  • In the 4th Century, a war-like tribe known as the Huns moved from Central Asia to Europe. As the Huns moved into Europe, they forced the Germanic tribes to move westward. These Germanic tribes in turn pushed forward into the Roman Empire.

Western europe in the middle ages

Vikings or Norsemen

Warriors/shipbuilders who robbed & sacked communities

  • Some were settlers

  • land was given to them in France. Called Normandy after them (northman)

  • Goal was to convert them to Christianity and make them European

  • Other invaders were the Magyars (Hungarians) & Muslims

-European leaders created Feudalism to protect themselves against the invaders

Life in medieval europe feudalism manoralism
Life in Medieval Europe:Feudalism & Manoralism


  • Reciprocal military obligations between members of the warrior nobility in Medieval Europe

  • Characteristics: Lords grant parcels of land known as fiefs to lesser knights who are known as vassals, who in turn, provide military service to the lord. Chivalry and fealty between a lord and the vassal relationship

  • Why Feudalism? Fall of the Roman Empire leaves a gap in protection and services to people, invaders overrun communities, people turn to lords for their protection

Women in the middle ages
Women in the Middle Ages

  • Role of women determined by the attitudes of the Catholic Church and the nobility. Women were supposed to be obedient to men. Women's inferior status was often blamed on the Biblical story of Eve's disobedience in the Garden of Eden.

  • Medieval people lived in extended families. Nobles maintained larger households; related peasants lived in close to one another. Women of all social classes gave birth to a large number of children, but many children died in infancy.

  • Women’s lifestyles varied according to their social status. Noble women spend most of their time in prayer and in domestic chores such as sewing and embroidery. Among the nobility, only a handful of women received an education. Among the peasants, a close partnership often existed between a husband and a wife. Both worked side-by-side in the fields. Women ran the home and looked after the livestock.


  • Smallest economic, social unit revolving around an estate, controlled by a lord, who gives land and protection to his serfs, who in turn give him their services. Land=wealth

  • Characteristics: Manors were self-sufficient where serfs raised and produced nearly everything needed for that community. The open field system allowed several families of serfs to farm strips of the same parcel of land. Living conditions for serfs were generally harsh on manors

  • Why Manorialism? Model of villas in the Roman Empire used to mange rural economies; decline in overland and sea trade after the fall of the Roman empire as well as threats from invaders also promoted the self-sufficiency of a manor

English political traditions
English Political Traditions

  • During the Middle Ages, England developed traditions of liberty and limited self-government that were unique in Europe

  • In 1215, the English nobles (or barons) rebelled against the taxes and forced loans being collected by King John.

  • They were supported by the church and towns

  • John was forced to sign an agreement promising not to take away any free man’s property or to imprison any free man without following procedures established by the law of the land

  • The Magna Cartaguaranteed all free men the right to a trial buy jury, and further forced the king to obtain the consent of a council of nobles for most new taxes.

  • Parliament: :Later English kings summoned nobles and representatives of the towns to grant them new taxes. This lead to the origins of Parliament.

  • Important to us because it served as the example to the early colonies for their law charters and influenced our constitution

The crusades
The Crusades

  • For hundreds of years, Christian pilgrims had regularly visited Jerusalem, where the sacred events depicted in the Bible were believed to have taken place. However, in the 11th century, the Seljuk Turks took control of the “Hold Land” and rove out Christian pilgrims

The call to free the holy land
The Call to Free the Holy Land

  • In 1095, Pope Urban II received a plea from the Byzantine Emperor in Constantinople for help against the threat of a Muslim invasion.

  • Afraid of Constantinople falling to the Muslims, Urban II called on all Christians in Europe to unite and fight a hold Crusade—a war to recapture the Holy Land from its Muslim rulers. The Church promised salvation to all who participated.

  • The Crusaders never achieved more than a temporary control of Jerusalem

100 years war

Siege of Orléans, Jules EugèneLenepveu

100 Years’ War

  • What do you see here?

  • What clues help you distinguish between the two armies?

  • Who is holding the flag?

  • What is their significance?

100 years war 1337 1453
100 Years’ War (1337-1453)

  • Took place across the French Countryside

  • Was the result of a dispute over the French throne between the kings of England and France.

  • In 1328 the French monarch Charles IV died, leaving no sons behind and two men claimed the Throne:

    • Philip of France (nephew)

    • Edward III King of England (son-in-law)

Timeline of the 100 years war
Timeline of The 100 Years’ War

Crecy agincourt
Crecy & Agincourt

  • First major battle of the war occurred in 1346 at Crecy

  • With their longbows, the English archers devastated the French army

  • At the battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French were severely defeated once again

  • The English now controlled Northern France

Joan of arc
Joan of Arc

  • A young French peasant woman who believed God wanted her to save France

  • Convinced King Charles to let her lead the troops

  • Helped push the English armies out of France

  • Was captured by English, accused of heresy, burned at stake for witchcraft, sainted in 1922

  • Although she didn’t live to see it, her achievements led France to victory in 1453

100 years war leads to changes in the nature of warfare
100 Years’ War leads to changes in the nature of warfare

  • Longbow eliminated advantages of armor

  • Cannons blasted into castles

  • Monarch began to recruit people for army

100 years war contributed to the end of feudalism in france
100 Years’ War contributed to the end of feudalism in France

  • People became more patriotic toward country and king, less toward feudal lord

  • Monarchs built big powerful armies and power of feudal lords weakened