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Medieval Europe aka Middle Ages. 500-1250 CE. Geography of Europe. Smallest continent on it’s own- BUT combined with Asia- known as Eurasia- creates world’s largest landmass Shaped like a big peninsula, has many peninsulas and islands

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geography of europe
Geography of Europe
  • Smallest continent on it’s own- BUT combined with Asia- known as Eurasia- creates world’s largest landmass
  • Shaped like a big peninsula, has many peninsulas and islands
  • Surrounded by Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, North Sea and Baltic Sea
Scandinavia has fjords – narrow inlets
  • CLIMATE- temperate- but there are extreme temps along Asia border and Alps
  • Many mines have helped sustain Europe’s economy over time: coal, iron, oil, bauxite, copper, lead ,zinc, gold and silver
2000 years ago Europe was heavily forested
  • Deforested the area and set up farms
  • N. European Plain- most fertile area
  • Fishing very important (close to so many seas)
  • Rivers very useful to get around Europe
the middle ages
THE Middle Ages
  • Also Known As Medieval ( Latin for Middle) because in the middle of ancient and modern times- or Dark Ages- b/c light of civ had gone out
  • End of Western Roman Empire ( 500 AD)
  • Trade declined BUT ownership of land=wealth and power
christianity spreads
Christianity spreads
  • The Pope helped to spread it by sending missionaries to teach about Christianity
  • Britain was one of the first places “converted”
  • Not all were missionaries from the pope- 400’s AD (Saint) Patrick went on his own- people claim he drove all the snakes out of Ireland- named a saint b/c of this
religious communities
Religious communities

monasteries- (men) monks

Convents- (women) nuns devote their “LIVES” to God!

Benedict – 500’s wrote first “code” (rules) for monks- Benedictine Rule

Abbot – head monk:

Monks> pray for most of the day Farm Study (copied books by hand)

Make wine , crafts , Medicines

480’s Clovis converted Gaul to Christianity
  • 700’s Charlemagne ruled Gaul
  • Had conquered France, Italy, Germany
  • Was Christian and as he conquered spread Christianity
  • 800’s Pope Leo III crowned him Emperor of Rome( whoop de do!) after he conquered it
New capital NOT Rome- Aachen (Germany)
  • P.S. Literacy was not encouraged during MA in Europe- BUT Charles knew differently and had his “court” filled with books, scholars, poets, and musicians

Charlemagne’s rule ended in early 800’s

Norsemen (Vikings) invaded from the NORTH into

Scandinavia – looking for land and riches

900’s : Norsemen settled around Seine R. Became known as NORMANS – called area NORMANDY – adopted Christianity and French language.

1066 : Normans invaded England- leader was “William the Conqueror”

1199 : King John I ruler of England – made lords pay for wars, could imprison without a trial

  • A new form of governing and organization
  • Definition- a society based on land ownership AND service
  • Manor-large estate owned by wealthy nobles
lord lady vassal
  • Lord- owned the manor/could also be “king” of his land
  • Bishop- religious person- also could be a lord
  • Lady-lord’s wife was in charge of castle
  • Vassal- took an oath to serve the lord
    • did not own land
    • Lord gave each ‘V’ a fief ( separate manor- he did not own it but he managed it)
    • Most important job was to serve as lord’s knight
  • Knight- warrior on horseback
  • Different Stages:
    • Page (7)-left home (son of a noble)
          • Lived with a knight
          • Learned ettiquite
          • Cared for horses
    • Squire (15-20)
          • Rode into battle with a knight
          • Blessed by a preist
          • Given a sword and a belt
    • Knight- protected lord and manor
        • Must have 3 horses, armor, and a squire
        • Got extra $ by jousting!
  • Craftworkers- free people
    • Made/built saddles, shoes, etc.
    • Family owned business
    • Father was expert/master
  • Levels:
    • Age 14- apprentice- live with a master
    • 17-28 journeyman- could join a guild
    • Master- makes a “master piece” to show capability
  • GUILD- groups of workers, set prices and rules about quality
    • Given land to farm
    • Had to work lord’s land too
    • Pay rent/taxes
    • Ask permission on lord to get married
    • One room house with people and animals
    • Usually died young
    • Church bells signaled breaks in day
women in the ma
Women in the MA
  • Women had fewer rights
  • But had important roles- supported their families
  • Governed manor households
  • Eleanor of Aquitaine -c.1200 AD- ran an area in S. France as a vassal, because queen of France, married Louis VII, divorced him became Queen of England by marrying King Henry II, had many kids- 2 sons became Kings of England
the power
The power
  • By the middle/late Middle Ages power fell into the hands of the spiritual leader (Pope) and political leader (king).
  • Pope seen as God’s rep. on Earth- got power from God and people
  • If people disagreed with the Pope he would EXCOMMUNICATE them!
  • King usually had power/things/land from family
In the mid 900’s AD- pope gave the emperor ( of Charlemagne’s empire) approval to rule- now called Holy Roman Empire ( pope lives in Rome)
  • Did not inherit crown-were elected by nobles- which led to fights and trickery!
the pope steps in
The Pope steps in
  • Pope Leo IX believed all religious officials should answer to the Pope b/c everyone did answer to the first pope ( St. Peter) then all should answer to every Pope
  • 1054 AD Constantinople's bishop refused to do this so Leo excommunicated him thus began the Eastern Orthodox Church
  • 1073 Pope Gregory VII vs. Emperor Henry IV
breaking up is hard to do
Breaking up is hard to do!

1054: Christian church split –

Constantine’s church: Eastern Orthodox ; Rome: Roman Catholic

  • A Long series of wars between Christians and Muslims in SW Asia over control of Palestine
  • Holy Land to both
  • Turkish Muslims were attacking any Christians who visited Jesus’ town
  • Turks raided the Byz. Empire- so the Emp asked the Pope for help!
  • 1045 Pope Urban II called for a Christian Pilgrimage (1st Crusade) to Jerusalem to capture it back from Muslim Turks
  • 1291- last crusade
  • Crusade- Latin for marked with a cross
  • 1st Crusade 1096- 5000 Crusaders left Europe for the HL- the peasant crusaders (pc) attacked Jews in Germany- blamed them for Jesus’ death- most of the “pcs” were killed before they reached Jerusalem
  • Nobles reached J and took it over- set up 4 small towns and traded with Europe
  • BUT.. Within 50 years Muslims began taking land back thus the second Crusuade
2 and 3
#2 and # 3
  • 1147- French and Germans set out to retake the Holy Land – again
  • Poor planning and heavy “troop” loss led to a disaster
  • 1189- Muslims had recaptured all of the HL- The French, German, English, and HRE led armies in- But the German king died, French King and HRE left- so that left King Richard I( the Lionhearted) to battle with Saladin ( Muslim leader)
  • Both were respected but overall, Saladin kept Jerusalem for the Muslims
  • 1201- French Knights set out this time- from Venice- and in order to pay for the trip they had to capture Zara for the HRE
  • Instead of going to Jerusalem- they got sidetracked and ransacked Constantinople ( another Christian city……) and never made it to Jerusalem
many more and then finally
Many more and then finally
  • By 1291 the Muslims had recaptured ALL of the holy land and the Crusades were DONE ( unsuccessful for Christians)
  • Why, you may ask?
    • Had to travel far from home on FOOT- many died
    • Weren’t prepared to battle in the desert
    • Outnumbered by well prepared and well led armies
    • Christians fought amongst themselves and were unorganized
    • helped kings to become more powerful
    • Created more tensions between Jews, Christians and Muslims
    • increased trade
    • increased towns
    • increased disease…..
Many wanted to visit religious places- so went on pilgrimages to do so- traveled to Holy and religious sites around Europe and Asia
  • Some believed in the “church” so much that when they dies- they left land to the church- which was divided into fiefs- and the church became a lord- humor anyone????
being religious
Being religious
  • Monks of Cluny- French Monks- unhappy with Church affairs- became a religious order and devoted lives to nothing but God
  • Dominicans and Franciscan friars lived in cities and spread Christian teachings- St. Francis of Assisi ( most famous one)
As towns grew- eventually desire for education did as well-
  • 1st university in Bologna, Italy also had them in Paris (Sorbonne) and England
  • Thomas Aquinas- reasoned that rational thought could be used to argue Christian beliefs ( eg. existence of God )
  • Also Natural Law- God had created a law about how the world operated
art architecture
  • Had traveling musicians called troubadours or minstrels- and would sing and dance and make fun of people

*showed devotion to God by:

(during M.Ages): 1. Built huge churches called Cathedrals (ex. Notre Dame)

2. going on pilgrimages to Rome or Jerusalem

1215 : Kings / Lords irritated with King John’s “idea’s” *limited his power with a legal document *called Magna Carta – at first only pertained to nobles but then to all

“habeas corpus”- you have the body- meaning you had to have just cause to arrest someone, etc.

  • Created a Parliament- law making body that still governs England today!
hundred years war
Hundred Years’ War
  • 1328- the French king died- he had no heirs so England and France battled for his throne- France won- but England did not relent- thus began the war!
  • For 100 years the English fought well- then Joan of Arc ( French GIRL) rallied the French to stand against them- the English killed her- but the French succeeded!

Parliament's power grew

King now needed permission

King lost power


King’s power grew

Nobles supported their king!

-Christianity in M.Ages-

(Many were Christian but there were also Muslims and Jews)

Christian belief grew so strong M.Ages became know as

Age of Faith


black death
  • 1348- Black Plague starts in Sienna, Italy
  • Infected fleas traveled on infected rats on ships
  • Spread disease- wiped out 1/3 of Europe’s entire population
  • Spread as far as Africa and Baghdad
  • Black Flags were flown to warn visitors of plague in the town
  • Lasted for 130 years