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History of the Middle Ages

A short history of the medieval period from 300-1100
by

Jonathan Shields

on 23 July 2013

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Transcript of History of the Middle Ages

History of the Middle Ages
By Jonathan Shields
300 c.e.
1050 c.e.
600 c.e.
400 c.e.
500 c.e.
700 c.e.
800 c.e.
900 c.e.
Key:
Economy
Demography
Political History
Religious History
Cultural & Intellectual Life
Family & Gender
Christianity
304
284-305
Diocletian
controls the 'crisis of the
third century'
divides the Roman Empire into two parts
Constantine
306-337
ends the 'crisis of the third century'
The stability the Constantine dynasty provided ended a lot of wars.
marks the beginning of "Late Antiquity"
By 304, Christianity is beginning to organize. Churches are being built and a hierarchial structure is developing from the laity to the papacy.
313
Edict of Milan - Emperor Licinius
and Constantine
declare "toleration for all religions in the empire"
325
Council of Nicea - presided over by Constantine;
defined law and doctrine (particularly the Trinity)
Constantine had converted to Christianity and provided Christianity a lot of support.
By the late 300s, Christianity was declared the official religion of the empire and paganism was denounced.
"Era of Competing Doctrines"
350-450
Debates over the divinity of the flesh
Lots of other doctrinal debate
The time of Saint Augustine
Relics became popular
Art
Classic Roman Art
Roman Art had been depicted by:
Light and shadow
Atmosphere and Movement
Interacting figures
Perspective
"Barbarians"
Tribes of people began moving into the empire. Romans called these tribes "barbarians."
376
One of the tribes moving into the empire was the Goths. Eventually it would split in two.
Visigoths
Ostrogoths
who petitioned Emperor Valens to be allowed into the empire. Regretfully, he agreed.
In 378, the Visigoths killed Emperor Valens
Periphery art styles became popular
Things like:
decoration, with little movement
transcendence and hierarchy (this was especially embraced by Christians and was used to express imperial power)
There was a brief renaissance to classic Roman art, and it was embraced by Christianity
410
Visigoths sacked Rome
484
They had settled in Gaul and most of Spain
other barbarians are moving into the Roman empire and setting up kingdoms of their own
By 500, the
Western empire
was split up:
East
AND
West
decay of cities
increased dominance of the rich
domestication of Christianity
Christianity became more accessible
monstaries became admired and allied with the powerful
The urban middle class disappears, as they can't afford the increased taxes
Life became more rural; long-distance trading faded
Cities took on political and religious purposes as people abandoned them
New tribal leaders embraced Christianity
They made laws and became kings
They were adapting to Romanism
still had
emperors
,
towns
, and
taxes
Middle Eastern influences were pouring in;

they also began to conquer some territories
Icons became huge; they materialized Christianity
more written laws emerged (especially under Emperor Justinian)
Roman Empire becomes Byzantine Empire
The capital was preserved and taxes still collected
The armies were pulled into the city and called "themes." They gradually gained authority. Trained and armed, they were effective protection.
In 607, Chosroes of Persia enters Byzantium and by 619 he was gained Egypt. By 630, however, these were back in Byzantium. It was exhausting for the cities and troops though.
Islam
Islam movement began to take hold, particularly in Mecca. in 570, Muhammed is born; he grows up an orphan.
Through war, much of Mecca and a lot of Arabia is captured. Later, Muslim troops move out of Arabia and take parts of Persia and Byzantium. They begin to melt into the existing cultures. The Umayyads make Damascus their capital, and Arabic the official language.
In 610, Muhammed begins to hear God speaking; His words are recorded in the Qur'an.
Family life is strengthened and women and girls find a new importance.
they had an oral culture and valued "manliness" (courage and honor)
In 622, Muhammed makes his 'hijra,' or pilgrimage from Mecca to Medina. This establishes a connection between his secular and religious life. It also marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar.
Arabia was a population of tribes, including the Bedouins
Muslims, like Christians, considered themselves the "people of God"
Muhammed dies in 632.
The Umayyads used coins in their economy.

They also maintained Jerusalem as a holy city.
There are five tenants, or 'pillars,' of Islam that believers must follow:
1. 'zakat'- this is a tax for charity
2. Ramadan- a month of fasting
3. 'hajj'- a pilgrimage to Mecca, to be made at least once in one's lifetime
4. 'salat'- worship, or prayer, five times a day
5. 'shahadah'- profession of faith: "There is no God but God and Muhammed is His prophet
By 700, the Balkans had been taken over by invaders.
In the smaller Byzantium, urban centers lost their importance and the population declined.
Life became more rural; village life flourished althought still ruled by the emperor. "Family values" were more enforced and narrowed.
The West, however, was an "impoverished backwater." It was breaking apart into various diverse regions.
between 600-700, 320 new monasteries were built
There was no distinction between Jews and Christians
becoming one kingdom with the royal court as the center of political life
Children, as a place to leave power and wealth, became the focus of marriage. The wife's job was the maintain the family
Celtics were Christian and the Anglo-Saxons converted. This did not mean they always got along.
Even though Christian influences were flooding in, they still held onto their traditions.
"Anglo -Saxons" and Celtics
(cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr
Francia
Spain and Italy
British Isles
Farm country
British Isles
Merovingians
still had some old Roman cities, but no capital
aristocratic society
led troops to war
Francia
Spain was mostly Visigoths, but would later become Muslim. Italy held the pope, Byzantines, and Lombards
Some Roman cities were still flourishing, but society was not stable like under the Merovingians. Society was mostly peasants organized into hamlets.
Under Visigoth control, there is a shift from Arian to Catholic Christianity. Bishops and kings have support from one another.

While technically supposed to be part of Byzantium, in all practicality the pope ruled non-Lombard Italy with help from the Franks.
Spain & Italy
711-715:
Muslims (actually Berbers) invade and take over.

This promotes religious diversity.
723
Iconoclasm grows
in Byzantium
The believed God was punishing them for their "graven images."
Emperor Leo began this period, and it would last until 787.
Art is destroyed and few new works are created.
Potentially powerful communites are destroyed.
Empire begins to see itself as the "people of God."
By 700, in the West, due to poverty:
the money system was based on silver instead of gold
the economy became "gift" oriented, or based on give and take
There were several new things in
icons
armies
territories
In 787, Irene ends iconoclasm as a council of Nicea
New crack regiments, called 'tagmata' were mobile troops not tied to any theme. They slowly helped Byzantium to expand
overtook lands in the Balkans and the on the eastern front (Anatolia)
Byzantium
Through education, they brought in Slavs. They also sent out missionaries like Constantine-Cyril and Methodius (863).
They developed a lowercase alphabet, written quickly in cursive with spaces between words. It was easier to write and read. They also used parchment for books.
There was a general cultural revolution. Art reverted back to previous styles (both classical and periphery, which melded together) and it because to flourish.
There were several things changing in the
Islamic World
Umayyads
They favored an elite, which is problematic for a land of diverse tribes.
Iraq (Khurasan) and Iran emerged with resistance and gave their support to the Abbasids.
In 750, the Umayyads are ousted by the...
Abbasids
In 762, they moved the capital to Baghdad
Through armies, they gained control of Iraq, Syria, and Khurasan but not the Iberian Peninsula, Tunisia, or the Berbers in North Africa.
They brought with them wealth and trade.
Upper and middle class life became more luxurious.
Religious doctrin shifted from the caliphs to the ulama. "Literature, science, law and other forms of scholarship flourished."
Francia
was ruled by the Carolingians
could not collect taxes and did not pay officials and soldiers
made the pope and Anglo-Saxon churchmen their allies
754
Franks take responsibility for the pope
760
'Donation of Constantine' makes his move official
Charlemagne
most famous Carolingian ruler
"Charles the Great"
His fame came from war and conquest. Armies were called per battle, they was no outstanding army.
As expansion came, he began to act like an emperor with building projects, laws, and appointed officials.
In 800, Pope Leo III crowns him emperor officially.
After Charlemagne died, his son Louis took over. There was little unity among the territories at this point.
843
After Louis' death, his sons fought over the throne. The Treaty of Verdun divided the empire and appoint his sons to parts.
The west went to Charles the Bald.
(This would become France)
The east went to Louis the German.
(soon to be Germany)
The "Middle Kingdom" went to Lothar
(This would be split up; parts would go to France and Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Italy)
Difference in the regions would lead to fragmentation.
Economy was based on trade and agriculture. The backbone was land.
Civilizations were divided into manors.
Carolingian
Renaissance
790-900
Manuscripts (books) were coming into churches and monasteries; this led to schools and libraries.
Education shifts to the poor
(and probably some girls too).
Art and architexture make a turning point.
Sources:
A Short History of the Middle Ages. By Barbara Rosenwein
Byzantium
Great Palace of Constantinople is renovated
Women have a place in a "man's world"
Eunuchs move up in society
1025: Land is taken back, as armies have shifted their focus outward and become multiethnic and multilingual
Better

economy

has

led

to

more

wealth

and

'dynatoi',

a

new

class

of

wealthy

landowners

that

led

rising
political

movements.
The popular culture became militarized
Rus and Byzantine became allies for trade

and sealed the deal through a Rus conversion to Christianity (which led to their art, customs, politics, etc.)
Islamic World
The Islamic World was divided, but prosperous and blooming intellectually
Regional leaders within their armies took control. The most important of these were the
Fatimids
(the Shi'ites claimed religious importance and captured land).
There is an increase in the number of courts and culture (art, science, religion, etc.).

In Cordoba, women had a prominent role in society.
Over the course of the tenth and eleventh centuries, there was cultural unification (language, trade) though political fragmentation, because of a precedent set by the Abbasids.
the Islamic faith is split in Sunnis and Shi'ites
THE WEST
Generally, the West was led by landowners ruling their regions and holding military power. There was a system of primogeniture where the inheritance went to the eldest son and things passed along through the male line and other children would find other places in society, like bishops.
Churches were growing.
The military class was raising everywhere.
Merchants and a money system were evolving.
Three regions made up the West:
(areas of)
France

Germany
Italy
They were invaded by three groups of people:
Vikings
Muslims
Hungarians
Raided the coasts of France, England, Scotland, and Ireland and settled there.
Absorbed into society. Ships turned into British Navy.
Conquered Sicily
Made quick trips, mostly to attack churches and monasteries
Started as conquering nomads raising horses, but settled into farming with the creation of the kingdom of Hungary
German king Otto I was "responsible" for ending their attacks
Society was divided roughly into three categories. Those who...
Fight
Pray
Work
Those who prayed and fought were free. They were vassals, lords, or both and were dependent on each other. Vassalage was voluntary and public, and sometimes involved a ceremony.
Those who worked were peasants. This was not honorable. The line between "free" and "unfree" was not clear. Some of those working were just serfs. This was hereditary and not voluntary at all. These people were the source of labor and revenue for land owners.
The three field system greatly improved the lives of these workers. It led to more food, which led to more money, which led to better ways of life.
These peasant settlements eventually became villages, but the exact setup varied drastically.
1150 c.e.
S
E
L
J
U
K

T
U
R
K
S

Militant nomads
took over eastern Islamic world
and part of Byzantium
But they were fragmented
became upholders of Sunni orthodoxy
B
Y
Z
A
N
T
I
U
M
The army was no longer effective.
They instead turned to diplomacy to deal with invaders. They welcomed them instead of fighting.
The imperial court became more "familial"
The rules became more like Europe's
Western rulers were expanding
European
Economy
new land was used to grow more grain
more food
more people
bigger and better urban areas
Castles, monasteries, and churches brought merchants, leading to a ripple effect of growth.
Cities
Differences: variety, like marketplace, castles, churches, etc.
Similarities: most were walled; grew around waterways
The merchants were responsible for what became the commercial revolution
Merchants pooled their resources and made production enterprises large scale.
They formed guilds to regulate and protect themselves.
Communes became town self-government and some non-religious men came to rule.
Church Reform
Gregorian Reform:
broke up clerical marriages
unleashed civil war in Germany
changed the procedure for episcopal elections
transformed papacy into a monarchy
The Investiture Conflict:
Pope Gregory VII
Henry IV
vs
wanted the church and state separate
thought he should appoint church leadership to ensure it complied with the state
Led to civil war until 1122
both sides compromised at the Concordat of Worms, ending the Conflict. the pope became the "papal monarchy."
FIRST CRUSADE
1096-1099
50,000-60,000 fighting men in separated fighting groups
MAIN OBJECTIVE: conquer the Holy Land
SUCCESS! (largely because Islamic world was not unified)
1250 c.e.
1350 c.e.
1500 c.e.
Islam- on the move
Byzantium-undone by the 4th crusade
West- Government becomes institutionalized
Guilds become incorporated
Gothic style becomes prominent
1215 Fourth Lateran Council
MONGOL HEGEMONY
European Economy Matures
Monarchs: Strengthened
H
A
R
M
O
N
Y
S
Y
N
T
H
E
S
I
S
The Black Death
Hundred Years' War
The Great Schism
Renaissance Style
Full transcript