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Early Medieval Europe (600-1000)
Transcript of Early Medieval Europe (600-1000)
This Era begun the fall of Western Rome and the rise of Kings, Nobles and Chieftains who changed the legal and political landscape of Europe.
Fear and insecurity caused by looters or pillagers and a seemingly distant King created a common trend for this Era: The dependency of the weak on the strong.
In 783, A new threat to western Europe appeared: Scandinavian Sea Raiders known as Vikings. Using their versatile dragon boats, The Vikings plundered France, The British Isles, and Muslim Spain. In the 800s and 900s, Viking Captains created a settlement in Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland. The Vikings made their greatest and most lasting impact on Normandy.
In 1066, William the Conqueror (Normandy) invaded England and brought the Anglo-Saxon Rule to an end. Other Normans invaded Muslim Sicily and severed it from the Muslim World.
In 711, The Syrian Caliph overthrew the Visigoths in Spain and Iberian Peninsula. The disunited europeans stood no chance and couldn't repel the Muslims until Charles Martel beat them back in 732 at Tours, France.
This family (known as the Carolingian) reached its peak of power when Charlemange became emperor and gained control of Italy, Gaul, and Germany. When Charlemange's son died, his sons created the Treaty of Verdun of 843, which divided the land into a French speaking region in the west (France), A German speaking region in the east (Germany) and a middle region (Burgandy). The regions never reunited.
Roman Ideals like urbanization and amassing population were disregarded during New Germanic Rule. Roman Roads went into disrepair and many cities became villages. Coinage was replaced by barter. Mediterranean trade, while still used, was undermined by local trade. Roman culture and capital enforced by Governors were replaced by Germanic Lords and his illiterate subjects who were more interested in the wealth of culture. Local Self Sufficiency became ideal.
, estates of self-sufficient farming, became the primary agricultural focus of England. Well-appointed manors had fields, workshops, churches and other implements that depended on the Lord of their land. Manor life depicted ones personal status. The Nobles of these manors had unlimited power over their
, workers who belonged to the manor. Roman manstays of slavery slowly transformed into serf life.
In the early days of the Germanic Era, all men answered the call to arms and received equal wealth, however the change to an agricultural focus made it for all to fight. However, some men became horseman and by the Tenth Century, many lords considered these Horseman as a form of military service.
Lawyers in the Sixteenth Century and later developed a Land for Military service system called Feodum. Nobles who practiced this view point were known as a "Feudal Society" by later historians.
Germanic foot soldiers were armed with helmets, shields, swords, spears and throwing axes. Horsemen used an Asian technique called "stirrups" to keep themselves balanced after delivering an attack with a lance or a javelin.
The Knight had emerged as the official figure of Medieval Warfare in the Eleventh Century. Since the knights weaponry and shielding cost so much and that land was the center of wealth, Kings gave their knights land in return for knightly service. This concept was put into a pledge called the
. Then until their military service was over, the
, or the people who took the fief, were under the kings temporary control.
Vassals could owe loyalty to multiple lords or kings, so the King may not get them for the full year. In a typical medieval realm, lands were consistently owned by the king and administrated by his royal officers. The vassals administrated other lands in return for military service. Vassals could appoint land to their own vassals.
Governmental actions were cast ny the Lord of the Manor while direct royal government was limited. Members of the lergy, monasteries and nunneries all feel under juristiction of the church.
Noblewomen and the marriages of Noblewomen affected the entire kingdom. Noblewomen could gain control of her husbands property if he died. Noblewomen took over their husbands affairs while he was at war.