The middle ages where called the middle-ages because they were a period in which culture and people weren’t very high developed in between of two periods were people and culture were highly developed, namely the Roman times and the renaissance.
By the start of the sixth century, The Roman Empire in Western Europe had been replaced by several smaller kingdoms. The size of these kingdoms varied, according how strong the war leader that ruled it was.
The Romans where still remembered as strong rulers.
They seldom used the Roman road network
They abandoned the cities
They traded less widely than the Romans
They bartered instead of using coins
They kept fewer records and had fewer officials
Successful rulers where war leaders with strong armies
Rulers divided their kingdoms between their sons. Every time a ruler died his kingdom was split up
They valued war skills more than literacy
From the middle of the eight century people started to change in a important way: they started to trade and use coins again. Trading ports developed.
Many regions were pagan after the Empire fell, but at the beginning of the ninth century they were Christian again.
507 Clovis I sets up first Frankish kingdom.
570 Birth of Mohammad.
622 Islamic calendar begins.
630 Muhammad captures Mecca.
631 Death of Muhammad.
642 Persian empire and Egypt part of Arab empire.
711 Spain part of Arab empire.
732 Charles Mantel Frankish king halts the Arab invasion of France.
768 Charlemagne becomes king of France.
793 First Viking raids Lindasfarne.
800 Charlemagne made holy roman emperor.
805 Holy Roman empire at it’s largest.
810 First Viking raid on the Netherlands.
814 Charlemagne dies.
834 First Viking raid on Dorestad.
844 First Viking raid on Arab empire and in Mediterranean.
900 Rhazes writes.
1013 Last Viking raid on Arab empire.
4.4 Christian Europe
When the Roman Empire fell many people became pagan again. Some remained Christian and started to convert others, in early Christianity you just could start and built your own church. The pope wasn’t seen as the leader of the Christian church, but as the bishop of Rome. Every Christian had to try to convert others. Here is what happened in Europe:
War leaders insisted that those they had defeated converted to Christianity, as part of making peace
Christians who were persuasive speakers where sent to travel, preaching and converting as they went. We call these people missionaries
Christian rulers often insisted that the person who wanted to marry into the family should convert. This happened with the marriage of ordinary Christians, too. Even if the husband or wife would not convert they insisted that their children be brought up Christian
Christians set up churches in growing trade ports such as Dorestad. This meant they could talk to (and try to convert) people from further away.
They used exciting Pagan sites as places of Christian worship.
When more people became Christian the number of monasteries and nunneries grew too.
These where places set up so people could live apart from the others and worship god. Men became Monks and lived in monasteries and woman became nuns. At first monks and nuns lived very simply. Although they where shut up monasteries had the important task to encourage literacy.
Monks had to be literate to read the bible, in addition to the bible a script for their services was made in the seventh century.
4.5 The Feudal System
The Feudal system was a system, in which the king gave a piece of land to one of his nobles,
The nobleman had to swear an oath of loyalty to the king, the nobleman was a vassal of the king now, the nobleman could divide his land amongst knights; these knights had to swear an oath of loyalty to the nobleman. If the king had to fight a war, he called his vassals and they called the knights. The king always had a large army thanks to this system.
The feudal system
Land to, Do Homage (oath of loyalty)
Fight in army
Land to, Do Homage
Fight in army
Give Pay taxes/ work on land
Charlemagne, (in Dutch: Karel de grote) became the emperor of the Franks in 768, and the first Holy Roman Emperor in 800 because he gave a piece of Italy (where enemies of the pope lived) to the pope. He used the Feudal system and power to control his empire.
5.4 The first crusade
In the 1090’s the Christian states of west-Europe were often at war with each other, so Pope Urban II, called all Christians to join a war, to save Jerusalem from the Muslims.
Jerusalem was a holy city for both Christian and Muslim people, the Arab empire had let Christians go there on pilgrimage, but the land was invaded by Turks who attacked the pilgrims. The crusaders are called crusaders because of the red cross on their tunic, crusader come from the French word of cross.
Many people joined in this crusade, rich and poor, some for religious reasons, others to conquer land.
The first crusade lasted from 1096-1099; the crusaders had problems with things like: travelling such a long distance, disease, and the heat in the holy land.
In 1099 the crusaders besieged Jerusalem and conquered it, they divided the holy land in several CRUSADER STATES, but soon the Turks started to attack the weakest part, one crusade wasn’t enough to keep the holy land…
5.5 later crusades
For times see timetable on 5.6 the effects of crusades
In the holy land Christian troops kept facing the problem that they where hold onto land far from home, they also didn’t try to make the local people happy with them, the also fought amongst themselves over power and trade. This is why the lost Jerusalem.
5.6 the effect of the crusades
One of the main effects of the crusades was that thousands of people died. It’s easy to see the Crusades as a list of failures:
They failed to make the holy land Christian
They failed to unite the rulers of Europe; it just gave them something else to argue over.
They failed to save the Byzantine Empire: eventually they seriously weakened it.
They where expensive and people ended up paying far higher taxes to pay for them.
They worsened relations with Muslims.
They left many people stranded in foreign lands or even sold as slaves.
They encouraged other forms of intolerance, many crusaders killed Jewish people on their journey.
They failed to unite Christians- for instance, there where huge arguments about whether to go when popes send crusades against non-Catholic Christians, such as the Albigensians.
There where some positive thing of crusade, the western people learned about the Muslim people and they learned new medical things, often more effective than the Christian ones, they also learned new pastimes such as chess, and new ways of dressing and eating, both more sensible for the climate, they also learned to enjoy bathing and how to write numbers on the Arabic way (we still use that way.)