Unit 8: Early Medieval History Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Unit 8: Early Medieval History Deck (55):

the MIddle Ages

-medieval period
-new society emerged
1. the classical heritage of Rome
2. the beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church
3. the customs of various Germanic tribes


3 ways civilization in western Europe declined after the Roman Empire fell

-Disruption of Trade = merchant's business collapsed beacuse of the invasions from land and sea; the breakdown of trade destroyed Europe's cities as economic centers (money = scarce)
-Downfall of Cities = the fall of the Roman Empire caused cities to be abandoned as centers of administration
-population shifts from the cities to the countryside
-no central gov (had local personal connections )
- no more Latin
- no more long distance communication
-almost all literacy was lost ( only ppl of the Church were literate)


the Decline of Learning

-Germanic invaders who invaded Rome were illiterate
-they had a rich oral of songs and legends but no written language
-level of learning shrank as families left for rural areas
-few (priests and other church officials) were literate
-few could read Greek words of literature, science, and philosophy
-knowledge of Greek (long important in Roman culture) was almost lost


Loss of a Common Language

-Latin changed as German-speaking ppls mixed with the Roman population
-it was still an offical language but no one understood it
-by 800s = French, Spanish, and other Roman-based languages had evolved from Latin


How did the concept of government change?

-Roman society was unified through loyalty to public government and written law
-Germanic societies were held together by family ties and personal loyalty, rather than citizenship in a public state
-unlike the Romans, Germanic ppls lived in small communities that were governed by unwritten rules and traditions
-every Germanic chief led a band of warriors who pledged their loyalty to him (lived inthe lord's hall during peacetime)
-he gave them food, weapons, treasure....
-worriors fought to the death at lord's side (it was a disgrace to to outlive the lord)
-they felt no obligation to obey a king they didn't know and they didn't obey officials to collect taxes/administer justice in the name of the emperor they never met
-Germanic stress on personal ties made it impossible to establishorderly gov for large territories


the Franks

-germanic ppls
-lived in the Roman province of Gaul, where they held power



-frankish leader
-brought Christianity to the Franks
-496 = led his warriors against another Germanic army
-he feared losing
-he prayed to the Christian God (said "For I have called on my gods but i find they are far from my aid......Now I call on Thee. I Iong to believe in Thee. Only, please deliver me from my enemies"
-he won
-after he, and his 3,000 warriors asked a bishop to baptize them
-The Church in Rome welcomed Clovis and supported his military campaigns against other Germanic ppls
-511 = clovis united the Franks into one kingdom
-the alliance between the Church and Clovis's Frankish kingdom marked the start of a partnership between 2 powerful forces



-Clovis's wife
-urged him to convert to Christianity



-religious communities built but the Church to help adapt to rural conditions
-became Europe's best-educated communities
-where monks lived
-monks opened schools, maintained libraries, and copied books



-Christian men
-gave up their private possessions and devoted their lives to serving God



-women who followed the same way of life as the monks
-lived in convents



-Italian monk
-at 15, he left school and hiked up the Sabine Hills, where he lived as a hermit (in a cave)
-wrote a book describing a strict yet practical set of rules for monasteries
-these guidelines became a model for many religious communities in western Europe



-Benedict's sister
-headed a convent
-adapted the same rules that Benedict wrote but for women


the Venerable Bede

-English monk
-731 = wrote a history of England
-scholars consider it the best historical work of the early Middle Ages


Gregory I

-aka: Gregory the Great
-590 = became pope
-broadened the authority of the papacy beyond spiritual control
-the papacy became a secular power involved in politics
-used church revenues to raise armies, repair roads, and help the poor
-negotiated peace treaties with invaders (ex: Lombards)
-the region of Italy to England and from Spain to Germany fell under his responsibility
-he strengthened the vision of Christendom



pope's office






-a spiritual kingdom fanning out from Rome to the most distant churches
-this idea of a churchly kingdom, ruled by a pope, would be a central theme of the Middle Ages


Charles Martel

-aka: Charles the Hammer
-719 = mayor of the palace
-held more power than the king
-Battle of Tours in 732 = defeated Muslim raiders from Spain (if the Muslims won, western Europe might have become part of the Muslim Empire
-his victory made him a Christian hero


major domo

-mayor of the palace
-became the most powerful person in the Frankish kingdom


Pepin the Short

-Charles Martel's son
-became king
-didn't cooperate well with the pope
-on behalf of the Church, he agreed to fight the Lombards who invaded Italy and threatened Rome
-in exchange, the pope appointed Pepin "king by the grace of God"
-died in 768
left his kingdom to his sons, Carloman and Charles


the Carolingian Dynasty

-began when the pope appointed Pepin "king by the grace of God"
- a family that would rule the Franks from 751-987



-Chralemagne's brother
-died 771



-Charles/Charles the Great
-6 ft 4 in tall
-built a empire greater than any known since Rome
-fought Muslims in Spain and tribes from other Germanic kingdoms
-conquered lands in the south and east and through these he spread Christianity
-he reunited western Europe for the first time since the Byzantine Empire
-800 = traveled to Rome to crush a mob that attacked the pope
-the pope crowned him emperor and the title "Roman Emperor"
-this title was given to a European king
-this event signaled the joining of the Germanic power, the Church, and the heritage of the Roman Empire
-a year before he died, he crowned his only surviving son (louis the pious) as emperor



-Charlemagne's secretary



powerful landholders


How did Charlemagne strengthen his royal power?

-he limited the authority of the nobles
-he sent out royal agents, who made sure the counts governed their counties justly
-he visted parts of his kingdom
-on of his greatest accomplishments was the encouragement of learning
-opened a palace school
-surrounded himself with English, German, Italian and Spanish scholars
-ordered monasteries to open schools to train future monks and priests


What was the source of Carolingian wealth and power?

the managements of his huge estates


Louis the Pious

-Charlemagne's only surviving son
-814 = crowned as emperor
-devoutly religious but an ineffective ruler
-3 sons: Lothair, Charles the Bald, and Louis the German
-they fought each other for control of the Empire
-843 = they signed the Treaty of Verdun (divided the empire into 3 kingdoms)
-as a result, the Carolingians lost power and central authority broke down
-they lack of strong rulers led to a new system of governing and landholding (feudalism)



-a political and economic system based on land ownership and personal loyalty (system of governing and landholding)
-depended on the control of land
-the fuedal systerm was based on rights and oligations



-aka: Northmen/Norsemen
-Germanic ppl
-worshiped warlike gods
-sailed from Sacndinavia (wintry, wooded region in Northern Europe)
-took pride in nicknames (Eric Bloodaxe, Thorfinn Skull Splitter)
looted villages and monasteries
-warships = held 300 warriors, 72 oars; ha d ahead of a sea monster carved into the prow of each ship
-it might weigh 20 tins when fully loaded
-the boats could sail in 3 ft deep waters
-Vikings were traders, farmers, and explorers too
-journeyed to heart of Russia, Constantinople, and the North Atlantic
-they gradually accepted Christianity and stopped raiding monasteries
-because Scandinavia's climate warmed, farming became easier and resulted in fewer Scandinavians to adopt the sea-faring life of Vikings


Leif Ericson

-viking explorer
-reached North America in about 1000 (500 years before Columbus)


3 groups that invaded Europe in the 800s

-Magyars = nomadic ppl from the east (Hungary); went accross Danube River-->attacked isolated villages and monasteries; didn'dettle in conquered lands but took captives to sell as slaves
-Muslims = attacked from south (from North Africa, to Italy and Spain); planned to conquer and settle in Europe; goal was to plunder; expert sea-farers

-these invasions caused disorder ans suffering
-most western European lived in constant dager and kings couldn't defens their lands
-ppl no longer looked to a ruler for security but many turned to local leaders who had their own armies
-any leader who could fight the invaders gained followers and political strength



-head of the Viking army
- ruled Normandy


Charles the Simple

-king of France but held little power






the granted land given to the vassal by the lord



the person recieving a fief


3 social calsses of the fuedal system

Medieval writers classified ppl into 3 groups
1. those who fought (nobles, knights)
2. those who prayed (men and women of the Church)
3. those who worked (peasnats)


The Fuedal Pyramid

1. king
2. vassals = wealthy landowners (nobles/bishops)
3. knights
4. landless peasnats



-main obligation = serve in battle
-mounted horsemen who pledged to defend thier lords' lands in exhange for fiefs (land, estates)
-the wealth from the fiefs allowed knights to devote lives to war and enabled them to afford weapons, armor, and warhorses
-lord demanded that they fight 40 days a year
-passtimes revolved around training for war (hunting and wrestling)



-ppl who couldn't lawfully leave the place they were born
-not slave (but they were bound to the land they worked on)
-mostly peasants
-lived in crowded cottages (1or 2 rooms)
-whatever they produced belonged to the lord
-paid a tax on all grain ground in the lord's mill and on marriage
-after paying these taxes, peasant families owed the village a tithe



-the lord's estate
-covered few miles of land
-had a mill
-had a church and workshops
-fields, pastures, and woodlands surrounded it
-sometimes a stream went through it (had fish --> source of food)
-self sufficient community
-serfs raised everything they and the lords need for daily life (crops, milk, cheese, fuel, cloth, leather goods, lumber)
-outside bought objects = salt, iron, millstones


the manor system

-basic economic arrangement
-rested on a set of rights and obligations between lord and serf
-the lord provided the serf with housing, farmland, and protection
-in return, the serfs tend to the lord's land, cared for his animals, and maintained the estate
-all peasants (free or serf) owed the lord's certain duties (few days of labor each week and a portion of their grain)



-church tax
-represented 10% of serf income


2 inventions that changed the technology of warfare in western Europe

-stirrup = enabled knights to ride and handle heavier weapons (without it, a charging warrior would fall off the horse)
-saddles = kep warrior firmly seated in a moving horse


code of chivalry

-complex set of ideas
-demanded that the knight fight bravely in defense of their 3 masters (feudal lord, heavenly lord, and chosen lady)
-protect weak and poor
-ideal knight = loyal, brave, courteous
-most knights didn't meet these standards (they treated lower class brutally)
-promoted a false image of knights, making them seem more romantic than brutal


Knight's Training

-age 7 = boy is sent to a castle of another lord
-he is a page (waited on his hosts and practiced fighting skills)
-age 14 = boy is a squire (servant to a knight)
-age 21 = squire becomes knight
-after being dubbed a knight, they traveled for a year or 2, gaining experience from fighting in local wars



-mock battles young knights participated in to gain experience
-combined recreation with combat training
-winner usually demands large ransoms of the defeated knight


themes in medieval literature

-brutality of knighthood and feudal warfare
-many stories idealized catle life
-glorified knighthood and chivalry ,tournaments and real battles
-songs and poems about a knight's undying love for his lady


The Song of Roland

-one of the earliest and most famous medieval epic poems



-traveling poet musicains at castles and courts
-composed short verses and songs about the joys and sorrows of romantic love
-sings about love's disappointments and about lovesick knights who adored ladies they would probably never win
-these love songs created a fake image of women
-in the troubadour's eyes, noblewomen were always beautiful and pure


Eleanor of Aquitaine

-most celebrated woman of the age
-troubadours flocked her as the French duchy of Aquitaine
-was the queen of france but then became the queen of England
-without her, the songs about hopeless love that troubadours sang wouldn't exist
-mother of Richard the Lion-Hearted and John
-Richard wrote romantic songs and poems


Role of Noblewomen

-could inherit an estate from husband
-she could send his knights to war
-when husband was away fighting, the ladyof the castle might act as a military commander and warrior
-sometimes, women would defend the castle (hurl rocks, and fire arrows)
-lives were limited (confined to activities in the home of covenant)
-held little property because lords passed their land down to their sons not daughters


Role of Peasant women

-performed endless labor around home and fields
-poor and powerless
-bore children
-took care of families
-peasant girls learned household skills from mothers at early age