In the Middle Ages

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Professor Mindy McAdams's brief overview of the period leading up to the invention of the printing press (late Roman empire to 1400s)

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  • In the Middle Ages

    1. 1. In the Middle Ages Presentation by Mindy McAdams Week 6.2 / MMC 2265
    2. 2. “ Axemakers”? Huh? <ul><li>The “axemakers” are the scientists and engineers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The toolmakers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The inventors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Those who apply knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Those who discover new knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From the 1995 book The Axemaker’s Gift, by James Burke and Robert Ornstein </li></ul>
    3. 3. Roman Empire, 27 B.C.E. – 476 C.E.
    4. 4. Religion and the Roman Empire <ul><li>Diverse religious practices and beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>Differed from region to region </li></ul><ul><li>The Roman state religion mandated worship of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional Roman gods such as Jupiter, Mars and Apollo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Emperor (after he had died) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some members of the Imperial family </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Religion and the Roman Empire <ul><li>The Romans’ religion co-existed with local cults, local superstitions and magic in the places they conquered </li></ul><ul><li>Tolerance of other religions -- so long as they did not threaten: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public order </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roman control and authority </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Christianity and the Romans <ul><li>Roman Emperor Nero ordered the first mass persecution of Christians in 64 C.E. (They were tortured and killed.) </li></ul><ul><li>One of the Christians’ biggest “offenses”: They refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods </li></ul><ul><li>Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity c. 312 C.E. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Constantine, 272 - 337 C.E. <ul><li>Converted to Christianity (312 C.E.) </li></ul><ul><li>Immediately declared that both Christians and pagans should be allowed to worship freely </li></ul><ul><li>Restored property that had been confiscated during persecutions </li></ul><ul><li>Founded a new city and named it after himself: Constantinople </li></ul>
    8. 8. Constantinople founded c. 325 C.E. by Roman Emperor Constantine Constantinople founded c. 325 C.E. by Roman Emperor Constantine
    9. 9. After Constantine <ul><li>In 395 C.E., the Roman Empire was divided into two parts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Constantinople remained the center and capital of the Eastern Empire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Western Empire fell to “the onslaughts of the barbarians” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“Barbarians” sacked Rome in 410; Roman Empire is finished in 476 </li></ul><ul><li>The number of Christians increased gradually from years 312 to 500 C.E. </li></ul>
    10. 11. The Middle Ages of Europe <ul><li>“Dark Ages”: 300 to 1500 C.E. (or c. 395 – 1517) </li></ul><ul><li>Same as medieval times </li></ul><ul><li>Roman rule ended, and with it, order </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of learning, lack of cultural growth and achievement </li></ul><ul><li>“Dark” in the sense of an absence of light </li></ul>
    11. 12. The Power of the Church <ul><li>During the Middle Ages, in both Eastern and Western Europe, the clergy held great power </li></ul><ul><li>Kings and princes were illiterate </li></ul><ul><li>Monks and other clergy were trained to read and write (monasteries) </li></ul><ul><li>A wide geographical network of messages and intrigue </li></ul>
    12. 13. The Crusades <ul><li>Crusades: Several wars waged by Christians from 1095 to 1291 </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: To take back Jerusalem from the Muslims </li></ul><ul><li>Ordered by the Pope in Rome </li></ul><ul><li>Movie (2005): “Kingdom of Heaven,” starring Orlando Bloom </li></ul>
    13. 14. Meanwhile, among the Muslims <ul><li>The written knowledge and learning of the Greeks (Alexander’s empire) was preserved and expanded by Muslims during Europe’s Dark Ages </li></ul><ul><li>Nestorians : Exiled Christians (heretics) living near Baghdad </li></ul><ul><li>Caliph al-Mansur (712 – 775) of Baghdad ordered the translation of texts in the Nestorian library </li></ul>
    14. 15. Arab and Persian Knowledge <ul><li>The Abbasid Caliphate (750 – 1258) moved the capital of the Arab Empire from Damascus to Baghdad </li></ul><ul><li>Scholarship flourished </li></ul><ul><li>Many foreign texts were translated into Persian and Arabic – texts about astrology, mathematics, agriculture, medicine and philosophy </li></ul><ul><li>Large libraries were built </li></ul><ul><li>Exiled scholars from the Byzantine Empire were welcomed </li></ul>
    15. 16. Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274) <ul><li>A very learned Dominican monk </li></ul><ul><li>Studied at the University of Naples, then the University of Paris (universities were brand-new) </li></ul><ul><li>Studied and wrote commentaries about the writings of Aristotle </li></ul><ul><li>Author: Summa Theologica </li></ul>
    16. 17. Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274) <ul><li>His writings showed that faith (religion) and science did not cancel each other out </li></ul><ul><li>You could study the sciences, the natural world, and not be a heretic </li></ul>
    17. 18. In the Middle Ages Presentation by Mindy McAdams University of Florida

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