• Also called the Medieval Period, Dark Ages, and Age of Faith.• 400s – Renaissance Period (14th Century) The Franks• The Franks were a Germanic tribe that invaded the Roman Empire and settled in Gaul (France).• 481 – Clovis becomes King of the Franks (Merovingian ancestors/dynasty)• Took over other tribes, and more land. Clovis also became a Christian and received support from the Church.
• Charles Martel “the Hammer” had cavalry that defeated the Spanish Moors in the Battle of Tours in 732. He dies in 741.• His son Pepin III “the Short” takes over. In 751 Pepin was made King of the Franks and the Carolingians came to power.• The Pope sought Pepin’s help against the Lombards. The Franks beat the Lombards and then Pepin gave the land (Rome) to the Pope. This was called “the Donation of Pepin”
• Pepin’s son Charlemagne was the greatest of all Frankish Kings. Ruled from 768-814ad.• Charlemagne spent much of his life at war working to expand the Carolingian Empire.• He was a Christian and worked to spread Christianity.• 12/25/800ad Charlemagne was in Rome and when he knelt to pray, Pope Leo III placed a crown on his head and declared him “Emperor of the Romans” or “Holy Roman Emperor”• Charlemagne united much of western Europe.
• After Charlemagne’s death his three grandsons and other nobles fought over and split up the empire this was the Treaty of Verdun in 843.• Frankish inheritance was traditionally split among successors unlike primogeniture where the inheritance goes to the oldest son.
The Vikings• The most feared invaders of western Europe between 800-900s were the Vikings.• The Vikings came from Scandinavia and in the spring and summers would raid and loot settlements and bring back captives to work as slaves on their farms.• Their ways of capturing towns was often savage and cruel.
• Their longships carried many men and could sail and attack inland places and brought men across the Atlantic Ocean.• The Vikings had a settlement in northern France, this was called Normandy after their name of Northmen, Norsemen.• Eric the Red – Founded 1st Nordic settlement in Greenland. Left Norway for murders. Went to Iceland then left for murders fled to Greenland• Leif Ericson – explorer, thought to be the 1st European to have landed in North America.
The Church• During the Middle Ages, the Church’s powers extended across kingdoms and through every social and political level of life.• Christian areas and kingdoms were said to be part of Christendom.• Members of the clergy were organized according to a strict hierarchy of rank.
Church Hierarchy• Parish Priest – lowest rank. Served the people in the parish directly. Responsible for the moral and spiritual life of the community. They could perform 5 sacraments: baptism, Holy Communion, penance, matrimony, and the anointing of sick and dying.
• Bishops- could perform the last two sacraments: confirmation and the taking of holy orders. Bishops managed a group of parishes called a diocese. The king or powerful nobles controlled bishops. Many bishops were also feudal lords or vassals.• Archbishops – controlled several diocese called an archdiocese. Had all the powers of a bishop and had power over them.• Pope – the pope had supreme authority in the church. Cardinals chose and advised the Pope.
Monasticism• Monks and nuns believed that they had to withdraw from the world and temptations to live a Christian life.• At first monks lived alone and even inflicted physical pain on themselves to prove their dedication to God.• Over time monks lived together in monasteries, working, eating, and praying together.• Monks time and labor belonged to the monastery. An abbot was elected head of the community. He controlled and distributed all property.
• As people learned of St. Benedict’s holiness he gained followers. Later he created rules to govern monks’ lives called the Benedictine Rule.• St. Scholastica built a community for nuns, an abbey/convent, about 5 miles from St. Benedict’s Monastery.• Gregory I- Known as “Gregory the Great” Strengthens the papacy and RCC. Increases spiritual authority of the pope and is active in converting Germanic tribes to Christianity
• Monasticism spreads: St. Patrick brings Christianity to Ireland and St. Augustine led a group of monks to England. Problems in the Church:• Lay investiture – officials choosing friends for clergy positions.• Simony – buying clergy positions in the church• Selling Indulgences – selling forgiveness of sins• The Church attempts to fix things by searching out heretics. This is called the inquisition. People who asked for forgiveness could be forgiven; those who didn’t would be turned over for punishment, execution, sometimes being burned at the stake.