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Early Middle Ages


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Early Middle Ages

  1. 1. Secular & Sacred Power in Medieval Europe
  2. 2. Key Formative Elements of Medieval Civilization War Religion TURMOIL Crusades Feudalism: The Middle Ages’ social order • Church became deeply involved in government • Christianity (institution of the Church) & the feudal system provided the basis for a first European "identity," • Unified in a religion common to most of the continent—in an uncertain world the common religious ceremonies and cult of saints provided sense of community, safety • Social roles clearly defined within feudal structure • Crusades: Pope, kings, and Holy Roman emperors unite and defend Christendom from the perceived aggression of Islam
  3. 3. The Clergy Religious officials had different ranks within the church structure **popes—successors of St. Peter –claimed supreme authority in all doctrinal matters **bishops were important in the early spread of Christianity throughout the Germanic lands **bishops were often great landowners and from esteemed families
  4. 4. Religion as a Unifying Force • Despite class differences—everyone had to follow the beliefs and rituals of the Church • Christians all followed the same path to salvation and participated in the 7 sacraments and all were subject to canon law (officially established rules and laws governing the practice and faith of the Christian religion) • Excommunication (denied salvation—intended to make someone repent) & interdict (prevented many sacraments and religious practices from being performed in a king’s land) : two of the harshest church punishments—gave the pope leverage over kings • Peasants looked to the village church as both a religious and social gathering space—village church and its liturgies were the center of social life by 8th century in Western Europe
  5. 5. Persistence of Tradition • In addition to being highly religious, medieval people (converted “pagans”) were also superstitious and believed in a variety of mysterious beings and good luck charms. • Intermingling between certain religious beliefs and common superstitions. – Example: Candlemas—annual mass to bless candles—large house candles kept demons away
  6. 6. The “Two Swords”: Political and Spiritual Power
  7. 7. The Franks
  8. 8. Battle of Tours 732 CE Charles Martel defeated the Moors at the Battle of Tours in 732—pushed the Muslims back into Spain
  9. 9. CHARLEMAGNE: King of the Franks
  10. 10. The “Two Swords”: Political and Spiritual Power • Pope Gregory I (Gregory the Great-540-604)— first pope to greatly expand the papacy’s political power by acting independently of the secular authorities • Pope Leo III exerts political authority over Charlemagne by crowning him emperor in 800 CE. • These are both instances of the religious/spiritual authority of the Church becoming more politically oriented (secular). • Both the religious and secular authorities wielded so much general power, that they unavoidably stepped on each other’s toes.
  11. 11. Pope Crowned Charlemagne Roman Emperor: Dec. 25, 800
  12. 12. The CarolingianRenaissance
  13. 13. Carolingian Miniscule
  14. 14. **Series of invasions between the 6th-8th centuries weakened Europe politically, disrupted trade, and led to the rise of the feudal system **Muslims invaded from the south, Magyars from the east, and Vikings from the north
  15. 15. Viking Migrations
  16. 16. Who Were the Vikings? • The Vikings, or Norse, were Scandinavian warriors who raided Northern Europe, Eastern Asia, and Eastern North America-- settled into Iceland in 860 and later colonized Greenland • The word Viking means one who lurks in a “Vik” or bay-- a pirate • Viking Age: mid-700s to mid-1100s-- Period of raiding as well creating a network of Scandinavian trading settlements • Vikings were comprised of Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish decent--Viking sagas (tales)—about 40—historical events, family histories--chief primary source for Viking accounts • Their religion was paganism with a focus on war gods—later converted to Christianity and began to settle down as farmers • Around 1000, a Viking group under Leif Erikson reached North America (Newfoundland) five hundred years before Columbus. • Not just pirates & fierce warriors but-traders, explorers, colonis
  17. 17. LEIF ERIKSON
  18. 18. Ships and Navigation • We know what their ships looked like because many Vikings were buried with their goods that sometimes included their boats. • They had very swift wooden long ships, equipped with sails and oars. • Shallow draught (depth underwater) of these ships meant they were able to reach far inland by river •Crews of 25 to 80 men would be common, but larger ships could carry over a hundred people. Figureheads would be raised at stem and stern as a sign of war.
  19. 19. The Feudal system
  20. 20. The Feudal System •Took definite form in France during the 9th and 10th centuries •Feudalism: a political, economic, and social system of the Middle Ages—provided stability in a dangerous world and was based on mutual obligations (reciprocity) •Vassalage—land grants given to someone who offers service and fidelity in exchange for protection •Lords (wealthy landowners) built castles to defend themselves an their followers •Response to the instability caused by the decline of the Frank’s empire and the new round of raids threatening Europe •Relationship between duty, obligation, and loyalty—important to extract work from your inferiors but also maintain a level of satisfaction among them—delicate balance
  21. 21. Feudalism • Began in France around 900 CE after the Normans settled there—then spread to England and other parts of Europe • In a feudal society, land is exchanged for military service and loyalty. • The vassal then leases the land to serfs who work the land, pay taxes, and provide other services in exchange for shelter and protection. • The ownership of land was the basis of power. • Lords also presided over a local court.
  22. 22. Medieval lord
  23. 23. Medieval serf
  24. 24. KNIGHT
  25. 25. Lord/Noble: wealthy landowner—the king granted this land to the noble in exchange for loyalty and military service Fief: grant of land given by a lord to a vassal Vassal: a person under the protection of a feudal lord to whom he has vowed homage and fealty : serves in a military capacity Fealty: the quality or state of being faithful Knight: an armed warrior who fought on horseback and provided military service to a lord Manor: the lord’s estate (house and grounds)—900- 3,000 acres Serf: member of the lowest feudal class, attached to the land owned by a lord and required to perform labor in return for certain legal or customary rights— serfs were NOT slaves (were not bought and sold, could sue a lord in court) Feudalism
  26. 26. Manorialism • Decentralized economic system of isolated self-sufficient agricultural estates (manors) worked by serfs---lords owned the labor of serfs • Manors were self-contained worlds: self-sufficient, decrease in trade, only a few items not produced on the grounds
  27. 27. Piers Plowman: Manorial Life • Written by William Langland in 1362—excellent source for descriptions of the hard life the peasants endured on the manor • Lived in a two-room cottage with dirt floors • Farm animals such as pigs allowed indoors • Unsanitary conditions—lice etc • Simple diets—cheese, soups, brown bread, hearty vegetables • Sexual division of labor • Children were put to work as soon as they were old enough—many did not live to adulthood (35 years old was life expectancy) • Belief that God determined a person’s place in society
  28. 28. The “Two Swords”: Investiture conflict
  29. 29. Medieval World 1100 CE
  30. 30. The Church and the Holy Roman Empire • Charlemagne was crowned emperor by Pope Leo III. His empire later becomes known as the Holy Roman Empire (more German than French) • Otto I: first real Holy Roman Emperor • Otto defeated several German princes with the help of the clergy and also invaded northern Italy on behalf of Pope John XII who crowned him emperor in 962. • German-Italian empire became known as the HRE— strongest state in medieval Europe until about 1100— but also caused problems—pope/German nobles clash over power; Italian nobles resent German power over Italy
  31. 31. Otto I seated in majesty on a shrine
  32. 32. Emperors Clashing with Popes- Early Example of Lay Investiture • Pope John XII (a notorious womanizer and gambler) feared Otto’s rising power---began to make alliances with Otto’s enemies • Otto had him deposed and selected a new pope • John XII came back with a vengeance to regain his papal throne—but then John XII is murdered (allegedly by a man who found his wife and John together) • Otto then deposed the new pope and forbid the Romans from choosing another pope unless he approved of the choice • Example of the secular authority asserting control over the religious authority, with the emperor putting church officials in place – a case of lay investiture.
  33. 33. Pope Gregory vii Bans Lay Investiture
  34. 34. Dictates entered into Papal Register of Gregory VII in 1075 • The Dictates of the Pope • That the Roman church was founded by God alone. • That the Roman pontiff alone can with right be called universal. • That he alone can depose or reinstate bishops. (OUTLAWING LAY INVESTITURE) • That, in a council his legate, even if a lower grade, is above all bishops, and can pass sentence of deposition against them. • That the pope may depose the absent. • That, among other things, we ought not to remain in the same house with those excommunicated by him. • That for him alone is it lawful, according to the needs of the time, to make new laws, to assemble together new congregations, to make an abbey of a canonry; and, on the other hand, to divide a rich bishopric and unite the poor ones. • That he alone may use the imperial insignia. • That of the pope alone all princes shall kiss the feet. • That his name alone shall be spoken in the churches. • That this is the only name in the world. • That it may be permitted to him to depose emperors. • That he may be permitted to transfer bishops if need be. • That he has power to ordain a clerk of any church he may wish. • That he who is ordained by him may preside over another church, but may not hold a subordinate position; and that such a one may not receive a higher grade from any bishop. • That no synod shall be called a general one without his order. • That no chapter and no book shall be considered canonical without his authority. • That a sentence passed by him may be retracted by no one; and that he himself, alone of all, may retract it. • That he himself may be judged by no one. • That no one shall dare to condemn one who appeals to the apostolic chair. • That to the latter should be referred the more important cases of every church. • That the Roman church has never erred; nor will it err to all eternity, the Scripture bearing witness. • That the Roman pontiff, if he have been canonically ordained, is undoubtedly made a saint by the merits of St. Peter; St. Ennodius, bishop of Pavia, bearing witness, and many holy fathers agreeing with him. As is contained in the decrees of St. Symmachus the pope. • That, by his command and consent, it may be lawful for subordinates to bring accusations. • That he may depose and reinstate bishops without assembling a synod. • That he who is not at peace with the Roman church shall not be considered catholic. • That he may absolve subjects from their fealty to wicked men.
  36. 36. Lay Investiture Controversy • Henry IV was outraged that Pope Gregory VII (a morally upright pope) banned lay investiture—so naturally Henry IV deposed Gregory • The letter nicely ended with, “I, Henry, king by the grace of God, with all of my Bishops, say to you, come down, come down, and be damned throughout the ages.” • Pope Gregory excommunicated Henry—quickly leading other bishops and German princes to side with the pope (excommunication was a powerful weapon) • In the end…Gregory lost and was driven from Rome