EUROPE AFTER THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE Unit 3. The Post-classical Era
GERMANIC TRIBESGermanic peoples had begun to move into the lands of theRoman Empire by the 3rd century C.E.After years of decline, the Western Roman Empire fell,replaced by a number of separate states ruled by Germankings.By 500, Germanic peoples had settled throughout Europe: Visigoths in Spain Ostrogoths in Italy Angles and Saxons in Britain Franks in France and Western Germany
GERMANIC SOCIETIESMerging of Roman and Germanic governments took differentforms: Ostrogoths and Visigoths retained Roman structure of government, but excluded Romans from power. Angles and Saxons were little affected by Roman traditions.Family was the crucial social bond (extended family): Males were dominant Family provided protection A crime or injury was considered personal and could lead to a blood feud.
GERMANIC LAW Germanic Law Justinian Law•Laws were the custom of a tribe and did not apply to people outside the tribe.•Law codes did not explain the laws that everyone took for granted but instead focused on areas of dispute.•Laws were often declared by the king but had to be approved by popular assemblies.•The king was elected by the assembly. He could declare war, outlaw freemen, and control the membership of the tribe.•People who committed crimes against the community were put beyond the protection of the law and could be killed by anyone in the tribe. One means of determining guilt was the ordeal.•Crimes against individuals became blood feuds. Peace could be gained by monetary compensation (wergild).
CHARLEMAGNECharlemagne, or Charles the Great, became King of the Franksin 768 and ruled until 814.Greatly expanded the Frankish kingdom, creating theCarolingian Empire. Counts acted as the king’s local representatives and helped administer the empire. Missi dominici ensured that the king’s orders were followed.Charlemagne was a ﬁerce warrior, strong ruler and piousChristian. He also worked to promote learning throughout hiskingdom - Carolingian Renaissance.
In 800, the Pope crowned Charlemagne Emperor of the Romans. Strengthened the idea of an enduring Roman Empire. Symbolized the joining of Germanic, Christian, and Roman cultures.
At its height, Charlemagne’s empire covered much of Westernand Central Europe.
GERMANIC VS. JUSTINIAN LAW Germanic Law Justinian Law• Laws were the custom of a tribe and did not • Laws applied to the entire Byzantine Empire. apply to people outside the tribe. • The law code was very detailed and covered• Law codes did not explain the laws that everyone many types of laws. took for granted but instead focused on areas of • A 10-man commission under the direction of dispute. Emperor Justinian formed the law code.• Laws were often declared by the king but had to • The law code made a distinction between free be approved by popular assemblies. people and slaves.• The king was elected by the assembly. He could • The emperors inherited the throne. declare war, outlaw freemen, and control the • Punishments for crimes varied greatly and membership of the tribe. depended on the type of crime committed.• People who committed crimes against the community were put beyond the protection of the law and could be killed by anyone in the tribe. One means of determining guilt was the ordeal.• Crimes against individuals became blood feuds. Peace could be gained by monetary compensation (wergild), depending on the status of the injured party.
THE EASTERN ROMAN EMPIREAlthough the western part of the Roman Empire fellto Germanic tribes, the eastern part continued on.The Eastern Roman Empire faced many challenges: Difﬁculties protecting its territory. Empty treasury. Decline in population after plague. Renewed threats to frontiers.
The Emperor Justinian rebuilt Constantinople in themid-500s, and it became one of the world’s greatest cities.Arab peoples captured much of the territory.By the 8th century, a smaller Eastern Roman Empire hadbecome the Byzantine Empire. Greek and Christian Emperor in control of both church and state
DECLINE OF THE BYZANTINE EMPIRESuccessors of the Macedonian emperors were incompetent: Struggle for power between military and aristocracy. Political and social disorder.Schism between Roman Catholic Church and EasternOrthodox Church unsettled the empire: Disagreement over use of icons and pope’s authority.Threats from abroad: Advance of Seljuk Turks. Involvement in the Crusades.
THE DIVIDE IN CHRISTIANITY West East• Home of the Catholic Church. • Home of the Eastern Orthodox Church.• Church headed by the pope. • Unwilling to accept the pope’s claim as the sole head of the Church.• Believed the pope was the sole [only] head of the Church. • Church headed by a patriarch, appointed by the emperor. Believed that• Excommunicated Patriarch Michael God commanded the state to preserve Cerularius. the true Christian faith. • Emperor Leo III outlawed the worship of images, known as icons (iconoclast controversy). • Excommunicated Pope Leo IX.