Role of the church & monasteries

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Role of the church & monasteries

  1. 1. ROLE OF THE CHURCH POLITICALLY ECONOMICALLY Advised kings. Had large fiefs. Tried to reduce the violence applying spiritual sanctions (excommunication): Collected taxes from peasants: the tithe (10% annual income) - Peace of God: condemned attacks to defenseless places & people. - Truce of God: condemned attacks on Sundays & other religious days. Received donations in exchange for prayers. Medieval society was THEOCENTRIC (God was the focal point of attention). That’s why the church had a great influence in every aspect of life. SOCIALLY Supervised the moral behaviour of the population (who had to attend mass, confess, follow the Church’s commands) Helped the poor, sick, orphans… Provided resting place for pilgrims Controlled working time (bells) CULTURALLY Clergy was the most educated class (only ones who could read & write) Produced & copy manuscripts in monasteries. Financed works of art.
  2. 2. TYPES OF CLERGY SECULAR CLERGY REGULAR CLERGY High secular clergy  bishops High regular clergy  abbots & abbesses Low secular clergy  priests Low regular clergy  monks & nuns · Lived among the rest of the population. · Lived in monasteries (men ≠ women). · All men · Communal life; different orders with different rules. · Vows of poverty, chastity & obedience. · “Ora et labora”  life dedicated to prayer & work.
  3. 3. Benedictine order • Founded In the 6th Century by the Italian monk St. Benedict of Nursia. • Monastic communities that observe the Rule of Saint Benedict. •Chapter 6 recommends moderation in the use of speech, but does not enjoin strict silence, nor prohibit profitable or necessary conversation. •Chapter 22 regulates the dormitory. Each monk is to have a separate bed and is to sleep in his habit, so as to be ready to rise without delay [for early Vigils]; a light shall burn in the dormitory throughout the night. •Chapters 39 and 40 regulate the quantity and quality of the food. Two meals a day are allowed, with two cooked dishes at each. Each monk is allowed a pound of bread and a hemina (probably about half a pint) of wine. The flesh of four-footed animals is prohibited except for the sick and the weak.
  4. 4. Medieval monasteries Church Chapter house Cloister Refectory Scriptorium Kitchen Hostelry Monk’s cells Church: building where the monks participated in the divine offices. Scriptorium: the room where the monks read, studied and illustrated sacred manuscripts. Hostelry: the building where the monks offered accommodation to pilgrims. Chapter house: the building where the daily meetings of the community took place, presided over by the abbot. Cloister: A square open courtyard surrounded by covered galleries with open arcades on the inner side. From Latin “claustrum” which means “closed”. It was where the monks walked, meditated, talked to each other. Refectory: the dining room where the monks ate together at large tables. They ate in silence while a monk read from texts from the Bible aloud.
  5. 5. Cloister: a square open courtyard surrounded by covered galleries with open arcades on the inner side. From Latin “claustrum” which means “closed”. It was where the monks walked, meditated, talked to each other.
  6. 6. Scriptorium: the room where the monks read, studied and illustrated sacred manuscripts.
  7. 7. Refectory: the dining room where the monks ate together at large tables. They ate in silence while a monk read from texts from the Bible aloud.
  8. 8. Chapter house: the building where the daily meetings of the community took place, presided over by the abbot.

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