Devoir de Philosophie

Middle Ages .

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Middle Ages . I INTRODUCTION Middle Ages, period in the history of Europe that lasted from about AD 350 to about 1450. At the beginning of the Middle Ages, the western half of the Roman Empire began to fragment into smaller, weaker kingdoms. By the end of the Middle Ages, many modern European states had taken shape. During this time, the precursors of many modern institutions, such as universities and bodies of representative government, were created. No single event ended the ancient world and began the Middle Ages. In fact, no one who lived in what is now called the Middle Ages ever thought of themselves as living in it. In the Middle Ages, people thought they were living in modern times, just as people do today. The term Middle Ages was invented by people during the Renaissance, a period of cultural and literary change in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. The term was not meant as a compliment. During the Renaissance, people thought that their own age and the time of ancient Greece and Rome were advanced and civilized. They called the period between themselves and the ancient world 'the Middle Age.' The adjective medieval comes from the Latin words for this term, medium (middle) and aevum (age). Historians adopted this term even though it was originally meant to belittle the period. Since the Middle Ages covers such a large span of time, historians divided it into three parts: the Early Middle Ages, lasting from about 350 to about 1050; the High Middle Ages, lasting from about 1050 to about 1300; and the Late Middle Ages, lasting from about 1300 to about 1450. Historians used to believe that most of the cultural, economic, and political achievements of the Middle Ages occurred in the second period, and because of this they called that period "High." Only recently, as the accomplishments of the Early and Late Middle Ages have gained appreciation, has this term fallen into disuse. Today, historians often use a more neutral name, the Central Middle Ages. II THE TRANSFORMATIONS OF THE ROMAN WORLD The institutions of the Middle Ages developed from those of the Roman Empire, which by 200 included much of what is now western Europe, Turkey, and North Africa. Historians once thought that the Middle Ages began with the fall of the Roman Empire, but there was no decisive moment at which the Roman Empire fell or the Middle Ages began. Today historians talk instead about the transformations of the Roman world. This period of change, usually measured from about 350 to 600, is often called Late Antiquity. A Late Antiquity The changes that occurred in the Roman Empire during Late Antiquity were the result of problems that had been building for some time. By the beginning of the 3rd century, the Roman Empire had grown so large that no one emperor could control and protect it all in times of crisis. This became clear when the empire was attacked on two fronts: from the east by the Persians and from the north by the Germans. War continued for nearly the entire century, but in the end, the Romans beat back the invaders. In the process, however, they changed many of their institutions to better serve the army. The army itself, which had been made up of mobile troops that were deployed to different regions as needed, was now made a standing force stationed at the borders of the empire. Farmers, craftsmen, and other suppliers were forced to help provision the troops, and the power of the army grew. The army took control over the empire and the emperors, assassinating and replacing them at will. This situation lasted until the accession in 284 of the emperor Diocletian, who restored control over the military. He realized that the empire could not be controlled by one man and so appointed a co-emperor to rule with him. This effectively split the empire into two parts, an eastern half and a western half, each with its own emperor. This division became even more pronounced in the early 4th century when the emperor Constantine the Great, who had deposed his co-emperor to become sole ruler, moved the capital of the empire from Rome to the eastern city of Constantinople (present-day ?stanbul, Turkey). The co-emperor system was restored at the end of the 4th century, and western emperors again ruled their half. However, Constantinople had become the real capital of the empire. This split in imperial rule brought about a change in culture as well. The eastern half of the empire was heavily influenced by the culture and language of Greece, and the Greek-speaking east grew further and further apart from the Latin-speaking West. Thus, the invasions of the 3rd century first militarized and then divided the empire. A1 Growth of Christianity At the same time that these political transformations were taking place, religious ideas were changing as well. Romans had been pagans, worshiping gods connected to their ancestors, their hometowns, and various natural forces. Daily life had included tributes to the household gods and frequent community festivals to honor other local gods. Even the emperor was considered a god. In this way, family pride, local loyalties, and imperial politics were all part of religion. When the Romans conquered, they saw no need to change the religion of the people they overcame, as long as their new subjects were willing to accept some Roman deities--including the emperor--alongside their own traditional gods. See also Ancient Rome: Religious Practices. A1a Origins Christianity was entirely different. It did not accept other gods. Christianity declared that there was only one true God, whose son was Jesus Christ. In the early 1st century, during the lifetime of Jesus, those who believed in him were largely confined to Palestine, the Roman province where Christianity originated. (The Palestine of Jesus' day is today incorporated into parts of Israel, Jordan, and Syria.) After Jesus' death, his followers began to preach and to convert people outside Palestine. Christianity spread in the cities of the empire, first in the east and later in the west. By the 3rd century, many Roman cities had Christian communities, and the Christian church had developed a rudimentary organization of church officials. The highest officials were the bishops, and under them were the priests. The Christians of the Roman Empire suffered some persecution, as did Jews. At the beginning of the 4th century, however, Constantine declared toleration for all religions, and he himself favored Christianity. Thereafter many people in the empire became Christians, and in 391 Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. In the view of the Christians of the time, the official adoption of Christianity meant that the old pagan gods had been defeated. Christians considered these gods demons and the traditional town festivals demonic. Christians recognized different sources of holy power. In their view, certain special men and women--sometimes living, sometimes dead--had in them, by God's grace, the power of God. These were the saints. A1b Saints and Relics Saints were very important in Late Antiquity. They were considered both models of virtue and powerful miracle workers. One of the most well-known saints of the period was Saint Anthony. Anthony gave away all his possessions and left his hometown in Egypt to live alone in the desert and pray. Anthony was one of the first Christian monks. The word monk comes from a term meaning 'alone.' Gradually Anthony attracted followers, and he eventually became the center of a whole community of monks who wished to live as he did. This community was not organized well enough to be called a monastery (a permanent residence of a group of monks), but it was the precursor of such institutions. There were female saints as well. Stories circulated about Saint Mary of Egypt, for example, who lived for years on a few loaves of bread and spent her time in repentance and prayer. Saints remained special even after they died, and their bones and other remains were venerated as relics. Pious people often built churches or chapels over the tombs of saints. Saints' remains were moved frequently. For example, Saint Ambrose, the bishop of Milan, brought the relics of two saints into his own church and put them under the altar, the focal point of Christian worship. In this way, he allied himself and succeeding bishops of Milan with the power of those saints. A1c Development of Doctrine Because Christianity focused more on the eternal salvation or damnation that occurred after death than on the events of the everyday world, it changed the things that people valued. For example, worldly possessions became less important. From the 3rd through the 5th century, churchmen developed these ideas and other Christian doctrines in sermons, treatises, and biblical commentaries, and they also established a standardized body of Christian teaching. Some of these authors came to be known as Fathers of the Church, and their writings are called patristic literature. Perhaps the most important and influential of them was Saint Augustine, bishop of Hippo (near modern Annaba, Algeria). His most famous book, The City of God (413-426), counsels Christians not to worry too much about the events of this world but to keep their minds focused on salvation and the afterlife--the heavenly city of God. Other churchmen did not always agree with Augustine. Christianity was understood and interpreted in many different ways in Late Antiquity. For example, churchmen argued frequently and sometimes violently about the nature of Christ and the nature of the Trinity (God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit together). Augustine, whose view prevailed, said that Christ's godliness was equal to the Father's. But other Christians--known as Arians after the primary proponent of the teaching, Arius--thought that the Father's godhood was greater than that of the Son. Both sides believed that their salvation--their eternal life in Heaven--depended on accepting the right doctrine. A2 Changes in the West: Assimilation of New Peoples The variety of religious views in Late Antiquity mirrored the great variety of people in the Roman Empire, a variety that increased during the 4th and 5th centuries and transformed the empire politically. Beyond the borders patrolled by the Roman army were peoples whom the Romans called Germans. Although not biologically different from the Romans, they had a different culture--or rather, many different cultures. They lived in tribal groupings that were always in a state of change, breaking up and absorbing other groups. They fought with the Romans, but they also traded with them. Many Germans admired the Romans and adopted their habits and institutions. Many also adopted Christianity, although most of them became Arian Christians because Arian missionaries converted them. Military need led the Romans to incorporate German warriors into their army units. Other Germans were brought into the empire to settle in depopulated areas, and their children were recruited into the army. Beginning in the 4th century, army units of Germans led by their own commanders were welcomed into the empire to defend the Romans. The German settlers were eventually assimilated into the empire, but there were also tensions with the native inhabitants. The Germans were like a migrant labor force: The Romans needed them, but they also resented them. In the 5th century a Germanic tribe called the Visigoths asked to settle in the empire. They were being forced out of their homeland by the Huns, a nomadic tribe from Central Asia that was moving west. The Visigoths were allowed to enter the empire but were then ignored and left to starve. Their leader, Alaric I, marched his tribe to Rome, which he attacked and plundered. Eventually Alaric and his people settled in what is now southern France. Meanwhile, other Germanic tribes were entering the empire. By the end of the 5th century, the western half of the empire was under the control of various Germanic kings. In 476 the Western emperor was deposed and not replaced. After that, there was only one Roman emperor, and he remained at Constantinople. A3 Changes in the East: The Byzantine Empire and the Growth of Islam Although Constantinople called itself the second Rome and the emperor there still called himself Roman, the eastern half of the empire changed so dramatically between 600 and 750 that historians call it by a different name: the Byzantine Empire. The most striking change was in the empire's size--the empire lost huge portions of territory to the Muslims. By 750 the Byzantine Empire consisted only of what is today Turkey, part of Greece, and bits of Italy. The Muslims had conquered all of the Middle East, Egypt, and North Africa. The Muslims, who practice the religion of Islam, were a new force in history. Their prophet and first leader was Muhammad, a trader in Arabia (now Saudi Arabia) who turned from paganism to belief in one God, the same God that the Jews and Christians worshiped. Muhammad and his followers thought that God had communicated his final revelation to Muhammad. That made him God's last and most important prophet. God's revelation to Muhammad was written down and became the Islamic holy book, the Qur'an. Muhammad first preached the word of God in his hometown of Mecca, and he converted a number of people there. However, he also made enemies at Mecca. When he was invited to go to the nearby town of Medina, he and his followers accepted, and they emigrated there in 622. This emigration is called the Hegira, and its date marks the year 1 of the Islamic calendar. At Medina, Muhammad converted many people to Islam, but the Muslims also clashed with nonbelieving Arabs in outright wars. Eventually Muhammad's fighters were successful, uniting most of Arabia under the religion of Islam. Under Muhammad's successors, the Muslims moved out of Arabia into new territories. By 750 their conquests stretched from Spain to India. Muhammad's successors, called caliphs, built their first capital city at Damascus, in Syria. There they discovered and adopted many Roman and Byzantine institutions. They minted coins modeled on those of the Byzantine Empire and hired former officials of Byzantine rulers. They also supported Arabic literature, which began to flower. Religious scholars wrote down stories of Muhammad's words and deeds. Poets wrote songs of love, celebrations of brave warriors, and witty satires. The Muslims did not normally mingle with those they conquered. They lived in fortified cities from which they collected taxes and imposed their rule. The Muslims tolerated Christians and Jews and allowed them to worship as they pleased, as long as they paid a tax for the privilege. B Heirs of the Roman Empire: Byzantium, Islam, and the West By 750 the Roman world had given way to three heirs: the Byzantine Empire, Islam, and the West. All three had much in common. The most fundamental of these similarities was religion. The people in all three areas believed in one God, and they also agreed that spiritual and worldly things were bound together--that is, they did not believe in the separation of church and state. Another similarity involved the rural orientation of Byzantium, Islam, and the West. In all three regions, farming was the most important and most common occupation of the inhabitants. A third similarity had to do with loyalties. In all three worlds, people's relationships were local in nature. They cared more about neighbors and local leaders than about the rulers at the top, who were often too far away to make their presence felt. This led to tensions between central and local authorities, with important political results: Large states tended to fragment into smaller ones, some of which proved very resilient and have lasted until modern times. The Byzantine Empire, the Islamic world, and the West also had many differences. The most important of these were economic and political. On the whole, the Islamic world was prosperous, with thriving trade and a large merchant and professional class. Byzantium came next. Although the Byzantine economy was hurt by war and loss of territory, it quickly revived. Constantinople remained an important center of trade, and the Byzantine countryside was productive. The imperial administration was able to collect taxes from peasants without difficulty. The West was the poorest heir of the Roman Empire. While a very wealthy landowning class lived well, many cities of the West were depopulated and the land was relatively unproductive. Another difference among the heirs of the Roman Empire was political. The Byzantine Empire was a centralized state, with the emperor acting as an important figure in both spiritual and worldly matters. The emperor appointed the patriarch of Constantinople--the head of the church--and called councils to consider matters of church law and policy. At the same time, the emperor was head of the army and navy and often personally led troops into battle. A well-organized civil service worked for him, keeping records and collecting taxes. In the Islamic world, the caliphs were also strong, centralized rulers. Like the Byzantine emperors, the caliphs had a well-organized civil service and efficient methods of collecting taxes. This centralization reached its height at the end of the 8th century under Harun ar-Rashid, who was one of the most powerful of the caliphs. From his capital city at Baghd? d (today the capital of Iraq), he ruled over lands that stretched more than 5,800 km (3,600 mi) from east to west--about 1,600 km (1,000 mi) longer than the length of the United States. He was a successful military leader and a patron of the arts, and he was enormously wealthy. In contrast with these realms, the West was fragmented, with little or no governmental centralization. For example, what would later become England was divided into many small kingdoms. The Italian peninsula was divided among a king in the north, dukes in the south, and Byzantine governors in between. In addition, the pope (the bishop of Rome, theoretically under the rule of the Byzantine emperor) thought he ought to have his own Italian territories to rule. In what would become France and Germany, a royal family called the Merovingians ruled over several kingdoms and often fought among themselves. If one observed all the regions of the former Roman Empire in about the year 800, one might predict that the West would become a backwater, while the Islamic world and the Byzantine Empire would become superpowers. This prediction would be entirely wrong in regard to the Byzantine Empire: By the end of the Middle Ages it had disappeared entirely. It would be half right about the Islamic world, which continued to be strong and remains so today, although the Muslims became disunited politically and even religiously. The most astonishing outcome was the fate of the West, which became Europe. By the end of the Middle Ages, Europe was organized into strong, prosperous, competitive, and aggressive states, and European explorers and traders were launching expeditions to China, Africa, and eventually the Americas. B1 Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire was both the wedge that separated the Islamic world from the West and the hinge that connected the two. It was therefore in a vulnerable middle position. Although the Byzantines managed to survive the initial attacks of the Muslims, which began about 633, they always had to worry about new invasions--and not just from farther east. Hostility with the West had roots that ranged from disputed territory to religion. The pope resented Byzantine rule over the parts of Italy he thought should be his own. The pope and the Byzantine church also had long-standing religious differences concerning the nature of God and the organization of the church. These came to a head in 1054, when the agents of the pope and the patriarch excommunicated one another--they declared each other banished from the church. This split, called the Great Schism of Eastern and Western Churches, was not healed until 1965. See Schism, Great: Schism of Eastern and Western Churches. Further enmities between Byzantium and the West developed at the end of the 11th century. At that time a new Islamic group, the Seljuk Turks (see Seljuks), began to ravage the Byzantine Empire's eastern flank. The emperor asked for military help from the West, but he got more than he bargained for: The pope launched the First Crusade, a massive armed pilgrimage against the forces of Islam. See Crusades. European fighters met with the emperor to coordinate strategy, but the two sides had very different interests. The Byzantines wanted to protect their own territory from Muslim invasion and saw the Crusaders only as reinforcements. The Crusaders, on the other hand, had a much larger goal--to recover from the Muslims Jerusalem and other cities Christians considered holy. The European Christians were interested in the Byzantines only if they could help the Crusaders achieve their goal. This conflict of interest increased hostility between the Byzantine Empire and the West. On a later Crusade, in 1204, Crusaders from Europe invaded Constantinople itself, pillaging and destroying it. They set up one of their own leaders as emperor and divided up Byzantine territory among Europeans. Although the Byzantines recaptured the city in 1261, the empire never fully recovered. In 1453 it was taken by the Ottoman Turks, another Muslim group. Although the Byzantine Empire disappeared long ago, a descendant of it exists in the modern world: Russia. Russia was created by Vikings from Scandinavia, who sailed down the river valleys that connected the Baltic with the Black Sea and conquered the Slavs living along the rivers. The Russians both traded and fought with the Byzantines. Eventually the Russians accepted Christianity from the Byzantines and adopted many of the empire's customs and institutions. B2 Islamic World The fate of the Islamic world was much different than that of the Byzantine Empire. There is a direct continuity between the state ruled by the caliphs in the 7th century and the Islamic states of today. Yet almost directly after Harun al-Rashid's death in 809, the caliphs began to lose power to local rulers. This loss was the result of religious as well as military developments. After Muhammad's death in 632, important men in two different family groups claimed to be his true successor. The supporters of the family group that won and gained the caliphate later became known as Sunnis (Sunnis Islam). The other group became known as Shias (Shias Islam). In time, the followers of these groups developed different religious ideas that remain a source of tension in the Islamic world today. During the Middle Ages, these ideas led to political fragmentation. For example, in the 10th century a group of Shia Muslims calling themselves Fatimids gained control of a region that included what is now northern Africa, Egypt, and Syria. They ruled independently of any caliph at Baghd? d. Their hold was broken only with the arrival of the Seljuk Turks--the same Turks against whom the First Crusade was launched--who were Sunnites. The caliphs also lost power because they could not control their armies. Most of the armies of the caliphs were made up of slaves who had been bought or captured and armed as soldiers. These slave armies had no loyalty to the caliphs. As a result, they soon became independent mercenaries, hiring themselves out to whichever ruler would pay them the most. Local governors in the Islamic world took advantage of this, collecting taxes and paying the armies what they asked in return for support. In this way, powerful local rulers carved out states for themselves. In the 12th century the Seljuk Turks put an end to this fragmentation by bringing order and stability to the various groups in power. They recognized the caliph but exercised influence over him. Similarly, they allowed independent kingdoms but expected them all to participate in an Islamic culture based on Sunnite beliefs and law and on the Arabic language. The Seljuks also encouraged free and active trade throughout the Islamic world. Scholars and writers benefited from the resulting openness and prosperity, and important works of philosophy and literature were written in Arabic during this period. The works of the Greek philosopher Aristotle, long forgotten, were recovered and translated from Greek into Arabic. This revival of Aristotle marked a major intellectual change, with important consequences both for the Islamic world and for the West: By the end of the 12th century, both cultures shared a common body of logical thought that served as the basis for new achievements in philosophy and science. However, the Islamic world was under constant pressure from outside forces. In the 13th century, Seljuk rule in the eastern half of the Islamic world gave way to invaders from China known as the Mongols. Other parts of the Islamic world were being conquered by Europeans. Islamic Spain, which had broken from the caliphs in the 8th century, was almost entirely taken by Christian armies by 1212. Sicily, occupied by the Muslims in the 9th century, was reconquered by Europeans in the 11th. Meanwhile, independent Islamic rulers continued to create and strengthen their own states. This situation persisted until the invasions in the 15th century by the Ottoman Turks, who unified much of the Islamic world under their rule. B3 Merovingian Kingdoms In the West, Merovingian kings and queens laid the foundations for the formation of much of Europe. The Merovingians were Franks, a Germanic tribe, and like many other Germanic tribes they had served in the Roman military since the 4th century. Although they initially settled in the far northern regions of the Roman Empire, the Franks gradually moved south into what is today Belgium and northern France. At the end of the 5th century their king, Clovis I (whose grandfather, Merovech, gave his name to the dynasty), defeated the local Roman commander and took over his army, civil service, and lands. By 537 the Franks had conquered what is today France, Belgium, Switzerland, and northwestern Germany. The Merovingians divided this territory into three major kingdoms: Neustria, centered at Paris; Austrasia, to the east along the Rhine River; and Burgundy, to the southeast of Neustria. Sometimes one king held all of these kingdoms, but more often different branches of the family divided the kingdoms among themselves. They fought against one another frequently, giving the Merovingians a bad name among some historians. Recently, however, their solid achievements have been recognized. The Merovingians adopted many Roman institutions, although these were not nearly as effective or well-developed as they once had been. Like the Roman emperors, the Merovingians depended on the fisc (income and services from public lands). For a time, they also kept the Roman taxation system, although eventually opposition caused them to drop it. The Merovingians minted coins on the Roman model, and the kings maintained a rudimentary civil service. None of these Merovingian institutions matched the Roman ones, nor those of the Byzantine emperors or the Islamic caliphs. However, by incorporating Roman institutions into their rule, the Merovingians provided continuity with the past. In this way, some of the heritage of the classical world passed into the Middle Ages and from there into the modern world. The Merovingians also brought continuity through their religion. Unlike many of the other Germanic kings in the former Roman Empire, Clovis was not an Arian Christian. Instead he allied himself with Catholic bishops and aristocrats. He converted to their form of Christianity and honored Christian churches, saints, and relics. Later Merovingian kings and queens did even more. For example, in the mid-7th century, Queen Balthild gave her wealth to churches, offered privileges to monasteries to keep them free from the control of both royal agents and nearby bishops, and late in life retired to a convent as a nun. In this period monasteries became important elements of religious and political life. Monks lived in a community according to a set of guidelines known as a rule. They did not marry, and they gave up many of the other trappings of ordinary life. Instead, they practiced penance (asking forgiveness for their sins) and spent much of their time in prayer to God. Kings, queens, and rich aristocrats considered the monks the highest models of virtue, and they gave lands and privileges to monastic communities. Although individual monks were poor and powerless, the monasteries became rich and important institutions. III THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES: THE CAROLINGIAN WORLD AND ITS BREAKUP The Merovingians ruled for a very long time, from 481 to 751. For the last 60 years of their reign, however, they were challenged by a powerful aristocratic family, the Carolingians, from the kingdom of Austrasia. Eventually the Carolingian leader Pepin the Short took over the royal throne. Although Pepin founded the royal dynasty, the most famous Carolingian king was his son Charles, known as Charlemagne (Charles the Great), a tireless conqueror and a devoted patron of the arts and scholarship. The Carolingian dynasty gets its name from the Latin word for Charles, Carolus, after the grandfather and namesake of Charlemagne, Charles Martel. A The Empire of Charlemagne Charlemagne impressed his contemporaries as a model king. He was huge of build, full of energy, and enormously successful in almost everything he did. During his 46year reign, from 768 to 814, he almost doubled the territory ruled by the Franks. However, after Charlemagne's death, his empire weakened and eventually fell apart. Charlemagne's descendants continued many of his projects, but they were unable to maintain his empire. A1 Creation and Administration of the Empire Charlemagne's empire was gained by military might and was maintained through centralized administrative institutions and personal loyalties. The powerful Carolingian army was made up of most of the free men of the kingdom. Some of these soldiers were mounted warriors who fought on horseback and were protected by armor. Most, however, were foot soldiers. This army was a formidable force. By the end of Charlemagne's reign, his empire included what is today much of central and western Europe (with the exceptions of Spain, Scandinavia, England, and southern Italy). This empire was very different from the Roman one. While the Roman Empire was based on the Mediterranean Sea, Charlemagne's was an empire of the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. The Carolingian Empire was administered by royal officials called counts and dukes. In each region of the empire, these governors were expected to carry out royal laws, oversee court cases, call men up for army duty, and maintain order. To ensure their loyalty, counts and dukes had to pledge fealty (faithfulness) to the king. Instead of money, the king gave them land for their services. Bishops and other important churchmen also played key roles in Carolingian administration. For example, Charlemagne used bishops to check up on counts and to make sure that they carried out their duties well. Carolingian kings also called frequent meetings of the chief men of the empire, including bishops and abbots (heads of monasteries), to discuss laws, military matters, and religious issues. The Carolingians were even more closely attached to the church than the Merovingians had been. Charlemagne's father, Pepin the Short, had written to the pope for authorization before he deposed the last Merovingian king. When Pepin took the throne, he had himself anointed by a bishop--that is, his head and shoulders were rubbed with holy oil. This rite had been practiced by biblical kings and priests, and Pepin intended to associate himself with those figures in the minds of his contemporaries. The Carolingian rulers, each of whom was anointed, saw themselves as ruling 'by the grace of God.' A2 Revival of the Western Empire The Carolingians added the imperial title to their rule as well. There had been no Roman emperor in the west since 476, but many people around Charlemagne--and no doubt he as well--thought that he deserved the title. He was certainly recognized as ruler in Rome, and the pope relied on him for help. During one of Charlemagne's trips to Rome, on Christmas Day in the year 800, the pope placed the imperial crown on Charlemagne's head while the assembled crowd acclaimed him as emperor. Charlemagne may well not have liked the pope acting as 'emperor maker,' as it implied that the pope was more powerful and more important than the emperor. Instead, Charlemagne preferred to claim that he was crowned emperor by God. He wanted to be known as a Christian emperor, not a Roman emperor. Charlemagne wanted to be considered a second Constantine, harking back to the first Christian emperor. Later medieval emperors looked to Charlemagne and Constantine as their models. For these later emperors, the title emperor meant two things above all. First, it meant that they were 'superkings' who ruled over--or at least had authority in--more than one kingdom. Because of the tradition of the Roman Empire, some sort of control in Italy was also considered important. Charlemagne held northern Italy and was the official protector of Rome. Later emperors considered it important to rule those places too. The 10th-century emperor Otto II and some of his successors even called themselves Roman Emperor. The second significance of the title emperor was that it gave its holder some of the luster, honor, and prestige of Constantine and Charlemagne. In 1254, when the emperor's power was at its lowest ebb and every king was considered an emperor in his own kingdom, the title Holy Roman Empire was created. The empire basically encompassed what is today central Europe and Germany, and it did not include any territory in Italy. The empire lasted until 1806, a period of time in which only a handful of men were actually crowned emperor. Nevertheless, historians often trace the founding of the Holy Roman Empire to Charlemagne's crowning as emperor of the Romans in the year 800. The event symbolized the creation of a new western empire, even though concept of the Holy Roman Empire had yet to develop. A3 Unity and Diversity Charlemagne recognized that Christianity was the most important factor unifying the empire. When he conquered the Saxons, a Germanic tribe in northern Germany, he forced them to be baptized, and any who returned to their old religions were executed. New monasteries were established on the frontiers of the empire, and the Carolingians tried to get all the empire's monasteries to follow the Benedictine Rule. This code, written by Saint Benedict of Nursia in the 6th century, governed the monks' daily regimen of work, study, and prayer. Charlemagne also directed that everyone across his empire stop working on Sunday in order to attend church. These policies were part of the Carolingians' attempts to unify the empire. In reality, however, there was little unity. The Carolingian Empire consisted of many different regions, each with its own language, customs, and laws. It is doubtful that everyone went to church on Sunday. It is certain that few of those who did go understood the words of the Mass, the central rite of Christian worship. The Mass was chanted in Latin, the language of ancient Rome, and by 800 only a small, educated elite understood Latin. At the same time, people in what is now northern Germany could not understand the speech of those living in the south. People in northern France made fun of the puffed sleeves and short pants worn by the Aquitainians in the south. People in Italy followed laws that differed from those elsewhere in the empire. There was enormous regional diversity. B The Carolingian Renaissance To bring order and unity to this situation, as well as to fulfill their goal of creating a Christian empire, the Carolingians sponsored a revival of scholarship and art known as the Carolingian Renaissance. It had two main goals: to revive the wisdom of Roman writers, uniting it with Christian literature and learning, and to create new works of art and literature that expressed this same unity. The Carolingian Renaissance began in the 790s and lasted for about a century. At first the scholars and artists involved in it came from the frontiers of the empire, such as Italy, or even from outside it, from places such as England. Later scholars and artists were Franks educated in Carolingian schools. The most famous figure of the early Carolingian Renaissance was Alcuin. He came from England, which had important ties with Rome and the papacy and a strong tradition of scholarship. Alcuin became the head of a school at Charlemagne's court. He wrote letters on behalf of the king, advised him on issues of government, and tutored the royal household. He also revised and reedited a version of the Bible known as the Vulgate. This was important because it provided a standardized, authoritative text of the Bible for churches and schools. Alcuin and other scholars also wrote theological treatises, poems, histories, essays on government, biographies (the most famous is Life of Charlemagne by Einhard), and hagiographies (stories of the lives of saints). Instead of using paper, which was unknown in the West, these scholars wrote on parchment made of animal skins. All works were written out by hand, which is why they are called manuscripts--from the Latin words manus (hand) and scriptus (written). Carolingian artists worked with Byzantine and Roman illustrations to create paintings to decorate these texts. These paintings are called illuminations, and manuscripts with these illustrations are known as illuminated manuscripts. For example, in the front of each of the four Gospels (the first four books of the New Testament of the Bible) artists painted the portraits of the authors using vivid colors and gold leaf. The Romans had often begun their books with an author portrait of this type. By adopting this practice for Christian texts, the Carolingians used Roman traditions for Christian purposes. The Carolingians also sponsored schools. Carolingian kings wanted every monastery to have both an internal school for future monks and an external school for the children in the neighborhood. In these schools children would learn the alphabet and how to read the Latin of the Psalter (the book of Psalms in the Bible). The idea was to give everyone enough education to understand at least the basic doctrines of Christianity so that they could fully participate in the Christian community. It is doubtful, however, if many external schools were set up, although monasteries and churches did organize schools for future monks and priests. The legacy of the Carolingian Renaissance lasted long after the Carolingian Empire had passed away. It provided good, clear copies of important Christian texts: the Vulgate Bible, chants for the Mass, and the Benedictine Rule, which most of the monasteries in the empire followed. Its scholars' treatises and other writings set a solid foundation for the development of schools and universities in the 12th century. C The Carolingian Economy A great deal of wealth was necessary to keep the Carolingian government and cultural programs running. At first, as Charlemagne's armies conquered to the south and east, wealth poured in from booty taken in war. When the conquests stopped, the Carolingians had to depend on two main sources of wealth: land and trade. C1 Land Use and Agricultural Practices The Carolingian economy was largely based on land. The king's royal estates were everywhere. Monasteries and churches also owned large tracts of land. Wealthy aristocrats had estates scattered from one end of the empire to the other. Sandwiched between these vast estates were smaller plots held by common folk. These plots ranged in size from quite large to just large enough to support a family. The large estates were organized into manors, which had two parts: the land belonging to the lord (the holder of the estate) and the land belonging to the peasants. The peasants, who were dependents of the lord, farmed both parts. They owed the lord labor on his land as well as dues and other services at various times of the year. But not all peasants owed the same amounts. Some peasants were considered unfree: They owed the lord more labor services and dues, and their own plots were very small. Other peasants were considered free: They owed less and owned more. The daily lives and work routines of peasants were similar on most manors in the 9th and 10th centuries. On one of the manors belonging to the wealthy monastery of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, near Paris, for example, all the peasants lived near one another in a village. Almost every morning the men went out to work in the fields. In May they plowed one field and then in the fall they plowed it again and sowed it with seed for winter crops, such as wheat, rye, and barley. In February they plowed another field in order to sow spring crops of oats or beans. Meanwhile they left a third field uncultivated, allowing the farm animals to graze there and fertilize the soil with their droppings. This was the three field system, the most up-to-date way to till the soil, as it left only one-third of the land uncultivated in order to regain its fertility. The alternative, practiced in many places, was the two field system, in which a full half of the land was left fallow. Besides plowing, sowing, and reaping, the peasants had many other tasks. They tended the manor's vineyard, pruning vines and preparing the grapes to make into wine. Some of them spread manure in the fields. Others looked after the pigs. Still others carted lumber, crops, or other supplies. Women also worked in the fields, helping sow and reap, but most of their time was spent in the women's workshops, where they spun thread, wove cloth, and made clothing. Some also worked in the kitchen as cooks. Every peasant family living on a manor owed dues to its lord. On one of the manors of Saint-Germain, each family paid two sheep, nine hens, 30 eggs, 100 wooden planks, and other items every year to the monastery. On a different manor, this one belonging to a monastery near Reims, the burden was less. Each family owed a measure of wine, one hen, five eggs, and a cartload of wood. C2 Trade Surprisingly, this world of hens, eggs, and oats produced a modest surplus. Local markets were held so that peasants and lords could sell their goods. The Carolingians minted small silver coins to make such commerce easier. They obtained some of the silver from long-distance trade with the Islamic world, selling their surplus wine to the Muslims, who paid them in silver. D The Breakup of the Carolingian Empire After the death of Charlemagne's heir, Louis the Pious, his sons fought over the empire and divided it numerous times. With the Treaty of Verdun in 843, they split it in a way that roughly marked the later outlines of western Europe. Charles the Bald got the western third of the empire; Louis the German got the eastern third; and Lothair I got the middle third, stretching from the North Sea to Italy, and the imperial title. Charles's kingdom eventually became France, Louis's became Germany, and Lothair's, which was fought over and divided, became The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Italy. D1 Invasion These states were far in the future, however. In the 9th century, the empire was fragmenting politically and was also facing invasions from three sides. From the south came a new wave of Muslims. From the east appeared the Magyars. From the north came the Vikings, daring sailors from Scandinavia. The Carolingians had great difficulties in meeting these new challenges. Muslim bands settled in southern France and took over Sicily and southern Italy. Magyar horsemen raided all the way to the Rhine River and repeatedly attacked northern Italy and Germany. Bands of Vikings attacked Ireland and England and sailed up the rivers of France. They also made their way to Iceland and even landed on the coast of North America. The Muslims were eventually thrown out of their strongholds in France and southern Italy. The Magyars were defeated by German king and later emperor Otto I in 955 and settled down in what is today Hungary. The Vikings, like the Magyars, eventually established permanent homes in Europe. Viking invaders created and settled Normandy, today a region of France. Scandinavia itself was drawn into Europe as its people mingled with Europeans and converted to Christianity. D2 Consequences of Invasion In the course of fighting these invaders, Europe itself changed in varying ways. Two contrasting examples are England and France. England became unified, while France fragmented into small, nearly independent principalities (regions ruled by princes). D2a England The Vikings first attacked, then conquered and settled, the eastern half of England. By the end of the 9th century, it looked as if the rest of the country, which was divided into small kingdoms, would soon be overtaken. In Wessex, the southernmost kingdom, King Alfred the Great was determined to oppose the threat. He reorganized his army, built ships, and set up a system of fortifications. His victories over the Vikings gave him such prestige that he was recognized as king of all England not under Viking rule. Alfred's successors pushed out most of the Vikings and absorbed the rest of England into one kingdom. D2b France France had a very different experience. The king was unable to mobilize his forces quickly enough to fight the Viking raids. Powerful local men--often dukes or counts--organized their own regional defenses. Carolingian prestige suffered, and by the end of the 10th century a new dynasty, the Capetian, came to the throne. Although the Capetians were successful in the long run, at this point they ruled only the region right around Paris. The rest of France was ruled by local men. The political fragmentation of France became more extreme in the 10th and 11th centuries. Many counts and dukes lost power to castellans, local strongmen with a retinue of soldiers who controlled a castle and its immediate surroundings. Protected by their fortifications and armed followers, castellans dominated the surrounding countryside, even though they had no particular right to rule. D3 Social Change Local strongmen such as castellans, counts, and dukes depended on the loyal service of warriors and the dues of peasants. As the Carolingian Empire broke apart, peasants and warriors became distinctly different groups. Carolingian peasants had also served in the army, but by the 11th century, peasants were supposed to till the soil, not pick up arms. There were no longer free and unfree peasants, nor were there many peasants who owned their own land. Most peasants became serfs, who were half free (see Serfdom). They owed dues and services to the local strong man (as well as to the lord of their manor, if they lived on one), and they called him their lord. This system is known as seignorialism. Warriors, however, became an elite class of knights. They rode horses and wielded weapons that required great skill, such as the heavy lance. The majority of knights were free men. They had lords, but their lords (kings, counts, dukes, and castellans) were also knights, and in that sense were their equals. As a lord's vassal, a knight pledged fealty to him and served him in war. Some vassals lived with their lords, sleeping in the great hall of the castle and rising in the morning to eat together with the lord, his wife, and the other vassals. Luckier vassals had fiefs--grants of land owned by their lord that the vassals used and lived on. Fiefs had been given out in earlier times. For example, Charlemagne gave fiefs to his counts, but he could also take them away if he wanted to. Gradually, however, fiefs became hereditary. By the 11th century, a man who had a fief knew he could pass it on to his son. The son then pledged fealty to his father's lord. Some historians use the term feudalism to refer to the social system of lords, vassals, and fiefs. Others use this word to refer to the political fragmentation that took place in France, where the power of local strong men, supported by their men and castles, became more important than the authority of kings. For still others, feudalism means the orderly political hierarchy of lords and vassals established in certain principalities and later in kingdoms. Normandy is a good example of one such principality. The duke of Normandy gave fiefs to his barons (his most important vassals), who owed him not only their own military service but also that of their own knights, to whom they in turn gave fiefs. When the Normans conquered England in 1066, they set up this system across their new kingdom. Given the many definitions of feudalism, some of which conflict, and given the fact that the word itself was never used in the Middle Ages, a number of recent historians have stopped using the term altogether. D4 Changes in the Church As society changed, so too did the Christian church. In France churches were absorbed into the new organization of small kingdoms and local rulers. Local bishops often came from local ruling families, and parish priests received their posts from the local lord. Monasteries, founded on family lands, became family institutions. In the Empire (comprising roughly what is today Germany and Italy), churches were drawn into the governmental system set up by Otto I and his successors. In this area, bishops appointed by the emperor acted as governors as well as spiritual leaders. IV THE CENTRAL MIDDLE AGES: AN AGE OF GROWTH From the 11th century through the 13th century, Europeans remade their world. They revived old cities and built new ones, created universities, reformed the church, waged aggressive wars, and made and unmade powerful kings and emperors. Although still weaker and less prosperous than the Islamic world and less sophisticated than the Byzantine Empire, the West became an important world power. A Agriculture and the Growth of Towns A1 Changes in Agriculture From the 10th century through the 12th century, as the invasions of Europe by outside forces ended and the population began to grow, the European countryside was transformed by peasant labor. Farmers made new lands available for cultivation by draining marshes and cutting down forests. Such newly cleared lands were called assarts. The peasants who did this backbreaking labor often gained favorable terms for themselves from their lords in exchange. Many peasants adopted a new, heavy plow that dug deeper furrows and increased crop production. At first these plows were pulled by oxen. Later, with the invention of the horse collar, peasants were able to make use of horses, which were more efficient than oxen. In the course of the 12th century, peasants began to use metal tools and to reinforce their wooden tools and plowshares with iron. Female peasants benefited from the introduction of water mills and wind mills, which freed them from grinding flour by hand. Territorial lords encouraged agricultural improvements because they profited from them as much as the peasants did. They offered to reduce the obligations of peasants who cleared uncultivated lands. They turned yearly dues of hens, eggs, and farm labor into a fixed money rent. This benefited the peasants, who could attend to their own plots of land. It also benefited the lords, who could employ workers when needed and spend the rest of their money on luxuries. Some of the lords' new wealth came from their monopoly on mills and ovens. The peasants were obliged to use the lords' mills to grind flour and the lords' ovens to bake bread, and they paid a fee for this privilege. A2 Towns and Cities Towns and cities began to appear throughout Europe in the Central Middle Ages. The greatest number of these were in the western half, in The Netherlands, Germany, France, and Italy. Some towns developed out of trading sites as merchants and craftsmen came to trade and sell their wares at castles, cathedrals, and monasteries around Europe. Often permanent trading settlements were built. Innkeepers opened hotels to put up travelers, and other people built their homes nearby. Sometimes these commercial centers became towns and cities. The most important commercial towns and cities were located along the Baltic Sea in the north and along the Mediterranean coast in the south. The northern cities, such as Lübeck, Hamburg, Gda? sk, and Stockholm, traded raw materials such as salt, fish, furs, timber, amber, and wax. In the southern cities, the wares were lighter and more precious: spices, fine cloths, perfumes, medicines, and dyes. In the 12th century, major Italian cities such as Genoa, Florence, and Venice were engaged in longdistance trade. Venice subjected many of the cities on the shores of the Adriatic Sea to its rule, and its merchants traded regularly in Byzantine and Islamic ports. Other towns and cities, such as Rome, Marseille, Paris, and Trier, grew up in and around the shells of old Roman cities. Italian cities such as Pisa and Genoa developed on sites that had once been Roman towns, expanding in new directions. Genoa, for example, had been nothing but a small town with a fort under the ancient Romans. Starting in the 10th century, however, its inhabitants took advantage of the nearby sea. They used the small profits that they made from farming to build ships, and they used the ships to defend themselves, as well as to raid and trade. As the city grew more prosperous, it grew in size and population. Most medieval cities were not planned. They looked very different from modern American cities built on rational grids. Almost all medieval cities had at least three centers: the marketplace, the church or cathedral, and the castle. Because these were the most important places in the towns, the homes of settlers tended to congregate around them. Streets were not paved and were dark, narrow, and dirty. Most people lived on the top floor of two-story buildings, with warehouses or shops below. Buildings were crowded together because most cities were ringed by earthen or stone walls for defense, and everyone tried to fit inside. Periodically the population grew too large and new walls had to be built. Medieval cities were small compared to modern cities. Paris had less than 100,000 people at its height at the end of the 13th century. The large cities of Italy, such as Genoa, Florence, and Venice, had more than 25,000 people, but in Germany cities were large if they had more than 10,000 inhabitants. Many urban areas had just a few thousand citizens. A2a Growth of Guilds Most medieval towns had separate districts for different crafts and professions: The butchers tended to live in one district, the shoemakers in another, the cloth workers in a third. This pattern reflected the fact that the crafts were organized into guilds, which were both religious clubs and trade associations that set standards for their members. Guilds controlled everything having to do with their specific craft, from setting prices and establishing manufacturing processes to mandating the number of employees any one shop could have. Because the guild was so involved in every aspect of the craft, members often formed a very tight community and tended to congregate together in one area of a town or city. A2b Fairs Some of the most colorful events in towns and cities were fairs. Fairs were markets and festivals rolled into one. They attracted foreign merchants and traders who bought and sold luxuries and exchanged a great deal of money. Kings, dukes, and other princes sponsored fairs, providing protection for the merchants and assigning them places to stay in town. They reduced normal taxes and tolls, and in return they took a percentage of the profits. Fairs usually took place during church festivals, and sometimes they were even set up on church grounds. In London, for example, the fair of Saint Bartholomew was held in a monastic cemetery. It lasted for three days each year, and it was so popular that merchants were frequently forced to set up their booths beyond the walls of the cemetery. Other fairs were held in open fields. Entertainers, money changers, and other hangers-on added to the activity of fair days. Merchants, moneylenders, and buyers found fairs convenient places to do business. Fairs were also important sources of income for their sponsors. A2c Growing Independence Although there was a great diversity of people in the cities--humble street cleaners and powerful merchants, day laborers and master craftsmen, servants and financiers--all were united by a sense of common identity as city dwellers. They wanted no overlords. They declared that serfs who came to a city and lived there for a year and a day were free. They asked the kings and princes who ruled over them to allow them to govern themselves. Cities that became independent in this way were called communes. Some communes gained their independence by paying lords to grant it to them, while others governed alongside their lord. Still others battled violently for rights of self-governance. At Laon, in France, members of the commune killed the bishop who ruled the city. The king of France intervened and stopped the revolt, but eventually he recognized the commune's authority. All communes were not always so fortunate, however, and many were never allowed to become independent. Communes in Italy were particularly successful. They gained the right not only to govern themselves but also to rule the farmland and villages around them. By the 13th century, northern Italy was divided politically and economically into competing city-states, regions dominated by their chief city. B Schools and Universities Since the Carolingian period, churches and monasteries had run schools to educate boys who were going to become priests and monks. In the 11th and 12th centuries new types of schools were developed in some cities. These schools were different from the old ones because they were usually located in city cathedrals rather than in monasteries, and they were dedicated to more advanced studies than the other schools. For this reason, they attracted students and teachers not just from the neighborhood but from all over Europe who were interested in studying subjects such as philosophy, medicine, and law. Many of the students who attended these schools went on to careers in the church. Others became lawyers and doctors, often serving wealthy merchants and their families. Still others became civil servants and worked for princes or kings. B1 Development of Schools France and Italy led the way in developing these city schools. Italy and southern France were famous for their schools of law and medicine. Northern France, especially Paris, was known for its schools of philosophy and theology. In the 13th century many of these schools were organized into universities, the direct ancestors of modern American and European universities. By the end of the Middle Ages, there were nearly 80 universities throughout Europe, not only in France, Italy, and Spain, but also in the empire--at Prague, Heidelberg, and Cologne--in Poland, and in Scandinavia. They were largely self-governing, enforcing their own rules about dress, classroom activities, and the materials taught. Teachers, called masters, decided when the students were ready to get their degrees or to be allowed to teach. Students and teachers often clashed with city authorities. This sometimes led to student and master protests, to demands for special privileges, and to measures that strengthened the universities' self-government. For example, in 1200 a brawl broke out between students and the police in Paris. Some students were killed, and the masters were outraged. The king of France feared that the masters would leave the city and thus deprive him of the prestige and commercial vitality that their presence gave to his kingdom. To prevent this, he recognized the clerical status of the students. From that time on, if students were arrested they were tried by church courts, not royal courts. As church courts tended to be lenient, this privilege pleased both masters and students. B2 Curriculum Almost all universities taught the so-called seven liberal arts. The most important of these were the first three, called the trivium: grammar (what would now be called reading and writing), rhetoric (literature and more complicated kinds of writing), and logic. While learning these, students might also study some or all of the other four, called the quadrivium. These were mathematical and scientific subjects: arithmetic (what would now be called number theory), geometry (number relations), music (proportions and harmonies), and astronomy. Some students also studied theology, which was considered the highest and most profound subject, since it was the study of God and his works. When they had successfully completed their studies, students became masters. The courses of study were not the same in all universities, however. At Bologna, in Italy, students studied the laws of the Roman Empire. In the early 12th century, scholars had rediscovered this huge and systematic body of laws, which seemed to cover every problem. At Salerno, also in Italy, students studied medical treatises, observed dissected animals, and learned current theories about the body derived from the works of Greek philosopher Aristotle. They learned about Aristotle from Arab scholars, who had rediscovered, translated, and commented on his writings. Most classes in medieval schools were taught as lectures in which the teacher read a text aloud and commented on its important or difficult passages, while the students followed along, often with a copy of the text. Other classes were organized as discussions in which both masters and students asked questions and prodded one another to provide and support their answers. These were often very lively meetings, and students greatly enjoyed the engaging atmosphere of the classroom. B3 Medieval Scholars Although only boys and men attended schools and universities, men were not the only scholars. The 12th-century scholar Héloïse was the most famous female scholar of the Middle Ages. After receiving an early education at a convent school near Paris, Héloïse began private lessons with the most brilliant master of the day, French philosopher Peter Abelard. Abelard taught her logic. She taught him about the ancient philosophers Plato and Socrates, and she convinced him of the importance of writing down his thoughts. The two soon became secret lovers, but they were discovered by Héloïse's uncle, who had Abelard castrated. The couple rarely saw each other after that, but they remained in touch through writing. Abelard was the most important scholar of the 12th century. He revolutionized teaching methods with his book Sic et Non (Yes and No, 1123?), which set contradictory statements from different texts side by side. Rather than resolve the contradictions himself, Abelard required his students to ask questions and come up with their own answers. Abelard's theological writings were similarly daring. They probed the meaning of God through the use of logic. Many of Abelard's contemporaries were outraged by these writings and accused Abelard of heresy (belief in doctrine contrary to that of the church). Abelard died a broken man, but his impact on learning remained. B4 Scholasticism In subsequent centuries, scholars continued to use Abelard's method of setting contradictory texts next to one other. But instead of letting the readers or students decide the answers for themselves, these scholars added long and careful resolutions to each problem. These resolutions were based on the newly rediscovered philosophy of Aristotle as well as on contemporary Christian thinking. This school of thought is called Scholasticism. The best-known scholastic is Saint Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas was born in Naples, in southern Italy, in 1225 and was educated in Cologne (in Germany) and Paris. He wrote important philosophical studies in Latin called summae (summaries). For example, Aquinas's Summa Theologica was a multivolume work on God and God's creation. Aquinas divided each topic into smaller ones, and then subdivided each of these further, treating each subdivision as a yes or no question. He presented texts first on one side, then on the other. He then gave his own answer and explained away the contradictions as best he could. It may seem that the writings of the Scholastics had little to do with the concerns of ordinary people, but this is not so. Students flocked to the city schools because they found them exciting. They thought that logic was the key to knowing about life and about themselves. Ordinary townsmen, who did not go to school, were nevertheless keenly interested in what was taught there. They wanted to know, for example, if their own moneymaking and commerce would condemn them to hell or allow them into heaven. The Scholastics answered such questions. Thomas Aquinas himself taught how to reconcile moneymaking with a Christian life. Although townspeople could not read the writings of Aquinas directly, preachers, who could read Latin and then preach it in words understandable to ordinary folk, popularized his and other Scholastic teaching. B5 Other Centers of Learning Not all learning went on in the city schools, and not all of the important scholars taught at universities. Other 12th-century centers of learning were the monasteries, most of which were out in the countryside. Many respected scholars came from these monasteries. For example, the Cistercian abbot Saint Bernard of Clairvaux wrote sermons and treatises on love, faith, mystical union with God, and Christian knighthood. His contemporary Hildegard of Bingen, abbess of a convent in Germany, wrote down visions that she had, composed music and chants for her nuns to sing, and wrote a play for them to act out. This play was called Ordo Virtutum (Play of Virtues, mid-12th century) and is one of the earliest known examples of a morality play--a musical story depicting the battle between good and evil. C Development of the Papacy The role of the papacy began to change drastically during the Central Middle Ages. During Late Antiquity the pope was a very important bishop, since he was the bishop of Rome, but he was not the head of the Christian church. He shared that honor with the eastern patriarchs and the Byzantine emperor. In the next few centuries, however, the papacy began to develop greater importance. At the end of the 6th century, Pope Gregory I, known as Gregory the Great, worked to increase the power of the papacy. He made the papacy a major landowner in Italy, kept law and order in the region around Rome, maintained good relations with the Franks, and sent missionaries to convert the English to Christianity. The popes of the 7th and 8th centuries built on Gregory's legacy. They created and ruled a papal state in central Italy, formed an alliance with the Carolingians to protect it, and declared independence from the Byzantine Empire. They even forged a document called the Donation of Constantine that allegedly gave the papacy the right to rule the entire western half of the Roman Empire. C1 Dependence on the Carolingians The Carolingians put a temporary end to the growth of papal power. They supported the popes as models of piety and priestly behavior. Nevertheless, the Carolingians acted as the heads of the church. They appointed bishops and abbots. When the church needed reform, the Carolingians took on the job themselves. They opened schools for priests and made certain that the religious texts used in the churches were authentic and readily available. In short, they saw themselves as the heads of both church and state. In France the end of the Carolingian dynasty in the late 10th century meant that churches came under the control of regional powers. To the east, however, Otto I and his successors continued many Carolingian practices, including using the imperial title first bestowed on Charlemagne in 800. They appointed bishops in Germany and Italy and used them as government officials. They also occasionally appointed and deposed popes. Like the Carolingians, they considered themselves responsible for church reform. C2 Calls for Change In the 11th century, more and more churchmen, monks, and laymen began to feel the need to change the church. At first they concentrated on two abuses: clerical marriage and simony (paying money or giving gifts in return for a church office). Clerical celibacy, which demanded that priests and bishops abstain from sexual relations and therefore not marry, had been an ideal since Late Antiquity, but until the late 11th century it was almost never enforced. With the 11th-century reforms, priests and bishops were forced to renounce their wives if they were married; if they were single, they were required to abstain from marriage throughout life. Unlike celibacy, simony was a new issue. Few people saw anything wrong with payments for church office before the 11th century. Until then, payments were understood to be a type of gift--tokens of friendship, support, and good relations. However, the commercial revolution made people aware of the potentially crass uses of money. They saw that goods had price tags and that gifts had easily calculated monetary value. They began to think of gifts and payments for church offices as crass cash purchases. In the mid-11th century, Emperor Henry III, who ruled both Germany and Italy, took an active role in church reform. He refused to take money or gifts in exchange for appointing bishops to church offices, although he still considered it his right to appoint bishops, even the pope. The popes were beginning to disagree, however. They were coming to see themselves as the successors of Saint Peter, Jesus' disciple and traditionally understood to have been the first bishop of Rome. Therefore, 11thcentury popes felt that they were more than just ordinary bishops. Beginning in this period, the popes asserted their own leadership of the Christian church and their independence from the emperor. C3 Gregorian Reform The most important of these popes was Gregory VII, who ruled from 1073 to 1085. Gregory gave his name to the church reform movement: the Gregorian Reform. Even before Gregory's time, however, the papacy had succeeded in depriving the emperor of his traditional power to name the pope. In 1059, a few years after the death of Henry III, the papacy took advantage of the weakness and youth of Henry's successor, Henry IV, to decree that henceforth popes would be elected by the cardinals--the chief clerics that surrounded the pope in Rome. However, Pope Gregory VII was not content with just free papal elections; he was determined to make the church completely independent from the emperors. He believed that independence could be achieved only if regional rulers, princes, and emperors stopped appointing all churchmen. The chief point of Gregory's reform program was to end lay investiture. Investiture was the ritual by which a priest or bishop became a churchman and received his office. Lay investiture meant that a layman--a man who was not a churchman--controlled the ritual. Gregory wanted to end the power of emperors to invest churchmen, a power that they had exercised since the time of Charlemagne. C4 Investiture Controversy Gregory's goal struck at the very heart of the imperial office and royal power as it had developed up until his time. The emperor was anointed just as churchmen were, and he had always played a key religious role, but Gregory denied him any place in church leadership. Both emperor and pope gathered their supporters and went to war over the issue. Their struggle, known as the Investiture Controversy, was not a movement for the separation of church and state, but it was the beginning of such an idea. In both the Byzantine and Islamic worlds, the ruler remained (and in the Middle East remains even today) a religious figure. In the West the idea that the church and the state were separate entities developed gradually. The Gregorian Reform and the Investiture Controversy were important steps in this process. The conflict broke out over the appointment of the bishop of Milan. Emperor Henry IV defied Gregory's decree against lay investiture and appointed his own man to be bishop. The two sides denounced each another. Henry called a council that asked Gregory to resign. In response, Gregory excommunicated Henry, expelling him from the church and its promise of eternal salvation. This was a rarely used penalty and was shocking at the time. Gregory also forbade anyone to serve Henry as king, cutting him off from his supporters. Henry had no choice but to find the pope, do penance, and be received back into the church. Gregory and Henry met at Canossa, high in the Italian Alps. The emperor stood in the snow for three days, begging for forgiveness. Now it was the pope who had no choice--as a priest, he had to pardon a penitent sinner. He lifted the excommunication. In the end, however, Canossa did not resolve the question. War raged in Germany and Italy as the two sides fought for supremacy. In 1122 the struggle ended in a compromise with the Concordat of Worms. The emperor was permitted a small role in investiture: He was allowed to give the worldly trappings--the lands and physical churches--that belonged to the church office. The pope got the right to give the spiritual symbols of the office, the ring and staff, which were the most important. As a result of the Investiture Controversy, the papacy gained recognition as the head of the Christian church. C5 The First Crusade The reforms of Gregory VII greatly increased the power and prestige of the papacy. In 1095 Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus appealed to Gregory's successor, Pope Urban II, for help against the Seljuk Turks, an Islamic group that was attacking the Byzantine Empire. Urban was able to use the new power of the papacy to unite people behind his cause, which in addition to aiding the Byzantines had a far greater goal: to reclaim the important cities of the Holy Land--especially Jerusalem--from the Muslims. Urban crossed the Alps to France and called upon the Franks to stop fighting one another and to use their weapons against the Muslims instead. The audience, gathered in a field to hear the pope's words, cried out, 'God wills it.' The First Crusade was launched. The First Crusade was an armed pilgrimage--a journey to a sacred place that had both religious and worldly purposes. For knights, it was a chance to express their piety and gain booty. For princes, equally pious, it was also an opportunity to carve out new territories. For churchmen, it was a chance to utilize warfare for Christian ideals. Other folk also went on the Crusade. Some were foot soldiers. Others were servants. Some kept the war machines in good repair. Women went along as well, some to accompany their husbands, some to participate in a holy cause, and some to earn money as prostitutes. The First Crusade was made up of many different armies, each under a different leader. Some of these armies were badly armed and not authorized by the pope. These consisted largely of peasants and poor people from the towns. On their way across Europe, some of these peasant armies made a detour to massacre Jews in the Rhineland, in what is now western Germany. This was the first, but not the last, attack on the Jews of Europe. Other armies, better armed, arrived at Constantinople and began their march south toward Jerusalem. The First Crusade won its objective, due largely to the disunity of the Muslim defenders. The Crusaders conquered a thin wedge of territory down the coast of the Mediterranean leading to Jerusalem. They set up states there and named their leaders as rulers. These states were very weak, however, and had to be continually defended by new crusades. The states were gradually reconquered by the Muslims during the 13th century, with the last one falling in 1291. The First Crusade was important not because of the land that it conquered but because it was the first example of European expansionism. It set the stage for the discovery of the Americas, the establishment of European colonies in Asia and Africa, and the political domination of the world by Europeans. One result of the Crusades was the development of military religious orders. Members of the order known as the Knights Templar, for example, were both monks and knights. They lived together in communities according to a rule, but their main job was to defend the roads that pilgrims used to come to Jerusalem once the First Crusade had captured that city. Soon they became Crusaders themselves, maintaining castles and troops in the Holy Land. The Templars, as they were called, became extremely popular and very wealthy. Similarly, the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who were known as the Hospitalers, grew out of the needs of the new states established by the Crusaders. At first, the Hospitalers spent their time serving the sick, especially the poor and pilgrims. Their hospital at Jerusalem was huge, with separate wards for men and women and even tiny cots for babies. It became the model for numerous hospitals in Europe. However, the Hospitalers themselves gradually grew less interested in caring for the sick than in defending the Crusader states. D New-Style Monarchies In the 12th and 13th centuries many European kings became more powerful by refining and centralizing existing institutions and by regularizing their role as lords over their vassals. This centralization made it easier to control the lands of the kingdom and to raise armies. European kings also tapped new sources of wealth by establishing more efficient means of taxation. However, not all monarchies grew during this time. German kings lost power, and Germany fragmented into regional principalities. D1 A Strong Monarchy: England In the 9th and 10th centuries King Alfred and his successors had united the various principalities of England under one king. In 1066, however, English king Edward the Confessor died without an heir. Three men competed for the throne: Harold, an English nobleman; Harald III, the king of Norway; and William, duke of Normandy. When Harald III invaded England in 1066, Harold defeated him. Harold in turn was killed by William about a week later at the Battle of Hastings. William quickly took the crown of England and ruled as William I. D1a A System of Knightly Service The new king kept about 20 percent of the land for himself and divided the remainder among his major vassals--barons and important churchmen--giving them the land as fiefs. The barons then gave some of their land as fiefs to their knights. In this way William introduced the Norman system of lords and vassals into England. He depended on the military service of his barons and their vassals, as well as on their aids (payments to him). The king also depended heavily on the English peasants. They grew the crops and tended the livestock that were essential to the kingdom, and the dues they paid were important sources of revenue for the king. In order to keep track of his resources, William ordered his officials to draw up detailed surveys of the land, people, livestock, and crops, as well as the dues that were owed the king. The summary of these reports, which was called Domesday Book, told him exactly what resources and revenues he could expect each year. The English king's political roles were often quite complicated. For example, William did not give up being duke of Normandy when he became king of England. Instead, he merely incorporated England into his existing domain. His conquest drew England into close relations with the rest of Europe. These relations became even closer after the count of Anjou--a principality in what is now western France--married William's granddaughter. When their son Henry II became king of England in 1154, England became part of a vast territory that included more than half of what is now France. In England Henry was king. On the European continent, he was duke of Normandy and count of Anjou, and he held similar titles for his other continental possessions. The English king held all these lands, except England, as a vassal of the French king. As long as the monarchs were on good terms, this posed little problem. However, as competition and tensions increased between the two, this relationship came to be a distinct disadvantage for the English king, who was bound by the customs of lords and vassals to serve the king of France. D1b Law and the Courts Henry II strengthened the monarchy's control over England by establishing a new centralized system of justice. He declared that crimes such as murder and arson were crimes against the king, no matter where in the kingdom they were committed. He ordered local juries to meet in each district every year to name people suspected of such crimes and to bring them before the king's judges. (This is the origin of the American grand jury.) He also set up a system of traveling justices to hear property disputes and other civil cases. By standardizing laws and punishments throughout his kingdom and by putting the law in the hands of royal officials instead of local barons, Henry II began to establish English common law--law that applied to all of England. These changes united England under one set of laws and under one system of justice. This system of justice gave the king not only power and prestige but also money: He collected fines from criminals and fees from civil cases. Twelfth-century English kings were rich. Money flowed to the royal treasury from courts, lands, taxes on cities, knightly aids, and other sources. D1c Loss of Territory and Magna Carta The strength of English kings provoked jealousy and competition. On the continent, French kings maneuvered to take English territory that they felt was theirs. In England, the monarchy demanded more and more money from the barons to fight the French, and the barons banded together against the king to assert their rights. Both of these developments came to a head during the reign of Henry II's son John. He lost important continental territory to the French king in a series of wars. In England the barons forced John in 1215 to assent to their demands in a document called Magna Carta. Magna Carta outlined the barons' customary rights and prohibited the king from changing anything without their consent. More importantly, however, it stated that all free men in England had certain rights that the king had to respect. As the definition of free man became broader--in 1215 it applied only to the barons, their vassals, and a few townspeople--Magna Carta came to be seen as a declaration of liberty for all Englishmen. Magna Carta did not really weaken the power of the king, but it did change it. From that point on, the king had to work with his barons. Previous kings had met and consulted with their barons (in meetings that were the origins of the English Parliament), but they had not in any sense been obligated to do so. After Magna Carta, if the king refused to work with his barons he suffered hostility and occasionally even open rebellion. In 1264, at the end of the reign of Henry III, the barons actually captured the king and began to rule on their own (see Barons' War). To increase their base of support, the barons called a Parliament consisting not only of the barons but also of representatives of the towns, the so-called commons. Even though Henry's son Edward I soon regained control of the government, he and succeeding kings recognized that English royal power depended on the support of representatives of both the barons and the commons. D2 A Growing Monarchy: France At the time that William conquered England, the king of France was one of the weaker rulers in his kingdom. In fact, it was his kingdom only in the sense that most of its counts and dukes were technically his vassals. The king effectively ruled only the region around Paris. Nevertheless, a number of factors worked to enhance the power of the French monarchy. The Paris region was prosperous, and Paris itself was an important center for scholars, merchants, and craftspeople. French kings collected taxes, tolls, and dues there. Their very weakness insulated them from political challenges. For example, the king of France invested churchmen just as the emperor did, but the pope did not bother challenging him during the Investiture Controversy. Despite this perceived weakness, French kings were strong enough to overcome the castellans in the region around Paris. In their struggles with the castellans, the kings of France gained the moral support of major churchmen, including Suger, the abbot of Saint-Denis, one of the most important monasteries in France. Suger praised the early-12th-century king Louis VI as a Christian soldier who fought on behalf of God and the Christian church. In this way, Suger gave the monarch the honor of a hero and the glory of a Crusader. By the end of the 12th century, the French monarchy had gained both prestige and a solid territorial base. D2a Philip II French king Philip II built on this foundation in the late 12th century. To expand his territory, he used his position as lord in a clever way. King John of England was technically a vassal of Philip because of his French possessions. After John married the fiancée of another of Philip's vassals, Philip summoned John to his court for violating his oath of loyalty. John refused to appear, and Philip claimed all of John's continental fiefs. Then he established a strong mercenary army to repel John's attempts to retake the territories. By 1205 Philip was master of Normandy, Anjou, and other northern French territories formerly held by the English king. In 1214 Philip put an end to John's resistance in the Battle of Bouvines. Unhappiness with John's loss of territory in France and with his increasing taxation to pay for military campaigns helped provoke the barons in England to draw up Magna Carta. Philip matched his battlefield victories with administrative reforms. He employed educated masters as his officials to collect taxes and administer royal estates. The king created a central archive to hold written copies of royal decrees. Like the kings of England, he had his justices travel from region to region to hear cases and appeals. Despite these reforms, however, royal administration and law were never as efficient and widespread in France as they were in England. D2b Saint Louis On the other hand, the French king's prestige was without equal. In the 13th century, Louis IX, grandson of Philip II, was revered for his generosity and piety. After his death, he was canonized as Saint Louis. Saint Louis was well known for his evenhanded justice, which he often gave out personally. Sitting in the shade of an oak tree near his castle, he listened to petitioners and disputants of every sort. His decisions were praised for their fairness. Even a saint could not hear all the cases that had to come before the king, however. To deal with this, Louis created the Parlement of Paris as a royal law court with trained professional judges. (Despite the similarity in spelling, the French Parlement, a court, was very different from the English Parliament, a representative institution.) D3 A Monarchy in Decline: Germany There were no saint-kings in Germany. The Investiture Controversy badly weakened the power of the German king (or emperor; since the king of Germany was always the emperor as well, there was little distinction). During the wars unleashed by that controversy, the princes of Germany--the counts, dukes, and other nobles, including churchmen--carved out regions for themselves. In Italy, most of which had also been under imperial control, the communes (independent cities) did the same, subjecting the surrounding countryside to their rule. D3a Frederick I Frederick I became emperor in 1152, and he partially revived imperial power. Although he recognized the rule of the German princes over their territories, he insisted that they become his vassals. As their lord, he became their acknowledged head. Similarly, Frederick did not challenge the pope's leadership of the church, but he insisted that he alone ruled the empire, which was (in his view) as sacred and important as the church itself. Earlier emperors had accepted the view that the church was above the empire; Frederick said the two were equal. Finally, Frederick married the heiress of Burgundy and Provence, giving him a strong territorial base. The great problem for Frederick I was that, as emperor, he also claimed jurisdiction over Italy. He could not just leave Italy alone, yet his attempts to exert influence there stirred up opposition from the papacy and the communes. Frederick's armies were initially successful in northern Italy, but the cities joined together in the Lombard League and allied themselves with the pope to fight him. At the Battle of Legnano in 1176, they defeated Frederick decisively. Frederick's defeat contributed to increasing political fragmentation in Italy. In the north were city-states, in the center were the papal states, and in the south were various principalities and kingdoms. Meanwhile, the princes of Germany ruled their territories with relatively little interference. When one of the princes, Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony and Bavaria, became so powerful that even the other princes feared him, Fredrick I was able to use his position as lord to claim Henry's principality. But the other princes forced Frederick to divide Henry's duchy among them rather than keep it for himself. Unlike the king of France, the king of Germany could not hold on to confiscated territory. D3b Frederick II In fact, the more territory the German kings had, the more opposition rose against them. Frederick I's grandson, Frederick II, was heir not only to Germany but also to Sicily and southern Italy on his mother's side. Hoping to retain both, Frederick II and his heirs ended up with neither. The popes feared that Frederick would conquer the papal states. When he renewed his grandfather's attempts to take control of northern Italy, Frederick found himself fighting the pope as well as the Lombard League. The popes excommunicated Frederick repeatedly, although by this time such punishments had lost some of their punch. Finally, in 1248, Pope Innocent IV deposed Frederick and called a crusade against him and his entire dynasty. Frederick died two years later. After Frederick died, the pope invited a Frenchman, Charles, the count of Anjou, to take Sicily from Frederick's son. Soon another family, the house of Aragón, was competing for the same kingdom. The long wars that these two powers fought left southern Italy and Sicily impoverished. The conflict between Frederick II and the papacy also profoundly affected Germany. To gain the support of the German princes and their recognition of his sovereignty, Frederick gave them even more rights. He allowed them to inherit their principalities, mint coins, and control all the cities in their territories. After Frederick's death, the princes could not agree on a king. Between 1254 and 1273--a period known as the Great Interregnum--two kings disputed the throne, both foreigners and neither one effective. When in 1273 the princes finally did elect a German king, Rudolf I of Habsburg, he based his power on his wife's inheritance in Austria. He and his successors made no attempt to exert imperial rule over either Germany or Italy, although they held the title of emperor and ruled over what they henceforth called the Holy Roman Empire. Germany remained a country of principalities until the 19th century. D4 Monarchs Made by Conquest: Spain In the 11th century, Spain was a multicultural society. Most of it consisted of separate Islamic principalities called taifas. There, although the rulers and most of the population were Muslim, Jews and Christians were tolerated and allowed to worship in their own ways. To the north, Christian kings ruled a narrow fringe of land. They took advantage of the disunity of the taifas to demand yearly tribute payments from them. As a result, the northern Christian kingdoms were extremely wealthy. Rather than invest in manufacturing or commerce, the Christian kings invested their money in monasteries, churches, and war. In the second half of the 11th century they began what came to be known as the Reconquista, the slow reconquest of all of Spain from the Muslims. King Alfonso VI united most of the northern Christian kingdoms under his rule, and then he turned to the south, attacking the taifa of Toledo. One of his vassals, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (called El Cid, from an Arabic word meaning 'lord'), conquered the taifa of Valencia for himself and held it until his death in 1099. Meanwhile, crowds of people from the rest of Europe--especially from France--flocked to Spain to visit the relics of the apostle Saint James at Santiago de Compostela, to settle as merchants or peasants, or to fight in the wars. Popes proclaimed many of these wars Crusades. The Spanish Crusaders provoked a new Islamic group, the Almohads, to come from North Africa to help defend the taifas. The Almohads, who recognized the supremacy of the caliph at Baghd?d, tied Islamic Spain to the rest of the Islamic world culturally and economically. In the 12th century, even while they battled against the Almohads, the Christians of Spain took advantage of this fact to absorb the learning of the Islamic world. Important Arabic works of philosophy, science, and medicine poured into Europe by way of Spain. By the middle of the 12th century, Christian Spain consisted of three important kingdoms: Portugal (which continues as a separate country today), Castile, and Aragón. All three were united in their goal of the total reconquest of Spain from the Muslims. They even agreed on how to divide up Almohad territory before they conquered it. In 1212 a battle fought at Las Navas de Tolosa nearly destroyed the Almohad forces, and by 1248 only Granada, a small strip of territory along the southern coast of Spain, remained under Muslim rule. After conquering Muslim territory, the Spanish kings allowed the peasants to remain on the land and work, but they let their Christian followers take over as landlords. Kings, however, like their soldiers, preferred plunder to commerce. Teeming cities were emptied of their Muslim artisans and merchants. The conquerors settled on great estates, but as Muslim peasants fled their harsh conditions, the landlords turned to cattle ranching rather than farming. Much of southern Spain remains ranch country to this day. D5 The Papacy as a Monarchy The papacy that developed after the Investiture Controversy has been called a monarchy. Like kings, the popes issued laws and hired masters to collect revenues and judge cases. They were deeply involved in the great political events of their day. They even declared wars: The crusade that Pope Innocent IV called against Frederick II was no armed pilgrimage like the Crusades to the Holy Land--it was part of the pope's battle for supremacy in Italy. The papacy's victory in the Investiture Controversy made it the effective head of the church. The Concordat of Worms in 1122 provided a workable solution to the problem of lay investiture. After an enormous struggle, the church reform movement ended clerical marriage in most parts of Europe. It largely eliminated simony as well. D5a Church Courts With these accomplishments behind them, the popes turned to strengthening the system of church courts, in which clerics were tried. These courts gave penalties far more lenient than those given out by kings and princes. Henry II of England, who was developing his own system of justice, tried to weaken the church courts in his kingdom. He wanted clerics accused of crimes to be tried in royal courts. On this matter, the archbishop (head bishop) of England, Saint Thomas à Becket, supported the pope and opposed Henry bitterly. Their conflict raged for years, until a few of Henry's men murdered Becket in his cathedral in 1170. Instead of solving Henry's problem, this action made it much worse. Widespread indignation and condemnation of the act forced Henry to back down and to do penance for the murder. Church courts remained important in England. The papacy became a court of appeals. Bishops whose elections or appointments were disputed went to Rome to have their cases decided. Abbots who were in conflict with other monasteries over land or rights went to the pope to get his ruling. Providing lawyers, judges, and notaries to write things up in the proper form cost money, and the papacy charged for these services. The papal curia, or court, became a major revenue collecting agency, and the papacy gained wealth and power. D5b Fourth Lateran Council As the head of the church, the pope also became more involved in the lives of ordinary Christians. In 1215 Pope Innocent III presided over the bishops and other clerics called to meet at the Fourth Lateran Council. The council's rulings covered many aspects of personal conduct. They required all Christians to hear Mass and confess their sins at least once a year. They declared marriage to be a sacrament, a rite through which God's grace was received. Because of this, marriages had to be announced in advance, and priests were to decide whether they should take place. The council dealt harshly with Jews and heretics (Christians who taught or believed doctrines other than those of the official church). It required Jews to wear badges or other signs to distinguish them from their neighbors. It ordered rulers to rid their lands of 'heretical filth' or lose their territories. Some of these laws had been declared by the church at earlier councils. By bringing them together and adding more laws, the Fourth Lateran Council showed its determination to reform the world according to one ideal image--the image held by the church. D6 Royal Courts and Court Culture As rulers grew wealthy and successful, their courts became busy places. In addition to the lord's family and servants, knights, clerics, and other officials all gathered at the court of their lord. To amuse and impress their courts and their guests, rulers and their families were eager to host entertainers and musicians. These court entertainers sang songs and told stories that provided the beginnings of a new kind of literature, one that used the vernacular, the language of everyday life, rather than Latin. Vernacular writing had existed for some time in England, as Anglo-Saxon was an official language of government and of the church. But on the continent the first vernacular works were poems sung by 11th-century troubadours in southern France (see Troubadours and Trouvères). Originally, many troubadours were nobles who composed poems and songs and performed them for their assembled courts; later troubadours traveled from one princely court to another, performing their works for payment and then moving on. Troubadour poetry used clever rhyme schemes and ingenious meters--similar to the beat of modern popular songs--to entertain audiences and hold their attention. The poems were about love, longing, the joys and sorrows of youth, and the beauties of nature. They were sung, often with the accompaniment of musical instruments such as flutes, bells, and harps and other stringed instruments. Most households could not afford to have such entertainers every day, and troubadours were most often present for large festivals and tournaments. D6a Tournaments Tournaments were great gatherings at court. There, amid much noise and excitement, knights could show off their courage and their skill in the use of weapons. Knights fought against one another in groups, in what was called a melee, or one-on-one, with each riding on horseback in a joust. The knights who were victorious in tournaments gained horses, money, and fame for their skill and bravery. Those who lost were lucky if they gave up only their horses: Early tournaments differed little from actual combat, and knights were often severely injured or killed. In the 13th century, however, rulers and others began to impose rules to make tournaments safer. D6b Chivalry The skill and bravery of knights in both tournaments and war were often celebrated in poems and stories. Long epic poems were written in the vernacular to celebrate the prowess of knights in battle. Knights did not want to be known only for their physical strength, however. Poems called romances celebrated the virtues of knights: their loyalty, generosity, piety, and polite behavior. Romances generally took place in a fantasy world, such as the court of King Arthur. They told of great knights, such as Lancelot, who were witty at court, gentle with ladies, devoted to God, and brave in battle--and who often got into trouble trying to be all these things at the same time. When Lancelot's lady, Guinevere, told him to do his worst in battle to prove his love for her, the poor knight had to make a fool of himself in a tournament until she reversed her command. These ideals of love and bravery were expressed primarily in literature, but real knights both inspired these poems and tried to live up to them. Chivalry, which comes from the French word for horse, cheval, was the knight's way of combining bravery, honor, generosity, piety, and courtesy. It is unclear how much knightly behavior in the Middle Ages was truly chivalrous, but there is little doubt that this is how knights thought of themselves. The biographer of William the Marshal considered William a model of chivalry. After years of brave battling in tournaments, William was noticed by Eleanor of Aquitaine, the wife of Henry II of England. William served Eleanor by coaching one of her young sons in the skills of a warrior. William was pious as well, going to the Holy Land on a Crusade and gaining fame for his fighting there. Later in life he was richly rewarded. He married well, and although he was from fairly lowly origins, he became King John's most important adviser. D6c Castles and Sieges Medieval courts were crowded places and castles were generally small and cramped. Although they were marvels of engineering, especially the great stone castles built high on hills, they were built for defense, not for comfort or family life. One characteristic castle type was the so-called motte-and-bailey. It consisted of a tower built high on a mound, or motte, surrounded by a ditch and a wooden or stone stockade. Sometimes peasant families huddled just outside the castle, in an enclosure surrounded by yet another wall. Castles were prestigious in addition to being practical, and in the 12th century lords liked to build castles that were very high and impressive. To make them more difficult targets, castles were sometimes built in round or wedge shapes. This helped deflect enemy artillery stones. Water moats helped prevent enemies from digging under the walls and undermining the castle from below. Much of medieval warfare consisted of trying to capture castles. This was called a siege. Two principal weapons were used. One of these was the battering ram, a very thick beam of wood tipped with iron that was suspended from a frame. The battering ram was moved right next to the enemy's castle and the beam was swung back and forth to break through the wall. The other major weapon was the catapult, a mechanical device that hurled stones with great force against the castle walls from a distance. In addition to these weapons, attacking armies had other techniques. Armies would often try to dig underneath the walls to either gain access to the castle or to cause the walls to collapse. Sometimes armies tried to weaken the castle's defenders by hurling dead horses or dead men over the walls to frighten or sicken those inside. Once the defenders were weakened, the attackers would lower themselves onto the walls from large wheeled towers that were moved next to the castle. Very often none of these tactics worked, and the castle had to be starved into submission. This could take a long time. The occupying army had to support itself on the countryside, which it plundered for food and fodder. If the defenders of the castle had enough supplies on hand, they could sometimes hold out until the invading army gave up and went home. See also Fortification and Siege Warfare. E Art and Architecture The most extraordinary buildings of the Middle Ages were the churches. Toward the end of the 11th century, a style of church building called Romanesque was prevalent. Beginning in the mid-12th century and becoming more and more popular in the next few centuries was the style called Gothic. E1 Romanesque Architecture Romanesque architecture was the style of the churches of the great Benedictine monasteries. Their most characteristic feature is the round arch. These arches are used for the doors and windows of the church, as well as for the church's vault, the structure that supports the ceiling. Because the round arches give the vault a tunnel-like appearance, they are often called tunnel or barrel vaults. Romanesque churches are very large and were built with thick stone walls to hold the weight of the heavy arched vaults. Inside the church, the walls were decorated with paintings of important religious scenes or events in the lives of the saints. Massive columns leading from floor to vault were decorated with sculptures depicting scenes from the Bible or from other religious texts. Because there were no rugs or tapestries, the sounds of the monks' prayers echoed from one end of these churches to the other. Outside, at the west end, many Romanesque churches had three portals, or doorways. The central one was the main entrance to the church and was much taller and wider than the other two. Along the sides of the portals were columns with sculpted biblical scenes. Above each portal was a tympanum, a half circle filled with figures that usually depicted a major event in the life of Christ or a scene of the Second Coming. See Romanesque Art and Architecture. E2 Gothic Architecture During the 12th and 13th centuries people began to want lighter, more soaring church buildings. These ideas led to the style called Gothic. Churches built in the Gothic style are higher and more compact than Romanesque churches, and they appear lighter even though they are not. Gothic churches use pointed arches rather than round ones, making their vaults seem to soar. Their windows, also pointed, open up to give more light. Stained glass gives the light a jewel-like glow. Unlike Romanesque churches, Gothic churches do not have walls that bear the weight of the vault. This job is done by the flying buttresses, arches outside the church that evenly distribute the vault's weight and carry it to the ground. Thus the inside of a Gothic church looks delicate, with light shining through huge windows and without the imposing walls of Romanesque churches, but the outside of a Gothic church looks like a porcupine bristling with flying buttresses. Even the stained glass looks gray and massive from the outside. In this way Gothic churches express a mystery. On the outside they give no hint of what they will look like within. The churchmen and architects who designed and built these churches intended these buildings to express still another mystery--the wonder of God. Suger, the abbot of the monastery of Saint-Denis, got the idea for such a church from the writings of a Christian mystic who went by the name of Dionysius and who wrote at the beginning of the 6th century. Dionysius taught that God was the 'Divine light,' the source of all things seen. Suger built his church so that the light streaming through the sacred stories depicted in his stained glass windows would act like this divine light. He wanted the light's glow to illuminate the mind of the worshiper and lead him or her to God. The Gothic church building itself was meant to be part of the religious experience. The Gothic style became popular for city churches, especially large cathedrals. It was first adopted by the cities in the region around Paris, and later cities in the rest of France, England, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, and even central Europe began building cathedrals in the Gothic style. Since Gothic churches were enormously expensive and took years--sometimes centuries--to build, they were always community enterprises. City guilds raised money to help build them. Some guilds even paid for their own stained glass windows. In turn, church construction created new jobs for city carpenters, stone masons, glass cutters, and many other workers. See Gothic Art and Architecture. E3 Other Arts During the period in which Romanesque and Gothic architecture were important, other related arts flourished as well. Sculpture played an important role in both Romanesque and Gothic churches; in fact, much of the sculpture of this period was done for churches and cathedrals. However, Romanesque and Gothic sculpture is substantially different from each another. For example, the scenes on Romanesque tympana and columns are often carved in relief--that is, they are not fully threedimensional or carved in the round. Gothic sculpture, in contrast, is usually freestanding and fully three-dimensional. In addition, Gothic sculpture is much more animated and lifelike in comparison with the often stylized, linear feeling of Romanesque sculpture. Gothic figures turn, bend, sway, and sometimes even smile. Manuscript illuminations continued to be important in this period as well. With the rise of universities and a better-educated public, city dwellers were able to buy manuscripts, which were prestigious items to have. Many students considered it fashionable to have an illuminated manuscript of the latest edition of the Bible. Kings and nobles usually had a good basic education, and they too valued beautiful books. By the 13th century, books were produced in city workshops as well as at courts and monasteries. A great range of books were illustrated. These included not only religious texts such as the Bible, but also works such as Aristotle's philosophy, law books, and vernacular romances. F Development of Monasteries Since Late Antiquity monks had played an important role in medieval society. In fact, monks were considered essential to the salvation of everyone. Monks were thought to be models of virtue and piety, and consequently their prayers were considered more effective than the prayers of other people. Therefore the monks had the job of beseeching God to forgive the sins of others and to give them eternal life. Monks' prayers were even considered essential for the well-being of kingdoms. Because of this, many kings and nobles contributed large amounts of land or money to monasteries, and as a result many monastic orders grew very wealthy and powerful. F1 Benedictines All monks lived according to a rule, or code, that governed their daily routine. There were many of these rules, but the most important was the one written by 6thcentury abbot Saint Benedict. The Benedictine Rule envisioned monasteries as self-sufficient units in which the monks lived and worked together. Monasteries were designed rather like villages, with groups of buildings surrounded by gardens and fields. The monks slept together in a dormitory, rose together for the morning prayer, read together, ate meals together, and shared the chores. Benedict expected that peasants would do most of the work in the fields, although the monks might occasionally have to help. For the most part, however, the monks' days were filled with tasks, such as kitchen work, that were separated by periods of prayer. Seven times a day and once at night the monks went to the monastery church to pray. Their prayers were always chanted. The music that is today known as Gregorian chant is one version of the chanting prayer style of Benedictine monks. See Benedictines. In the Merovingian period, the Benedictine Rule was only one of many monastic rules in use, and an enormous variety of monastic practices existed throughout the Merovingian kingdoms. These practices ranged from those of the monastery of Saint Maurice at Agaune, where the monks were divided into groups with different schedules to ensure that some monks would be praying at every moment, to those of the monasteries founded by Saint Columbanus, who emphasized penance and confession. Carolingian kings tried to end this diversity. As part of their drive to unify their empire politically and spiritually, they reformed the monasteries and forced them to follow a slightly modified version of the Benedictine Rule. The Carolingians called in leaders of church choirs from Rome to teach all the monks to chant the same prayers to the same tune. The lasting legacy of these efforts was to make the Benedictine Rule the monastic standard. When the Carolingian Empire fell apart, monasteries became absorbed into the social and political life of each region. During the Viking, Magyar, and Muslim invasions, monasteries--which had rich storehouses and precious ornaments--were frequently attacked. Some monasteries were destroyed and some monks were killed or forced to move. After the invasions ended in the 10th century, kings and princes, anxious to show their generosity and piety and to ensure the salvation of their souls, began founding and restoring monasteries. The most famous and successful of these new monasteries was Cluny, in modern France, founded in 910 by William, duke of Aquitaine. In order to ensure that the monastery remained free from the control of his family and of regional political powers, William donated it to Saint Peter. This meant that it was under papal protection. However, it was not subject to papal domination. During the 11th century many people across Europe considered Cluny a model monastery. Donations of land and money poured in as the monks carried out their careful, solemn, and lengthy prayers. The monks did very little work besides this 'work of God,' as they called it. In their view, to do it properly they needed the richest ornaments, the finest robes, and the most magnificent church. Cluny's church was the largest in Europe until the new Saint Peter's of Rome was built during the Renaissance. Pope Urban II blessed its main altar on his way to preach the First Crusade. Pope Urban described the Cluniac monks as the 'light of world,' and in fact Cluny's 10th- and 11th-century abbots were considered saints. They were asked to help reform other monasteries according the Cluniac model. Still other monasteries informally adopted Cluny's lifestyle of splendor and prayer. Eventually, Cluniac monasteries were established across France and in Spain, Germany, England, and Italy. F2 Cistercians Just as Urban was praising Cluny, a reaction was setting in. The Cistercian monastic order was founded in 1098 as a rebellion against the rich and elaborate life at monasteries such as Cluny. The Cistercians thought that the Benedictine Rule should be followed without any modifications. They refused to add any prayers or to use precious objects in the church service. They rejected even minor frills such as dying their robes black, and so they wore white robes, the color of raw wool. Because of this, they were called the white monks. Cistercian churches were built of stone, without decoration--they had no paintings and no sculpture. The Cistercians did not follow the Benedictine Rule entirely, however. There were two kinds of Cistercian monks: those of the choir, who chanted the prayers, and the conversi (converts), who worked in the fields. The two types of monks did not live together. Instead, Cistercian monasteries were divided into two parts, each with a dormitory, a dining room, and a kitchen. Even the church was divided down the middle by a screen. The choir monks had the eastern half and the conversi got the western portion. None of this was in the Benedictine Rule. The Cistercians embraced a lifestyle of simplicity, but as a group they became very rich. Many Cistercian monasteries were involved in raising sheep as well as in producing cereal crops. They sold their goods in the towns for large profits and also sought special privileges for themselves such as exemptions from tolls. They bought up town properties and became part of the commercial world. The Cistercians were only one of many new monastic orders that appeared in the 12th century. Many of these orders were responding to the money economy of cities, and like the Cistercians, they rejected riches. Unlike the Cistercians, many of them abandoned commerce altogether. The Carthusians, for example, established monasteries on mountaintops, far away from other people. They lived in separate cells and came together only for prayer. F3 Other Orders Other orders responded to the needs of women who wanted to lead a religious life under a formal rule. Women had lived in convents before the 11th century, and there had even been mixed monasteries, where monks lived in one area and nuns in another. In the 11th and 12th centuries, bishops, laymen, laywomen, and religious reformers founded an extraordinary number of new convents. One example is Fontevrault, founded by Robert of Arbrissel on land in western France that had been donated by a local noblewoman. The convent housed mainly women, although there were some men, and was ruled by an abbess. Soon Fontevrault inspired the creation of other convents in the region. The most radically new religious order of the Middle Ages, the Franciscans, was created at the beginning of the 13th century. Saint Francis of Assisi, the son of a successful Italian cloth merchant, did not set out to found an order. He simply wanted to adopt a life of poverty and itinerant preaching. Francis traveled from town to town to preach to city dwellers. He accepted no money for his work, and when he gained followers, he did not let them accept any money either. The Franciscans spent their days preaching, serving the sick, and working at crafts. Calling themselves friars, or little brothers, the Franciscans soon became numerous and in need of organization. In 1217 they were divided into provinces according to the country they worked in: Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and the Holy Land. Women joined the Franciscans as well, but they were not allowed to travel and preach. Lay people joined as the so-called Third Order. They remained married and continued doing their normal work, but they promised to live devoutly, pray regularly, and observe the church's fast days. G Aggression and Suppression Increasing piety went hand in hand with aggression. The First Crusade was followed by more in the 12th and 13th centuries. Europeans also expanded into Spain and eastward along the Baltic coast during this period. At the same time, they began to turn on non-Christians and heretics within their own society with increasing fury. G1 The Fourth Crusade Popes called many Crusades during the 12th and 13th centuries. In addition, armed troops were periodically sent east to help defend the crusader states, the regions in the Holy Land conquered by Europeans. Through much of this, the ideal of the Crusades remained essentially the same: armed pilgrimages for Christian purposes. However, the Fourth Crusade, which was called by Pope Innocent III in 1199, was a turning point. Far fewer troops turned out for the expedition than had been expected. Although the pope wanted the Crusaders to go straight to the Holy Land, he was unable to control them. Their leaders could not pay the Venetians, who had been hired to take the army from Italy to Jerusalem. The Venetians decided to ask for help in place of payment. Hoping to gain trading privileges through force, the Venetians convinced the Crusaders to attack Constantinople. In 1204 the Crusaders broke through the walls of Constantinople and sacked it. Innocent III complained, but he also told the Crusaders to stay where they were and to keep control of the city. Thus a crusade against Muslims turned into a siege of a Christian city. From that time on, little distinction existed between a Crusade and any other kind of war. G2 Conversion of the Slavs On the northeastern fringes of Europe a push similar to the Spanish Reconquista was taking place against the Slavic peoples of the Baltic coast. German duke Henry the Lion joined with the king of Denmark to support this movement, and churchmen preached on its behalf. In the course of the 13th century, German peasant settlers and Cistercian monks moved into northeastern Europe, joining the Slavs. Unlike the Holy Land, the Baltic coast was permanently brought under European Christian control. G3 Anti-Semitism Within the heart of Europe, Christians isolated the Jews in their midst, persecuting and attacking them. The first attacks on Jews began with the First Crusade in the 11th century. Before that time, however, Jews had been forced out of the countryside and into the cities by the spread of the seigniorial system. There they had taken up a variety of trades. However, the rise of guilds, which were not just for trade but were also religious institutions, pushed many Jews out and into the one profession without a guild: moneylending. As moneylenders Jews were both necessary and hated. In the new commercial society, almost everyone needed to borrow money at one time or another, but they resented having to pay their loans back with interest. In the course of the 12th century, hateful stories about Jews were created and published. For example, Jews were accused of killing Christian children for their Passover celebrations. This so-called blood libel led many Christian communities to kill or expel their Jews. In various towns and cities of Europe, Jews suffered lynchings and other attacks. Although Jews looked like their neighbors, artists began to depict them with ugly faces and strange hats. In 1215 the Fourth Lateran Council forced all Jews to wear badges. From then on it was easy to tell them apart from Christians, and persecutions increased. Kings called Jews their personal serfs. They borrowed from them and taxed them. They also persecuted them, confiscating their goods and even at times expelling them from their kingdoms. King Philip II of France banished the Jews from his royal domain in 1182; King Edward I expelled them from England in 1290. These kings profited in the short term from these expulsions because they got all the property that the Jews left behind. They also enhanced their prestige as zealous Christian rulers. Finally, they pleased people who were in debt to the Jews. The persecution and expulsion of Jews was part of a general attempt by Christian leaders to define, control, and "purify" all of European society. G4 Albigenses Heretics were also persecuted. One such group was the Albigenses in the south of France. They believed that the world was divided between the two opposing forces of Good and Evil. They had their own bishops, their own rituals, and a large following. At first the church tried to convert the Albigenses. The Dominicans were an order of friars much like the Franciscans that was originally set up to preach against the beliefs of the Albigenses and bring them back to the church. However, Pope Innocent III declared a Crusade against the Albigenses in 1208. Much of southern France was laid waste by the Crusade, although some of the Albigenses managed to escape. In the 13th century, to stamp out the Albigenses and other heretics entirely, the church established inquisitorial courts. Historians sometimes call these courts, their trials, imprisonments, and punishments the Inquisition. Other historians see too much variety and change over time to give them one name. These courts were charged with seeking out, trying, and sentencing persons guilty of heresy. They called on people accused of heresy to confess and repent. Those who did not were burned. Those who did were forced to wear large yellow crosses on their clothing. This kept them isolated from other Christians, and it advertised their penance. Some heretics were considered so dangerous to others that they were kept in prison even after they had confessed. The Inquisition remained a powerful force in Europe far beyond the Middle Ages, into the 17th century. V THE LATE MIDDLE AGES: CRISIS AND RENEWAL The Late Middle Ages, which lasted from about 1300 to about 1450, had many severe crises. Europeans were subjected to famine, disease, and disastrous military conflicts. Yet it was also a period of enormous vitality and advancement in art, literature, and thought. In fact, the dates of the Late Middle Ages are about the same as those of the early Renaissance. Just as there was no precise moment when the Middle Ages began, there was also no clear break between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. A Contraction and Confrontation A1 Starvation and the Black Death Starvation became a serious problem in Europe in the 14th century. Until that time, the clearing of forests and marshland for cultivation and new methods of agriculture had kept most people well fed. By about 1300, however, there was no more land to clear, and the existing land, no matter how well it was cultivated, could not support the growing number of people who lived on it. The soil itself had become exhausted after years of continuous cultivation. In 1309 heavy rains ruined crops in part of Germany, causing severe food shortages and starvation. In 1315 another rainy season hurt the people in northwestern Europe. In cities and rural areas alike, food supplies dwindled and people sickened and died. Already weakened by continued food shortages, the people of Europe were hit especially hard by the arrival of the Black Death. The Black Death was an epidemic of bubonic plague that appeared in Italy in 1348 and spread to the rest of Europe by 1350. Because the plague was transmitted by fleas carried by rodents, it was worst in the cities, where many people lived close together and sanitation was poor. In some cities, the plague killed as many as two-thirds of the population. Every social group suffered, but the rural population and the wealthy, who had less contact with outsiders and who could afford to move to more secluded areas outside the cities, escaped the worst effects. Outbreaks of plague continued throughout the Middle Ages and into the 18th century. The survivors of the plague had to adjust to new conditions. So many people died that a labor shortage developed. Those who remained tried to bargain for more land and better conditions. City workers also demanded higher pay. While these negotiations were successful in some areas, in others lords and kings were able to maintain the status quo. In England peasants tried to take advantage of the favorable new conditions for workers after the plague, but landlords refused to lower rents or raise wages. In 1381 various groups of peasants joined together to protest taxes and to argue for more equal treatment. English king Richard II met with the rebels and agreed to their demands. As soon as they dispersed, however, he went back on his promise, and many of the peasants were executed (see Tyler's Rebellion). Nevertheless, the king was unable to prevent the changes started by the plague from continuing, and serfdom ended in England in the 15th century. Because the plague destroyed people and not possessions, the drop in population was accompanied by a corresponding increase in per capita wealth. A new type of consumer, who preferred variety and luxury, began to appear in both the towns and the countryside. People who were unsure if they would be alive the next day wanted to spend their money on fine foods and luxuries. Many lords and wealthy merchants built churches and commissioned religious art, partly in thanks for being spared the horrors of the Black Death. Some of the artistic styles that developed in this period were very influential later during the Renaissance. Some historians suggest that the Renaissance was financed by people who invested in culture in hard times. A2 The Hundred Years' War Times that were already bad in France and England were made worse by the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453). England had held territory for a long time in what is now France. However, the French kings had been constantly trying to extend their influence in the English territories, and the two sides had fought several small skirmishes over the issue. The situation became more complicated in 1327 with the accession of English king Edward III. Edward had a claim to the French throne through his mother's side of the family. When Philip VI of France confiscated the last bit of territory that Edward held on the continent, Edward declared himself the true French king and invaded France. The Hundred Years' War was fought on French soil and marked the end of chivalry and knightly warfare. Many of the troops involved were mercenaries. When there was a lull in the fighting, they simply hired themselves out to nobles or looted the countryside on their own. Instead of armored knights, the most important troops were the English archers, whose arrows penetrated armor and reduced the effectiveness of knightly cavalry. By the end of the Hundred Years' War, both armies were using guns and cannons. Honorable knightly combat and chivalry were of little importance to the outcome of this war. For a long time it looked as though the English would win, but in the 1420s the tide began to turn. Here and there French peasants banded together to fight the English. In 1429 a peasant girl named Joan of Arc convinced Charles, the heir to the French throne, that she had been sent by God to save France. Joan led the French troops against the English and then escorted Charles to the city of Reims, where he was crowned king as Charles VII. Although Joan was captured and put to death by the English in 1431, her actions marked the turning point of the war. It ended with England's defeat. The war affected France in many ways. During the fighting the French countryside was burned and the cities were plundered. Both peasants and townspeople revolted in protest. In 1358 the peasants rose up against the nobles in a revolt known as the Jacquerie. They blamed the nobles for losing the war and offering them little protection. The peasants burned manor houses and killed noble families. Their revolt was put down with equal savagery. Another effect of the war was that the idea of France as a nation was born. Joan of Arc helped inspire this idea. She saw the English as invaders, and she called upon the French king, as the symbol of all France, to oust them. Before the Hundred Years' War there had been very little national feeling. People identified with their local regions or towns instead. The Hundred Years' War helped change this idea in France. Because the war was fought on French soil, it had little effect on England. Much of it was financed by royal profits in the wool trade, and therefore it did not result in new taxes. Few English knights participated in the war, and when it was over, very little had changed for the average English person. A3 The Decline of the Papacy The Late Middle Ages saw religious conflicts as well. The papacy again became involved in a power struggle with kings. At the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century, Pope Boniface VIII opposed the kings of France and England. He did not want them to impose taxes on clerics, nor did he want French king Philip IV to try a French bishop in a royal court. Boniface's opposition backfired, however. Kings had become so powerful by the Late Middle Ages that they could assert their rule over everyone within their borders. In 1302 Philip IV called a meeting of the three estates, or classes, of his kingdom: nobles, clerics, and commoners. This meeting supported the king and condemned the pope, showing how a representative institution could serve the interests of the king. The meeting was the beginning of the Estates-General, the first representative body in France. Faced with opposition from all classes of French society, Boniface backed down. Soon after, the papacy moved from Rome to Avignon, a city close to the French border. The next several popes were Frenchmen, and many people began to think that the papacy had become subordinate to France. Papal prestige plummeted as a result, and the papacy was never able to recover fully. A3a The Great Schism The popes remained in Avignon from 1309 until 1378. Some Europeans called it the Babylonian Captivity, recalling the biblical story of the Jews who were taken from Israel to work as slaves for the Babylonians. Many Christians longed for the pope to return to Rome. Instead, in 1378, they got two popes, one ruling from Avignon and the other from Rome. This scandal, called the Great Schism of rival popes, was made even worse when a third pope was chosen in 1409. The other two did not step down, and so three popes claimed to be head of the church. The schism finally ended in 1417 with the Council of Constance. The council deposed all three popes and elected Martin V, who made Rome his headquarters. See Schism, Great: Schism of Rival Popes. A3b Growing Discontent Some people were discontented not just with the papacy but also with the church and its teachings as a whole. Englishman John Wycliffe, a professor at the University of Oxford, taught that popes and clerics did not make up the church. Instead, Wycliffe claimed that the church was the community of all believers. Wycliffe believed that salvation came through study of the Bible, not through the rituals of priests and bishops. According to him, the king, not the pope, should control church reform. Wycliffe's ideas were extremely popular in England. Some of the peasants in the revolt of 1381 were influenced by him. He had support among the nobles as well, and even many priests adopted his views. Although Wycliffe was not persecuted during his lifetime, his supporters, called Lollards, were condemned as heretics after his death. Many were killed, but others survived, and Lollardy continued into the 16th century. Some of Wycliffe's ideas also became popular among Czechs in Bohemia. Bohemia was part of the Holy Roman Empire, and it grew rich during the 14th century. It too was hit by famine and plague, and many Czechs revolted under the pressures of hardship. Their protests were largely religious. Led by religious reformer Jan Hus (John Huss), they demanded changes in the church, focusing on the part of the Mass called communion, which involved the ritual consumption of the body and blood of Christ in the form of bread and wine. Over the years, priests had come to take communion in both forms, but ordinary believers were only allowed the bread. Huss's followers, called Hussites, insisted that everyone be allowed to take communion in both bread and wine. This was more than an argument over ritual--it was a demand for equality. Huss was burned at the stake in 1415 and a civil war broke out in Bohemia. Huss's followers were defeated in 1436, but their demand for communion in both forms was granted. B Origins of the Renaissance At the same time that Europe was enduring famine, plague, war, and religious dissent, it was also experiencing a new birth of Latin and vernacular literature. In the mid-1300s, the Italian poet Petrarch wrote vernacular love poems and also imitated the great ancient Latin authors. Although at that time all learned people read and most even spoke Latin, the Latin of the church, of Scholasticism, and of the law courts was not the Latin of the ancient Romans; it had changed and grown over the centuries as all languages do. Petrarch loved the language of the ancient Romans, and he spent a great deal of time searching for manuscripts of the old Roman writers and learning their style. Petrarch was one of the first humanists. He emphasized the second of the liberal arts, rhetoric. He and other humanists absorbed the ideas of the ancient Romans and made them their own. When Florence and Milan went to war in the first half of the 15th century, many Florentines discovered that ancient Roman writers gave them a way to express their own feelings of patriotism. This civic humanism of the Florentines was not simply an exercise in ancient rhetoric, it was an effective way to describe their contemporary political ideas and interests. See Humanism. Renaissance art also had its roots in the Late Middle Ages. Gothic sculpture had freed human figures to bend, turn, and interact with one another. In the early 1300s the Florentine painter Giotto painted scenes on church walls using figures with a three-dimensional, sculptural feel. Renaissance artists built on Giotto's naturalistic style, emphasizing human interaction and individual emotion. See Renaissance Art and Architecture. VI CONCLUSION: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MIDDLE AGES The word medieval is often used today to mean barbaric, ignorant, and backward. It is true that some aspects of the Middle Ages horrify many people today--the ideas of heretics being burned at the stake, mercenary armies on the rampage, and plagues for which there are no cure are not pleasant ones. Yet it is also true that there are similar--and sometimes worse--horrors today. Although the period is often portrayed negatively, the Middle Ages was a time when the precursors of many important modern institutions were created. Medieval universities are the direct ancestors of modern ones. The liberal arts of the Middle Ages remain the core of the arts and sciences programs of today's colleges. The English Parliament that currently meets in London can trace its origins to the days of Henry III. Similarly, modern cities grew out of medieval ones. Although ancient cities had existed before the Middle Ages, they had been centers of political and religious life, not centers of commerce. Medieval cities, in contrast, were primarily commercial. They were supported by trade, exchange, production, consumption, and moneymaking. Many of the sorts of businesses that exist today, such as banks and corporations, can trace their ancestry to the Middle Ages. The modern state system of Europe is also at least partly a result of medieval evolution. Even nationalism began in the Middle Ages, as was demonstrated by the Hundred Years' War and Joan of Arc. The seeds of the idea of separation of church and state, so important for the founders of the United States, were planted in the medieval period. After the Gregorian Reform, kings and emperors could not claim power over the church, but they found value and dignity in the state alone. The Founding Fathers of the United States went further, seeing the state as the guarantor and protector for men and women to worship as they please. It is important, however, to know not only what the Middle Ages produced but also the way in which these things were produced. The Middle Ages was a period in which different groups--Romans, Franks, and Visigoths, for example--mingled, fought, worked together, and changed. Today there are no Romans (other than citizens of the city of Rome), no Franks, and no Visigoths. As Germans were absorbed into the Roman army and as Romans dealt with them day after day, their cultures changed and merged. Similarly, the history of medieval states shows how they rose, broke apart, and reappeared in new forms. There was no right or wrong form: The Merovingian kingdoms were as much an achievement in their own day as the republic of France is today. Medieval social, economic, and artistic transformations both reflected and provoked creative responses and accommodations. The Black Death provoked conflict that ultimately led to the end of serfdom in England; Renaissance artists thought they were breaking away from medieval styles even as they drew upon the achievements of Gothic sculptors. The history of the Middle Ages is a story of ceaseless borrowing, adaptation, and change. Contributed By: Barbara H. Rosenwein Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

« Saints were very important in Late Antiquity.

They were considered both models of virtue and powerful miracle workers.

One of the most well-known saints of the periodwas Saint Anthony.

Anthony gave away all his possessions and left his hometown in Egypt to live alone in the desert and pray.

Anthony was one of the first Christianmonks.

The word monk comes from a term meaning 'alone.' Gradually Anthony attracted followers, and he eventually became the center of a whole community of monks who wished to live as he did.

This community was not organized well enough to be called a monastery (a permanent residence of a group of monks), but it was the precursor of such institutions.

There were female saints as well.

Stories circulated about Saint Mary of Egypt, for example, who lived for years on a few loaves ofbread and spent her time in repentance and prayer. Saints remained special even after they died, and their bones and other remains were venerated as relics.

Pious people often built churches or chapels over the tombsof saints.

Saints’ remains were moved frequently.

For example, Saint Ambrose, the bishop of Milan, brought the relics of two saints into his own church and put themunder the altar, the focal point of Christian worship.

In this way, he allied himself and succeeding bishops of Milan with the power of those saints. A1 c Development of Doctrine Because Christianity focused more on the eternal salvation or damnation that occurred after death than on the events of the everyday world, it changed the things thatpeople valued.

For example, worldly possessions became less important.

From the 3rd through the 5th century, churchmen developed these ideas and other Christiandoctrines in sermons, treatises, and biblical commentaries, and they also established a standardized body of Christian teaching.

Some of these authors came to beknown as Fathers of the Church, and their writings are called patristic literature.

Perhaps the most important and influential of them was Saint Augustine, bishop ofHippo (near modern Annaba, Algeria).

His most famous book, The City of God (413-426), counsels Christians not to worry too much about the events of this world but to keep their minds focused on salvation and the afterlife—the heavenly city of God. Other churchmen did not always agree with Augustine.

Christianity was understood and interpreted in many different ways in Late Antiquity.

For example, churchmenargued frequently and sometimes violently about the nature of Christ and the nature of the Trinity (God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit together).

Augustine,whose view prevailed, said that Christ's godliness was equal to the Father's.

But other Christians—known as Arians after the primary proponent of the teaching,Arius—thought that the Father's godhood was greater than that of the Son.

Both sides believed that their salvation—their eternal life in Heaven—depended on acceptingthe right doctrine. A2 Changes in the West: Assimilation of New Peoples The variety of religious views in Late Antiquity mirrored the great variety of people in the Roman Empire, a variety that increased during the 4th and 5th centuries andtransformed the empire politically.

Beyond the borders patrolled by the Roman army were peoples whom the Romans called Germans.

Although not biologically differentfrom the Romans, they had a different culture—or rather, many different cultures.

They lived in tribal groupings that were always in a state of change, breaking up andabsorbing other groups.

They fought with the Romans, but they also traded with them.

Many Germans admired the Romans and adopted their habits and institutions.Many also adopted Christianity, although most of them became Arian Christians because Arian missionaries converted them. Military need led the Romans to incorporate German warriors into their army units.

Other Germans were brought into the empire to settle in depopulated areas, andtheir children were recruited into the army.

Beginning in the 4th century, army units of Germans led by their own commanders were welcomed into the empire todefend the Romans. The German settlers were eventually assimilated into the empire, but there were also tensions with the native inhabitants.

The Germans were like a migrant labor force:The Romans needed them, but they also resented them.

In the 5th century a Germanic tribe called the Visigoths asked to settle in the empire.

They were being forcedout of their homeland by the Huns, a nomadic tribe from Central Asia that was moving west.

The Visigoths were allowed to enter the empire but were then ignored andleft to starve.

Their leader, Alaric I, marched his tribe to Rome, which he attacked and plundered.

Eventually Alaric and his people settled in what is now southernFrance. Meanwhile, other Germanic tribes were entering the empire.

By the end of the 5th century, the western half of the empire was under the control of various Germanickings.

In 476 the Western emperor was deposed and not replaced.

After that, there was only one Roman emperor, and he remained at Constantinople. A3 Changes in the East: The Byzantine Empire and the Growth of Islam Although Constantinople called itself the second Rome and the emperor there still called himself Roman, the eastern half of the empire changed so dramatically between600 and 750 that historians call it by a different name: the Byzantine Empire.

The most striking change was in the empire’s size—the empire lost huge portions ofterritory to the Muslims.

By 750 the Byzantine Empire consisted only of what is today Turkey, part of Greece, and bits of Italy.

The Muslims had conquered all of theMiddle East, Egypt, and North Africa. The Muslims, who practice the religion of Islam, were a new force in history.

Their prophet and first leader was Muhammad, a trader in Arabia (now Saudi Arabia) whoturned from paganism to belief in one God, the same God that the Jews and Christians worshiped.

Muhammad and his followers thought that God had communicated hisfinal revelation to Muhammad.

That made him God's last and most important prophet.

God’s revelation to Muhammad was written down and became the Islamic holybook, the Qur'an. Muhammad first preached the word of God in his hometown of Mecca, and he converted a number of people there.

However, he also made enemies at Mecca.

When hewas invited to go to the nearby town of Medina, he and his followers accepted, and they emigrated there in 622.

This emigration is called the Hegira, and its date marksthe year 1 of the Islamic calendar.

At Medina, Muhammad converted many people to Islam, but the Muslims also clashed with nonbelieving Arabs in outright wars.Eventually Muhammad's fighters were successful, uniting most of Arabia under the religion of Islam.

Under Muhammad's successors, the Muslims moved out of Arabiainto new territories.

By 750 their conquests stretched from Spain to India. Muhammad's successors, called caliphs, built their first capital city at Damascus, in Syria.

There they discovered and adopted many Roman and Byzantine institutions.They minted coins modeled on those of the Byzantine Empire and hired former officials of Byzantine rulers.

They also supported Arabic literature, which began to flower.Religious scholars wrote down stories of Muhammad’s words and deeds.

Poets wrote songs of love, celebrations of brave warriors, and witty satires. The Muslims did not normally mingle with those they conquered.

They lived in fortified cities from which they collected taxes and imposed their rule.

The Muslimstolerated Christians and Jews and allowed them to worship as they pleased, as long as they paid a tax for the privilege. B Heirs of the Roman Empire: Byzantium, Islam, and the West By 750 the Roman world had given way to three heirs: the Byzantine Empire, Islam, and the West.

All three had much in common.

The most fundamental of thesesimilarities was religion.

The people in all three areas believed in one God, and they also agreed that spiritual and worldly things were bound together—that is, they did. »


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