Michael cranny

Download 235.09 Kb.
Date conversion20.04.2016
Size235.09 Kb.
  1   2   3   4



With Contributions by Graham Jarvis

With Permission of the Publisher

Prentice Hall Ginn Canada,

Scarborough, Ontario
Copyright 1998

Prentice Hall Ginn Canada

All rights reserved.

ISBN 0-13-675463-5

In 13 Chapters

Chapter 1

Print pages 1-36



1: Europe's Early Middle Ages 2

Window on the Past: The Viking Raid 3

The Mediterranean World a9

Religion: A Force of Change 13

The Franks 21

The Anglo-Saxons and the Celts 27

The Vikings 31




A struggle between civilization and chaos has dominated human society ever since human beings began gathering together to live in villages. Chaos is easy to define: confusion and disorder. War, lawlessness, and persecution are all signs of chaos in human society.

Civilization is a little more difficult to describe. It takes shape when people try to bring order and peace to their lives. Laws, education, politics, and religion are all examples of ways people do this. These organizing systems came about all over the world in isolated or scattered communities, but more commonly in big cities, which drew many people together in one place. To make these cities work, people had to organize themselves in an orderly fashion for their common good.

When organizing systems affect many people and last for many years, the society is usually known as a civilization. For example, as the Roman pathways civilization developed, flourished, and then declined, it affected the lives of many people throughout the Roman Empire and left a remarkable legacy.

In this unit you will explore the emergence of society in the Mediterranean region, and how Europe struggled towards civilization after the fall of Rome. You also investigate the foundations of early Chinese civilization, and the environmental conditions that allowed this society to flourish. By 900, China had a 2000-year-old written history. Finally, you examine the early Arab world. By 1200, the Arab world had developed into a major world civilization, largely because of the influence of Islam.
Illustration 1: Peasant farmers ploughing the land. By 1200, much of western Europe was ruled by means of feudalism. Nobles controlled the land, on which 90 percent of the population toiled to make a meagre living.
Illustration 2: A mountain town in ancient Arabia. Towns develop in areas with conditions favourable to human survival. Then, because people want to live in peace together, they develop laws and common cultural ties—and so emerge the arts, music, and literature. Religion can play a particularly important role in helping people agree on acceptable behaviour within society.
Illustration 3: Vikings attacking a monastery. Chaos gripped western Europe for centuries after the fall of Rome. Viking raids like the one pictured here, as well as a lack of education, leadership, communication, and government all contributed to the uncertainties of life in medieval Europe.
Illustration 4: A section of the Silk Road, 1940. This ancient trading route linked China with trading partners throughout Asia and as far away as Africa and Europe. All the world desired the fine products of the oldest civilization in the world.




In this chapter you will focus on the struggle between civilization and chaos that took place in Europe during the early Middle Ages. By the end of the chapter, you will

· describe the environmental factors that encouraged the emergence of Mediterranean civilizations

· explain why the Roman Empire succeeded, why it collapsed, and the consequences

· demonstrate an understanding of the origins and beliefs of the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian religions

· explain how Anglos-Saxon story tellers and Irish monks both preserved a cultural legacy

· analyze the impact of population and resources on Viking society

· assess the effects of conflict between Vikings and other Europeans

· make a bar graph 2


The Viking Raid

The following fictional story is based on events that really happened. Similar events were recorded by people who were either present when they happened or were told about them by reliable sources. As you read this story, write down any questions the story raises for you, and try to answer them after reading Chapter 1.
Illustration: At dawn, the Viking ship approaches the monastery unheard and unseen.


Pippin threw himself into the clump of tall ferns, pressing his body against the ground. He was still bleeding from a deep gash behind one ear, and he feared that the trail of blood he was leaving would make it easy for his pursuers to track him. He could hear the hoarse voices coming closer. If he could just lie quietly, he thought, perhaps he could avoid death. As he lay hugging the ground, Pippin's thoughts drifted back to the events of the past few hours.

* * * * *

The Vikings had struck the monastery first thing in the morning, just as the monks were filing out of chapel. No one had seen the long dragon ship as it made its way silently down the wide river, or the raiding party as it stole through the monastery's orchards and gardens.

Pippin, a novice, watched in horror from behind the treasury door as the monks were slaughtered in the courtyard. The first victim was beheaded with one blow from the Viking chieftain's battle-axe. Others were run through by long spears or cut down by swords. Within minutes the massacre was over--all the monks were dead--and the looting began.

First the Vikings stripped gold vessels and embroidered cloths from the altar of the chapel and ripped the jewel-encrusted covers off the books in the library. Then, blazing torches in hand, they began to set fires. Before long the whole monastery was in flames.

The only item Pippin had time to save was the jewelled box in the treasury. The box contained the monastery's most prized possession: a finger bone from St. Sergius. Pilgrims came from all over the kingdom to be blessed with this relic and to pray to St. Sergius.

Illustration: Pippin loses the jewelled box containing the monastery's holy relic.
As Pippin crept out of the monastery grounds clutching the relic, he surprised a group of Vikings drinking wine from an oak cask behind the dining hall. He stared at them, too frightened to move. The men


had rough beards and wore helmets of iron and leather. Their hands and faces were splattered with the blood of the murdered monks and blackened by smoke. They laughed aloud when they saw the young monk, and one threw a spear at Pippin as he turned to flee, catching him a glancing blow behind the ear.

* * * * *

Now, hiding in the ferns with his face pressed to the ground, Pippin prayed to God for deliverance. Finally he felt sure the Vikings had gone and slowly raised his head. Pippin found himself looking directly into the hard blue eyes of the Viking chieftain. The man patted the battle-axe lying across his knee and laughed. As he rose to his feet, Pippin saw Vikings all around. One of them swung a club at Pippin's head while another ripped the jewelled box out of his hand.

When Pippin came to, he was bound hand and foot, lying in the bow of the Viking ship. The Vikings were rowing furiously back to the mouth of the river, where the river emptied into the North Sea. From there the Vikings would raise the ship's sail and head for their home in Denmark.

Pippin groaned. The leather thongs bit into his wrists and ankles, and his head ached. A man wearing a helmet that hid most of his face laughed when he saw Pippin was awake.

"You should be happy, little priest," he said, speaking Frankish with a thick accent. "You will be my thrall. My name is Guthrum Bloodaxe. Now say your prayers and thank your god you are still alive."

Pippin, too stunned to pray, let his tears roll freely down his face. Everyone he loved was gone; the life he had known for most of his fourteen years was completely ruined. This small group of thirty Vikings had killed dozens of monks, burned the monastery to the ground, and destroyed countless works of art. The precious books alone had taken years to copy out by hand. Pippin could only assume the Vikings had ravaged the nearby village as well. He wondered, was this a punishment sent by God for the sins of the people?

Then Pippin noticed he was not alone. Beside him on the wooden boards of the hull was a girl about his own age. She had been beaten and her shirt was bloody. Her arms and legs were bound with leather thongs. She stared at him with reddened eyes.

Illustration: Pippin and Gisla are held captive in the bow of the Viking ship.
"See how fast they row," she said. Her voice was low and bitter but held a hint of hope.


"Now the hunters have become the hunted."

"What do you mean?" asked Pippin.

"They know the soldiers have been warned and are coming after us. Our people will try to cut the Northmen off at the dam the king built near the river's mouth. The Northmen will have to land there and push their boat past the dam. But if they can get back into the water before the soldiers arrive, we'll never see our people again."

Pippin examined the girl's face. "I know you. You're Gisla, from the village, aren't you? How do you know all this?"

"My father serves in the king's army," Gisla replied. "When the Vikings came to the village this morning, my brother managed to escape: He must have raised the alarm."

Sooner than Gisla had hoped, the Viking ship reached the dam, a wall of sharpened wooden stakes built across the river at its narrowest point. By building these structures on several rivers, the emperor Charlemagne intended to discourage Viking raiders, whose savage attacks had been growing more numerous. No settlement near the sea was safe.

The Vikings brought their ship to the river bank, where they hauled the vessel onto a platform of tree trunks they had cut down the night before. Pippin and Gisla were left in the ship while the men pushed it along the ground using the logs as rollers. The Vikings heaved their ship forward with a ferocious sense of purpose.

All at once, Pippin and Gisla heard the drumming of horses' hooves, and then a sound like hammers pounding on iron. As they huddled on the floor of the ship, they heard warlike cries and shrill screams of agony. The exhausted Vikings fought bravely but were overwhelmed by the well-organized and much larger band of Franks. The battle continued until the last Viking was dead.

Illustration: A Frankish war party attacks the fleeing invaders.
Soon after, Pippin and Gisla found themselves standing in a clearing freed of their bonds and surrounded by Frankish soldiers. An older man with a thick, grey mustache and a weather-beaten face walked his horse towards them. A soldier motioned with his spear for them to kneel.


"Bow down," he commanded, "to Charles, Emperor of the Romans and King of the Franks!"

Charlemagne ordered the bodies of the Vikings to be taken to the river mouth, where they were hung from trees, in plain view of the sea, as a warning to other pirates. That night, the army camped farther down the coast. They built a bonfire on the seashore and held a feast to celebrate their victory over the raiding Northmen. Everyone seemed happy except Charlemagne himself, who walked up and down the shore staring out to sea.

Illustration: Charlemagne walks the beach, wondering what dangers the future will bring.
Gisla and Pippin sat with Gisla's father, one of Charlemagne's commanders.

"What does the king look for in the dark sea?" Pippin asked.

"The king is an old man now," Gisla's father replied. "He has won many battles and was crowned emperor by the pope himself. But he worries about the future and what it will bring. Until now he has been able to hold the Northmen in check. But who will stop the Northmen after death has stopped the king?"
monastery: a self-contained community for people, such as monks or nuns, who have taken religious vows

novice: a person training to become a nun or monk

pilgrim: a person who travels to a holy place for religious reasons

relic: an item associated with a saint; thought to have great powers

glancing: indirect, not solid

thrall: the Viking word for "slave"

pope: the head of the Catholic Church

technology: anything made by humans to extend our abilities

1. List three reasons why Vikings would want to attack a monastery.

2. Technology consists of anything we make to extend our abilities. Examples include the fork, the wheelbarrow, and computer software. A defensive technology is something we make to protect ourselves. What technologies did the Franks use to defend themselves against the Vikings? Were these defences effective? Explain.

3. a) Do you sympathize with one character in particular in the story of the Viking raid? Which one? Why?

b) Because this story is written from Pippin's point of view, our sympathies tend to lie with him. Write a point-form version of this story from Guthrum Bloodaxe's point of view. Do you still sympathize with the same characters? Why or why not?

4. Do you know someone who has experienced armed conflict? Perhaps that person--maybe you, a family member, or another student--would share the story with the rest of the class. Where did the events take place? How has violence affected this person's life?



150 BCE: Greece falls to Rome

70 CE: Rome destroys Jerusalem

313: Roman emperor Constantine legalizes Christianity

410: The Goths sack Rome

476: A Germanic ruler replaces last Roman emperor

481: Clovis becomes ruler of the Franks

711: Muslims conquer Spain

732: Charles Martel halts a Muslim invasion of Europe in France

793: First Viking raids on England

800: Pope Leo III crowns Charlemagne

855: The Viking leader Ragnar attacks Paris

912: The Viking leader Rollo settles in Normandy

1070: End of the Viking Age


Who would believe that Rome, built upon the conquest of the whole world, would fall to the ground? That the mother herself would become the tomb of her peoples?


Saint Jerome was a Roman citizen and Christian leader who translated the Bible into Latin. He saw Rome sacked in 410 C.E. by Alaric and the Goths. Like many people of the time, he could hardly believe that the "whole world"--the world he knew--was gone forever. What event could disturb you in the same way?



Despite Europe's relatively small size, the people of this region have had an enormous impact on world culture. Much of what we see around us today--the world's art, architecture, literature, forms of government, and even the way many of us think--has been strongly affected by the legacy of western Europe. For example, many modern sports arenas use domes and look like the Colosseum, a stadium built by the Romans.

legacy: knowledge and culture passed down from one generation or civilization to another
Europe was shaped not just by the Greeks and Romans in ancient times, however. During the early Middle Ages, the Germanic peoples had much more influence. Their gradual conversion to Christianity, for example, utterly changed medieval European society. Three of these peoples--the Franks, the Anglo-Saxons, and the Vikings--as well as the Celtic people of Ireland, each made a unique contribution to the development of western European civilization.

The history of western European civilization began thousands of years ago on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean environment had everything necessary to sustain large numbers of people: fertile soil, plenty of rainfall and sunshine, and a climate that was moderate, neither too hot nor too cold. This meant that plants had a long growing season and that a surplus of food could be produced. The population grew rapidly and towns formed.

The Mediterranean Sea itself formed a transportation route that encouraged people to travel widely to trade and to learn from each other. Ideas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe spread easily. All civilizations flourish and grow stronger through fresh ideas.

The two most important early European civilizations were those of Greece and Rome. The Greeks eagerly studied philosophy, which is usually defined as the pursuit of ideas. They also made great advances in art, architecture, drama, literature, medicine, and science. In the fourth century B.C.E., Alexander the Great conquered many lands and spread Greek culture as far east as India.

philosophy: the search for ideas, wisdom, knowledge

B.C.E.: before the common era
The Greek Empire weakened and fell to the Romans about 150 B.C.E. Because they admired the accomplishments of the Greeks, the Romans borrowed Greek attitudes and learning and made them their own. They gathered thinkers and builders from Asia, eastern Europe, and the Middle East. In addition, they became superb organizers, developing such systems as aqueducts to deliver running water, road networks, and military organizations. The Roman Legions were so powerful that the Roman Empire at its peak controlled most of Europe, southeast Asia, and northern Africa. For more than six centuries, the Mediterranean world and the Roman Empire were really one and the same.
Roman Legions: Roman armed forces

The roots of European civilization go deep. Herodotus, for example, a famous Greek historian, repeatedly indicates Greece's debt to ancient Egypt.


Figure 1-1 The shaded area in this map shows the extent of the Roman Empire about 150 C.E. How would the extensive network of roads have helped the empire stay united? What would have been involved in designing this system of roads? Think about materials, organizational techniques, labour, and time.
C.E.: of the common era
Figure 1-1

The rivers, mountain ranges and cities have been omitted from the map in braille. The following islands are included but not named in braille: Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily and Cyprus.

Key to map in two columns:

ns North Sea -------gr Greece

bs Baltic Sea -----am Asia Minor

as Adriatic Sea ---me Mesopotami

bl Black Sea ------sy Syria

cs Caspian Sea ----pa Palestine

rs Red Sea ---------per Persia

med Mediterranean Sea------ard Arabian Desert

br Britain ----------ey Egypt

sp Spain ------------sa Sahara

gu Gaul ------------wh Wall of Hadrian

it Italy -----------na North Africa

ao Atlantic Ocean
Figure 1-1 (cont.)

Figure 1-2 The Roman Colosseum (at left) could seat 50,000 spectators, only slightly fewer than the 60,000 that fit into Vancouver's BC Place (at right). The Colosseum was the scene of executions, mock naval battles, and combats between gladiators. People were eaten alive by wild animals. Were these "entertainments" examples of civilization? Why or why not?

gladiator: a fighter who battled at public shows; most were slaves
Under the Romans, western European culture flourished like never before. The Romans admired the achievements of the ancient Greeks, so they copied and developed Greek arts and architecture. They also built great cities decorated with works of art, magnificent gardens, arenas, public baths, and theatres. The Romans were a highly literate people. Roman scholars and poets wrote thousands of books, and great libraries were filled with ancient works from Greece and Egypt. Latin provided a common language for the whole empire.
architecture: the art and science of designing buildings

Latin: the language of the Romans. During the Middle Ages, Latin served as a common language for educated people throughout Europe.
The Romans developed a code of laws for all the peoples they ruled. Some Canadian laws and rules of justice are based on these Roman laws. For example, all Roman citizens had the right to a fair trial and to rescue


from poverty. Within the borders of the empire, Roman law protected all peoples from war and from violent outlaws on land and pirates at sea. The Pax Romana, or Roman peace, encouraged trade and the exchange of ideas. Of course, a price was paid: Rome demanded taxes, slaves, and submission from all the lands it controlled. Further, not everyone benefited under Roman law. Women, non-Romans, and slaves were all denied the rights of Roman citizenship.

At one time, years in European history were classified into two eras: B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (anno Domini, Latin for "in the year of the Lord"). Today B.C. is replaced by B.C.E. (before the common era), and A.D. is replaced by C.E. (of the common era). Why do you think historians started using the modern terms?

The Fall of Rome

In the year 410 C.E., the Mediterranean world was shocked by news that the city of Rome, the centre of European civilization, had been conquered by the Goths, a Germanic people. The impossible had happened. The Roman Empire, which had once stretched from Iran to Scotland and from Upper Egypt to the North Sea, had collapsed. Only the Eastern Roman Empire, with its capital in Constantinople, remained strong.

Germanic people: one of the European peoples that spoke a Germanic language; for example, the Teutones, Visigoths, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Franks, and Ostrogoths
Historians often disagree about why Rome fell. Some believe that all civilizations have a life span and that they eventually grow old and die, almost like living things.
Why Did Rome Fall?

The death of an empire is usually caused by a combination of internal forces (those coming from inside) and external forces (those coming from outside). Historians think that the following forces contributed to Rome's fall. Classify each as an internal or external force.

· Small businesses suffered when Romans began using slaves to supply goods and services.

· Romans spent more money than they should have on entertainment and expensive luxuries.

· Contagious diseases, brought to Rome by soldiers in the Roman Legions, killed thousands.

· After the Roman republic ended in 30 B.C.E., Rome was ruled by emperors rather than a government that respected individual freedom.

· Because the empire was so large and contained such a wide variety of terrain, the empire became impossible to defend.

· New religions weakened the will of the Roman people to defend their empire, because many chose their new religion over Rome.

· The empire grew weak because of repeated attacks by the Germanic peoples.

  1   2   3   4

The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2016
send message

    Main page