? Recurrent Greek themes ? Rise of the Roman Empire

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? Recurrent Greek themes

? Rise of the Roman Empire

? Rise of Christianity

Antiquity (Greece and Rome)

Major period historians talk about; Greek Classical, Roman Empire

Greece - socrates, plato, aristotle

These 3 generations of intellictuals lay foundation of knowledge

(democracy, knowledge, art)

all these topics feed off of each other

eg) socrates believes system of democracy not working, who has the right?

Plato: those who have knowledge should have political say

Aristotle: knowledge acquirement: School of Athens 1st in western civ.

Western Civilization keeps coming back to these philosophers

Knowledge and understanding are reflected in art:

emotions, anatomy, human experience/ existence

Reflected in culture: comedy and tragedy drama

Science reflected: Theatre, acoustics

Greece tried to become the best civilization

Greece the "superhighway" of antiquity

Greek colonies spread through Meditteranean
As Greek civilization wanes, the Rise of Rome occurs

Rome began as a city state, then expanded in power, strength, and wealth

Romans asked surrounding city states to join citizenship

Through military strategy and politics, Rome takes over Italy 264 BCE

Rome runs into Carthage

Rome used Mediterranean to expand and create provinces

Roman army extemely disciplined, professional, and fit
264 - 133 BCE Rome destroys Carthage and expands to Greece and Turkey

So successful in Meditterranean basin

31 BCE (before common era) - 200 CE (common area)

Rome at height

Anyone not latin/ Italian "barbarians" who were ruled by administrators
How did they control this vast empire?

War booty and tribute payments = internal peace and fuel for the empire

Roman administrator would rule over a province

if you pay tax and don't challenge our rule, you will have peace

Rome as an empire is wealthy (meaning publically wealthy as a whole) but

individuals were very very poor.

socialist minimalist state kept masses happy

People are in awe of the power of their empire because of such collossal structures

such as colesseum (people got free tickets = inspire Roman citizens through


Triumphal arches built as reminders of exploits of war = power of military

Pressures on Empire 200 CE - 400 CE

Political weakness

180 CE - the last great Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurellius dies

Social and economic challenges

(Famine/ crop failure; mass disease/ plague)

as a result of famine and plague, labor loss = increase tax = more poverty

instability within masses

example: Roman Aquaducts

Famine occurs when water from countryside is used to wash the

Roman streets clean. No water for crops

Military Challenges

also hurt by famine and plague

most militants are land-owners who are called back to farms

military loses its discipline and elite heirarchy

Expansion of Empire slowed

snowball effect: no longer any constant war booty

barbarians outside of empire see its weakness at slow expansion

barbarians attack

Few unifying factors

eg) what do Britain and Spain have to gain from the Empire?

If the military is no longer strong, what threat are they?

Rise of Christianity

Paganism was the religion of the elites:

Emperor was a god

Tolerant of other religions if the gods were happy (ie. Rome was strong)

Tribute must be paid to the Emperor

Christianity rose of Judaism, therefore was tolerated and protected by Roman law

Christianity really gets attention in Roman Empire 200 CE

Why is Christianity so attractive to people living in Rome?

Christianity appealing to lower orders

-all can participate - don't need money

-sense of fair play and fidelity - don't have to be elite

-rich give to Christian Church

in Roman Empire, give to pagan gods (emperor)

the church gives back to the weak, sick, and poor

-equalizing factor between different classes

When the socialist-minimalist state cannot provide, Christianity becomes prevalent
Persecution of Christians

-Strict morality sets Christians apart

(do not worship any other god; don't worship emperor)

-Misunderstood traditions resulted in accusations of atheism, cannibalism, incest,

black magic, and insubordination

(communion body and blood = "cannibals"; all brothers and sisters = "incest" and

the Sunday worship is a "love feast" between brothers and sisters)
Persecution of Christians

-Strict morality sets Christians apart

(do not worship any other god; don't worship emperor)

-Misunderstood traditions resulted in accusations of atheism, cannibalism, incest,

black magic, and insubordination

(communion body and blood = "cannibals"; all brothers and sisters = "incest"

and the Sunday worship is a "love feast" between brothers and sisters)

-Refusal to worship Roman gods made them scapegoats with 3rd century pressures

on Empire
The Great Persecution

-Decius (294-251) requires everyone to have a certificate that proves they have

been sacrificing/tribute to the gods

Without these certificates penalty of death at Colesseum

gored by bulls, fed to lions
-Diocletian (284-305)
-martydom: Christians begin to see this persecution as a true test of their faith

half a million people were killed and buried in catacombes, Christians not deterred

People were inspired by the bravery of Christians who stood proudly until death

-creates a mass sympathy and conversion to Christianity

-St. Perpetua had a baby but could not produce certificate, she was to be gored to

death by a bull, crowd was moved by this woman who stood so proudly even after

giving birth to a child
"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church"

Passion and commitment of martyrs inspired

Christianity became a tool of Roman Emperors to unify the Empire

Eventually Roman Catholicism became the only accepted religion in Europe

Religious leaders became equal in power to kings

Legalization of Christianity

305 - end of persecution with death of Diocletian


Constantine issued Edict of Toleration in 311

unifying force for the Empire

state support and patronage

Constantine slowly brings Christianity into empire alongside paganish

Eg) Sunday is holy day for paganism, also day of Christian worship

Constantine converted to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed

Nobility slowly accepts Christianity, realizing that the money is there
Unifying force:

Why is religion of Christianity unifying?

-Strict adherence and conformity required from all = equality, discipline, accepting

authority of religious and secular power

-Effective church hierarchy made sure worship and religious life was standardized

with as many consistent factors, gives people common ground

-Services were in one language (Latin) throughout Empire; the wealthy have a

common language to share, as in those in power were educated in Latin

Byzantine Empire

-Christianity spread very slowly, beginning with nobility in administrative cities

-challenges to Roman Empire continued

- 330 Constantine moved capital of Roman Empire eastward for defensive reasons

to the current city of Istanbul, called Constantinople. Constaninople gives a buffer

region between the Empire capital and Germanic tribes

This showed just how bad the situation really was

-many followed, mostly nobility, and the city flourished


-West crumbling: Germanic tribes began settling in western empire

-West is Roman Empire based in Rome; East is based in Constaninople, division

east and west Emperors created

official beginning of Byzantine Empire

-Byzantine followed distinct path: survived and flourished until 1453 (sacking of

Constaninople by the Ottomans)

-splintering of Greek and Latin Christendom

Byzantine Empire is very strong

They take all the learning from Greek and Roman antiquity

Hagia Sophia - Christian church built from all the knowledge aquired
Whereas Romans rebuild in a different direction, forgetting antiquity

394 Theodosius

Christian law code

This changes the Roman law to base system on Christian morality

Shows how Christianity is being spread throughout Empire
410 Rome is attacked by visigoths

sacked many many times from 410 until 476

476 First "barbarian" or Germanic Roman Emperor

Marks beginning of Middle Ages/ Dark Ages/ Medieval Era

The Fall of Rome starts in ~200 CE until final collapse in 476 CE
Germanic Tribes

Saxons, Angles, Vandals, Franks, Lombards, Huns

- came from Scandza

- primarily pastoral (not originally even military)

- nomadic for herds and looking for new tribal lands

- fabric of society was interpersonal ties of loyalty (eg) family, providers

- moral and legal system a case-to-case basis; depends on circumstance

- system localized and decentralized, allowing for ability to deal with here-

and-now issues

- isolated Europe (trade slowed, travel was dangerous, urban system

collapsed, communication cut-off)

This goes into the period called the "Dark Ages" of Medieval Europe

The Sacking of Rome

Elite retreated to country estates

Political power vacuum

Wealth dried up, trade was limited

Rome became the soft underbelly of the empire

Some blamed Christians

Augustine (bishop in Austria): "while empires crumble: religion alone endures"

said cities only existed to bring more people into the eternal City of God

do not worry about Empire disintegrating, what matters is faith

Germanic leaders are inspired by what Augustine argues

Clovis (d.511)

first Germanic Christian leader, in charge of the Franks

converts to Christianity and starts campaign to Christianize Franks

united Frankish kingdom

Bishops baptize and corronate Clovis = political and religious figure

*developing the feudal system by embodying head of state and church together*
Adoption of local traditions

Plain chant - one unity carries through music, latin and Roman Catholic

Byzantine chant - eastern tone

How do you explain to the masses something that is entirely foreign?

Celtic christianity goes off in its own direction temporarily

Irish cross: woven out of wheat

Celtic cross: circle could be merging of sun; or just support structure for cross arms
Pope Gregory 590

Rome still under attack, still unsettled place to live, Pope Gregory bishop

Organizes defenses

Obtains food for Rome

Cares for sick

Spiritual and Military leader

Through him that other bishops see how church should be run, how to step up into


Bishops across Europe gained power

Sets stage for Popes

Papal Primacy

The justification of why the Pope is the head of the church and the head of Rome

Rome was the center of western Christendom
Christendom took place of Roman Empire in the daily lives of people
Structural heirarchy developed
God has allowed rule



Legalized Christianity - edict of toleration

State support of Christianity; Roman Catholic church would grow to be a major

secular power

Moved the capital of empire east to Constaninople
Transition from Ancient to Medieval world

Marked by the fall of the Roman Empire

*From the 3rd to the 5th centuries*

378 Roman Empire split in two; Rome sacked in 410; official barbarian/

Germanic ruler in 476
Historical significance of Germanic Tribes

Attacks catalysts for fall of Roman Empire

Conquests resulted in the decay of systems of trade and urban centers in


Their rural, decentralized and localized life meant that Europe became

isolated from the rest of the world

Social and political system became the basis for feudalism
9th and 10th Centuries: outline


rise of the Islamic Empire


threats to Europe

rise of feudalism

Rise of the Islamic Empire

Birth of Mohammed c.570

Last prophet:

Muslim beliefs were based in Old Testament; belief in prophets,

Angel Gabriel visited Mohammed to take this message to the masses

Religious and Military leader

Teachings struck a chord with Bedouin society (nomadic society)

Bedouins largely shepherds, following grazing animals, tribal system

War-based society

Western middle-east largely Bedouins

Mohammed's message gained popularity amongst poor

Morality, egalitarianism, piety

Elites realize Mohammed's power amongst the poor
Expansion of Empire starting in Medina and Mecca of Arabia

Expand into Persian Empire and across northern Africa

Unity brought to the leaders and masses
Islamic Empire bumps up against Byzantine Empire

Meditterranean basin: war over water

Constantinople "saved" only by "Greek fire" or fireball on the water

Constantinople defended by walls and sea


Islamic Empire became guardian of learning, art, and culture

Unity: one faith, one language, and leaders are unified

Education flourishes

Sophisticated culture emerges

Repeating patterns reflected from religious beliefs in Allah show in architecture

Meditterranean Expansion

After expansion through northern Africa:

710-718 southern Spain conquered up until Pyranese mountains

732 Charles Martel "saved" western Christendom

Tours and Poitiers were simple defeats of Muslim raiding parties

Islamic Empire largely forgot the old Roman Empire because more pressing

concerns with the Persian Empire

Islamic Empire refocused expansion east

Charles Martel founds the next major European Empire

Carolingian Empire

Clovis was the last major Frankish leader, who brought Christianity to rural

Clovis built a Frankish kingdom

Germanic tradition prevents development of great empires because


Charles Martel of this bloodline

Capable military leader

It is difficult to unify and stablize; takes 3 generations; Pippin III,


Charlemagne reunified much of the old Roman Empire

Northern Europe gained importance

Charlemagne significant enough that major foreign leaders recognize him;

Byzantine and Islamic Empires acknowledge Charlemagne
Holy Roman Emperor

800 Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor

Charlemagne's legitimacy based upon religion

Complex relationship with the Pope, who crowns him, Charlemagne uses this as a

unifying tactic to also gain legitimacy

Charlemagne does not want Rome to fall, so volunteers to help Pope (the secular

and military leader of Rome) when under attack

Pope and Charlemagne are meant to be equal but neither have ultimate authority

Charlemagne brings back minimal education

Lords in the localities must be able to read

Elite are literate for communication; but not taught critical thinking
843 Treaty of Verdun

After Charlemagne's death, Kingdom is split between three sons

Division leave empire vulnerable to outside attack

(Danes/Vikings/Slaves/ Islamic Empire)

Europe Weak
9th and 10th Century Threats

Vikings (Denmark, Iceland, and Scandanavian areas)

Attack from coast and upriver

Shallow boats good for raiding

Magyars (Hungary)

Attack Eastern front of European Empire

Islamic Empire

Attack from south


How does Europe defend itself?

Feudalism (evolution of the Germanic system)

Largely created in France

Change inheritance patterns so that titles are inherited to one son

Lord-vassal relationship based on the ties of loyalty

System of dependence

All people in society are reliant on each other for survival

From nutrition to military defense; everyone has a role

Lord in power provides protection and justice

Vassals are beneath Lord and pay him hommage and pledge loyalty
King brings order to society; stockhouses of food for times of famine; political and

military leader; provide military protection

Nobility provide King portion of crops; give soldiers; enables King to do his job
In localities, nobility become the "Lords" and have vassals in role of peasantry

Realm of this locality will be protected and run by lord

Peasantry give 1/3 crops to nobles; 1/3 crops to church
Military, political and economic social system

-vassals got fiefs for homage/fealty

nobility gain fielty of land for loyalty to the king


Feudalism made it possible to rule larger territories

Structure allows for large ruling kingdom

Inheritance keeps territories and rule under unified banner
Three Orders of Society

(1) Those who fight

bring order and stability to realm

knights, nobility, wealthy, soldiers

pay homage; always preparing for battle, attending tournaments and training
(2) Those who pray

spiritual care-taking of the European population

in charge of the long-term souls of the people (including soldiers who kill)

feudal system emphasizes life after death; this life is to be a good Christian

and do your job as a part of society

Christendom: synthesis of religion, culture, society, governmnet

Secular Clergy

Popes, Bishops, religious mentors

Regular Clergy

St. Benedict's Rule required prayer, work, and study

religious scholars in monasteries for seclusion

monks free up the soldiers from their penance

(3) Those who work

90-95% of the population work the lands

Give 1/3 of food to church and a 1/3 to nobility

1076-1122: Investiture Controversy

Struggle between secular and religious leaders

Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV get into a disagreement

Emperor wants to be able to appoint bishops and abbots

Wants to say who is praying on behalf of the military

Results in distinction of power
Manorial System

Small villages

How 90% of people lived

Shared resources

Minimal standard of living

Own small personal plot of land

Shared common pastures

Subsistence living - in years of famine, drought, raiding = starvation

All power emanated from the lord's house

Lord usually in a castle or fortress on a hill

Lord brings justice as well as support in locality

Feudal vs State

Government - decentralized centralized
Administration - vassals professional
Legal system - local common law (central)
Borders - undefined defined
Property rights - military legal

Role of Church - competing w/monarch subservient to monarch

Power of Monarch - first among equals head of the state

(first of all Lords)

Clicker Questions

What is the historical significance of Charlemagne's Rule?

- First Holy Roman Emperor

o Refers to Divine Right of Kings

o Pope crowned him of empire

o Reclaiming the glories of Rome

- Defender of Christianity

o Rescues Pope from attack but still relies on Pope for legitimacy

- Carolingian Renaissance

o Beginning of literacy - return of education

- Brought Northern Europe on to international stage

o Byzantine and Islamic Empires
What external threats existed to European peace?

Vikings, magyars


A social political economic and military system

System of dependence

A way to bring security to europe

Characterized by lord-vassal relationship

Characterized by three orders of society

Which institution was the ultimate authority in medieval Europe?

Both the church and the state

Struggle between the two
Weaknesses of feudal construct and the First Crusade
Feudal Weaknesses

system very messy

Feudalism is an idealized concept, not the reality of life in medieval Europe

Many people in Europe missing from the system

Many gradations of class

-separation between orders

-within orders, many different levels (foot soldiers to commanders)

-classes not as clear-cut

bonds beyond one lord to one vassal

-people as lord-vassal roles not as clearly defined

-eg) King of England technically supposed to pay homage to French King

what to do with younger sons?

-oldest son inherits title and land of father

-younger sons did not inherit anything - displaced in own class

-place son in military

-place son in church

-problems begin when there is less military threat and less need for soldiers

sons begin warring - what to do with them? - send them on crusade

church became worldy with power

-monks supposed to be constantly uncomfortable to be always close to God


-supposed to pray on behalf of all society and all members

-monks receive land, food, riches, wealth because people give monks gifts in

exchange for praying on behalf of deceased loved ones

Missing from the system

Merchants, tradesmen

Townspeople, craftsmen, tailors etc.

Women - nuns are not a part of church society

Women don't exist in secular clergy

Women cannot inherit - never a part of political process

Not a legal entity, cannot speak for self, represented by man in life

Workers make 1/10 of that a man makes

Vagrants: without a place to call home

Professional soldiers

Injured soldiers

Extreme poor

Sick and ill

Day laborers


Those unable to fight, pray or work

Religious minority

Spain: muslim population

Jewish population

The Jews

Forced into urban ghettos

Expelled from England 1290; France 1394; Spain 1492

In France, King was in debt and owed the most money to Jewish population

Spain: Columbus supposed to set sail out of Spain, but cannot leave ports

because at this time Muslims and Jews are being expelled/ blocking ports

Blamed for the Black Death

Appeared as villains in folklore and ballads

Little Sir Hue disappeared from a corner and fell down a well

Decided that he had been seduced by Jewish man's daughter

Ritually sacrificed Little Sir Hue and this Jewish family dropped body in well

Usuers: lend money and collect interest

Scapegoated for anything that goes wrong in a country, town or village


The Crusades are somewhat a result of feudalism

Outside threats dissipating and as borders take shape, issues evolve within


fear of any strangers

-competing lords

all lords trying to get higher

-"Peace of God"

concept developed by Pope

the second and third sons who no longer have anyone to fight:

cannot kill fellow Christians

these soldiers want to war but have no where to go

-challenge to the reputation of papacy

hatred of church:

corruption within the church

leaders power hungry

colliding with the heads of state

extreme wealth being funneled into the power of the church

1095 Emperor Commenus (Byzantine Emperor) is afraid for his Empire

does not feel as though they cannot push back the Muslim Turkish

pleads with Pope Urban II can Christian brothers save Byzantines from the Turks?
Emperor Commenus "Christians are being oppressed by the Muslims"

We must go free our Christian brothers from the Holy Lands

Holy places (especially Jerusalem) defiled

Great Church of Constantine turned into a mosque

Harassment of Christian pilgrims
For all these reasons, we are justified in going to war

"deus lo volt" - God wills it

Islamic Empire is flourishing, successful Christians will gain:



Emperor Commenus says if you die on the crusade doing God's will,

you bypass purgatory and go straight to heaven

Criminals felt it a good option to join the crusades

How did the Crusades benefit the Pope?

Pope Urban II felt that by the "Peace of God" we can let our soldiers leave Christians

alone and go fight non-Christians

Refocusses away from problems of Church, as it unites all Christians


Christians in Muslim lands are allowed to live unaffected as long as not missionaries

Although, Christians not allowed to rebuild churches = difficult to worship
First Crusade

"Being too poor is not an excuse to disregard the Crusades"

Peter the Hermit

Starts the people's crusade

Raises an army of poor people who are in subsistent living

These people are a year earlier than the nobility

Gathers thousands of people as they march across continent

Not trained soldiers or diplomats

Uneducated peasants

Belgrade massacre

Peasants say we are here in the Byzantine Empire just as you asked

Byzantines shut doors on these dirty people

Peter the Hermit's troops sack Belgrade

Byzantine Emperor then ushers the people's army through the Empire

The people's army continues on

First wave of unprofessionals fed to the disciplined Turkish army

Peter the Hermit and the people's army are massacred
First professional army successful

Take Antioch

Take Jerusalem
Christians are ready to set up in the Holy Land

Byzantine Empire says no you did your job now go home

Turn on each other
Christian fiefdoms set up along Meditteranean
Clicker Question

What is the historical significance of feudalism?

-was the ideal social, political, economic, and military structure of Europe for

nearly a millennium - many left out of system

-Entrenched the powerful roman catholic church (struggled for authority

with decentralized

-created socio-economic hierarcy which left 90% of the population with a

subsistence living and a fear of change - don't want to upset social order - if

there is a rebellion and crops are burned then they will starve; cannot

imagine leaving farm because don't know if will make living in the cities

-many problems with system which led to the Crusades, Hundreds Years War

and Avignon Pope/Great Schism

The Crusading Legacy
The Crusades took on a life of their own

Pope endorses for his own reasons

- Byzantine areas pillaged

o crusaders had never seen such wealth and riches

o Maurading armies (eg. People's Crusades) can get out of control

- Jewish attacks in Germany

o Jews face much hostility by crusaders

o Ghettos and identifyable clothing

o Pope sends a decree against chaos in Europe

o Pope cannot get control of people

- Possible children's crusade

o Also not what the Pope intended

- Albigensian Crusade (Cathars)

o Since lived high in mountains were cut off from Roman Catholic

o Believed in two Gods - blasphomy declared

o Crusade sent by Pope to slaughter these Cathars

- Crusades to holy land continued for centuries

o Christian Kings sent many crusades for riches and glory

Historical Significance

Crusades become catalyst for major changes

- Sets stage for millennium of hostility and suspicion between Christianity and Islam

- Interest beyond Europe's borders

? crusaders return with riches not known in Europe

? intellectual interest in what is beyond Europe's borders

11 th and 12th century spread of cities

- increased trade (for luxury goods)

o creation of the Mongolian Empire enabled further interaction

o 13th C. Mongols opened up "Silk Road"

? Mongols more concerned about having Empire for economic

reasons; trade and safe passage through conquered lands

o need for urban centers to distribute goods

? Europe did not have well developed cities; now need markets

? Cities begin to develop again in Europe
Urban Life

Fairs and marketers' guilds are the center of urban life

Wealthy elites ran urban centers

Craftsmen create a guild together from similar interests; represent on city council

Each guild takes care of their own

(eg) system of charity; leathermaker's family taken care of by guild

Merchants trade

Changes/ shift away from system of feudalism

Equine military need and urban population required surplus food

Agriculture change from 2 to 3 field system

From half fallow field and half used

To 1/3 fields laying fallow; 1/3 wheat; 1/3 nitrogen-rich crops

Unfree peasants and serfs could begin to buy their freedom

The third order "those who work" are making more money

No longer subsistence living; begin to have surplus crops
Historical Significance: The Crusades also spark:

A renewed interest in pilgrimages

- holy pilgrimages

- get out of purgatory quickly by:

? having someone else pray for your soul after passing

? bank of merit built up by:

? charity

? visiting holy sites = pilgrimages

- towns serviced the pilgrims

o cities sprung up on major pilgrimage routes

o large Romanesque churches being built at this time to service pilgrims

o markets come up with souvenirs for pilgrims

New monastic tradition

- Mendicants (begging order) such as Franciscans and Dominicans

- Living in the image of Christ

- Response to Cluny Reform and Benedictine order

- Respond to corruption and urban population

o Give up materialism

o Cannot accumulate wealth

o Beg for food and in return minister to the needs of city

Monasteries important for scholars

- Universities begin to develop in Europe in 13th C. in cities

- Cities facilitate creativity

- Knowledge of Antiquity unlocked

o Knowledge of Antiquity, which is held by Byzantine and Islamic

Empires, being returned to Europe through urban centers

- Urban monks responded to questions of Aritstole's views of the world being

eternal and mechanistic


- Thomas Aquinas and Christian Aristotlelianism

o Merging of Christianity and Aristotle's teachings

o Rational truth and knowledge vs. Revealed truth

o Revealed truth from God always wins out when knowledge conflicts

- Divinity is the main object of discussion

- Divinity, law, and history were the main forms of Masters degrees

The Crusades

Led to a millennium of hostility

Led to development of international trade

Led to development of cities/ the urban system

Led to development of universities

Led to European interest and involvement with events beyond their borders

Led to renewed interest in pilgrimage

Led to spread of Bubonic Plague

Crises of the 14th Century (1300s)

- led to demise of feudalism/ end of medieval era

- plague

- hundred Years War

- Babylonian Captivity and the Great Schism

- reflected in concerrent intellectual movement-Renaisssance
watch for:

- destruction of old socio-economic order (feudalism)

- Roman Catholic power and monopoly being challenged

- centralization of states (move away from feudalism)

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