Medieval Civilization Lecture Notes

Lecture Notes

Heritage of the Roman Empire and Middle Ages in the West (CA AD 500-1450/1500)

World in Transition, AD 395-1500


The sixth and seventh centuries: the heirs of three to the Roman Empire, that empire is not to dominate the Mediterranean world nobody Obviously, in the seventh century a new era in the history of civilization in the world, Western Europe civilization successor of three, Byzantine, and Islamic, is its own culture, religion, in their own language of its own, each had developed. All three of these civilizations was soon rival.

The death of Justinian I, Byzantine Empire and the Mediterranean World

Byzantine civilization: down from the eastern half of the Roman Empire (5th century -1453), the capital was Constantinople. Language was Greek. It was a combination of the traditions of the empire of Rome of government in the pursuit of strong Christian faith [legitimate], and stipend (up to 1240 from AD 882) (including the orthodox religion) this cultural aspect of Kyiv Rus period spread to Russia and Eastern Europe during the period (year 1480 from year 1054).

The project has been founded by the Prophet Muhammad (1500-CA 7th century) Islamic civilization, the language was Arabic. Check out also instant payday loans direct lender . Imperial government and culture to create a penetration, it is in this dynamic new religion is old Near East, along the Mediterranean coast of Africa, and it has spread throughout the Indian subcontinent.

Western Christianity (-1,500 sixth century), that language is most often were Latin education for clergy. It moves gradually towards the political, economic and governmental structure is weak, the congregation is one of the language was written in the vernacular of many are based on Christian talk down from the tongue of Latin and Germanic religious unity is now the creative dynamic between expansionistic, High Middle Ages (from year 1300 year 1050).

Heir to the east of the Roman Empire

Byzantine civilization (5th century -1453)

1) CA: Chronology of the Byzantine Empire from the fall of Rome in 1453. Ad 500, the empire had become Greece and the Balkans, Asia Minor, Palestine, from Egypt;

(Mosaic of San Vitale, Ravenna from) Emperor Justinian.

2) In 527, Justinian became the rule in (565) and the emperor, tries to revive the Roman Empire, the result was a 30-year war for expel the Germans and other Ostrogoths from North Africa and Italy. See Also instant payday loans guaranteed . Italy and the empire split into devastation and human and material resources ran out of the war, in the next century 3), the Byzantine, lost most of their territory around the edge of the eastern and southern Mediterranean, and therefore, empire is composed of Asia Minor, parts of Cyprus Balkans, Italy, and Crete; decline of the Empire 4) the Byzantine, was for centuries: attack from the east, undermine it, the first from Turkey Crusaders four times during the (1204), Europeans plundered Constantinople, the empire was restored under the dynasty Paleologi (year 1453 from year 1261), it lacks the unity, that are fragmented; Constantinople, the eventually became the event was considered to pieces by the people of Europe to the Muslim Turks in 1453.

Character and achievements of the Byzantine Empire: 1), whose capital city was a rich and sophisticated defense of Constantinople, of 1,000,000.

City of Constantinople.

2) It has been developed separately and Western Europe, language was Greek. And its culture was ethnically diverse blend Rome, Hellenistic, Persian, Jewish. Also the church that, 3) move from the west; controversy on the doctrine; it has been linked condition and secular church, according to the doctrine of Caesaropapism, the Emperor, was the religious leaders and secular both; to religion matters involved, was political, as the iconoclastic controversy of the 8th and 9th centuries unwilling to recognize the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople instead of like, you should check the authority of the Pope in Rome , to remove the image from the church, but this effort failed, it was founded in 1054, has resulted in the division from the Western Church. Orthodox missionaries such as St. Metodiusu 4) Cyrillic and will conduct a faith in the Balkans, the Bible has invented the Cyrillic alphabet so that it can be written to the slab, Byzantine works of art and architecture 5) , as Justinian and Theodora portrait of (= Holy Wisdom) and Hagia Sophia (Ravenna) San Vitale, that contains a mosaic;

Church (Constaninople) Hagia Sophia.

Hagia Sophia church interior.

Law has been codified by Justinian (Justinian Code):; 6) Byzantine Greek law and Roman law from Justinian to that of the reign of Hadrian = code legal principles, the gist of the opinions of great lawyers = digest has frozen the Institute = culture. Check out also instant cash payday loans . & Part of the novel = law of Justinian, as the teachings of Aristotle is also the Eastern Roman Empire, help to maintain the learning of Greek, some Western Europeans have learned it from them.

Kiev Rus and its culture, AD 882-1240

Migration of Slavic and Eastern Europe: the slab is uncertain arrival, they mixed with the Magyar people like the Huns, and Bulgars,, group of three different slab appeared. See Also instant pay day now .

Migration of the slab in front of the CA. AD 700.

Slab of Europe and the United States: 1) the seventh century, they founded the kingdom of Hungary has been converted to establish the kingdom of Poland and Bohemia to migrate to the west, also, converted to Catholicism by missionaries century German 9-10 other non-Slavic Magyar. See Also instant 24/7 loans . Future will be converted 2), Slavs south, some of Hungary that is linked to the culture of Western Europe, the Balkans, the Orthodox Serbia, and therefore, is linked to a cultural tradition Byzantine Polish, and Czech Slavs east migrated to Russia and Ukraine in Europe in the sixth century: the origin of the Kiev Rus and Slavs Eastern Europe 3) directivity of the many as it was, as, became a Roman Catholic the other person Slovenia and Croatia (new fort =) Novgorad contact with the Vikings trading cities along the rivers of Russia and the Caspian Sea, such as built-in from the Baltic Sea and Black Sea.

Uncertain origin of the Kyiv Rus; with the passage of time, that the grand prince will come to dominate the Dnieper area, made contact with the Byzantine Empire to the south. I am Vladimir Orthodox are converted, when he married Anna, arrived in the 980s, sister of the Byzantine rulers. A new faith has grown, that caused the foundation of national unity for Russian people and Russia. In addition, Russia has means to move along a different path of cultural development than the west, is the highest point of the Kiev Rus, (1019-1054), successor problem was the reign of Yaroslav the Wise Since civil war and led to the invasion of Mongolia, Kiev Rus was reduced partially.

Principality of Kiev Rus.

Competed for power consumption continues to period (1054-CA 1500), fragmentation extreme, number 1) of the critical state (Moscow, Novgorad, has occurred, etc.) Vladimir Suzdal and Mongolia allowance, Russia.

Cathedral of Suzdal.

Fortified monastery in Suzdal.

Invasion, around Russia (Great Moscow, Ukraine, and Russia, white ethnic domestic sector grew 3) Russia by the Teutonic Knights from the west from Central Asia and Mongolia 2)). The most important 4); Muscovite prince if possible) the political rise, in 1505 the name in 1328, that the Grand Prince Ivan Kalita, Ivan the Great reigned from 1462 (because it is in cooperation with the Mongolian) In Moscow, rose to importance of political and religious, northern Russia has been unified under the ruler of a single foundation of a strong central government is established (1480), and Mongolia during the reign of rule has ended, the most important of his successor (reigned 1584 from 1533) Ivan the Terrible, the first Emperor of Russia.

Map of the Kremlin.

capital of the Russian Orthodox Church who settled in Moscow for the religious significance of b), over the years, in the Orthodox Church, an increase of power and wealth, the metropolitan area of Moscow was crowned the Patriarch in 1589, Moscow of Rome and Constantinople are declared "third Rome", a legitimate successor. In "Faith fell Romes two, is not so will be the fourth Roman Third, and Moscow." Their confidence This new church building such a great cathedral of the Assumption in the Kremlin in Moscow affected.

The Kremlin's Assumption Cathedral.

In the 16th century, the civilization of Russia has developed in isolation from the west, foundations and religious politics of the state of Russia in the future a clear, in spite of it leisurely with its competitors with it and this is likely to be different, Russia people want to borrow it wholesale from the civilization of Western Europe and often enviable.

Islamic civilization and Islamic Empire, AD 622-1453

The Arabs (732 and 632), who conquered the empire extended key to the coast of Africa north of the Mediterranean south of France and Spain from the Indus River: They are, in their language, their 50% in these areas to begin of the Roman Empire once brought great culture, their religion. These people gave the energy of these results made it possible to do. See Also instant online loan lenders ?

Expansion of Islam.

The birth of Islam: Creator was the Prophet Muhammad (Mecca about 570 B.). Merchant, he drew 610 to convert to monotheism, preached the new religion to complete the Judaism and Christianity. Muhammad's message, many of who were angered local authorities polytheism. Found to convert (the first year of the Hijra and the Islamic calendar) his followers fled to Medina in 622 and he, in Medina. Will be returned to Mecca 8 years later captured the city. He will be destroyed to make it to the shrine of Muslim, the idols of Ka'ba, Ka'ba's goal today is to embark on pilgrimage to Mecca, Muhammad, died in the year 632 AD, most of the Arabic is accepted are uniform had been forced to accept, high-Islam.

Religious teachings of Muhammad: Koran, which contains the revelation of God to the Prophet Muhammad. In addition, it contains that have been found in the Old Testament and the Torah much. The Koran is, What are the five pillars of Muslim faith: 1) "I do not have God Allah, Muhammad is his prophet" recitation 2) Mecca five times, the words of the witness prayer the day to face, give alms to the poor 3); during the holy month of month of the ninth 4) Ramadan, of the years Muslim, until sunset from the dawn, and 5), high-speed, one or perform the pilgrimage to Mecca pilgrimage to Mecca during the lifetime.

Ka'ba in Mecca.

Muslim pilgrims circle Ka'ba.

Elaborate ritual churches and clergy and was institutionalized at all. Buddhist statues and religious images do not; moral law, strict temperance, humility, justice, generosity, tolerance, obedience, the virtue of courage mosque is a place of education and worship of the scholars did not. Check out also instant payday loans uk . Ban alcohol and pork, polygamy is a limit of four wives, was allowed. Has been conducted by slavery, Muhammad encouraged the freed slaves, the Day of Judgment, a mixture of religious and political jihad, or holy war therefore. Sacred book (words and traditions of the Prophet) Koran, Hadith, and Sharia (Islamic law).

Part of Persia and India, conquered the Middle East and North Africa as far Tripoli: 661 from: 632 spread of Islam. From 662 to 750, had conquered the rest of the Muslim, Armenian, North Africa, Spain, the south of France. Failed to advance to Europe (732) tour of the Battle of Muslims, to take Constantinople. Conquest, Muslims, meant that dominated the Mediterranean and its trade routes.

Problem and the successor of Muhammad (caliph), involved the selection of the interpretation of the Koran: Split on the doctrine of Islam. Result: Shia and Sunni, have agreed to both legal and religious practices. Shia: the only direct descendant of Muhammad ruled, it may be an intermediary between fundamentalist strict about the Koran and the human and divine. Check out also instant loans new direct lenders . Sunni Muslims: any possible are elected caliph, they may have been a liberal interpretation of the Koran. A third group, you can believe appeared later, mystic, and they can communicate directly with God or Sufi, to obtain a knowledge of special internal. Check out also installment payday loans minnesota . They also sent a simple life of withdrawal from this world.

Muslim empire had a strong central government under the caliph holding civil, military, highest religious authority originally divided into: Local government and economy. The first caliph was Abu Bakr. Then on the issue of, are developed continuously, the caliph, one does not dominate the Islamic world was the fourth caliph, Ali (61 from 656). The most important caliphates: (750 from 660, Damascus) and the Umayyad abbasids (from 750 to 1258, Baghdad). After the massacre the umayyads abbasids of 750, some members, he founded the Caliphate of Cordoba, fled to Spain, it lasted until 1031. See Also installment loans quick approval fl . Additional caliphates (year 1250 from year 1173) Ayyubids of Egypt, and the Almoravids of Morocco (in 1147 from the year 1056), including the Mohadesu (1130, North Africa and Alids (985 from 788) and the Fatimids (from 968 to 1171) -1269 Tunsia was established in part, Algeria, Morocco, Spain). Economy, on the manufacturing-commerce (Mediterranean, China) and (; swords precious metals and silk, cloth, tapestries, carpets from Toledo jewelry, perfume, fragrance, and Damascus) are based on.

And cultural contributions of Islam: geographers and scientists who invented the astrolabe; reached Western Europe later, many of them, important work of science and philosophy in ancient Greece, Rome and Asia that has been saved sends a system of Arabic numerals and algebra completion of mathematical learning not, to the west of the first, was developed in India, Avicenna, is included (Canon of Medicine) is a philosopher, Averroes philosopher of 12C are intended for indoor use Aristotle write a description of Plato, and Aristotle attempts to reconcile the teachings of Muhammad to that of, while he taught that religious truth was accepted by faith, truth of philosophy, has been reached through the reasoning. For religious purposes, there is no representation of human or animal form; Islamic religious art of decoration is geometric or floral design often do not have very found. Secular art, humans and animals, often hunting and fighting the fight, were represented. Islamic architecture: arch, dome, minaret.

Mosque in Bosnia.

The collapse of the empire of Islam: 1) is almost inevitable. Empire extended from Spain to India is, in general encompasses many different people, to save their religion and Arabic is no permanent political unity, nothing. Invasion of the Seljuk Turks was to reduce the abbasids of religious leaders in 1055 also 2). These people Manzikert in Turkey (1071), defeated the Byzantine Empire, had seized a large part of Asia Minor, Syria, Mesopotamia. Mongolia is its force was reduced when the defeated them in the (1243) Ksedagh. Check out also instant loans weekly . Later, during the 15th century, Ottoman Turks who converted to Islam in the 10th century and the ninth, won the right to rule in Asia Minor, Constantinople itself in 1453 from the 14th century eventually conquered. Check out also cash advance payday loan. Empire in North Africa, and Southern Europe (Balkans), is, again) 3 days and lasted until the First World War, the progress of Islam, and had been wary of European Christians in Asia Minor that , during the same period they are in. Palestine began to control the Eastern Mediterranean and the Holy Land crusade against Islam, Christians, was re-shoot most of Spain and Sicily. Survived the collapse of the imperial religion of Islam, it is part of the Russian North Africa, and Southern Europe, the Middle East is rooted in South Asia, Southeast Asia firmly on course. Nevertheless, 4), today about 22% practice Islam 935 million people, some of the world's population. See Also complaints about jackson hewitt instant tax refund.

Western Christianity during the Middle Ages

: Introduction; with emphasis on the use of reason and human Judeo-Christian (or classical) Greco-Roman: the civilization of the Middle Ages (the first is promising to the Roman Empire of the heir at least three), a great three the fusion of cultural traditions, there focuses on the faith that with God, their literature, the Germanic language, and its political practices and,. Many of the essential components of Western civilization, because it is almost mutually exclusive, have been opened in the dynamic of this civilization are subject to change. Check out also instant approval payday loan texas .

Three periods of the early Middle Ages

Violence and confusion: early stage (from about 500 to 750)

Theme five: such as the Clovis king Frank the first (511 from 481)) German barbaric is when you try to create a monarch, monarchy, and end the peace and unity of the Roman world suffering from these b) beginning to establish a foundation for the history of C) tour, "Franks fought each other for domination, down this evidence), declining cities with a population of (Roman 40,000, such as Gregory of) decline fundamental political ( works that survived the economic and also cultural; threat of invasion from the Nordic countries and the Byzantine Empire and the modern European invasion of d) (Italy, 6th century), and slab,

Baptism of Clovis (illuminated manuscript). See Also instant loan online .

Church e), shall bear a major effort to convert the (496), such as barbarian Clovis and other missionary activity and 754) from St. See Also instant direct payday loan providers . Boniface (? 680 spiritual authority of the church, politics (The theory of the sword two claims that were better than I Gelasius Pope [604 from 590 r]) to hold the civilization and learning (book of Gregorian chant library of the monastery, and Kells) and authority. See Also installment loans milwaukee .

Four Evangelists from Book of Kells.

Frankish Empire.

Carolingian era, from 750 987 in California

At 750, and cultural institutions of the West Germanic, was still modest: Introduction. For subsequent century revival. Is called Carolingian Renaissance, was the main cause of his royal family and to Charlemagne. Is lower than that associated with the English, King of Wessex Alfred the Great, such as the resurrection of the same.

[Coronation of Hyukape] began as an ambitious family of feudal landowners important to [Charles Martel] 987 in the history of Frank from 714: Carolingians. They held the hereditary office of mayor of the Chief Executive Officer of the Kingdom = Frank palace. Check out also instant cash advance payday loans . Under Charles Martel, they are (Poitiers, or 732) Battle of the tour to stop the advance of Muslim, and they, in cooperation with the nobility of others to undermine the Merovingians, in Pepin the Short, (with the help of the church) deposed them in the 751. See Also instant 1 hour patday loans . So it is important to a close relationship between the monarchy and the Church Frank, the Pope it is worth asking why support in deposing the old king Pepin. The answer is simple: it was necessary an attempt was made to use the Christian church for the Pope and the protector of the army, such as Pippin and Pippin have to justify his claim to the throne, to unify the Franks. Pippin is to provide "Donation of Pippin" so-called, promises to ensure the control of the Roman pontiff on the various land in Italy, as the king of the Franks he reanointed Pope, he gave the title of protector of Rome in return for was. Check out also instant payday loans no fax . Both sides were obtained from this new alliance of convenience. Protection of the Church Army, in the land of their own, while gaining support for security and Frank, of missionary work, and the king Frank will be able to claim the rule by the grace of God.

Statue of Charlmagne (modern).

The era of Charlemagne, from 768 814: Pepin died in 768. His son Carloman, and Charles, split the Frankish kingdom, Charlemagne Charles or Carloman, is to allow to become the undisputed ruler, who died in 771. Man of great energy and a natural leader), Frank Charlemagne change the kingdom into a great empire, he then presided over a remarkable flowering of culture. Charlemagne, a successful military leader, he has succeeded in Rongobarudo conquest of the Saxons in northern Italy, in the east, Muslims in northern Spain, to mention a lot of people there is no other. In about 800, he is after the collapse of Rome, was making the state of Europe's largest.

Empire of Charlemagne.

In his kingdom 2), Charlemagne has provided good government. Royal Command (capitularii) has been issued after consultation with the clergy and nobility big usually, these commands will staff the royal family served was carried out by MISSI Dominici, a representative of the human king and prevent human rights violations by local government officials In the oath of allegiance to Charlemagne and then, and nobility and stakeholders is bound - they are service, especially military service, was rewarded with (stipend or territory) land. Charlemagne and his apostolic purely religious man believed God 3), is responsible for the king of the Church; to encourage conversion of the Saxon sword when necessary, the missionary work Under the guidance, raising the prestige of the papacy to advocate the reform of the church. Check out also instant cash loans flexible terms . Pope Leo III is the day of Christmas, at St. Peter's Basilica of 800 crowning, historians, some dressed a variety exists, but until 1806 the Emperor Charlemagne, coronation as the beginning of the Holy Roman Empire Please refer to.

Coronation of Charlemagne (AD 800).

Appearance of the church in Aachen Charlemagne.

Inside of the church in Aachen Charlemagne.

Remarkable flowering of culture has received the support of the royal family: Renaissance morning 4) Carolingian. Alciun its director, it is to make the capital of Charlemagne in Aachen as soon as a great cultural center, we collected the best minds of Europe; school or AIX-la-Chapelle palace of Aachen. Produced a new book in a clear Carolingian script of minimum were used as the basis for modern scripts and typefaces after Scriptoria in Aachen.

(The beginning of the Exodus) Carolingian very small.

Many of which were encouraging, the opening of the monasteries and schools in the diocese maintains the Carolingian Renaissance century also came to Charlemagne. Important books from the Carolingian Renaissance, which contains one of the major sources of some of us for Einhard's biography of Charlemagne, of his reign. Representative of the results of Carolingian art is the church of Aachen Palace of Charlemagne, manuscripts, is a religious sculpture, these works, with the new style, those derived from a mixture of style Byzantine classical, Germanic, Celtic and is.

The collapse of the Carolingian monarchy, 987 from 814: empire of Charlemagne did not survive long after his death. Easy to explain the failure can be: an empire itself) has been truly unified did not, it was included in a variety of ethnic ethnicly, of the language. Relationship with the border it is an enemy of all (; human Slavs and Magyars, Vikings and Muslims the plural form of the Norseman, south to north to east), whereas the great Frank nobles Charlemagne, and is threatened by claims themselves, the leaders of the church is the Church, the successor was ambiguous, impair the power of central government in this way because they wanted independence. To make matters worse, not outstanding heir of Charlemagne, his son, Louis the Pious is indecisive, he divided the empire in minutes, giving the kingdom of the son of each 2) In addition, he is the eldest son make the emperor of Lothar, who granted the privilege ambiguous to him than the others. Empire of Charlemagne was divided into three parts by (843) Treaty of Verdun unexpectedly does not, and has resulted in civil war: Bald Charles, Frank West [France], Louis the German Frank east Lothar is a land of central governance and rule that dominated the [German]. Kingdom of the middle 3) in the middle of the 20th century from 10 days has been dominated rapidly, to some extent, leaving Frank and East Frank west as) treaty group's dominant (Mersen, 870 in the history of Western Europe, the figure by the struggle between the descendants of these groups on the Middle East kingdom of old Frank put out.

Europe after the division of the empire of Charlemagne.

The ninth and tenth centuries marked with: rise of the nobility and a great decline of the monarchy a), the development of the manorial system and feudalism 2), Church 3), for the independence and power to assert its superiority to, the claims that, through the state turned its bold effort, setting the stage for one of the high Middle Ages as the great struggle of this, the invaders from the north 4), the political, economic , can lead to severe social decline, the culture is like most, is that followed in the fall of Rome devastated Europe in the 9th and 10th century. Some of these invaders, we claim the land with care, in the UK and Ireland, such as the Normans of Normandy in 911, may be settled. Only about 987, when it was crowned the king Hyukape, of France, that this general decline has stopped, is reversed does not appear

Manorial system and feudalism

Manorial system and feudalism as a political system as a system of social and economic support of the Carolingian empire was born from the wreckage of the 9th and 10th century. In the last few years after 814 the feudal, the decline of the need for strong centralized government, other functions of government exercised political, military, judiciary, at the local level, the feudal system provides the performance of these functions of government is the class of landed aristocracy was political arrangements. Nobles are bound by a system of interdependent personal relationship, the heart contracts to establish the relationship between the feudal lord and vassal, protection, and services which were most important. Nobility has developed a value system (called the knight see below), knights, Christianity was that brave, loyal, generous, which is the protection of women and poverty. Evidence of this code, may be found in the El Cid Spanish and French epic Song of Roland.


Manorial system: O Lord, on the basis of (territory), power and prestige of the aristocracy of land to support his family, his soldiers. Landing real estate organization, independent economic unit, the Lord will provide the land and protection, serf labor has provided, respectively, as the manor. See Also instant legit loans .

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The Holy Roman Empire (the Germanies): Holy Roman Empire in 1050: the most centralized and best governed territory in Europe; by 1300. its central government had lost its power and the Empire had fragmented into a large number of warring states; the resulting power vacuum lasted until 1871, when modern Germany was created; and it is this Germany that helped bring about two world wars and was from 1945-1990 a divided country. One explanation: the 11th century Investiture Controversy.

The Holy Roman Empire.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Holy Roman Empire in the 11th century: Germanies least affected by invaders from the N &E after Charlemagne's death; nevertheless, no central government and real power in the hands of dukes and other nobles who elected their king. See Also personal loan finders. Ottonian Dynasty (919-1024): determined to provide good government, to retard feudalism, and to protect their lands from foreign attack, especially from the east. See Also instant long term online loans . Greatest Ottonian: Otto the Great (936-973), crowned king in Aachen and then Holy Roman Emperor in Rome (962). Ottonian's weakness: elected & lacked own lands, a secure income, & his own military forces; accordingly dependant on the great nobles and the Church for resources and for military & administrative personnel. Check out also instant loans online direct lenders . Control over the Church depended on the practice of "lay investiture," (=practice of investing high church officials with the symbols of their office). Century after Otto, no major problems; high point of the Holy Roman Empire reached in the reign of Henry III (1039-1056).

Church reformers & popes attack lay investiture. Result: bitter conflict between Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) and Henry IV (1056-1106): the Investiture Controversy (1074-1122)at its height, the Pope banned lay investiture and threatened Henry with ex-communication; Henry tried to depose the Pope, who promptly excommunicated him and released his subjects from any allegiance to the emperor.

Henry IV Henry IV (Hohenstauffen).

Henry's lords rebelled & forced him to make peace at Canossa (1177). Struggle finally ended by the Concordat of Worms (1122): the Emperor lost the right to appoint bishops while retaining the right to grant them land and secular political power. See Also installment loans locations . The Church won the Investiture Struggle, and in doing so it weakened the Holy Roman Empire, thus permitting the growth of feudalism and greater power for the feudal lords. Check out also installment .

Results of the Investiture Struggle: Political de-centralization of Germany. The Hohenstauffens, especially Frederick Barbarossa (1152-1190), tried but failed to reverse this decline. Check out also instant paycheck loans . New method of choosing emperors established by the Golden Bull (1356); henceforth, the Emperors were elected by seven great lords; in 1356, a member of the Habsburg family was elected emperor, and the crown remained in their hands until 1806; the Habsburgs ruled in Austria until 1918. Meanwhile, the Hohenzollerns began growing, and they would first rule Prussia and then a united Germany from 1871 to 1918.

Disunited Italy . Its southern third became a battleground where the Normans and the Hohenstauffens struggled. See Also instant cash loan in oxfordshire . Popes predominated, but the Church was unable to establish a strong government. And in the north, the site of rich commercial and manufacturing towns, two themes prevailed. These towns maintained political autonomy, largely because the struggle between the Holy Roman Emperor and the Church prevented either one from asserting tight control, and they fought each other incessantly; ironically, it is from cities like Florence in this area that the Italian Renaissance was born in the 15th century.

The Establishment of Strong Centralized Monarchies in England and France: England, in contrast, saw the beginnings of parliamentary government in the 13th century; France: absolutism began to take root. See Also instant payday loan online cheap .

Medieval England: 1066: William, Duke of Normandy, invaded England (the 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry). See Also instant pay .

The Opening Scene from the Bayeux Tapestry.

William centralized power: all lands (fiefs) were held directly or indirectly from the king; a personal oath of loyalty (the Oath of Salisbury [1086]) made each lord the vassal of the king; the king coined money, supervised justice, and built castles; local government was dependent upon the kings; and the Domesday Book (1086), a land survey, compiled for tax levies. Over time, Norman and Anglo-Saxon cultures blended, producing a uniquely English culture.

England in the 200 years after William: English kings increased power and control over the kingdom and suffered a major crisis. Henry I (r. 1100-1135) established the office of the Exchequer. Henry II (r. 1154-1189) allowed feudal nobles to avoid military service by paying the king; Henry used the money to hire mercenaries loyal to himself. Major crisis: during the reign of Henry II; Henry caught in a struggle over control of the English church with Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury; Becket was murdered, perhaps on the orders of Henry, and he had to back down before the Church.

The Murder of Thomas a Becket.

English kings also reformed the legal system and established one legal system. Henry I dispatched royal judges to try cases. Henry II is known as the father of English common law. He established circuits for royal judges, and he initiated the Grand Jury, 25 informed men who submitted the names of individual suspected of criminal activity. See Also 1 hour direct installment lenders. Petit juries were introduced in the 1200s, and these twelve men gradually won the right to judge civil and criminal cases. Henry II also took a major role in preserving English possessions in France.

Thirteenth century England: Two themes dominate: 1) Futile efforts to hold on to possessions in France weakened English kings, beginning with the unpopular John I (1190-1216). To fight wars in France, wars which he frequently lost, John needed money, and this weakness gave the great barons the opportunity to force him to sign the Magna Carta (1215); it asserted that the king was subject to the law of the realm and that he had respect such feudal customs as taxation only with the consent of the great lords. The Magna Carta also stated that an accused person had the right to a trial by a jury of his peers. Originally, the Magna Carta applied only to the barons; over the years they were extended to all Englishmen. In this manner, limits on the power of the English king established. Check out also instant discount cash loans .

The Magna Carta

2) The Magna Carta symbolizes the second theme: the origins of parliamentary government. Origins are Anglo-Saxon: a king had to consult powerful nobles and officials. William the Conqueror consulted a Great Council. During the reign of Henry III (1216-1272), nobles led by Simon de Montfort rebelled and seized the English crown. De Monfort called representatives of the gentry (two knights from each shire) and middle classes (two burgesses from each town) to meet with the great lords and clergy of the Great Council. De Montfort's rebellion was crushed; but the practice of calling this representative body continued. Check out also instant loans online, wa . Edward I (1272-1307) called the Model Parliament (1295), to which each county and town sent two representatives, to advise the king and to vote on taxes. In time, Parliament divided into Lords and Commons, and it used the power of granting taxes to win the right to pass laws.

Medieval France (The Capetian Dynasty): Growth of a national monarchy set France on a road to absolutism (=concentration of all power in the hands of the king). Between the Treaty of Verdun (843) and 987: a decline of monarchical power in France. See Also quick approval fast money in your account loans. Hugh Capet, Count of Paris, was elected king in 987. Check out also instant payday loan for 200 . The Capetians ruled until 1328, and they accomplished several goals: 1) achieved control over their own lands & the Ile de France; 2) they enlarged the size of the royal domain and they conquered much of the land held by the English within France;

Map of Capetian France in the 14th Century.

3) they strove to assert royal authority over that of the feudal nobles; and 4) they governed a prosperous France of 15 million. Major problem: the claim of English kings to territories in France, including Normandy, Brittany, Maine, Anjou, Poitou, Aquitaine, and Gascony. Check out also instant online payday lenders . Under the able Philip Augustus (1180-1223), the Capetians; 1) defeated John of England, adding large tracts of land to the royal holdings; 2) provided effective government and collected taxes; 3) began building Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris;

West Facade of Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.

and 4) helped found the University of Paris. Other Capetians added to their holdings and strengthened the power of the monarchy, partly by making alliances with the bourgeoisie; king and townsmen used each other to weaken the power of the nobility. No parliament developed in France; the Estates General lacked power and it met infrequently. Since the kings could establish taxes without calling the Estates General, they tended to ignore it. At the end of the High Middle Ages, Philip the Fair was the French king, and he presided over an efficient centralized monarchy. France was on the road to the creation of an absolute monarchy.

The Vitality of Medieval Religious Life

The Papal Monarchy, 1050-1300 : Medieval popes able to challenge and best such secular kings as Henry IV of the Holy Roman Empire in the 11th century and Henry II of England in 12th because of power of the papal monarchy, particularly from the 11th to the 13th centuries. By the beginning of the 14th century, the ability of popes to challenge successfully the power of kings was on the wane. But: how were Popes able to exercise such political and religious power?

Decline in Religious Life : 9th-11th centuries, European religious life declined, both at the local level and in the upper ranks of the clergy. See Also can h. Parish priests were frequently illiterate and immoral; higher ranking clergy were often appointed by powerful lords, and they served their interests rather than those of the church. Check out also instant payday loan direct lender . In the 10th century, the church undertook to reform itself, a movement that began in the monasteries and then spread to the papacy.

Monastic Reform Movement : Began with the founding of Cluny (910); by 1049, there were 67 monasteries. Reform received new life from the Cistercians (early 12th century), founded by Bernard of Clairvaux: the order had five houses in 1115, 328 in 1152, and 694 in 1300. Other monastic orders flourished in the same centuries, and they ranged from the mendicant or begging orders to the Franciscans, founded by the legendary Francis of Assis (1182- 1226). Called God's own troubadour, St Francis preached a life of total poverty, charity and good works, and love for all; the Franciscans ironically became one of the largest and most powerful of the monastic orders.

Fountains Abbey (Old Post Card)

A Typical Medieval Monastic Complex (modeled on Fountains Abbey in England).

1 Abbot or Prior's house
2 Almonry - where alms in the form of food or money were distributed to the needy by the almoner
3 Bakehouse
4 Brew House
5 Buttery The word has nothing to do with "butter", but comes from old French "boterie" and the Latin "botaria", meaning "cask or bottle". The buttery was a storage area for ale and wine.
6 Calefactory - a warming room
7 Cellarium - A storeroom, often underground
8 Cemetary
9 Chapels
10 Chapter House - the meeting rooms for the administrative body of the monastery. In England the chapter house was usually polygon-shaped, with a sharply pointed roof. Check out also can i get a loan with bad credit no bank account and nit registered at my home address.
11 Church - usually the first part of the monastery top be completed in stone. Check out also instant payday match .
12 Cloister - an open area, often grassed, sometimes with a fountain in the centre.
13 Corn mill
14 Dormitory - often called "dorter" from the French "dortoir", the sleeping quarters of the monks.
15 Farm
16 Fish ponds
17 Fraterhouse - Sometimes called "frater" or "refectory" - the dining area.
18 Garden
19 Garderobes - latrines.
20 Guest Houses
21 Infirmary - the sickroom of the monastery, often with its own chapel and kitchens.
22 Kitchen - the kitchen was generally in a separate building because of the risk of fire.
23 Lay brothers dormitory - the lay brother was not a full-fledged monk. He took religious vows, but focused on a life of manual work, allowing the monks to spend more time in scholarship and ontemplation.
24 Library - the precious books and manuscripts of the monastery were often chained to desks, so valuable were they.
25 Locutory - a room for conversation, also a place where monks might meet with people from the outside world. Check out also instalmment loans .
26 Night Stairs - permitted passage from the dortoir to the church for night services. Check out also instant pay day no credit .
27 Piggery
28 Prison cells - a monk or lay brother might be confined in a cell for major transgressions.
29 Quarry
30 Reredorter - Small rooms at the rear of the dorter (dormitory) with seats and running water.
31 Smithy - Located away from the main buildings because of the risk of fire. Check out also payday loans income to pay bills claim on taxes.
32 Stables
33 Workshops

Fontenay Abbey from the Air The Cloister at Fontenay Abbey (France) from the Air.

Papal Reform Movements : Goals of the Popes: 1) free the Church from secular control; 2) centralize Church government under the Pope; and 3) assert the supremacy of the Papacy within a Christian Europe. Examples: the Investiture Controversy and the struggle between Henry II and Becket in England. Under Innocent III (1198-1216), the power of the medieval papacy reached its height. He believed by uniting all of Christendom under papal rule that he would be able to bring right order to the world. He also launched crusades against European heretics such as the Albigensians (south of France) and to the Holy Land. Check out also installment loans in colorado . In 1215, he called the Fourth Lateran Council; it affirmed the fundamental dogmas of the Christian faith. Other Popes followed his lead. Pope Gregory IV founded the Inquisition in 1232; it and other papal courts used to root out heresy. Efforts of the Church to assert itself lead to clashes with secular kings. Until the end of the 13th century, the Popes usually prevailed. Then came the conflict with Boniface VIII (1294-1303), of whom it was said: he entered the papacy like a fox, ruled like a lion, and died like a dog. With the bull Unam Sanctum, Boniface asserted the authority of the Church over Philip the Fair, king of France, but unlike in previous situations, the French king did not back down; rather, he sent a group of thugs and arrested Boniface.

Boniface VIII Pope Boniface VIII.

This humiliation opened a period of great trial for the Church, one that would result in the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. Throughout the Late Middle Ages, the 14th, the 15th, and the early 16th centuries, the Church refused to reform itself, and, moreover, it resisted pressure from without to reform. The result was the Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy (1309-1377) and the Great Schism (1378-1415). Even the Council of Constance (1415-1417), while it ended the Great Schism, failed to bring about true reform.

Popular Religious Movements, 1050-1300: During the centuries of monastic reform and the growth of the papal monarchy, there also grew up in Europe numerous popular religious movement, and they resulted partly from genuine religious motives and partly from social and economic causes. They included the Waldensians, founded by Peter Waldo, who preached poverty, a strict moral life, and the use of the vernacular language, and the Albigensians, who rejected the leadership of the Church and embraced philosophical dualism; they also rejected marriage, all forms of materialism, and cooperation with the state. The Church itself had little toleration for these movements, and it frequently launched crusades against them, as did Innocent III against the Albigensians in 1209.

The Crusades, 1095-1272: Clear expression of the power of religion in medieval life and of the power of the papacy to motivate hundreds of thousands were the eight crusades undertaken to recover the Holy Lands from the Moslems. Crusades also part of the expansion of Europe during the High Middle Ages, an expansion that also included the drang nach osten (the movement of Christian knights into Eastern Europe) and the Reconquista, (=reconquest of Spain from the Moslems). Check out also instant payday loans no teletrack .

Map of the Crusades.

Factors making the Crusades possible: 1) For centuries, Christians had been making pilgrimages to the Holy Lands; because of military victories by the Moslem Turks, access to the Holy Places was threatened. 2) Christians and Moslems had been at war for centuries, and the Church had supported these wars. And, 3) there were numerous Europeans, especially knights, hungering for adventure, wealth, and land, not to mention trading advantages. In 1095, Pope Urban II (1088-1099) launched the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont; the Pope's call was echoed by Peter the Hermit, and over 100,000 people, from commoners to great nobles, set out for Jerusalem, most with religious motives, including the plenary indulgence. See Also instalment loan direct lenders nevada . Great military successes were enjoyed at Antioch (1098) and elsewhere, and Jerusalem was taken in 1099. The Europeans promptly established four Crusader kingdoms, including the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem under Baldwin of Flanders. To protect these conquests, orders of crusading kings, such as the Templars and the Knights Hospitalers were founded. Check out also tax return through urban trust bank. And over the next 200 years, seven more crusades were launched as the Turks sought to regain their lost lands. Most met with but little success, and by 1291 the last of the Crusader kingdoms fell.

Impact of the Crusades on Western Europe: 1) They demonstrated the religious vitality and the growing self-confidence of western Europe; 2) they gave Europeans an opportunity to learn new military tactics, to become familiar with new weapons like the crossbow, and to construct new types of castles;

The Krak des Chevaliers -- a Crusader Castle. See Also installment payday loans us .

3) they also increased the power of kings, who raised taxes and commanded large national armies; in contrast, many feudal nobles were killed, while others sold rights and privileges to towns to raise the funds necessary for a crusade. 4) they opened the old Middle East and Asia to the west, stimulating a demand for Asian luxuries and making great trade centers of Venice and Genoa. And, 5) they put Europeans into direct contact with the civilizations of the ancient world and with works of hitherto unknown classical authors, such as Aristotle.

German Crusades in the Baltic Region: Motivations were mixed. Lords sought new estates; peasants wanted land and an escape from the manorial system; Christian missionaries wanted converts; and merchants wanted new areas to trade. See Also installment loans online in va . Results: Thousands of Germans moved into the Baltic region and established towns and brought new land under cultivation. They also brought the German language and culture and the Christian religion with them; protecting them were military orders like the Teutonic Knights. Check out also instant loan guaranteed accept 1000 . The cities established by the Germans joined with other German cities to establish the Hanseatic League. Check out also installmetn loans . At its high point, this League controlled much of the trade of northern Europe, from the Baltic to the North Sea. German presence in the Baltic areas ended in 1945, when million were expelled at the end of World War II.

Teutonic Knights Fighting the Mongols.

Medieval Intellectual and Cultural Life

High Medieval Intellectual Life, 1050-1300: Europeans responsible for achievements in philosophy, literature, architecture, and art. See Also urgent loans for people with bad credit online approval same day pay out south africa. Increase in literacy, from about 1% in Florence in 1050 to about 40% in 1340; most literate European had some association with the Church. Interest in learning led to the founding of schools and universities in major cities and town.

Founded in 1264.

A post-graduate student could earn an MA in 5-6 years and a PhD in about 13. Subject matter at universities, like Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, Salerno, and Bologna, was the Seven Liberal Arts (the Trivium [grammar, rhetoric, and logic] and the Quadrivium [arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music]). Language of instruction was Latin. Some universities specialized; students wishing to study medicine went to Salerno, while those wishing to study Roman and Church law went to Bologna. Check out also department stores apply online credit. Oxford and Paris specialized in theology.

A Medieval Classroom.

Philosophy: Scholasticism was a medieval philosophy that used Reason (from Greek philosophy) to deepen the understanding of what was believed by Faith (from Christianity). Check out also instant signing of loan papers . One philosopher was Peter Abelard (1079-1142), who in the controversial Sic et non argued that human reason could resolve conflicts between religious authorities on matters of faith. He asserted: By doubting we come to inquiry, and by inquiry we perceive the truth. Abelard was condemned by the Church. After the middle of the 12th century, the works of Aristotle (= the Philosopher) were re-introduced into Europe; they shaped the work of philosophers like St. See Also instant cash advance for check . Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica), probably the greatest scholastic thinker of the medieval period. He argued that there were two paths to the knowledge of God and His creation: Revelation or faith and reason, and each had its own proper sphere of activity. See Also installment loans online no teletrack .

Scientific thinking not of major importance. Medieval thinkers utilized a deductive method of thinking, and they turned to the Bible or accepted Classical authorities for answers. For questions dealing with the cosmos, one opened the works of Ptolemy; for medical matters, one turned to Galen. Other medieval thinkers practiced astrology, or the effort to predict the future by observing the movements of the planets and the stars. Others turned to alchemy, hoping to find the formula that would transform lead into gold. Since medieval scientists did not use the empirical method, they often accepted uncritically the ideas of authorities. Few questioned, for example, Ptolemy's geocentric model of the cosmos, and even those who did simply tried to tinker with the model to accommodate the fact that it did not accurately predict the movements of the heavens.

Vernacular Literature: Much of the thought and writing was religious and in the Latin language, there was also a strong tradition of vernacular literature. National epics, or chansons de geste, like the English Beowulf or French Song of Roland

The Roland Window at Chartres.

or the Spanish Cid or the German Nibelungenlied, recounted the stories of great heroes and the values of a bloody warrior society. More refined were the troubadour songs of the 12th century, which celebrated unfilled romantic love and were addressed to women. Romances were long narrative poems, like the Arthur stories of Chrtien de Troyes or the later German Parzifal of Wolfram von Eschenbach or the Tristan und Isolde of Gottfried von Strassburg. Also important were the fabliaux, humorous often bawdy and worldly animal tales, like the Romance of Reynard the Fox; they mocked the ideas of chivalry, ridiculed human foolishness, and mocked the Church. Popular with the common people were the so-called miracle plays, which recounted Biblical and other Christian stories for the unlettered. Probably the greatest work of the High Middle Ages was the Divine Comedy of Dante Alghieri (1265-1321), which told of the poet's spiritual journey through the Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. For English-speaking people, the best known of the medieval writers was Geoffrey Chaucer, the fourteenth-century author of humorous, bawdy, and very popular Canterbury Tales.

High Medieval Art and Architecture: In medieval church art and architecture, there are two great styles, the Romanesque (ca 1000-1150) and the Gothic (ca 1150-1400).

The Romanesque Style: Great church buildings were monastic churches and pilgrimage churches. See Also installment loans houston tx . Most were built in rural areas or along the great pilgrimage routes to Compostela in Spain.

The Pilgrimage Route to Compostela The Pilgrimage Route to Santiago de Compostela.

Principal architectural features of the severe and plain Romanesque style are the round [or the Romanesque] arch, the barrel vault, and massive stone walls with small windows. Exterior decoration is usually quite simple, often only one intricately carved tympanum over the central door or doors; interior decoration is made up of elaborately carved column capitals and some frescoes. This art is didactic, and it deals rather graphically with the conflict between good and evil, and the Last Judgment is a common subject, as at the pilgrimage church of Ste Foy (Conques).

The Abbey Church of Ste Foi at Conques.

The Last Judgment Tympanum at Conques (France).

The Reliquary of Sainte Foi at Conques.

The Gothic Style: Characteristic of this more sophisticated and graceful style are the great cathedrals, usually built in great cities like Paris or smaller one like Chartres. Major architectural features included the pointed, or Gothic, arch, the rib vault, the use of thinner walls and large windows, and flying buttresses. Check out also installment loans online texas . Architects sought to build churches which unified design and decoration and which emphasized the importance of height and light. Art, like in the Romanesque period, was didactic; it also is commemorative and decorative, and typical Gothic cathedrals, like Chartres or Amiens, have elaborate and unified sculptural programs on the exterior and windows filled with stained-glass. The are, in short Bibles in stone and glass. Cathedrals like Notre Dame de Paris or Chartres (built 1194-ca. 1220) often required centuries to complete. They were in fact the result of intense religious devotion, and the entire community from noble to peasant worked and gave of themselves to erect them. Such cathedrals are also reminders of the sophistication of the medieval builder. See Also instant loans no employment verify .

Chartres Chartres Cathedral from the Air.

Chartres2 The West Facade of Chartres Cathedral.

Chartres3 The Nave of Chartres Cathedral.

The Flying Buttress.

The Late Middle Ages/
The Transition to the Renaissance, 1300-1450/1500

Introduction: By ca 1300, Western Europe had enjoyed some 250 years during which major advances were made in economics, politics, religious life, intellectual life, and the arts. These achievements threatened by the crisis that broke out early in the fourteenth century. But, instead of falling into another dark age, like those following the fall of the Roman Empire or the death of Charlemagne, Europeans survived the crisis of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, emerging with enough energy to undertake the Renaissance which began in Italy in the fifteenth century and which spread to northern Europe around 1500. The Late Middle Ages thus encompasses the multiple crises of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and the beginnings of the Renaissance. See Also instant cash loan till payday .

Late Medieval Economic and Social Problems: European economic life still based on the medieval manor; it supplied basic foodstuffs. 1) But problems (soil exhaustion to poor weather) produced major food shortages between 1301 and 1314 and outright famine in 1315-1317. See Also installment loans, no credit check . 2) inflation; rising prices brought a decline in living standards; landholding nobles increased income by extracting more money from their peasants. 3) Result: peasant rebellions, such as the jacquerie in France (1358), which left some 20,000 dead, and the English Peasant Revolt of 1381. English peasant leader John Ball exclaimed: Are we not all descended from the same parents, Adam and Eve. See Also guaranteed 1500 loan approval ? And what can they show, or what reasons give, why they should be more the masters than ourselves? They are clothed in velvets and rich fabrics, ornamented with ermine and other furs, while we are forced to wear poor cloth. They have handsome houses and manors, when we must brave the wind and rain in our labors in the field; but it is from our labor they support their pomp. All failed as the nobles repressed them with great brutality. Unrest also appeared in towns like Florence, Ghent, and Paris; it too was quickly suppressed. 4) the Black Death (1347). Brought in on ships from Asia, it spread rapidly, especially in towns and cities, and historians estimate that some 20,000,000 died, or between 25% and 33% of the European population; in cities, the death rate reached as high as 66%.

The Black Death.

Results of these crises: These crises appeared to have causes beyond the control of man; contemporary secular and religious leaders appeated incapable of controlling them in the short run; result: a loss of faith in existing authorities and beliefs and heightened fears and anxieties. One consequence: bizarre religious behavior, such as the Flagellants; in addition, black magic and witchcraft became more widespread. Apocalyptic fears also influenced the arts, and both the Dies Irae , a hymn about the end of the world, and pictures of the Dance of Death date from this period.

Muscians at the Dance of Death.

The Cemetary of the Innocents, Paris.

Some, such as Thomas Kempis (1380-1471), author of the Imitation of Christ , turned to mysticism. Still others projected their troubles on minority groups, such as the Jews, and subjected them to terrible persecutions. A long-range consequence was also the decline of the medieval church.

Late Medieval Warfare and Politics: The Hundred Years War: last of the wars over English possessions in France.

Hundred Years War Map Map of the Hundred Years War (1338-1453)

In 1337, the English tried to claim the French throne; other issues included English claims on the French provinces of Aquitaine and Gascony and the rivalry between the French and the English in Flanders. England won most of the battles (Crcy [1346], Poitiers [1356], Agincourt [1415]), but lost the war.

The Battle of Agincourt.

New weapons were the longbow (range of 400 yards); with it, the English archer slaughtered French knights; also early cannon, and both weakened feudalism. See Also instant payday loans for you . At the low point for France, Charles VII lost the Royal Domain around Paris; it took Joan of Arc (1412-1431), who believed that she was sent by God to save France, to rally the French and lead then to victory at Orlans (1429). Soon after, she was seized by the English, tried for heresy, and burned at the stake in Rouen. But the French succeeded in driving the English from most of French soil, and the whole of France was consolidated under the rule of a single king. In addition, the French king gained the undisputed power of taxation in 1439, which proved to be a major step on the road to absolutism.

The Wars of the Roses: Representative institutions grew in England during the 14th century, largely through the sharing of the power to tax by king and parliament. King and parliament had to approve any change in a law; Parliament gained the right to levy taxes, and tax bills had to originate in the House of Commons; and the king could spend appropriated money only on the purpose Parliament had approved. Trend partially interrupted during the Wars of the Roses (1455-1485) when two families, the houses of Lancaster (red rose) and York (white rose) fought over the English throne. Power of parliament temporarily declined during this civil war and a number of great baronial families killed each other off. The first Tudor Henry VII became king in 1485; he tried to establish absolutism; he also married a daughter of the House of York, thereby seeking to reconcile the English people. See Also instant tax loan .

The Holy Roman Empire: Emperors attempted and failed to join their possessions in Germany and Italy into a single Empire. See Also instant loans direct lenders . The Golden Bull (1356) accelerated decentralization. A member of the House of Hapsburg elected emperor in the 14th century; and clever diplomacy and careful marriages allowed the Hapsburgs to gain control of the duchy of Austria and permanent control of the Holy Roman Emperorship (1437); but they never able to assert control over the empire. Weakness of the Holy Roman Empire in Italy and the conflict between the Empire and the papacy helped make the Renaissance possible; neither the Empire nor the Church could control central and northern Italy; small city-states like Venice, Milan, and Florence were able to achieve a measure of sovereignty; and it is in these city states that the Renaissance was born.

Decline of the Church During the Late Medieval Period

Crisis of the Church and the medieval ideal of a unified Christian community led by the Papacy shattered. 1) decline of papal power due to the growing power of secular kings; they defended their interests, even if a conflict with the Church ensued; 2) urban dwellers felt the Church hindered the growth of trade and industry; 3) crises of the 14th century undermined the prestige of the Church; 4) the Italian Renaissance included a rebirth of interest in the ideas of the "pagan" Greeks. Evidence for the decline of papal power and prestige: Philip the Fair's "arrest" of Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303). Within a few years, matters worsened greatly: 1) Babylonian Captivity (1309-1377); the papacy moved to Avignon, where the popes were French and under the watchful eyes of the French kings;

The Papal Palace at Avignon.

2) Great Schism (1378-1415); the pope returned to Rome, but there were first two competing popes and then three (in 1409); 3) the Council of Constance (1414-1417) called to end the schism, combat heresy, and reform the Church. It succeeded in the first two, but failed in the third, and this failure of the Church to reform during the 15th century is one of the factors which made the Protestant Reformation possible.

Radical Reformers: Meanwhile, they challenged the function as well as the authority of the church hierarchy; reformers such as John Wycliffe (c. 1320-1384) and John Hus (c. 1369-1415) also helped pave the way for the Reformation. They challenged the idea that the Church as an institution controlled the road to salvation by asserting the existence of a personal relationship between the individual and God and by claiming that the Bible was the ultimate source of authority for Christians, not the Church; hence these reformers advocated translations of the Bible into the vernacular. They further attacked the wealth and privileges of the upper clergy, favoring a return to the simplicity of the early church. The Church responded to these challenges with great vigor, declaring them heresies; John Hus was burned at the stake in 1415 during the Council of Constance and the power of the Inquisition was used against others.

Jan Hus The Execution of John Hus.

The Church clearly refused to reform itself, yet one more reason for the Reformation which Martin Luther set off with the posting of the Ninety-five Theses on the door of Wittenberg Church just over a century later in 1517.

The Ninety-five Theses Door, Castle Church, Wittenberg, Germany.

Wartburg The Wartburg Castle.

Luther's Writing Table at the Wartburg.

Statue of Martin Luther, Wittenberg, Germany.

Conclusion: Despite the severity of these manifold crises (economic and social, political and intellectual), European civilization did not descend into a new dark ages. Rather, just when Europeans were suffering through this age of adversity, there was also evidence of a revival of culture. This was the Renaissance, which began in Italy during the 1400s and which spread to northern Europe after 1500. Hence, what we see in the Late Middle Ages are the faint beginnings of both the Renaissance and the Reformation.

Text @Robert W. Brown

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