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Formation of Europe Middle Ages • 500CE – 1500ish • 500 – 1000 aka “Dark Ages” – Developed after Western Roman Empire fell – Invaded by different Germanic people who stayed • Muslims took Spain The Franks • C. 500 United under Clovis – b/c very powerful – Clovis – converted to Roman Catholicism – Helped spread Christianity as he conquered other Germanic people Charles Martel • Led Frankish force against Muslims • Battle of Tours 732 – kept Muslims from taking France • Franks began to follow him and his family – called the Carolingians Charlemagne • Grandson of Martel • Crowned emperor in 800 by Pope • Gained more European land • Encouraged founding of schools • Granted land to nobles who supported him • Origins of feudal system • Class of nobles (mounted knights) arose – In charge of military and political affairs • Hierarchy of lords and vassals (subject to the lords) – Vassals ( lesser lords) owed allegiance and military service to higher lords Feudalism • In return, the lord gave the vassel a fief – a grant of land (became hereditary) – Sometimes vassals had several fiefs and more than one lord – Gave some of their land to their vassals • For most people, the lord’s manor was the gov’t Serfs • Peasants who worked on manor were called serfs • Pledged loyalty and obedience to lord in return for land and security • Were semi-free • Portion of their harvest went to the lord • maintain the lords fields and homes The Manor • Owned by the lord • Had fields, forests, rivers, animals, serfs • Lord and his deputies provided law and justice • Manors were mostly selfsufficient • Serfs developed craft skills that would lead to economic development later. The Economy • Europe’s economy not nearly as good as China and India • By 10th century it became better • Began long distance trade • Made iron plows – attached to horses/oxen • Built water mills • Rotating crops • Towns were few and sparsely populated Vikings • From Norway, Sweden and Denmark • Called Norsemen • Fierce warriors (also traders/settlers) called Vikings – Great seafarers – Attacked England, France and Spain – sacked towns, churches, homes, etc. – Settled Iceland and Normandy (FR) The Church in Europe • Only source of unity and order in fragmented Europe • Source of religious, moral and cultural authority • Early Middle Ages – W.Europe gradually converted to Roman Catholocism • Kings/nobles usually converted first • Scribes, secretaries, record keepers of kingdoms came from priest, monks, etc. • Kings worked to spread Christianity to conquered lands • By 1000CE – most of W. Europe converted The Papacy • Gregory I – 590-604 – reasserted that Pope was supreme head of church – Emphasized the sacrament of penance – Directed missionary campaigns to convert England (had been conquered by Angles and Saxons) Monasticism • Developed in Egypt in 4th cent. • Based on celibacy, prayer, and isolation • In W. Eur., Benedict organized monasteries with set of written rules – Monks had to live under abbot in poverty, chastity and obedience – Must pray, meditate and work • His sister, St. Scholastic, did the same thing with nuns and convents • Monasteries became a center of life in W. Europe – Owned lots of land – Had serfs to work fields – Served as inns for travelers – Orphanages, hospitals – Offered basic education – Had libraries where monks copied ancient manuscripts – Most of the Latin lit. that we have today is because monks made copies.