I. The Early Middle Ages
A. A land of Great Potential
1. The Germanic peoples who ended Roman rule in the shifted the focus to the north, where the people of Europe began
to create a new civilization.
2. Europe had great-untapped
potential; dense forests and rich black earth that was suited for raising crops.
3. Europe’s large rivers were ideal for trade and exploration.
B. Germanic Kingdoms
The Germanic tribes who migrated across Europe were farmers and herders.
2. They lived in small communities governed by unwritten customs.
3. Between 400 and 700, the Germanic tribes carved up Western Europe into small kingdoms, the strongest
and most successful kingdom was that of the Franks.
Islam: A New Mediterranean Power
1. After the
Germanic peoples carved up Western Europe, a powerful new force, Islam swept out the Middle East in the Mediterranean world.
2. At the battle of Tours in 732, Frankish warriors
led by Charles Martel defeated a Muslim army.
Muslims advanced no farther into Western Europe, although they continued to rule most of
D: The Age of Charlemagne
Charles the Great (Charles Martel) built an empire reaching across France, Germany and part of Italy.
2. Late in 800 Pope Leo the 3rd called on the Frankish king for help against
rebellious nobles in Rome.
3. Charlemagne tried
to exercise control over his many lands and create united Christian Europe.
E: A Revival of Learning
Charlemagne himself could read but not write, he is said to have a slate by his bed so he could practice making letters.
2. To ensure a supply of educated officials, Charlemagne
set up a palace school at Aachen (what he wanted to be a 2nd Rome)
3. This school included the study of grammar, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy.
F: Charlemagne’s legacy
1. After he died in 814, his empire soon fell apart and his heirs battled for power for nearly 30
2.In 843 his grandsons drew up the Treaty
of Verdun, which split the empire into three regions
3.The three regions were Muslims, Vikings and Magyars.
G: New Attacks
1. Even after the defeat
at Tours in 732, Muslim forces kept up their pressure on Europe.
2. In the late 800’s, they conquered Sicily, which became a thriving center for Islamic culture.
3. About 896, a new wave of nomadic people, the Magyars, settled in what
is today Hungary. 2. Feudalism and the Manor Economy
A: A New System of Rule
1. Custom and tradition
established the relationship between lords and vassals (lesser lord).
2. The lord promised to protect his vassal besides granting the estate
3. The vassal pledged loyalty to his lord in return.
B: Lords, Vassals, and Knights
1. Everybody had a place in the feudal society. Nobles- Monarch, Lords, Lesser Lords, Knights, peasants
2. Each lord had a vassal whether they liked it or not
3. Because vassals often held fiefs from more than one lord, feudal relationships
C: The World of Warriors
1. Feudal lords battled constantly for power, and for feudal nobles warfare
was a way of life.
2. During the Middle ages powerful
lords fortified their homes to withdraw attacks
Noblemen and noblewomen played active roles in the warrior society. Women became lords of manor when their husband was away.
D: The Manor
1. The heart of the medieval economy was the manor, or lord’s estate.
2. Mutual rights and responsibilities tied peasants and their lords together.
Peasants had to work several days a week forming the lands(Lord’s domain)
3. A typical manor included a few dozen one-room huts clustered close together in a village.
E: Daily Life
1. For most peasants, life was harsh, men, women and children worked long hours from sunup to sundown.
2. Peasants still found occasions to celebrate
such as births or marriages.
3. On the Sabbath,
peasants might attend chapel. In medieval Europe people believed in elves, fairies, and other nature spirits. 3: The Medieval
A: A Spiritual and Worldly Empire
1. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Christian Church split into eastern and western churches.
2. Medieval Christians believed that all people were sinners, doomed to
eternal suffering and the only way to avoid the tortures of hell was to participate in the sacraments (sacred rituals of the
3. A powerful noble who violated Church
laws could face an interdict (excluded an entire town, region or kingdom from participating in sacraments.
B: The Church and Daily Life
1. For peasants, religion was linked to the routines pf daily life
2. In the village church, priests baptized their children and performed their marriages.
3. The church taught that men and women were equal before God.
C: Monks and Nuns
1. Both women and men had to withdraw from worldly life to become nuns or monks.
2. Some monks and nuns were better educated and took more serious interest in culture.
3. Not all monks and nuns remained isolated from the outside world, during
the early Middle Ages, men and women risked their lives t spread Christianity.
D: Hildegard of Bingen: Adviser to popes and Kings
1. The very first vision, Hildegard recalled, occurred when she was a child of three. These visions
marked the beginning of an extraordinary life.
In 1147 Hildegard founded a new convent, near Bingen, in Germany
3. Hildegard was not the only nun to raise her voice in the early Middle Ages.
E: Reform Movements:
The very success of the medieval Church brought serious problems.
2. In 1073, a new pope, Gregory Vll extended the Cluniac reforms throughout the entire Church.
3. Some women responded to the call of reform by creating groups that were
independent of the regular Church orders
in Western Europe
1. Medieval Europe was home
to numerous Jewish communities after the Romans expelled then from Palestine they scattered around the Mediterranean.
2. Often, medieval Christians persecuted Jews.
3. In bad times, anti-Semitism increased and Christians
blamed the Jews for all kinds of ills, including diseases and famine.