Middle Ages 600-1450
Review
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The period of study for this unit is between
600 AD and 1450 AD with the main focus on
Europe. With the collapse of the Roman
Empire, new political, social, andeconomic
systems developed. The vast empire split into
a deeply fragmented Western Europe and a
thriving Eastern Europe (Byzantine Empire).
In essence, theByzantine Empire, which
lasted about 1000 years (395 to 1450), was
a remnant of the Roman state.
Background Information
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Under the Roman Empire there was stability,
security and a centralized form of authority
relative to Middle Ages Europe. The fall of the
Roman Empire plunged WesternEurope into a
period of deterioration while the eastern part of
the Roman Empire survived and thrived and was
referred to as the Byzantine Empire. In Western
Europe,the loss of central government
fragmented society. As central government
collapsed, farmers and peasants turned to
powerful nobles for protection. The
ChristianChurch served as one of the unifying
forces in a disrupted Western Europe.
Background Information

Some historians date the fall of the Western
Roman Empire as 476 AD when the Germanic
leader Odoacer overthrew the Emperor Romulus
Augustus and proclaimed himself King of Italy.
The Eastern part of the Roman Empire continued
under leadership of emperors from Byzantium at
the center of trade routes and prosperity. This
eastern portion was the Byzantine Empire. The
Byzantine Empire contributed political and
intellectual ideas to medieval Western Europe by
preserving the fundamental concepts of Roman
law. Byzantium also preserved Hellenic (Greek)
culture.
Background Information

The economic, political, and social systems that
developed after the fall of the Roman Empire in
medieval Europe came about as a consequence
of the civil disorder, economic instability and a
lack of centralized authority. This led to the
development of feudalism and the manorial
system which allowed societies to adapt to a
symbiotic relationship between the landowners
and those that did not own land. Eventually,
powerful landowners established kingdoms which
laid the foundation for the development of
nation-states.
Background Information
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Towards the latter part of this time period (600
to 1450), the Crusades, the bubonic plague, and
the Hundred Years War contributed to the end of
the Middle Ages. The Crusades allowed
knowledge still held in the Hellenistic libraries of
the Islamic world to be reintroduced to Europe.
The inability of the Catholic Church to combat
the bubonic plague eventually fostered a sense
of doubt and skepticism in the unifying authority
of the Church. The Hundred Years’ War between
England and France gave rise to early
nationalism.
Background Information

Thomas Aquinas: St. Thomas Aquinas
was a prominent Catholic philosopher
and theologian of the Middle Ages in
Western Europe. His key work, "Summa
Theologica", blended Christian doctrine with
the newly reintroduced works of Aristotle.
Some of the first universities established
during this time were devoted to studying
logic, grammar, and Aristotle’s ideas. This
movement and philosophical tradition, known
as "Scholasticism", set the stage for later
intellectual revolutions in Europe.
Background Information

New political, economic, and social
structures emerge upon the collapse of
existing political systems to provide
protection and services to people in a
society.
Key Understandings

Infrastructure- the most basic level of
organizational structure in a complex
body or system that serves as a
foundation for the rest
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Nationalism- the desire to achieve political
independence, especially by a country
under foreign control or by a people with
a separate identity and culture but no
state of their own
Key Vocab
Schism- a major split within an
established religious denomination,
 Kingdom- a state or people ruled over by
a king or queen
 Nation- a community of people or
peoples living in a defined territory and
organized under a single government
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Key Vocab
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Spread of Christianity
◦ Council of Nicea: sets basic tenets of
Christianity
◦ Eastern Orthodoxy develops after the schism
between that church and the Catholic Church
◦ Church develops in power during the Middle
Ages in Europe
What were the causes and effects of the
spread of Christianity, the decline of Rome
and the formation of medieval Europe from
600 to 1450?

Decline of Rome and formation of medieval
Europe
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Invaders overrun the empire (Mongols, Huns,
Franks, etc.)
Inflation
Roman army cannot defend the empire
People’s loyalty and service to the empire declines
Roman politics decay – empire is split; an additional
capital established (Constantinople), but this does not
save it.
◦ People turn to the Church and lords for security and
protection
◦ Development of feudalism and strong Church authority in
medieval Europe
What were the causes and effects of the
spread of Christianity, the decline of Rome
and the formation of medieval Europe from
600 to 1450?
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Disruption of trade that leads to collapse
of
businesses, destruction of economic
centers, and
scarcity of money as a result of invasions
Downfall of cities as centers of
administration
Shift to a rural population as Roman
citizens
abandoned destroyed cities
What was the impact of the fall of
Rome on Western Europe?
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Decline of learning since Germanic invaders
could not
read or write
Loss of a common language as Latin changes
and
different dialects develop
Change in the concept of government from
one of
loyalty to public government and written law
shifts to
governance through unwritten laws and
traditions
What was the impact of the fall of
Rome on Western Europe?
Medieval Europe
Byzantine Empire
Missionaries spread
 Constantine relocates the
Christianity
capital of the Eastern
Roman Empire to
 Authority in medieval
Byzantium and renames it
Europe based on
Constantinople
theChurch
 Charlemagne crowned
 Justinian constructs the
emperor by Pope Leo
Hagia Sophia along with
III,which shows the
numerous other grand
close connection
churches throughout his
between church and
empire to show the close
state
connection
How
did the development
of between
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church and state
Christianity act as a unifying social and
political factor in medieval Europe and
the Byzantine Empire?
Medieval Europe
Shared beliefs in
Christianity bond the
people of medieval
Europe
 Church provided
stability and security in
times of frequent wars
 Middle Ages seen as
the “Age of Faith”
 Church creates a
system of justice
(canon law)
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Byzantine Empire
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Missionary Saints
Cyril and Methodius
Christianize Slavs to
the north of the
empire and develop
the Cyrillic language
to promote religion to
the Slavs
How did the development of Christianity act
as a unifying social and political factor in
medieval Europe and the Byzantine Empire?
In 1378, 2 Popes were elected at the
same time.
 1 was Italian, and he led from Rome,
while the 2nd Pope made his holy
capital in Avignon, France.
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Great Schism of 1054 divides the
Eastern and Western Churches into
Roman Catholic Church and the
Orthodox Church
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This “schism” or (split), over which of
the 2 Popes was the “true” Pope,
lasted for 39 years.
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It divided the church, and nations. It
was also very confusing to the
people.
Great Schism of 1054 divides the
Eastern and Western Churches into
Roman Catholic Church and the
Orthodox Church
In 1378, 2 Popes were elected at the
same time.
 1 was Italian, and he led from Rome,
while the 2nd Pope made his holy
capital in Avignon, France.

Great Schism of 1054 divides the
Eastern and Western Churches into
Roman Catholic Church and the
Orthodox Church
Roman Catholicism
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Pope has authority
over all other
bishops, kings, and
emperors
Services conducted in
Latin
Priests cannot marry
Divorce is not
permitted
Eastern Orthodoxy
Patriarch and other
bishops lead the church
as a collective group
 Services conducted in
Greek or local
languages
 Priests may marry
 Divorce is allowed
under certain
circumstances
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What are the characteristics of
Roman Catholicism and Eastern
Orthodoxy?
What were the major characteristics of
and the factors contributing to the
development of the political/social
system of feudalism and the economic
system of manorialism?
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Feudalism-Reciprocal military obligations
between members of the warrior nobility in
Medieval Europe.
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Contributing factors – Fall of the Roman
Empire leaves a gap in protection and
services to people, invaders overrun
communities, people turn to lords for their
protection
What were the major characteristics of
and the factors contributing to the
development of the political/social
system of feudalism and the economic
system of manorialism?
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Characteristics – Lords grant parcels of
land known as fiefs to lesser knights who
are known as vassals, who in turn,
provide military service to the lord.
Chivalry and fealty between a lord and the
vassal relationship.
What were the major characteristics of
and the factors contributing to the
development of the political/social
system of feudalism and the economic
system of manorialism?
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Manorialism- Smallest economic, social
unit revolving around an estate, controlled
by a lord, who gives land and protection
to his serfs, who in turn give him their
services.
 Land = wealth
What were the major characteristics of
and the factors contributing to the
development of the political/social
system of feudalism and the economic
system of manorialism?
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Contributing factors – Model of villas in
the Roman Empire used to manage rural
economies; decline in overland and sea
trade after the fall of the Roman empire as
well as threats from invaders also
promoted the self-sufficiency of a manor.
What were the major characteristics of
and the factors contributing to the
development of the political/social
system of feudalism and the economic
system of manorialism?
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Characteristics – Manors were self-sufficient
where serfs raised and produced nearly
everything needed for that community.
The open field system allowed several
families of serfs to farm strips of the same
parcel of land.
Living conditions for serfs were generally
harsh on manors.
Moors occupy Spain for over 700 years
and promote a golden age in art,
literature, science, and mathematics.
 Defeat by the Franks at Tours in 732 stops
the Muslim invasion of Europe
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How did Islam impact Europe
politically, economically, and
socially?
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Europe
◦ Muslim invasion of Spain in the 700s leads to a
golden age in scientific and artistic
achievements
◦ Creation of the Muslim state of al-Andalus
◦ Córdoba had eclectic mix of Muslim, Jewish and
Christian populations that by 1100 resulted in a
population of 500,000
How did Muslim, Christian, and
Jewish societies in Europe
interact?
Reconquista drives out the Muslims in the
late 1400s
 Muslim invasions of Eastern Europe
between 600s and 900s lead disorder and
suffering that forces people to look to
local rulers for security.
 Leads to the rise of feudalism.
 Inquisition in Spain leads to torture and
expulsion of Muslims and Jews
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How did Muslim, Christian, and
Jewish societies in Europe
interact?
How did the Crusades, the Black
Death, the Hundred Years' War,
and the Great Schism contribute to
the end of medieval Europe?
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Crusades
◦ Failure lessened the power of the Pope
◦ Casualties weakened the feudal nobility
◦ Trade in spices and other goods from
Southwest Asia lead to European desire for new
trade routes that begins the Era of Exploration.
How did the Crusades, the Black
Death, the Hundred Years' War,
and the Great Schism contribute to
the end of medieval Europe?
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Black Death
◦ Collapse of manorial system as productivity
ends and serfs leave in search of work; peasant
rebellions grow in response to nobles’ refusal to
increase wages
◦ Church loses prestige as it is unable to stop the
plague through prayer and intervention
How did the Crusades, the Black
Death, the Hundred Years' War,
and the Great Schism contribute to
the end of medieval Europe?
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Hundred Years War
◦ Emergence of nationalism and monarchs as national
leaders in England and France.
◦ Instability in England after the Hundred Years War
leads to the War of the Roses, which strengthens
Parliament since it is called frequently by King
Edward III to increase taxes to finance this new
war; democracy advanced as Parliament gains
greater “power of the purse”
How did the Crusades, the Black
Death, the Hundred Years' War,
and the Great Schism contribute to
the end of medieval Europe?
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Great Schism
◦ Split in the Catholic Church as two popes claim
authority – one in Avignon and the other in
Rome; both excommunicate each other from
the Church.
How did the Crusades, the Black
Death, the Hundred Years' War,
and the Great Schism contribute to
the end of medieval Europe?
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Great Schism
◦ Authority of the pope as head of the Church
challenged by John Wycliffe, who believes that
God is sole authority, and Jan Huss, who
believes the authority of the Bible is higher
than the pope’s authority. Beginning of
challenges to the authority of the Catholic
Church that leads to the Reformation.
Justinian’s Code of
Laws
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Byzantine Law code
(529 AD) influenced
European laws
The eastern Byzantine
Empire carries on the
Roman law while the
western part of the
empire goes through a
rather lawless time.
Magna Carta
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1215
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Political ideas – Limited
power of the nobility
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Legal ideas – No one is
above the law
What has been the impact of political
and legal ideas contained in historic
documents including Justinian’s Code
of Laws and the Magna Carta?
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Truth is known through reason and faith
What are the political philosophies
of significant individuals including
Thomas Aquinas?
What have been the historical
origins, central ideas, and spread
of major religious and
philosophical traditions including
Christianity and the development
of monotheism?
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Through the Middle Ages, the Church
becomes the centralizing force of the
Western culture.
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The Medieval Church as a unifying force:
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Shared beliefs in the teachings of the church Provided Christians
with a sense of security and a religious community to which they
belonged.
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At the local level, the church was the religious and social center.
People met there for service, social gatherings and festive
celebrations.
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Provided a unifying set of spiritual beliefs and rituals
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Performed social services such as caring for the sick and the poor.
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The church operated most hospitals in medieval Europe.
Religious Influence
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The Medieval Church as a unifying force:
◦ Provided a unifying set of spiritual beliefs and
rituals
◦ Performed social services such as caring for the
sick and the poor.
◦ The church operated most hospitals in
medieval Europe.
Religious Influence

Middle Ages Review