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Lecture Notes
Unit 2
Introduction to Medieval Europe
Roman Legacy - Language
“Medieval” is a ___________ (language spoken by Romans) term
that means “Middle Ages.”
Math connection: This Latin root word also gives us the word
“median” in math (the middle number).
What do you think “medi” means in Latin?
2.2 The Beginning of Medieval Europe
Medieval Europe began after the Fall of the
_______________ Roman Empire in 476 A.D.
In response to the lose of political unity under the
Western Roman government, German tribes formed
their own _________________ (territories ruled by a
king). These kingdoms were often at war with one
another. The most powerful rulers were those who had
the most _________ (territory) and had the fiercest and
most effective fighters.
2.2 Charlemagne’s Empire
One powerful kingdom during this
time was the __________, who
had developed a new style of
warfare. The Frank leaders
depended on troops of _____,
heavily armed warriors who fought
on horseback. The knights pledged
their loyalty to the ruler by fighting
for him and in return for their
loyalty, the ruler rewarded knights
with _________ (territory) and
political privileges.
2.2 Charlemagne’s Empire
One of the early leaders of the Franks was Clovis who
became leader at the age of 15. Not only did he
extend the boundaries of the Frankish kingdom, but
helped lead the Franks into ____________________
(the religion that believes Jesus is the Son of God.)
As the Franks grew stronger and its territory grew
larger, a leader came to power who was determined
to unite the different kingdoms of Europe into one
empire: ________________, which means “Charles
the Great.”
2.2 Charlemagne’s Empire
Starting in 774, the 6 foot 4 inch leader embarked on over 50
military campaigns. He successfully unified nearly all Christian
lands of Europe into a single empire.
Because the Church was a central part of society during this
time, Charlemagne believed that having the blessing of the
Church sent the message, “God is on my side.” In return for
Charlemagne’s military protection, the pope crowned
Charlemagne the _______ _____________ emperor.
2.2 Charlemagne’s Empire
Charlemagne’s successful military campaigns demonstrated
that Western Europe had a chance of reuniting under a single
empire again (as it had under the Roman government).
However, weak rulers followed Charlemagne after his death
and they could not defend the empire against new waves of
____________ (aggressively entering into a territory).
Although a unified Western Europe was no longer __________
(capable of working), the Frankish style of warfare (rewarding
knights with land for military service) helped pave the way for
the system of ______________ (sociopolitical system in which
people exchanged loyalty and labor for protection).
2.2 Invasions Cause Need for Protection
After Charlemagne’s reign,
Western Europe was threatened by
_______ (1, 2, . . .) main groups
who viewed the region as
politically, economically, and
socially _________________
(broken into pieces) and weak.
The invasions came from
completely different societies and
effectively surrounded the
continent from different directions.
2.2 Invasions Cause Need for Protection
These three invaders were:
1) The _______________ from the North such as Denmark,
Sweden, and Norway
2) The ____________ (people who believe in the religion of Islam)
from the Southeast
3) The ______________ from the east, specifically Russia
2.2 Invasions Cause Need for Protection
Fast Facts
• The Vikings never wore horned helmets
• The _________________ (formerly Eastern Roman
Empire) suffered from repeated raids by Muslim
forces because it was located so close to the Middle
• Magyars were excellent horsemen who could shoot
arrows while riding. Western Europe had not seen
____________ (ring that holds the foot of a rider)
before the Magyars’ invasions.
2.3 Medieval Europe’s Response to Invasions:
The waves of invaders from the North, East, and Southeast
made central control of Europe very difficult.
A system based on local power and ___________ (faithful
to promises, commitments and relationships) emerged.
This system was called _______________.
Feudalism: a political and social system that tied together
kings, lords, knights, and peasants in a relationship based
upon loyalty and ____________ (territory).
2.3 Medieval Europe’s Response to Invasions: