Germanic + Roman + Christian = Europe

Heirs to Rome:
Late Antiquity & Early Medieval Europe
Today’s Topics
I. “Dark Ages” & “Barbarians” (5th c.)
II. Byzantine Empire (5th-14th c.
III. Expansion of Islam (7th c. - )
IV. Charlemagne & Carolingian
Renaissance (9th c.)
Germanic Kingdoms
• When?
– Ca. 370-530
• Who?
– Huns, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, A-Saxons
• Where?
– From East and North and South, all over Europe
• Why?
– Migration; outside pressure; farmland; collapse of Rome
• So What?
“Barbarian” Invasions
Location of Germanic Tribes
P. 223 in your textbook
Fighting “Barbarians”
More Fighting Barbarians
Various views of “Barbarians”
• Ammianus Marcellinus
– “They have squat bodies, strong limbs, and thick necks, and are prodigiously
ugly…They have no buildings to shelter them…They never change their clothing
until it rots to pieces….” (p. 221)
• Priscus
– “Attila’s dwelling had highly polished timbers and elegant towers…Maidens came
to meet him under fine white linens, and offered him dainties and other wine,
which he graciously accepted from his horse.” (p. 221)
• Tacitus
– “In the election of kings they look to birth; for generals, valor; between wars they
are in a sluggish repose, divided between sleep and the table….They have an
ignorance of the art of building….The matrimonial bond is nevertheless strict and
severe among them, and adultery is extremely rare, its punishment instant.”
Significance of Germanic Tribes
in Western Civ
• Germanic + Roman + Christian = Europe
• Intermarriage, assimilation, and transformation
of Roman legacy
• Slow conversion to Xity
• Collapse & rebuilding of polit. states & econ.
Trade & large latifundia
• Germanic legal traditions
• Local > imperial control
II. Byzantine Empire
• Begun in 6th c. by Emperor Justinian; lasts until 13th c. when
conquered by Turks
• Capital at Constantinople
• Battles against expansionist Islam
• Eastern Orthodox Christianity, w/ patriarch
• Innovative Legal developments
• Complex imperial administration (“byzantine”)
• See Map, p. 250
Emperor Justinian (527-565)
• Digest and Law
Codes and Institutes
• Built Hagia Sophia
• Married Theodora
• Plague
• Promoted Eastern
Christianity (“Greek
Noble, pp. 224-228
The Hagia Sophia (Constantinople)
See p. 229 in our
Mosaics at Ravenna (Justinian, Theodora)
•See pp. 227 and 237 in our textbook
III. Expansion of Islam
to 733
Expansion of Islam
• Muhammad (570-632)
• Prophet of new religion
• Hijra (622)
• pilgrimage from Mecca to Medina
• Umayyad dynasty (661-750)
• Abbasid dynasty (750-12th c.)
• Sunni vs. Shi’a
IV. Charlemagne (768-814)
• King of Franks (in Gaul)
• New ruling ideology
• Ardent defender of
• United FR, GER, NETH,
• Supra-regional empire
• Carolingian miniscule
• Court at Aix-la-Chapelle
• See Noble, p. 257 ff.
Charlemagne’s Empire
See also the map in Noble, p. 259
• See p. 260 in textbook, and on Internet History
• Biographer of Charlemagne; consciously
imitates Suetonius.
Charlemagne & the Church
Charlemagne & the Church
German Fraktur vs.
Carolingian Miniscule
See Noble, p. 273
Royal Palace at Aix-la-Chapelle
See p. 263 in
Charlemagne’s Palace at Aachen
Charlemagne’s Palatine Chapel