Christian Societies Emerge in Europe, 600-1200
1. What new political systems emerged in Europe after the fall of Rome? How consistent were these systems, and what major variations were there?
Byzantine had a continuation of Roman Imperial rule and tradition where it was completely gone in the kingdoms succeeding Rome in the West. Byzantine still used the imperial law intact while the west used provincial form of Roman law. Byzantine combined imperial rule with the political oversight of the Christian Church which led to Christian monarchs, a ruler with supreme religious and political authority. This prevented the empire to divide into principalities like in the East. Imperial authority and urbanization of the Byzantine protected them from population loss and economic reverse of the Western Empire besides from the Bubonic plague. decline. In western Europe, the imperial legal framework of the Roman Empire disappeared and saw to the rise of kings, nobles and chieftains in regions. Family based traditions of the Germanic people persisted and supplied laws of the Roman emperors. A local lord had a castle where peasants could take refuge in times of fear and security. Manorial systems developed which are self-sufficient farming estates consisted of outbuildings, castle, peasant village and surrounding land. Feudalism is the more political term where kings and lords give land to vassals in return for sworn military support. Fear allowed for farmers to give up their land in return for protection. Poorly organized govt. and isolation made them rely on own resources. The lords provided governance and justice while royal govt. involvement is limited. Jurisdiction fell under the clergy of the church, monasteries or nunneries which owned agricultural land. During the revival of Western Europe, 1000-1200, independent cities formed and were governed by communes or groups of leading citizens. Instead of farming these cities turned to manufacturing and trade. Laws made serfs free once they left the countryside for the city. Venice became dominant sea power and competed with Pisa and Genoa for domination of trade with Muslim ports in Africa and Med. Cites in Flanders rivaled Italian cities in prosperity trade and industry (dominated fish and wool trades) Abundant coinage of silver and gold coming from Muslim and Byzantine lands, promoted economic activity
2. How and why did Christianity spread throughout Europe up to 1200 CE?
It spread through the Roman Empire which ruled parts of the Europe west of the Rhine and south of the Danube. First when Christianity was not very widely practiced and it was illegal, it spread along urban networks and lower classes. Then emperors started to convert starting with the Byzantine emperors established Christianity as their official religion. Then Christianity started to gain support and patronage. There were a few missionaries sent out of the Roman Empire such as St. Patrick who spread the religion to Ireland. Trade and Christian slaves also spread Christianity more easily to a broad range of places. After the division of the Roman Empire, two –thirds of Christians adopted Muslim faith in Byzantine territories around southern Med. The church and the jurisdiction of the pope remained a huge influence and role model in society. Kings who succeeded Western Europe generally were Christian so they can win the favor of their subjects. There were more missionaries spreading the teachings of Christianity. Monasteries and covenants planted Christianity in new lands. The Poles and other Slavic people in the North accepted the Christianity of Rome, taught by German priests and missionaries, and diffusion from Constantinople. In Kiev Russia, Vladimir married a bride from the Byzantine imperial family and converted to Orthodox Christianity and opened his lands to Orthodox clerics and missionaries… Generally speaking, Christianity spread because of cultural diffusion, missionaries, political contacts such...
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