Chapter 7 - The Making of Europe

    The growth of the Christian church

    1. Christianity was a syncretic faith--that is, one that absorbed and adapted many ideas from other religions.
    2. While the Empire declined, the church grew. The word church can mean several things, but at this time it was often applied to the officials, or papa, who presided over all Christians.
      1. The church adopted the Roman system of organization and succeeded in assimilating many peoples.
      2. Bishops were elected by the people and possessed preaching, administrative, and leadership skills.
    3. The church and the Roman emperors
      1. Constantine supported and legalized Christianity in 312.
        1. He helped settle theological disputes.
    4. Theodosius increased the power of the church and made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.
    5. The emperors were important in enforcing theological uniformity in the church.
      1. Constantine summoned the Council of Nicaea in 325 to combat the Arian heresy, which denied that Christ was divine.
      2. The council produced the Nicene Creed--the doctrine that Christ was of the same substance as God, and this became the orthodox position, supported by the state.
      3. Bishop Ambrose formulated the theory that the church was supreme over the state.
    6. Inspired leadership in the early church
      1. Many talented Romans, such as Ambrose, became administrators and workers in the church.
        1. The church adopted the empire's system of dioceses.
        2. Bishops came to preside over dioceses.
      2. The bishop of Rome eventually became the "Patriarch of the West," while other patriarchs sat at Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Constantinople.
      3. Because the position of emperor disappeared in the West, the Roman bishop became the chief civil authority in Italy.
        1. It was said that Pope Leo I saved Rome from Attila.
        2. Pope Gregory acted as civil authority.
    7. The missionary activity of the early Christians
      1. The Roman soldier Martin of Tours brought Christianity to Gaul, while Saint Patrick brought Christianity and Roman culture to Ireland.
        1. Under Saint Columba, Iona in Scotland became an important Christian center.
        2. In 597, Pope Gregory I sent a delegation of monks to Britain, under the leadership of Augustine, to convert the English.
      2. Two forms of Christianity--Roman and Celtic--clashed, but the Roman tradition won out at the Synod of Whitby in 664.
      3. Between the fifth and tenth centuries, most people living in Europe were baptized.
        1. Religion influenced tribal life.
        2. Participating in religious observances was a social duty.
      4. Because of the Germans' warlike customs and different culture, their assimilation into Christianity was slow.
        1. The Christian emphasis on poverty, universal brotherhood, and love of enemies was difficult for German warriors to accept.
        2. The Christian concepts of sin and repentance were also hard for them to understand.
    8. Conversion and assimilation
      1. The missionaries pursued a policy of preaching and assimilating pagan customs and beliefs into Christianity.
      2. Penitentials--manuals used to examine one's conscience--were used by priests to teach people Christian virtue.
        1. The penitentials tell about the ascetic ideals of early Christianity and about crime in Celtic and Germanic societies.
        2. The penitential system helped religion become a private, personal matter.

    Christian attitudes toward classical culture

    1. Adjustment: Despite early hostility, the Christians eventually adjusted to Roman culture.
      1. Early Christians believed that Roman culture was useless, immoral, and that the end of the world was near.
      2. They hated the Romans because they had crucified Christ and persecuted his followers.
    2. Nevertheless, Christianity compromised and adjusted to Roman culture.
      1. Saint Paul and Saint Jerome and others incorporated pagan thought into Christianity.
        1. Early Christians encouraged adjustment to the existing social, economic, and political establishment.
        2. Christians adopted the views of their contemporary world.
        3. Jesus had regarded women as equal to men but other (often later) influences were to cause Christianity to view women as inferior and sexual intercourse as undesirable.
        4. Early Christians treated homosexuality no differently than heterosexuality; objections came later, as GrecoRoman urban culture gave way to rural medieval culture.
    3. Saint Augustine and the synthesis of pagan and Christian thought
      1. Augustine, one of the most brilliant thinkers of Western culture, had a major impact on Christian thought.
        1. His autobiography, The Confessions, describes his conflict between spiritual self and sensual/material self.
        2. He set forth what became a basic Christian belief: that all humans have an innate tendency to sin.
        3. In City of God, Augustine argued that the state is a necessary evil, but it can work for the good by providing the peace, justice, and order that Christians need to learn to live according to their religion.
        4. Contrary to the Donatist Christians, Augustine believed that Christians should live in and transform society and that the church was not simply for an elite.
        5. Augustine believed that the function of the state is to protect people, and that ultimate authority in society lies with the church.

    Christian monasticism

    1. With the growth of Christianity as a city religion, materialism, sexual promiscuity, and political corruption caused some Christians to become nonconformists and escape urban life.
      1. Monks took the place of martyrs as those who could speak for God.
    2. Western monasticism: Early monasticism began in Egypt with people called hermits (from the Greek word eremos).
      1. When this eremitical life spread to Western Europe, it faced some problems:
        1. The climate discouraged isolated living.
        2. Church leaders feared and distrusted eremitical life.
      2. Communal monasticism, first set forth by Pachomius in Egypt, was a way to overcome these objections; many experiments in communal living, which the church encouraged, followed in the fifth and sixth centuries.
        1. John Cassian established monasteries in Gaul; the abbey of Lerins encouraged extremely ascetic behavior, such as fasting and selfflagellation.
        2. Cassiodorus started the association of monasticism with scholarship and learning.
    3. The Rule of Saint Benedict became the guide for all Christian monastic life.
      1. The Rule outlined a life of regularity, discipline, and moderation applicable to varying physical and geographical conditions.
        1. Monks made a vow of stability, conversion of manners, and obedience.
        2. The Rule is an expression of the assimilation of the Roman spirit into Western monasticism.
      2. The Benedictine form of monasticism succeeded because it was balanced and it suited the social circumstances of early medieval society.
        1. It provided for both intellectual and manual activity.
        2. Benedict's twin sister adapted the Rule for the use of her community of nuns.
        3. It provided local young people with education.
        4. It generated great wealth and made substantial contributions to agricultural development.
    4. Eastern monasticism was influenced by the Long Rules of Saint Basil.
      1. Severe asceticism was discouraged, and urban monasteries were encouraged.
        1. Seventy abbeys were erected in Constantinople.
        2. Monasteries grew wealthy from gifts and from engaging in industry and agriculture.
        3. Revenues were spent on social services, such as food, hospitals, homes for the mentally ill, and so on.
      2. This eastern (Greek Orthodox) monasticism differed from that of the West in that each house developed its own rules, called typikon.
        1. Monks often moved from one monastery to another.
        2. Unlike in the West, monasteries never became a central feature of Greek monastic houses.

    The migration of the Germanic peoples

    1. The idea of the barbarian was invented by Greeks and Romans.
      1. "Barbarian" originally meant one who lives outside the Roman empire--people, to Greeks and Romans, who had no history.
      2. "Kernel families" were barbarians who brought others into a new culture that was based on assimilation.
      3. Another view (model) is that barbaric ethnic formation derives from Central Asian steppe peoples, such as the Huns.
      4. Another view is that barbarians came from Alamanni and Slavic peoples.
    2. Celts and Germans
      1. Celt and German are linguistic terms for groups of Indo-Europeans who settled in Europe.
      2. The migrations of the Germanic peoples were important in the decline of the Roman Empire and the making of European civilization.
      3. Germanic tribes had been pushing against the Roman Empire's frontiers since about 150.
      4. The Germans migrated into Europe not because they were overpopulated, but because of war and the attraction to Roman wealth and work.
    3. Romanization and barbarization
      1. From the third century, the Roman army was the chief agent of barbarization.
    4. Laeti, Foederati, Gentes
      1. Barbarian people entered the empire as army recruits, as laeti (refugees or prisoners of war), or as foederati (free barbarian units).
      2. The arrival of the Huns in the West in 376 caused the entry of entire peoples, the gentes, into the empire.
      3. The Visigoths crushed a Roman army at Adrianople in 376, making further invasions possible.
      4. Except for the Lombards, barbarian conquests on the continent ended about 600.
      5. The Visigoths, Vandals, Burgundians, and other tribes established a number of kingdoms.
        1. Theodoric, an Ostrogoth king, established control over Italy and Sicily and pursued a policy of assimilation between the Germans and the Romans.
      6. The kingdom of the Franks was the most important.
        1. These Germanic-speaking people settled at Rome's northeast Rhine frontier.
        2. The Salien Franks issued a law code; Chlodio's wife founded the Merovingian dynasty.
        3. The era of Clovis saw Franks conquer much of Gaul and adopt Gallo-Roman culture.
        4. The conversion of Clovis to Roman Christianity was crucial for Frankish power.

    Germanic society

    1. Kinship, custom, and class
      1. The basic Germanic social unit was the tribe, or folk.
        1. Law was unwritten custom, handed down orally from generation to generation.
        2. Tribes were bound by shared peace and led by kings or chieftains.
      2. The comitatus, or war band, fought with the chieftain; gradually, a warriornobility evolved.
    2. Law
      1. In the sixth century, during the process of Christianization, Germanic law began to be written down.
      2. Under Salic Law each person had a wergeld, or monetary value, and each offense had a fine.
      3. German law aimed at the reduction of violence; it was not concerned with abstract justice.
    3. German life
      1. Germans lived in small villages.
        1. German males engaged in animal husbandry.
        2. The women raised grain and were responsible for the weaving and spinning.
        3. The number of cattle a man possessed indicated his wealth and determined his social status.
        4. German society was patriarchal.
      2. Ironworking was advanced, but the goods were produced for war and the subsistence economy, not for trade.
      3. Warfare constituted the main characteristic of Germanic society.
      4. The law codes show that women were regarded as family property and fines existed to protect women from rape and abduction.
      5. Widows had considerable power and wealth; women were regarded as being spiritually inferior.
      6. Some women exercised considerable influence; some used their beauty and their intelligence to advance their positions.
    4. AngloSaxon England
      1. The Romans conquered Britain, built towns, and brought their religion.
      2. Celtic people were fully assimilated into Roman culture.
      3. When Rome withdrew from Britain in 407, the island was open to plundering Picts, Saxons from Denmark, and Germans, and the Britons fled to Wales.
        1. The period 500-1066 is the "Anglo-Saxon" era.
        2. The AngloSaxon invasion gave rise to the Arthurian legends; Roman culture disappeared.
        3. By the seventh and eighth centuries there were seven Germanic kingdoms, which were united under Alfred of Wessex in the ninth century.

    The Byzantine East (ca. 400-788)

    1. Justinian's failed wars against the Ostrogoths led to conquest of Italy by the Lombards.
      1. Despite Hun, Slav, Avar, Persian, and Greek attacks, the eastern Roman-Byzantine empire survived.
        1. One reason was strong military leadership under Priskos and others; another was the strength and position of the city of Constantinople.
      2. This Byzantine empire survived and grew rich under Greek rule--and protected ancient culture, often with great fortifications.
    2. Byzantine east and Germanic west: The western and eastern halves of the empire drifted apart.
      1. In the West, civic functions were performed first by church leaders and then by German chieftains; the church grew away from the empire.
        1. The popes were too preoccupied with conversion of the Germans and issues of classical culture to concentrate on church organization.
        2. Disputes developed between church officials and secular officials over administration of the church; Gelasius claimed that sacred authority was greater than secular authority.
      2. In the East, the emperor's jurisdiction over the church was fully acknowledged.
        1. Religion was seen as a branch of the state in the East.
      3. Much of the difference between the Eastern and Western churches was how each received classical culture.
        1. Classical culture was condemned in the West; in the East, apologists, or defenders, of Christianity demanded harmony between classical culture and Christianity.
      4. In 1054, a theological dispute led the bishop of Rome and the patriarch of Constantinople to excommunicate each other--the two churches split apart.
      5. Despite religious differences, the Byzantine Empire protected the West against invasions from the East.
      6. The Byzantines civilized the Slavic people and converted them to Christianity.
        1. The Byzantine missionary Cyril invented a Slavic alphabet using Greek characters (the Cyrillic alphabet).
        2. Byzantine art and architecture became the basis of Russian forms.
    3. The law code of Justinian
      1. The law codes of the emperors Theodosius and Justinian are among the most important contributions of the Byzantine Empire.
      2. The corpus juris civilis--based on the Code, Digest, and Institutes--is the foundation of European law.
    4. Byzantine intellectual life
      1. The Byzantines kept scholarship alive, especially history.
      2. They passed GrecoRoman culture on to the Arabs.
      3. Although they made no advances in science or mathematics, they did make contributions to medicine and military technology.

    The Arabs and Islam

    1. The Arabs
      1. The Hejaz Arabs were urban and commercial, while the Bedouin Arabs were nomadic and rural.
      2. All Arabs, however, were tribal and followed similar religious rules.
    2. Muhammad and the faith of Islam
      1. Muhammad was a merchant who became a preacherprophet.
        1. He described his visions in verse form--his Qur'an (prayer recitation).
        2. After Muhammad's death, scribes organized these revelations into chapters.
      2. Muhammad was a reformer of the Old Testament--the religion he reformed is called Islam.
      3. The Qur'an outlines the monotheistic theology of Islam.
        1. Islam means "submission to the word of God," and its central idea is the Day of Judgment.
        2. Islam is a strict religion that condemns such things as immorality, alcoholic beverages, and gambling; it insists on regular prayer and alms giving, and condemns usury.
        3. Muslims believed that following their religion's basic rules would automatically gain them salvation, as would dying for their faith in battle.
        4. The Qur'an sets forth austere sexual morality; it allowed polygamy.
        5. Muslim women were more emancipated than women in the West.
        6. It was believed that salvation is by way of God's grace, which is predestined; there are many similarities between the Muslin, Jewish, and Christian faiths.
        7. Muslims thought that Jesus was only an apostle and that those who called Jesus divine committed blasphemy.
      4. The doctrines of Islam superseded tribal ties and bound all Arabs.
    3. When the caliph Ali (successor to Prophet Muhammad) was assassinated in 661, Islam split into the Shi'ite (or Shi'a) and the Sunni factions.
      1. The Shi'ites claimed to be the blood descendants of Ali and to possess divine knowledge.
      2. The Sunnis, the majority of the faith, claimed that the Sunna was a source of truth.
    4. The expansion of Islam
      1. Islam united the Arabs and encouraged expansion and conquest; much of the old Roman Mediterranean empire came under Muslim control.
      2. Spain was held until the reconquista of the tenth to the fourteenth centuries.
      3. The Muslims were stopped at Tours in 733, but successfully carried their conquest to India and Africa.
        1. But a Muslim kingdom was established in Spain under the Umayyad dynasty.
        2. In Spain and elsewhere the Muslims had enormous impact on agricultural development--through new crops and new agricultural techniques.
        3. They established intellectual centers such as at Toledo.
        4. They advanced the use of algebra and made other contributions to mathematics, such as the concept of zero.
        5. They excelled in medical knowledge and preserved Greek philosophical thought.
    5. MuslimChristian relations
      1. It was in southern Spain (Andalusia) that Christians who assimilated to Muslim culture (moszarabs) were still regarded as infidels.
      2. By about 1250 most of Muslim Spain had returned to Christian control through the reconquista.
      3. Muslim assault on Christian Europe and Christian intolerance and misunderstanding of Muslim teaching created a barrier between the two peoples.
      4. Muslims and Christians shared the belief that the state existed to allow its people to find God.
        1. But Muslims did not regard the state as a territorial entity.
        2. They saw the world in terms of the House of Islam and the House of War.
        3. The jihad was the struggle to spread Islam--by war if necessary.
      5. By the thirteenth century, Western literature regarded the Muslims both sympathetically and as the worst enemies of Christian society.
      6. Muslims rejected European culture and avoided going to Europe; they viewed Christianity as a flawed religion.
      7. All in all, Muslim expansion meant that Mediterranean civilization would be divided into three spheres of influence: Byzantine, Arabic, and Western.

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