The Carolingian Empire

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Transcript The Carolingian Empire

Chapter 8
European Civilization in the Early
Middle Ages, 750-1000
The Carolingian Empire
1. Extending diagonally across northern Italy were the Papal States that were gained by the papacy when a Frankish army of King Pipin (751-768)
defeated the Lombards. The Franks would provide the Church with a dependable western ally to replace the Byzantines who had previously
protected Rome from the Lombards.
2. In 773 the Lombards in northern Italy were again defeated, this time by the forces of Charlemagne (768-814). The victory established
Charlemagne's control over the north of Italy.
3. Charlemagne invaded northern Spain in 778 but was forced to retreat. Later, south of the Pyrenees, he established and fortified the Spanish
March as a bulwark against the Muslims in Spain.
4. Charlemagne's army expanded Frankish control into Bavaria in 788 and in 804 into Saxony, after stubborn resistance and several campaigns.
In both instances Christianity was extended as the German tribal leaders and their followers were converted, at least nominally.
5. Aachen, centrally located in the north, was to be Charlemagne's new capital. The site was selected for its hot springs. The plan was to make
the new city as glorious as Constantinople and Ravenna. It never matched the dreams and was abandoned after Charlemagne's death (814).
Nevertheless, Charlemagne did succeed in establishing a palace school here. Among the learned men brought to Aachen was the English
scholar Alcuin from York in Northumbria. Through the school and Alcuin, classic learning was kept alive.
6. In part, the empire collapsed after Charlemagne's death because it had become too large and unmanageable.
7. The death of Charlemagne in 814 brought to power his weak son Louis the Pious (814-840) who could not control the Frankish aristocrats.
Louis's death in 840 resulted in his three sons fighting over their inheritances. Finally, they agreed to the Treaty of Verdun (843) which divided the
Empire into three parts: Charles the Bald (840-877) received the west Frankish lands (the core of modern France); Lothar (840-855) the "Middle
Kingdoms" extending from the North Sea to Italy; and Louis the German (840-876) the eastern lands (the core of modern Germany). Almost
immediately, the "Middle Kingdom" broke up into petty principalities over which the other two kings fought.
1. How was Charlemagne able to create and maintain such a vast empire?
2. Why were the successors unable to maintain the empire Charlemagne had established?
3. What is role of Charlemagne in the rebirth of intellectual activity?
4. What were the relationships and the consequences of Charlemagne's dealings with the Church?
The Carolingian Empire
 People and the Environment
 River Transportation
 Weak Agriculture
 The World of the Carolingians
 Pepin, 751-768
 Charlemagne and the Carolingian Empire
 Expansion of the Empire
 8000 men gathered each spring
 Mostly infantry with some cavalry
 Into Spain and Germany
 Governing the Empire
 Margraves (count of the border district)
 Counts
 Missi dominice (“messengers of the lord king”)
 Relations with the church
 Charlemagne as Emperor
 Pope Leo III, 795-816
 Christmas Day, 800, crowned emperor
 The Carolingian Intellectual Renewal
 Scritoria
 Carolingian minuscule
 Alcuin
 Life in the Carolingian World
 Family and Marriage
 Church and marriage
 Monogamy
 Indissolubility of marriage
 Christianity and Sexuality
 Celibacy
 Sexual activity
 Homosexuality
 New Attitudes toward Children
 Condemn infanticide
 Travel and Hospitality
Diet and Health
 Pork, dairy products, honey and spices
 Gluttony and drunkenness
 Water and wine
 Physicians
 Disintegration of the Carolingian Empire
 Louis the Pious, 814-840
 Treaty of Verdun, 843
 Charles the Bald, 843-877, western lands
 Louis the German, 843-876, eastern lands
 Lothair, 840-855, Middle Kingdom
Invasions of the Ninth and Tenth Centuries
1. The Magyars were nomadic mounted warriors from western Asia who under pressure had moved west into eastern and central Europe. At the
end of the ninth century they struck into the Danube Valley and pressed westward into the plains of Hungary (some people thought they were the
returning Huns and called them Hungarians). From here they raided into Germany, eastern France, and Italy. In 955 the Magyars were defeated
at the Battle of Lechfeld in Germany and fell back eastward, eventually establishing the Kingdom of Hungary. By the end of the tenth century they
converted to Christianity.
2. The Viking ships were long and narrow, carrying about fifty men. They had two banks of oars and a single great sail. Because these ships had
a very shallow draft, they could sail up the rivers of Europe and attack places far inland.
3. Most likely due to overpopulation and growing political order, the warlike Vikings (or Norsemen) unexpectedly poured out of Scandinavia
beginning in the eighth and ninth centuries. Norwegian Vikings pressed into Ireland and western England. Danes pushed into eastern England,
Frisia, and the Rhineland. The Varangians (Swedes) turned into the Baltic region and drove down the Dvina and Dnieper Rivers to Novogorod
and Kiev to the Black Sea and attacked Constantinople. The Varangians also pushed west on the Volga where they eventually contacted Arab
traders. In France, Vikings occupied land at the mouth of the Seine River that was ultimately given to them in 911 by the ruler of the western
Frankish kingdom. The area came to be known as "Normanland," Normandy. Adventurous Vikings also sailed west to Iceland in 874 and
Greenland in 985. Within a few decades they apparently reached North America.
4. Most Viking raids were carried out during the summer months but by the mid-ninth century they had begun to establish winter settlement. By
850 Norsemen were settled in Ireland and Danes were in northeastern England in 878. Agreeing to accept Christianity, the Danes were
assimilated into the Anglo-Saxon kingdom.
5. From their new bases in North Africa, the Muslims struck at Sicily in 827 and occupied the island. In 846 they sacked Rome. By 859 they were
attacking the settlements along the southern coast of France. The Muslim activities were less devastating than that of the Magyars and Vikings
perhaps because they found Europe to be primitive, offering little. Nevertheless, Sicily was a point from which cultural advances of Islam could be
transmitted to the West (see Acetate 36, Map 10.4).
1. What caused the various invasions of Europe in the ninth and tenth centuries?
2. What were the consequences of the invasions for the Europeans?
3. What was the legacy of Islam's occupation of Sicily?
Invasions of the Ninth and Tenth Centuries
Invasions of the Ninth and Tenth Centuries
 Muslims and Magyars
 Muslims build sea bases in the Mediterranean
 Magyars from western Asia
 Moved into eastern and central Europe
 Battle of Lechfeld, 955
 Vikings
 Scandinavia
 Warriors, shipbuilders, and sailors
 Russia
 Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland
 The Emerging World of Lords and Vassals
The Feudal System
 Lord and vassal
 Comitatus (following a great chief)
 Beneficium = fief
 Homage
 Knights
 Mutual obligation
New Political Configurations in the 10th Century
 Otto I, 936-973 – Germany
 Relies on bishops and abbots to govern
 Italian politics
 New Roman Empire
A Manor
1. In the Early Middle Ages free peasants were gradually losing their freedom. Given the precarious conditions of the times, small farmers found it
necessary to find protection and also food in a time of bad harvests. Peasants gave up their freedom to the lords of the large landed estates in
return for protection and sustenance. By the ninth century, 60 percent of the population in western Europe had been reduced to serfdom.
2. Agriculturists had long ago learned that if a field was repeatedly planted productivity would fall as nutrients were robbed from the soil. Thus, fields
were rotated throughout the planting seasons to give the soil a chance to recover. At any one time from a third to half of the fields lay fallow. Crops
such as wheat and rye would be grown in the autumn field and peas, beans, and barley in the spring field. What was planted varied from year to
year as crops were rotated.
3. The size of the manor varied. A large manor could cover several thousand acres while a small one would be slightly more than a hundred acres.
A small manor would have no more than a dozen households while a large one might have as many as fifty families. The people were congregated
into a village consisting of several one-room dirt floor huts in which, perhaps, a family of five would dwell. Around these dwellings were spaces
large enough for vegetable gardens.
4. The lord's demesne that could consist of from a third to half of the arable land on the estate, was worked about three days of the week in return
for lands to the peasant. The open fields were divided into strips of about an acre which were separated by narrow paths. The lack of fences
permitted domesticated animals to roam freely in the winter to forage for food.
5. The nearby forest was of economic importance. In addition to providing timber for building and fuel, bark could be used to make rope, the resin
for lighting, and the ash and lime for fertilizers. Moreover, the forest environs contained nuts, berries, and wild game (though this was usually
reserved for the hunting of the lord). The pond and stream provided a source of water and food.
6. Peasants could be required to grind their grain in the lord's mill and cook in the lord's oven, both for a price.
7. Technological innovations such as the heavy plow, the shoulder collar for horses, metal horseshoes, and more efficient water and windmills
contributed to a significant increase in the food supply. Between 500 and 1300 the European population grew from 25 million to more than 70
million. This was reversed in the fourteenth century when a colder and rainier climate caused harvests to shrink and prices to rise. Ravaging
armies at this time destroyed crops, barns, and mills. Famine became a fact of life, complicated by the Black Death between 1348 and 1354.
1. In what respect was the manor a self-sustaining enterprise?
2. What was the relationship between the peasant on the manor and the lord?
3. What new innovations contributed to the increase of production? How did they do this?
A Manor
 Hugh Capet, 987-996 – France
 Ile-de-France
 Alfred the Great, 871-899 – England
 Defeats the Danes, 879
 King Edgar, 959-975
 Shire-reeve
The Manorial System
 Peasants
 Serfs
 Demesne (lord’s land)
 Lord’s rights over the serfs
 Trade
 The Zenith of Byzantine Civilization
Michael III, 842-867
 Byzantine revival
 Photian schism
Macedonian dynasty, 867-1081
 Strengthened army
 Administration
 Trade
 Civil service
The World of the Slavs
1. The Slavic people were of Indo-European stock, probably originating in present-day southeastern Poland and the western Ukraine. They divided
into three groups: Western, Southern, and Eastern Slavs. The Western Slavs pushed into Poland and Bohemia where their contact with the
Germanic kingdom resulted in not only the extension of political authority by the German emperor but also conversion to western Christianity. By
the end of the ninth century the Czechs had been converted as had been the Slavs in Poland by the end of the tenth. Non-Slavic Hungary was
converted by the German missionaries in the early eleventh century.
2. The Southern Slavs came to occupy the Balkans where they eventually split between Roman Christianity (Croats) and eastern Christianity
3. The Eastern Slavs occupied present-day Ukraine and European Russia. The invasion of the Swedish Vikings (see Acetate 28, Map 8.2), called
Varangians, resulted in their eventual domination over the Slavs as they became involved in the Slavic civil wars. The Varangian contact with the
Byzantine Empire led to the conversion of the region to eastern Christianity.
4. Kiev was the center of the union of east Slavic territories known as the principality of Kiev. Expansion of Kiev led to control over the eastern
Slavs and ultimately encompassed the lands between the Baltic and Black Seas and the Danube and Volga Rivers.
5. The Bulgars were originally and Asiatic people who conquered much of the Balkan peninsula. Eventually the larger native Southern Slavic
population absorbed them. By the ninth century they formed the largely Slavic Kingdom of Bulgaria.
1. What were the consequences of the Slavic expansion out of southeastern Poland and the western Ukraine?
The World of the Slavs
 The Slavic Peoples of Central and Eastern Europe
Conversion to Christianity
 Language groups
 “The Rus”
 Kiev
 Vladimir, c. 980-1015
 The World of Islam
 Umayyad dynasty
 Abu al-Abbas, 750
Abbasid dynasty
 Baghdad, 762
 Harun al-Rashid, 760-809
 al-Ma’mun, 813-833
 Abd al-Rahman in Spain, 756
 Fatimid family in Egypt, 973
 Urban culture
 Science and philosophy
 Mathematics and astronomy
 Ibn Sina (980-1037), Avicenna
 Medical encyclopedia