Humanities Unit 3 Module 2

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By the late 7th century, where could one find monasteries?


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European History


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By the late 7th century, where could one find monasteries?

By the late 7th century, monasteries had spring up throughout the northern regions of Europe, including Anglo-Saxon England.

What did monasteries for men and women provide?

Monasteries for men and women provided one of the few avenues for social mobility for promising individuals, and for women, the monastic life offered the possibility of a voice in church affairs.

What service did monasteries provide?

They performed an essential service in copying and preserving texts and learning.

Who were two notable monastic scholars during the 7th century?

Bede and Alcuin, but they were only two of the numerous men and women who excelled in scholarship in an age that valued warfare more.

Who was Saint Walburga?

Walburga was an 8th century Anglo-Saxon nun who traveled to Germany to establish a monastery to carry out missionary work among the Germans.

What did monasteries gradually begin getting involved in?

Monasteries became involved in the growing political issues of the day.

What was the motive behind the Cluniac Reform?

Many spiritual reformers believed that the authority that the kings/nobles held over the monasteries subordinated spiritual values to secular politics. So, a group of monks in 910 convinced Duke William of southern France to build a new monastery at Cluny that was exempt from local control.

What did the Cluniac founding charter (of the new monastery at Cluny) do?

The Cluniac founding charter refined the Benedictine rule by insisting that the monastery was exempt from local control, owing only prayers for the donor.

What had to be done to do what Duke William wrote in the Cluniac founding charter: "subject neither to our yoke, nor to that of our relatives, nor to the sway of royal might, nor to that of any earthly power"?

To do this, Cluny was established to be directly subordinate to the pope, and all subsequent Cluniac foundations were to be accountable to the abbot at Cluny (and through him, the pope).

What was the significance of the Cluniac Reform?

The significance of the Cluniac Reform was that it established a robust and reinvigorated monasticism that helped increase papal authority.

What ended up undermining the order that Charlemagne had built in his empire during his reign?

What ended up undermining the order that Charlemagne had brought to his empire was the perception of his kingdom as his to divide up among his sons, not as an entity separate from himself and his family. It was a traditional Germanic belief.

When did the final disintegration of Charlemagne's empire really start taking place?

After Charlemagne's son's death (Louis the Pious was his name). As a result of that, the kingdom was divided up between Louis' three surviving sons: Charles the Bald, Lothair I, and Louis the German, who succumbed to the Germanic tendency of civil war to gain power at the expense of others.

What did the violent clashes of Charles the Bald, Lothair I, and Louis the German strike at?

The violent clashes of Charles the Bald, Lothair I, and Louis the German struck at the foundation of the unified western European lands that Charlemagne had created. Because of this division, they brought untold hardship to their subjects.

What was the significance of the Treaty of Verdun?

The Treaty of Verdun divided up western Europe (Charlemagne's empire) between Charlemagne's three leftover descendants after Louis the Pious' death. The Treaty of Verdun also showed that the sections of Charlemagne's empire were starting to separate culturally and more importantly, linguistically.

Name an example of how the Treaty of Verdun showed that the sections of Charlemagne's empire were starting to separate culturally and linguistically.

An example of this is when Charles the Bald and Louis the German took their oaths, they were recorded in 2 languages. Charles pledged in a Romance (Latin-derived) language and Louis spoke in an early Germanic tongue.

How was Charlemagne's empire divided up?

Charles the Bald inherited the westernmost portion, Lothair inherited the middle section, and Louis the German inherited the easternmost portion.

How was the economy disrupted by the wars waged between Charles the Bald, Lothair, and Louis the German?

Battered by the disruptions of war, the already local economy became even more isolated. The long distance trade that had begun to enrich the Italian cities as well as the Carolingian kings had evaporated, and money went out of circulation.

Who invaded Charlemagne's weakened empire from the south?

Muslim maritime invaders; they sailed across the Mediterranean and penetrated the southern coasts of Europe, including Sicily,.

Who invaded Charlemagne's weakened empire from the east?

The Magyars (Hungarians); their warlords led their people in raids across Germany, France, and Italy before they settled down and established the kingdom of Hungary.

Who invaded Charlemagne's weakened empire from the north?

Bands of Scandinavian warriors known as the Vikings who wreaked the most violence out of all the invaders and ultimately settled the most widely.

How did the Scandinavians differ from the other Germanic tribes (like the Anglo-Saxons)?

Unlike the Anglo-Saxons who had been forcefully converted to Christianity by Charlemagne, the Scandinavians remained pagan.

What did the Scandinavians' way of life resemble?

The Scandinavians, being Germanic, had a way of life that resembled that of the Germanic tribes who had earlier invaded the Roman Empire (before they had assimilated into it).

What trait in particular did the Scandinavians share with the early (pre-Roman assimilation) Germanic people?

A passion for revenge, which they tried to control through a system of compensation (wergeld), they had much less success stemming their tendency toward violence than even the Anglo-Saxons had.

How and where did Scandinavians live for the most part?

For the most part, Scandinavians lived on farms rather than in communal villages; they grew crops and kept cows and sheep.

When met with the agricultural challenges of having a short growing season (due to living in the north), how did the Scandinavians supplement their produce?

The Scandinavians supplemented their produce by fishing in the cold, stormy waters of the North Sea, which led them to become skilled seamen and to start engaging in long-distance commerce.

What did the Scandinavians trade while engaging in long-distance commerce?

They traded furs, amber, and honey for finely wrought jewelry, glass, cloth, and weapons.

What did Scandinavian activities prompt the spread of?

Despite Scandinavians drawing a fine line between trading and pirating (and crossing it often), their activities prompted the spread of goods from all over Europe to Scandinavian farms.

What values are preserved in Scandinavian literature (both poetry and Norse prose narratives/sagas?

In their literature - both the poetry and the old Norse prose narratives/sagas - we can detect a people who valued words and wit as much as strength and courage.

Besides Scandinavian values, what else did Norse prose narratives/sagas preserve?

Besides Scandinavian values, Norse prose narratives/sagas preserved Scandinavian history.

Describe the Scandinavians' pagan Norse religion.

The Scandinavians worshiped gods similar in function to those of the ancient Greeks and Romans, but with different names.

What were the motives behind Scandinavians (Vikings) leaving Scandinavia?

  • Some wanted to avoid revenge and feuds altogether.

  • Some wanted to escape from the growing power of kings who tried to impose peace on the violent Scandinavians.

  • Many were drawn by the wealth that had accumulated in Europe during the prosperous years of the Carolingians and Anglo-Saxons.

What made the Vikings (Scandinavians) so successful?

The success in the Vikings' campaigns stemmed largely from their innovative ships and their skill in using them.

How did the Vikings view their ships?

To the Vikings, their ships were highly valued possessions that were worth guarding with honor and praising in their poetry.

Describe the structure of a Viking ship.

  • Often built of oak.

  • Designed to flex with the rough waters of the North Atlantic.

  • Carried between 50-100 men who manned the oars on either side.

  • A large sail decorated in bright colors completed the propulsion system.

  • Had a shallow keel.

Define what a keel is.

The long timber that extended the length of the ship and supported the frame.

What was the function of the keel on a Viking ship?

The keel allowed Vikings to pilot their ships up rivers during raids. It also let them beach the crafts easily and launch them back out to sea before their surprised victims could mount an effective counterattack.

What made the Vikings so frightening?

The ships, the ferocity, and the bravery of the Vikings earned them a widespread, fearsome reputation.

What is the legacy of the Vikings?

The Vikings left a great impact on western Europe. Alongside Magyar (Hungarian) and Muslim invaders, the Vikings disrupted the newly established order that had reigned in Europe for more than a century.

How did the onslaughts from the Vikings and in other foreign fronts affect Charlemagne's Frankish empire?

In Charlemagne's Frankish empire, the onslaughts from the Vikings and in other foreign fronts accelerated the disintegration initiated by the emperor's feuding descendants. Thus, the central authority envisioned by Charlemagne could not hold.

How did learning suffer as a result of the Viking and other foreign invasions?

Learning suffered as people devoted more and more attention and resources to war. Now, learning only took place behind monastery walls, but AT LEAST this time, the monks/nuns had the benefit of texts that had been corrected during Charlamegne's rule.

How did the order of the western European church crumble under the turmoil from the Viking and other foreign invasions?

In western Europe (Ireland, the western coasts of Britain, and France), monasteries were destroyed. This violence took a massive personal toll on men and women seeking God.

How did women seeking God avoid having their virginity forcefully taken away from them by Viking invaders?

Out of fear of being raped and having their vow of virginity being taken away, women purposely disfigured themselves to appear unappealing to the vikings.

How did the church structure of parishes and bishops deteriorate during the Viking/other foreign invasions?

The church structure of parishes and bishops under the control of the pope also deteriorated, as bishops and priests placed themselves under the protection of local lords instead of looking to Rome for help.

How did the church ITSELF deteriorate during the Viking/other foreign invasions (as a whole entity)?

The church itself disintegrated, as power was no longer as centralized. It became fragmented and the notion of a Christian Europe with both a pope and an emperor at its head had disappeared into the wreckage of lives and property.

Why did the violence of the Viking invasions come to an end in the 11th century?

  • The traditional Scandinavian farming and trading life was easier to conduct in peace than in war.

  • As the invaders settled into the newly conquered territories, they absorbed some of the structures already in place there.

  • The Scandinavians converted to Christianity and thus became fully integrated into Christian Europe.

Who was Olaf and how did he contribute to the conversion of the Scandinavians to Christianity?

Harald Sigurdson's brother; he converted the Norwegians to Christianity by force of arms and his own charisma in the early 11th century.

Who was Leif Erikson the Lucky and how did he contribute to the conversion of the Scandinavians to Christianity?

He introduced Christianity to Iceland and Greenland around the same time that Olaf was converting the Norwegians to Christianity.

Who was Canute and how did he contribute to the conversion of the Scandinavians to Christianity?

The ruler of England, Denmark, and Norway. He converted to Christianity and brought priests from England to complete the conversion of the Scandinavians.

What new order of society did people create after the invasions of the Vikings?

This new order was not imposed by royal officials (like Charlamegne's missi dominici who traveled through the land). Instead, people bound themselves to each other in solemn contracts. These local ties ultimately formed a new order from which the medieval world would build again.