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Art, Music & History paper 2

Art, Music & History paper 2 - Michael Rauch 000762014...

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Michael Rauch 000762014 HIS 263Z – Art, Music & History Paper 2 The expansion of the human spirit was first made visible in the Abbey of Cluny (Clark, 35). The Abbey was founded in the tenth century but only under Abbott Hugh of Seymur (who’s abbacy lasted from 1049-1109) did it become known as the greatest church in all of Europe. It was known as such not only for its magnificent structure and huge complex of buildings, but a great organization and power (in Church politics). The church was destroyed in the 19 th century and little of it remains. Many descriptions do remain, though. The abbey contained many magnificent treasures. The most magnificent of these treasures was a seven-branched candlestick made of bronze (the shaft was eighteen feet tall – formidable even by today’s standards). The 12 th Century was a period of great change in Europe. It was the first time that human emotion was shown in literature. This was an aspect of life that readers (the upper class were the only ones that were able to go to school and learn to read) never came across before. Another major change in 12 th Century European society was the shift from the Romanesque architectural style to the new Gothic style. Some of the people and works that helped to shape this era and bring in the aforementioned changes included Peter Abelard, Chritien de Troyes, “The Song of Roland”, Duke William of Normandy and Abbot Suger. Music began to be written that dealt with various human emotions for the first time along with the general literature.
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We begin with “The Song of Roland”. Before getting into the poem itself, we must first look at some background history. At the beginning of the 12 th Century, the previously pagan Vikings begin to convert to Christianity. Even after converting they still retained their sense of adventure and sail North to Italy. There they create a kingdom in Sicily (where there is much French influence). It is now that we meet William the Conqueror. William the Conqueror was a bastard child. At 8, he was promised by his father, the Duke of Normandy that he would succeed him. To make sure of this he hires three guardians to watch his son William. Unfortunately, the plan does not work as expected. At age 19, William is able to defeat the enemies of Normandy, thus, becoming the effective Duke. At this point it is important to introduce another figure, Edward the Confessor (1047-1066). He was the ruler of England but was uncomfortable in that role. He had no heir – who would be his successor? Edward’s two main rivals were Harold Godwin and William the Conqueror. Godwin’s brother, Tosid attacks England with the Norwegian army (the brothers had not been seeing eye-to-eye). William battles and defeats Godwin and the Saxon army. Harold swears his allegiance to William. He swears his allegiance on ancient relics – a sacred oath.
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Art, Music & History paper 2 - Michael Rauch 000762014...

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