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09 - Christian Societies Emerge in Europe, 600 - 1200

09 - Christian Societies Emerge in Europe, 600 - 1200 -...

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CHAPTER 10 Christian Europe Emerges, 300–1200 I0. The Byzantine Empire, 300–1200 A0. Church and State 10. While Roman rule and the traditions of Rome died in the west, they were preserved in the Byzantine Empire and in its capital, Constantinople. 20. While the popes in Rome were independent of secular power, the Byzantine emperor appointed the patriarch of Constantinople and intervened in doctrinal disputes. Religious differences and doctrinal disputes permeated the Byzantine Empire; nonetheless, polytheism was quickly eliminated. 30. While the unity of political and religious power prevented the Byzantine Empire from breaking up, the Byzantines did face serious foreign threats. The Goths and Huns on the northern frontier were not difficult to deal with, but on the east the Sasanids harassed the Byzantine Empire for almost three hundred years. 40. Following the Sasanids, the Muslim Arabs took the wealthy provinces of Syria, Egypt, and Tunisia from the Byzantine Empire and converted their people to Islam. These losses permanently reduced the power of the Byzantine Empire. On the religious and political fronts, the Byzantine Empire experienced declining relations with the popes and princes of Western Europe and the formal schism between the Latin and Orthodox Churches in 1054. B0. Society and Urban Life 10. The Byzantine Empire experienced a decline of urbanism similar to that seen in the west, but not as severe. One result was the loss of the middle class so that Byzantine society was characterized by a tremendous gap between the wealth of the aristocrats and the poverty of the peasants. 20. In the Byzantine period the family became more rigid; women were confined to their houses and wore veils if they went out. However, Byzantine women ruled alongside their husbands between 1028 and 1056, and women did not take refuge in nunneries. 30. The Byzantine emperors intervened in the economy by setting prices, controlling provision of grain to the capital, and monopolizing trade on certain goods. As a result, Constantinople was well supplied, but the cities and rural areas of the rest of the empire lagged behind in terms of wealth and technology. 40. Gradually, Western Europeans began to view the Byzantine Empire as a crumbling power. For their part, Byzantines thought that westerners were uncouth barbarians. C0. Cultural Achievements 10. Legal scholars put together a collection of Roman laws and edicts under the title Body of Civil Law. This compilation became the basis of Western European civil law. 20. Byzantine architects developed the technique of making domed buildings. The Italian Renaissance architects adopted the dome in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 30. In the ninth century the Byzantine missionaries Cyril and Methodius preached to the Slavs of Moravia and taught their followers to write in the Cyrillic script.
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II0. Early Medieval Europe, 300–1000 A0. From Roman Empire to Germanic Kingdoms 10. In the fifth century the Roman Empire broke down. Europe was politically fragmented, with Germanic kings ruling a number of different kingdoms.
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