Month: November 2015

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Notes – Early Medieval Ages 7

Notes 7 The Roman Empire committed suicide by accident? The further back the events the easier it is for the historian to “see it coming” Who are the Barbarians? Burgundian code Refer to themselves as Barbarians not Romans What do we know From Archaeology Have settlements but not urban  Have grave sites Have trade with Roman Empire Roman items buried with them on occasion Main written source for pre-invasion German tribes is Tacitus Best known for his Pessimistic annals of the Roman Empire In Germania For Tacitus the Germans are Childlike and noble Warlike The general Roman view on Barbarians Intent on invading the empire and enjoying the riches  Never visited Germania Write about them as a way of castigating the Romans Contrast a beautiful natural simple world Gaugins paintings  Melville Compared to fatiguing rat race Warlike concerned with personal bravery and honour Close family ties Heterosexuals Treat women well Contrasting with Romans  Some vices Lazy Drunk Quarrel Gamble True of later German practices Tacitus does not make up for a moral purpose Comitatus Extend kinship  My second cousin will repay you if you kill me Wergeld Compensation for hurt killing Cost – depend on who he is and what he did Before enter empire Lived in little villages Cattle raisers Cultivated grain Iron working  Spot of raiding Above clan level Federation or tribes? Who are the Visigoths? Come...

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Notes – Early Medieval Ages 6

Notes 6Transformation of the Roman Empire  410 to 480 West empire disintegrated Dismembered by Barbarians Wanted to share in wealth and accomplishments not destroy it 476 fall of the Western Empire Barbarian deposed a Roman emperor  Barbarian leader Odavacer Deposed Romulus Augustus Us means little He didn’t appoint new emperor and said he would follow the East Kingdom smaller than empire King of Italy, King of Franks Etc Why did the West fall? External or internal Who were these Barbarians? How severe was this change? Destruction of government also of the military  Lost works  Esculus wrote 60 plays 3 survive Also Cicero’s work Hortensius   End colosseums Literacy fell except in church Some historians say a cataclysmic change, others quite a bit of continuity  Continuists Survival of trade Roll of bishops replacing government order Bishops ensure food supply and lead rally against Barbarians Barbarian leaders collected tax Some maintenance of order Not radically more primitive Lecturer is a moderate catastrophist Wickham – the inheritance of Romans Barbarian – Greek term Uncivilised – speech unclear Nomads Illiterate Not unfamiliar Most Arian Christians Been at Roman border for ever Continuous  What changed 250 to 600 The ancient world became the medieval world More rural Why collapsed Taken over by Germans Who admired Rome Last thing they wanted was to live in huts in the forest Not that numerous  Tens of thousands ...

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Notes – Early Medieval Ages 5

Notes 5 Why study the Confessions? Christianity had a great impact on Roman Empire late fourth and fifth century 3 problems 1. Problem of evil 2. Relation between body and soul 3. Understanding of sin and redemption  All of these are dealt with thoroughly in Augustine’s work More thorough than any other Ancient thinker Philosophical and Psychological investigation Men go out and gaze at astonishment at high mountains… But they pay no attention to themselves An examination of the author’s heart – intellectual and emotional  Reads dialogue by Cicero hortensius Convinces him life of mind most important About a search for truth That takes a lot of wrong turns A confession of sin About spiritual yearning An intellectual and a passionate person Not apposed to desire Love is a psychological need I was in love with the idea of love Both sexual and spiritual Also a believer in friendship He is ambitious  Ability to write Read Argue At that time the course of success Was government service Rhetoric and law Rhetoric is the art of persuasion Writing well and elegantly Highly valued in Roman Empire Mother is extremely pious Augustine’s mother is a saint now Wants him to be a success which means delaying baptism Involvement in government service Which involves dealing with sin, Wrangling, parties, honours, Sexual conquests Gives it up when converts  What bothers Augustine? Problem of...

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Notes – Early Medieval 4

Christian Roman Empire Tolerated Official Then sole legal religion except Judaism Arianism Donatists Manicheans Constantine died 337 When he died empire restored to former glory Fourth century often seen through the lens of 410 sacking  Inequality one of signs/problems Time of social mobility  Many paths open Barbarians taking major positions in Roman Empire, especially in army Sometimes empire divided sometimes not 395 Theodosius dies After always two, east and west Julian the apostate 360-363 Tried to restore traditional paganism  Intellectual of sorts After his death no paganism Marcus Aurelius was a philosopher  393 Theodosius made only Christianity legal and small space for Judaism The saints are a kind of substitute for polytheism Rural people and intellectuals Especially platonists  Chief occupation of emperors Persians and on Danube Barbarians Arianism Christ different from God Platonism emphasises the absolute and the superiority of the spiritual  Material is mortal passes away In Platonism  The one The Demi-urge  Matched up with God the father And son There was a time when Christ was not Nicean All co eternal, members of trinity  Missionaries that converted barbarians were Arians By time barbarians in empire Arianism was gone 370s Barbarians – generally Germanic Tribes 320s Nicea 381 Constantinople a heresy In west still Arianism  Donatists If it turns out priest is bad  Had buckled under torture Your baby was not properly baptised Marriage didn’t count etc But...

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Notes – Early Medieval Age 3

Conversion of Constantine Permanent change Hard to explain on strategic grounds Starts the Christianisation of Roman Empire Been illegal for 250 years Romans killed Jesus Polytheism and its ceremony was rife First becomes tolerant Then favoured Then official and almost only religion Paganism – polytheistic Local variation Eclectic – different gods in places times and times of life Emotional vacuum Denied longing of more to life  Innerness – important Other religions – mystery Eg Mithraism  Promise of afterlife Appeal to elite and common But it was alien Romans did not always persecute  Didn’t like intolerance Judaism recognised Roman Leader Christianity Rejected pleasures Emperor worship Celebrations  Killjoy religion Persecution was not that intense Nero  Third century Diocletian Enough persecution to give it backbone but not enough to crush it Constantine son of one of the Caesars – helpers Of the west Sent east to serve Galerius eastern  Not chosen next 306 Constantine rebelled Raised empire in England Maxentius rebelled in Rome  Milvian Bridge 312 battle 2 stories of conversion One had a dream – Angel spoke to him and told him to make symbol Chi and rho Other story later Eusebius Marching with army Saw a cross in the sky  On the sun In this sign you will conquer Chi rho  No reason to doubt Constantine’s sincerity – hard to imagine any emperor thinking Christianity was good for empire  Christianity...

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