Notes – Early Middle Ages 1

Fall of Roman Empire

Survival in east as Byzantium

Barbarian invasions and kingdoms set up on ruins of rom empire

Triumph of Christianity

Survive extinction 
Crisis of Roman Empire
Legacy peculiar 

Pope Latin

Catholic Church best preserver of Roman Empire now
After 5th century


Abandon Latin for Greek 6th

1453 end
Other preserver is Islam

Islam in area of Roman Empire

Egypt Syria turkey Balkans
How it endured for so long

Why did it fail

Why did it fall to more primitive

Power of religious ideas

Personally social politically
The good emperors

Edward Gibon

96 to 180

Happiness of people sole goal of government
Roman Empire was not designed to reward ordinary people

It’s laws were designed to protect the property of the rich 

Surprisingly tolerant 

Anyone could be citizens but must conform

Roman Empire was enduring, stable
410 pillaging – first time in 800 years. Empire 400 years old
Only power to control all the Mediterranean. Others only 40%
England to Sahara

Spain to Armenia
Gibon says Christianity was the cause of fall (18th century writing)

Not accepted any more
Rome tolerant but drew the line at Christianity

Brought in Gods – Zeus one day Isis next
Half of budget on empire
Urban civilisation

Cities had local gods and administration
All cities laid out. You’d know laid out on grid – where market, law courts were etc

Imbalance between rural and urban

Drain land of vitality

East more prosperous than west

Third century. Army realises it can make and break emperors
Questions should be in back of your mind?

Fall – foreign threats or internal weakness

Continuity vs change

How did the rise of Christianity affect the empire

How does it triumph, seems so alien 

284 – 305


Solved a number of problems

That threatened the empire