PASCO HERNANDO COMMUNITY COLLEGE
WESTERN CIVILIZATION (EUH 1000) CLASS NOTES
. Instructor: Dave Tamm / Term: Spring 2008 .
THE MEDIEVAL WEST: THE BARBARIAN KINGDOMS
the heirs of the western empire.
There were some kingdoms in place, but they were short lived,
transitory. They failed.
The Vandal kingdom in north africa had a lot of strikes against it.
They were arian christian heretics, but these fanatical arian's lived
by piracy on the Mediterranean, as much as they farmed the rich lands
of north africa. Justianian wasted them in 532 and they vanished into
The Ostragoths were also arians, and they were settled in Italy (like
when Odoacer took down the empire). Well, to parcel out Gaul or
Britannia or Iberia to Germanic tribes... was not nice but necessary.
Italy? Even in Constantinople this was troubling. Rome city had no
say, but Constantinople did. They sent Theodoric the Ostragoth
(492-526) to wrest it from Odoacer and submit it to the emperor.
Theodoric was gifted. Helped with peace in Italy during the early
500s. But, strikes against him and his Ostragoths: they were arian,
and they were in Italy. Also, after Theodoric died, things went bad
and Justinian sent armies to keep order, and by 555, there were twenty
years of brutal war and the Ostragoths disappear or go north.
The Visigoth Kingdom had a legacy of defeat vs. the Franks in 507 and
went over the Pyranees to Iberia. Then they were attacked by Justinian
in mid 6th. They were arians, and disunited. Yet, they persisted till
711, when the Berber warriors under Arab commanders took Iberia. They
had over 200 years, but not much of a chance.
The Lombard Kingdom began as Lombards entered Italy in 568. Lombards
fought Ostrogoths for the East Romans, and scouted the terrain at the
same time. The Byzantines didn't accept them in Italy... they were
arians too. Their legal culture was very high, and they wanted to
unify Italy. Popes were not happy cause Rome would be conquered or cut
off, so finally in the mid 8th C., Popes invited Pepin the Frank,
Charlemagne's dad, to come down and fight them- stalemate. Then
Charlemagne came in 773 and put the Lombards down, taking the throne
The future was left to other tribes: the Anglo-Saxons and the Franks.
The Anglo-Saxon Kingdom in Britannia, originating in Denmark and
Germany, and Holland, built small kingdoms (heptarchy-7 kingdoms, inc.
King Arthur). Good ones were both capably led and had room for
expansion (so they had a common focus for energies). Kingdom of North
Umbria, Kent, Mercia, etc. These kings learned from the Roman past and
from the Franks: they built impressive wooden halls to rule from. Used
scepters, an abstract symbol, and coins. Laws, documents. These
documents had some native and some roman traditions. There was an
awareness of political unity of Britain though. A sense. Bretwalden.
Later in 8th C, Offa of Mercia, called himself King of the English.
Confusing. What did he mean by that? King of the people in Angleland?
Well, there was no cohesion like that.
A great find in 1939 was a ship which was buried with tons of stuff
from 6th century. It had scandinavian stuff, byzantine stuff, frankish
stuff and etc.
A confederation of Frankish tribes, around since the 250s, made
treaties with Rome. Moved from Rhineland to the south by agricultural
expansion. From Holland to Belgium to France. In 507 they sent out the
visigoths. They fought off the Burgundians and absorbed them. They
went east too, into today's Germany. The Franks, unlike the others
with strikes against them, the Franks had some 'credit in the bank'.
They were catholic. plus. they allied with bishops and abbots of
monestaries. they were seen as friends of the church, and they made
capital out of it. Their language was Latin, and their laws, wills and
other document, coins in Latin. Like Gaul on a lesser scale!
Clovis was the founder of a dynasty, kept trappings going of provncial
roman life. In 511 he died and soon the way opened for Carolingians.
IRELAND AND SCOTLAND
Ireland has no political cohesion, Scotland either. Also the Slavic
lands and Scandinavian realms. In 750, it was just the Franks and
CHRISTIANIZATION OF EUROPE
Popes turned away from the 'Mediterranean' and towards the 'Atlantic'.
Atlantic civilization would become. Western Europe would become the
focus of Christianity.
The Papal State comes into being, where the odd situation of a
religious leader being also a head of state. Papal patronage,
baptistrys, learning centers in Rome etc. and other buildings.
Elsewhere in the West, bishops were important. Very, like local
rulers. Bishop cities emerged: Canturbury, York, etc. in Germany too,
bishop cities emerged, and those lands were folded into the system.
Bishops became advisors to the kings, and could talk to them and help
direct how to rule. Blessed their rulership.
Monks converted the people of the countryside, by default. They were
not cloistered like today, but worked and did conversions. Many
English and Irish monks were in Europe to preach and teach.
Books copied etc. They followed Augustines imperative of Christian's
learning being good. And so they didn't want to 'save' classical
culture, but instead, wanted to learn.
Exhuberant motifs, color, abstraction, intricate interlacing knotted
design, the glory of folk celtic art.
Schools were located in monestaries and cathedrals. kathedra is the
seat of a bishop. learning in hands of church: bible and the church
fathers are the expositors of learning. Purpose of education is not
pleasure, forming liberally educated people, not to get a job, but to
save souls. You went to
Lindesfarne produced a spectucular gospel book: masterpiece of
biblical scholarship and book art: Book of Kells. Greatest of the
scholars? The Venrable Bede (673-735) wrote a great history, biblical
commentary, theology, and time. We date anno domini today because of
So, Three Cultural Realms.
Now go back