Early Middle Ages
Early Middle Ages
The Rise Of Europe
Focus on Themes
• Geography and History: Why did Western Europe
develop its own resources during the Middle Ages?
• Political and Social Systems: How did feudalism and the
manor economy provide a measure of political, economic,
and social order?
• Religions and Value Systems: How did the Roman
Catholic Church spread Christian civilization throughout
• Economics and Technology: What new technologies
sparked a revolution in agriculture and commerce?
• Continuity and Change: How did Western Europeans
blend Greco-Roman, Christian, and Germanic traditions to
build a new civilization?
The Fall of Rome; 476 CE
Political corruption, military decline, social
decline,foreign invasions and many other causes lead
to the gradual decline of power in the Roman Empire.
Over the next few centuries, German customs,
culture, ideas, and language combined and replaced
Roman culture. As old Roman cities crumbled and
roads disappeared the slow transition into Medieval
times witnessed the central role of the Christian
Church and the struggle for control of the dying
What Comes Next?
A. The Roman way of life continues to
B. Empires collapse and Dark Ages begin.
“Where is the Senate? Where are the
people? The bones are all dissolved,
the flesh is consumed, all the pomp
and dignities of this world is gone.
The whole mass is boiled away.”
•How does the quote describe life in the
early Middle Ages?
Rich Black Earth
•How did Geography cause a difference in the
economies of Ancient Rome and Europe of
the Middle Ages?
Clovis ends Roman Rule in Gaul
King of the Franks
486 - Defeats Romans in Gaul
502 - Clovis promises to convert to Christianity if
able to defeat the Allemani, his enemies
What Comes Next?
A. Clovis is defeated and chaos ensues.
B. Clovis defeats the Allemani.
Charles Martel became
Mayor of the Palace of
Austrasia when his
father, Pepin II, died in
714. That year he was
imprisoned by his stepmother Plectudis, but
escaped later in the year
to lead the Austrasian
and Neustrian nobles.
•731, Moslem governor of
Spain, Abd ar-Rahman,
•732, Moslems take Poitiers
and march on Tours.
•Charles Martel leads the
armies of Franks against the
advancing Moslem forces.
What Comes Next?
A. The Franks win the Battle of Tours.
B. The Franks lose the Battle of Tours.
Charles Martel defeats, captures,
and kills ar-Rahman and the
Why is the Battle of Tours significant?
•Reunited much of old Roman Empire
•missi domenici - government officials sent
out to keep control of provinces; checked on
roads, listened to grievances, apportion
On Christmas Day, 800,
Charlemagne was reluctantly
crowned the Holy Roman
Emperor by Pope Leo III.
(How did this cause
What comes next?
A. Charlemagne separates himself from the
B. Charlemagne accepts his role as protector
of the Church.
• Sees the Church as having been entrusted
to him by God to defend and to direct
• Spreads Christianity through Europe using
Charlemagne Promotes Architecture
786 – Charlemagne
built the Palace
•Especially for the
Clergy, but did include
Charlemagne replaced by
Louis the Pious
• 814 – Louis the Pious continues to spread
ideas of Carolingian Dynasty
• 848 – Three sons make Treaty at Verdun
and divide up Frankish empire
• (First use of common language – French,
German – displayed by competing rulers)
The fourth century started with
Barbarian invaders from the East such as
the Franks, the Vandals and the
Visigoths. People feared for their safety
and began allying themselves with local
lords in exchange for protection from
the barbarians. In this way, the feudal
society that would characterize so much
of the Medieval Age began to emerge.
Welcome to the new Islamic
The Church gathers support from rival
barbarian tribes and defeats the Franks.
Sorry, not this time.
The Barbarian Tribes shifted the
demographics of Western Europe.
Click button to view map of Barbarian
Deciphering Point of View
Account from Edward Gibbons, great western
historian of the Fall of Rome.
A victorious line of march had been
prolonged above a thousand miles from
the Rock of Gibraltar to the banks of the
Loire; the repetition of an equal space
would have brought the Saracens
(Muslims) to the confines of Poland and
the highlands of Scotland; the Rhine is
not more impassable than the Nile or the
Euphrates, and the Arabian fleet might
have sailed without a naval combat into
the mouth of the Thames. Perhaps the
interpretation of the Koran would now be
taught in the schools of Oxford, and her
pulpits might demonstrate to a
circumcised people the sanctity and truth
of the Revelation of Mahomet.
Account is one of only a few passing mentions of
the battle by the great Arab historian.
Ubayda [the governor of North Africa] had
given authority over Spain to Abd alRahman. Abd al-Rahman was a worthy
man who made expeditions against the
Franks. They are the remotest of the
enemies of Spain. He gained much booty
and overcame them.. . . . Then he went on
another excursion and he and all his
companions suffered martyrdom for
Islam. His death took place in the year 115
- Ibn Abd al-Hakam