European Chaos, Byzantine
Security, Muslim Expansionism
and the Viking Invasions.
Movement of Barbarians through
Europe 4th-5th Century
Germanization of Europe
Council of Constantinople-381
• Initiated a system of hierarchy
• Bishops of Rome, Constantinople,
Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem
• All important areas to Church tradition.
• Bishop of Rome would be the overseer of
all Bishops—Pope (father or papa, Greek)
Why Rome?
Church’s Influence on the Franks
 Clovis and the Merovingian line of kings
 Charles Martel, Mayor who defeats the Moors at
Tours, 732 and the Carolingian line of kings
 Pepin, son of Charles Martel makes a deal with
the Pope of Rome to become king
Anointed king by the pope
Removes the Lombards from Italy
 “Donation of Pepin” –Later these areas
became known as the Papal States
Following the Death of Charlemagne
• Louis (the Pious)– Charlemagne’s only
living son inherits the throne, but is weak.
• Quarreling among his sons will lead to war
upon their father’s death.
• Eventually, Charlemagne’s empire is
divided following the Treaty of Verdun
– Lothar Lorraine, Burgundy, and Italy
– Louis II the German Germany
– Charles the Bald  France
Division of
The Eastern Roman Empire
becomes its own entity
Justinian and Theodora
– Reinforced the supremacy of an Imperial throne
– Conquered Vandals in N. Africa (Tricameron) and
Sicily-- Rome is reclaimed, then lost again to the
– Barbarians take over in the West--Eastern Roman
empire will no longer attempt to reclaim lands of
the old Roman Empire.
– last Latin Emperor--successors were Greeks,
influenced by Greek language and customs
Justinian and expansions
during his reign
Does the defeat of the
Vandals create a power
vacuum in North Africa?
Byzantine Empire 814
By the ninth century, the Empire had lost all of its territories
but Asia Minor, Greece, the boot of Italy, and the islands of
Sardinia and Sicily.
Spread of Islam
Land acquired prior to Muhammad’s death
After the death of Muhammad
• First Caliph: Abu Bakr- Father in law of
Muhammad (632-634)
• Second Caliph: Umar(634-644)
• Third Caliph: Uthman and dissension
– Great Expansion took place under the
second and third Caliphs
• Byzantium had lost many strongholds and
the Sassanian Empire was destroyed.
and unity
The First and Second Civil Wars
• Question of legitimacy
• Can one rule the entirety of the Muslim world?
– Answer: No!!
• Result of the First and Second Civil Wars
– Umayyad Caliphate (Capitol Damascus), then
Abbasid Caliphate (Capitol Baghdad)
• Center of Learning
– Great libraries …until the
– Great thinkers from
throughout the known world
invited…along with new
concepts/theories etc.
– Preservation of Classical
Greek literature– allowed for
the Renaissance
Dar al Islam
• Definition: the home of Islam
• By the end of the 7th century the greatest trade
centers in the world were located in Dar al Islam
The disintegration of the Caliphate
by the 10th Century
• Early Islam centered on the caliphate
• However, with no formal hierarchy
directing conversion, a multitude of local
Islamic communities emerged
• Disunity!!! (Becomes a mantra in the Mid East)
– Spanish Umayyad Caliphate
– Egyptian Fatimid Caliphate
– Abbasid Caliphate (Baghdad)
• Enter the Seljuk Turks (Barbarians Again!)
The Crusades
Eleventh to the Fifteenth Century
The Environment
• Europe
– Feudalism
• Townspeople looked to landholding nobles for security
• Of course, these nobles were not going to provide protection for
• Feudal structure develops
– Following the Death of Charlemagne
• Squabbling over land and wealth
Seljuk Turks 1100
Alexius I
• After two decades of fighting, Alexius
is unable to regain land lost to the
• Appeals for help, fears that the next
target is Constantinople
• Sends letter to Robert of Flanders
asking for soldiers to ward off the
Seljuk Turks
What kind
• Letter
of help does
he seek?
O illustrious count and great consoler of the faith, I
am writing to inform Your Prudence that the very
saintly empire of the Greek Christians is daily being
persecuted by the Pechenegs and the Turks ... The
blood of Christians flows in unheard-of scenes of
carnage ...
Therefore in the name of God and because of the
true piety of the generality of Greek Christians, we
implore you to bring to this city all the faithful
soldiers of Christ ... Bring me aid and bring aid to
the Greek Christians.
By coming, you will find your reward in heaven and,
if you do not come, God will condemn you.
Crusader States
Effects of the Crusades
• Enhanced the prestige of the papacy
• Weakening of the Byzantine Empire
– Animosity between east and west
• Weakening of the Islamic World
– Don’t look now, but here come the Mongols!
– Don’t worry, the Ottomans will strengthen it
• Established missionary movements
• Hastened the discovery of the New

European Chaos, Byzantine Empire and the Spread of Islam