Chapter 6
• The arrival of Germanic peoples
transformed the Roman Empire and new
kingdoms emerged, in which the church
played an increasingly important role.
The Making of the Western
Kingdoms, ca. 376-750
• Life in a German Clan and Family
– Roman Sources
– Marriage Patterns
• Germanic Clothing and Food
– Agriculture and Diet
• Heroic Society
– Warrior Bands
The Making of the Western
Kingdoms, ca. 376-750
• Infiltrating the Roman Empire, 376-476
– The Huns
• Movement seems to be one of the reasons that triggered the
invasion of the Roman Empire, mostly by a group called the
• A Mongolian tribe originating in northern China. These Huns
struck terror in the hearts of the Germanic tribes in their path.
• Which caused some Germanic tribes to seek safety within
the boundaries of the Roman empire, such as the Visigoths.
– Federate Treaties
The Making of the Western
Kingdoms, ca. 376-750
– Arian Christianity
– Loss of Provinces
The Making of the Western
Kingdoms, ca. 376-750
• Did Rome “Fall”?
– Transformation not “Fall”
• Historians criticize the concept of the “Fall” of Roman mostly
• The eastern half of the Empire did not collapse but remained
strong for several centuries.
• The concept of “Transformation” fits evidence better.
• The Germanic tribes themselves were transformed, both in
their languages and in their religious beliefs.
– Germans Transformed
The Making of the Western
Kingdoms, ca. 376-750
• The Growing Power of the Popes
– Petrine Doctrine
– Gregory the Great
• Pope Gregory the Great helped enhanced the
position of the papacy.
• Taking over the day to day administration of the
city of Rome.
• Sending missionaries to begin the conversion of
Anglo-Saxon England
• And negotiating a truce with the Lombard's to
prevent a sack of Rome.
The Making of the Western
Kingdoms, ca. 376-750
• Monasteries: Peaceful Havens
– Benedict of Nursia
– Irish Christianity
– Conversion of Britian
• Rise and Fall of a Frankish Dynasty, ca. 485-750
– Christian Merovingians
• Merovingian kings of France.
• The Franks were ruled by the Merovingian family named after a
legendary ancestor, Merovech.
• The most famous was Clovis.
• But real power began to be exerted by the “mayors of the palace”,
an office controlled by another noble family , the Carolingians.
– Decline of Merovingians
The Making of the Western
Kingdoms, ca. 376-750
• Accomplishments and Destruction in Italy, ca.
– Fostering Learning
– Fall of Ostrogoths
• The Ostrogoths, who’s king was Theodoric.
• One of its weakness is that it shared with several other
Germanic states is that its people were Arian rather than
Roman Christians.
• It had the most vigorous intellectual life of the Germanic
successor states, with philosophers, historians, and the
development of the BC/AD system of counting years.
• But it was short lived, falling into disarray after Theoderic’s
The Making of the Western
Kingdoms, ca. 376-750
• The Visigoths in Spain, 418-711
– Visigothic Weaknesses
• The Germanic Visigoths, after numerous
wanderings, settled in Spain.
• Was noted for its political instability.
• Was noted for its anti-Semitism.
• And was destroyed by the expansion of Islam.
Chapter 6
• As the invasions of the Germanic peoples
transformed the western part of the
empire, the east distanced itself from the
west, which led to its transformation into a
distinct empire, now called Byzantium.
– A Separate Empire
• The Byzantine Empire was an eastern continuation
of the Roman Empire.
The Byzantine Empire, ca. 4001000
• Justinian and Theodora, r. 527-565
– Nika Riot
– Rebuilding the City
– Legal Codification
• Byzantine emperor Justinian undertook a major
codification of laws that has influenced law to the
The Byzantine Empire, ca. 4001000
– Reconquering the West
• Justinian efforts led to the reconquest of North
Africa and temporary reconquest of Italy.
• To defend the empire, Byzantine rulers divided the
empire into themes, or military districts, raising
local troops to defend each province, and maintain
a strong armored cavalry as the backbone of its
The Byzantine Empire, ca. 4001000
• Constantinople: The Vibrant City in the
– Lucrative Industries
– Chariot Races
• Military Might and Diplomatic Dealings
– Provincial Organization
– The Army
– Diplomacy
The Byzantine Empire, ca. 4001000
• Breaking Away from the West
– Religious Controversy
– Iconoclasm
• Byzantine world and the West separated themselves over the
topic based on iconoclastic religious ideas.
• Leo III (717-741) ordered all icons destroyed, and in an
autocratic style, he intended for his decree to apply to all of
Christendom, east and west. In part this dictate represented
a belief common in the Asiatic provinces, that veneration of
icons amounted to worshipping idols. Leo’s policy also had a
political side. The eastern emperors wanted to challenge the
growing power of the monasteries, then producing most of
the icons.
The Byzantine Empire, ca. 4001000
• Converting the Slavs, 560-ca. 1000
– Cyril and Methodius
• The Byzantine sought a way to bring these
peoples the eastern empire’s influence, by sending
out missionaries, such as Cyril and Methodius,
which converted many of the Slavic tribes to
– Conversion of Russia
– “Golden Age”
Chapter 6
• The new religion preached by Muhammad spread
quickly and led to the creation of an expanding empire in
which Hellenistic learning was preserved as new cultural
forms emerged.
– Islam, before Muhammad, Mecca was already an important
trading city with connections to Egypt.
– Muhammad declared that he was the proper prophet of God,
rescuing the divine message from Christian and Jewish
– Muhammad would go on to spread the Islam beliefs to other
– The Islamic conquests succeeded because the unification of the
Arabian peninsula and, the willingness of dissident Christians to
prefer Moslem rule.
Islam, 600-1000
• The Prophet
– The Qur’an
• They had a uniform enforcement of laws based on
the Qur’an and the traditions attributed to the
• The Religion
– Faith
– Public Rituals
Islam, 600-1000
• The Spread of Islam
– Hijra
– Battle of Tours
– Reasons for Success
Islam, 600-1000
• Creating an Islamic Unity
– Unifying Elements
• The Islamic world created a unified culture in areas
of conquest with the spread of the Arabic
language, commerce as well as religion.
• They would develop a vigorous trade network that
stretched from the Mediterranean to India.
• The Gracious Life
– Women
– Daily Life
Islam, 600-1000
• Forces of Disunity
• A major political question that divided Moslems after Muhammad
died, was weather the caliphate should belong to the descendants
of the Prophet and his son in law.
• Caliph - A title meaning “successor to the Prophet” given to Muslim
rulers who combine political authority with religious power.
– Shi’ite Muslims
• The Shi’ites believe that the right to govern the Islamic world
belongs to the descendants of Ali, the son in law of the Prophet.
– Umayyad Caliphate
– Abbasid Caliphate
• The Abbasid caliphate overthrew the Umayyads, claiming that it
would restore spiritual authority to the Caliphate and moved the
capital to Baghdad. Never gaining control of the entire Islamic world,
and gradually lost its political dominance.
Islam, 600-1000
• Heirs to Hellenistic Learning
• All in All the two greatest scientific advances in the
Islamic world were, Mathematics and Medicine.
– Medicine
Islam, 600-1000
– Mathematics
– Literature
• Islam and the West

Chapter 6