Essay Example on The Early Middle Ages were a period in European History









The Early Middle Ages were a period in European history from the fall of the Holy Roman Empire in 476 AD to roughly 1000 AD The Early Middle Ages are the first subdivision of the Middle ages 476 AD 1400 AD a period between the aforementioned fall of Rome and the Renaissance The Early Middle Ages are characterized by an instability throughout Europe During the rule of the Roman Empire Centurions kept peace between the many peoples within the empire built roads and Aqueducts and defended the empire from foreign invaders When the empire fell these centurions left the empire with it opening the villages to attack by foreign invaders mostly Germanic such as the Visigoths and Vandals Who sacked many villages and towns Rome included These invaders forced many people to leave their homes and prevented stable agriculture As a result many people went hungry However dark the chaos seemed monasteries and cloisters throughout Europe kept the light of Christ alive These sheltered communities copied books educated people tended to the sick sheltered travelers assisted the poor and prayed to God daily 

This kept the beliefs and ideas of the Western world alive during the Early Middle Ages Without them we may have lost our knowledge of many essential things and definitely would not have made it to space in 1961 Yuri Gagarin becomes the first cosmonaut and human in space Many monasteries of this period were of the Benedictine order and thus operated under the Holy Rule of st Benedict This rule is about community living a day to day basic guide originally written for Christian men who wanted to be monks telling them what to do how to be Christ followers in that unique way and how to get along with each other 7 The Holy Rule of St Benedict is still implemented in monasteries today At first monasteries only educated young initiates to the order oblates meaning offerings This education was then extended to the children of noblemen merchants and then expanded into the first universities opened in Europe Monasteries played a crucial role in preserving the knowledge of the Roman Empire the Greek philosophers and Jesus teachings during the Early Middle Ages In the Year 800 AD a system called the Feudalism was in place in Europe Under this system a king was the sole ruler of a Country He appointed Barons to rule over large pieces of land in the kingdom called fiefs The Barons swore loyalty to the king and maintained an army for the king s use

The fiefs were divided further into manors which were under the jurisdiction of the lords The lords were knights and owned everything on the land that was theirs The lords ruled over peasants who made up most of the population 90 Some ran business and were considered free Others were practically slaves They owned nothing and worked 6 days a week Often they had little food These peasants lived a hard life and died early many barely reaching thirty years of age Under this system the Catholic Church was very powerful in most of Medieval Europe and collected a tithe of 10 from all of Europe Locally often rich Bishops managed dioceses and were the top church leaders in the kingdom 4 Under the Feudal system it was nearly impossible to climb through classes as all of the royalty was dynastic making Feudalism similar to the Caste system of ancient India 4 A powerful king of this time period was 

Charlemagne King of the Franks from 768 AD to 814 AD He succeeded in uniting most of Medieval Europe through a bloody three decades long series of battles against the Saxons Under his Rule Europe enjoyed a period of safety Charlemagne's troops kept invaders at bay and kept the peace He also also ensured the survival of Christianity in the West 2 Both by defending the popes and by giving property and money to the church Charlemagne strongly promoted education and personally recruited teachers for his school in Aachen For his services to the church Pope Leo III crowned him Holy Roman Emperor in 800 AD Charlemagne died in 814 AD after crowning his son Louis the Pious co emperor in 813 AD When Charlemagne died his empire included most of Western Europe but dissolved by the late 800s Life in the Early Middle ages was very difficult for poor peasants but in some cases quite comfortable for noblemen and bishops Monasteries played an important role in keeping the dwindling flame of culture alive but were also quite profitable as they received donations from both the Church and Lords This period was a time of rebuilding bridging the gap between the Holy Roman Empire and the more sophisticated and less bloody high middle ages

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