Odovacar First babarian king of Italy. A German warrior, he
entered Italy around 470 with his tribe and joined the Roman army;
when Julius Nepos was overthrown by the Roman general Orestes, Odovacar
led his tribesmen in a revolt. His troops proclaimed him king in
476 (generally considered to be the end of the Western Roman Empire).
Although the Eastern emperor Zeno thought of Julius Nepos as Westerm
emperor, Odovacar refused to recognize this man's authority, as
did the Senate at Rome.
Zeno Emperor in Constantinople, 474-491. Isaurian war chief
from Cappadocia and Taurus mountain areas, cultivated by Leo I,
he faced continual palace intrigue from Leo's offspring and was forced
to fall back on Isaurian support. After Ostrogoths and other Barbarians
raided Balkans and Thrace, he sent Theodoric the Ostrogoth to unseat
Odovacar in West.
Ostrogoths One of the two main branches of Goths (westerners are Visigoths);
subjugated by Huns around 370s, broke free in 460s, raided in Eastern
Roman Danube areas from 470s. Under Theodoric, sent West by Zeno,
where they unseated Odovacar and set up a Gothic-Roman administration
and state in Italy. Pressured by Franks in north from 510s, defeated
by Byzantine forces 535-552 and dispersed.
Visigoths The western Goths, they settled north of Thrace and
east of the Adriatic Balkans. Coming into Roman lands initially
with imperial agreement in 375, th$ soon rebelled against the Roman's
negligent treatment and defeated Valens $ 378, then moved westward
from 395. When no Roman authority would consent to their integration
into Roman forces in exchange for food, their leader Alaric led
an invasion of Italy resulting in the plundering of Rome. Afte$
failing to get to North Africa, the Visigoths, under Athaulf and
Wallia, moved north from Italy into Gaul, where they fought for
Rome against claimants$ In late 418, they were made foederati,
settled in western Gaul, and allowed hospitalitas.
They moved from their assigned lands to Iberia after the 430s,
yet assisted Aetius to defeat Huns in 451. Kingdom in Spain lasted
to c.a. 700.
Theodoric By the late 470s, gained prominence as an Ostrogothic
leader. Alternately supporting Pope Leo II against rebels and
revolting in search of food and better office in the Roman system,
spent the greater part of the 480s marching up and down the Balkans raiding.
In 488, Zeno offered Theodoric the position of Master of Soldiers
in Italy, in return for unseating Odovacar. Passing through Pannonia,
he acquired Rugian and Gepid troops through 489, then moved into
Northern Italy, attracting Burgundians and Visigoths to the fight.
He quickly reduced Odovacar; then, beginning 493, h eestablished
the first post- Roman kingdom in the West. By the 510s his lands
included all of Italy, stretching past Milan in the north to the
Alpine regions, where the kingdom abutted the Franks as well as
the Burgundians in the northwest. Provence was also included in southeastern
France, after Frankish defeats of the Visigoths in the region.
Pannonian and Dalmatian lands along the Adriatic were incorporated
into Ostrogothic dominions. Legally, he presented himself to Italian
Latins as the Emperor Zeno's Master of Soldiers for the region.
and to the Germanics as a king. He instituted Roman law, practice,
religion (Catholicism), taxes, and language for the indigenous
Italians, while providing Germanic kingship, tribal Ostrogothic
(as well as Rugian) law, Arianism, and military duties for the
Merovingian Dynasty of kings that ruled the Franks, a Germanic
tribe, from 481 to 751. The kings were descendants of the chief
of the Salian Franks, Merovech or Merowig, who ruled from 448 to
458, and took their name from him. The first Merovingian ruler
was Clovis I, grandson of Merovech. Clovis expanded the kingdom to
include most of what is now France and part of Germany; when he
died in 511 his four sons divided the kingdom, and the four parts
united, divided, and reunited in subsequent years. The last strong
Merovingian monarch was the son of Clotaire II, Dagobert I, who
ruled from 629 to 639; after his reign, the kingdom became decentralized
as noble families took control of the land, ruling it under a feudal
system. Of these families, the Carolingians became the most powerful,
and in 751 one of them overthrew the Merovingian king Childeric
III, putting himself in power as Pepin the Short (Pepin III), and
bringing an end to the dynasty.
Pepin III Also known as Pepin the Short. First king of the Frankish Carolingian
dynasty and the father of Charlemagne. A son of Charles Martel,
Pepin became sole de facto ruler of the Franks in 747 and then,
on the deposition of Childeric III in 751, king of the Franks.
Huns Turco-Altaic tribal hordes from Central Asia, begin
pushing Germanic tribes West to Rhine and Danube from 350s. The Huns
defeated and subjugated Gepids and Ostrogoths in 360s, sending
other tribes over the rivers into Roman lands. Begin raiding East
Rome directly from 430s under kings, such as Rugilla. Attila,
leader from the 440s, extorted tribute from the East Roman Emperor.
Marcian refused tribute increases; Huns went west, raiding in
Gaul and Italy 451-4. Attila died in 454, loosing a revolt of
subjugated Germanics forcing the Huns to scatter.
Leo I East Roman Emperor to 474 and mentor of Zeno.
Illus Isaurian general. At times allied to Zeno, the latter's
opponents tried to lure Illus away with offers of power. Finally
revolted in earnest in 483 and was put down by Ostrogoths acting
on Zeno's behalf.
Burgundians Barbarian tribe moving through Roman Gaul 401-430s,
settled in central France, pushed to southwest.
Franks Germanic tribe living between Rhine and Elbe, from
300s. From the 400s, start to come over Rhine, but do not get
far into Gaul. Two groups--Ripuarian, staying on E. of Rhine,
and Salic, coming to W. side. The two groups remained in contact,
and each had large numbers of peasants settling ground closely.
The Franks produced first post-Roman large Gallic state.
Cassiodorus Scion of Roman senatorial family. Served Theodoric.
Boethius Scion of Roman senatorial family. Served Theodoric.
Executed for supposed treasonous contact with Constantinople.
The last Classical philosopher of early medieval Europe, he wrote Consolation
Anastasia Eastern Emperor, 491-518. Faced Bulgar raids. Was Monophysite,
causing schism with Rome.
Clovis Son of Childeric I, Frankish war leader from 486-511.
First Merovingian king, acheived conquests in central and southern Gaul.
Becomes Catholic, defeats Visigoths, pressures Ostrogoths, E.
Rome recognizes him as "consul".
Justin Eastern Emperor 518-527. Ends schism with Rome, grooms Justinian
Athalric Theodoric's grandson, child-king. Died 534.
Amalasuntha Athalric's mother, a powerful regent. Still Romanist
in intent, elevated Cassiodorus to Praetorian Prefect. Athalric
died in 534, but Ostrogothic nobles were unprepared to tolerate
female rule. Imprisoned by Theodehad.
Theodehad Theodoric's nephew, Ostrogothic king, imprisoned and murdered
Amalasuntha. She had been assured by Justinian of imperial protection,
and after her murder in 535, the Emperor had came close to effecting
Theodehad's abdication. A preemptive Gothic strike into Dalmatia
Justinian Roman Emperor, 527-565. Latin, Thracian. After Fighting
off an early insurrection, he reconquered N. Africa, Italy, and southern
Spain. The Persian wars restarted under his rule, and an epidemic
blew up in Mediterranean cities.
Belisarius Justinian's most successful general. He led armies
in N. Africa, Italy, and Persia.
Wittigis Gothic king from 537, besiege the Byzantine commander
in Rome. A second Byzantine cut off Wittigis' communications with
his capital in Ravenna. A year later, Belisarius besieged him.
Sought truce in 539-40. Just prior to defeat, Wittigis appealed
to the Persian Sassanian shah for help in the form of opening a
second front along Byzantium's eastern borders.
Sassanian Persian dynasty coming to power in third century, reviving designs
on Rome's Eastern possessions. Began on and off war from 200s
up to 630s. Defeated finally by Heraclius in 628.
Chosroes II Son of Persian shah Hormisdas. Latter was murdered
so Chosroes II fled to Greek territory. Maurice granted his request for
aid; new shah had promised Maurice a peace treaty along with restoration
to Byzantium of Armenia and eastern Mesopotamia. Kept his promise
Totila Wittigis' nephew, made the Italian war very hard for
Romans past 540.
Narses Chief eunuch of Justinian, from Armenia, protected
Justinian during Nika riots. Defeated Totila at Busta Gallorum
Teias Totila's successor, was defeated in 553 near Vesuvius.
Alboin Lombard king crowned in Milan in 569. By 573-4, he
was able to occupy Pavia, which became the Lombard capital.
Theodosius II (408-450) Eastern Emperor when Huns begin raiding in Danube area.
Attila Hun king from 440s; raided from Danube into Byzantium,
then headed west in 451.
Marcian East Roman Emperor from 450, refuses to increase Hun
tribute. Presides over Chalcedon council condemning Monophysitism.
Eutyches Accused of spreading the doctrine that Christ was not both human
and divine in 448. He taught that Christ's divinity had overpowered
his mortality and that Christ possessed only a single nature.
Alan Tribal group originating perhaps on Iranian plateau;
Germanic by the 300s, surged over Roman border from 406.
Aspar Barbarian general; a military strongman not able to
usurp emperorship because of his Alan background.
Pope Leo I Reigned from 440-61. Condemned Monophysitism, believed
in Rome's supremacy, held it up as such, negotiated with Huns not to
Basiliscus Leo I's brother-in-law, devoted to Monophysitism, conspired with
Verina and Aspar to become Emperor. Became Emperor in 475-477
when Zeno fled, but was inept. The masses were alienated through
harsh taxation, the Church despised him for trying to impose Monophysitism.
He was undone when he made his nephew Harmatius Master of Soldiers
Isaurians Mountain people ranging from East Cappadocia to Taurus mountains.
Provided military power to East Rome; Zeno was an Isaurian chief.
Vandals Barbarian tribe that migrated across Rhine in 401-406,
then passed through Gaul and into Spain. In 430s crossed over
to N. Africa. Sacked and occupied Carthage, where it set up a
pirate state and sailed to Rome in 451 to sack it. Gaiseric was
their king. Were Arians, oppressed N. Africa Catholics. Destroyed
by Belisarius in 533.
Blues and Greens From 480s, Constantinople urban masses increasingly
began to divide into two factions, based originally on charioteer
teams in the capital. Blues were allied with Greco-Roman landholding aristocrats
and supported Chalcedon. The Greens found support among urban
traders and the civil service, and contained Monophysites. From
the mid-490s they began to riot against each other, often entangling
the Emperor. In 532, they united at Nika, almost costing Justinian
Bulgars A nomadic group from the Ukraine, perhaps related to
the Huns, they began to penetrate Thrace and raid from early 500s.
Two subunits, the Utrigurs in the East, and the Kutrigurs in the
West, could be used against each other. From 540s, they began
to lead Slavs as far as southern Greece. In the seventh century
founded a state, and in the ninth an empire. Subdued in tenth.
Acacia Zeno's patriarch in the capital, consented to a Monophysite's
appointment to the Patriarchate of Alexandria. The Pope excommunicated
Acacia, who returned the favor, beginning a schism that lasted
Justin I A Balkan military man and Eastern Emperor from 518-527; ended
schism with Rome begun by Acacia, sent flotillas against Theodoric.
Guided by Justinian.
Theodora Justinian's wife, very dominant Empress. Was Monophysite,
of very humble origins. Disliked Belisarius, believing the man
to be a probably usurper.
John of Cappadocia Justinian's financial officer, responsible for harsh
taxes that alienated the rich. Supposedly venal in private life.
Nika rioters wanted his deposition and death.
Tribonian A pagan, Justinian's head of legal codification Corpus
Juris Civilis. Nika rioters wanted his deposition in
Childeric II Vandal king from 520s; he drew closer to Constantinople,
cut back on suppression of Catholics.
Gelimer A Vandal, he overthrew Childeric in 530, giving Justinian
a legal pretext for invasion.
Chosroes I Sassanian Shah, in 540 began a major offensive into
Eastern lands. Took the holy Christian city of Antioch. Though Justinian
agreed to terms including more tribute, Chosroes' armies continued;
the Byzantine army was defeated in Armenia in 543. But by 550,
the Sassanian forces had been fought to a standstill.
Slavs A forest people in the woods east of original German
settlement areas, moved to the lower Danube when the Huns fell.
Very uncivilized, pagan, had no visible government structures.
Began raiding Eastern Rome from the 500s, but new Roman walls prevented
tremendous damage. In the 540s, raids increased under the leadership
of Bulgars. Justinian built three chains of east-west fortifications,
which would cause Slavic-Bulgar losses upon their return from plundering.
Jacob Baradaeus Extreme Monophysite, made bishop by the exiled Alexandria Patriarch
in 543. He roamed through Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Asia Minor,
consecrating bishops and thousands of Monophysite priests.
Nestorians Christian sect believing there were two natures and
two persons in Christ, and no mingling.
Avars A barbarian tribe, raided and exacted tribute, then
stayed in Byzantine lands, creating a Danube state post-570. Caused peasant
flight, as well as full-scale urban decline in the Balkans and
even Thrace. Also caused problems for Heraclius, who was fighting
Persians at time. Both besieged Constantinople in 626.
Lombards Barbarian tribe from beyond Danube, came west in 550s
and invaded Italy from 568, setting up a kingdom in the north as
well as duchies of Spoleto and Benevento in South. Pressured Pope, raided
severely, brought on Dark Ages. Defeated by Pepin III and Charlemagne.
Maurice Emperor 582-603, granted Chosroes II's request for
promise of peace treaty in exchange for the restoration to Byzantium
of Armenia and eastern Mesopotamia. Miraculously, Chosroes II kept
his promise until 603. Maurice organized what was left of Justinian's
acquisitions into exarchates as Imperial command posts. Also sent
repeated expeditions against the Avars in the Danube region and
beyond. Maurice tried to be as frugal as possible. He reduced
military rations, and declined to ransom prisoners of the Avars.
This ultimately led to his downfall.
Phocas Danube area Roman general. He mutinied, massacred Maurice's
family, and became Emperor in 603: his reign brought the Empire
to its lowest point. With Maurice's assumption, Chosroes II invaded
Byzantine lands. By 608, they came as far west as Chalcedon, within
sight of Constantinople. During the same years, Avar-Slav incursions
increased, with few troops available to stop them. Phocas' response
was a campaign to forcibly convert the Empire's Jews. Deposed
by Heraclius in 610.
Heraclius Ruled 610-641. Deposed Phocas, fought and defeated
Persians, 614-28. Recovered all lost lands. Resisted Avar sieges.
Was defeated by Muslims, losing all of recovered lands. Promoted Monotheletism.
Shahr-Baraz Chosroes II's key general.
Sergius Heraclius' Patriarch of Constantinople. Supported
emperor with Church and funds. Maintained capital's morale during Sassanian-Avar
Razates Replacement Persian general after Shahr-Baraz was killed
Kava Siroe After Chosroes II committed suicide, he became Shah.
Henri Pirenne Belgian socio-economic historian, tried to revise the
view that the Barbarian migrations spelled the doom of the Antique
in Europe. According to him, one had to look elsewhere, and later, for
the decomposition of Mediterranean civilization based on long-distance
commerce and high culture. For him, the cause of Mediterranean
dissolution was the Islamic expansion, which brought a war-like
band of Arabs into domination of the trade routes. Not at all inclined
towards trade, they strangled the Mediterranean basin, ushering
in the impoverished early Middle Ages.
Muhammad Born 570-580. Prophet of and founder of Islam. Emigration
to Medina in 622, calendar begins. Returns Mecca in triumph 630. Died
Khalid Muslim general who defeated Byzantines in 634-637.
Led Muslim conquest of Syria-Palestine.
Sophronius Patriarch of Jerusalem, opposed Sergius' compromise
doctrine that Christ had two natures, with a single motive force,
or energy. Was Patriarch of Jerusalem when Muslims
John IV Western Pope who, in 641, condemned Monotheletism,
the idea that Christ was of two natures, and did not have a single
energy, but possessed a single will.
Constantine (r. 313-337) Roman Emperor who reunited the state after years of
civil war. Legalized and patronized Christianity, founded Constantinople in
East. First Eastern Emperor, archetypal Christian Emperor.
Tariq Muslim general who led 711 conquest of Spain.
Leo III Elected to the Papacy in 796, but opposed by relatives
of his predecessor. These enemies staged a coup in 799, but Charlemagne
sent Leo back to the Holy See. Charlemagne came to Rome before
Christmas 800, convoked a synod of Church and civil leaders. Leo
took an oath his innocence. At Christmas mass Leo crowned Charlemagne
as Emperor of the Romans.
Ali Muhammad's relative and companion. Fourth Caliph,
deposed in the civil war with Muawiya. Focus of Shi'ite beliefs.
muhajirun Name for emigrants with Muhammad to Mecca in 622.
ansar Medinian Muslims and helpers of Meccan émigrés (muhajirun).
Umar Early Muslim, convinced Abu Bakr to become Caliph.
Stewarded much early Islamic conquest.
Abu Bakr First Caliph, a compromise choice between muhajirun
Caliph Secular-spiritual leader of Islamic state, 632-900s.
Means 'successor', to Muhammad.
People of the Book Term applied by Islam to Jews, Christians, and those
receiving revealed scriptures. Zoroastrians were included in the classification
for pragmatic reasons.
Uthman Third Caliph, practiced nepotism, beginning of Ummayad possession
of power. Murdered.
Muawiya Muslim governor of Syria; related to Uthman, wanted
to avenge his death, so revolted against the Caliph Ali. Emerged
as victor in the resulting civil war, and established Ummayad Caliphate
Ummayads Islamic dynasty ruling from Damascus, founded by Muawiya
in 661. Continued until 751.
umma Word for 'Islamic world': all Muslims, and area of
Shi'ite Party of Ali, those who felt he should have been first
Caliph, and that only his descendents are fit to rule Islamic state.
View all others as illegitimate. Becomes religious sect in Islam.
Husayn Ali's son, martyred by Muawiya's son at Karbala in
Imam Muslim prayer leader; in Shi'ism it refers to the male
descendents of Ali, the only ones fit to rule.
Abbasids Dynasty overthrowing the Ummayads in 749-751. Ruling
from Baghdad, power dissipated from 900s.
Abd al-Rahman Surviving Ummayad, escaped to Spain in 756, setting
up Ummayad Caliphate of Spain centered at Cordoba.
Fatimid dynasty State set up in Tunisia, reaching Egypt by 969. Based
on a sub-sect of Shi'ism venerating descendents of Fatima, Muhammad's daughter.
Sunni Mainstream, orthodox Muslims recognizing legitimacy
of all four first caliphs and the Ummayads.
Ghaznavids under Mahmud First Islamic state of Turkish ethnicity, in Eastern
Iran, from 940s.
Abd al-Rahman III Ummayad Amir in Spain, reestablished political unity
among Iberian Muslims in 960s.
Kingdom of Asturias Small Christian state in Iberia from 850s; holds on
in north from Oveido.
Sancho the Great Spanish Christian king, got along well with Muslims;
by 1034, incorporated Aragon, Sobrarbe, Barcelona, as well as Asturian Leon
and Castile into his kingdom.
Aegidius The last Roman (though German) general in Northern
Gaul, made himself the political leader of the area's Romans.
Cut off from Italy by Burgundians, Visigoths, and others, he relied
for warriors on Franks. On two occasions he hired a Frankish chieftain
named Childeric I, Clovis' father.
Childeric I Frankish war chieftain who died in 481. Increased
Frankish raiding and territorial possessions. Died as most popular
Frank, with palace at Tournai. Father of Clovis.
Syagrius Aegidius' son in Gaul, defeated by Clovis at Battle
of Soissons in 486.
Alaric II Visigoth king in southwestern Gaul, exiled Catholic
bishops no longer willing to cooperate with the Arian ruler. Defeated
by Clovis in 507.
Clodomir One of Clovis' four sons, received Western areas in
511. Died in 534, his areas divided among remaining brothers--Theuderic, Childebert,
and Clothar I.
Clothar I Youngest son of Clovis, ruled all Frankish lands after
his brothers' deaths (558-62). At his death, another four-fold division
occurred among the leading members of the Frankish Merovingian
Austrasia Ancient Frankish lands straddling the Rhine.
Sigibert Merovingian family member, offspring of Clothar's generation, received
Austrasia in 562.
Neustria 'New lands', conquered after Clovis' ascent, in Northern, Western
Chilperic Sigibert's brother, received Neustria, 562.
Guntram Descendent of Clothar, received Burgundy in 562.
Brunhilde Visigothic princess, wife of Sigibert of Austrasia.
Chilperic married her sister Galswintha, but murdered her shortly thereafter,
provoking Sigibert's ire. Became regent for Childebert and real
ruler of Austrasia. Chilperic died in 595, leaving Brunhilde as
sole ruler of Burgundy and Austrasia, in the name of her grandsons
Theudebert and Theodoric. Austrasian counts, chafed under their
Visigothic queen whose chief supporter was Theodoric. He died
in 613, and Austrasian nobility refused to recognize continued
Clothar II Chilperic's son, became Neustrian king in 593. Acquired Austrasia
when nobles refused to recognize Brunhilde's rule.
Pepin of Heristal Austrasian Mayor; he invaded the lands to the west
and defeated the Neustrian- Burgundian Mayor Bercharius in 687 at
Tertry, making his own king Theodoric III the nominal ruler of
a re-united Gaul. Real power was left in Pepin's hands. In 689,
Pepin defeated the Frisian king Radbod to join the North Sea lands
to Frankish realms. Bishops and monks were sent to the area to further
Charles Martel Pepin of Heristal's illegitimate son, became Major
Domo in Austrasia and went on to re-acquire Neustria,
Aquitane, Alammania, and Thuringia. He made Bavaria dependent
and began anti-Saxon, all the while putting the state firmly behind Christianization.
In northern Gaul, he secularized Church property, appointing relatives
and supporters as bishops. In 732, at the request of Aquitane's
Count Odo, he defeated Iberian Muslim forces at the Battle of Tours
in Poiters, establishing evacuated areas as border marches. On
Odo's death in 735, control of Aquitane reverted to Charles, and
his power grew in Burgundy and Provence. After the titular Merovingian
king died in 737, Charles ruled alone until his own death in 741.
Charlemagne Carolingian monarch, ruled 768-806. Conquered Saxony, Frisia,
pushed Chrtistianization East, patronized Church in his own realms,
tried to spur on classical learning, established border marches
in Pyrenees, took Lombard Italy, rescued Pope, became Roman Emperor
Hadrian I (772-795) Pope who implored Charlemagne to come south and punish
the Lombard kings pressuring Rome.
Louis the Pious Charlemagne's son and successor, allotted imperial
title and most of realm. Religious in inclination, did not barely prosecuted
war. Faced sons' rebellions and beginnings of Vikings. Died 840.
Widukind Saxon King, submitted to Charlemagne in 785.
Vikings Scandinavian pagan raiders who began an onslaught against Europe
from 790s, beginning with Britain. Hit mainland in 820s, menacing
France and Germany to the 920s. Went East to Russia as well.
Lothair Louis the Pious' oldest son, slated to get the most
of the realm. In 840 his two younger brothers Charles and Louis
combined to fight him at the Battle of Fontenoy. Results required compromise.
Charles the Bald received the western regions from forty miles
east of Paris to the southwestern Marches and stretching from the
English Channel to the Mediterranean. Louis the German received
eastern districts from the Marches beyond the Elbe to just outside
Strasbourg, and from Denmark in the north to the Adriatic in the
south. Lothair's kingdom was wedged between, stretching from the
North Sea all the way past the papal States in Italy, with the
Imperial capitals. Accordingly, it was he who received title of
Charles the Bald Son of Louis the Pious. After Fontenoy in 843, received
the western regions from forty miles east of Paris to the southwestern
Marches and stretching from the English Channel to the Mediterranean.
Louis the German Son of Louis the Pious. After Fontenoy in 843, received
eastern districts from the Marches beyond the Elbe to just outside Strasbourg,
and from Denmark in the north to the Adriatic in the south.
Magyars Tribes, perhaps Turkish, pushed to Hungary in late
700s. Raided in Austrasia and Italy from 820s. Finally stopped
in 930s-955. Converted to Christianity, stayed in Hungary.
King Arnulf German king, asked Magyars to punish the Czech Kingdom
of Moravia to the east of Germany and Burgundy in 892. After destroying
it in the 900-910s, they turned to raiding in Germany, Italy, as
well as Burgundy, France, and Provence.
Conrad of Franconia Elected by Austrasian nobles in 911 to replace last
Carolingian. Too weak to fight off Magyars.
Henry the Fowler German king from 918-936. A Saxon, was able to defend
his region from Magyars, and accommodated other nobles.
King Otto I Henry the Fowler's son, became king in 937, ruled to
970s. Defeated Magyars at Lechfeld (955), punished noble rebels, intervened
in Italy taking lands and appointing popes. Starts the Ottonian
dynasty of Saxon kings in Germany.
Alfred the Great (r. 871-899) Held off Vikings in England, defeating them at Edington
(878), as well as in renewed attacks in 890s, before coming to
a truce. United Wessex and Mercia through marriage. Strengthened
the army and territorial fortifications.
Varangians Vikings going into Russia from 800s, as far south as
Kiev, a new outpost. Visited Constantinople with trade and raid
Sviatoslav By the middle of the century under Sviatoslav, the
Varangians had been demographically swallowed by Slavs. The king
led expeditions against the Khazars (965), Volga Bulgars (966)
and the Lower Danube Bulgar Khanate (967), but was not able to penetrate
Byzantine Balkans, and was killed in a Patzinak ambush (972).
I, Prince of Kiev (980-1015) Officially accepted the Orthodox rite through an accord
with resurgent Byzantium under Basil II (r. 976-1025) whereby he also
agreed to marry the Emperor's daughter, establishing lasting cultural
Basil II (r. 976-1025) Very powerful Byzantine Emperor. Known as Bulgar Slayer, removed
this people as an offensive threat to the Empire. Also was successful
in eastern campaigns, and reformed army as well as administration.
Ruled at the apogee of Byzantium.
Emperor Charles the Fat The last strong Frankish king in the East, was able
to push Vikings off from Paris; he offered the Vikings a ransom
called Danegeld, as well as unhampered plundering in Burgundy,
his enemy at the time.
Rollo Viking leader given lands at the mouth of the Seine
by Charles the Simple in 911. Soon enlarged to include Normandy.
The eventual Normans also accepted Christianity and nominal vassalage
to the French King. Defending the region from other Vikings, they
would rise through the century from counts to dukes, and become
Robert the Strong Progenitor of French noble clan called Capets, got
his start when Charles the Bald appointed him missus in
the Loire to hold off the Vikings. In the next thirty years, his
family expanded to include the counties of Angers, Tours, Blois,
Orleans, and most importantly, Paris.
Odo (r. 888-898) Rather than a Carolingian, in 887 French feudal lords
chose Odo, the marquis of Neustria and son of Robert the Strong,
Capetians French noble family descending from Robert the Strong
of 870s, based in Paris region. When the last West Frankish Carolingian, Louis
V, died in 987, France's great men elected Hugh Capet (987-996)
as 'Duke of France.' He soon had his son elected as associate
and heir. Though supported by the church, his control did not
extend far beyond his own duchy.
Damasus Church father supporting Papal predominance in Christendom.
Wrote in 380s.
Augustine Church father, theologian in 420s-430s. Bishop near
Carthage, wrote City of God, exonerating Christianity
of Rome's fall. Encouraged an inward-looking spirituality.
Stylites Monastics in Syria, Palestine, practiced isolation
though dwelling on high pillars.
John Cassian Left Egypt for Constantinople, settling in Marseilles
as a refugee from Church disputes in the 410s. Up until this time
individual monasteries had been following their own rules. On
the request of a local bishop, John wrote a rule- book entitled Institutes, based
upon Greek rules from Basil of Caesarea (370s).
Basil of Caesarea (370s) The founder of organized monasticism in the Eastern
St. Benedict St. Benedict of Nursia (c. 480- c. 543). Living in
Italy during Byzantine- Ostrogothic warfare, he wanted to create
a rule of life for personal spiritual improvement within a corporate, communal
framework. Unlike his Egyptian predecessors, essential to the
Benedictine Rule was "nothing harsh nor burdensome." A monastery
was to be a school for beginners, with monks remaining in one location--a
vow of (territorial) stability. A rigorous daily schedule of prayer
and work was to embody the key principles of humility, obedience
(expressed through total submission to the abbot), and work in
the fields, to prevent idle thoughts and laziness.
Pope Gregory I Laid the foundations for future Papal grandeur. Born
into a noble Roman family in 540. He lived through Lombard depredations,
entering into imperial service and becoming he Prefect of Rome
by the 570s. In 574, he left secular life to become a monk. From
579-85 he lived in Constantinople as Rome's ambassador, returning
to Rome to help in Church administration. In 590 he became Pope.
The first, immense challenge facing him was the Lombard invasions.
Civil administration was almost nonexistent in this period, so
he assumed control of the city. During the total vacuum of imperial control,
he made a truce with the invaders in 592, and then directed urban
defenses when war re- ignited the following year. To provide for
the Church and laity's material survival, he reorganized Papal
Estates in the south, making them turn profits from their crops.
Revenues relieved famines, and endowed churches, hospitals, and
schools. Gregory's next accomplishment was to enforce Papal supervision
over all churches in Italy and southern Gaul through agents of
the central church. Farther north was more of a problem, as Frankish
Kings saw the church as their property. Upon building churches
or monasteries, rulers would appoint priests, and tried to control Christian
hierarchies. Gregory stood against this. Commanding priests not
to marry, he hoped to end the familial alliances that produced
Frankish control over clerics. Also patronized missionary efforts
St. Patrick (390?-461) Possibly born among the Christianized west Britons,
he was carried off to Ireland as a slave at a young age, after
which he escaped to Gaul and spent twenty years in its burgeoning monastic
centers. At this point (432), he undertook a further exile (a
pattern followed by later Irish-English monks), returning to Ireland
as a bishop and overseeing mass conversion there.
St. Columba (521-597) Practicing exile, this Irish monk set up a monastery
on the Scottish coastal island Iona, and from the 560s traveled
through Scotland converting Picts.
St. Columbanus (530?-615) About 590, arrived at the Merovingian Guntram's Burgundy court.
The latter supported his foundation of monasteries in the region.
Quarrels with Brunhilde and his refusal to recognize Theuderic's
illegitimate children resulted in expulsion from Frankish lands.
He eventually arrived in Lombard Italy, where King Agilulf supported
his founding of the Bobbio monastery in 615.
Aethelbehrt King of Kent in 570s-580s, had married Frankish King Charibert's
daughter, the former had been required to allow a Frankish bishop
and retinue into his kingdom. Pope Gregory, sent a monk named
Augustine (d. 605) to Kent in 597, whom Aethelbehrt allowed to
preach from a monastery in Canterbury. The King and his people
soon converted to Roman Catholicism, and Augustine became Archbishop
of Canterbury. East Saxons then converted around 604, with a bishop
posted to London. Though Essex and Kent kings reverted to paganism
after Aethelbehrt's 616 death, they soon returned to the faith
under Kent's Eadbald and Eorcenberht (616-64).
Augustine (d. 605) Pope Gregory sent a monk named Augustine (d. 605) to
Kent in 597, whom Aethelbehrt allowed to preach from a monastery
in Canterbury. The King and his people soon converted to Roman Catholicism,
and Augustine became Archbishop of Canterbury.
Edwin Christianization spread northward in the 620s when
King Edwin of Northumbria married Eadbald's sister and agreed to
accept the new religion.
Paulinus A Roman missionary who worked in North England in the
Oswald (633-642) In 633, he defeated the Mercians, allowing Christianization
to proceed in England. He, however, invited a Celtic monk to preach.
Theodore of Tarsus In 669 Pope Vitalian sent a new Archbishop to Canterbury, Theodore
of Tarsus. While the English church had been largely monastic
up until now without rigid dioceses, Theodore established these.
Furthermore, being from Eastern Rome, he was in touch with the
original sources of classical learning.
Willibrord Between 690-739 engaged in conversion efforts in Frisia
and among Germans east of Ripuarian Franks.
Boniface English Benedictine monk, Papal legate to Germans beyond
the Rhine and Archbishop in eastern Germany. From 741-747 he held
councils with Frankish support to Christianize the populace, reform
the area church, and monasticize it. This also led to increased
control from Rome.