Chapter 8: European Civilization in the Early Middle Ages, 750-1000

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Chapter 8: European Civilization in the Early Middle Ages, 750-1000
2012-10-15 23:58:36
Part Slavic Peoples Central Eastern Europe

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  1. Spacious Plain housed several nomads that terrorized and plundered communities. It was easy to create large empires and be overthrown and later assimilated by native Slavs. The Slavs were originally a single people in c. Europe who through mass migration and nomadic invasions were divided into three major groups:
    • Western Slavs
    • Eastern Slavs
    • Southern Slavs
  2. I.                   Western Slavs
    • a.      Germans assumed responsibility for these people’s conversion because German emperors considered it their duty to spread Christianity to barbarians
    •                                                               i.      Also provided opportunity to extend political authority
    •                                                             ii.      Missionaries converted Czechs
    • 1.      Bishopric occupied by Czech bishop
    •                                                           iii.      Slavs in Poland not converted until Prince Mieszko reign
    • b.      Non-Slavic kingdom of Hungary, which emerged after Magyar defeat at Lechfeld in 955, converted to Christianity by German missionaries
    • c.       Saint Stephen, king of Hungary from 997 to 1038, facilitated the acceptance of Christianity by his people
    • d.      They became closely tied to the Roman Catholic Church and Latin culture
  3. I.                   Southern Slavs
    • a.      Converted to Eastern Orthodox Christianity of Byzantine empire by Cyril and Methodius (two Byzantine missionary brothers)
    •                                                               i.      Created Cyrillic alphabet, translated Bible into Slavonic, and developed Slavonic church services
    • b.      Southern Slavs accepted Christianity
    •                                                               i.      Still, a split developed between those who accepted Roman church (Croats) and those who remained loyal to eastern Christianity (Serbs)
    • c.       Bulgars absorbed by southern Slavs and formed Slavic Bulgarian Kingdom
    •                                                               i.      Accepted Eastern Orthodox churches
    • 1.      Embraced Slavonic church services
  4. I.                   Eastern Slavs
    • a.      Contended with Viking invaders after settling
    •                                                               i.      Swedish Vikings moved down rivers into their land in search of booty and trade routes
    • 1.      Established trading links with Byzantine State
    • a.      Varangians built trading settlements
    • b.      Became involved in civil wars among Slavs
    • c.       Dominated natives
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Rurik + Vikings= Rus; attached to Russia
    •                                                                                                                                     ii.      Oleg: resided in Kiev and created Rus state
    • 1.      Successors extended control over eastern Slavs and expanded Kiev
    • 2.      Through intermarriage, they were assimilated into Slavic population
  5. Eastern Slavs
    Growth of Kiev
    • a.      Growth of Kiev attracted missionaries from Byzantine Empire
    •                                                               i.      Vladimir married Byzantine emperor’s sister and accepted Christianity
    • 1.      Not spiritual motives
    • a.      Believed an established church would help develop an organized state