The Roman Empire - PowerPoint by wanghonghx

VIEWS: 14 PAGES: 101

									The Roman Empire
              Classical Roman Empire
• Rome was one of four Classical Empires:
  –   Han China
  –   Mauryan India
  –   Parthian Persia
  –   Rome
• All arose between 200-100 B.C.
• Characterized by their unification around at least
  two widely disparate geographical regions.
        The Classical Empire
• All four classical empires had been united
  by force and would not have stayed together
  had not the rulers formed institutions to do
• Rome was created not by the ability to
  conquer lands but it’s need to develop the
  institutions necessary to consolidate and
  rule those lands.
          The Classical Empire
• Each Empire used basically the same unifying
  institutions to bind the Empire together:
  –   Common Language
  –   Currency
  –   System of weights and measures
  –   Networks of roads and canals
  –   Standing army
  –   Centralized authority
  –   Professional civil servants
     Comparison of Eastern and
         Western Europe
• Western-Western Mediterranean
• Eastern-Influenced by Greek culture
                  Eastern            Western
Population        Dense              Sparse
Society           Urban              Tribal
Education         Literate           Oral
Law               Written            Customary
Economy           Commercial         Agricultural
Exchange          Money              Barter
Living standard Wealthy              Poor
Language          Koine              Mixed
• Most of Roman population lived within reach of
   – Romans worked to keep sea clear of pirates for they
     realized the Mediterranean was dependant on it’s unity.
   – Romans called it Mare nostrum or ―Our Sea‖
• Outlying reaches of the Empire were connected by
  rivers and streams that flowed into it.
   – Romans actively were dredging ship channels and
     building in river ports
   – Channels and water systems used for thousands of years
     even after fall of the Roman Empire
• Complex water routes were knit together by system
  of roads and bridges that are even used today.
   – These were built not by technology alone, but by
     extensive organization.
• Romans were aware that the expensive army would
  not be in combat more than 10% of the time, so the
  government came up with ways to use their force
   – The roads were used by the military and was even able to
     reduce the armies size without reducing it’s effectiveness.
• The great network of land routes that helped to
  unify the empire was a byproduct of this ―policy of
  cost containment‖

• Absolute Rule of an Emperor who was
  considered to be a god.
• Execution of Emperor's will was by a trained
  – Though it was small in comparison with modern
    states and was rudimentary with the Han empire
    of China, it was superior to anything that had
    preceded in the West.
• To citizens the emperor was a distant figure only
  on coins.
• Romans lived their lives in their local civitas, local
  unit of government similar to an American county.
• Civitas consisted of two parts:
   – City-in which political, commercial and cultural life
     was concentrated.
   – Pagus- countryside dependant on that urban center.
• Most civitates attempted to emulate the capital
   – Though they did not have an impressive law court of
     basilicas or amphitheaters they did boast public baths,
     busy markets, and anything else the rich pagus could
     spend in the city to endow it.
• Local life throughout the empire was centered on
  these communities and it was the same wherever
  the Romans went, from Scotland to the Syria.
• Each civitates had the three basic similarities:
   – Well-developed written laws
   – Uniform currency
   – Uniform system of weights and measures
• The large standing army was concentrated on the frontier and
  defended the interior of the empire against foreign invasion.
• Most recruits came from poor and isolated regions of Italy
  they were taught from the bottom up by the military.
   – They were taught Latin, to practice personal hygiene, and learned one
     or more trades (developed MOS).
• The Army controlled and ran brick factories, tile
  manufactories, and many other enterprises that demanded
  physical labor.
• Enlisting was a career commitment since it was a 25 year
  standard enlistment.
   – Each year was marked off by the celebration and great rituals honoring
     Roma, the goddess who exemplified Rome.
• Even when Rome fell into disorder or when the
  imperial administration fell to corruption it was the
  army’s reverence for the ideal of Rome that
  remained undiminished, even if it meant storming
  Rome trying to acclaim their general of new
• Most spent their time in towns building little
  villages into what they exemplified Rome to be.
• Stationed on the frontier, they created transportation
  and communication networks.
   – Roads, bridges, beacons, canals, ports and aqueducts.
• The Roman frontiers in the West were not meant
  to keep people out but to control their passage.
• A great deal of trade moved through the frontier
   – Germanic people settled just outside of the frontier in
     places where they could enjoy extensive and secure
     relations with the Romans without their control.
   – These towns were more Roman than Rome so some
     Germanic tribes grew comfortable with their presence
     and even emulated their culture in some areas.
• In many cases where the Romans could have
  certainly fought and won the area over, most just
  proved simpler to win them over and enlist them
  as allies of the Roman state.
• Wherever it was sent or wherever it was
  settled, the Roman army provided local
  inhabitants with an outstanding example of
  Romanitas, the sense of belonging to a great
• The Romans established Latin as the
  common and official language of the
  empire, but also adopted Greek culture and,
  in a form called Graeco-Roman, spread a
  common literature, architecture, art, etc.,
  throughout the empire.
• An economic balance was maintained
  between the wealthy and productive East
  and the relatively poor and backward West.
• The East was taxed heavily, and the money
  transferred to the West, which was used to
  purchase goods from the East.
• Established a strict policy of religious toleration
• Freely adopted and adapted gods and goddesses of
  the people they conquered, and process called
  syncretism (essentially an inculcation of the
  Greeks and other worldly deities).
• Promoted a certain degree of commonality by
  establishing and promoting emperor worship.
   – Saluting the flag, formulatic pledge of allegiance,
     standing when singing the national anthem, reverence
     for the cloth of the flag.
• Pax Romana: Roman Peace- The Romans brought
  and unprecedented degree of peace and security to
  their empire.
• Romanitas: The sense of being Roman- a deeply
  held sentiment and outlived that empire itself.
   – Such institutions required attention and constant effort
     to maintain
   – A weakness in the Roman imperial system let to
     internal wars and civil strife that eventually made it
     impossible for the government to continue as it once
• The Annals of Tacitus provide an insight to
  the management of Roman affairs and were
  written by a man who had a role in that
• The Romans were unwilling to give up their
  reverence for republican government even when
  it was no longer effective due to Caesars,
  Despots, and absolute corruption

• Augustus Caesar converted the Republic to an
  empire in about 14BC—what he did was make
  all the political and domestic administrative
  offices answerable to him and his decisions—a
  streamline effect. To preserve the republic!!!
• The issue that always plagues these types
  regimes—we see it in Islam, Socialism etc
  …inadequate and unstable system of imperial
  succession—Created a perpetual struggle for
  Power … The empire fell victim and was only a
  strong as its next Coup.

• To understand Augustus it would be prudent to
  read his personal account of his greatness …
• The Deeds of the Divine Augustus.
             Important Chronology
• 69 AD—Civil War on frontier to replace Nero
• 69—192 AD—era of military emperors—
  ineffective and inefficient administration—led to
  a bloody Civil War initiated by Septimius
  Severus (193—197).

• 198—282 essentially 100yrs of peace, but peace
  ended by 258 and Rome fell into the era of the 30
  Tyrants (258-283 AD)
• 283 AD German Tribes raided at will on the
  western fringes of the Roman Empire

• Diocletion came to power in 283 AD and began
  with sweeping reforms in the imperial system—
  land reform, lower taxes, and more representative

• Essentially this was the end of what is termed the
  Glory that was Rome.
               History 101 Roman Empire
• Diocletian's successor was

• Rome now a different place
  and this is the beginning of the
  character of what would
• Medieval Europe.

• What followed was another
  Roman Empire, but one
  distinctly different under the
  reign of Constantine.
 Reforms of Diocletian (284-305 d. 311)

• Political reform—
  Empire divided into
  two distinct regions.

• Unfortunately he left
  the much larger and
  impoverished western
  region vulnerable.
              Reforms of Diocletian
• Unfortunately the western lands were mostly tribal
  and underdeveloped academically, economically,
  and technologically.

• Large frontiers (costly to protect) and a very small
  tax base to support development and military

• Diocletian established a base of succession—two
  emperors were to be chosen for respective
  regions—each appointed a Caesar (emperor in
               Reforms of Diocletian
• Stable form of
• Established smaller
  provinces with both civil
  and military governor—
  created gov’t interference
  and destroyed the
  influence of the middle

• The Gov’t controlled the
  tax laws and taxed the
  middle classes and the
  urban areas to destruction
                Economic Reforms
• Smaller created more concentrated government, but also
  created hundreds of small squabbles and eroded

• Diocletian ended Debasement (reduced quality and
  value of Gold by printing money—devaluing the dollar if
  you will).

• Re-established the Gold standard—unfortunately, there
  was very little Gold in circulation—created an economic
  depression—very little Gold reduced consumer prices—
  money became more valuable than goods—so people
  hoarded money or traded in Gold rather than consumer
               Economic Reforms
• Reformed Taxation—reduced it to two
  categories: Property and head tax.
  – Property was a progressive wealth tax
  – Head tax was a flat tax—both were very extreme.
• Unfortunately both taxes were extreme

• Ended farming tax—where the government had
  the right to come in an action off a farm to collect
  taxes on the land.
• Tax collectors bided for the right to collect taxes
                 Economic Reforms
• Taxes led to abuses.

• Exempted Senatorial class
  from taxes (hereditary)

• Farmers were sold into
  slavery (along with
  family) if no tax can be
  collected. Beginnings of
• Full weight of the tax
  code fell on businesses
  and the middle class.
                 Economic Reforms
• Diocletian thought that
  making tax collecting the
  responsibility of the
  Urban middle class, it
  would be frugal and
  possess integrity.

• Unfortunately if the
  government expectations
  of the agreed upon tax
  assessment came up short,
  the Curiales (urban
  middle class) was required
  to make up the difference.
                 Economic Reforms
• The fallout of well intended policy:

• Urban middle class fled the urban centers; however, this
  was ruled illegal, so many with their families were also
  enslaved and financially, socially, and emotionally

• Established a permanent dependent class that the
  governmental structure was ill-equipped to administer
  with any efficiency. Financial center shifted to the
  villas of the western countryside—established a ruling
  planter and baronial class.
                   Military reform
• Abandoned frontier
  defense—open to

• Security was abandoned
  in the name of economics.

• Downgraded frontier
  legions, used mercenaries
  and militia—notoriously
  lacked loyalty and verve
  to the empire.
                    Military reform
• Frontier troops are
  Garrison status.

• Training neglected—more
  into infrastructure labor.

• Discipline and esprit
  d’corps diminished.

• Barbarian mercenaries—
  changed to a mobile army
  stationed in interior.
                Military reform
• Barbarian Military was problematic—tended to be
  loyal to the purse rather than the state.

• Internal and transportation infrastructure usually
  the job of the military when not engaged in combat
  went by the way side—barbarians are warriors, not
  civil servants and laborers.

• Huge loss of communication and transportation
  system—The empire decaying from within.
                    Social Reform
• Combated the urban flight by making their status

• Required to remain in trade of father or mother—no way
  to rise above one’s born station in life.

• This ended social and family mobility.

• This in essence killed what was left of the conceived
  greatness of the Roman Empire. To combat this loss of
  spirit and enmity toward the government—Diocletian
  blamed the Christians—extermination began with fervor.
      Reforms of Constantine (307-337)
• Continued with Diocletian’s policies, but did
  make some very recognizable changes.

• Recognized Christianity as a favored religion.
  – Christianity official religion 396 AD in both Western
    and Eastern provinces—Western became very
    catholic and eastern remained mostly Orthodox.
• Made east very prosperous; increased gold
  currency (coinage) by seizing endowments of the
  Pagan Temples.
       Reforms of Constantine (307-337)
• He also ended the idea that the tax code had to
  balance even with unequal taxation on the east to
  make up for the shortfalls of the West.

• Shifted center of Empire from West (Rome) to
  East (Constantinople or Istanbul).

• The best and brightest fled the west and went East.
• By 400 Rome was no longer the Imperial capital.
                           Rome (?)
• 404 AD western version of
  capital moved to Ravenna in
  Northern Italy.

• Protected by marsh and
  fortified harbor.

• Rome sacked by Alaric and the
  Visigoths in 410.

• Not much there, only the
  catholic Bishop (Pope).
• 455 AD Attila attacked what
  was left of Rome.
                    Western Rome
• Loss of middle class and
  Tax base, became very
  much Medieval in

• Planter and Baronial class
  became powerful and
  essentially a slaved or
  serfdom society.

• Christian religion was
  state religion—all others
        Constantine and Catholic Church
• Church became center of
  Imperial Government.

• Administered all social
  and economic services.

• Early shared power with
  Government, but
  eventually became the
  main political power
  broker in western
   Constantine’s Reforms and Decay of the West
• Emperor semi-divine

• Military power was
  mostly Germanic tribes.

• Impoverished because of
  the decay of middle class.

• Transportation and Marine
  endangered by Thugs and
               Western Decay
• West almost cut off completely—lost
  communication, lost sharing of ideas, and loss of
  connection as Romans.

• Power in large landowners—eventually in the
  hands of the Church, as the Church gained large
  estates. Peasant under class.

• Loss of frontier protection—open to invasion and
  loss of civil order—Pax Romana vanished.
              Conclusion of Rome
• Regardless of tension and detriment to society,
  Rome collected taxes and forced an imperial
  government on the populace that neither benefited
  them nor protected them.

• Western Rome—superfluous, poverty stricken,
  and ruined manufacturing industry—lost trade
  consumerism with the Germanic tribes (huge
  consumers). This trade enhanced their way of life
  and was a bargaining chip to help create a secure
  border of the western provinces.
Christianity and Mediterranean
           • History 102

      • Western Civilization I

     • The Rise of Christianity
• Rose out of Judaism
• Reform movement
• Apostle Paul opened the
  religion to non-Jews and
  gave it its Greek Flavor
• Roman religion no moral
  base or message of hope.
• Christians Martyred not
  because they were
  Christians, but because
  they were REBELS!!
               Roman Religions
• Myriad of religious systems and types of deities.
• The Pantheon– gods and goddesses of mythology.
• Old gods—Chronos, Uranus and others
  overthrown by the Olympians.
• Titans—Friends of humanity—Prometheus (fire)
• Demi-gods—Ganymede servant to the gods.
• Heroes—human achieve godlike status—
  Hercules—important part—demarcation between
  god and human was miniscule.
• Lot of local, regional and nature deities.
                 Roman Religions
• Many religions were derivatives of the Greek
  system and the philosophical systems such as
  (Epicureanism, skepticism and stoicism etc . . .).

• Mystery Cults (Isis, Mithra, Orpheus etc …)These
  tended to offer hope on a moral basis based on
  human action and interaction.

• Initiates and rituals—purifying bath, eating and
  drinking of blood and body of founder—many
  had something in common with Christianity.
• Founder was an actual
• Jewish legal code and
  traditional morality.

• Could adopt and adapt:
  Christmas taken from
  Mithras; Madonna taken
  form of Isis—other
  traditions borrowed
              Character of Christianity
• Early Christians were
• Zealots;
• Evangelicals;
• Expand Christianity;
• Appealed to the
• Appealed to Women,
• Low-skilled workers;
  Prostitutes, uneducated;
  slaves, tax collectors and
              Character of Christianity
• All oppressed and
  despised peoples saw an
  ally in Christianity;

• Christianity viewed all
  peoples without contempt,
  except the rejecters of the

• The message was HOPE
  and hope is all we have at
  times—more important
  than love!!!
          Credibility of Christian Converts
• Usually only true believers
  since essentially one was
  signing their death warrant;

• Sect’s numbers were
  periodically purged due to
  Roman persecution; Culled the
  vacillators easily—converts
  were very zealous;

• Blood of martyrs was the real
  seed of the Church.‖
         Credibility of Christian Converts
• The Martyrs established the credibility and prestige of the
  early Church.

• Met horrible deaths with equanimity and even joy;

• Ostensibly something worth dying for—this was
  tantamount to a higher power and a stronger more
  powerful God;
• Those of little faith were impressed and the Roman
  attitude and respect for strength and bravery was also
  impressed. Moreover, Christianity in fact, miraculously
  survived the persecutions.
   Development of Christianity, AD 63-313
• Developed as a reform movement within Judaism;
• After the Jewish Rebellion 89-90, the Jews
  suffered the Great Diaspora or scattering.

• This reform began in the Jewish urban centers; in
  fact some historians label it a Ghetto Religion.

• It also spread into the countryside or Pagus(Pagan
  religions also embraced Christianity—moreover
  Christianity inculcated many of the Pagan
  traditions and symbolism.
   Development of Christianity, AD 63-313
• Early members were of the lowest class;
• Many of today’s middleclass would have more
  than likely rejected Christianity because of the low
  class clientele.

• Though many historians always use the hygiene
  analogy, it must be remembered that hygiene
  was/is very important to the Jews—many of the
  early Christians accepted Christ, but maintained
  the traditional Jewish law—ala Old Testament.
                      Early Christians
• Very intolerant of other
• Strictly monotheistic;
• Followed the command to go
  forth and evangelize;
• Followers must undergo a
  complete conversion—no
• Rome respected and observed
  many religions; because the
  Christians did not they were
  labeled ―dangerous rebels to
  the empire‖ and were
  persecuted harshly
                 Early Christians
• For security many of the Christians hid in the
  catacombs and other clandestine places to practice
  their faith;

• They formed inner city groups (ecclesiae); had
  their own political and social leaders called

• They wrote letters and and kept minutes of their
  meetings (epistles) and passed them to other
  Christians surreptitiously.
                 Early Christians
• Secret meetings were called Councils.

• The minutes were kept in secret books (Bibles).

• They developed secret signs and symbols for
  converts’ recognition.

• Christianity grew slowly through the middle class
  and the army—but it eventually gained a
  following second to none and challenged by few.
        Official Recognition of Christianity
• Story is muddled, but
  Constantine used the Cross
  (symbol) thereby gaining the
  support of many Christians
  and Warriors who were closet
  Christians—there were many
  more than the state had ever
  imagined—This was the
  famous battle of Milvian
  Bridge—Victory ensured that
  Christianity would be
  recognized, legitimized and no
  longer persecuted—
• Christianity would now be
  tolerated as a favored religion.
                        Emperor Constantine
• Great Political Move—needed to
  harness the zeal of the Christians to
  gain control of Roman Empire;

• Constantine helped legitimize and give
  secular political organization and
  control over Christianity;

• It is no longer an underground
  movement—it is now an institution.

• Jesus founded the Christian Faith—but
  Constantine founded the Christian
         Political and Social Legitimacy
• Still, there was early dissension in the Christian
  Church based on legitimacy and philosophy—
  many interpretations of who, what, and how was

• Constantine did not wish the power base he had
  legitimized fall apart with muddled philosophy;

• 325 AD called all Bishops together to form a
  unified consensus—set a standard all Christians
  could accept, a common prayer book, and
  ritualistic liturgies and religious services.
         Political and Social Legitimacy
• The Council of Nicea came up with the Nicene

• All (legitimate) Christian services were to
  incorporate this formulation;

• He also very adeptly shifted the center of empire
  to Constantinople—it had no pagan traditions and
  easily embraced the Emperors new faith—
  Christianity. Secret books were formed into a
  Canon—representing a true Christian faith.
• Shortly after establishing a uniformed structure,
  Constantine died—some say he only accepted
  baptism on his death bed—there is no proof or
  credibility to this.
• He did make an underground movement, a
  persecuted ghetto faith into the most recognizable
  religious faith in the world.
• Christianity offered hope, peace, love, and
  forgiveness (only religion to have these as
  precepts) and more importantly it had triumphed
  over all its competitors—made it seem very
  special Indeed!
               Justinian AD 527-565
• Final end of the Roman
• Established the Byzantium
• Helped usher in Medieval
  Ages in Western Europe;
• Made possible the spread
  of Islam; Rise of the
• Theodora a remarkable
                    Justinian’s Wars
• He fought a series of war’s against the Germanic tribes
  of the Visigoths, Ostrogoths and Vandals.
• Why? To preserve Christianity and the eastern

• Many of these western areas were mostly controlled by
  Germanic Vice-Roys or Arians, who practiced their own
  brand of Christianity.

• Arian Christianity had issues with the true divinity of
  Christ—did not believe in the Holy trinity as one. Jesus
  was a man, but his human status did not diminish the
  credibility of Christianity. It did, however, conflict with
  the rising power and status of the Catholic Church.
• Vandals most zealous of the
• Seized catholic Churches and
  converted them to Arianism;
• Vandals small in number—so
  resorted to very heinous and
  terrorist acts to maintain power

• Essentially became what
  centuries later would become
  the model for the Gestapo—
  force, coercion, and brutality.
• Vandals striped the Christians of their property, civil
  rights, economy, and life and limb.

• Again, very reminiscent of earlier Christian persecutions.

• Justinian thought it best to bring West back under the
  control and auspices of Roman Empire.

• West did not want back under the Roman umbrella—just
  make Vandals and others stop the persecution.

• Many in the West, feared Justinian more than the
  barbarians—so they joined the barbarians against
  Justinian’s legions.
               Justinian’s Legacy
• Regardless of Military costs, Justinian had enough
  money to embark on a huge building program;

• Church of the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia)
  dominates the skyline of Istanbul;

• Collecting and codifying Roman Law; establish a
  component of legal jurists (Lawyers and
  Municipal legal codes) and putting the law into
                    Justinian’s Legacy
• The east was prominently
  Greek influence and
  administrations were better in
  a Greek format;
• He eliminated the use of Latin
  languages and embraced the
  Slavic Greek orthodoxy;
• Other classical empires fought
  back the Barbarians, only
  Western Europe remained
  under the grips of barbarism—
  good and bad—Western
  Europe now experiencing an
  independent development.
                  Justinian’s Legacy
• Justinian’s tribute to Persia became a failed policy, by
  enriching the Persians and weakening Constantinople
• East became more and more aggressive collecting taxes to
  pay the tribute and to fund the enormous building plan;
• Justinian dies in 565 and the Persians invaded and destroyed
  much of the east—Herclius slipped out by sea and invaded
  the unprotected Persian cities creating a stalemate and
  weakening both economies—
• This left both nations weak and easy pickings for the Huns
  stampeding off the Savannas led By Attila.
• Many welcomed the Huns and converted to Islam blocking
  the east off from Christianity for several centuries.
              A New Western Perception

• Justinian’s wars also left the
  Barbarians weak and
• Only power left in the West
  was the Burgundians;
• Least able group to maintain or
  embrace Romanization;
• Did have a Frankish alliance
  with the Catholic Church;
• Changed perception and future
  of Western Europe.
         Conclusion of Roman Empire
• Great men have Great Control of events—that is
  the prevailing wisdom—not always true.

• Changed the development of Western Europe;
  Unfortunately ushered in the Middle Ages (Dark

• Justinian’s failures were more prevalent than his
  achievements—cut all communication and
  dialogue between East and West—still an issue
         Conclusion of Roman Empire
• Elimination of the Latin language ensured a
  perpetual split between east/west;

• Failed to unite the western leaders who may have
  preserved semblances of the Roman empire;

• Strengthened the Persian Empire and helped
  initiate the dominance of Islam in the East;

• Destruction of the Germanic tribes allowed for the
  rise and dominance of the Medieval Church.
               Rise of the Franks
• Franks were left standing in power after
  Justinian’s attempt at reconquest.

• Inhabited the the Rhine and Scheldt river areas;
• Occupied mostly of what is now Netherlands and
  Northern Belgium;
• Very active agriculture and commerce and trade
• Franks were mostly hunters, trappers, and
  warriors and were a great supply for mercenary
  troops for the weakened Roman Legions.
• Not very sophisticated or socially or politically

• Mostly tribal and vicious; Pagan worshipping ie. Thor,
  god of thunder and Wotan, the sky god; Tew, the warrior

• Strongly male and dominated not necessarily by the
  wisest of council, but the bravest and strongest—Chiefs
  acted as rulers and priests—power from single family
  lineage, descended from Wotan.
• Expanded inland from the
  low country and the sea;
• The sea group called the
  Salic Franks (sal-salt or

• Became the ancient
  ancestors of the French
  and the basis for Salic
  Law or French Law and
  customs (important later
• As they moved inland they became stronger and a
  much larger clan—with time they became very
  strong and warlike—

• In 430 AD they occupied land between Soissons
  and Cambrai—Soissons a large armory for the
  Roman Legions fell into the hands of the Franks.

• They now could equip a much larger army with
  modern weaponry; they joined with Aetius and the
  Legions that defeated the Huns—felt somewhat a
  part of the Empire.
• Join the Court of Aetius;
• Aetius murdered by
  conspirators at Ravenna 453
• Franks liked Aetius and
  renounced anything empire
  and any allegiance or alliance
  in 453.
• AD 476 Odovacar, Germanic
  Leader of the Roman army in
  Italy, deposed the western
  emperor; Franks began an
  independent life forsaking and
  despising anything Roman.
• 15 year old Frank—Clovis is a form of ―Louis.‖
  Name of the French Royal dynasty.
• Single extended family important so Clovis kills off
  family members to reduce the competition;
• Consolidated other tribes under the aegis of his
  strong rule by killing off other competitors.

• 486 AD began his own wars of conquest and
  consolidation—importance is Clovis made what is
  now Paris his home base.
              Clovis and Christianity
• Constantine moment—he
  needed to defeat the
  Burgundians, but they had
  consolidated with other
  Arian Germanic tribes—

• Battle in doubt—took an
  Oath to embrace the
  catholic Church forsaking
  the Arian doctrine—if
  God would allow him
  victory—or to get the
  Christian community to
  join him in battle?
               Clovis and Christianity
• The stage is now set for
  the advance and
  dominance of the Catholic
  Church – and set the stage
  for Church/State issues
  and will begin the line of
  the Holy Roman
  Emperors through the
  Merovingian dynasty.
• Defeated the Visigoths
  and seized control of all
  France and much of the
  German territory to the
              Merovingian Dynasty
• All in all, ruled for about 300 years;
• Political structure was monarchical—all lands,
  towns and villages were considered personal
  property of the King;
• Royal family moved from estate to estate for
  subsistence; everything was supplied the royal
  family from these estates and villages;
• Household servantry became important—such as
  Mayor of the Palace or head servant(Butler)
  oversaw all economy, politics, social functions,
  human resources, etc . . . Beginning of the Palace
  bureaucracy (head ministers etc . . .).
                Merovingian Dynasty
• Ministers—means to
• These servants posts
  became functions with
  Royal French Titles;
• Wherever the King was
  not, he left in control
  Strongmen (women) who
  would later become Earls,
  Counts and Dukes—of
  course appointed by the
                Merovingian Dynasty
• Law based on custom;
  kinship and feuds;
• No concept of state
• Power was passed to
• Gavelkind—division of
  property equally among
  the children (legitimate
  and illegitimate).
• Royal and lands and titles
  were passed along
                Hereditary Issues
• Kingship tied to heredity and power;
• Lands divided equally—so it created intrigue
  between heirs seeking the ultimate prize-
• It also created palace intrigue to gain the highest
  Ministerial slots—see why there was so much
  turn-over and unexplained deaths;
• Created constant Civil Wars—though powerful, in
  the long run created weaknesses to be exploited
  by the powerful or even the hated enemies of the
  dynasty—still it worked for over 300 years.
           Power Base of the Franks
• Expanded rather than migrated; numbers
  constantly increasing;
• Expanded slowly and always appeared as non-
  threatening, as did the over zealous Vandals and
• They incorporated much Roman citizenry—
  appearing as allies rather than threat;
• Geography protected them from the invading Huns
  and Muslims;
• Neither the Muslims nor the Byzantine court
  desired to bring the Franks into their fold—they
  looked fragmented and innocuous at best.
           Power Base of the Franks
• Traditional opponents and enemies were always
  distracted or weak from their own wars; The
  Visigoths and Burgundians though Barbaric and
  brutal never had the true love and support of the
  peasantry—they easily allied with the Franks and
  their brand of Catholic Christianity;

• The peasantry despised the Arian barbarians;

• Franks worked with a primitive style government.
            Power Base of the Franks
• Forsook all things Roman especially the taxation
  program, which aided in creating alliances with
  the peasantry;
• Visigoths and Ostrogoths, and Vandals tried to
  maintain the Roman tax system;
• Franks allowed for local governance (akin to
  states rights); it seems here was the perfect time
  for decentralization of government;
• Local governments (villages, towns, or cities)if
  responsible were allowed complete autonomy.
            Power Base of the Franks
• Because of their primitive governmental structure,
  they allowed for local talented and effective rulers
  to rise into the Frankish ―aristocracy‖

• Frank rulers did not embrace vague notions of
  imperial power; they accepted their local kingdom
  rule and living off the tribute of others;

• Because of such local autonomy, governmental
  structure was not repressive nor intrusive.
           Power Base of the Franks
• Because of Clovis they enjoyed the support of the
• Possessed religious continuity throughout the
• Peasants did not care whether the rulers were
  good Christian;
• Church provided them with skilled literate
  administrative personnel;
• Moreover, when the Franks did expand they had
  the benefit of missionaries and clergy to educate
  and help pacify the populace; stroke of genius.
• BY the 600s, All things Roman, for the most part,
  had disappeared; this loss of alliance and security
  for the Church could have been debilitating;

• However, the Church found a new alliance with
  the Franks;

• Franks had many alliances, but the Church was
  the most important.
            Rise of Western Church
• Christianity not truly legitimized until AD 313
  after the death of Diocletian;
• West different from the east—more centralized
  and unified institutions;
• Christianity helped further separate the West from
  the east—interesting considering the early Church
  embraced the imperial nature of Constantine’s
• Churches would operate on local levels—gaining
  an unintended Grass Roots dominance that would
  benefit it later;
              Rise of Western Church

• These local Civitates formed the central governmental
  and municipal basis for Western forms of government;
• Administrative positions were filled with Clergy—they
  were literate—educated and many learned in Law;
• Began the practice of Investiture—Church
  Administrators confirmed the appointment of
  governmental officials through ceremony—to be clothed
  in the office; usually conducted by two or more Bishops
  to add Church and Social and Political credibility to the
  office—the President is sworn in with the Bible.
               Rise of Western Church
• Church focused on Urban
  centers; later the agrarian
  western lands;
• Local power allowed to
  elect their own Bishops
  and Church Leaders;
• Unfortunately this would
  lead to the secularization
  of the Church– and few
  men with any true
  meaning of the Christian
  faith—powerful church
  not all good.
                  Western Church
• Division and sectarian factionalism became troublesome
  for the Church;

• Nicean Council was to resolve this—it did not;

• Split between Athanasius and Arius—difference between
  the Holy Trinity one and the same—triumvirate
  equality—Arianism human divinity of Christ.

• Big solution, which worked in the West fairly well was
  to centralize the strength and power of the Church.
       Establishment of Bishops and Pope
• To create continuity—established the Bishop’s of
  Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome;

• Uniformed faith came up short, but it did define a
  uniformed definition and character of the Christian

• This led to the uniformity of liturgy, practice, and
  iconography; The Canonization of the books of the
  Bible; Prayer Book, and adoption of the ten
  Commandments—translate (Greek and Hebrew)
  into Latin (common language).
                       Western Church
• The Western Church was able
  to establish the progression of
  the Pope based on the lineage
  of Peter—who died in Rome;
• The Petrine Doctrine, or Papal
  Primacy --
• ―on this rock shall I build my
  church …‖ This became the
  basis and earthly divinity of
  the Pope. Pope Leo I The
  Great negotiated the security
  of Rome with the Huns—
  seemed divine intervention—
  Pope is now the Church!!
        3 Famous Early Christian Scholars
• Latin Fathers:
• Jerome who translated the
  Greek and Hebrew into Latin;
• Ambrose defined functions
  and roles of the Church
  Bishops higher then Emperors
  because of the divine nature
  of their position;
• Augustine who explained
  Christian Doctrine and
  explained the tough questions
  in formal and informal
  language, ie, evil,
  predestination, God’s
  influence in small matters
     Arian Persecution of the Catholic Christians
• Though unintended, the
  early Catholic Christians,
  were being persecuted by
  the Arian Christians;

• Catholics out of necessity
  had to bind together for

• Supposedly direct lineage
  to Peter also helped their
• To avert the East from capturing power in the West,
  Lombard Tribes (Italians) secured peace and continuity in

• Rome sole champions of Roman culture, which they
  transformed into the iconography of ―True Christianity.‖

• Pope Gregory I, (Papal Primacy) a masterful
  administrator, put the Church on a sound financial
  standing and established legal and social acceptance of
  the Episcopacy—also made missionary and evangelizing
  a major work of the church;
• Converted the Pagans, celts etc …
             Modern Church Identity
• Pope—Vicar of God—earthly emissary;
• Strong centralized administrative structure;
• Less interested in theological disputes;
• More interested in establishing a refined and
  uniformed, rational and coherent set of rules and
  regulations controlling political and liturgical
  doctrine of Church;
• Established Missionary Activism;
• Bound to Spread the ―Good News.‖

To top