History of Western Civilization
Instructor: Michael Hill, M.A.
Essay Two, Question One (General)
During the High Middle Ages Europe engaged in a process of expansion, cultural centralization and colonization. The Frankish cultures spread from the base of France, Northern Italy, and Western Germany and systematically conquered and colonized regions in Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean and Celtic area through the spread of Bishoprics, emigration of the aristocratic class and the innovation in productive military technology. First, the bishoprics of the Latin Christian church spread in all direction from their strongest concentration, mainly the Carolingian empire, throughout Spain, Italy, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. The system that was in place was solid, they hold an obligated role to the church, they were given cathedrals, and they recognized the authority of the papacy. In addition, the bishoprics had specific names and were highly territorial where lands and boundaries were defined exactly and well known. During the eleventh and tenth century Eastern Europe went through a significant transformation under the German emperor Otto I. According to Bartlett, he established a series of bishoprics along his eastern and northern boundaries (7). He conquered the pagan Slav territory and embarked on a mission to promote Christianity in Denmark. Magdeburg became the center of the Ottonian conquests throughout the region after its status was elevated to archbishopric. Furthermore, German influenced the launch of several bishoprics in Poland and Hungary. According to Bartlett, during this period numerous churches were established throughout a vast part of eastern and central Europe (8). As a result, the expansion of the Latin Church advanced into Scandinavia. The number of bishoprics throughout Denmark’s mainland and surrounding islands were significantly increased. According to Bartlett, during the development of Christianity in Denmark, the English influence was vital (9). In addition, England created an important balance in organizational Christianity throughout Norway, Sweden and Iceland. Moreover, the expansion of the Latin Christians into the eastern Mediterranean was far different from those in Eastern Europe. The Mediterranean was cultural imposing and the church expanded only by force and military advancement. According to Bartlett, the French and Italian armies travelled several thousand miles to conquer the holy city of Christianity (13). During the advancement of the Crusaders several bishoprics and archbishoprics were established in Syria, Palestine and the crusading states. In addition, the Latin Christians captured several Greek territories. According to Bartlett, Cyprus and Constantinople was captured by diverted crusading force and was replaced by a Latin Empire where several new bishoprics were erected (14). The Latin expansion into the eastern Mediterranean was more challenging; however it established a series of bishoprics alone the boundaries of Greek and Muslim territories that were subjected to the papacy. The next instrumental aspect of the Franks expansion was the mass migration of the aristocratic class. The aristocratic classes of the Carolingian empire embarked on acquiring new and more substantial lordships in various lands of Sicily, Ireland and Spain. In addition, the aristocratic expansion coincided with the crusades which categorized it as conquest which was brutal and assertive. However the expansion was more successfully achieved by migration and settlement. According to Bartlett, the Joinville family, popular, adventurous and devoted was one of the key aspects of the aristocratic expansionary movement of the High Middle Ages (26-27). They conquered territory in Syria, Apulia, Ireland, fortified their lands in Champagne and created connection with powerful princes (26). In addition, Albert the Bear created new...