HGS41 Ms. Noble, Instructor
European Middle Ages
During the European Middle Ages, Europe was beginning to change in many ways. In the beginning, Western Europe was being invaded by Germanic groups. One group of invaders was the Vikings of Norsemen. This caused trade to halt, cities and the movements of goods to be unsafe, and people became less educated. When the Germanic groups settled, many kinds of dialects were developed and there was no longer one language understood by all. The decline of the Roman Empire led to the Age of Chivalry, the unification of Germanic kingdoms, and the beginning to a new era in European history.
The warring Germanic groups made kingdoms as Rome’s power faded. There was no central rule and Europe was in chaos. The Church provided a sense of order. Then Franks, a Germanic people, established a large kingdom located in the Roman province of Gaul. When Clovis, King of the Franks, became Christian, the pope in Rome supported him. Soon after, the Germans began to adopt Christianity. Mayor of the palace was the most powerful official and Charles Martel was chosen mayor. Defeating Muslim forces made him a Christian hero then his son Pepin was crowned king and began the Carolingian Dynasty. One of Pepin’s son’s, Charlemagne soon became king of the whole entire Frankish kingdom.
When nobles went to war, they included knights who fought on horseback. Soon these knights became the most important part of the Middle Ages. Whenever nobles won battles, they gave the land they won to their knights. Knights devoted most of their time to improving their skill at fighting. By the 1100s, a new code of conduct for knights arose and it was called the code of chivalry. It required that knights fight bravely for three masters, the lord, god, and their chosen lady. The literature about knights didn’t reflect real life. Songs and poems were often about the loyalty a knight showed the...