Development of Modern Western Civilization

Topics: Europe, Roman Empire, Middle Ages Pages: 4 (1312 words) Published: June 27, 2008
Development of Society
In the beginning of our course of study, around the Iron Age, agrarian village societies began to emerge throughout Europe. Although they left few examples of what they looked like, they did leave evidence that their culture valued war, and was strongly oriented toward horses. Centuries later, when Rome had already conquered most of Europe west of the Rhine, the Roman Empire absorbed the Iron Age agrarian village cultures and began introducing them to Roman influences: language, law, military traditions, and religion. All of this led to transculturation and cultural hybridity, as the agrarian villages began to accept Roman culture. In 410, the Visigoths sacked Rome. The former Roman lands experience a collapse of trade and the infrastructure created and sustained by the Roman Empire virtually disappears. With only vestiges of the Roman empire such as roads, theaters, and baths scattered throughout the European landscape, most of Europe reverts back to the agrarian villages. Formation and Worldwide Diffusion of European Political and Economic Systems

With the retrogression of European society into small agrarian villages after the fall of Rome, the Roman empire is no longer the prominent military power in the region. This leads to increased warfare, and from this emerges the system of feudalism where war captains were the leaders. These warriors would eventually establish themselves as Kings and Barons. Another dominant aspect of Medieval life was the legacy of the Roman empire: the Christian church. During this time period, Christianity was the central cornerstone to European society; various elements of Christianity were woven into nearly every facet of daily life. The economies, relationships with friends and family, and peoples’ diets were all governed by Christian ideals. It is not long before these agrarian villages swell in population, which leads to new growth in technology, as well as more extensive trade systems. At the end of...
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