Medieval Christian Europe

2215 Words9 Pages
With the decline of the Western Roman empire Western Europe was a disjointed land that had no true unifying structure till the rise of Christianity. In Roman antiquity people used the State or empire of Rome to define themselves and give them a sense of unity despite having a diverse group of people within the empire. When Western Rome fell this belief based on a Roman cultural identity disappeared and no longer were people able to identify themselves with any particular group as they once have. The Christian religion was able to fill this vacuum by having the people associate themselves to a religion instead of a given state or cultural group. During Medieval Europe Christianity became the unifying force that would define what it meant to be European. Christianity gave political leaders legitimacy by showing that they have been favored by the gods. The clergyman that recorded the histories surrounding the kings of the Medieval Europe also provided a link to the Roman Empire to give the Kings a link to Roman empire of antiquity. Christianity became the center of the cultural life in western Europe and created a new social elite in Europe which would dominate literacy and knowledge within Europe for centuries. Christianity provided Europe with an escape from the disorder of the Medieval ages and give them a spiritual outlet for their fears and desires for a better life, whether in the physical life or in the spiritual world after death. The Roman Empire was able to extend its boarders and create a civilization based on the cultural belief that they were the civilized people and all others were barbarians. Though many of the people in Rome were not well educated the elites in the Empire “would pass from forum to forum, s... ... middle of paper ... ...n & Company. 1989. Collins, Roger. Early Medieval Europe 300-1000. 3rd ed. Palgrave Macmillan. 2010. Einhard. The Life of Charlemagne. David Ganz. London. Penguin Books. 2008. Eusebius of Caesarea. The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine. Ernest Cushing Richardson, Ph.d.. Fordham University. 1997. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/vita-constantine.asp. (accessed 12/13/2013) Gregory of Tours. The History of the Franks. Lewis Thorpe. London. Penguin Books. 1974. Markale, Jean. The Celts, Uncovering the Mythic and Historic Origins of Western Culture. Rochester, VT. Inner Traditions. 1993. Notker the Stammerer. The Deeds of Charlemagne. David Ganz. London. Penguin Books. 2008. Suetonius Tranquillus. The Life of Augustus. Loeb Classical Library. 1913. http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Suetonius/12Caesars/Augustus*.html. (accessed 12/13/2013).
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