ChAPTER 15 -- Part 2: A New Civilization Emerges in
Life for most serfs was difficult.
The production was low and the equipment was limited.
The plows that were available in northern Europe were too light to work the heavy soils of France.
Half of the land of Western peasants was uncultivated each year in the early days of technological innovation.
Each year, the system of the land was left unplanted.
The obligations of the manorial system were the same as those of the technological in western Europe.
Serfs had to give their lord some of their crops in exchange for giving up some of their animals.
They provided many days of labor to repair or work on the lands under the lord's control.
Serfs retained their houses and lands as long as they kept up with their obligations, and they were not slaves.
Through inheritance, they could pass on their property rights.
Life was hard in the early postclassical centuries.
The disorder of the early Middle Ages was caused by a host of wanderers who escaped landlord control.
The only extensive example of solid organization was the early Frankish king.
The establishment of state's dominance over religion in the Byzantine empire was allowed here.
The pope was in Rome.
Regional churches were headed by bishops, who were supposed to owe allegiance to the church's central authority, in turn appointing and supervising local priests.
The popes did not always appoint the bishops, for monarchs and local lords often claimed this right, but they did send directives and receive information.
Several heresies that threatened a unified Christian faith were defeated by the popes.
They sponsored a lot of missionary activity.
The English were converted to Christianity.
They brought the religion to northern and eastern Germany, beyond the borders of the previous Roman empire, by the 10th century.
They competed with Orthodox missionaries in the border regions of eastern Europe.
The political and spiritual power of the church can be seen in the interest of early Germanic kings in Christianity.
The Franks, a Germanic tribe located in much of what is France today, were given a vague dominion over him by this authority.
Western religious leaders, particularly the popes, believed that they had a legitimate author who was separate from the political sphere.
As Figure 15.2 shows, religious commitments continued to expand.
Immediately after Rome's fall, the church developed a chain of monasteries.
Western monas teries helped discipline the intense spirituality felt by some individual Christians, people who wanted to devote themselves to prayer and escape the limits of ordinary material life.
The spread of Benedictine monasteries promoted Christian unity in western Europe, and the most important set of monastic rules was developed by Benedict of Nursia in Italy in the 6th century.
The picture was an example of a holy life, which was added to the spiritual focus of materials to be read in religious services in the 11th century that formed part of the fabric of medieval society.
The dead are rising from their tombs for the last Judgement, summoned by angels.
At a time when Christians were urged to make paramount goals, the helped improve the cultivation of the land at a time when techniques were at a low ebb.
Some education was given to focus on life after death.
A scene from an illuminated manuscript of the 15th century shows peasant labor and tools in France, near a stylized great palace.
During the early postclassical centuries, there was a significant development in the political sphere.
The Franks' house grew in strength during the 8th century.
It looked like a new Roman empire might revive in the West after the battle of Tours in 732.
The empire did not last long because of the monarch who established substantial him.
The outlines of empire in France and Germany, modern France, Germany, and a middle strip consisting of the Low Countries, Switzerland, and c. 800 were split into three parts as inheritance for his three grandsons.
After his death, the empire was divided among his three grandsons.
The Bald and the Fat were not great leaders in their regional kingdoms.
The essential political history of western Europe from this point onward was the gradual emergence of regional monarchies.
The political patterns in China, the Arab caliphate, and the Byzantine Empire differed from the regional decentralization and frequent warfare.
Western Europe's cultural unity was initially centered on Catholic Christianity, but with political divisions.
The civilization was not united by a single language.
Latin was used by intellectuals and the church officials, but during the Middle Ages separate spoken languages evolved, usually merging Germanic and Latin elements.
When political and cultural boundaries roughly coincide, these separate languages, such as French and English, help form the basis of national identities, which began to happen after the 9th century.
After the split of the empire, the royal houses of several lands became visible.
The rulers of Germany and northern Italy were the strongest at first.
Their rule became hollow because they relied too much on their centralized monarchy in Germany.