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Church Power in the Middle Ages

Church Power in the Middle Ages

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Church Power in the Middle Ages

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  1. Church Power in the Middle Ages World History - Libertyville HS

  2. “Christendom” • There were no states or governments for several centuries • People stopped thinking of themselves as “citizens” • Became “subjects” of a local warlord • Europeans identified themselves as Christians, first • Thus, Europe = “Christendom”

  3. Church Hierarchy

  4. Church Authority • Struggle for authority against noblemen • Church taught that God created two swords to protect Christendom: the Pope and the king • Reality: Pope, kings conflicted over POWER (authority of each, over land)

  5. “Age of Faith” • Church was supreme authority in all matters religious • ALL people could achieve salvation • Sacraments • Ways that the church inserted itself into day to day events of life

  6. Sacraments • Baptism (birth of child) • Confirmation (becoming adult in church’s eyes) • Holy Orders (becoming a priest) • Marriage vows (church affirmed marriage) • Last rites (final blessing in life)

  7. “Age of Faith” • Village church was center of community life • Not just for Sundays • Ex: only stone building in community (fire safety)

  8. Church Authority • Canon Law • Church legal system • Asserted jurisdiction (control) over all matters remotely religious, vs. a King’s Justice system • Powers of Pope vs. Kings, etc. • Excommunication: • Throw person out of church • Individual punishment • Nobles lose right to rule • Interdiction • Ban on priests giving sacraments to people • Group punishment • Often resulted in revolts (Why?)

  9. Holy Roman Empire • What was it? • Creation of the church • Powerful symbol linking past to present • Reflection of the power of the Catholic church, because the Pope crowned a king, emperor • First HRE = Carolingian dynasty • Frankish settlers from Rhine River Valley

  10. Holy Roman Empire • Important Kings of Carolingian Dynasty • Clovis (r/ 486-511 AD) was the founder of the dynasty • Charles “The Hammer” Martel (r. 719-741) • Great military leader who defeated Muslims at Tours in 732 AD • Pioneered use of heavy cavalry in Europe (the classic Knight)

  11. Holy Roman Empire • First HRE: Charlemagne (r. 768-814) • 6’4 when rest of Europe averaged 5’8 • Great conqueror of Europe • Controlled 2/3 of Italy, all of France, some of Spain, all of Germany • Financial basis of Charlemagne’s empire was trade • Franks, Muslims • Ironic, since Franks, Muslims fought each other

  12. Holy Roman Empire • Charlemagne crowned Emperor by Pope on Christmas Day, 800 • Attempted to protect weak from the strong • Required bishops to educate everyone with promise • Sponsored the arts, literature • When he died, his empire was quickly dismantled • HRE title lay unclaimed for 40 years

  13. HRE moves East • Otto the Great (r. 936-973) crowned king of Germany, 936 • Limited the powers of his nobles • Invaded Italy at request of Pope • Rewarded with HRE title in 962 • Otto demanded right of “investiture”: Power to appoint priests, bishops, etc in HR Empire • Put clergy under control of Emperor! • Strengthened power of Emperor • Power to designate emperor passed from Pope to Electors (most powerful nobles of Germany)