Early middle ages
Early Middle Ages or early Middle Ages is a modern term for the first of the three large sections of the Middle Ages , based on Europe and the Mediterranean for the period from approx. 500 to 1050. The early Middle Ages are preceded by late antiquity (approx. 300 to 600) represents a time of transformation and partly overlaps with the beginning of the early Middle Ages. The two periods following the Early Middle Ages are the High and the Late Middle Ages .
The early Middle Ages are important as a transition from antiquity to the Middle Ages and as an independent epoch. The beginning and the end are dated differently in historical research, so that transition periods of different widths are considered. Contrary to the older interpretation as a “dark” or “backward” epoch, the early Middle Ages are viewed in a much more differentiated manner in modern research. It is characterized by continuities as well as changes in the political, cultural and social spheres, which have effects right up to modern times. Thus began the continuous division of Europe and the Mediterranean region into a Christian and an Islamic part, as well as the Christian part into a Latin and an Orthodox , which included the cultural area of Byzantium . Several of the empires that arose in the early Middle Ages also formed the basis for states that still exist today.
The beginning of the early Middle Ages is linked to the so-called migration of peoples , in the course of which the Western Roman Empire perished in 476. The Roman administrative structures in the west disappeared only slowly, and new Germanic - Romanic empires emerged on the soil of the western empire. The Franconian empire founded by the Merovingians in the late 5th century developed into the most important successor empire in the west. In the east, on the other hand, Ostrom held its own, which in the 6th century even managed to recapture some lost territories in the west. However, large parts of the conquered areas were soon lost again. East or Byzantium was also in a defensive battle against the Persian Sāsānids until the early 7th century . In the 7th / 8th In the 19th century, the political order in the Mediterranean changed fundamentally as a result of the Arab conquests . This marked the final end of antiquity . The former Byzantine controlled area in the Middle East and North Africa was occupied by the Muslim Arabs and slowly Islamized. Islamic rule also existed for a long time on the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily . In the east, the Arabs conquered Persia and advanced as far as Central Asia .
In the 8th century the Carolingians took over rule in the Franconian Empire . Under them, the Franconian Empire developed into a hegemonic power in the west. Associated with this was a shift in the political focus from the Mediterranean to Western and Central Europe and a new phase of the “state order” in Europe. Under Charlemagne , who linked up with the western empire in 800, the Franconian Empire comprised the core part of Latin Christianity from northern Spain to the right bank of the Rhine and central Italy. From the Carolingian Empire , which fell apart in the 9th century, the West and East Franconia emerged , from which France and Germany later developed. In Eastern Franconia, the Liudolfingers rose in the 10th century , achieved the western imperial dignity and laid the foundation for the Roman-German Empire , which also included imperial Italy . France and England eventually developed into territorially closed rulers. Politically, the 10th and 11th centuries were a phase of consolidation in the Carolingian successor empires, on the Iberian Peninsula and in England; the transition into the High Middle Ages took place. In the north, the Viking Age began in the 8th century and lasted until the 11th century . From the 7th century onwards, Slavic domains emerged in Eastern Europe , partly on a tribal basis and partly in the form of empires.
Byzantium was able to assert itself after heavy defensive battles and also overcame the iconoclasm in the 8th / 9th centuries. Century. In 10./11. In the 19th century Byzantium rose again to become a great power in the eastern Mediterranean. The Arab caliphate , on the other hand, has repeatedly been weakened by internal struggles. The Umayyad dynasty, ruling since 661, was overthrown by the Abbasids in 750 . Under them the caliphate experienced a cultural boom, but also had to accept the separation of parts of it. With regard to state institutions and the organization of more complex tasks based on them, Byzantium and the Caliphate were for a long time superior to the weaker monarchies in the West. Likewise, the local economic power and, above all, the cultural milieu were more pronounced, especially since more of the ancient cultural assets and the scientific tradition were preserved there.
In Latin Europe, a new social order was established in the early Middle Ages, with the nobility and the high clergy as the leading classes. An important role was played by the manorial system . After a period of decline, culture in Western Europe flourished noticeably in the course of the Carolingian educational reform in the late 8th and early 9th centuries, before a temporary decline again occurred. Education was largely restricted to the clergy. After a slump in the 7th / 8th Century again a phase of the boom, in which the cities played a part, although the early Middle Ages was predominantly agrarian economically.
In the religious sphere, the Christianization of the pagan areas in the interior of Europe was promoted. This slow process sometimes dragged on into the High Middle Ages, but expanded the Christian culture considerably to include Northern and Eastern Europe. The papacy and monasticism , which were initially not politically relevant , became increasingly important. The church also played an important role in the cultural field. With Islam, a new, large monotheistic religion emerged at the beginning of the 7th century .
Term and temporal delimitation
The Middle Ages are often equated with the millennium from around 500 to around 1500. The term primarily refers to Europe and the Mediterranean area as a cultural area and can therefore only be applied to a limited extent to non-European history, although in historical research, specific historical periods are also referred to as the respective Middle Ages with regard to the cultural areas of India, China and Japan. The term Middle Ages is particularly relevant for the Christian-Latin part of Europe, as there was a political and cultural break there in late antiquity . But the Byzantine-Greek and Islamic-Arab regions are also essential for understanding the Middle Ages, as all three regions were in a mutual relationship.
History is still debating how to delimit the early Middle Ages from late antiquity and the high Middle Ages . With the end of antiquity and the beginning of the early Middle Ages, a time set in that was often viewed as a rather "dark period" in older research. This began with the appearance of the term “Middle Ages” (medium aevum) in humanism and was finally consolidated with the historical model of the Enlightenment in the 18th century, in which this form of periodization became predominant and history processes in a certain sense (a “middle time “Between antiquity and modern times). This was a deliberate devaluation from the outset. In comparison to antiquity and the Renaissance, the early Middle Ages, in particular, were considered to be a “dark epoch”. This view of history was formative until the 20th century. In modern research, however, the problematic of such general judgments is pointed out and a more differentiated view is advocated.
For the beginning of the early Middle Ages, different times and events have been suggested from different perspectives:
- 306–337: Reign of Constantine , Constantinian turning point in religious policy
- around 375: The Huns invade East Central Europe; this is considered to be the beginning of the migration of peoples and the resulting transformation of Western and Central Europe.
- 476: The last Western Roman emperor, Romulus Augustus , is deposed by Odoacer .
- 486/87: The Merovingian King Clovis I defeats Syagrius , the last representative of Roman rule in Gaul.
- 529: Benedict of Nursia founds the Montecassino Abbey in southern Italy, which becomes the cradle of medieval monasticism. In the same year Justinian I bans the Platonic Academy in Athens .
- 565: The Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian , who sought to restore Roman rule in the West, dies.
- 568: With the Lombards invading Italy, the last significant successor empire for the early Middle Ages was founded on Roman soil.
- 632: The spread of Islam begins.
The early dates are hardly represented in recent research. Rather, one regards the period from approx. 500 to the middle of the 7th century as a flowing transition period from late antiquity to the early Middle Ages with overlaps. It is taken into account that this process was very different from region to region and that several ancient elements were preserved. The development in late antiquity from the 4th century onwards is also often taken into account, insofar as important prerequisites for the later development of Western Europe were created in this phase. Because late antiquity was a transitional period that anticipated individual characteristics of the Middle Ages. While older, classicism- oriented research emphasized a break between antiquity, which is considered exemplary, and the supposedly “dark” Middle Ages (“catastrophe theory”), today's research therefore emphasizes the aspects of continuity and gives greater weight. The large number of current publications shows the significant increase in research interest in the transition period from late antiquity to the early Middle Ages, although the research approaches vary widely.
In recent research, what happened in the Eurasian area in the first millennium - the emergence of the late Roman Empire with all the upheavals associated with it, the "migration of peoples", the conflicts with Persia, the emergence of the Islamic world and the Romance-Germanic world in the west of the former empire - increasingly viewed in a temporal and spatial context. In this context, a model called " long late antiquity " emerged from the 3rd to 9th century, which is represented by a minority in research. It is now undisputed that late antiquity and the early Middle Ages should not be understood as rigid chronological structures. In recent research, early medieval Europe is no longer viewed in isolation, but is embedded in a global historical context.
The end of the Early Middle Ages and the beginning of the High Middle Ages are not fixed on any single date. The cornerstones are the final disintegration of the Carolingian Empire and the formation of the successor kingdoms around and after 900, the adaptation of the Western Roman imperial idea by Emperor Otto I in 962 (including the following development that led from Eastern Franconia to the later so-called Holy Roman Empire ), the End of the Ottonian imperial family (1024) or generally the period around 1050. The structural approaches in German-language research are primarily based on the history of the Central European dynasty; English, French and Italian research focus on other aspects. This is related to the different scientific traditions. In Great Britain, for example, the conquest of England by the Normans in 1066 is considered a turning point. From a Byzantine point of view, the year 1054, with which the Eastern Schism began between Rome and Constantinople, and the conquest of Anatolia by Turkish nomads from 1071 are important turning points. The dating approaches therefore vary in the specialist literature, including in the “European” -oriented overview presentations, between around 900 and the middle of the 11th century.
Requirements: Rome in late antiquity
Even after the extinction of the Western Roman Empire in 476, the Roman legacy continued to be important in the Middle Ages. Latin remained the central lingua franca and scholarly language, and Roman offices continued to exist long after the end of Western Rome in the Germanic-Romanic successor realms. Many contemporaries therefore did not perceive 476 as a turning point. Material remains were omnipresent and some of them continued to be used. The emperors of the Eastern Empire residing in Constantinople were recognized as overlords in most regions of the West throughout the sixth century (although mostly without practical consequences). Because the idea of the Roman Empire had a lasting impact on scholarly thinking: Since the church fathers had taught that the Roman Empire was the last before the end of the world, many Christian authors concluded from this, conversely, that the Roman Empire would continue to exist. This empire, however, changed in many ways long before 476, and these tendencies continued after the fall of the central imperial authority.
The Roman Empire went through a process of transformation in late antiquity , which for a long time was equated with decadence or decline and which has only been analyzed in more differentiated fashion in modern research. Following on from the reforms of Emperor Diocletian , Constantine the Great reorganized the administration and army to a large extent at the beginning of the 4th century. Even more momentous was the turn in religious policy pursued by Constantine, which is often referred to as the Constantinian turn , especially the clear privilege of Christianity after 312 . With the exception of Julian, the emperors who followed Constantine were all Christians. This development culminated at the end of the 4th century with the elevation of Christianity to the state religion by Theodosius I. The pagan (pagan) cults lasted into the 6th century, but lost more and more importance after 400 at the latest and were only of one practiced by a shrinking minority. In contrast, the Christian imperial church gained more and more influence, even though the various internal Christian disputes (→ First Council of Nicaea , Arianism , Nestorianism , Monophysitism ) sometimes caused considerable social and political problems. As early as the 3rd century, monasticism first developed in the east of the empire , which was of great importance in the Middle Ages.
In contrast to an older doctrine, the development of the Roman state and society in late antiquity was no longer viewed as a process of decline. Rather, the economy, art, literature and society showed signs of noticeable vitality, albeit differently regionally. In the east of the empire, which remained largely stable internally, the overall situation was significantly more favorable than in the crisis-ridden west. The “classical heritage” was cultivated in late antique culture, but at the same time Christian influence grew. Christian and pagan authors created important writings of various stripes (see Late Antiquity # Cultural Life ). In the Middle Ages, the so-called Corpus iuris civilis was of great importance from a legal perspective . The Roman state had been more centralized since Constantine than before, with the now purely civil Praetorian prefects at the head of the administration. However, one cannot speak of a coercive state, especially since the administration with its around 30,000 officials for the approx. 60 million inhabitants was weakly staffed by modern standards.
In the military field, Germanic tribes and other “barbarians” were often recruited for the army; since, unlike in the past, they no longer served in separate units ( auxiliary troops ), but in the regular army, the army now appeared to be more “un-Roman” than before. The foederati , foreign warriors who were considered allies and were only indirectly subject to Roman orders , played a special role . In terms of foreign policy, the situation of the late ancient empire deteriorated from around 400 onwards. Teutons on the Rhine and Danube, and above all the New Persian Sāsānid Empire , Rome's great rival in the east, had already caused constant pressure, but the situation remained relatively stable until the late 4th century . The Romans were often able to take the initiative themselves. After the actual division of the empire in 395 , however, both imperial courts were repeatedly involved in territorial disputes and in conflicts over the priority in the entire empire. The economically stronger and more populous Eastern Empire was able to solve the external and internal problems better, but from the 6th century it was involved in an ongoing conflict with the Sāsānids (→ Roman-Persian Wars ). Westrom, however, experienced internal turmoil and a chain of civil wars. There, the army masters also increasingly gained political influence (which, unlike in the Eastern Empire, they could also maintain) and in the end effectively controlled the emperors.
From antiquity to the Middle Ages: the migration of peoples
The so-called migration of peoples (approx. 375 to 568) forms a link between late antiquity and the beginning of the European early Middle Ages. The increasingly weakly defended western Roman borders were now increasingly crossed by looters of Germanic tribes from the Barbaricum , while warrior groups wandered about inside the empire. Foederati (non-imperial warrior groups with their own commanders who were in Roman service on the basis of contracts) were particularly involved in the internal battles that lasted for decades in West Rome. Partly in cooperation and through contracts (foedera) with the Roman authorities, partly with military force, their leaders gained control over ever larger parts of the empire, often filling the power vacuum created by the progressive disintegration of imperial rule. In this way, in turn, they contributed to a destabilization of the Western Roman Empire . The process of dissolution, combined with the successive loss of the western provinces (especially Africa and Gaul), progressed rapidly until the middle of the 5th century and ended in 476 with the deposition of the last emperor in Italy, while the east was able to assert itself.
According to the traditional view, this development began as early as the 4th century: In 376 the Goths on the Danube, fleeing from the Huns, asked for admission to the east of the empire. The Romans recruited the warriors as mercenaries. Tensions that soon emerged, however, led to a mutiny and in 378 to the Battle of Adrianople , in which the Eastern Roman Emperor Valens and much of his army fell. In the decades that followed, these Gothic groups in the Empire sometimes acted as foederati and sometimes as opponents of Rome. Under their leader Alaric , Gothic foederati demanded increasingly desperate supply (annona militaris) from the western emperor Flavius Honorius since 395 ; when no agreement was reached, they plundered Rome in 410 , which had long since ceased to be an imperial residence, but was an important symbol of the empire. In the years 416/18 the warriors were finally settled in Aquitaine . In the following time they acted as Roman foederati and fought against the Huns under the powerful Western Roman army master Flavius Aëtius 451. The Visigoth rex Eurich (II.) Broke the treaty with the weakened western empire soon after taking office in 466 and pursued an expansive policy in Gaul and Hispania . From these conquests the new Visigoth Empire arose , which until 507 comprised large parts of Hispania and the south-west of Gaul.
For Westrom, which was shaken by internal power struggles and usurpations, the situation became more and more threatening due to the crossing of the Rhine in 406 and the development it triggered: At the turn of the year 406/07, vandals , Suebi and Alans crossed the Rhine , probably in the Mogontiacum area ( Mainz ). The Roman defense of the Rhine temporarily collapsed and "barbaric groups" raided Gaul and plundered before moving on to Hispania. The Romans, who were at war with each other, accused each other of having called the foreign warriors into the country. The Burgundians also advanced to the Rhine and interfered briefly in Roman politics before entering the service of the Romans and establishing an empire that lasted until 436 on the central Rhine. The Burgundians were then relocated to what is now Savoy , where they established a new empire that was conquered by the Franks in the 530s . The Franconian Empire played an important role in the context of the “Great Migration” and in the further course of the early Middle Ages . Franks functioned as Roman foederati in northeastern Gaul at the beginning of the 5th century . They benefited most from the collapse of Roman rule in Gaul, where they established a new empire in the late 5th and early 6th centuries ( see below ).
The warriors' association of the Vandals crossed under the rex Geiseric in 429 from southern Spain to North Africa, where the warriors conquered the whole of Africa , the richest western Roman province, by 439 . With a new fleet, the Vandals became a serious threat to the Western Roman government, which had resided in Ravenna instead of Milan since late 402 . In the period that followed, Geiserich repeatedly intervened in the Western Roman power struggles. In 455 he sacked Rome , in 468 he fought off an all-Roman naval expedition. Inside, like many other foederati , the vandals turned out to be not barbarians, but rather followers of Roman culture, which was further cultivated in Africa . However, there was considerable religious tension between the Arian Vandals and the Catholic Romans, which was not overcome until Eastern Roman troops conquered the Vandal Empire in 533/534. In Britain , meanwhile, the Roman order fell as early as the first half of the 5th century. Around 440, Saxons rebelled here , later also Jutes and Angles , who had served as foederati , and founded their own small empires after Westrom had practically left the island to itself. Only a few Roman-British troops were able to offer resistance to the invaders, but little is known about the details ( see below ).
The (later so-called) Ostrogoths came under Hunnic rule after 375. Under Attila , the Hun empire on the Danube achieved the greatest development of power: both western and eastern currents tried to maintain the best possible relationships (see, for example, the detailed report by Priskos on an eastern Roman legation 449). Then around 450 there came a conflict with Flavius Aëtius . After failed forays into Gaul (451) and Italy (452), after Attila's death in 453 and the Battle of Nedao in the following year (454), the very loosely organized Hun Empire fell apart . The Ostrogoths benefited from this after they had been victorious in the Battle of the Bolia (469) against Gepids and Skiren . First in Pannonia , then in Thrace , they lived as Roman foederati .
In the meantime, the ever-shrinking Western Roman Empire, that is, the area controlled by the court in Ravenna, was finally limited to Italy, after Westrom had effectively lost Africa , Hispania and Gaul to the various warrior groups. This entailed considerable tax losses, which had an impact on military resources. Furthermore, only "shadow emperors" had ruled in the last decades, while the real power lay with the army masters and the army could no longer be effectively controlled by the emperors. The now almost completely “barbaric” Western Roman army had claimed land from the Western Roman government in 476; when the demand was not met, the troops mutinied. Their leader Odoacer deposed the last Roman emperor in Italy, Romulus Augustulus , in August 476.
This left only the emperor in Constantinople as head of the empire reduced to the Eastern Empire (although the emperor Julius Nepos, who was expelled from Italy in 475, stayed in Dalmatia until 480) . In the year 488 the Eastern Roman Emperor Zenon proposed an invasion of Italy to the Ostrogothic King Theodoric , who seemed to him to be more and more dangerous. A year later (489) Theodoric invaded Italy and defeated and killed Odoacer in 493. Italy prospered under Theodoric's rule, but after his death in 526 a time of crisis began. Ostrom took advantage of dynastic battles to conquer the former heartland of the empire in the Gothic War (from 535). This succeeded until the year 552, but Italy was then devastated. The incursion of the Lombards in 568, who set out from Pannonia and soon ruled large parts of northern and central Italy, only marked the end of this.
In contrast to older research, today the problem of the term mass migration and the associated historical image is pointed out. Not whole peoples "migrated", rather it was differently sized, heterogeneously composed warrior groups that only grew together in the course of time into associations and claimed their own identity. This process cannot be recorded using biological categories; Rather, identities emerged in a changeable social process in which several factors play a role. The members of these groups were united not least by the effort to share in the prosperity of the empire, which they neither wanted to destroy nor conquer. For a long time they tried to achieve this goal by entering the service of the Romans and fighting for them against external and internal enemies. In this context, the process of ethnogenesis plays an important role, i.e. the emergence of new groups that were fictitious communities of descent, but whose unity was in reality politically and socially justified. However, this influential research approach (represented by Herwig Wolfram and, with modifications, Walter Pohl ) has been questioned by several Anglo-American researchers in recent years. The migration of peoples was also much more than just a defensive struggle by the Roman Empire. Above all, it was a transformation of the previous Roman Mediterranean world into a Germanic-Roman world in the west and a Greco-Roman world in the east. The sometimes dramatic changes at the end of late antiquity should not be overlooked, but neither should they be overestimated, as numerous signs of continuity can be discerned.
The “post-Roman world” that emerged in the course of the Great Migration was in many ways still closely linked to antiquity, although it was changing more and more. Johannes Fried summarizes this as follows:
“So antiquity shrank and disappeared in a long, uneven process of transformation. [...] But the dwindling left its traces everywhere like melted glaciers [...] "
Little by little, larger and larger parts of the usual Roman institutions disappeared in the West, first (as early as the 5th century) the army, then the Roman administrative order. Roman education and cultural traditions, which were closely related to urban society in late antiquity, were also in decline, but by no means everywhere (apart from the special case of Britain, which collapsed very quickly): especially in North Africa, in the Visigoth Empire as well in Italy and partly in Gaul, the culture of late antiquity flourished well into the 6th century. The church played an important mediating role in this context, in whose monasteries ancient texts were kept and later copied, starting with Cassiodorus . The loss of books in late antiquity , however, meant that numerous ancient works could only be received on the basis of quotations and summaries in the writings of the church fathers. The Roman-trained administration also functioned in these areas for a long time. The minority of the Germanic tribes, which in any case was vanishingly small, often resembled the native Romansh population with their superior Roman civilization, but was largely religiously separated from the Romans. The Germanic tribes, if they were not in Pagan religious tradition beforehand, were predominantly Arian Christians, while the population was Roman Catholic, which often led to tensions, especially in the Vandal Empire and partly in Ostrogothic and Longobard Italy. The Franks, on the other hand, avoided such problems by adopting the Catholic creed under Clovis I.
The changing Mediterranean world: from Justinian to the onset of Islam
In the 6th century the Mediterranean and the Middle East were dominated by two rival great powers: the Eastern Roman Empire and the New Persian Sāsānid Empire , which the Eastern Roman Empire had grown militarily and culturally. The (Eastern) Roman Emperor Justinian (r. 527-565) emphasized the Christian-sacred component of his empire internally, while externally he strove to regain territories in the west since the 530s. Even though Justinian's time was of a transitional nature, the emperor continued to orient himself politically towards the Roman tradition. He took great care of religious policy and took action against the remnants of the pagan cults and against heretical Christian groups. A solution to the sometimes difficult theological problems (see under Monophysitism ) and the implementation of a uniform Christian creed for the entire empire did not succeed, however. He also pursued a vigorous building and legal policy (see Corpus iuris civilis ). In terms of foreign policy, the empire went on the offensive in the West during its reign and, at first glance, had impressive successes. Thanks to capable commanders such as Belisarius , the rapid conquest of the Vandal Empire in North Africa succeeded in 533/34. From 535 to 552 the Ostrogoth Empire in Italy was conquered after hard fighting in the Gothic War . Even in southern Spain, Ostrom had temporarily regained a foothold since 552. The Roman Empire thus extended again from the Atlantic to Mesopotamia . However, this expansion claimed all resources of the empire, which was weakened internally by natural disasters and epidemics (→ Justinian plague ). In the east, Justinian also suffered setbacks against the Sāsānids and was only able to make peace with the important Persian king Chosrau I in 562 after changing and costly battles . When Justinian died in 565, the empire was weakened by the long wars in the west and east, but it was undoubtedly the most important power in the Mediterranean.
After it came to war with Persia again in the reign of Justin II. 572 , whereby neither side achieved a decisive success, Emperor Maurikios (r. 582-602) was able to benefit from a conflict over the Persian succession to the throne and with King Chosrau II. 591 Make peace. Chosrau II used the murder of the emperor in 602 as an excuse to invade Roman territory. From 603 to 628 the “last great war of antiquity” raged. By 619, Persian troops conquered Syria and Egypt, the breadbasket of the empire, and in 626, together with the Avars (who had established an empire in the Balkans at the end of the 6th century), even besieged Constantinople . The realm was in an extremely difficult situation, and complete annihilation did not seem ruled out. The counter-attack of Herakleios (ruled 610-641) in the years 622 to 628 saved the empire and finally forced the Persians to retreat. In 628 Persia asked for peace in the face of internal turmoil, and Herakleios, who is considered one of the most important emperors in Eastern Roman-Byzantine history, was at the height of his reputation; He even received congratulations on his great victory from the Frankish Empire. But the empire was extremely weakened by the heavy fighting over the past decades, the extent of the destruction is clearly expressed in the sources. Inside, Herakleios completed the Graecization of the state, but he was unable to end the religious disputes (→ monotheleticism ) nor to consolidate the empire again.
When the Islamic expansion began in the 630s , East Stream and Persia were no longer able to offer effective resistance after the long wars, which was an important reason for the rapid Arab successes. The desert border could hardly be controlled for Eastern Current and Persia anyway (in the form of the Lachmids and Ghassanids one had rather relied on Arab allies) and larger troops were not stationed there after the Persian War; Added to this was the mobility of the Muslim Arabs. The Sāsānid Empire, weakened by civil wars, suffered two heavy defeats against the Arabs (638 in the Battle of Kadesia and 642 in the Battle of Nehawend ). Although the Persians offered resistance and were able to win a major battle at the beginning and lead several successful smaller counter-offensives, their empire finally collapsed in 651; the sons of the last Persian great king Yazdegerd III. fled to the Chinese imperial court of the Tang Dynasty . Persia was largely able to retain its cultural identity under Islamic rule and was Islamized relatively slowly, similar to the Christian areas in Egypt and Syria. At the beginning of the 8th century, the Arabs conquered Sogdia (see also Ghurak and Dēwāštič ) and pushed further into Central Asia .
In the west, Eastern Roman troops were subject to the Arabs in the Battle of Yarmuk in 636 and had to completely evacuate Syria after Damascus surrendered in 635 . From then on, Syria served as the starting point for Arab attacks on Asia Minor , which the Eastern Romans, however, were able to hold and which now became the heartland of the empire. Jerusalem surrendered in 638. Most painful was the loss of Egypt in 640/42 (due to its economic strength, tax revenue and grain). Soon after, the Arabs took Armenia, Cyprus (649) and Rhodes (654). They advanced along the North African coast to the west and occupied what is now Tunisia around 670; Carthage was held until 698. 711–725 was followed by the conquest of the Visigoth Empire in Hispania and southwestern Gaul. Forays into the Franconian Empire were unsuccessful. In 655, the Eastern Roman fleet under Constantine II suffered a heavy defeat against the Arabs in the Battle of Phoinix , who now emerged as a sea power and thus threatened the trade and maritime domination of Eastern Europe. The Eastern Romans / Byzantines also achieved some important successes: in the defense of Constantinople from 674 to 678, they destroyed the Arab fleet; However, whether there was a real siege in this context is controversial in recent research. In 677/678 the eastern Romans were able to go on an offensive despite limited resources and even temporarily land troops in Syria.
Eastern Byzantium could not prevent or reverse the loss of the eastern provinces and was put on the defensive. The ancient unity of the Mediterranean (which was both politically and economically of great importance for the stability of the Roman state) ended with the Arab conquests. 100 years after Justinian's death, the Roman Empire had lost more than half of its territory and population, while on the east and south coast of the Mediterranean a new empire with a new faith had emerged with the Arab caliphate .
The old world order, which had existed between East and Persia throughout late antiquity, was broken as a result of the Arab conquests and replaced by a new order in which East-Byzantium had to fight against the caliphate for pure existence. The Eastern Roman Empire, which around 700 was finally limited to Asia Minor, Greece, Constantinople including the surrounding area and some areas in Italy, now finally changed to the Greek Byzantium of the Middle Ages. The period from the middle of the 7th to the 8th century was still characterized by heavy defensive battles. The finally successful defense prevented the Arabs from advancing further into south-eastern Europe. The Herakleios dynasty ruled until 711. Under Emperor Leo III. , who came to power in 717, Byzantium went back on a limited offensive against the Arabs ( see below ).
For the history of Western and Central Europe, it was crucial that from the 7th century the emperors were effectively forced to largely leave the former west of the Roman Empire to its own devices: unlike in the 6th century, military interventions were no longer to be expected . Constantinople moved into the distance.
The Franconian Empire of the Merovingians
The Frankish empire , which emerged in the late 5th century, was to develop into the most important of the Germanic-Romanic successor empires in the west. The rise of the Franks from a regional power in northeastern Gaul to a great empire began under the leadership of kings from the Merovingian dynasty . The Sal-Franconian king (rex) Childerich I , who resided in Tournai , established his own sphere of influence in northern Gaul, where he could fall back on the still working local armories (fabricae) . It is often assumed that he cooperated with the Gallo-Roman general Aegidius , who rose against the Western Roman government in 462/463, but the details are unclear. Aegidius himself established an independent domain in the Soissons area ; after his death he was soon followed by his son Syagrius . Childerich's son Clovis destroyed the other small Franconian empires (including Ragnachars and Chararichs ) and thus became the founder of the Franconian Empire.
486/487 Clovis conquered the kingdom of Syagrius. In 507, the Visigoths were defeated at the Battle of Vouillé and effectively driven out of Gaul. Clovis also took action against the Alemanni , while a preliminary rapprochement was reached with the Burgundians. The originally pagan Clovis converted to Christianity at an unspecified point in time (probably towards the end of his rule). The decisive factor was that he opted for the Catholic creed and thus avoided problems that sometimes arose in the other Germanic-Romanic empires between the conquerors and the Roman population. The skilful and at the same time unscrupulous actions by Clovis secured the Franks a dominant position in Gaul.
After the death of Clovis in 511, the Franconian Empire was divided among his four sons Theuderich , Chlodomer , Childebert and Chlotar , each receiving a share of the Franconian ancestral land in northern Gaul and the conquered areas in the south. The widespread practice among the Franks of dividing rulership among their sons after the death of a king caused the central royal power to be fragmented. Conflicts for the throne were not uncommon, especially since most of the Merovingians did not reach old age and often had children of several women, which made succession arrangements difficult. Clovis had already called on the Gallo-Roman upper class for administrative tasks, and especially the bishops (such as Gregory of Tours , whose history is the most important source of the Franconian history of the 6th century). He had also used the system of Roman civitates , which were particularly widespread in southern Gaul , where the Gallo-Roman senatorial nobility (whose ancestors once held Roman state offices and now functioned as local and above all ecclesiastical dignitaries) can be traced for a long time. The administration was initially based largely on late Roman institutions, before these disappeared and the influence of counts (comites) and duces (duces) increased .
The Franconian expansion was pushed further: In 531/534 the Thuringians and in 534 the Burgundians were subjected. The Franks used the Gothic War in Italy to occupy parts of the Eastern Gothic territory. Theuderich's son Theudebert I saw his position in the east of the Merovingian Empire as so solid that he is said to have even toyed with the idea of challenging Emperor Justinian.
However, as early as the 6th century there were signs of divisions in the Frankish domain, which repeatedly played a role in later battles between rulers. The Gallo-Roman south with the centers on the Rhône and Saône retained its elite, which emerged from the Gallo-Roman senate nobility, and its late antique urban structures with a strong position of bishops and Roman law (droit écrit) . On the other hand, in the more Germanized north the elites changed, the urban culture partially declined and the customary law rooted in Germanic tribal law (droit coutumier) played a growing role. It was not until the 15th century that the legal systems gradually converged. Visigothic influences persisted in the southwest. So fights flared up inside between the individual Merovingian rulers. After the death of Chlothar I in 561 a Merovingian fratricidal war broke out , which only ended in 613 with the reunification of the entire empire under Chlothar II . Dagobert I , who took over the rule of Austrasia in 623 and ruled over the entire empire from 629 to 639, is generally considered to be the last strong Merovingian king, although he too had to make some concessions to the powerful nobility.
According to the common doctrine, after Dagobert's death, the royal power declined more and more and the real power lay in the hands of the caretakers (originally only administrators of the royal court, but who gained more and more influence over time). This assessment is based on the view of the Carolingian Frankish historiography, such as the Reichsannalen and Einhard's Vita Karoli Magni . In the presentation of these sources, the transfer of the Franconian royal dignity to the Carolingians in 751 appears as a necessary consequence of the powerlessness of the last Merovingians, which was reflected in their rather ridiculous appearance. The negative attitude of the Carolingian authors towards the late Merovingians makes an unbiased assessment difficult. In more recent research it is sometimes doubted that the last Merovingian kings were really as powerless as Carolingian historiography suggests. It can be assumed that the partisan sources have deformed at least parts of the historical narrative. What is certain is that after Grimoald the Elder's failed attempt to bring about a change of dynasty as early as the 7th century , the Carolingians long shied away from disempowering the Merovingians, be it because of sacred ideas of the king or because of deeply rooted dynastic thinking.
After the Battle of Tertry in 687 the final rise of the Carolingians began, whose name goes back to the powerful Franconian housekeeper Karl Martell . Karl Martell was able to prevail against competing house keepers and functioned as the true power behind the throne until his death in 741, where he was able to secure and expand the borders of the empire (among other things by subjugating the Frisians ). From then on, the Carolingians controlled the affairs of state in the empire and finally achieved the Franconian royal dignity in 751 when the last Merovingian king Childerich III. was discontinued.
From the Carolingian Empire to West and East Franconia
In 751, in consultation with Pope Zacharias Pippin the Younger, he was the first Carolingian to be raised to the rank of Frankish king (ruled 751–768). The anointing of Pippin by the Pope in 754 apparently served as additional legitimation and laid the foundation for the role of the Frankish kings as the new patrons of the Pope in Rome.
The early Carolingian kings proved capable rulers. Pippin intervened in Italy, where he took action against the Lombards, led campaigns in Aquitaine and secured the Pyrenees border. When he died in 768, he enjoyed a reputation far beyond the borders of the Franconian Empire. The empire was divided between his two sons Karlmann and Karl. Apparently there was great tension between the brothers; After the unexpected death of Karlmann at the end of 771, Karl ignored the inheritance claims of Karlmann's sons (which were later probably removed on Karlmann's orders) and occupied his part of the empire.
Karl , later called Carolus Magnus ("Charlemagne"), is considered the most important Carolingian and one of the most important medieval rulers (ruled 768–814). After securing rule in the interior, Karl began campaigns against the Saxons in the summer of 772 . The resulting Saxon Wars lasted with interruptions until 804 and were fought with extreme brutality. The goal was not only the conquest of the country, but also the forcible Christianization of the previously pagan Saxons. From a military point of view, the Franconian tank riding played an important role. At the same time, at the papal request, Charles intervened in Italy in 774 and conquered the Longobard Empire, which he united with the Frankish Empire. The Spanish campaign against the Moors in 778 was less successful , although at least the Spanish mark was established later. Karl's diplomatic contacts extended to the caliph Hārūn ar-Raschīd . In the east of his empire, he ended the independence of the tribal duchy of Bavaria in 788 . There were also battles with the Danes and several Slavic tribes, as well as the ultimately successful Imperial War against the Avars (791–796). In decades of fighting, Karl had expanded the borders of the empire considerably and established the Frankish empire as a new great power alongside Byzantium and the caliphate. The Carolingian Empire now encompassed large parts of Latin Christianity and was the most important state structure in the West since the fall of Western Rome. Karl made Aachen his main residence. He used comites (so-called "county constitution") and the church he sponsored to organize the rulership system more efficiently . The so-called Carolingian renaissance (which should be better described as the "Carolingian educational reform") brought about a cultural revitalization of Christian Western Europe, after an educational decline in the Franconian Empire from the 7th century. The high point of Charles's reign was his coronation as emperor at Christmas in the year 800 by Pope Leo III. in Rome. The details of this process and its history are disputed in research. What is certain is that, from the point of view of contemporaries, the empire was renewed, which, however, led to conflicts with Byzantium ( two- emperor problem ). This event is of great importance for the history of the Middle Ages as it laid the foundation for the western medieval empire . Karl left a lasting impression on the following generations. In the anonymous epic of Charles , the emperor is even praised as pater Europae , the father of Europe. In the Middle Ages he was considered an ideal emperor. With this the myths about Karl began, which resulted in different historical images up to modern times.
After Karl's death in January 814, he was succeeded by his son Ludwig the Pious , whom Karl had already crowned co-emperor in 813. The first few years of Ludwig's reign were mainly shaped by his will to reform in the ecclesiastical and secular areas. Programmatically, he proclaimed the Renovatio imperii Francorum , the renewal of the Frankish Empire. In 817 Ludwig decided that after his death the empire should be divided. However, his eldest son Lothar was to be given priority over his other sons Ludwig (in Bavaria) and Pippin (in Aquitaine). A difficult situation arose when, in 829, Emperor Ludwig also assured Karl , his son from his second marriage to Judith , who was influential at court , a share in the inheritance. There had been opponents of the new imperial order before; they now openly opposed the emperor.
With the uprising of the three eldest sons against Ludwig the Pious in 830, the time of crisis in the Carolingian Empire began, which eventually led to its dissolution. The rebellion was primarily directed against Judith and her advisors, but in 833 it led to the capture of the emperor on the " Lies Field near Colmar", with Ludwig's army overflowing to the enemy. Then Ludwig had to agree to a humiliating act of penance. But with that the arch was overstepped and the three older sons of Ludwig fell out again. In 834 several supporters turned away from Lothar, who withdrew to Italy. While the empire was increasingly besieged from the outside by Vikings, Slavs and Arabs, internal tensions persisted. Ludwig endeavored to secure Karl's inheritance. After Pippin's death in 839, Karl was given the western part of the empire, but the situation at Ludwig's death in 840 was still unclear. In the eastern part had Louis the German secured his position, similar to Karl in the West, so that the pressure on Kaiser Lothar rose. Karl and Ludwig formed an alliance against Lothar and defeated him in the Battle of Fontenoy on June 25, 841. In February 842 they reaffirmed their alliance with the Strasbourg oaths . At the urging of the Franconian nobles, the Treaty of Verdun was signed in 843 , which basically confirmed the division of the empire: Charles ruled the west, Ludwig the east, while Lothar was given a middle empire and Italy.
The question about the beginnings of “German” history, which is often discussed in research in this context, is rather misleading, as it was a long-term process that stretched into the 11th century; The name Regnum Teutonicorum can only be proven with certainty from the 10th century . Apparently, however, the Carolingian parts of the empire were becoming more and more separated from each other in the 9th century, and imperial unity could only be restored temporarily.
After Lothar's death in 855, his eldest son Lothar II inherited the Middle Kingdom. After his death in 869, there was a conflict between Karl and Ludwig over the inheritance, which led to the division in the Treaty of Meerssen in 870 . This finally formed the West and East Franconia , while in Italy from 888 to 961 kings ruled separately . The idea of imperial unity still had some supporters. Under Charles III. who won the imperial crown in 881 and ruled over all of Eastern Franconia since 882, the entire empire was reunited for a few years when he also acquired the west Franconian royal crown in 885. But this unification of the empire remained an episode, especially since Karl could not effectively repel the increasing Viking attacks (peace of Asselt in 882 and siege of Paris in 885-886 ) and East Franconia lost to his nephew Arnolf in late 887 (r. 887-899). In the "Regensburg continuation" of the annals of Fulda for the year 888 it is disparagingly noted that after the death of Charles (in January 888) many reguli (minor kings) in Europe would have seized power. Arnolf confirmed the rule of the new kings, for example in West Franconia, Burgundy and Italy. His base of rule was Bavaria. He limited his rule explicitly to Eastern Franconia, where he fought off Slavs and Vikings. Arnolf initially rejected a train to Italy. Not until 894 did he go to Italy following a papal call for help; In 896 he even acquired the imperial crown. Nevertheless, the collapse of the Carolingian Empire was obvious.
Culturally, too, there was a decline in the late 9th century, especially in Eastern Franconia, where there was a noticeable decline in literary production. In the east, the last Carolingian Ludwig the child died in 911; he was succeeded by I. Konrad after. Konrad tried to stabilize Eastern Franconia, where he had to assert himself against the powerful nobility and at the same time had to fend off the Hungarians who had founded an empire a few years earlier. In the end, his rule, which was entirely based on Carolingian traditions, turned out to be a mere transition period to the Ottonians , who were the East Franconian kings from 919 to 1024. In West Franconia the Carolingians ruled with interruptions until the death of Ludwig V in 987, but had already largely lost their power. They were replaced by the Capetians , who then became the French kings until the 14th century. However, the French kingship was initially largely restricted to its core area in the Ile de France and only exercised nominal supremacy over the spheres of power of self-confident dukes.
The Empire of the Ottonians
After the death of the East Franconian King Konrad in 919, Heinrich I, the first member of the Saxon house of the Liudolfinger ("Ottonen"), ascended the East Franconian royal throne; they were able to hold their own in the empire until 1024. In more recent research, the importance of the Ottonian period for the formation of Eastern Franconia is emphasized, but it is no longer considered the beginning of actual “German” history. The complex process associated with it dragged on at least until the 11th century.
Heinrich I was confronted with numerous problems. The rulership, based on Carolingian patterns, reached its limits, especially since the written form, a decisive administrative factor, was now falling sharply. With regard to the greats of the empire, Heinrich, like several other rulers after him, seems to have practiced a form of consensual rule: While he formally insisted on his higher rank, he tied the dukes into his politics through friendship alliances (amicitia) and let them in their duchies extensive political leeway. Swabia and Bavaria were thereby integrated into the royal rule of Henry, but remained regions remote from the king until around the year 1000, in which the influence of the kingship was weak. The empire was still in a defensive battle against the Hungarians, with whom an armistice was concluded in 926. Heinrich used the time and had the border security intensified; the king was also successful against the Elbe Slavs and Bohemia. In 932 he refused to pay tribute to the Hungarians; In 933 he defeated them in the battle of Riyadh . In the west, Heinrich had initially given up the claim to Lorraine, which was disputed between West and East Franconia , in 921 before he could win it in 925. Even before his death in 936, Heinrich had made a succession plan within the framework of "house rules", so that his son Otto could be the designated successor as early as 929/30 and the empire remained undivided.
In the reign of Otto I (r. 936–973), Eastern Franconia was to assume a hegemonic position in Latin Europe. Otto proved to be an energetic ruler. In 948 he transferred the important Duchy of Bavaria to his brother Heinrich . Otto's rulership was not without problems, however, because he deviated from the consensual rule of his father. At times Otto behaved inconsiderately and came into conflict with close relatives several times. Otto's eldest son Liudolf, for example, acted against the king and was even connected to the Hungarians. They took advantage of the situation in the empire and openly attacked in 954. Liudolf's situation became untenable and he submitted to the king. Otto succeeded in organizing a defense against the Hungarians and in 955 defeating them in the battle of the Lechfeld . His reputation in the empire was increased considerably by this success and opened up new options for him. In the east he won victories over the Slavs, with which the Elbe Slavic areas (Sclavinia) were increasingly involved in Ottonian politics. Otto promoted the establishment of the Archdiocese of Magdeburg , which he finally succeeded in 968. The goal was the Slavic mission in the east and the expansion of the East Franconian area of dominion, for which border marks were set up based on the Carolingian model. Otto's strengthened position made it possible to intervene in Italy that was never completely out of sight of the East Franconian rulers. During the first Italian campaign in 951, his attempt to renew the western empire in Rome failed, even though Italian nobles paid homage to him as "King of the Lombards". He set out for Italy again in 961 and was crowned emperor by the Pope in Rome on February 2, 962, in return he confirmed the rights and possessions of the church. The western empire, based on the ancient Roman imperial dignity, was now connected to the East Franconian (or Roman-German) kingship. In addition, large parts of Upper and Central Italy were annexed to the East Franconian Empire ( Imperial Italy ). However, effective domination of imperial Italy required the personal presence of the ruler, and government from afar was hardly possible at this time. This structural deficit should also cause problems for his successors. A third Italian campaign (966–972) followed a papal call for help, but at the same time served to secure the Ottonian rule. Inside Otto, like many early medieval rulers in general, relied primarily on the church for administrative tasks. When Otto died on May 7, 973, after difficult beginnings, the empire was consolidated and the empire once again a political power factor.
Otto's son Otto II (r. 973–983) was crowned co-king in 961 and co-emperor in 967 at a very young age. In April 972 he had married the educated Byzantine princess Theophanu . Otto himself was also educated and, like his wife Theophanu, he was also interested in intellectual matters. In the north he fended off attacks by the Danes, while in Bavaria Heinrich der Zänker (a relative of the emperor) acted against him and received support from Bohemia and Poland. The conspiracy was uncovered, but it wasn't until 976 that Heinrich's (provisional) submission was achieved. The Ostmark was separated from Bavaria and transferred to the Babenbergers . In the west there was fighting with West Franconia (France) before an agreement could be reached in 980. Unlike his father, Otto planned the conquest of southern Italy, where Byzantines, Lombards and Arabs ruled. The campaign began at the end of 981, but in July 982 the imperial army suffered a crushing defeat against the Arabs in the battle of Cape Colonna . Otto managed to escape only with difficulty. In the summer of 983 he planned a new campaign to southern Italy when, under the leadership of the Liutizen, parts of the Elbe Slavs rose up ( Slav uprising of 983 ) and the Ottonian mission and settlement policy suffered a severe setback. The emperor died in Rome on December 7, 983, where he was buried. In medieval historiography Otto II was heavily criticized due to military setbacks and church political decisions (such as the abolition of the diocese of Merseburg ), while modern research takes into account his difficult starting position without overlooking the military failures.
He was succeeded by his son of the same name, Otto III. (ruled 983–1002), who had been elected co-king before his father's death when he was not quite three years old. Due to his young age, his mother Theophanu took over the reign , after whose death in 991 his grandmother Adelheid of Burgundy took over the reign. In 994 Otto III. at the age of 14 the government. The ruler, highly educated for his time, surrounded himself over the years with scholars, including Gerbert von Aurillac . Otto was particularly interested in Italy. Disputes in Rome between Pope John XV. and the powerful aristocratic family of the Crescentier were the occasion for Otto's Italian move in 996. Pope Johannes, however, had already died, so that Otto appointed his relative Bruno as Gregory V as the new Pope, who on May 21, 996 crowned him emperor. Then Otto returned to Germany. However, Gregor was expelled from Rome, so that Otto set out again for Italy in 997 and brutally suppressed the uprising in early 998. The emperor stayed in Italy until 999 and, in cooperation with the Pope, sought a church reform. During this time, Otto's government motto is documented: Renovatio imperii Romanorum , the renewal of the Roman Empire, the continuation of which was considered to be the medieval Roman-German Empire. However, the details are controversial; a closed concept is rather unlikely, which is why the importance is relativized in recent research. After Gregory's death, the Emperor made Gerbert von Aurillac the new Pope on New Year's Eve II. Both appointments to the papacy illustrate the distribution of power between the empire and papacy at this time. Otto also made contact with the Polish ruler Bolesław I and went to Gniezno . The emperor spent the next few months in Germany before returning to Italy. In 1001 an uprising broke out in Rome. Otto retired to Ravenna , the emperor died at the end of January 1002 during the renewed advance to Rome. In the sources, his great commitment in Italy is rated rather negatively; Modern research emphasizes that Otto's early death makes a final assessment difficult because his politics did not go beyond the beginnings.
Successor of Otto III. was Heinrich II (ruled 1002-1024), who came from the Bavarian branch of the Ottonians and whose accession to power was controversial. Henry II set different priorities than his predecessor and concentrated primarily on the exercise of power in the northern part of the empire, although he moved to Italy three times. On his second Italian campaign in 1014, he was crowned emperor in Rome. In the south there were also clashes with the Byzantines in 1021/22, which in the end were unsuccessful and brought the emperor no profit. In the east he led four campaigns against Bolesław of Poland, which involved property claimed by Poland and questions of honor and honor, before the Treaty of Bautzen was concluded in 1018 . Inside, Heinrich presented himself as a ruler permeated by the sacred dignity of his office. He founded the diocese of Bamberg and favored the imperial church, on which he relied in the sense of the "imperial church system", although this aspect has been evaluated differently in recent times. Some researchers consider Heinrich's approach in this regard as realpolitically motivated; Heinrich ruled over the imperial church, ruled with it and thus tried to intensify the royal rule. What is certain is the close interlinking of royal rule with the church in the empire. With this, Heinrich was hoping for a counterweight to the aristocratic opposition, which repeatedly rose against the king, who emphasized his leadership role over the greats in the empire. His reign is valued very differently; Only in retrospect was he, promoted by the Bamberg Church, stylized as a "holy emperor" and canonized in 1146. His marriage remained childless, instead of the Ottonians, the Salians came to rule.
France and Burgundy
Although in West Franconia (France) the Carolingians formally provided the kings until 987, apart from the reign of some (quite assertive) kings from other families such as Odo , they had already lost most of their power. Politics was dominated by the great nobles in the 10th century, such as B. from Duke Hugo Magnus from the house of the Robertines . The contrast between Carolingians and Robertinians was formative at this time. In the late phase of the western Carolingians, King Lothar even became dependent on the more powerful Ottonians. He tried to break away from it militarily and made advances to Eastern Franconia, which were unsuccessful. In 987 the Robertine Hugo Capet was elected the new king. This began the rule of the Capetians, later named after Hugo's nickname . All later French kings descended from Hugo Capet in direct male line until the final abolition of kingship in the 19th century. Hugo's contemporaries did not, however, perceive his assumption of government as a significant turning point, and his uprising turned out to be a permanent change of dynasty only later. In the same year Hugo made his son Robert co-king; he was to succeed his father as Robert II in 996 and rule until 1031. The change of dynasty in 987 was not without conflicts. Duke Karl of Lower Lorraine , a Carolingian king's son, asserted his claim to the throne. He had some successes before falling into the hands of the Capetians through betrayal. An attempted coup by the Blois family in 993 also failed.
The Capetians emphasized the sacredness of their royal dignity and the associated reputation (auctoritas) . The core of the royal rule was the crown domain with the center of Paris ; the royal property was systematically expanded in the following decades. In addition, the Capetians could count on a fairly broad church support. The establishment of the royal rule did not succeed completely, however, because the greats of the empire dealt with the early Capetians on a relatively equal level. Although they were obliged to travel to court and the army, there were occasional anti-royal coalitions. Princely rule consolidated in several regions in the early 11th century. Attempts by Roberts II to increase the king's power in areas that have become domesticated were only successful in the Duchy of Burgundy, while he failed in the counties of Troyes and Meaux . His son and successor Heinrich I had to assert himself against the House of Blois and had very good connections to the Salian rulers. In terms of foreign policy, the early Capetians were not successful; the attempt to regain Lorraine from the Ottonians failed. However, the French kings tried to emphasize the equality of their empire with the empire. In the 12th century, there were conflicts with the powerful House of Plantagenet , which, in addition to extensive land holdings in France, also provided the English kings until the late Middle Ages . It was only under Philip II August (r. 1180–1223) that the Capetians succeeded in gaining the upper hand.
The Kingdom of Burgundy came into being during the fall of the Carolingian Empire. In 879 Boso von Vienne was elected King of Lower Burgundy , his son Ludwig the Blind briefly expanded the Burgundian domain. Even before Ludwig's death in 928, the Lower Burgundian rulership fell apart, from which Hugo von Vienne initially benefited , but ultimately Hochburgund . Rudolf I was crowned king there in 888 . In the period that followed, there were repeated tensions with the local nobility; a strong kingdom could never develop, the royal power remained rather regionally limited. Rudolf II. , Whose expansion to the north-east into the Swabian region had been stopped in 919, made contacts with the Ottonians. He recognized the East Franconian sovereignty and initiated the unification of Hoch- and Niederburgund (allegedly contractually agreed in 933, although this is partly disputed in research), but he died in 937. His son Konrad was able to claim power in Niederburgund with Ottonian support bring to bear. The close relationship between the Burgundian Rudolfinger and the Ottonians was expressed in the Succession Treaty of 1016, which benefited the Salian rulers who united Burgundy with the Empire in 1033.
After the end of Western Rome in 476, there was initially no cultural or economic breakdown in Italy. Under Theodoric's rule of the Goths (489/93 to 526), the country experienced a flourishing of late ancient culture, as can be seen in the philosophers Boethius and Symmachus . Theodoric paid respect to the senatorial elite and strove to rule in agreement with the Romans. He used the knowledge of the senatorial ruling class in Italy and used Romans for civil administration, but separated civil and military violence according to ethnic principles. His Goths exercised the military administration and were also assigned land. It seems as if the privilege of the Ostrogoths prevented or even prevented the merging of the Roman nobility with the Gothic leadership group. After Theodoric's death in 526, there was a turmoil of the throne, with Ostrom taking the opportunity and intervening in Italy. The subsequent Gothic War (535–552) devastated the peninsula, which was now again an Eastern Roman province for the time being.
The Lombards who broke into Italy under their King Alboin in 568 profited from the state of the exhausted country and the few imperial occupation troops. Resistance to the conquerors was only sporadic, so that Milan fell in 569, but Pavia not until 572. The Lombard conquest of upper and parts of central Italy, however, turned out to be devastating for the remains of ancient culture and the local economy. Alboin had already established a ducat (duchy) in Cividale del Friuli shortly after the invasion began; this form of rulership organization (a combination of late Roman administration and the Lombard military order) was to become typical of the Lombards. The king's power fell after the assassination of Alboin in 572 and that of his successor Cleph in 574, and the Lombard rule was split up into relatively independent ducats. The Longobard Empire was still under great external pressure. Only in the face of a threat from the Franks did the Lombards elect Authari again in this position for the first time after ten years of kingship in 584 . The East Romans / Byzantines were also able to hold several of the seaside towns, as well as Ravenna, Rome and southern Italy. Domestically, the tensions between the mostly Arian Longobards and the Catholic Romans remained a burden for the mutual relationship, even though Catholic Longobard kings also ruled. Worth mentioning among the Lombard kings of the 7th century are Agilulf , under whom the Lombards were able to achieve some successes again, and Rothari , who in 643 had the Lombard legal customs systematically collected and recorded. Liutprand (ruled 712-744) also acted as a legislator and was even able to exercise his power against the Duces of Spoleto and Benevento, the two southern Lombard dominions. By this time the Lombards had finally become Catholic and reappeared expansively, for example against Byzantium, and also intervened in Rome. In 774 the Franks defeated King Desiderius and conquered the Longobard Empire.
Italy in the early Middle Ages was a politically fragmented area. During the process of disintegration of the Carolingian Empire in the 9th century, local rulers rose. They ruled independently as kings in Northern Italy from 888 to 961 , until this region (except for the Republic of Venice ) was integrated into Eastern Franconia under Otto I. As Imperial Italy , it remained part of the Roman-German Empire until the end of the Middle Ages. In this context, the bishops sponsored by the emperors were an important factor in securing rule. However, the Roman-German kings since Otto I did not pursue a stringent Italian policy , but had to enforce their rights of rule ( regalia ), especially in later times, militarily. The domination of Northern Italy was relevant to real politics, above all because of the comparatively high economic and financial strength of the cities there, which have flourished again since the 11th century; The maritime republics played a special role . At first, many cities in imperial Italy were under the influence of the bishops, before they gradually gained political autonomy. In addition to the still relatively strong urban culture, parts of the ancient culture had also been preserved there. The writing level was higher than in the north, which was advantageous for an effective exercise of power, although the personal presence of the ruler was still an important factor. On the other hand, Northern Italy benefited from the now more stable political conditions.
In the 8th century had in Central Italy Papal States established with its scope and the status of the city of Rome was controversial even among the popes and emperors often. Politically, the popes gained leeway for a short time during the decline of the Carolingians, on the other hand, in Rome, attacks by the Normans and Arabs on papal property had to be fended off repeatedly. For this reason alone, the later intervention of the Ottonians in Italy was welcomed. In the 10th century, however, the papacy also came into conflict with influential urban Roman families who exploited it for their own purposes, which meant a loss of reputation for the Bishop of Rome. Since the Ottonian period, like the Carolingians before, the Roman-German rulers exercised a patronage over the papacy, although in the Salian period there was an open, politically motivated conflict in the investiture dispute .
Byzantium had bases in Italy until the 11th century. After Ravenna was lost to the Lombards in 751 and it was no longer possible to intervene effectively in central Italy, the Byzantines concentrated on controlling their possessions in southern Italy. These were threatened by Arab raids, especially since the conquest of Sicily from North Africa in the 9th century (fall of Syracuse in 878, fall of Taorminas in 902), and from the 10th century also by the Roman-German rulers. With the fall of Baris in 1071, Byzantine rule in Italy ended for good. The Normans played a leading role in this in southern Italy . At the beginning of the 11th century they had been recruited as warriors by the Lombard local rulers there, but they soon established their own rulers. They took advantage of the complicated political situation in the space between Byzantium, papacy and local rulers, whereby the alliances were changeable. In the following years Norman principalities emerged in Aversa , Capua and Salerno . From 1061 the Normans also expanded to Sicily, which in the meantime had been partially and briefly recaptured by the Byzantines, and won the island for themselves. The Hauteville family played a leading role . As early as 1059 the Duchy of Apulia and Calabria had been created for them as a papal fiefdom; they obtained the royal dignity of Sicily and southern Italy in 1130 until the Kingdom of Sicily fell to the Hohenstaufen in 1194 .
The Visigoth Empire had established itself in Hispania and southern Gaul at the end of the 5th century . However, after the heavy defeat in the Battle of Vouillé against the Franks in 507, the Visigoths had to evacuate Gaul to the region around Narbonne . Toledo became the new capital of the Visigoths (Toledan Empire) and in the course of the 6th century a Visigothic imperial idea developed. The relationship between the king and the influential nobles was not infrequently tense and there were repeated arguments. The Visigoths were also Arians, which led to conflicts with the Catholic majority population. Like his son and successor Rekkared I, Leovigild was an important ruler. In 585 he conquered the Suebian Empire in northwestern Hispania, but failed in his attempt to establish the ecclesiastical unity of the empire through a moderate Arianism. Rekkared I, who converted to the Catholic faith in 587, solved the problem by achieving the conversion of the Visigoths at the 3rd Council of Toledo in 589. This favored the already great influence of the Visigoth kings on their imperial church.
The Eastern Romans were expelled from southern Spain at the beginning of the 7th century and the Franks no longer posed an immediate threat. Nevertheless, the following Visigoth kings failed to establish a permanent dynasty. The reason for this was the internal power struggles in the 7th century. There were repeated rebellions and power struggles between rival noble families, with the court aristocracy being particularly influential. More than half of the Visigoth kings of the 7th century were deposed or murdered. Nevertheless, individual kings managed to assert themselves, such as Chindaswinth (642–653) or King Rekkeswinth (653–672). Under Rekkeswinth the empire was largely at peace again. He ruled in harmony with the nobility and in 654 issued a uniform code of law for Goths and Romans. The empire profited from the connection to late Roman traditions and proved to be more stable overall. The Christian idea of kings of the early Middle Ages, on the other hand, was influenced by the Visigothic idea of sacred kingship. In terms of culture, the empire flourished around 600, and Isidore of Seville was its most important representative . The Visigoth Empire achieved considerable cultural radiance, not least through the transmission of knowledge in the monastery schools there. In the early 8th century the empire was conquered by the Arabs; they defeated King Roderich in 711 in the battle of the Río Guadalete .
The political situation on the Iberian Peninsula was quite complicated in the further course of the early Middle Ages. After the fall of the Visigoths Empire, the Moors even penetrated the southern Franconian Empire for a time. All parts of the peninsula initially came under Islamic rule, but a few years after the Muslim invasion, resistance formed in the north-west. There, Christian nobles elected the noble Goth Pelagius as their king in 718 . Thus the Kingdom of Asturias was founded. This is considered to be the starting point of the Reconquista , the reconquest by the Christians, with some Christian rulers emphasizing the connection to the Visigoths (Neo-Gothic). Until the late 15th century, there was a Christian north and an Islamic ruled south ( Al-Andalus ) that was much more powerful for a long time and (but not in the early days of the conquest) culturally more developed . In addition to the existing Kingdom of Asturias-León , which flourished in the 10th century and was connected to Castile in the 11th century, other Christian empires emerged in northern Spain: in the 9th century the county (from Ferdinand I in the early 11th century: Kingdom) Castile and the Kingdom of Navarre ; Added to this were the former Franconian Spanish Mark , from which the county of Barcelona developed, and in the 11th century the Kingdom of Aragon . The Christians profited from the domestic political crises in the emirate and the later Caliphate of Cordoba and had been more aggressive since the 9th century; despite some setbacks and Moorish counter-attacks, they pushed Islamic rule back south, piece by piece.
In addition, there were always phases of coexistence. In Al-Andalus, Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together largely peacefully, although there were also some attacks by Muslims on Christians and coexistence should not be idealized. The culture in Islamic Spain was in full bloom in the 10th century. Cordoba was one of the largest and richest cities in the Mediterranean at that time. A cultural exchange process also took place, which was very beneficial for the Christian side. The majority of the population in Moorish Spain was still Christian ( Mozarab ) in the 10th century . However, there were emigration to the Christian kingdoms and conversions to Islam, especially when the tolerant Muslim religious policy changed in part later. Under Sancho III. from Navarre, which had expanded its empire considerably, Christian Spain experienced a political and cultural strengthening in the early 11th century (supported by a monastery reform). Sancho divided his kingdom among his sons, but these kingdoms were now ruled by descendants of the same dynasty. After the fall of the Caliphate of Córdoba in 1031, the Islamic south split into numerous small and small pranks ( Taifa kingdoms ), which the Christian rulers took advantage of. In 1085 the former Visigoth royal city of Toledo fell to Alfonso VI. of León-Castile, whereupon the Muslim rulers in Seville and Granada called the Almoravids from North Africa for help, who defeated Alfons in 1086 in the Battle of Zallaqa , but soon established their own rulers.
The British Isles
There is almost no written evidence of what happened in Britain immediately after the Romans left at the beginning of the 5th century, which is why little details are known. The rough frame can be reconstructed at least approximately on the basis of the few written and archaeological sources. The field army had the island in 407/8 under the counter-emperor Constantine III. probably completely evacuated, but it is difficult to imagine that at least a minimum of garrison troops were not left behind, since the island as a whole should not be abandoned. The few associations are likely to have only disbanded in the course of time, when the island was in fact left to its own devices, which is why there was an uprising in Britain in 409. The local administration seems to have functioned at least partially for a longer period of time, and finally several small Romano-British empires (Sub-Roman Britain) emerged . During this time, Anglo-Saxons came to Britain as mercenaries in relatively small numbers and took on defensive tasks instead of Roman soldiers. Around the middle of the 5th century they rose up against the Romano-British rulers, although the reasons are not entirely clear.
Around 500 the Anglo-Saxons seem to have been forced to a temporary settlement freeze after they were defeated by Ambrosius Aurelianus in the battle of Mons Badonicus , which cannot be precisely dated or localized . In the following years, however, they pushed the Romano-British back. Although details have not been passed on, the Anglo-Saxons succeeded in bringing large parts of the area south of the Firth of Forth under their control by the end of the 7th century , with repeated heavy fighting apparently. Individual British territories, however, were able to retain their independence, such as Wales and what is now Cornwall . There were also hardly any mass expulsions of the Romano-British population. The Christianization of the Anglo-Saxons achieved a breakthrough in the 7th century. During this time, the so-called heptarchy also formed, the seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms that dominated until the 9th century ( Essex , Sussex , Wessex , Kent , East Anglia , Mercia and Northumbria ), of which Mercia and Northumbria were the most powerful and repeatedly fought over fought out the supremacy. Mercia defeated Northumbria in 679 in the Battle of the River Trent, which established Mercia's supremacy; The Anglo-Saxon empires were also threatened by incursions by the Picts .
In the first half of the 8th century, the southern Anglo-Saxon empires became dependent on Mercia, which under Offa temporarily rose to become the most powerful empire in England, while Northumbria expanded northwards due to the Mercian resistance. Mercia's supremacy among the Anglo-Saxon empires was short-lived. As early as the early 9th century, East Anglia and Kent freed themselves from mercian domination. Under Egbert , Wessex gained increasing influence again. With the victory over Mercia at the Battle of Ellendun in 825, the mercian hegemony was finally broken and Wessex annexed several other Anglo-Saxon areas. By the mid-9th century, Wessex controlled all of England south of the Thames when the great Viking invasion began in 866 .
Anglo-Saxon England was associated with Scandinavia , especially in the early days . In 865/66, however, several Viking leaders (including Ivar Ragnarsson , a hero of Scandinavian saga literature) joined forces and invaded north-east England from Denmark with a large army, plundering and killing numerous residents. The incursion is probably connected with the increased defense efforts in the Franconian Empire, so that England was an easier target. The Viking army evidently outnumbered the Anglo-Saxon troops. In 871 the Vikings controlled the east of England, from York in the north to the London area . But they did not begin to settle there until the 870s, although some of them used Anglo-Saxon shadow kings. This broke the previous political order of the Anglo-Saxon empires, only Wessex initially remained relatively unscathed. With Alfred von Wessex (r. 871–899), later called "Alfred the Great", the Vikings began to be pushed back and an important period of Anglo-Saxon England began. After initial setbacks, Alfred defeated the Vikings in 878 at the Battle of Edington. His opponent Guthrum was baptized and withdrew from Wessex; In 886 the border between Anglo-Saxons and Danelag was established in a treaty . In fact, at this point in time, Alfred ruled over all Anglo-Saxons who did not live under Danish rule. For further defense against the Vikings, who attacked again towards the end of his reign, burhs (fortified places) were set up and a navy was set up. Inside, he operated an effective cultural promotion based on the Carolingian model.
Alfred's successors (like his son Edward the Elder ) pushed the Danish rule back further and further, until only the Kingdom of York remained. Eduards son Æthelstan , like Alfred, promoted culture intensively and was also able to record military successes. However, some kings of Wessex did not find universal recognition of all Anglo-Saxons. In Northumbria, for example, attempts were made to preserve independence with the help of the Danes. In the 10th century, therefore, there were repeated battles for rule over the entire Anglo-Saxon England. The relatively long reign of Edgar had a stabilizing effect, but after his death in 975 tensions reemerged. Subsequent attempts to further consolidate the royal power were hardly successful, mainly because there were again major Viking incursions since 980. The climax of this development was reached under Canute the Great , who briefly established a maritime empire in the early 11th century that included large parts of western Scandinavia and England. In England, Edward the Confessor ascended the throne in 1042 , but he had to contend with strong domestic political resistance, which left him only relatively little room for maneuver. When he died in 1066, the West Saxon dynasty ended. In the follow-up struggle, the Norman William the Conqueror finally prevailed, who won the Battle of Hastings in 1066 . This marked the end of Anglo-Saxon England.
In the north of Britain, the Kingdom of Scotland emerged in the middle of the 9th century from the union of the Picts with the Celtic Scots ( Dál Riada ), although the kingship was rather weak. Although an area-wide penetration of rule was not or hardly succeeded, Lothian was gained around 950, Cumbria 1018. Under Malcolm II (d. 1034) the kingdom of Alba (Scotland) slowly took shape. Fights with the Anglo-Saxons were relatively rare, but Viking attacks had to be repelled repeatedly.
In Ireland , besides tribal kings , mainly regional petty kings ruled . The persistence of Irish dynasties over long periods of time is remarkable. The Hochkönigsamt , which is said to have been ahistorically ancient, was repeatedly claimed by various groups. Above all the Uí Néill , whose rise began as early as the 5th century and was at the expense of the provincial kingdom of Ulaid, tried to use it to legitimize their claim to rule and claimed the "kingdom of Tara " since the 7th century . There were repeated fighting between the individual groups. Until the High Middle Ages, no strong kingship that encompassed the entire island was able to establish itself. At the end of the 8th century, the Vikings appeared in Ireland and established bases; Viking settlements and battles with them are documented in the 10th century. This was the first time in history that Ireland was exposed to external military attacks.
Several Germanic tribes of the Migration Period claimed in their history of origin a descent from Scandinavia , but in modern research this is usually viewed as a topos that primarily served to establish identity and provide additional legitimation. The beginning of the early Middle Ages in Scandinavia is referred to in modern research as the Vendel period (Sweden, after the rich grave finds in Vendel ), Merovingian period (Norway) or the younger Germanic Iron Age (Denmark). Few details are known about this period, mainly based on archaeological finds. Research has often assumed that the late 6th and 7th centuries declined, with several settlements falling into disrepair. More recent studies, however, show that numerous settlements remained continuously inhabited. Around 600 additional areas were cultivated and finds indicate that the political centers of chiefs and petty kings continued to be active ; however, some studies are still lacking for individual regions.
The exercise of power in Scandinavia (as in other parts of early medieval Europe) was closely related to the ability of the respective ruler to gain prestige and wealth through struggles and to let his followers participate in it. This eventually led to raids in other regions. The Viking Age began in Scandinavia in the late 8th century . In 793 Scandinavian sailors, the so-called Vikings , attacked the Lindisfarne monastery off the coast of England. In the following years they repeatedly invaded the Franconian Empire and England and Ireland in search of booty, where they built partially fortified places for wintering or settlements. The Vikings were active as both robbers and traders. Their trains took them to the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe, and finally to the North Atlantic. The first settlements appeared there on Iceland at the end of the 9th century, and Greenland was settled at the end of the 10th century ; finally there were even trips to North America ( Vinland ). In the east, Scandinavian seafarers, the so-called Varangians , advanced across various rivers into the interior of Russia , engaged in trade and were also politically active, as reported in the Nestor Chronicle (see Kievan Rus ). Other groups made it to the Arab and Byzantine regions. The contemporary sources, such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle or the Frankish Reichsannals and their later continuations, describe the devastating raids of the Vikings several times. This was also followed by the formation of rulers. In the late 9th century they established themselves in the north of England, while in 911 the Viking Rollo was enfeoffed with Normandy by the King of West Franconia . The Romanized Normans were to become active in southern Italy in the 11th century and conquered England in 1066.
The political history of Scandinavia in the early Middle Ages is quite confused and the sources are not always reliable. Sweden , where the Svear kingship took shape at the end of the 10th century , had a close economic relationship with Eastern Europe. The Swedish kingship was poorly developed in the early Middle Ages and was mainly of a cultic character in Pagan times. Presumably Olof Skötkonung (d. 1022) was the first king to rule over all of Sweden. He was a Christian and apparently used religion in an attempt to establish authority for his rule, but met with opposition. For this he won 999 or 1000 in alliance with Denmark in the naval battle of Svold over the Norwegian King Olav I. Tryggvason . Little is known about the Swedish kings who immediately followed him. Anund Jakob , together with Norwegian support, opposed Danish supremacy under King Canute .
In Norway , a kingship around 900 under Harald I is documented in the sources. He seems to have ruled large parts of south-west Norway directly and to have exercised a more formal supremacy in other parts, but details are hardly known (see the history of Norway from Harald Hårfagre to the unification of the empire ). Harald's eldest son and successor Erik had to go into exile (presumably to England), where he also died. Then in the early 11th century Olav II. Haraldsson promoted Christianity in Norway. He had to fight both domestic political opponents and the claims of the Danish king Knut . Olav was able to repel a first attack by Knut, but in 1028 he had to flee to the court of Yaroslav of Kiev and fell in 1030 while trying to regain the Norwegian throne. Olav's son Magnus was called to Norway at a young age in 1035, where he eventually took action against political opponents. At the end of his reign, Magnus had to share rule with his uncle Harald Hardråde , who succeeded him in 1047. Harald gained control of all of Norway and completed the unification of the empire, but died in England in 1066. Norway was able to maintain its independence from Denmark during this time, Magnus and Harald even claimed the Danish royal crown.
In Denmark , kings, who may have had a relatively strong position at a fairly early age, are documented as early as the early 9th century when there was fighting with the Franks. However, it seems to have been small kings who were initially unable to establish a dynastically legitimized exercise of rule. In the 9th century, when kings such as Gudfred and Horik I are mentioned in the sources, Denmark temporarily exercised supremacy in southern Scandinavia, which was shaken around 900. In the early 10th century there is evidence of King Gorm , during whose reign the Danish power was consolidated again. Little is known about Gorm himself, but unlike him, his son Harald Blauzahn did not refuse the baptism. Harald's son Sven Gabelbart tried his hand at becoming a Viking leader and invaded England; there he was recognized as king in 1013, but died in 1014. His son was the aforementioned Knut (also known as Canute the Great), who briefly linked England and Denmark in a kind of personal union. Canute invaded England in 1015 and achieved military success there. He came to an understanding with King Edmund II and, after his death in 1016, also took over Wessex. So Knut effectively ruled all of England. Since 1014/1015 he called himself rex Danorum ("King of the Danes"), he was sole ruler in Denmark since 1019. In Sweden and Norway his expansion met with stiff resistance, with Knut acting more successfully against Norway. The North Sea region he established did not exist after his death in 1035.
Eastern and Southeastern Europe
In the early Middle Ages, the east and south-east of Europe were politically fragmented. Even in the course of the end of the migration of peoples in the 6th century, Slavs invaded the area east of the Elbe and north of the Danube, which had largely been abandoned by Germanic tribes . Their origin or the process of their ethnogenesis is controversial and problematic to this day. Archaeological findings and literary sources (e.g. Jordanes and Prokopios from Kaisareia ) only confirm their appearance for the 6th century. A record of the Slavic tribes from the 9th century can be found in the so-called Bavarian geographer . Details about the further expansion of the Slavs and their first rule formations are hardly known; only when they came into contact or conflict with the neighboring kingdoms does this change.
The Anten appeared in the Danube region during Justinian's time . In the period that followed, several Slavic groups apparently crossed the Danube, initially under the rule of the Avars . They had established their own empire in the Balkans at the end of the 6th century before the power of the Avarenkhagans declined noticeably in the 7th century. Since the 580s, the Byzantine border defense in the Danube region came under massive pressure and finally gave way at the beginning of the 7th century, especially since the troops in the east were needed to fight the Persians. Slavs then invaded the Roman Balkan provinces and Greece. In 626 Slavs besieged Constantinople as Avar subjects in vain . After the collapse of Avar domination, several Slavic domains formed in the Balkans, which the Byzantines referred to as slave lines . A de facto conquest of land took place, and Slavs also settled in parts of Greece, where, however, after the Byzantine reconquest, rehellenization took place. The Byzantine cities in the Balkans shrank, economically and demographically this also meant a considerable loss, although only a few details are known. On the other hand, Byzantium exercised a great cultural influence on the Balkan empires in the following period.
It was not until the 8th century that Byzantium was able to go on the offensive again in this area, when a new enemy emerged with the (later Slavicized) proto- Bulgarians who also posed a threat to Byzantium, while the Volga-Bulgarians were building their own empire. Despite Byzantine military operations (a Byzantine army was already defeated in 679, while operations in the 8th century were sometimes very successful), the Bulgarian empire was able to assert itself in the battles with the Byzantines, as the successes of Krum prove. The proto-Bulgarian and Slavic groups increasingly merged in the Bulgarian dominion. Under Omurtag there was intensive building activity in the empire. Bulgaria was also shaped by Byzantine influences. Under Boris I , who was baptized Michael in 865, Christianization intensified in the 9th century despite some resistance from Bulgarian boyars . The constant Slavicization of Bulgaria culminated in the adoption of the liturgy in the Slavic language and the Cyrillic alphabet . The high point of early medieval Bulgarian history was the reign of Simeon I in the early 10th century, who was educated and militarily successful. He was the first Bulgarian and Slavic ruler with the title of Tsar , the Slavic equivalent for a (regionally limited) imperial title. The fighting with Byzantium flared up again and again before Emperor Basil II defeated the Bulgarians decisively in 1014 after brutal fighting and conquered the Bulgarian Empire in 1018.
A Slavic westward movement into the area of today's Czech Republic and the Eastern Alps is archaeologically documented for the 6th century, the Baltic coast was probably reached in the 7th century. The “Slavic expansion” favored the collapse of the Avar Empire. A Frankish merchant named Samo took advantage of this , who headed a Slav uprising and established a Slavic empire (probably in the Bohemian region) in the first half of the 7th century, which also resisted an attack by the Franks, but after Samo's death collapsed. In the 9th century in particular, several Slavic dominions, some of which existed for a longer period, emerged, for example in Bohemia, which was soon Christianized and had belonged to the Roman-German Empire since the 10th century. Furthermore Croatia (whereby the Croats immigrated to Dalmatia in the 7th century ) and Serbia (which soon came under Byzantine influence). Further to the east, new rulers emerged in Poland and today's Ukraine, which played an important role in the further history of Europe. These included the Kievan Rus , who was Christianized in the 10th century and experienced a first heyday under Vladimir I.
Around 900 there was also the conquest of the (non-Slavic) Hungarians , who repeatedly undertook far-reaching raids and invaded Italy and Eastern Franconia several times before they were defeated in 955. The first Hungarian king became Stephen I in 1001 , the founder of the Árpáden dynasty. Stephan was a Christian and submitted his kingdom to the Holy See, for which he received the ecclesiastical organizational sovereignty. He created a royal administration inside and strengthened the church and royal power in Hungary. In terms of foreign policy, there were conflicts with the Roman-German Empire in the early 11th century, while Hungary, which rose to become a major power in south-eastern Europe, had very good relations with Byzantium and Poland.
In the 9th century, the border in the Elbe region was secured by the Franks. Several Slavic tribes had established themselves here in Carolingian times, including the Abodrites and Wilzen . In Ottonian times, attempts were made to subjugate and Christianize the pagan Elbe Slavs , but this project suffered a considerable setback due to the Slav uprising of 983 . Poland, in the 8th / 9th Century established with the core area of the Polanen , strengthened under the Piasts in the 10th century. Mieszko I accepted Christianity, from then on the Polish rulers promoted the proselytizing of the pagan areas. With the Ottonian and Salian rulers, there were repeated collaborations (combined with tribute payments) and conflicts; the three royal coronations in the 11th century are to be understood as a demarcation to the Roman-German Empire. Bolesław I was crowned king in 1024/25, but Poland eventually had to cede territories to the Salian rulers. The main residence of the reduced kingdom became Krakow .
The Eastern Roman Empire had changed profoundly in the course of the 7th century. The Latin still spoken in the army and administration had finally given way to Greek; Due to the Arab conquests and the threat to the Balkans, military provinces, the so-called themes , emerged on the borders around the middle of the 7th century . Medieval Byzantium emerged from the foundations of the Roman state, Greek culture and Christian Orthodox belief . The defensive battles against the Arabs lasted until the 8th and 9th centuries. Century on.
Byzantium, along with the Oriental and African provinces, lost more than half of its population and tax revenue to the caliphate by the end of the 7th century. The loss of these provinces, in which the majority Christian churches were represented with a different attitude to the imperial church , also ensured greater religious uniformity in the empire. The Arab sea power and regular raids on land initially continued to threaten Byzantium, while the Balkans and Greece were besieged by Bulgarians and Slavs. Slavic groups settled in Greece in the late 6th (or perhaps early 7th) century, but the details are controversial in recent research. Several coastal regions remained in Byzantine hands. The areas ruled by Slavs in Greece ( slave lines ) were gradually recaptured and Hellenized again until around 800. Fortress towns, called Kastra , arose in the Balkans and in Asia Minor, the now central region of the empire . The empire was able to survive this struggle for existence through a military reorganization with capable generals, aided by internal Arab power struggles, after which the Byzantine state was consolidated again. A not unimportant ally against the caliphate was the powerful Khazar empire on the north coast of the Black Sea.
Justinian II was the last ruler of the dynasty founded by Herakleios , which had ruled the empire since 610. After his death in 711, anarchy followed for a few years, before another capable emperor ascended the throne in 717 with the theme general Leo. Leo (n) III. in 717–718 repulsed the last and most serious Arab advance on Constantinople . The new emperor even went on a limited offensive and won a great victory at Akroinon in 740 . Leo secured the borders and began reforms internally; for example a new code of law (eclogue) was published. In 741 he was followed by his son Constantine V (r. 741–775), who first had to put down a usurpation. In the years that followed, the emperor took offensive action against the Arabs, Bulgarians and Slavs and achieved several successes.
Inside, Byzantium was shaken in the 8th and 9th centuries by the so-called iconoclast . In modern research, however, this important period of the Middle Byzantine period is viewed in a much more differentiated manner. Compared with the foreign policy threat, the (image-friendly) sources obtained seem to convey a rather distorted picture of this internal conflict that does not correspond to reality. So it is already very questionable whether the “iconoclastic” (image-hostile) emperors led to a downright ban on images or bloody persecutions due to the worship of images ( see below ).
The of Leo III. established Syrian dynasty held power until 802; it was followed by the Amorian dynasty (820–867) and the Macedonian dynasty (867–1057). In terms of foreign policy, the empire had to cope with a number of setbacks in the early 9th century. The Bulgarenkhan Krum defeated a Byzantine army in 811, killed the emperor and made a drinking vessel out of his skull. In 813 there was another defeat against the Bulgarians, before calm returned to the Balkan border for the time being. In the middle of the 9th century, the Byzantines began proselytizing the Balkan Slavs and Bulgarians. Nevertheless, at the end of the 9th and the beginning of the 10th century, the conflict with Bulgaria came up again, and Byzantium even had to pay tribute at times. The ambitious goal of Simeon I , to obtain the Byzantine imperial crown and to establish a large Bulgarian-Byzantine empire, was not achieved; But Bulgaria remained a threatening power factor in the region for Byzantium.
In the 10th century, the Byzantines won several victories. Its fleet dominated again Aegean and in the reign of Emperor Nikephoros II. And John Tzimiskes were Crete , Cyprus , Cilicia and parts of Syria recaptured; Byzantine troops even advanced as far as Palestine for a short time. At the same time, however, the Byzantine influence in the west, where Sicily was lost around 900, declined noticeably. After a cultural collapse in the middle of the 7th century, although more ancient substance was preserved than in many regions of the West, the empire recovered and the so-called Macedonian Renaissance began in the 9th century . This phase of increased recollection of the ancient heritage in Byzantium was promoted by several emperors, including Leo VI. and Constantine VII. Inside, the generals and leaders of the large families determined the politics of the 10th century to a large extent, before a new emperor came to power in 976 and was able to assert himself after a difficult beginning. Basil II (ruled 976-1025) not only conquered the Bulgarian Empire, but also secured the Byzantine eastern border. He made Byzantium once again a great power in the eastern Mediterranean. His successors were less successful, however; the consequences of the defeat of Manzikert (1071) were devastating, since Byzantium lost the interior of Asia Minor to the Turks and from then on was again forced into a defensive battle.
The Islamic world
In Arabia , a new monotheistic religion emerged in the early 7th century with Islam . Their prophet and religious founder was Mohammed , who came from a leading Meccan family. The Islamic tradition on Mohammed ( Koran , Hadith literature , biographies and Islamic historiography ) is rich, but various statements are contradictory; Individual aspects are therefore viewed more critically in modern research and are controversial. The early history of Islam, for which the source situation is problematic (among other things, primarily because of the oral tradition of Arabic reports), is being increasingly discussed in more recent research. This includes the statement that the development of the new religion took place in the historical context of the end of late antiquity and was influenced by various contemporary currents.
Mohammed was working as a merchant when he had a revelation experience at the age of about 40. He then advocated a strict belief in an almighty god of creation ( Allah ), who required the believers to lead a moral life. With this, however, he encountered resistance in Mecca. The city benefited as a Pagan pilgrimage site with the Kaaba as its center. At the same time, however, there were also Jewish and Christian influences in Arabia who favored monotheistic currents such as the new faith; Mohammed was also not the only person who appeared as a prophet during this period. In 622 Mohammed went to Medina with his followers ; the excerpt from Mecca ( Hijra ) is the beginning of the Islamic calendar. However, he also had to overcome resistance in Medina. Then came the war with Mecca, which Mohammed finally won in 630. Converted Meccans and, above all, Muhammad's own tribe, the Koreishites , played an important role in the new Islamic empire. In contrast to Christianity, for example, a claim to political rule was formulated very early in Islam; this was also held on later. Up to his death in 632, Mohammed was able to achieve several successes and unite most of Arabia under his rule and on the basis of the new faith. The northern outskirts were still under the control of Eastern Rivers and the Sāsānid Empire.
After Muhammad's death in 632, the leadership fell to the first caliph (successor, deputy) Abu Bakr , a close confidante of Muhammad. Abu Bakr was the first of the four so-called "rightly guided" caliphs. There was an apostasy movement ( Ridda ) among the Muslim Arabs , as many tribes believed that they were only obliged to the Prophet himself; the insurgents were finally subdued ( Ridda Wars ). Under Abu Bakr, the Islamic expansion in the real sense began in the 630s : the conquest of the Christian Middle East and North Africa as well as the Persian Empire of the Sāsānids (for details see above ).
The Arabs, motivated by religion and the prospect of rich booty, achieved great successes in the following years over the two great powers, weakened by long battles; the last war between East and Persia was only ended in 628 after a good 25 years. By 651, the Sāsānid Empire had been conquered in the east, but only after heavy fighting. In the west, East / Byzantium lost its oriental and north African possessions: 636 Syria, 640/42 Egypt, up to 698 all of North Africa. In 717/18 the Arabs, now also appearing as a sea power, besieged Constantinople in vain. The Arabs embarked on raids in Asia Minor, while the Iberian Peninsula was conquered in the west (711) and the border with India was reached in the east; a (probably limited) campaign into the Franconian Empire failed in 732 in the battle of Tours and Poitiers . Then there was the threat to the Christian empires from the new Arab sea power. From 888 to 972, for example, Arab pirates established themselves on the coast of Provence in Fraxinetum (today's La Garde-Freinet) and undertook extensive robberies; in the eastern Mediterranean they threatened Byzantine territory (see, for example, Leon of Tripoli ). However, the sources of the early conquests are problematic. The later Arabic reports ( Futuh ) are not always reliable, while only relatively sparse Christian reports are available for the 7th century.
The Arabs built new cities in the conquered areas, such as Kufa , Basra , Fustat or Kairouan . In terms of administration, they initially relied largely on the existing, well-functioning bureaucracy. Until the end of the 7th century, Greek (for the former Eastern Roman areas, the administrative seat was Damascus) and Middle Persian (for the former Persian areas, the administrative seat was Kufa) were common in the financial administration of the caliphate, which was initially quite loosely organized; the possibilities of a centralized imperial administration were limited. The administration of Egypt was organized from Fustat. Christians who were familiar with the effective late Roman administrative practice were therefore active in the administration of the caliphate for a long time. They also held high-ranking posts such as the influential Sarjun ibn Mansur and his son, who later became known as John of Damascus . It was not until 700 that the ousting of Christians from the administration began, but this was a slow process, so that the caliphs continued to rely on Christians in the former Byzantine territories for some time. In cultural terms, too, the former Eastern Roman and Persian regions were more developed than the Arab heartland.
The majority of the population in the Caliphate was non-Muslim for a long time and was Islamized relatively slowly. Followers of the book religions (Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians ) had to pay a special poll tax ( jizya ), were not allowed to practice their faith in public and were not allowed to carry weapons, but otherwise remained largely unmolested. In the following period, however, there were attacks against Christians, for example, as the pressure had increased overall since the late 7th century, so that there was discrimination and suppressive measures on the part of the caliphs and governors against the Christian majority population (see below ). Later on, Zoroastrians were persecuted by Muslim rulers.
Despite the spectacular foreign policy successes, there were repeated unrest inside the caliphate's empire. After Abu Bakr's death in 634, two more caliphs ( Umar ibn al-Chattab and Uthman ibn Affan ) followed, until in 656 Mohammed's son-in-law Ali became caliph. His claim within the community ( Umma ) was controversial, however, and civil war broke out. Ali was murdered in 661; The winner was Muawiya (ruled 661–680), who brought the Umayyad dynasty to power, which was to rule the caliphate until 750. The followers of Ali, however, remained active ( Schia ), which led to a split in the Islamic religious community.
The Umayyads made Damascus the capital of the caliphate, pushed ahead with the expansion (described above) and reorganized the administration according to the model in Byzantium and Persia. However, her claim to power was not undisputed even after Ali's death. Resistance arose in Mecca and Medina, and in Abdallah ibn az-Zubair a counter-caliph appeared. However, he was killed during the Umayyad conquest of Mecca in 692, which ended the second civil war. Abd al-Malik (ruled 685–705) secured Umayyad rule and created a new Islamic gold and silver currency; In administration, Arabic finally replaced Greek and Persian. However, the caliphate remained relatively loosely structured, and the Umayyad's control power was all in all quite limited. Hisham, who died in 743, is considered the last important Umayyad caliph . In the late phase of the Umayyads internal tensions increased; This led to a conflict between Arab and non-Arab Muslims, the unresolved tax problem (as there were more conversions and therefore no money) became a serious burden and internal unrest shook the empire. In 750 the Umayyads were overthrown by the Abbasids , who had started a successful revolt in the east of the empire. Most of the Umayyads were murdered, but Abd ar-Rahman I managed to escape to Spain in an adventurous way, where he founded the Emirate of Córdoba in 756 and in fact broke away from the caliphate.
Under the Abbasids, who formally ruled until 1258, the caliphate increasingly lost its specifically Arab character. The political focus shifted to Mesopotamia in the east, where a new capital, Baghdad, was founded in 762 ( Round City Baghdad ). Originally supported by the Shiite movement, the Abbasids soon tried to distance themselves, which, however, led to resistance. Ali's supporters were fought and pre-Abbasid caliphs were viewed as usurpers. The new caliphs tried to achieve a religious unification of the empire, but this did not prevent the emergence of regional dynasties in the peripheral areas from around 800, such as the Aghlabids in North Africa or the Samanids in Iran.
The early Abbasid period was a cultural heyday in art, literature, philosophy, theology, and law. The court of caliphs in Baghdad was extremely splendid, based on the model of the Sāsānid Empire, the last great empire of the ancient Orient. The Arabs' monopoly on high posts in the empire was ended; Persians from then on played an important role at court in political and cultural terms. Exemplary was the court holding of Hārūn ar-Raschīd (r. 786-809), whose reputation even extended into the Frankish Empire. Politically, however, the situation deteriorated dramatically in the 9th century when various Turkish mercenary leaders seized power in the provinces. They eventually gained influence at the court of the caliph, which led to the political decline of the caliphate. In the middle of the 10th century the Abbasids were under the control of the Buyids , who exercised true power in Baghdad for a good 100 years, while the caliph was only the spiritual leader. 929 had Abd ar-Rahman III in Spain . proclaimed caliph; this was the beginning of the Caliphate of Cordoba , which existed until 1031 . In the 10th and 11th centuries, the Fatimids also threatened the rule of the Abbasids in Egypt. The power of the caliphs in Baghdad was already broken at this point and only a pseudo-rule.
System of rule and exercise of rule
Form of rule
The "state development" proceeded differently in the various early medieval empires. Central administrative structures from the late Roman period initially persisted in the kingdoms of the migration period (especially in the Goths, but also in the Vandal and Franconian empires). Certain elements (finances, coins and documents) were largely preserved in the West in the period that followed; However, compared to the Roman period, the state structures were only rudimentary or eventually collapsed. Most problematic was that the Roman tax system ceased to exist in the west and land ownership was now the most important factor. The incomes of the post-Roman empires were therefore far lower than they were in the time of the empire. In early medieval Latin Europe, “state power” was not derived from a central authority (like the king), but from everyone in whatever form who ruled.
In the early Middle Ages, rulership was therefore essentially tied to individual persons; in fact, there were no “state institutions” (and thus no abstract term such as statehood) apart from these rulership structures of an association of persons. During the migration period, the military skills of leaders in particular gained in importance ( army king ), who built their own rulers on this basis. However, in the course of time there was a “condensation” of rule, in that kingship no longer existed as a central point of reference, but also the empire itself gained strength as an idea, thus making it possible to stabilize the structures of rule, such as the Franconian Empire . This structural deficit affected almost all early medieval rulers in Europe - in Scandinavia as well as with the Slavs, the royal rule had developed relatively late in comparison to the Germanic-Romanic empires and Anglo-Saxon England - only in Byzantium and the Caliphate were the state structures more tightly organized .
Although many aspects of medieval rule are controversial in recent research (a distinction must be made between royal rule, church rule, village and city rule, etc.), it can generally be considered an important feature that rule was essentially based on reciprocity and that it was a ruling association . The ruler and the ruled were bound by oaths: support was promised in exchange for protection and certain services. This was especially true in the military field, since the early medieval empires (except Byzantium and the Caliphate) did not maintain standing armies as in Roman times, but were dependent on followers for military actions. Subject loyalties were basically only valid for the respective ruler and therefore had to be secured again when a new rule came to power. It was not a pure ruler-subject relationship, because the nobility had a right to share in the rule, which was to be respected. Friendship ties were used for this purpose, which is why the sources often refer to amicitia . The importance of Roman law was comparatively minor in the early Middle Ages, but it never completely broke off, especially in Italy, especially since legal collections were also created in the Germanic-Romanic empires. The Germanic popular rights (Leges) , which are attested from the 5th to the 8th century, played an important role , for example among the Goths, Franks, Burgundians, Alemanni, Bavarians and Lombards. In addition, there was canon law , which was later increasingly received .
The question of feudalism
In the Germanic-Romanic successor empires of West Rome, the Germanic allegiance system of the Migration Period, in which the army king played an important role, developed further and was influenced by the contact with the Roman statehood. The rule over a free retinue finally expanded to rule over the land and people ( manorial rule , see below). According to the traditional view of research, this led to the feudal system as a form of political organization in early medieval Latin Europe . Both sides could benefit from the feudal relationship, because while the feudal lord gained additional power, the prestige of the feudal bearer also increased when he took the feudal oath to a socially superior. Such oaths could also be taken as a reward for service rendered. In modern research, however, the traditional conception of the feudal system, which, among others, had a decisive influence on François Louis Ganshof , has been questioned.
For a long time it was assumed that the later widespread practice of vassalage and fiefdom was already common in Carolingian times. The roots of the vassal are probably Gallo-Roman / Frankish, but the interpretation of the relevant sources is problematic. So was z. For example, the term vassus that appears there was often interpreted as a vassal, as was fidelis , while beneficium was often interpreted as a fiefdom. The terms are ambiguous, however, so vassus does not necessarily mean “vassal”. Fidelis initially only means “faithful”, beneficium as “beneficence” could describe a gift that was not linked to anything in return. In the sources of the 9th century, no high Franconian office bearer is also referred to as vassus , which should actually be the case in the context of a fully developed feudal system. In the past, this is a central point of criticism in recent research, terms in the sources were often interpreted as indications of vassal status, the assignment of which is not certain. Personal ties were therefore very diverse in the Carolingian Empire, which earlier research in relation to the formation of the feudal system had often examined, and did not follow a rigid pattern. An oath of allegiance by a loyal lover was therefore not necessarily a fealty. For this reason, more recent research emphasizes how uncertain many older interpretations are and how the system in which fiefdoms and vassals were closely linked and the relationship of fidelity was often less respected due to hereditary fiefdoms developed later and did not develop in this form in the early Middle Ages was common. This discussion is still ongoing.
Royal and nobility power
The ideal foundations of early medieval kingship in the west of the old Roman Empire were the army kingship of the Migration Period , ancient Roman ideas of rulership and Christianity. The importance of a Germanic sacred kingdom in this context is viewed very skeptically or rejected in recent research. The army kingship, on the other hand, apparently played a decisive role, as did the Roman ideology of rule. The political contacts between the Germanic-Romanic kings of the early Middle Ages and the Roman emperor formed the basis for establishing contacts between states in the context of representing and staging Roman rule; this path led "from the army kingship to the vice-imperial royal monarch". Finally, there were also influences from Christianity, which had already influenced the late ancient Roman Empire. Accordingly, every worldly rulership was dependent on divine will, because God would stand above the kings of this world. At the same time, the kings also represented God's rule on earth ( divine right ); the kingship was thus "Christianized" in the Christian early medieval empires.
The closest possible proximity of the king to his subjects was an important factor in the intensification of royal rule. The early medieval kings, especially in the Carolingian empire and its successor empires , were often traveling kings who traveled from Palatinate to Palatinate and regulated the necessary government business along the way. This was essential in an increasingly oral, "archaic" society, in which the written form in the administrative area declined in different regions after the early Carolingian period (especially in the 10th century); it wasn't very effective, however. The center of royal rule was the royal court with the attached chancellery; however, several documents issued in the early Middle Ages are not preserved today and can only partly be accessed indirectly ( Deperdita ).
The situation in Eastern Franconia was problematic in that no specific residential town developed there, unlike, for example, previously in the Western and Ostrogoths or later in England and France. The Carolingians relied on extensive and economically efficient possessions, while in the Ottonian period the travel kingship was already more pronounced, although the rulers preferred areas near the kings in Saxony and Franconia. In the Carolingian Empire and its successor kingdoms there were always rooms close to and remote from the kings, where an effective exercise of rule was sometimes more, sometimes less successful. Likewise, the nobility and high clergy in the respective empires had different degrees of relationship to royalty.
The interaction between king and church was of particular importance in the early Middle Ages. Already the Merovingians and later the Carolingians had integrated the church into their conception of rule. The court orchestra played an important role among the Carolingians . In the Franconian Empire, offices were generally not inheritable until the late Carolingian period, but were conferred by the king; this changed at the end of the 9th century, so that offices conferred became hereditary titles (as with the counts and dukes), under which the authority of kingship suffered. Inside, the Ottonians also relied on the imperial church due to the poorly trained structures for administrative tasks . Only the Church had enough trained staff to read and write; the episcopal churches also provided troop contingents. In return for taking on these secular tasks, the church was increasingly given sovereign rights and received extensive donations. In older research, this interplay was called the Ottonian-Salian imperial church system. However, the practice of exercising power is not unusual in comparison to other Christian-Latin rulers and was hardly carried out according to plan. In recent research it is pointed out that the Ottonian and Early Sali kings, because of their position of power, only succeeded more effectively than other rulers in integrating the church into secular rule.
Assertiveness and acceptance of royal rule varied. In the Visigoth Empire z. B. there were always conflicts between the king and the influential nobility, but the kingship in the Visigoths was already strongly religiously legitimized. The sacred aspect of rulership was also significant later in the other early medieval empires. Sacred anointing was used, among other things, to support royal rule, and the "kingship by the grace of God" gained in importance. The ideal of the king is always tangible in the sources where the ideal king is just, virtuous and religious and defends the kingdom. While the late Merovingians were less able to act freely or not at all due to the strong position of the housekeepers, which were dominated by the high nobility , the early Carolingians were able to better assert their rule, tellingly they abolished the office of housekeeper. However, the various divisions of power made a consolidated rule difficult. The dynastic connection was often there, but in Eastern Franconia, for example, the electoral character of kingship was very pronounced. The choice of king or king's elevation was accordingly different in the respective empires. In western Franconia, however, the royal power finally declined in the struggle with the influential greats, in eastern Franconia the Ottonians succeeded in stabilizing the royal rule, even though the tribal duchies (re) established in the late Carolingian period represented their own interests. In addition to the effective personal ties and the interaction with the church, the availability of the crown property was also important. In Anglo-Saxon England, however, after the time of Alfred the Great, it was only possible for a time to unite the entire country under one king. In France in the 11th century the Capetians could only exercise royal rule within narrow limits; they were essentially limited to their own crown domain, the relationship with the high nobility was based on extensive equality.
The royal court was the center of manorial activity. If the nobility or different groups within the nobility succeeded in enforcing their own rulership in the territories or largely eliminating the king politically at court, then the power of the king declined at the same time. But the nobility was also differentiated; so there were local aristocratic groups and, as in the Carolingian era, nobility operating across the empire (such as the Robertines and the Guelphs ); accordingly, the various interests of the nobility varied. In the case of a relatively strong royal power, it was again of central importance for the great to have the best possible access to the court and thus to the king. This was the only way to guarantee that your own needs and desires could be specifically articulated and thus implemented as far as possible. It was therefore important who had the “ear of the king” and thus had the opportunity to present requests, wishes and demands or to act as an advocate. The importance of the triangle of forces (king, nobility and church) is emphasized in research for the Franconian Empire and Eastern Franconia. At the farm days there were always important consultations, which were mainly about advice and support. The consensus between the king and the high nobility played an important role in the effective exercise of rule (" consensual rule "): The king and the greats of the empire, who were in a reciprocal relationship, respected each other's rank and tried to avoid confrontation if possible act.
In modern Medieval Studies, research on rituals and the representation of power are also given great importance. It is about the description and interpretation of ritualized processes in medieval politics, which are summarized under the term " symbolic communication ". This concerns, among other things, the ceremonial reception or conflict behavior, such as the staging of the deditio (submission) of rebel princes. Rituals were also important in this context because they are to be understood at least partially as an expression of the respective hierarchy between the greats . If this approach is followed, z. B. lordship defamation satisfaction (satisfactio) , for example in the form of deditio . Conflicts at different courts in the early Middle Ages are documented several times. The amicable settlement (compositio) , however, turned out to be more difficult the more the conflict had escalated beforehand. Recently, ritual research has come under fire in some cases.
Claims to power and reality
The western (“Roman”) empire, which was renewed by the Carolingians and Ottonians, played a special role; it was in the late antique tradition and introduced a new universal component ( imperial idea ). The two emperor problem with Byzantium only had realpolitical consequences until 812, when Venice was recognized as part of the Byzantine Empire in the Peace of Aachen . The Carolingian and Ottonian emperors exercised a hegemonic position in Latin Europe. However, this very rarely resulted in actual political influence in other empires, because justified rights of intervention did not exist for the empire. Ultimately, it was primarily a matter of formal priority. The relationship between the emperors and the papacy changed, however: while the early Carolingians had made “oath friendship”, the emperors later only made promises of protection and, since the Ottonian era, security oaths.
In connection with more recent studies it can also be seen how relatively limited the creative power of the empire was even in the Carolingian Empire (after all the most powerful rulership in Latin Europe since the fall of Western Rome) compared to other great empires of this time. This becomes clear with a simple example: In 792 Charlemagne ordered the construction of a 3 km long canal in Middle Franconia, which would have connected the river systems Rhine and Danube. However, the construction work soon got stuck, so that in 793 the construction was canceled. In contrast, in 767 far more extensive construction projects in Byzantium (where water pipes were repaired over a distance of more than 100 km) and in the Caliphate ( round city of Baghdad , the construction of which over 100,000 workers were involved) succeeded without major problems. In the China of the Tang Dynasty, on the other hand, a canal around 150 km in length was built according to plan in 742/43. All of these empires had universal claims to rule, similar to the Carolingian empire; however, the resources and the creative leeway based on them were much more limited in the case of the western empire. That did not change significantly during the Ottonian era.
In Byzantium, however, the late ancient statehood had survived to a greater extent. The Byzantine Emperor largely ruled absolutely and could still rely on an apparatus of officials (see offices and titles in the Byzantine Empire ), although the Byzantine state also changed significantly in the 7th and 8th centuries compared to the late Roman Empire in the 6th century would have. The emperor's possibilities of influence were higher in Byzantium due to the more differentiated and clearly regulated political infrastructure that was geared towards the emperor; Unlike in the West (during the investiture controversy ), he was not so much subject to the danger of church reprimand.
In the caliphate, the functioning Byzantine and Persian bureaucracy was largely taken over, Greek and Middle Persian remained the administrative languages until the end of the 7th century. The Dīwān functioned as a central administrative body, headed by the vizier in the Abbasid period . The caliph himself was regarded as a political leader after the time of the “rightly guided caliphs”, but was subject to religious law. His secular claim to rule was also not all-encompassing. After in the 8th / 9th When local rulers had increasingly formed in the 19th century, the political theory was advocated that the caliph could delegate his power, which meant giving up an absolute claim to rule. In the Abbasid period, actual power at court was also increasingly transferred to the high officials.
Society and economy
People and the environment
Modern knowledge of early medieval society in Latin Europe is very sketchy. The narrative sources report only very rarely about the life of the "common people", while archaeological research sometimes allows more precise insights. In the early Middle Ages, according to modern estimates, over 90% of the people lived in the countryside and from agriculture. Demographic data are quite speculative, for the period around 1000 it is assumed that the total population in Europe will be around 40 million, which increased in the following period. The general life expectancy, especially in the poorer population, was much lower than in modern times.
Some areas had to be made arable and cultivated in the course of time; even areas that were used in Roman times had to be cleared again and made usable. The difficulties of living conditions that arose from the natural environment should therefore not be underestimated. In addition, the various geographical areas differed from one another culturally and economically, such as the regions that were heavily urbanized in the late Roman period and oriented towards the Mediterranean Sea and the regions further north. But there were still contiguous urban areas, especially in Italy and southern Gaul. Due to wars, epidemics and other reasons, these also recorded a decline in population, but were still relatively densely populated. Stronger lines of continuity from late antiquity to the Middle Ages can also be seen here. The eastern Mediterranean is again a special case due to the different development. However, the further one moved away from the old Roman centers, especially east of the Rhine, the lower the population density became. In the period that followed, however, new settlement centers emerged and settlements and cities were rebuilt on the basis of older predecessors.
Intercultural contacts between the Latin as well as the Byzantine and Arab regions existed in some cases, but were not infrequently made more difficult by numerous factors (such as poor knowledge of foreign languages and poor spatial conceptions). The church, which was visibly represented in the congregations, was of central social importance. The respective communities were mostly manageable. An overarching sense of community can hardly be ascertained and manifested itself through special "sponsorships" (nobility and clergy). Ethnic identifications, that is, an overarching “we-consciousness”, were largely missing and only developed over time. The development in the individual regions was rather heterogeneous. Comparable living conditions, technical knowledge as well as intellectual and religious developments ensured a certain uniformity of post-Roman Europe.
The dissolution of the Roman order in the west set in motion a development that led to new social conditions. Early medieval society in Latin Europe was not a religious caste or economic class society , but a class society . It was hierarchically ordered and social advancement was relatively seldom possible. Social and legal inequality caused by birth was not the exception, but the rule. The aristocratic ruling class at the top was very small. Proximity to the king and the extent of ownership played an important role for the aristocratic class consciousness, although the respective territorial ownership often shifted in one direction or the other and was not always geographically constant. Noble memoria , purposeful memory maintenance, and noble focus formation therefore had an important function. Roman law already distinguished two groups of people: free (liberi) and unfree (servi) , this was also done in the early Middle Ages. A kind of middle position between the nobility and the unfree were occupied by the free with property who were not part of the manorial system. One layer below that were small, self-employed peasants or agricultural workers and artisans at the court of a gentleman, who had to pay taxes.
In general, according to recent research, it is wrong to emphasize a tendency towards impoverishment in the early Middle Ages. There was definitely a trend towards greater freedom. Socially inferior people sometimes eluded their masters and emigrated, for example. Since the 9th century, there have been legal improvements and tax reductions in the Franconian Empire. However, the nobility often endeavored to maintain and strengthen relationships of dependency. Even in the “lower” social class, however, there are parallels to the aristocratic rulership, such as B. the farmer who has the right of disposal over his house and his family. In the social hierarchy followed the poor without possessions (pauperes) , who were often dependent on begging. The church often intervened, but it never succeeded (even in the early modern period) in solving this social problem in a satisfactory manner. The slaves were right at the bottom, but the question of early medieval slavery poses a research problem. This is due, among other things, to the unclear source statements about the slaves, so that one sometimes tries to describe this as “unfree” or “dependent”.
At first there were also slaves in the true sense of the word, which were usually "spoils of war". Scandinavians (Vikings) in particular engaged in brisk trade in slaves, who were mainly shipped to the Arab region. Under Christian influence, the simple right of the landlord to kill was later revoked, but he was still able to freely dispose of the "household". But unfree servi could also rise and be liberated. In any case, there were different degrees of dependency (see also serfdom ). More recently, the thesis has also been put forward that research had emphasized the peasants' dependence on the landlord in the early Middle Ages and that one had to examine the regional source material more closely.
Women, children and Jews
The patriarchal society of the Middle Ages assumed a subordinate role for women. From the sources in which women are mentioned again and again with respect, however, no real misogyny can be deduced. The role of women in the early Middle Ages is not entirely clear. Legally, they were formally underage; Father, husband or guardian were superordinate to them, and the power of disposal over property is denied to women in several laws. In practice, however, there were certainly opportunities for self-development, but this depended largely on your current status. Above all in the aristocratic milieu there are examples of women who had considerable influence and in some cases were even able to assert themselves politically. This potential influence of aristocratic women, but especially of some queens, which can be found in several sources, could well meet resistance at the court. This did not necessarily have to be related to the female person, but could also be politically justified, as Brunichild's political work shows, while the reign of Theophanus was accepted. Because even as a woman, masculine behavior (viriliter) was exemplary in order to receive recognition in a dominant position. A woman then had political influence by marrying accordingly or being born into a high-ranking aristocratic family. In contrast, male applicants for the office of king were often elected or came to power as a result of inheritance. Both women and men of the upper classes had to secure rule and thereby strengthen the family and the dynasty. It was therefore not uncommon for the roles of women and men to complement each other.
The wives of the anointed kings were obliged to give birth to a suitable successor under the sign of fertility. So you had a similarly crucial role as the king's wife. Royal couples were on their way to maintain power in their rulership. If the king and queen were present at the same place, it was expected that the wife would show herself to her husband, although the queen might also be politically active. There were often disputes within the family, so that both women and men had to mediate in positions of power. They then did this together at the same place or chose different places of presence to mediate and mediate. The king and queen held court on their travels in palaces or castles. These disputes, for example between fathers and sons, but also other disputes, were often violent. Royal women were mentioned in documents as well as their male counterparts. Theophanu was included in the royal balance of power through the marriage certificate by the designation consortium imperii (participation in the rule). Around 989 Theophanu was using the male surnames Kaiser and Augustus in addition to female titles.
It is also wrong, as sometimes happened, to speak of hostility towards children in the early Middle Ages. Concern and love for the well-being of children are repeatedly expressed in various sources; corporal punishment was not seen as the opposite of this in contemporary thinking. However, due to the lower life expectancy, childhood ended very early.
The Jews held a special position as a religious fringe group in the Christian empires. Relatively strong Jewish minorities existed in Byzantium, Italy, southern Gaul and Spain in the early Middle Ages. In later Germany there were Jewish communities in some episcopal cities, including Mainz. Already in the Franconian Empire they held a special position secured by privileges. Its role as a long-distance trader was economically significant, but Jewish craftsmen and doctors are also documented. The Jews were legally restricted and there were occasionally anti-Jewish statements, violent attacks (which were relatively rare in the early Middle Ages) and attempts at (rejected by the church) forced baptisms. At the Synod of Elvira there was a first ban on marriage between Jews and Christians as early as 300 ( canones 16/78), with the Codex Theodosianus (III, 7.2; IX, 7.5), this ban applied throughout the empire Death penalty. In addition, clothing bans were imposed on the Jews, slavery (thus access to latifundia property and manor) was denied, and public office was forbidden. However, their practice of religion was not permanently and systematically prevented; they were often largely tolerated. Almost nothing is known about the cultural development of the Jews in the Diaspora in the early Middle Ages; only a few conclusions can be drawn from the later shape. The Midrash literature and the Babylonian Talmud played a larger role in religious life .
Early medieval society was predominantly shaped by agriculture. The basis of the social and economic order in the west was the manorial rule , in which most of the people in the countryside were involved ( bondage ). The largest landowners were the king, the nobility and the church. Whether the aristocratic and ecclesiastical manorial rule went back to Germanic or late Roman roots or to both, or whether it rather represents an original early medieval development, is disputed in research. In late Roman times, the extensive imperial and senatorial estates (latifundia) dominated with the corresponding villae rusticae . Large villa estates are still in evidence until the 6th century, before the system collapsed. The collapse of the Roman structures thus had far-reaching consequences for the great senatorial landowners who were closely connected to the Roman state.
Typical for the early Middle Ages was the villication , the two-part manorial rule: on the one hand the lord's labor yard , on the other hand the farms dependent on the landlord. The landlord made land available to the farmer for cultivation and he was placed under his protection, the farmer had to pay different taxes. There was consequently a reciprocal relationship, from which the landlord, of course, benefited most. The manors, however, were not closed economic areas; rather, there was brisk trade. Agriculture was the most important branch of the economy. In the Carolingian Empire, attempts were made to record the arable land more precisely and to divide it into parcels (hooves) as far as possible. The population, which finally increased in the early Middle Ages, was problematic for the system of manorial rule, especially since a systematic written record did not succeed in the long term. However, business-related computing now took place. This process of economic recording is not stringent, but rather connected with numerous breaks, especially since the decline of the Carolingian Empire, but has been definitely noticeable since that time. In agriculture, a distinction must be made between arable land and pasture land, although arable farming probably dominated, and viticulture was also important. Grain represented the most important food source for the general population and was used in a variety of ways. Meat and fish were consumed differently from region to region, but also as a supplement. However, there were repeated regional famines, especially with increasing populations or as a result of military conflicts. Animals were not only kept on manor farms but also on farms. A variety of everyday products were made at home.
The yields of the sowing were relatively low, they amounted to only 1.6 to 1.8 times according to one source; however, it is questionable how representative this is. The beginnings of the three-field economy seem to go back to the 8th century, but it was not widespread in the early Middle Ages. An innovation process began in the early Middle Ages, but technically many ancient forerunners were initially adopted, such as the well-known plow for tillage. As a rule, oxen were used as draft animals, as horses were too expensive for them. The collar came only in the 11th / 12th. Increased use in the 19th century and only in regions with sufficient horses; According to recent studies, the ancient tensioning systems were not inferior in principle to the collar, which only brought a real increase in efficiency in conjunction with other innovations. Mills played an important role in grain processing, with water mills already being widely used in late antiquity.
In handicrafts, Roman traditions were followed, such as in ceramic, glass and metal processing. Although specialized craftsmen did not enjoy a particularly prominent social position, they were certainly respected because of their skills. One of the few relevant sources, the Carolingian Capitulare de villis vel curtis imperii , lists, among other things, the craft specialists in the royal domains of the Franconian Empire. The monasteries played a not unimportant role in the economic cycle. Several had their own, sometimes very substantial, property and used it economically. The larger monastic manors could include over a thousand farming positions.
The most important means of transport was the ship, regardless of whether it was inland or sea shipping. Contrary to older assumptions, the money economy still played an important role in the early Middle Ages; the importance of the natural exchange economy must therefore not be overestimated. Coins were minted almost continuously from late antiquity to the Middle Ages, but their precise purchasing power is difficult to assess today. In some cases, however, a considerable lack of material can be identified. There has been evidence of mining in the Franconian Empire since the late Merovingian period, and in the 7th century there was a transition from gold to silver coins.
Trade and traffic in the early Middle Ages represent a much discussed research problem, especially since the relatively few sources on early medieval economic history are quite scattered. In older research it was often assumed that long-distance trade had come to a standstill as a result of the upheavals in late antiquity (see Pirenne thesis ). However, recent studies have shown that there was a decrease in long-distance trade, but not a complete breakdown.
The late antiquity trade network had encompassed the entire Mediterranean area, with the further trade network reaching over Persia to Central Asia, China and India (see the explanations on Central Asia in the article Late antiquity and trade in India ). After the collapse of the Roman state order in the west (the trade contacts of the Eastern Empire were not affected until the end of the 6th century), regional developments took place; in this context the local aristocracy, except in the Francia (the Frankish dominion) and in the Levant , was even poorer and politically more regionally restricted than in Roman times. State power declined as a result of the lower financial strength. The fiscal structure was simpler than in Roman times and even collapsed completely in the West. In this context, however, nothing can be generalized; the regions must be considered individually.
The late antique economic system in the Mediterranean area suffered severe setbacks in the 6th century, not least due to the so-called Justinian plague and the subsequent waves of plague. However, the consequences of the plague are difficult to assess in detail. The decline in population in the early Middle Ages is not necessarily due to the plague due to the inconsistent sources. it can also be the result of political crises.
Around the middle of the 7th century there was probably an economic low in Mediterranean trade. Around 700, however, new trade routes developed. The individual regions (also in the west) were not completely isolated, but were still in trade contact with one another. Contrary to the older doctrine, there was already a not inconsiderable economic boom in the late 8th century. In the Mediterranean region, too, there was evidence of a lively exchange of goods between the Latin-Christian empires, Byzantium and the Caliphate, from luxury goods (such as furs and silk) to salt, honey and, last but not least, slaves. In this sense, a new networked and wide-ranging trading system emerged. In the west, there was also a trade shift to the north during the Merovingian era, with Franconian traders advancing into the Slavic region in the east as early as the 7th century. Trade routes to Scandinavia were added later. The most important Franconian port for northern trade was Quentovic . After the Arab expansion, the northern regions were by no means cut off from the cultural area of the Mediterranean, because there was a mutual exchange process and corresponding communication.
Long-distance traders crossed the narrower regional boundaries, and some fairs seem to have been visited continuously since late antiquity. Nevertheless, it makes sense to consider the western and eastern Mediterranean regions separately with regard to the exchange of goods, as there were definitely differences. The cities, which had often shrunk, were important for the handling of goods and long-distance trade even after the 6th century, especially in the ancient cultural landscapes in the west, for example in Italy and partly in southern Gaul. Venice negotiated with Islamic rulers for timber and traded in salt and, above all, slaves, who were sold to Byzantium and the Islamic region. Gaeta , Amalfi and Bari also benefited from long-distance trading. Milan , which had already played an important role in late antiquity, gained importance again in the late 10th century, for example in the area of the money economy. In contrast, ancient urban culture in the Danube region and in Britain virtually collapsed. As before and long afterwards, smaller cities could only trade with the surplus of local production. The trade in bulk goods was particularly important for domestic trade. Most of the trade is likely to have taken place within the regions anyway, so most goods were transported over relatively short distances.
Byzantium ran through in the 7th / 8th centuries. Century a transformation, whereby important ancient structures were preserved, but society and economy changed in some cases fundamentally. Due to the tense foreign policy situation, society became increasingly militarized in the 7th century. Since that time, a class of nobility has formed from the ranks of the influential bureaucracy and the large landowners, and surnames have emerged - families that in some cases became very important. In the late 9th century, the ruling class increasingly recruited from these sexes. At the same time, the free peasantry decreased, and many eventually became dependent on large landowners. Nevertheless, Byzantine society remained much more open than Western European, and the imperial throne was not reserved for the high nobility. Social advancement to the top of the state was therefore basically open to everyone, as the example of Basil I shows. The Byzantine economy slowly recovered after the crisis of the 6th and 7th centuries. During this time she had suffered from the consequences of the plague and war, combined with a decline in population. The sources on Central Byzantine economic history, especially for the 8th / 9th centuries. Century, but are not particularly productive.
Some cities were abandoned, others were reduced to their core centers, but Constantinople remained an important metropolis in the Mediterranean area and the most important city in the empire. The richest provinces of the empire were lost after 700, but Asia Minor could at least to some extent serve as a replacement base. In contrast to the West, the state bureaucracy remained fully functional, although tax revenues fell. The economic power rose again in the following period; while the Byzantine state was almost impoverished in the 8th century, it again had considerable resources at its disposal in the 10th century. In general, the rural economic area played an important but not the dominant role in Byzantium, as in Latin Europe, since urban economic production continued to be an important factor. In contrast to Latin Europe, the economy was also more strictly regulated by the state and financed the ruling apparatus more through the treasury.
Education system and development
Early medieval society was largely an oral society in which few people could read and write. An even smaller minority was literarily educated, consisting predominantly, but not exclusively, of clergymen. The ancient cultural assets formed the basis. However, only a small part of ancient literature was preserved in early medieval western Europe. The medieval Latin ( Medieval Latin ) also differed from the classical Latin, the knowledge of Greek had in the Late Antiquity accepted in the West. Nevertheless, even after the collapse of Western Rome, the Latin language connected large parts of Europe with one another, as there was a common communicative basis.
The late ancient three-tier education system (elementary instruction, grammar and rhetoric) had gradually disappeared as a result of the political upheavals of the migration period in the west. Older research often equated the transition from antiquity to the Middle Ages with "barbarization". Ultimately, however, it is about a transition to a new culture in which divergent interests and a new cultural ideal can also be identified. For the Romansh upper class, education was important for a long time anyway. The historian and bishop Gregory of Tours in the late 6th century came from a noble Gallo-Roman senatorial family and clearly attached importance to education, because he lamented its decline. Schools in southern Gaul and Italy gradually went under, but education continued to be provided in private circles.
The development of the written culture in the early Middle Ages was very heterogeneous and was influenced by different factors. Nor were education and intellectual life uniform in the Latin West. In the early Merovingian times, profane lessons were apparently still given, because the Merovingians had a rudimentary bureaucracy that required written knowledge. In the early Merovingian period, the noble Gallo-Roman families played an important role as intermediaries with regard to classical teaching content. For a long time the Merovingian chancellery consisted mainly of lay people, not of clerics. The royal family and members of the high nobility were expected to have literacy skills. Some kings like Chilperic I had a high education and demonstrated it. Only after the middle of the 7th century did the Merovingian power struggles with the nobility lead to further decline. Reading and writing skills fell sharply among laypeople, but also among clergy. In the Visigoths there are still traces of late antique education in the 7th century. The same applies to Italy after the Lombard invasion in the late 6th century; In the Italian cities, written laypeople are still attested. A new culture of writing developed in the British Isles in the 7th and 8th centuries. In the Merovingian Empire, literary production broke in the 7th / 8th. Century dramatically, but still a few works such as the Merovingian saints' lives were created.
After all , the monastery , cathedral and collegiate schools, and thus the church, were of central importance for medieval education and the transfer of knowledge in the Latin West . Most of the ancient literature has not survived, but the ancient knowledge still available in the West was collected and passed on in the monasteries; this tradition began in the 6th century with Cassiodorus . Texts were read according to fixed rules and some were learned by heart and copied in the church scriptoria . Papyrus was still sometimes used as writing material (as in the Merovingian administration), but parchment became increasingly popular ; the scroll increasingly gave way to the book ( codex ). In addition to clerics, nuns also received a Latin education, and some schools were also open to lay people (from the aristocratic upper class). As a rule, however, the laypeople were unlearned, and in church circles the opposition to the illiterati (people unfamiliar with reading) was sometimes emphasized. Rosamond McKitterick , however, advocates the controversial thesis that in Carolingian times the written form among lay people was higher than was often assumed earlier. In the church schools, in addition to the Bible and the texts of the church fathers , profane late antique texts were also used for teaching. Martianus Capella had written a textbook in late antiquity in which the canon of the seven liberal arts (the artes liberales ) was summarized: Trivium and the further quadrivium . In addition, Boethius and Isidore of Seville played an important role. The writings of Boethius enjoyed a tremendous reputation in the Middle Ages. He had also reworked the liberal arts and thus created an important basis for the medieval teaching canon. In the 7th century, Isidore had systematically collected large parts of the known knowledge of late antiquity in 20 books in the Encyclopedia Etymologiae . The work was of great importance for imparting knowledge in the early Middle Ages.
Carolingian educational reform
In the Franconian Empire, the Latin language was stylistically increasingly wild, and the church educational institutions also fell into disrepair. This process has been stopped in the Carolingian Empire since the end of the 8th century through targeted measures to promote culture. This new boom phase is often referred to as the Carolingian renaissance . The term “ renaissance ” is very problematic for methodological reasons. This also applies to the so-called Macedonian Renaissance in Byzantium, as there was a cultural continuity with antiquity there. Although weakening occurred here, there was never a complete break. In the Franconian Empire it was not a question of a “rebirth” of classical ancient knowledge, but rather a purification and unification. For this reason one speaks of the Carolingian educational reform for the Carolingian period . The impetus for this was probably the reform of the Frankish Church by Boniface in the middle of the 8th century. Before that, there was also a revival of intellectual life in England and Ireland, where the written culture was growing stronger. The writings of the well-read Beda Venerabilis (d. 735) cover a wide range, such as church history, hagiography , chronology and the liberal arts, and convey the image of a lively spiritual life.
Charlemagne himself was evidently quite interested in culture and deliberately assembled several scholars from Latin Europe at his court. The most respected of them was the Anglo-Saxon Alcuin (d. 804). Alcuin had previously been director of the famous cathedral school in York; he owned an extensive library and enjoyed an excellent reputation. He met Karl in Italy and in 782 followed the call to his court, where he not only worked as an influential advisor, but also rose to head the court school. Einhard (d. 840) came from a noble Franconian family and was initially a pupil of Alkuin, later head of the court school and a confidante of Charles. He was also active as a builder for Charles and after 814 wrote a biography of the king based on ancient models, which has been described as the "ripe fruit of the Carolingian Renaissance". Peter of Pisa was a Latin grammarian who taught Karl in Latin. The Lombard scholar Paulus Diaconus had served as a king in Italy and had come to Charles's court in 782, where he stayed and worked for four years. Theodulf von Orléans was a Gothic theologian and poet. He was well-read and educated; for Karl he also wrote the Libri Carolini . The Karl court and the court school gave impulses for a cultural renewal, whereby the Carolingian church was reformed as the central cultural carrier.
The implementation of the following educational reform was largely due to Alkuins. The key term for this was correctio , according to which the Latin script and language as well as the worship service were to be "corrected". The existing educational material should be systematically collected, maintained and disseminated; the establishment of a court library also served for this purpose. The educational program is also addressed in the famous Admonitio Generalis from 789. The monasteries were exhorted to set up schools. The reform of the monastery and cathedral schools was also important for religious reasons, as the clergy relied on the most precise language and scripture possible in order to be able to interpret the Bible and prepare theological writings. The written Latin language has been cleaned up and improved. Great emphasis was placed on correct grammar and spelling, which raised the stylistic level. The Carolingian minuscule became the new font . In the ecclesiastical field, among other things, the liturgy was revised, collections of homilies created and compliance with ecclesiastical rules demanded. Several changes have also been made in the administrative area. The church educational institutions received increased support, and a revised version of the Latin Bible edition was prepared (so-called Alcuin Bible ). Older writings were looked through and corrected, copies made and distributed. The court school became a teaching center, which radiated across the entire Franconian Empire. In the Fulda monastery, for example, a distinct literary culture developed under Alkuin's pupil Rabanus Maurus . In addition, Corbie and St. Gallen were also important. Research has identified 16 “written provinces” in addition to the Karlshof for the period around 820, each with several scriptoria.
The educational reform ensured a significant strengthening of intellectual life in the Franconian Empire. After the sharp decline since the 7th century, literary production increased noticeably, and art and architecture also benefited from it. Ancient texts by both pagan and Christian authors were now increasingly being used, read and, above all, copied. Ovid and Virgil were particularly in demand, and Sallust , Quintus Curtius Rufus , Suetonius and Horace , among others , were increasingly being read again. The Carolingian educational reform was therefore of great importance for the transmission of ancient texts. However, there were regional differences in the Franconian Empire. West Franconia was culturally further developed due to the Gallo-Roman heritage. The court of Charles the Bald acted as a cultural center, and the so-called Auxerre School was also of importance . In Eastern Franconia, on the other hand, literary production stagnated in the middle / end of the 9th century before there was a renewed upswing in the 10th century. In Ottonian times, the cathedral schools gained increasing importance. In the 10th century reading and writing skills are rarer in the aristocracy, the aristocratic-warlike upbringing was decisive. On the other hand, both Otto II and Otto III. a very good education.
Culture in the Eastern Mediterranean
The east, Byzantium and the Islamic world, where ancient Greek knowledge was preserved and cultivated, formed a cultural center. In Byzantium, the preoccupation with ancient works did not cease completely, even in the period from the middle of the 7th century to the 9th century, often referred to as the “dark period”; the best example of this is Photios . Not only clergy, but also lay people who could afford it, continued to enjoy an education there, which was indispensable for civil service anyway. Elementary classes in reading and writing lasted two to three years and were also open to the middle classes. However, little is known about the exact details of how the lessons were given. The higher education was sometimes promoted and monitored by the state. The relevant lessons were given at imperial universities, in Central Byzantine times thus primarily in Constantinople; however, there also seem to have been some institutions in the provinces. There were several extensive libraries, and the training could include law, theology or medicine.
The Arab conquerors profited considerably from the already existing higher cultural development in the former Eastern Roman areas and in Persia, something which Muslim scholars later followed. In the Islamic world, classes were held in the Masǧid ( mosque ), which had an attached hostel for the students. Higher education (except in Al-Andalus) was taught in the guild-like organized madrasa , where mainly Islamic theology and law (also with knowledge of the Koran) were taught. The lessons were financed by private donations. Numerous Arabic translations of Greek works were created ( House of Wisdom ). In Damascus, Baghdad, and later also in Sicily and Al-Andalus, they dealt extensively with ancient scripts, which gave impetus for new considerations. In the Umayyad period , the cultural orientation was still strongly based on late antique models. Magnificent hunting castles in the late antique architectural style were built (such as Chirbat al Mafdschar north of Jericho and Qasr al-Hair al-Gharbi in Syria).
Mention should also be made of Christian Syrian scholars who lived under Arab rule, such as Jacob of Edessa , John of Damascus and Theophilos of Edessa . Syrians generally played a not unimportant role in imparting ancient knowledge to the Arabs. Knowledge from the East also found its way into Latin Europe. Indo-Arabic numerals have been used since the late 10th century. Especially Spain and later Sicily played an important mediating role.
Early medieval literature
The last significant and largely preserved late antique historical work in Latin was written by Ammianus Marcellinus in the late 4th century. The names of some Latin historians in the West up to the end of antiquity are known, but in fact nothing of their works has survived. This also applies to the Gothic story of Cassiodorus (who also wrote a preserved chronicle), which formed the basis for the Getica des Jordanes . At the end of the 6th century, the educated Bishop Gregory of Tours , who came from a senatorial Gallo-Roman family, wrote his main work, the histories of up to 591 in 10 books. It is an important Christian universal history with the Franconian Empire in the center, with contemporary history being described in particular in detail. The level of Gregory was not reached for a long time. The Fredegar Chronicle from the 7th century, for example, is written in a wild Latin and also poor in content.
In addition to the chronicle (local chronicles and Christian world chronicles , which are of late antique origin), the annals are typical of early medieval historiography . They originated in the Carolingian monasteries and developed from very short, annual entries to sometimes detailed, chronicle-like descriptions. The most important of these were the Reichsannals , which lasted up to 829 and were followed by various sequels in West and East Franconia ( Annals of St. Bertin , Annals of Fulda ). In terms of content, they were close to the Carolingian dynasty and can in a certain way be regarded as court historiography. In addition, there were other annals and chronicles, which were often geared towards their own diocese, monastery or imperial territory. Several narrative historical works were also written in the Carolingian period. Paulus Diaconus wrote a Lombard story in 6 books (his main work), a Roman story in 16 books and a story of the bishops of Metz, who praised the Carolingian ancestors. Nithard , unlike most early medieval writers in the West no clergyman, wrote four books histories about the history of the Carolingian brother fighting after the death of Charlemagne. The Carolingian court scholar Einhard wrote the first medieval biography of a secular ruler: Inspired by the emperor's biographies Suetons , he wrote the Vita Karoli Magni after the death of Charlemagne . Karl's son and successor Ludwig the Pious were even dedicated to two biographies: the Thegans and that of an anonymous author known as Astronomus . In the late Carolingian period, Regino von Prüm wrote a world chronicle that went up to 906. In the early 10th century, no major historical works were created, just as the written form in Eastern Franconia had declined during this time. Widukind von Corvey wrote a Saxon history in three books, which is important for Ottonian history. The bishop's chronicle of Thietmar von Merseburg , written at the end of the 10th century, expanded into an important history of the empire, which is an important source for the Ottonian period. In West Franconia, Flodoard von Reims (annals and a history of the Church of Reims) and Richer von Reims ( histories , partly with reference to Flodoard) wrote historical works that contain important information for the events in late Carolingian West Franconia.
In Britain, the important church history of Beda Venerabilis (early 8th century), which also goes into the political and cultural history of Britain, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and Aser's biography of Alfred the Great emerged in the early Middle Ages ; Local histories are documented for Ireland and Wales ( Annales Cambriae ) . Already in late antiquity, the steadily continued Liber Pontificalis , a continuous papal history , was created in Rome . Otherwise, there are several more locally oriented chronicles from Italy. In Hispania, during the Visigothic period, the important scholar Isidore of Seville wrote a universal chronicle and a history of the Goths. Later, the Mozarabic Chronicle and the Crónica Albeldense were written in Spain . Individual early medieval works were also lost in the following period (e.g. the Historiola des Secundus von Trient ).
Several of the works mentioned are problematic in some respects from the point of view of modern research. What should be emphasized, however, is the diversity of early medieval Latin historiography. Although this had moved away from late antique historiography, the ancient foundations had not completely disappeared. Since the Carolingian educational reform, the focus has again been turned more towards antiquity, for example ancient authors often served as stylistic models or reference was made to past events (exempla) . The early medieval historiography was pervaded by a solid Christian historical thought, z. B. with regard to a linear course in which the Imperium Romanum was the goal of history; divine work and Christian ethical action also played an important role.
The Byzantine historiography in Greek was likewise Christian influences in the early Middle Ages, but the ancient terms was far greater than in the West, especially since the ancient heritage remained more preserved and history was not confined to the clergy. Significant Byzantine chronicles have come down to us from Georgios Synkellos and Theophanes . The tradition of ancient historiography ended in Byzantium in the early 7th century, but was increasingly received again in the 10th century. The imitation ( mimesis ) of the classical texts was sought in many subsequent Byzantine works of profane history. Under Constantine VII , texts by ancient historians were excerpted in an enormous undertaking; Only small remains of it have survived today, but they contain valuable material that would otherwise not have been handed down.
(Christian) Armenian and Syrian histories continued to emerge in the Orient, some of which provide very valuable information. To be mentioned are z. B. the work of the pseudo- Sebeos in the 7th century and the now lost chronicle of Theophilos of Edessa in the 8th century, which has served as a source for several later authors. The beginnings of Islamic historiography go back to the 8th century, but many details are disputed, especially since compilations of the older material only survived from the 9th / 10th centuries. Century. Particularly noteworthy is the universal history of the learned at-Tabarī , which goes back to the early 10th century.
Hagiography plays a special role . It was also included in the genus of historia (storytelling) and was more widespread than “secular historiography” in the narrower sense. The vita of St. Martin of Tours , which Sulpicius Severus wrote, was an important model . Already in the Merovingian period there were stories of martyrs and lives as examples of an exemplary way of life, as well as bishops' vites, and miracula reports were added . In addition to Gaul, Italy should be mentioned above all: Pope Gregory the Great wrote dialogues in the late 6th century in which contemporary saints were represented; later, the patronage was increasingly thought of in several cities. In the Carolingian period, influenced by the educational reform, several vites were rewritten or rewritten. While the hagiographic tradition from Hispania is relatively poor, vites have been passed down from England since the early 8th century. In Byzantine literature, the genre boundary is fluid, since theological literature was widely developed there (homilies, letters, historical works, etc.). In the Slavic area, after the adoption of Christianity, various hagiographic works were created, for example in Bulgaria in the 10th century through the translation and processing of Byzantine works.
Middle Latin poetry was quite heavily influenced by ancient works. Venantius Fortunatus , who lived in the late 6th / early 7th century , was the first early medieval poet , who received his training in Italy and worked at the Merovingian royal court in Austrasia , where he made good contacts and finally became a bishop. Venantius Fortunatus was poetic in the late antique tradition and wrote over 200 poems of praise, lamentation and consolation songs as well as obituaries, which is an expression of a need for traditional education still existing around 600 in the Franconian Empire. The early medieval court poetry was particularly important, especially at the Carolingian royal court. More than 300 metrical poems have come down to us from Charles' already mentioned learned advisor Alkuin . Angilbert , court chaplain of Charlemagne and father of the historian Nithard , wrote not only prose but also poems and was called Charles " Homerus ". Paulinus II of Aquileia wrote a lamentation poem in honor of Eric, the Marquis of Friuli; other poems are also ascribed to him. Paulus Diaconus , who also worked as a historian and worked for some time at the court of Charles, wrote several poems, including praise poems and epitaphs. About 80 poems by Theodulf von Orléans have survived , which testify to his extensive education. In the further course of the 9th century, Ermoldus Nigellus and the very learned Johannes Scottus Eriugena worked in West Franconia . There were also monastic poems, some of which were very important. These include poems by Walahfrid Strabos and the Liber Ymnorum Notkers (written around 884 and dedicated to the influential Liutward von Vercelli ). The cultural revival after the end of antiquity was favored by the Carolingian educational reform. The most important early medieval poet was Hrotsvit in the 10th century. In the area of Middle Latin epic, the Waltharius , an epic heroic poem from the 9th or 10th century, should be mentioned above all . In the transition from the early to the high Middle Ages, the poem about the knight Ruodlieb was created , which is considered the first fictional novel of the Middle Ages.
Biblical poems were widespread, especially since the Bible already played a central role as the basis of material in Middle Latin literature. Historical poems were also created, for example the verse epic Karolus Magnus et Leo papa around 800 and the work of Poeta Saxo at the end of the 9th century . Cædmon and Aldhelm von Sherborne worked in England in the 7th century, and some important poems were also written in Italy and the Spanish Visigothic Empire.
Since the middle of the 8th century, not only Latin, but also vernacular works have been documented in the West; however, the number of authors known by name is manageable. The range of vernacular early medieval literature is quite considerable, it includes, among other things, books of magic and blessings, heroic tales, historical and battle poems. Church texts were also translated, particularly with a view to conveying Christian messages of faith. Much of the vernacular poetry was of a spiritual nature, such as B. Bible poems. The earliest surviving evidence of the Old High German Bible poetry is the Wessobrunn creation poem from the 9th century.
The Carolingian educational reform not only resulted in an increasing preoccupation with Latin texts and the existing ancient tradition, it also strengthened the development of Old High German. Centers of old German tradition included the monasteries Fulda, Reichenau, St. Gallen and Murbach. The Hildebrandslied , an Old High German hero song from the early 9th century, has been preserved in fragments . Charlemagne is said to have ordered old pagan heroic songs to be recorded, but nothing has survived. Under the direction of the learned Rabanus Maurus , a translation of the Gospels was created around 830 with the Old High German Tatian . The first German poet is Otfrid von Weißenburg , who worked in the 860s and 870s. The Liber Evangeliorum , written by him around 870, is an Old High German Bible epic (in the South Rhine-Franconian dialect) and comprises 7104 long lines in five books, with the life of Jesus Christ at the center. The Strasbourg oaths of 842 have been handed down in Old High German and Old French and are considered early language certificates. The Old High German Ludwigslied originated in the late 9th century. In the Ottonian period, Old High German literature production ended for some time, for which research has not yet found a satisfactory explanation. Around 1000, for example, Notker von St. Gallen worked , who translated several ancient texts into Old High German and thus created an important basis for scientific texts in this language.
At the Anglo-Saxon royal court of Alfred the Great, individual works by Latin scholars (such as Boethius and Orosius ) were translated into Old English . The bulk of Old English literature (which includes several Latin texts in addition to Old English) has been preserved in four manuscripts (Junius manuscript, also called Cædmonhandschrift , Exeter book, Vercelli book and Beowulf manuscript ). In Ireland, in the 6./7. Century a lively written culture with initially Latin, soon also Old Irish works, which included heroic tales, poetry, annals, saints and kings genealogies, hagiographic and spiritual literature.
In Old French few early medieval texts are occupied, such as the Sequence of Saint Eulalia (in honor of St Eulalia) in the late 9th century and the Leodegarlied from the 10th century. The old French poetic processing of a Latin legend, the so-called Alexius song, dates from the 11th century . In Italy, the history of vernacular literature does not begin until the 13th century. There is hardly any evidence of Romanesque works from the early Middle Ages on the Iberian Peninsula. Romanesque glosses (10th century) come from the monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla , while Romanesque final stanzas are documented in Arabic and Hebrew poems (the so-called Jarchas , 11th century). However, fully developed vernacular works were not written until the High Middle Ages; this includes the epic Cantar de Mio Cid . In Scandinavian literature, the transition from oral narratives and poems ( scald poetry and preliminary stages of the Edda in the 9th century) to written language is also associated with Christianization and the adoption of the Latin alphabet (instead of runes ). With the development of Church Slavonic in the 9th century, a rich literature emerged in the Slavic cultural area in the period that followed. After the Christianization of Bulgaria, several Old Church Slavonic translations of Greek works were made, especially theological works (liturgical and biblical texts), chronicles and lives. In Byzantium itself, in addition to writings in the ancient Greek standard language, several vernacular ( Middle Greek ) works were created. One of the most important is the epic Digenis Akritas .
The philosophy of the Middle Ages was based heavily on ancient foundations, however, unlike in late antiquity, now firmly embedded in the Christian worldview. In this sense the theologically oriented patristic was important, which in the 7./8. Century ended. Already in late antiquity, Neoplatonism was received by Christian scholars who combined the Platonic doctrine of ideas with Christian considerations, especially since Plato's ideas were already transcendent through Neoplatonism. Statements in the Bible were partly interpreted with the help of Platonic ideas, among other things with reference to the good and the being / being. Little was known of the writings of Plato and Aristotle in the West in the early Middle Ages. Platonic influenced philosophers were influential. Augustine of Hippo and Boethius are both historically part of late antiquity, but historically they stand on the threshold of the Middle Ages. Both had a strong lasting influence on medieval philosophy, especially in the early Middle Ages. This also applies to the works of the pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita , an anonymous late antique Christian neo-Platonist, which was translated into Latin as early as the Carolingian period. Pseudo-Dionysius also elaborated the concept of negative theology .
Around the middle of the 9th century there is evidence of the important philosopher Johannes Scottus Eriugena , who came from Ireland and who spent some time at the West Franconian royal court. He worked there as a learned advisor, also gave classes in the liberal arts and apparently enjoyed a great reputation. Eriugena is exceptional in that, without his writings, there would be a large gap in Latin philosophical literature between Boethius and Anselm of Canterbury . He had some knowledge of Greek, which was very unusual in the West at the time, and advocated strictly logical thinking, which also came into conflict with church authorities. His main work with the Greek title Periphyseon ("About Natures") deals in the form of a dialogue, divided into five books, above all the cosmological world order and the relationship between creator and creation. In a logical and systematic way, Christian revelation should be studied and interpreted in order to discern the truth it contains. The work is based on a fairly extensive source base and is influenced by the Neoplatonic movement. Eriugena also wrote a (only fragmentary) commentary on John's Gospel and Martianus Capella .
In the Byzantine area, Stephanos of Alexandria is the last philosopher of late antiquity in the early 7th century. The Reich's military struggle for survival at the time resulted in a noticeable decline in the level of cultural interest. The tradition regarding intellectual development in Byzantium is not favorable for the late 7th and 8th centuries, but byzantium has retained more of the cultural heritage than in the West. In the 9th / 10th In the 19th century, the very learned Photios worked , who had a large library and wrote philosophical treatises that are now lost. One of his students, Zacharias of Chalkedon, wrote a little pamphlet "About Time" in the 860s. Leon the mathematician and Arethas von Kaisareia also collected classical Greek texts and partly re-edited them. From scattered fragments it can also be deduced that Aristotle and Plato were also read in Byzantium in the 9th century and probably partly reissued. As a result of the picture dispute , there were also writings in which philosophical arguments were put forward.
The basis of Islamic philosophy was initially the systematic translation of Greek philosophical or scientific texts, whereby the still living Christian-Syrian tradition of studying Greek science also played a role. Al-Kindī gained importance in the 9th century , whose works are thematically diversified and include astronomy, mathematics, optics, medicine and music. Al-Kindī dealt with Plato and Aristotle and made translations of Greek works. His treatise on definitions and descriptions of things, in which he prepared the Greek philosophical vocabulary, was influential. The Jewish philosopher Isaak ben Solomon Israeli based his book on definitions closely on al-Kindī. The Persian philosopher Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariya ar-Razi and al-Farabi, who came from Central Asia, worked in the 10th century . The latter was able to fall back on practically the entire still preserved ancient tradition of Greek philosophers; he regarded philosophy as the basis of all science and also related this to religion. The important Persian philosopher Avicenna (d. 1037) fundamentally asked the question of the task and the possibility of philosophy. His very influential considerations concerned, among other things, logic and intellect. In his canon of medicine , he also systematically summarized the medical knowledge of the time. There are also other scholars to be mentioned, for example: B. al-Khwarizmi in the 9th century.
In the early Middle Ages, the royal courts, but above all the Franconian royal court with the court school, and the church played a key role in cultural and artistic promotion. Christian symbolism dominates the motifs. Early medieval art was initially based on late antique models before new art styles developed. The Byzantine art , also influenced the West where in research, the degree of this influence is controversial. Whereas early medieval culture was previously seen as more receptive and less as creative, it has recently been emphasized again that there were already late antiquity models in the west and that the influence between east and west was more subtle. The Carolingian educational reform and the so-called Ottonian Renaissance (10th / 11th centuries) brought about a renewed cultural upswing.
In medieval scholarly thought, the question of beauty is detached from art and is based on Platonic and Neoplatonic considerations. In the art theory of the early Middle Ages, the statements of Augustine and the Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita were influential. A work of art and the associated aesthetic beauty was therefore not an end in itself; Rather, beauty also had a transcendental purpose. For Johannes Scottus Eriugena z. B. the perceptible was considered a symbol of the divine.
In architecture, pre-Romanesque forms a transition between late antique and Romanesque architectural forms. In the church dominated Hispania and Britain hall churches of stone, east of the Rhine were initially distributed Holzkirchen, almost none of which has been preserved. In Italy, on the other hand, basilicas were common. New types of construction developed, often inspired by Italy and decorated with mosaics , which was already common in late antiquity. The monumental architecture has been cultivated again since the time of Charlemagne, the mass construction with several pillars was based on ancient knowledge. In the Carolingian period, several rulers' palaces were finally built, such as the Aachen Royal Palace , whose overall composition was also based on Roman models. After 814 there was a certain break in monumental architecture in the Franconian Empire. Initially, rather small-scale church buildings composed of individual room cells were preferred. Although the Hildebold Cathedral was built later in the 9th century, the Lorsch westwork form was also adopted in Corvey or, for example, the transverse cell construction was carried out in larger dimensions in Hersfeld, but this was not the rule. In the Ottonian times, the Carolingian tradition was consciously followed, and several large churches were built again. The problem with the evaluation of early medieval architecture, however, is that hardly any remains of manorial secular buildings from the 10th and 11th centuries have survived, but mainly church buildings. In Italy, due to the relative cultural continuity, the transition to the early Middle Ages was less pronounced, but square pillars and hall crypts were new. In Hispania, ancient, early Christian and popular motifs merged during the Visigothic period; after 711 the Mozarabic architecture developed . In England, as a result of the Christianization of the Anglo-Saxons, there were several wooden churches as well as larger church buildings, of which only small remains have survived. In the different Anglo-Saxon empires different types of buildings can be found in church construction.
The Carolingian book illumination , which was also influenced by Byzantine influence, meant an increase compared to the Merovingian book illumination and is one of the results of the Carolingian educational reform. Examples of this include the Lorsch Gospels , the Coronation Gospels , and the Ada manuscript (see also Ada group ) from the time of Charlemagne or the Codex aureus of St. Emmeram from the late 9th century. In addition to the royal court school, the centers of Carolingian book illumination were later Reims , St. Martin in Tours and Metz . The court school of Charles II in West Franconia gained importance in the later 9th century. Pictorial manuscripts were also created in the large imperial monasteries and important bishop's residences, partly in imitation of the royal court schools (according to the Fulda Gospel ). The decisive factor here was that the spiritual institutions had good scriptories and received cultural impulses, which was initially hardly the case on the secular side. In the Ottonian period in 10./11. In the 19th century, after a cultural downturn at the end of the Carolingian era, older models were followed. This is how the equally important Ottonian book illumination came into being in Eastern Franconia , the centers of which were the monasteries of Corvey, Hildesheim, Fulda and Reichenau; later Cologne, Regensburg and Salzburg also gained in importance. One of their most important products is Otto III's prayer book. and the Gospel Book of Otto III . Furthermore, book illuminations from other regions of Europe have been preserved. The Aethelwold Benedictionale from the late 10th century represents a high point of Anglo-Saxon book illumination. The richly decorated “First Bible” of St. Martial (Limoges) was created in West Franconia around 1000. The Beatus Commentary on the Revelation of John (8th century) comes from Spain , while numerous illustrative manuscripts were also produced in Italy, especially on the life of well-known saints and important clergymen.
Some ancient art knowledge was lost in the early Middle Ages. This applies, for example, to the three-dimensionality and the representation of people in their natural proportions. A rather static structure developed and a certain fear of emptiness ( horror vacui ) . In addition, there were new artistic objectives and other artistic characteristics, such as Celtic and Germanic ornamentation (see also Germanic animal style ). The basis of the early medieval wall painting is the late antique monumental painting, of which more was preserved in the early Middle Ages than today. How strong the concrete connections are between late antique and early medieval wall painting can hardly be determined today, as there are often more recent interventions. In addition, only parts of various early medieval wall paintings have survived. A picture of monumental painting in Carolingian times around 800 is conveyed by the preliminary drawings for the original dome decor of Charlemagne's Palatine Chapel in Aachen , which are lost today, but known through descriptions and sketches . Wall paintings depicting the life of Jesus Christ were particularly popular in churches, but numerous other biblical scenes were also used. This was reinforced by eschatological expectations for the time around 1000. In Ottonian times, the Carolingian tradition was initially used. The central nave of St. Georg in Reichenau-Oberzell (10th century) is probably the best example of the interior decoration of a church, which was quite common in Carolingian and Ottonian times.
Several bishops appeared as patrons of art, such as Gebhard von Konstanz in his own church in Petershausen or Egbert von Trier , under whose patronage the master of the registrum Gregorii worked. The handicrafts produced, among other things, fibulae , belt buckles, but also carvings made of ivory , gold sheet work and richly decorated book cover work. In the small sculpture , many reliquary containers were made due to the strong religious need . Numerous liturgical devices were also created; One of the most beautiful is the Lothar cross , made around 1000 . The Gero Cross , created in Ottonian times, is one of the first monumental sculptures of the Middle Ages.
The cultural centers were also mainly in the east. In Byzantium, icon painting is one of the highlights of early medieval art, and Byzantine book illumination also produced important works. The so-called Macedonian Renaissance in the 9th / 10th centuries. The 19th century led in Byzantium, after the defensive struggles against the Arabs that threatened existence had been overcome, to a stronger focus on ancient motifs and ancient literature. In Byzantium, the iconoclasm raged in the 8th and 9th centuries , which had an impact on art. In the late 8th century, the admirers of images were able to prevail for a short time and then they were finally victorious in the 9th century. In the West, at the Synod of Frankfurt in 794 , religious worship of images was dealt with, which was ultimately rejected ( Libri Carolini ). In the west, however, Byzantine art influences were taken up, e. B. in illuminating or with regard to forms of central building in Romanesque churches. In terms of architecture, the Byzantine style inspired, among other things, St. Mark's Basilica in Venice and the Carolingian Palatine Chapel in Aachen Cathedral ( octagon shape ).
In the early Middle Ages religion was a determining factor in life in Latin Europe, Byzantium and the Caliphate. However, it is very questionable whether one can speak of a unity in culture and religiosity for each of these cultural areas; on the contrary, there was a difference between learned ideas and popular piety . This also affected Latin Europe, although popular ideas often assume a monolithic block. The general history of Latin Europe and the Byzantine cultural area in the early Middle Ages is nevertheless closely linked to the history of Christianity during this period.
Church, state and culture were already closely linked in late antiquity . Christianity was elevated to the state religion under Theodosius I , the pagan ("pagan") cults lost more and more followers and finally sank into insignificance, although small pagan minorities in Byzantium are documented until the 6th century. After the fall of West Rome, political unity in the Mediterranean was abolished, but the new Germanic empires were Christian empires - either when they were founded or shortly afterwards (like the Frankish empire).
While the majority of Christian Teutons inclined towards Arianism , the Romansh majority population consisted of Catholic Christians, which in some cases led to considerable tensions. In Eastern Gothic Italy, the denominational difference even had an impact on foreign policy in relation to Byzantium ( Akakian schism ). The Lombards, who invaded Italy in 568, were also predominantly Arians, but took place in the 7th / 8th centuries. Century increasingly the turn to the Catholic faith. Clovis I was baptized a Catholic around 500 and was followed by numerous Franks; in the Visigoths the conversion took place in 589. Despite political fragmentation, a certain cultural and religious unity remained, which only ended with the Arab expansion in the 7th century.
Popes and secular rule
In the early Middle Ages, the papacy did not play such a decisive role politically as it did in the further course of the Middle Ages. The bishop of Rome enjoyed great prestige as the successor to the apostles Peter and Paul , but he did not exercise any suzerainty over the Byzantine Church, for example. The Patriarch of Constantinople, on the other hand, never got the same importance as the Pope in the West, where the Popes finally also claimed full secular authority , and at no time determined Byzantine politics. During the transition from antiquity to the Middle Ages, the popes were politically strongly influenced by Byzantine influence.
As a result of the Byzantine loss of power in the west, the popes slowly but increasingly gained political leeway. Gregory the Great, for example, who came from a distinguished Roman family, was very learned and was one of the most important medieval popes, was also politically active. Nevertheless, the popes were formally subject to the Byzantine emperor, who could even try them. In the middle of the 8th century, the Lombard threats forced the popes to look for support. Pope Stephan II traveled to the Frankish King Pippin in 753/54 and entered into an alliance with him. The Carolingians took on the role of the new papal protective power, which the Ottonians and the following Roman-German kings also took over later . Through this alliance, the papal claims were protected not least, which, as the resulting located Kirchenstaat shows articulated in secular form. The in the 8./9. A forged gift of Constantine from the 19th century was intended to provide a basis for these claims. Since Charlemagne's coronation as emperor in 800, the Pope and Franconian Empire were even more closely intertwined.
The connection was problematic in that both the papacy and the empire were universal powers, whose interests did not always run parallel, like the investiture controversy in 11/12. Century clearly shows; but already in the 9th century there were conflicts between the Pope and the Carolingian emperors. As a counterbalance to secular power, the church developed the two-sword theory , although in the High Middle Ages the popes themselves sometimes emphatically claimed secular supremacy. The papal prestige increased so that various rulers in Latin Europe requested the support of the Pope. In the 9th century, papal authority under Nicholas I reached its first climax, a "world position" before it fell into disrepair in the late 9th century. The papacy became a plaything of the interests of urban Roman families in the early 10th century. In the Ottonian times it played no political role. The connection between the western and eastern churches, in turn, dwindled more and more and ultimately led to the schism of 1054 .
The Carolingian educational reform around 800 already had an impact on the church in the Franconian Empire due to the close connection between Christian religion and culture in the early Middle Ages and promoted its renewal. A revised version of the Latin Bible edition was created and the church educational institutions (schools, scriptoria and libraries) promoted, which led to a cultural boom. The imperial church in the Franconian Empire was politically closely linked to the monarchy. Since the Carolingian times, the Franconian kings had to rely on the church to take on secular administrative tasks after the administrative practice of the Merovingian era, which was based on late Roman patterns, collapsed. This tradition was maintained in West and East Franconia until the High Middle Ages.
Because of the effective connection between empire and church in the Ottonian and Salier times , older research spoke of an imperial church system in Eastern Franconia. In fact, the Church had also taken on administrative tasks in other Christian empires in Latin Europe. The Christian kings and, above all, the emperors exercised a protective rule over the church and often endeavored to at least formally correspond to the image of a just Christian ideal ruler. Church councils and synods were often convened by secular rulers, precisely to demonstrate the close cooperation between ruler and church.
In the middle of the 4th century, Martin von Tours founded the first monastic community in western Europe. The monasticism won the early Middle Ages in the course increasingly important. The monastic rules of Benedict of Nursia became influential . Everyday life in the monasteries was characterized by fixed processes. The monks, largely shielded from the outside world, devoted their lives and work entirely to God, but the monasteries were also an important economic factor, as they had goods and possessions. Monasticism is also to be understood as a corrective to a church that increasingly turned to worldly affairs. The church was hierarchical and had a fairly effective administration. In the early medieval Latin Church, the individual bishops enjoyed far-reaching powers. After the collapse of the Roman administrative order in the west, the episcopal seats were given an important administrative task. Especially in southern Gaul, in Italy and also in Spain, bishops took on political tasks, which led to the establishment of de facto autonomous so-called “episcopal republics”.
Piety and worship
The spiritual and religious life in Latin Europe was extremely diverse in the early Middle Ages and numerous Christian scholars worked. Examples for the Latin West include: Gregory of Tours and Gregory the Great in the late 6th century, Alkuin , Einhard , Rabanus Maurus and Hinkmar von Reims in the 9th century, and Notker of St. Gallen around 1000.
Christian piety was ubiquitous in the early Middle Ages, but expressed itself quite differently and changed from time to time. Belief in a kingdom of God in the hereafter was a common idea, whereby death and the devil should be overcome. Acceptance into the Christian community took place through baptism ; even in late antiquity it had not had this meaning. As a rule, this was preceded by the catechumenate as a training period. In principle, voluntary acceptance was a prerequisite, forced conversion (although in part practiced) was not permitted under canon law and was repeatedly rejected by various popes (such as Gregory the Great). The power of God's omnipotence should be obtained by doing good in the present. God was considered good and just, but he certainly punishes wrongdoing. Misconduct therefore required appropriate penance.
The divine service was characterized by fixed rituals which, within the liturgy , had primarily a symbolic meaning. Even though Christianity is a book religion, spoken word worship was very important in the early Middle Ages due to poor reading skills. In addition to the Latin services, there were also vernacular prayers. The Creed and the Lord's Prayer were central and translated into several vernacular languages. In popular piety, superstition, the veneration of saints and relics played an important role. Social work such as caring for the poor was a religious duty. As a result of the armed conflicts, an increasing expectation of peace emerged, the realization of which was hoped for by church measures and which was partially fulfilled ( God's peace movement ). Eschatological ideas of the end of the world did exist, but it is controversial in recent research how strong the end-time expectations were around 1000.
Mission and Diversity of Faith
During the entire early Middle Ages, the Christianization promoted by the popes , including the German mission, was promoted in the pagan areas of Europe. These included regions where the Germanic religion was practiced in its various forms. This affected areas on the right bank of the Rhine that had not yet been Christianized (such as the settlement areas of the Bavarians and Thuringians in the 6th century, as well as Saxony in northwest Germany), Scandinavia (with the main god Odin and important secondary gods such as Thor and Tyr , see North Germanic religion ) and parts of Britain (see Anglo-Saxon Religion ). There were also cults in the Slavic region, where Perun , Svarog , Svarožić (Dazbog) and Veles represented important deities. In addition to older ancient reports, runic inscriptions and later processing ( Edda ), many of the related reports come from Christian authors. Pagan deities were considered by Christians to be creatures of the devil and demons. As with the pagan Teutons, the Slavs had an important role to play in their worship of nature, and there was also a widespread conception of the afterlife with regard to life after death. The Slavic cults were strongly influenced by Gentile religion, i.e. related to the respective tribal area. The Christianization of previously Pagan areas had an impact on the living conditions there: manslaughter or abandonment of children were made more difficult by the new religious rules, which thus had a mitigating effect; The compulsory welfare work also fundamentally differentiated the Christian faith from the pagan cults, in which charitable measures outside of the families were not common.
The missionary work of Ireland by monks, which began in late antiquity, was completed in the 6th century. In the 7th century, the Christianization of the Anglo-Saxons was largely complete, but the invasion of the Vikings in the 9th century meant a setback and sometimes required new missionaries. Ireland, although never part of the Roman Empire itself, took up ancient culture and eventually carried it back to continental Europe. So it is no coincidence that Irish scholars worked in the Frankish Empire during the Carolingian period. Irish monks like Columban also actively participated in Christianization ( Iro-Scottish mission ), even in areas that were still pagan in the former Germania magna .
Bonifatius was very active in the right bank of the Rhine in the 8th century and founded the later important Fulda monastery . The Saxons , for whom the Irminsul was an important sanctuary, were not violently Christianized until the bloody Saxon Wars of Charlemagne in the late 8th and early 9th centuries. Around 900 the Elbe formed the border to the pagan area. The Ottonen operated in 10/11. Century an active missionary policy in the Slavic country , but with significant setbacks as the Slavs revolt of 983 was connected. In many regions Christianization in the early Middle Ages was not violent but peaceful, which means that the Christian profession was accepted voluntarily. Furthermore, the forced baptism was very controversial in the church; it was repeatedly rejected by the papal side and was also forbidden by canon law, although according to the same rulings forced baptized people were urged to remain Christians. The Bulgarians and Serbs adopted Christianity in the second half of the 9th century, Kievan Rus was Christianized in the late 10th century, the Poles and (non-Slavic) Hungarians were Christianized around 1000.
At the turn of the millennium, Christianization was largely successful in Denmark and Norway. The missionary activity in the north was in the 9./10. Century largely taken over by the Archdiocese of Hamburg-Bremen. The Christianization of these areas usually took place through conversion of the upper class. This process was slow and not always free of tension. Pagan customs persisted in everyday life for a long time. The Christianization of the Slavs, Hungarians and Scandinavians meant a considerable expansion of the Christian cultural area. Byzantine missionaries worked mainly in eastern and south-eastern Europe, where in the 9th century the brothers Methodios and Kyrill were successful in the Slav mission; They also created the basis for Church Slavonic (see Glagolitic script ).
In Eastern Europe, Latin and Greek missionaries competed as the jurisdiction of the new Christian territories fell to either Rome or Constantinople. So Serbia and Bulgaria submitted to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Bulgaria established its own patriarchate in 927, which was demoted to an archbishopric after the Byzantine conquest in the early 11th century. In Byzantium, there were considerable religious tensions between the representatives of the Orthodox Imperial Church and the Nestorians and the Miaphysites within the territory of the empire until the 7th century . Several imperial attempts to solve the problem failed. This religious-political problem was in fact "solved" by the Arab conquest of the Byzantine eastern provinces in the 7th century, because the remaining imperial population (including refugees pouring into Asia Minor) was predominantly of the Orthodox faith.
The Christian church in North Africa, which had produced great thinkers such as Augustine of Hippo , increasingly lost its importance and eventually died out. There, from 645 onwards, a denominational survey prepared for Islamization. Maximus Confessor had been polemic against monotheletism , which was often brought with them by refugees from territories conquered by the Arabs, from around 640 AD . In 645 he was able to convince the former patriarch of Constantinople Pyrrhus I of his dyotheletic teaching in a public disputation . Their teachings agreed that Jesus Christ had two natures, namely a divine and a human, but in Constantinople at that time the belief in only one will or goal prevailed, while Carthage and Rome in the work of two separate wills prevailed believed in the person of Christ.
The Christian churches in Egypt, Syria and Mesopotamia, on the other hand, retained their importance for a long time (Christian minorities are still present in Egypt and Syria) and the majority of the population under Arab rule remained Christian for a long time. Some Christians were even active as scholars at the court of the caliphs. B. Theophilos of Edessa in the middle of the 8th century . The relatively tolerant Arab rule did not seem to meet with any significant resistance. Followers of the book religions (Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians ) had to pay a special poll tax ( jizya ), were not allowed to practice their beliefs in public and were not allowed to carry weapons, but otherwise remained largely unmolested. In some cases, Christians were required to wear special clothing. At the end of the 7th century, however, the pressure on the Christian majority population increased: In 699, Arabic replaced the previous administrative languages of Greek and Middle Persian in the Caliphate, and Christians were excluded from state positions. Social life was increasingly oriented towards the new faith and there was increased discrimination against non-Muslims. This was due to the respective religious policy of the ruling caliph, which since the late 7th century increased the pressure on the non-Muslim population not insignificantly, interfered in internal Christian affairs and also confiscated church property.
Iconoclasm in Byzantium
With the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Leo III. and Constantine V are traditionally linked to an important section of Byzantine history, the beginning of the so-called iconoclast that only ended in the middle of the 9th century. Leo is said to have sparked the iconoclasm when he removed the Christ icon above the Chalketor at the imperial palace in 726 and soon after passed a law that allegedly forbade the worship of icons . Various possible motives for this have been discussed in research. The result was an "iconoclasm", combined with the destruction of images of saints and persecution. According to modern research, this description by no means corresponds to reality.
Above all, the source situation is extremely problematic, since almost exclusively reports from the ultimately victorious side, the picture friends (icon modules), have been preserved and historically reinterpretations have been made in them. Several of these works polemicize against the militarily successful and by no means unpopular emperors Leo and Constantine (as in Byzantine historical works such as the Chronicle of Theophanes ). But it is not even certain whether Leo III. actually took concrete measures against the veneration of images, because there is no reliable evidence of a legal ban. Constantine V, on the other hand, wrote theological treatises against the veneration of images and convened the Council of Hiereia in 754 , but then hardly took any serious steps. Although Constantine was evidently not a supporter of the worship of images, allegations against him are not made in contemporary, but in the later iconodule sources. Several tough measures against political opponents of the emperor were therefore only retrospectively rewritten as measures against friends of pictures. The controversy over the pictures took place in the middle of the 8th century, but not in the traditional form; It is also not certain that the majority of the population would have rejected iconoclasm. In general, it is questionable whether the iconoclastic dispute in Byzantium had the meaning as suggested by later sources.
The second council of Nikaia in 787 allowed the worship of images only within certain limits, the majority of the bishops must have been iconoclastically oriented. In the early 9th century, the iconoclasm flared up again under Leo V (r. 813–820), although the public confession was most important. The background is likely to have been the memory of the military successes of the "iconoclastic emperors", which could not be repeated until then. The new imperial policy was, as apparently before, supported by numerous church leaders and monks. Emperor Michael III. (r. 842–867), however, allowed icons to be worshiped again in 843, thus ending the iconoclastic dispute.
General presentations and overview works
The New Cambridge Medieval History . Edited by Paul Fouracre et al. Vol. 1–3. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1995-2005.
(Probably the most comprehensive account of the early Middle Ages with an extensive bibliography.)
Arnold Angenendt : The early Middle Ages. Western Christianity from 400 to 900 . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart et al. 1990; 3. Edition. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart / Berlin / Cologne 2001, ISBN 3-17-017225-5 .
(Overall presentation with a focus on the history of the church and mentality.)
Peter Brown : The Rise of Western Christendom . 2nd, expanded edition. Blackwell, Oxford 2003, ISBN 0-631-22138-7 .
(Depiction of the development from late antiquity to the Middle Ages with a focus on Christianity and cultural history.)
Roger Collins : Early Medieval Europe 300-1000 . 3rd, revised edition. Palgrave, Basingstoke, et al. a. 2010, ISBN 0-230-00673-6 .
(Up-to-date and easily readable presentation with a focus on political history, including religious and cultural history.)
- Johannes Fried : The formation of Europe 840-1046 (= Oldenbourg outline of history . Volume 6). 3. Edition. Oldenbourg, Munich 2008.
Hans-Werner Goetz : Europe in the early Middle Ages. 500–1050 (= Handbook of the History of Europe. Volume 2). Ulmer, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-8001-2790-3 .
(Overview with a focus on structural history.)
- Matthew Innes: Introduction to Early Medieval Western Europe, 300-900: The Sword, the Plow and the Book . Routledge, London et al. 2007.
- Reinhold Kaiser : The Mediterranean world and Europe in late antiquity and early Middle Ages (= New Fischer World History . Volume 3). S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2014, ISBN 978-3-10-010823-4 .
- Franz Neiske: Europe in the early Middle Ages 500-1050: A history of culture and mentality . Primus, Darmstadt 2006.
Johannes Preiser-Kapeller : Beyond Rome and Charlemagne. Aspects of the global entanglement in the long late antiquity, 300-800 AD. Mandelbaum Verlag, Vienna 2018.
(Global historical overview of the entanglements in the Eurasian and East African region in the context of a “long late antiquity”. Discussions at H-Soz-Kult von Lutz Berger , Stefan Esders and Marcus Bingenheimer .)
Friedrich Prinz : From Constantine to Charlemagne. Development and change of Europe . Artemis and Winkler, Düsseldorf / Zurich 2000, ISBN 3-538-07112-8 .
(Well-founded and easily legible presentation, which mainly works out the continuities and breaks of late antiquity towards the Middle Ages.)
Peter Sarris : Empires of Faith. The Fall of Rome to the Rise of Islam, 500-700. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2011.
(On the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages, with a strong focus on political history.)
Rudolf Schieffer : Christianization and empire building. Europe 700–1200. CH Beck, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-406-65375-9 .
(Brief, up-to-date overview work that dates back to the High Middle Ages and focuses on political history.)
Chris Wickham : The Inheritance of Rome. A History of Europe from 400 to 1000 . Penguin, London 2009.
(Up-to-date and easily legible overview of the early Middle Ages.)
Literature on individual subject areas
- Kunibert Bering: Art of the early Middle Ages (= art epochs. Volume 2). 2nd Edition. Reclam, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-15-018169-0 .
Franz Brunhölzl : History of the Latin Literature of the Middle Ages . Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich 1975 (Volume 1); Munich 1992 (Volume 2).
(Overview of Latin literature from late antiquity to the middle of the 11th century.)
Florin Curta : Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages (500-1300). Brill, Leiden / Boston 2019.
(Current presentation on Eastern Europe up to the High Middle Ages with a comprehensive bibliography.)
Falko Daim (Ed.): Byzanz. Historical and cultural studies manual (= Der Neue Pauly, Supplements. Vol. 11). Metzler, Stuttgart 2016, ISBN 978-3-476-02422-0 .
(Current manual on the history of Byzantium.)
- Gilbert Dragon, Pierre Riché and André Vauchez (eds.): The history of Christianity. Volume 4: Bishops, Monks and Emperors (642–1054) . Herder, Freiburg (Breisgau) et al. 1994.
(Comprehensive presentation of Christianity in the early Middle Ages, including the Eastern churches.)
- Stefan Esders , Yaniv Fox, Yitzhak Hen (Eds.): East and West in the Early Middle Ages. The Merovingian Kingdoms in Mediterranean Perspective. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2019.
Johannes Fried : The way into history. The origins of Germany up to 1024 (= Propylaea history of Germany. Vol. 1). Propylaea, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-549-05811-X .
(Comprehensive and legible, but quite unconventional presentation.)
Hugh N. Kennedy : The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates. The Islamic Near East from the sixth to the eleventh century . 2nd Edition. Pearson Longman, Harlow et al. 2004, ISBN 0-582-40525-4 .
(Introduction to Early Islamic History.)
Ralph-Johannes Lilie : Byzantium - The second Rome. Siedler, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-88680-693-6 .
(Clearly legible overview of Byzantine history.)
Mischa Meier : History of the Great Migration. Europe, Asia and Africa from the 3rd to the 8th centuries. CH Beck, Munich 2019, ISBN 978-3-406-73959-0 .
(The current and most comprehensive presentation of the Great Migration Period.)
- Lutz E. von Padberg : The Christianization of Europe in the Middle Ages . 2nd Edition. Reclam, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 3-15-017015-X .
- Walter Pohl (ed.): The search for the origins - From the importance of the early Middle Ages (= research on the history of the Middle Ages, Volume 8). Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-7001-3296-4 .
Reinhard Schneider : The Franconian Empire (= Oldenbourg outline of history, volume 5). 4th edition. Oldenbourg, Munich 2001.
(Concise presentation with research overview and comprehensive bibliography)
- Klaus von See (ed.), Peter Foote (co-author): European early Middle Ages . In: Klaus von See (ed.): New handbook of literary studies. Vol. 6. Aula-Verlag, Wiesbaden 1985, ISBN 3-89104-054-7 .
- Juliet MH Smith: Europe after Rome. A New Cultural History 500-1000 . Oxford University Press, Oxford 2005.
(Problem-oriented cultural history overview.)
- Christoph Stiegemann u. a. (Ed.): CREDO. Christianization of Europe in the Middle Ages. 2 volumes, Michael Imhof Verlag, Petersberg 2013.
(Catalog and volume of essays in which the Christianization of Europe is comprehensively described.)
Chris Wickham : Framing the Early Middle Ages. Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2005.
(Basic economic and social history presentation.)
- Hermann Kulke: Is there an Indian Middle Ages? In: Saeculum 33, 1982, pp. 221-239.
- Kai Vogelsang: History of China. 3rd, reviewed and updated edition, Stuttgart 2013, pp. 171 ff.
- The Cambridge History of Japan. Volume 3. Ed. By Kozo Yamamura. Cambridge 1990.
- Cf. with further references: Alfred Haverkamp : Perspektiven des Mittelalters . In: Gebhardt. Handbook of German History . Vol. 1. 10., completely revised edition, Stuttgart 2004, pp. 1–137, here: pp. 31 ff.
- See in detail Paul Fouracre (Ed.): The New Cambridge Medieval History : Volume 1, c. 500-c. 700 . Cambridge 2005.
- For example in Roger Collins: Early Medieval Europe 300–1000. 3rd edition, Basingstoke et al. 2010; Friedrich Prinz: From Constantine to Charlemagne . Düsseldorf / Zurich 2000; Chris Wickham: The Inheritance of Rome: A History of Europe from 400 to 1000 . London 2009.
- On the character of the transition period, see the detailed articles in Theo Kölzer , Rudolf Schieffer (Ed.): From Spätantike zum early Mittelalter: Continuities and breaks, conceptions and findings. Stuttgart 2009, and the summary presentation by Hans-Werner Goetz: Europe in the early Middle Ages. 500-1050. Stuttgart 2003, pp. 280-284.
- See for an overview the review article by Roger Collins: Making Sense of the Early Middle Ages . In: English Historical Review 124, 2009, pp. 641-665. In it, Collins criticizes some of the recent research trends and emphasizes what he believes is narrative form, including political history, that is still necessary.
- See, among others, Mark Humphries: Late Antiquity and World History. Challenging Conventional Narratives and Analyzes. In: Studies in Late Antiquity 1, 2017, pp. 8–37; Mischa Meier: Late antiquity, redefined in terms of time and space. An interim balance of current searches. In: Historische Zeitschrift 304, 2017, pp. 686–706; Johannes Preiser-Kapeller: Beyond Rome and Charlemagne. Aspects of global interdependence in the long period of late antiquity, 300-800 AD Vienna 2018.
- See for example Arnaldo Marcone: A long late antiquity? Considerations on a controversial periodization . In: Journal of Late Antiquity 1, 2008, pp. 4-19.
- See for example Erik Hermans (Ed.): A Companion to the Global Early Middle Ages. Leeds 2020; Johannes Preiser-Kapeller: Beyond Rome and Charlemagne. Aspects of global interdependence in the long period of late antiquity, 300-800 AD Vienna 2018.
- Alfred Haverkamp: Perspectives of the Middle Ages . In: Gebhardt. Handbook of German History. Volume 1. Stuttgart 2004, p. 45.
- See The New Cambridge Medieval History Vol. 1-3. Cambridge 1995-2005; Roger Collins: Early Medieval Europe 300-1000. 3rd edition, Basingstoke et al. a. 2010; Hans-Werner Goetz: Europe in the early Middle Ages. 500-1050. Stuttgart 2003; Chris Wickham: The Inheritance of Rome. A History of Europe from 400 to 1000. London 2009; Theodor Schieder (Hrsg.): Handbook of European history. Vol. 1. Stuttgart 1976.
- For a first orientation, refer to The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity . The presentation by Arnold Hugh Martin Jones : The Later Roman Empire 284–602 is fundamental . A Social, Economic and Administrative Survey. 3 vols., Oxford 1964 (reprinted in two volumes, Baltimore 1986). Recent overview presentations: Douglas Boin: A Social and Cultural History of Late Antiquity. Hoboken (NJ) 2018; Alexander Demandt : The late antiquity. Handbook of Classical Studies III.6 . 2nd edition, Munich 2007; Hugh Elton: The Roman Empire in Late Antiquity. A Political and Military History. Cambridge 2018; Scott Fitzgerald Johnson (Ed.): The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity . Oxford et al. a. 2012; Reinhold Kaiser : The Mediterranean World and Europe in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Frankfurt am Main 2014; AD Lee: From Rome to Byzantium Ad 363 to 565: The Transformation of Ancient Rome. Edinburgh 2013; Stephen Mitchell: A History of the Later Roman Empire. AD 284-641. 2nd ed., Oxford u. a. 2015; Rene Pfeilschifter: Late Antiquity. The one God and the many rulers. Munich 2014; Johannes Preiser-Kapeller: Beyond Rome and Charlemagne. Aspects of global interdependence in the long late antiquity, 300-800 AD Vienna 2018; Philip Rousseau (Ed.): A Companion to Late Antiquity. Malden (Massachusetts) et al. a. 2009; Cambridge Ancient History , 2nd Edition, Cambridge 1997-2005, Volumes 12-14.
- Current overview for the development in the 4th century with Alan Cameron : The Last Pagans of Rome. Oxford / New York 2011, which relativizes the importance of pagan cults for the late 4th century.
- Review of modern research in The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity and Scott Fitzgerald Johnson (Ed.): The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity. Oxford et al. a. 2012; Philip Rousseau (Ed.): A Companion to Late Antiquity . Malden (Massachusetts) et al. a. 2009.
- Overview in Scott McGill, Edward Watts (Ed.): A Companion to Late Antique Literature. Hoboken, NJ 2018.
- The detailed overview by Arnold Hugh Martin Jones: The Later Roman Empire is fundamental . In summary, Stephen Mitchell: A History of the Later Roman Empire. AD 284-641. 2nd ed., Oxford u. a. 2015, p. 165 ff.
- See AHM Jones: The Later Roman Empire. 2 vols. Baltimore 1986, p. 1057.
- On the Sāsānidenreich see now Michael Bonner: The Last Empire of Iran. Piscataway 2020 and cf. introductory Touraj Daryaee: Sasanian Iran 224–651 CE. Portrait of a Late Antique Empire. Costa Mesa (Calif.) 2008; Touraj Daryaee: Sasanian Persia. The Rise and Fall of an Empire. London 2009; Khodadad Rezakhani: ReOrienting the Sasanians. East Iran in Late Antiquity. Edinburgh 2017; Eberhard Sauer (Ed.): Sasanian Persia. Between Rome and the Steppes of Eurasia. Edinburgh 2017; Klaus Schippmann : Basic features of the history of the Sassanid Empire. Darmstadt 1990; Josef Wiesehöfer: The Late Sasanian Near East. In: Chase Robinson (Ed.): The New Cambridge History of Islam. Vol. 1. Cambridge 2010, pp. 98-152.
- Wolfgang Kuhoff : The temptation of power. Late Roman army masters and their potential reach for the empire . In: Silvia Serena Tschopp, Wolfgang EJ Weber (Hrsg.): Power and communication . Berlin 2012, pp. 39-80; Anne Poguntke: The Roman army master's office in the 5th century. Reflections on the relationship between emperor and army master in East and West. In: Carola Föller, Fabian Schulz (eds.): East and West 400-600 AD. Communication, cooperation and conflict. Stuttgart 2016, pp. 239–262.
- The most comprehensive presentation based on current research is provided by Mischa Meier : Geschichte der Völkerwanderung. Europe, Asia and Africa from the 3rd to the 8th centuries. Munich 2019. Also see Guy Halsall: Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West, 376-568. Cambridge 2007; Walter Pohl : The Great Migration. 2nd edition, Stuttgart a. a. 2005; Peter J. Heather : Empires and Barbarians: Migration, Development and the Birth of Europe. London 2009; Verena Postel : The origins of Europe. Migration and Integration in the Early Middle Ages. Stuttgart 2004; Herwig Wolfram : The Roman Empire and its Germanic Peoples: A narrative of origin and arrival. Vienna / Cologne / Weimar 2018. The exhibition catalog Rome and the Barbarians is richly illustrated and equipped with numerous (brief) specialist articles . Europe at the time of the Great Migration. Munich 2008.
- See Henning Börm : Westrom. From Honorius to Justinian. Stuttgart 2013 (2nd edition 2018).
- Cf. with further literature: Gerd Kampers: Geschichte der Westgoten . Paderborn 2008; Roger Collins: Visigothic Spain 409-711. Oxford 2004.
- summary Peter J. Heather: Why Did the Barbarian Cross the Rhine? In: Journal of Late Antiquity 2, 2009, pp. 3-29. Occasionally, a date of 405/06 is also suggested, but this raises additional problems.
- Reinhold Kaiser: The Burgundy. Stuttgart u. a. 2004.
- Helmut Castritius : The Vandals. Stuttgart et al. 2007; Andy Merrills, Richard Miles: The Vandals. Oxford / Malden, MA 2010; Roland Steinacher: The vandals. The rise and fall of a barbarian empire. Stuttgart 2016; Konrad Vössing : The Kingdom of the Vandals. Darmstadt 2014.
- See generally Herwig Wolfram : Die Goten. 4th edition, Munich 2001.
- On Attila cf. (each with further literature) Michael Maas (Ed.): The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Attila. Cambridge 2014; Klaus Rosen : Attila. The horror of the world. Munich 2016; Timo Stickler : The Huns. Munich 2007.
- On the history of the late antique Alpine and Danube regions cf. also Roland Steinacher: Rome and the barbarians. Peoples in the Alpine and Danube region (300–600). Stuttgart 2017.
- For the process of the dissolution of the Western Roman Empire see Henning Börm: Westrom. From Honorius to Justinian . Stuttgart 2018; Peter J. Heather : The Fall of the Roman Empire. London u. a. 2005; Dirk Henning: Periclitans res Publica. Empire and elites in the crisis of the Western Roman Empire 454 / 5–493. Stuttgart 1999.
- Roland Steinacher: Migration of the Barbarians? On the origin and meaning of the epoch term 'migration of peoples' up to the 19th century. In: Felix Wiedemann, Kerstin P. Hofmann, Hans-Joachim Gehrke (eds.): From the wandering of the peoples. Migration narratives in ancient studies. Berlin 2017, pp. 67–95.
- Michael Kulikowski: Barbaric Identity. Current research and new interpretive approaches. In: Michaela Konrad, Christian Witschel (eds.): Roman legionary camps in the Rhine and Danube provinces - nuclei of late antiquity and early medieval life? Munich 2011, pp. 103–111.
- On this process of change see for example Thomas FX Noble (Ed.): From Roman Provinces to Medieval Kingdoms . London / New York 2006. For the development after 476, see also Peter J. Heather: The Restoration of Rome: Barbarian Popes and Imperial Pretenders. London 2013.
- Friedrich Prinz: From Constantine to Charlemagne. Düsseldorf / Zurich 2000, p. 251 ff.
- Current overview by Michael Bonner: The Last Empire of Iran. Piscataway 2020. For mutual relationships, see Henning Börm : Prokop and the Persians. Investigations into the Roman-Sasanid contacts in late antiquity. Stuttgart 2007; Matthew P. Canepa: The Two Eyes of the Earth. Art and Ritual of Kingship between Rome and Sasanian Iran. Berkeley 2009; Engelbert Winter , Beate Dignas: Rome and the Persian Empire. Two world powers between confrontation and coexistence. Berlin 2001.
- For Justinian see now Hartmut Leppin : Justinian. The Christian experiment . Stuttgart 2011; Michael Maas (Ed.): The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Justinian . Cambridge 2005. See also Peter Heather: Rome Resurgent. War and Empire in the Age of Justinian. Oxford 2018.
- Geoffrey B. Greatrex , Samuel NC Lieu: The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars. Part II AD 363-630. A narrative sourcebook . London / New York 2002, p. 142 ff.
- Geoffrey B. Greatrex, Samuel NC Lieu: The Roman Eastern Frontier and the Persian Wars. Part II AD 363-630. A narrative sourcebook . London / New York 2002, p. 182 ff. See also James Howard-Johnston : Witnesses to a World Crisis. Historians and Histories of the Middle East in the Seventh Century . Oxford 2010; Peter Sarris: Empires of Faith . Oxford 2011, p. 242 ff.
- On Herakleios see Walter E. Kaegi: Heraclius - Emperor of Byzantium . Cambridge 2003; Gerrit Jan Reinink, Bernard H. Stolte (eds.): The Reign of Heraclius (610-641). Crisis and Confrontation . Leuven 2002.
- The dating 638 seems more sensible than the older one (636 or 637); see. James Howard-Johnston: Witnesses to a World Crisis . Oxford 2010, p. 116 f.
- Generally see with further literature Hugh Kennedy: The Great Arab Conquests . Philadelphia 2007. See also James Howard-Johnston: Witnesses to a World Crisis . Oxford 2010.
- Ekkehard Eickhoff : Sea War and Sea Politics between Islam and the West. Berlin 1966.
- Marek Jankowiak: The first Arab siege of Constantinople. In: Travaux et Mémoires du Center de Recherche d'Histoire et Civilization de Byzance. Vol. 17. Paris 2013, pp. 237-320.
- James Howard-Johnston: Witnesses to a World Crisis . Oxford 2010, p. 226 f.
- Franz Georg Maier : The Metamorphosis of the Mediterranean World still offers a good overview of the development from the 6th to the early 8th century . Frankfurt am Main 1968, p. 172 ff. See also Ernst Pitz : The Greco-Roman Ecumenism and the Three Cultures of the Middle Ages . Berlin 2001, p. 305 ff. Current overview, for example at: Roger Collins: Early Medieval Europe 300–1000. 3rd edition, Basingstoke et al. 2010, pp. 114 ff .; Reinhold Kaiser: The Mediterranean World and Europe in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Frankfurt am Main 2014; Peter Sarris: Empires of Faith . Oxford 2011, p. 125 ff .; Chris Wickham: The Inheritance of Rome . London 2009, pp. 111-202 and pp. 255-297.
- See James Howard-Johnston: Witnesses to a World Crisis. Historians and Histories of the Middle East in the Seventh Century. Oxford 2010, p. 488ff.
- Basically John Haldon: Byzantium in the Seventh Century. The Transformation of a Culture . 2nd edition, Cambridge 1997. See also John F. Haldon: The Empire That Would Not Die. The Paradox of Eastern Roman Survival, 640-740. Cambridge (Massachusetts) 2016; Mischa Meier : Eastern Byzantium, Late Antiquity-Middle Ages. Reflections on the “end” of antiquity in the east of the Roman Empire. In: Millennium 9, 2012, pp. 187-253.
- General overview up to the early Carolingians in Friedrich Prinz: European foundations of German history (4th – 8th centuries). Gebhardt. Handbook of German History. Vol. 1. 10. completely revised edition. Stuttgart 2004, p. 147–616, here: p. 286 ff. For Franconian early history see Ulrich Nonn: Die Franken . Stuttgart 2010 and Erich Zöllner : History of the Franks up to the middle of the sixth century . Munich 1970. See also the various articles in Alfried Wieczorek, Patrick Périn, Karin von Welck, Wilfried Menghin (eds.): Die Franken. Pioneer of Europe. 5th to 8th centuries. 2 volumes. Mainz 1996 (1997).
- Eugen Ewig: The Merovingians and the Franconian Empire . 5th edition, Stuttgart 2006; Ian N. Wood: The Merovingian Kingdoms . London 1994; Sebastian Scholz : The Merovingians. Stuttgart 2015. See also the articles in Stefan Esders u. a. (Ed.): The Merovingian Kingdoms and the Mediterranean World. Revisiting the Sources. London u. a. 2019; Stefan Esders u. a. (Ed.): East and West in the Early Middle Ages. The Merovingian Kingdoms in Mediterranean Perspective. Cambridge 2019.
- good current overview from Matthias Becher : Clovis I. The Rise of the Merovingians and the End of the Ancient World . Munich 2011; Mischa Meier , Steffen Patzold (Ed.): Chlodwigs Welt. Organization of rule around 500th Stuttgart 2014.
- For the following see Eugen Ewig: The Merovingians and the Franconian Empire . 5th edition, Stuttgart 2006, p. 31ff .; Ian N. Wood: The Merovingian Kingdoms . London 1994, pp. 88ff .; Sebastian Scholz: The Merovingians. Stuttgart 2015, p. 35ff.
- See also Karl Friedrich Stroheker : The senatorial nobility in late antique Gaul. Tübingen 1948 (ND Darmstadt 1970).
- See Andrew Gillett: Telling Off Justinian: Theudebert I, the Epistolae Austrasicae, and Communication Strategies in Sixth-Century Merovingian – Byzantine Relations. In: Early Medieval Europe . Volume 27, 2019, pp. 161-194.
- Gerhard Dilcher, Eva-Marie Distler (ed.): Leges - Gentes - Regna: On the role of Germanic legal habits and Latin writing tradition in the development of the early medieval legal culture. Berlin 2006.
- On regional centrifugal forces, cf. Patrick J. Geary: The Merovingians: Europe before Charlemagne. Munich 2003, p. 157 ff.
- On Dagobert's reign see Sebastian Scholz: The Merowinger. Stuttgart 2015, p. 204 ff.
- Annales regni Francorum , anno 749; Einhard: Vita Karoli Magni. cap. 1 f.
- So z. B. Johannes Fried: The Middle Ages. History and culture . Munich 2008, p. 53.
- At this time see introductory Andreas Fischer: Karl Martell. The beginning of Carolingian rule. Stuttgart 2012.
- On these see John Hines, Nelleke IJssennager (ed.): Frisians and their North Sea Neighbors. From the Fifth Century to the Viking Age. Woodbridge 2017.
- For the time from Pippin the Younger see Pierre Riché : Die Karolinger. One family makes Europe. Stuttgart 1987, p. 87 ff .; Rudolf Schieffer: The Carolingians . 4th edition, Stuttgart 2006, p. 50 ff. In general, see also Jörg W. Busch: Die Herrschaft der Karolinger 714–911. Munich 2011; Rudolf Schieffer: The time of the Carolingian empire (714-887). Stuttgart 2005.
- See introductory Johannes Fried: Karl der Grosse. Munich 2013; Dieter Hägermann : Charlemagne. Ruler of the west . Berlin 2000; Wilfried Hartmann : Charlemagne . Stuttgart 2010; Rosamond McKitterick : Charlemagne. The Formation of a European Identity . Cambridge 2008 (German Charlemagne , Darmstadt 2008); Stefan Weinfurter : Charlemagne. The holy barbarian. Munich 2013.
- Current overview from Matthias Becher: The empire of Charlemagne between reconsideration and innovation. In: Hartmut Leppin, Bernd Schneidmüller , Stefan Weinfurter (eds.): Empire in the first millennium. Regensburg 2012, pp. 251-270. Cf. also Jörg W. Busch: The Lords of the Carolingians 714-911. Munich 2011, p. 79 ff.
- Egon Boshof : Ludwig the Pious . Darmstadt 1996; Mayke de Jong: The Penitential State. Authority and Atonement in the Age of Louis the Pious, 814-840 . Cambridge 2009.
- Egon Boshof: Ludwig the Pious . Darmstadt 1996, p. 108 ff.
- See for example Johannes Fried: The way in the story. The origins of Germany up to 1024. Berlin 1994, p. 366 ff .; Pierre Riché: The Carolingians. One family makes Europe. Stuttgart 1987, pp. 195 ff .; Rudolf Schieffer: The time of the Carolingian empire (714-887). Stuttgart 2005, p. 136 ff .; Rudolf Schieffer: The Carolingians. 4th edition, Stuttgart 2006, p. 139 ff.
- On the rebellion against Ludwig see Egon Boshof: Ludwig der Fromme . Darmstadt 1996, p. 182 ff.
- On Ludwig see Eric J. Goldberg: Struggle for Empire. Kingship and Conflict under Louis the German. 817-876 . Ithaca 2006; Wilfried Hartmann: Ludwig the German . Darmstadt 2002.
- At this time see also Carlrichard Brühl : The birth of two peoples. Germans and French (9th-11th centuries) . Cologne et al. 2001, p. 115 ff. Carlrichard Brühl: Germany - France is much more detailed on the development of the two Franconian sub-kingdoms after 843 . The birth of two peoples . 2nd edition, Cologne / Vienna 1995.
- Cf. Carlrichard Brühl: The birth of two peoples. Cologne et al. 2001, p. 69 ff.
- See Simon MacLean, Kingship and Politics in the Late Ninth Century: Charles the Fat and the End of the Carolingian Empire . Cambridge 2003, especially p. 123 ff.
- On Arnolf see Franz Fuchs, Peter Schmid (ed.): Kaiser Arnolf. The East Franconian Empire at the end of the 9th century . Munich 2002.
- For the following in general see Gerd Althoff: Die Ottonen. Royal rule without a state . 2nd edition, Stuttgart et al. 2005; Helmut Beumann : The Ottonians . 5th edition Stuttgart u. a. 2000; Gerd Althoff, Hagen Keller: Late Antiquity to the End of the Middle Ages. The time of the late Carolingians and Ottonians. Crises and Consolidations 888–1024. Stuttgart 2008.
- On the classification of Ottonian history in general Hagen Keller, Gerd Althoff: The time of the late Carolingians and the Ottonians . Stuttgart 2008, p. 18 ff.
- For the different research approaches see Joachim Ehlers: The emergence of the German Empire . 4th edition, Munich 2012; see. generally also Johannes Fried: The way into history . Berlin 1994, especially p. 9 ff. And p. 853 ff. Carlrichard Brühl is fundamental: Germany - France. The birth of two peoples . 2nd edition Cologne / Vienna 1995.
- general on Heinrich's reign, see now Wolfgang Giese : Heinrich I. Founder of Ottonian rule . Darmstadt 2008.
- Gerd Althoff: Amicitiae and pacta. Alliance, unification, politics and prayer commemoration in the early 10th century. Hanover 1992.
- In addition to the general literature on the Ottonians mentioned, see Matthias Becher: Otto der Große. Emperor and Empire . Munich 2012; Johannes Laudage : Otto the Great (912–973). A biography . Regensburg 2001.
- Johannes Laudage: Otto the Great . Regensburg 2001, p. 110 ff.
- On this aspect, see Hartmut Leppin , Bernd Schneidmüller , Stefan Weinfurter (eds.): Kaisertum in the first millennium. Regensburg 2012.
- Hagen Keller: The "legacy" of Otto the Great . In: Frühmittelalterliche Studien 41, 2007, pp. 43–72, especially pp. 62 ff.
- See in summary Hagen Keller, Gerd Althoff: The time of the late Carolingians and the Ottonians. Stuttgart 2008, p. 239 ff.
- General overview in Hagen Keller, Gerd Althoff: The time of the late Carolingians and the Ottonians . Stuttgart 2008, p. 273 ff. See also Gerd Althoff: Otto III. Darmstadt 1997; Ekkehard Eickhoff : Theophanu and the King. Otto III. and his world. Stuttgart 1996; Ekkehard Eickhoff: Emperor Otto III. The first millennium and the development of Europe. 2nd edition, Stuttgart 2000.
- Gerd Althoff: Otto III. Darmstadt 1997, p. 100 ff.
- Cf. for example Hagen Keller, Gerd Althoff: The time of the late Carolingians and the Ottonians . Stuttgart 2008, p. 292 ff. (With further evidence); Knut Görich: Otto III. Romanus Saxonicus et Italicus: Imperial Rome politics and Saxon historiography. Sigmaringen 1995, p. 267 ff.
- Cf. Ekkehard Eickhoff: Kaiser Otto III. The first millennium and the development of Europe. 2nd edition Stuttgart 2000, pp. 271-273.
- Stefan Weinfurter: Heinrich II. (1002-1024). Rulers at the end of time. 3rd edition, Regensburg 2002.
- Knut Görich: A turning point in the east: Heinrich II. And Boleslaw Chrobry . In: Bernd Schneidmüller, Stefan Weinfurter (Ed.): Otto III. - Heinrich II. A turning point? . Sigmaringen 1997, pp. 95-167.
- Johannes Fried: The way into history. Berlin 1994, p. 630 f.
- general on the history of France at this time, see Bernd Schneidmüller: The emergence of France. In: Ernst Hinrichs (Ed.): History of France. Stuttgart 2014, p. 13 ff .; Jean Dunbabin: West Francia: The Kingdom. In: Timothy Reuter (Ed.): The New Cambridge Medieval History. Volume 3. Cambridge 1999, p. 372 ff .; Rolf Große: From the Franconian Empire to the origins of the nation states 800 to 1214. Darmstadt 2005 (each with further literature).
- Joachim Ehlers: History of France in the Middle Ages. Stuttgart et al. 1987; Joachim Ehlers: The Capetians. Stuttgart et al. 2000.
- Constance Brittain Bouchard: Burgundy and Provence. In: Timothy Reuter (Ed.): The New Cambridge Medieval History. Volume 3. Cambridge 1999, p. 328 ff.
- Carlrichard Brühl: Germany - France. The birth of two peoples . 2nd edition, Cologne / Vienna 1995, p. 454 ff.
- On Theoderich see now up-to-date and in detail Hans-Ulrich Wiemer : Theoderich der Große. King of the Goths, ruler of the Romans. Munich 2018. Cf. also Frank M. Anbüttel: Theoderich der Große. Darmstadt 2004; Wilhelm Enßlin : Theodoric the Great. 2nd Edition. Munich 1959. For the sources and their evaluation see Andreas Goltz: Barbar - König - Tyrann. The image of Theodoric the Great in tradition from the 5th to 9th centuries. Berlin / New York 2008.
- Marco Aimone this question: Romani e Ostrogoti fra integrazione e separazione. Il contributo dell'archeologia a un dibattito storiografico . In: Reti Medievali Rivista 13, 2012, pp. 1-66, for the first time based on archaeological research.
- General overview of the history of Italy in the Middle Ages with further literature from Elke Goez : History of Italy in the Middle Ages . Darmstadt 2010. On the Lombards see, among others, Roger Collins: Early Medieval Europe 300–1000. 3rd ed., Basingstoke et al. a. 2010, p. 198 ff .; Peter Erhart, Walter Pohl (ed.): The Longobards: Rule and identity . Vienna 2005; Wilfried Menghin : The Lombards . Stuttgart 1985. On early medieval Italy see, among others: Cristina La Rocca (Ed.): Italy in the Early Middle Ages: 476–1000. Oxford 2002; Chris Wickham: Early Medieval Italy. Central Power and Local Society 400-1000 . London / Basingstoke 1981; Giovanni Tabacco: Sperimentazioni del potere nell'alto medioevo . Turin 1993.
- On this process see Chris Wickham: Early Medieval Italy . London / Basingstoke 1981, p. 174 ff.
- Elke Goez: History of Italy in the Middle Ages . Darmstadt 2010, p. 76 f.
- Elke Goez: History of Italy in the Middle Ages . Darmstadt 2010, p. 71 f.
- Elke Goez: History of Italy in the Middle Ages . Darmstadt 2010, p. 91 ff.
- general on the Visigothic Empire from the 6th century, see Gerd Kampers: History of the Visigoths . Paderborn 2008, pp. 140 ff .; Roger Collins: Visigothic Spain 409-711 . Oxford 2004, p. 38 ff. Cf. also Manuel Koch: Ethnic Identity in the Development Process of the Spanish Visigoth Empire . Berlin / Boston 2012.
- Gerd Kampers: History of the Visigoths. Paderborn 2008, p. 173 ff.
- Gerd Kampers: History of the Visigoths . Paderborn 2008, p. 188 ff.
- Gerd Kampers: History of the Visigoths . Paderborn 2008, p. 222 ff.
- Especially on Spain in the early Middle Ages, see Roger Collins: Caliphs and Kings: Spain, 796-1031. Chichester et al. a. 2012. General overview, for example from Klaus Herbers : History of Spain in the Middle Ages . Stuttgart 2006; Ludwig Vones : History of the Iberian Peninsula in the Middle Ages (711-1480) . Sigmaringen 1993 (each with further literature).
- Nikolaus Jaspert: The Reconquista. Munich 2019.
- On Islamic Spain cf. currently about Brian A. Catlos: Kingdoms of Faith. A New History of Islamic Spain. New York 2018.
- Roger Collins: Caliphs and Kings: Spain, 796-1031. Chichester et al. a. 2012, p. 50 ff. And p. 138 ff.
- To the Christian empires summarizing Klaus Herbers: History of Spain in the Middle Ages . Stuttgart 2006, p. 102 ff.
- See Darío Fernández-Morera: The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise . In: The Intercollegiate Review 41, 2006, pp. 23-31.
- For a summary of the situation of Christians in Islamic Spain, see Roger Collins: Caliphs and Kings: Spain, 796-1031. Chichester et al. a. 2012, pp. 83-103.
- Cf. in summary Evangelos Chrysos: The Roman rule in Britain and its end. In: Bonner Jahrbücher 191 (1991), pp. 247-276.
- See Peter Salway: A History of Roman Britain. Oxford 2001, p. 323ff.
- See David Dumville: Sub-Roman Britain: History and Legend. In: History 62, 1977, pp. 173-192. For general information on the Anglo-Saxons, see: Michael Lapidge, John Blair, Simon Keynes, Donald Scragg (Eds.): The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England. 2nd edition Chichester 2014; James Campbell (Ed.): The Anglo-Saxons . Oxford 1982 (several NDe); Roger Collins: Early Medieval Europe 300-1000. 3rd ed., Basingstoke et al. a. 2010, p. 173ff .; Nicholas J. Higham, Martin J. Ryan: The Anglo-Saxon World. New Haven 2013 [quite comprehensive current overview]; Harald Kleinschmidt: The Anglo-Saxons . Munich 2011 [brief introduction]; Henrietta Leyser: A Short History of the Anglo-Saxons. London / New York 2017 [current introduction]. Frank M. Stenton: Anglo-Saxon England . 3rd edition Oxford 1971 [important older, but partly outdated representation].
- Nicholas J. Higham, Martin J. Ryan: The Anglo-Saxon World. New Haven 2013, pp. 103ff.
- Roger Collins: Early Medieval Europe 300-1000. 3rd ed., Basingstoke et al. a. 2010, p. 176.
- Current overview in Nicholas J. Higham, Martin J. Ryan: The Anglo-Saxon World. New Haven 2013, p. 126 ff.
- Roger Collins: Early Medieval Europe 300-1000 . 3rd ed., Basingstoke et al. a. 2010, p. 177.
- Peter Sarris: Empires of Faith . Oxford 2011, pp. 361f.
- See Nicholas J. Higham, Martin J. Ryan: The Anglo-Saxon World. New Haven 2013, pp. 179ff .; Henrietta Leyser: A Short History of the Anglo-Saxons. London / New York 2017, pp. 71ff.
- General overview in Simon Keynes: England, 700–900 . In: Rosamond McKitterick (Ed.): New Cambridge Medieval History . Volume 2. Cambridge 1995, pp. 18-42; Barbara Yorke: Kings and Kingdoms of early Anglo-Saxon England . London / New York 1990.
- For the history of Wessex during this period, see Barbara Yorke: Wessex in the Early Middle Ages. London / New York 1995, p. 94 ff.
- James Campbell (Ed.): The Anglo-Saxons . Oxford 1982, p. 61.
- Current overview in Nicholas J. Higham, Martin J. Ryan: The Anglo-Saxon World. New Haven 2013, p. 232ff. and with Henrietta Leyser: A Short History of the Anglo-Saxons. London / New York 2017, pp. 93ff. See also James Campbell (ed.): The Anglo-Saxons . Oxford 1982, pp. 132ff .; Roger Collins: Early Medieval Europe 300-1000. 3rd ed., Basingstoke et al. a. 2010, p. 359 ff.
- Richard Abels: Alfred the Great . London 1998.
- See James Campbell (Ed.): The Anglo-Saxons . Oxford et al. a. 1982, p. 192 ff.
- Timothy Bolton: Cnut the Great. New Haven 2017.
- Jörg Peltzer : 1066. The fight for England's crown. Munich 2016.
- Comprehensive description by Alex Woolf: From Pictland to Alba 789-1070 . Edinburgh 2007. For a summary, see Andrew DM Barrell: Medieval Scotland . Cambridge 2000, pp. 1-15.
- Dáibhí Ó Cróinín (Ed.): A New History of Ireland provides a comprehensive account of the history of Ireland up to the 12th century . Volume 1. Oxford et al. a. 2005. Also see Clare Downham: Medieval Ireland. Cambridge 2018; Seán Duffy (Ed.): Medieval Ireland: An Encyclopedia. London / New York 2005; Michael Richter: Ireland in the Middle Ages. Münster u. a. 2003 (ND).
- Alheydis Plassmann : Origo gentis. Establishing identity and legitimacy in early and high medieval narratives of origin . Berlin 2006.
- introduction see Lotte Hedeager: Scandinavia . In: Paul Fouracre (Ed.): New Cambridge Medieval History . Volume 1. Cambridge 2005, pp. 496-523; Bjørn Myhre: The Iron Age . In: Knut Helle (Ed.): The Cambridge History of Scandinavia . Volume 1. Cambridge 2003, pp. 60–93, here p. 83 ff.
- Cf. Carsten Jahnke: History of Denmark. Ditzingen 2017, p. 29f.
- introduction see for example Robert Ferguson: The Hammer and the Cross. A New History of the Vikings. London 2009; Gwyn Jones : A History of the Vikings. 2nd edition Oxford 1984 (several NDs); F. Donald Logan: The Vikings in History. 2nd edition, London / New York 1991; Birgit Sawyer, Peter Sawyer: The world of the Vikings. The Germans and the European Middle Ages. Berlin 2002; Peter Sawyer (Ed.): The Vikings. History and culture of a seafaring people . Stuttgart 2000 (several NDe); Not so Winroth: The Age of the Vikings. Princeton 2014.
- Wladyslaw Duczko: Viking Rus. Studies on the Presence of Scandinavians in Eastern Europe. Leiden / Boston 2004.
- Overview in Niels Lund: Scandinavia, c. 700-1066 . In: Rosamond McKitterick (Ed.): New Cambridge Medieval History . Volume 2. Cambridge 1995, pp. 202-227; Birgit Sawyer, Peter Sawyer: The world of the Vikings . Berlin 2002.
- For the history of the Swedish kings in the Middle Ages, cf. about Jörg-Peter Findeisen : The Swedish Monarchy. Volume 1. Kiel 2010, p. 61ff.
- Niels Lund: Scandinavia, c. 700-1066 . In: Rosamond McKitterick (Ed.): New Cambridge Medieval History . Volume 2. Cambridge 1995, here p. 220.
- Birgit Sawyer, Peter Sawyer: Die Welt der Wikinger . Berlin 2002, p. 186 f.
- On Knut, see Timothy Bolton: Cnut the Great. New Haven 2017.
- Niels Lund: Scandinavia, c. 700-1066 . In: Rosamond McKitterick (Ed.): New Cambridge Medieval History . Volume 2. Cambridge 1995, here p. 226.
- Birgit Sawyer, Peter Sawyer: Die Welt der Wikinger . Berlin 2002, p. 78.
- Birgit Sawyer, Peter Sawyer: Die Welt der Wikinger . Berlin 2002, p. 120 ff.
- Carsten Jahnke: History of Denmark. Ditzingen 2017, p. 28ff.
- Birgit Sawyer, Peter Sawyer: Die Welt der Wikinger . Berlin 2002, p. 171 ff.
- Timothy Bolton: Cnut the Great. New Haven 2017. See also Timothy Bolton: The Empire of Cnut the Great . Leiden 2009, p. 9 ff.
- Timothy Bolton: The Empire of Cnut the Great . Leiden 2009, p. 155 f.
- Fritz Mitthof, Peter Schreiner, Oliver Jens Schmitt (eds.): Handbuch zur Geschichte Südosteuropas is now fundamental . Volume 1: Rule and Politics in Southeast Europe from Roman Antiquity to 1300. de Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2019. See also the online handbook on the history of Southeast Europe . For more information on the period covered, see Florin Curta: Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages (500–1300). Leiden / Boston 2019; Florin Curta: The Making of the Slavs. History and Archeology of the Lower Danube Region, c . 500-700 . Cambridge 2001; Florin Curta: Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1250 . Cambridge 2006; Christian Lübke: Eastern Europe. The Germans and the European Middle Ages . Munich 2004. See also Florin Curta: The Beginning of the Middle Ages in the Balkans. In: Millennium . Yearbook on culture and history of the first millennium AD 10, 2013, pp. 145ff.
- Overview with documents in Florin Curta: The Making of the Slavs . Cambridge 2001, p. 335 ff .; Florin Curta: Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1250 . Cambridge 2006, p. 56 ff. Curta questions the older thesis of a Slavic “original home”; a Slavic identity developed later. Cf. also the brief overview in Eduard Mühle : The Slavs in the Middle Ages. Berlin / Boston 2016.
- Florin Curta: The Making of the Slavs . Cambridge 2001, p. 36 ff .; Christian Lübke: Eastern Europe . Munich 2004, pp. 42–46.
- On Justinian's Balkan policy see now Alexander Sarantis: Justinian's Balkan Wars. Campaigning, Diplomacy and Development in Illyricum, Thace and the Northern World AD 527-65. Prenton 2016.
- On the Avars see above all Walter Pohl: The Avars . 2nd Edition. Munich 2002.
- Florin Curta: The Making of the Slavs . Cambridge 2001, p. 120 ff.
- Cf. Florin Curta: Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500-1250 . Cambridge 2006, p. 70 ff.
- Current overview of the Bulgarian empire formation with Daniel Ziemann: From Wandering People to Great Power. The emergence of Bulgaria in the early Middle Ages. Cologne u. a. 2007, p. 180 ff.
- Christian Lübke: Eastern Europe . Munich 2004, p. 47 ff.
- Walter Pohl: The Avars. 2nd edition, Munich 2002, p. 256 ff.
- Simon Franklin, Jonathan Shepard: The Emergence of the Rus 750-1200 . London / New York 1996.
- Christian Lübke: Eastern Europe . Munich 2004, p. 123 ff. On medieval Hungary see the overview in Pál Engel: The Realm of St Stephen. A History of Medieval Hungary, 895-1526. London / New York 2001.
- Christian Lübke: Eastern Europe . Munich 2004, p. 52 ff.
- On the history and culture of “Central Europe” around 1000, including the Slavic world and Hungary, see introductory Alfried Wieczorek, Hans-Martin Hinz (Ed.): Europe center around 1000 . 3 vol., Stuttgart 2000. See also Joachim Herrmann (Ed.): The Slavs in Germany. Berlin 1985.
- Eduard Mühle: The Piasts. Poland in the Middle Ages. Munich 2011.
- For a summary of the (controversial) origin of the topics, see John Haldon: Military Service, Military Lands, and the Status of Soldiers. Current Problems and Interpretations . In: Dumbarton Oaks Papers 47, 1993, pp. 1-67.
- On the so-called Middle Byzantine period see, in addition to the various general manuals, especially Leslie Brubaker, John F. Haldon: Byzantium in the Iconoclast era. c. 680-850. A history . Cambridge et al. 2011; Michael J. Decker: The Byzantine Dark Ages. London / New York 2016; John F. Haldon: The Empire That Would Not Die. The Paradox of Eastern Roman Survival, 640-740. Cambridge (Massachusetts) 2016; John F. Haldon: Byzantium in the Seventh Century . 2nd edition Cambridge 1997; Mark Whittow: The Making of Byzantium, 600-1025 . Berkeley 1996. Cf. also generally Falko Daim (Ed.): Byzanz. Historical and cultural studies manual (Der Neue Pauly, Supplements, Vol. 11). Stuttgart 2016. The prosopography of the Middle Byzantine period is also important .
- Ralph-Johannes Lilie: The Byzantine reaction to the expansion of the Arabs. Studies on the structural change of the Byzantine state in the 7th and 8th centuries . Munich 1976. For diplomatic contacts up to the middle of the 8th century see Andreas Kaplony: Konstantinopel und Damascus. Embassies and treaties between emperors and caliphs 639-750. Berlin 1996 ( Menadoc Library, University and State Library Saxony-Anhalt, Halle ).
- On the Slavs in Greece see (with some new interpretations) Florin Curta: Still waiting for the barbarians? The making of the Slavs in "Dark-Age" Greece . In: Florin Curta (Ed.): Neglected Barbarians . Turnhout 2010, pp. 403-478. See also Florin Curta: The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, c. 500 to 1050. The Early Middle Ages. Edinburgh 2011, pp. 97ff.
- Peter Benjamin Golden a. a. (Ed.): The World of the Khazars. New Perspectives. Leiden / Boston 2007.
- Ilse Rochow: Emperor Konstantin V (741–775). Materials on his life and afterlife . Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1994, p. 73 ff.
- See especially Leslie Brubaker: Inventing Byzantine Iconoclasm . London 2012; Leslie Brubaker, John F. Haldon: Byzantium in the Iconoclast era, ca 680-850. A history. Cambridge 2011.
- On Basil, see especially Catherine Holmes: Basil II and the Governance of Empire, 976-1025 . Oxford 2005.
- Josef Matuz : The Ottoman Empire. Baseline of its history. 7th edition. Darmstadt 2012, p. 14ff.
- General overview of the following by Ulrich Haarmann (Ed.): History of the Arab World . 4th revised and expanded edition Munich 2001; Hugh Kennedy: The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates . 2nd edition Harlow et al. 2004; Chase F. Robinson (Ed.): The New Cambridge History of Islam. Volume 1. Cambridge et al. a. 2010. See also the general article in the Encyclopaedia of Islam (2nd edition).
- On Mohammed see in detail Tilman Nagel : Mohammed. Life and legend . Munich 2008; Tilmann Nagel: Allah's Favorite: Origin and manifestations of the belief in Mohammed. Munich 2008. For historical development see also Lutz Berger: The emergence of Islam. The first hundred years. Munich 2016; Fred M. Donner: Muhammad and the Believers. At the Origins of Islam. Cambridge MA et al. a. 2010 (with partly new interpretations). Introductory cf. Hartmut Bobzin : Mohammed. 5th edition Munich 2016 and the article Muhammad in: Oxford Islamic Studies Online .
- On the current state of research cf. Tilman Nagel: Mohammed. Life and legend . Munich 2008, p. 835 ff.
- See for example Fred M. Donner: Muhammad and the Believers. At the Origins of Islam. Cambridge MA et al. a. 2010 (according to which Mohammed originally stood up for a monotheistic “ecumenical movement” to which Christians and Jews could also belong, and Islam in its current form did not develop until the Umayyad period; summarizing ibid., P. 194 ff.); Robert G. Hoyland : New Documentary Texts and the Early Islamic State. In: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. Volume 69, 2006, pp. 395-416; Robert G. Hoyland: The Identity of the Arabian Conquerors of the Seventh-Century Middle East. In: Al-ʿUṣūr al-Wusṭā 25, 2017, pp. 113–140.
- Glen Bowersock : The Cradle of Islam. Mohammed, the Koran and the ancient cultures. Munich 2019.
- Extensive overview in Chase F. Robinson (Ed.): The New Cambridge History of Islam . Volume 1. Cambridge et al. a. 2010. See also Aziz Al-Azmeh: The Emergence of Islam in Late Antiquity. Allah and His People. Cambridge 2014; Lutz Berger: The Origin of Islam. The first hundred years. Munich 2016.
- Tilman Nagel: Mohammed. Life and legend . Munich 2008, p. 180 ff.
- Tilman Nagel: Mohammed. Life and legend. Munich 2008, p. 352 ff.
- Rudi Paret : The Islamic World Empire . In: Historische Zeitschrift 187, 1959, pp. 521-539.
- See Wilferd Madelung: The Succession to Muhammad . Cambridge 1997.
- For details on Islamic expansion see Fred M. Donner: The Early Islamic Conquests . Princeton 1981; Robert G. Hoyland : In God's Path. The Arab Conquests and the Creation of an Islamic Empire. Oxford 2015; Walter E. Kaegi: Byzantium and the Early Islamic Conquests. Cambridge 1992; Hugh Kennedy: The Great Arab Conquests . Philadelphia 2007. See also Lutz Berger: The emergence of Islam. The first hundred years. Munich 2016, pp. 141ff.
- James Howard-Johnston: Witnesses to a World Crisis . Oxford et al. a. 2010.
- On the non-Islamic sources see above all Robert G. Hoyland: Seeing Islam as Others Saw It. A Survey and Evaluation of Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian Writings on Early Islam. Princeton 1997.
- summary, see Lutz Berger: The emergence of Islam. The first hundred years. Munich 2016, pp. 255ff.
- For the case study of Egypt see Petra M. Sijpesteijn: Shaping a Muslim State. The World of a Mid-Eighth-Century Egyptian Official. Oxford 2013.
- Wolfgang Kallfelz: Non-Muslim subjects in Islam. Wiesbaden 1995, p. 46 ff .; Milka Levy-Rubin: Non-Muslims in the Early Islamic Empire: From Surrender to Coexistence. Cambridge 2011, p. 100 ff.
- General on the history of the caliphate until the 11th century: Hugh Kennedy: The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates . 2nd ed. Harlow et al. a. 2004, especially p. 50 ff .; Chase F. Robinson (Ed.): The New Cambridge History of Islam. Volume 1. Cambridge et al. a. 2010 (Part 2, from p. 173 ff.).
- Hugh Kennedy: The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates . 2nd ed. Harlow et al. a. 2004, p. 75 ff .; Wilferd Madelung: The Succession to Muhammad . Cambridge 1997, p. 141 ff.
- GR Hawting: The First Dynasty of Islam: The Umayyad Caliphate . 2nd edition, London / New York 2000; Hugh Kennedy: The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates . 2nd ed., Harlow et al. 2004, p. 82 ff.
- Hugh Kennedy: The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates . 2nd ed., Harlow et al. a. 2004, p. 123 ff .; Hugh Kennedy: When Baghdad ruled the Muslim world. The rise and fall of Islam's greatest dynasty . Cambridge MA 2005; B. Lewis: Abbasids . In: Encyclopaedia of Islam . 2nd ed. Volume 1, pp. 15-23.
- Heinz Halm : The caliphs of Cairo . Munich 2003.
- Detailed comparative overview in Walter Pohl, Veronika Wieser (ed.): The early medieval state - European perspectives . Vienna 2009.
- Chris Wickham: The Inheritance of Rome . London 2009, p. 103 f.
- See in summary Peter Moraw : Herrschaft II. In: Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe . Volume 3, pp. 5-13, especially p. 7 f.
- introduction see Arnold Bühler: Herrschaft im Mittelalter. Ditzingen 2013. For a summary of the following, see Johannes Fried: The formation of Europe 840-1046. 3rd edition, Munich 2008, p. 58 ff .; Hans-Werner Goetz: Europe in the early Middle Ages. 500-1050 . Stuttgart 2003, p. 118 ff. For specific information on Eastern Franconia, see Roman Deutinger : Royal rule in the East Franconian Empire . Ostfildern 2006.
- See Johannes Fried: The formation of Europe 840-1046 . 3rd edition Munich 2008, p. 59 f.
- Johannes Fried: The formation of Europe 840-1046 . 3rd edition Munich 2008, p. 172 f.
- Sharply criticized by Susan Reynolds in her extensive study Fiefs and Vassals: The Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted . Oxford 1994; see. also Susan Reynolds: The Middle Ages Without Feudalism. Essays in Criticism and Comparison on the Medieval West. Farnham 2012. For an introduction see Steffen Patzold: Das Lehnwesen . Munich 2012.
- summary Steffen Patzold: Das Lehnwesen . Munich 2012, p. 25 ff.
- Current introduction to royalty by Andreas Büttner: Royal rule in the Middle Ages. Berlin / Boston 2017. See also Franz-Reiner Erkens (Hrsg.): The early medieval monarchy. Idea and religious foundations. Berlin 2005.
- Stefanie Dick: The myth of the "Germanic" kingship. Studies on the organization of rule among the Germanic barbarians up to the beginning of the migration period. Berlin 2008.
- Andreas Büttner: King's rule in the Middle Ages. Berlin / Boston 2017, p. 39 f.
- Andreas Büttner: King's rule in the Middle Ages. Berlin / Boston 2017, p. 40 f.
- See Johannes Fried: The formation of Europe 840-1046. 3rd edition, Munich 2008, p. 60 f.
- Monika Suchan: The good shepherd. Religion, power and rule in the politics of the Carolingian and Ottonian times . In: Frühmedalterliche Studien 43, 2009, pp. 95–112.
- Cf. Rudolf Schieffer: The historical place of the Ottonian-Salic imperial church politics . Opladen 1998.
- Franz-Reiner Erkens: Rulers' sacredness in the Middle Ages . Stuttgart 2006.
- Johannes Fried: The formation of Europe 840-1046 . 3rd edition Munich 2008, pp. 61–64.
- For the early medieval court from the Migration Period to the Carolingian Period, see Yitzhak Hen: Roman Barbarians. The Royal Court and Culture in the Early Medieval West . New York 2007.
- Hagen Keller, Gerd Althoff: The time of the late Carolingians and the Ottonians . Stuttgart 2008, p. 348 ff.
- Bernd Schneidmüller: Consensual rule. An essay on forms and concepts of political order in the Middle Ages. In: Paul-Joachim Heinig (Ed.): Empire, regions and Europe in the Middle Ages and modern times. Festschrift for Peter Moraw . Berlin 2000, pp. 53-87.
- Gerd Althoff was pioneering: On the importance of symbolic communication for understanding the Middle Ages . In: Frühmittelalterliche Studien 31, 1997, pp. 370–389.
- See introductory Gerd Althoff: Die Macht der Rituale. Symbolism and rule in the Middle Ages . Darmstadt 2003.
- Matthias Becher, Alheydis Plassmann (ed.): Dispute at the court in the early Middle Ages . Göttingen 2011.
- Cf. Gerd Althoff: Compositio. Restoration of injured honor in the context of amicable conflict resolution . In: Klaus Schreiner, Gerd Schwerhoff (ed.): Injured honor. Conflicts of Honor in Medieval and Early Modern Societies . Cologne u. a. 1995, p. 63 ff.
- Geoffrey Koziol: The dangers of polemic: Is ritual still an interesting topic of historical study? In: Early Medieval Europe 11, 2002, pp. 367-388. Sometimes very pointed Peter Dinzelbacher : Why is the king crying: A critique of medievalist pan ritualism . Badenweiler 2009.
- Hartmut Leppin, Bernd Schneidmüller, Stefan Weinfurter (eds.): Empire in the first millennium . Regensburg 2012.
- Johannes Fried: The formation of Europe 840-1046 . 3rd edition, Munich 2008, p. 190.
- Johannes Preiser-Kapeller: Beyond Rome and Charlemagne. Aspects of global interdependence in late antiquity, 300–800 AD Vienna 2018, p. 8f.
- Johannes Preiser-Kapeller: Beyond Rome and Charlemagne. Aspects of global interdependence in late antiquity, 300–800 AD Vienna 2018, pp. 9–11.
- Ralph-Johannes Lilie: Introduction to Byzantine History . Stuttgart u. a. 2007, p. 132 ff.
- Martin Forstner: Kalif, Kalifat . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages . Volume 5 (1991), Col. 868 f. On the caliphate in general, see Patricia Crone , Martin Hinds: God's Caliph. Religious Authority in the First Centuries of Islam . Cambridge 1986.
- To summarize the following, see Johannes Fried: Die Formierung Europa 840-1046 . 3rd edition Munich 2008, p. 8 ff .; Hans-Werner Goetz: Europe in the early Middle Ages. 500-1050. Stuttgart 2003, p. 160 ff. See also the comprehensive social and economic history study by Chris Wickham ( Framing the Early Middle Ages . Oxford 2005, p. 80 ff.).
- Johannes Fried: The formation of Europe 840-1046. 3rd edition, Munich 2008, p. 18 f.
- See Johannes Fried: The formation of Europe 840-1046. 3rd edition, Munich 2008, p. 17 f.
- Johannes Fried: The formation of Europe 840-1046 . 3rd edition Munich 2008, pp. 21-23.
- See Johannes Fried: The formation of Europe 840-1046 . 3rd edition Munich 2008, p. 20.
- Johannes Fried: The formation of Europe 840-1046 . 3rd edition Munich 2008, p. 31 f.
- summary see Friedrich Prinz: European Foundations of German History (4th – 8th Century). In: Gebhardt, Handbuch der deutschen Geschichte Vol. 1. 10., completely revised edition Stuttgart 2004, pp. 147–616, here: p. 503 ff.
- Friedrich Prinz: From Constantine to Charlemagne . Düsseldorf / Zurich 2000, p. 415 ff.
- See Chris Wickham: Framing the Early Middle Ages . Oxford 2005, p. 533 ff.
- Hans-Werner Goetz: Europe in the early Middle Ages. 500-1050 . Stuttgart 2003, p. 182.
- detail on the role of Mrs. Edith Ennen: Women in the Middle Ages . 6th edition, Munich 1999. On the early Middle Ages, ibid., P. 32 ff. See also Julia Smith: Europe after Rome. Oxford 2005, p. 115 ff.
- Cordula Nolte: Men and women in society in the Middle Ages. Darmstadt 2011, p. 119.
- Cordula Nolte: Men and women in society in the Middle Ages. Darmstadt 2011, p. 120.
- Cordula Nolte: Men and women in society in the Middle Ages. Darmstadt 2011, p. 118.
- Cordula Nolte: Men and women in society in the Middle Ages. Darmstadt 2011, p. 121.
- Cordula Nolte: Men and women in society in the Middle Ages. Darmstadt 2011, p. 123.
- Cordula Nolte: Men and women in society in the Middle Ages. Darmstadt 2011, p. 124.
- Heike Hawicks: Theophanu. In: Amalie Fößel (Ed.): The Empresses of the Middle Ages. Regensburg 2011, pp. 60–77, here p. 64.
- Heike Hawicks: Theophanu. In: Amalie Fößel (Ed.): The Empresses of the Middle Ages. Regensburg 2011, pp. 60–77, here p. 70.
- Johannes Fried: The formation of Europe 840-1046. 3rd edition, Munich 2008, p. 28 f.
- comparative overview of the position of the Jews in the Christian Middle Ages and the early Islamic world in Mark R. Cohen: Under Crescent and Cross. The Jews in the Middle Ages . Princeton 1994.
- Michael Borgolte, Juliane Schiel, Annette Seitz, Bernd Schneidmüller (eds.): Middle Ages in the Laboratory. Medieval Studies tests ways to a transcultural European science. Berlin 2008, p. 446 f.
- summary, Hans-Werner Goetz: Europe in the early Middle Ages. 500-1050 . Stuttgart 2003, pp. 172-174; Friedrich Prinz: From Constantine to Charlemagne . Düsseldorf / Zurich 2000, pp. 377–381.
- Johannes Fried: The formation of Europe 840-1046. 3. Edition. Munich 2008, pp. 158–162.
- For a first orientation cf. about Hans-Jörg Gilomen : Economic History of the Middle Ages. Munich 2014.
- Hans-Werner Goetz: Europe in the early Middle Ages. 500-1050. Stuttgart 2003, p. 198.
- Marcus Popplow: Technology in the Middle Ages. Munich 2010, p. 48 ff.
- Marcus Popplow: Technology in the Middle Ages . Munich 2010, p. 77 f.
- Dieter Hägermann: The abbot as landlord. Monastery and economy in the early Middle Ages . In: Friedrich Prinz (ed.): Dominion and Church . Stuttgart 1988, pp. 345-385.
- Karl-Heinz Ludwig: Mining, metal and coins in the early Middle Ages . In: Brigitte Kasten (Hrsg.): Fields of activity and horizons of experience of rural people in the early medieval rulership . Stuttgart 2006, pp. 235-247.
- Hans-Werner Goetz: Europe in the early Middle Ages. 500-1050. Stuttgart 2003, p. 200 ff .; Michael McCormick: Origins of the European Economy. Communications and Commerce, A.D. 300-900 . Cambridge 2001. Chris Wickham: Framing the Early Middle Ages is of fundamental importance for the period up to around 800 . Oxford 2005.
- On the exchange of goods in general, cf. especially Chris Wickham: Framing the Early Middle Ages . Oxford 2005, especially p. 693 ff.
- Cf. with further literature Johannes Preiser-Kapeller: Jenseits von Rom und Charlemagne. Aspects of global interdependence in the long period of late antiquity, 300-800 AD Vienna 2018.
- Wickham has done this extensively in his study ( Framing the Early Middle Ages . Oxford 2005).
- On this wave of epidemics see Mischa Meier: The 'Justinianic Plague': the economic consequences of the pandemic in the eastern Roman empire and its cultural and religious effects. In: Early Medieval Europe 24, 2016, pp. 267–292.
- Chris Wickham: Framing the Early Middle Ages . Oxford 2005, pp. 548-550.
- summary Michael McCormick: Origins of the European Economy. Communications and Commerce, A.D. 300-900 . Cambridge 2001, p. 778 ff.
- For details on this, Chris Wickham: Framing the Early Middle Ages . Oxford 2005, p. 708 ff.
- Michael McCormick: Origins of the European Economy. Communications and Commerce, A.D. 300-900 . Cambridge 2001, p. 761 ff.
- Chris Wickham: Framing the Early Middle Ages . Oxford 2005, pp. 707 f.
- summary, cf. Michael J. Decker: The Byzantine Dark Ages. London / New York 2016; Ralph-Johannes Lilie: Introduction to Byzantine History. Stuttgart u. a. 2007, p. 91 ff.
- Angeliki E. Laiou, Cécile Morrison: The Byzantine Economy . Cambridge 2007, p. 43 ff.
- Angeliki E. Laiou, Cécile Morrison: The Byzantine Economy . Cambridge 2007, p. 54.
- Angeliki E. Laiou, Cécile Morrison: The Byzantine Economy . Cambridge 2007, p. 70 ff.
- On the education system of late antiquity cf. summarizing Alexander Demandt: The late antiquity . 2nd edition, Munich 2007, p. 467 ff.
- Hans-Werner Goetz: Europe in the early Middle Ages. 500-1050. Stuttgart 2003, p. 250 f.
- Rosamond McKitterick (Ed.): The Uses of Literacy in Early Mediaeval Europe . Cambridge et al. a. 1990.
- Ian Wood: Administration, law and culture in Merovingian Gaul . In: Rosamond McKitterick (Ed.): The Uses of Literacy in Early Mediaeval Europe . Cambridge et al. a. 1990, p. 63 ff.
- Wolfgang Haubrichs : Education . In: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde . Volume 2 (1975), p. 599.
- an introduction to (early) medieval education, see for example Martin Kintzinger: Knowledge becomes power. Education in the Middle Ages . Ostfildern 2003; Ulrich Nonn: Monks, scribes and scholars: Education and science in the Middle Ages . Darmstadt 2012. Research overview with Johannes Fried: The formation of Europe 840-1046 . 3rd edition, Munich 2008, p. 202 ff .; Hans-Werner Goetz: Europe in the early Middle Ages. 500-1050 . Stuttgart 2003, pp. 250-260. Cf. also Wolfgang Haubrichs: Bildungswesen . In: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde . Volume 2 (1975), p. 598 ff.
- Rosamond McKitterick: The Carolingians and the Written Word. Cambridge et al. 1989, p. 211 ff.
- Ulrich Nonn: On the prehistory of the educational reform of Charlemagne . In: Charlemagne and his aftermath . Volume 1. Turnhout 1997, pp. 63-77.
- Quotation from Reinhold Rau ( Einhard. The life of Charlemagne . In: Reinhold Rau (Hrsg.): Selected sources on the German history of the Middle Ages . Volume 5. Darmstadt 1955, p. 159).
- Introductory to the educational reform see among others Arnold Angenendt: The early Middle Ages . Stuttgart u. a. 1990, p. 304 ff .; Franz Brunhölzl: History of the Latin Literature of the Middle Ages . Volume 1. Munich 1975, p. 243 ff .; Philippe Depreux: Ambitions et limits des réformes culturelles à l'époque carolingienne . In: Revue Historique 307 (2002), pp. 721-753; Wilfried Hartmann: Charlemagne . Stuttgart 2010, p. 177 ff .; Rosamond McKitterick: Charlemagne. The Formation of a European Identity . Cambridge 2008, p. 292 ff .; Rosamond McKitterick (Ed.): Carolingian Culture. Emulation and innovation. Cambridge et al. a. 1994; Friedrich Prinz: From Constantine to Charlemagne . Düsseldorf / Zurich 2000, p. 464 ff .; Bernd Roeck : The morning of the world. History of the renaissance. Munich 2017, p. 129 ff.
- Compact overview from Arnold Angenendt: The early Middle Ages. Stuttgart u. a. 1990, p. 317 ff.
- Reinhard Schneider: The Franconian Empire . 4th edition, Munich 2001, p. 90.
- Rosamond McKitterick: The Carolingians and the Written Word. Cambridge et al. a. 1989, especially p. 169 ff .; Leighton D. Reynolds, Nigel G. Wilson : Scribes and scholars. A guide to the transmission of Greek and Latin literature . 3rd edition Oxford 1991, p. 92 ff.
- summary, cf. Johannes Fried: The way into history . Berlin 1994, pp. 413-416.
- Wolfgang Haubrichs: Education . In: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde . Volume 2 (1975), p. 603.
- summary, Peter Schreiner : Byzanz. 4th updated edition. Munich 2011, pp. 113–115.
- See introductory Thomas Bauer : Why there was no Islamic Middle Ages. The legacy of antiquity and the Orient. Munich 2018.
- George Makdisi: Madrasa . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages . Volume 6, Col. 65-67; Article madrasa . In: Encyclopaedia of Islam . Volume 5. 2nd edition, p. 1123 ff.
- On the transfer of knowledge from ancient times, see for example John Freely: Plato in Baghdad: How ancient knowledge came back to Europe . Stuttgart 2012.
- On Latin literature in the Middle Ages see basically Franz Brunhölzl : History of Latin Literature of the Middle Ages (Volume 1, Munich 1975 and Volume 2, Munich 1992); Max Manitius: History of Latin Literature in the Middle Ages. Munich 1974 ff. (ND). See also the various related articles in the Lexicon of the Middle Ages and in the author's lexicon (2nd edition).
- Richard W. Burgess , Michael Kulikowski: Mosaics of Time. The Latin Chronicle Traditions from the First Century BC to the Sixth Century AD. Volume I: A Historical Introduction to the Chronicle Genre from its Origins to the High Middle Ages. Turnhout 2013.
- See Thomas M. Charles-Edwards (Ed.): The Chronicle of Ireland . Liverpool 2006.
- Overview of individual authors and lines of development in Deborah Mauskopf Deliyannis (Ed.): Historiography in the Middle Ages . Leiden / Boston 2003 (there Part One, p. 17 ff.); Anton Scharer , Georg Scheibelreiter (Ed.): Historiography in the early Middle Ages . Munich / Vienna 1994.
- On Byzantine historiography in the Middle Byzantine period, see introductory (albeit partially outdated) Herbert Hunger : Die hochsprachliche Profane Literatur der Byzantiner. 2 Bde., Munich 1978, here Volume 1, p. 331 ff. Cf. also Warren Treadgold: The Middle Byzantine Historians. Basingstoke 2013.
- Overview of Christian-Syrian historiography, for example at Syri.ac (scientifically supervised).
- Chase F. Robinson: Islamic Historiography . Cambridge 2003.
- Overview with Claudio Leonardi a . a .: Hagiography. In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages . Volume 4, Col. 1840-1862.
- On Byzantine theological literature see still Hans-Georg Beck : Church and theological literature in the Byzantine Empire. Munich 1959. See now also Thomas Pratsch: The hagiographical topos. Greek lives of saints in the Middle Byzantine period. Berlin / New York 2005.
- summary, Hans-Werner Goetz: Europe in the early Middle Ages. 500-1050. Stuttgart 2003, p. 260 f.
- introduction to old German literature, see Heinz Sieburg: Literatur des Mittelalters. Berlin 2010, p. 69 ff.
- Heinz Sieburg: Literature of the Middle Ages. Berlin 2010, p. 73.
- For an overview, see the corresponding articles in the Lexicon of the Middle Ages : Old English Literature (Bd. 1, Sp. 467–469); Irish language and literature III. (Vol. 5, Col. 647-649); French Literature I. (Vol. 4, Col. 836); Church Slavonic Language and Literature II. (Vol. 5, Sp. 1179 f.).
- Overview of early medieval philosophy, taking into account the development from the 4th century, by Kurt Flasch : The philosophical thinking in the Middle Ages. From Augustine to Machiavelli. 2nd edition, Stuttgart 2000; Richard Heinzmann: Philosophy of the Middle Ages . 3rd edition, Stuttgart 2008. See also John Marenbon (Hrsg.): Medieval Philosophy. Routledge History of Philosophy 3 . New York 1998.
- Deirdre Carabine: John Scottus Eriugena . Oxford et al. 2000; Kurt Flasch: Philosophical Thinking in the Middle Ages. 2nd edition, Stuttgart 2000, p. 173 ff .; Richard Heinzmann: Philosophy of the Middle Ages . 3rd edition, Stuttgart 2008, p. 123 ff.
- Katerina Ierodiakonou , Börje Bydén: Byzantine Philosophy. In: Edward N. Zalta (Ed.): Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy .
- Cristina D'Ancona : Greek Sources in Arabic and Islamic Philosophy. In: Edward N. Zalta (Ed.): Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy .
- Peter Adamson: Al-Kindi. Oxford et al. 2007.
- Jon McGinnis: Avicenna . Oxford et al. 2010.
- Thomas Labusiak : "He gave the church many sacred vessels made of gold and silver." Goldsmithing in the time of Charlemagne. In: Peter van den Brink, Sarvenaz Ayooghi (ed.): Charlemagne - Charlemagne. Karl's art. Dresden 2014, pp. 74–93, here p. 92.
- Overview of the following by Kunibert Bering: Art of the early Middle Ages. 2nd Edition. Stuttgart 2008; Beat Brenk: Late Antiquity and Early Christianity . Berlin 1977; Hermann Fillitz : The Middle Ages 1 . Berlin 1969; Jean Hubert, Jean Porcher, Wolfgang Fritz Volbach : Early Middle Ages: From the Migration Period to the threshold of the Carolingian era . Munich 1968; Jean Hubert, Jean Porcher, Wolfgang Fritz Volbach: The art of the Carolingians: from Charlemagne to the end of the 9th century . Munich 1969; Lawrence Nees: Art and architecture . In: Rosamond McKitterick (Ed.): New Cambridge Medieval History . Volume 2. Cambridge 1995, pp. 809 ff .; Henry Mayr-Harting: Artists and Patrons. In: Timothy Reuter (Ed.): The New Cambridge Medieval History. Volume 3. Cambridge 1999, p. 212 ff.
- Lawrence Nees: Art and architecture . In: Rosamond McKitterick (Ed.): New Cambridge Medieval History. Volume 2, Cambridge 1995, here p. 810 f.
- summary Ulrike Mörschel: Art theories in the Middle Ages . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages . Volume 5, Col. 1573-1576.
- Günther Pöltner: Philosophical Aesthetics . Stuttgart 2008, p. 49 ff.
- Kenneth J. Conant: Carolingian and Romanesque Architecture, 800-1200 . 4th ed., New Haven 1978.
- Architecture A II 1 . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages. Volume 1, Col. 1632 ff.
- summary of the early medieval wall painting (with further literature) see Matthias Exner : Wall painting . In: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde . Volume 33 (2006), pp. 220-231.
- For further examples see Matthias Exner: Wandmalerei . In: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde . Volume 33 (2006), here p. 224 ff. And the article Fresko . In: Real Lexicon on German Art History . Women at the grave fresco . Delivery 114, here Sp. 747 f.
- Wolfgang Fritz Volbach, Jacqueline Lafontaine-Dosogne: Byzantium and the Christian East . Berlin 1968.
- Lawrence Nees: Art and architecture . In: Rosamond McKitterick (Ed.): New Cambridge Medieval History . Volume 2. Cambridge 1995, p. 817 ff.
- See for example Aaron Gurjewitsch: The world view of medieval man . 5th edition, Munich 1997, p. 352 ff.
- For the history of Christianity in the early Middle Ages see among others: Arnold Angenendt: Das Frühmittelalter . Stuttgart u. a. 1990; Peter Brown: The Rise of Western Christendom . 2nd ed., Oxford 2003; Judith Herrin: The Formation of Christendom . Princeton 1987. Luce Pietri et al. (Ed.): Die Geschichte des Christianentums offer a comprehensive presentation (including the Eastern Churches) . Volume 3: The Latin West and the Byzantine East (431–642). Freiburg i. Br. Et al. 2001; Gilbert Dragon, Pierre Riché and André Vauchez (eds.): The history of Christianity. Volume 4: Bishops, Monks and Emperors (642–1054). Freiburg i. Br. Et al. 1994; The Cambridge History of Christianity . Volume 2-3. Cambridge 2007-2008. For individual personalities, institutions and terms, see the entries in the Lexicon of the Middle Ages , in the Real Theological Encyclopedia and in the Lexicon for Theology and Church (3rd edition).
- Friedrich Prinz: From Constantine to Charlemagne. Düsseldorf / Zurich 2000, p. 17 ff.
- Brief summary of the development at Arnold Angenendt: The early Middle Ages. Stuttgart u. a. 1990, p. 238 ff. On the individual popes see for example Franz Xaver Seppelt : History of the Popes. Vol. 2, 2nd edition, Munich 1955. For the papacy, see Klaus Herbers: History of the Papacy in the Middle Ages . Darmstadt 2012.
- Heike Johanna Mierau: Emperor and Pope in the Middle Ages . Cologne 2010, p. 26 ff.
- Peter Eich : Gregor the Great. Bishop of Rome between antiquity and the Middle Ages. Paderborn 2016.
- Arnold Angenendt: The spiritual alliance of the popes with the Carolingians 754-796 . In: Historisches Jahrbuch 100, 1980, pp. 1-94.
- Heike Johanna Mierau: Emperor and Pope in the Middle Ages . Cologne 2010, p. 41 ff.
- Johannes Fried: The formation of Europe 840-1046 . 3rd edition, Munich 2008, p. 98.
- Friedrich Prinz: From Constantine to Charlemagne . Düsseldorf / Zurich 2000, p. 66. For general information on the Gallic episcopal rule see Martin Heinzelmann: Bischofsherrschaft in Gallien . Munich / Zurich 1976.
- summarize, see Arnold Angenendt: Basic forms of piety in the Middle Ages . Munich 2004; Johannes Fried: The formation of Europe 840-1046 . 3rd edition, Munich 2008, p. 100 ff.
- Knut Görich: The year 999 and the fear of the turn of the millennium . In: Ernst Halter, Martin Müller (Ed.): The end of the world . Zurich 1999, pp. 31-40.
- See generally Christoph Stiegemann u. a. (Ed.): CREDO: Christianization of Europe in the Middle Ages. 2 vols., Petersberg 2013.
- Bernhard Maier: The religion of the Germanic peoples . Munich 2003.
- Article Slavic Religion . In: Theological Real Encyclopedia . Volume 31. Berlin 2000, p. 396 ff.
- Arnold Angenendt: The early Middle Ages. Stuttgart u. a. 1990, p. 204 ff.
- Friedrich Prinz: From Constantine to Charlemagne . Düsseldorf / Zurich 2000, pp. 305–309.
- Resolutions of the 4th Council of Toledo 633, c. 57.
- Product Africa I . In: Theological Real Encyclopedia . Volume 1. Berlin / New York 1977, here p. 687 f.
- Overview with Gilbert Dragon, Pierre Riché and André Vauchez (eds.): The history of Christianity. Volume 4: Bishops, Monks and Emperors (642–1054) . Freiburg i. Br. U. a. 1994, p. 391 ff.
- Wolfgang Kallfelz: Non-Muslim subjects in Islam. Wiesbaden 1995, p. 46 ff .; Milka Levy-Rubin: Non-Muslims in the Early Islamic Empire: From Surrender to Coexistence. Cambridge 2011, p. 100 ff.
- Cf. in summary Wolfgang Kallfelz: Non-Muslim subjects in Islam. Wiesbaden 1995, p. 49 ff.
- On the iconoclasm, see Leslie Brubaker: Inventing Byzantine Iconoclasm . London 2012; Leslie Brubaker, John F. Haldon: Byzantium in the Iconoclast era, ca. 680-850. A history. Cambridge 2011; see. also the balancing representation in Judith Herrin: The Formation of Christendom . Princeton 1987, p. 307 ff.
- summary, Leslie Brubaker: Inventing Byzantine Iconoclasm . London 2012, p. 32 ff.
- Ralph-Johannes Lilie: Byzanz - The second Rome. Berlin 2003, p. 122 f.
- Ralph-Johannes Lilie: Byzanz - The second Rome . Berlin 2003, p. 122.
- Leslie Brubaker: Inventing Byzantine Iconoclasm. London 2012, p. 90 f.
- Leslie Brubaker: Inventing Byzantine Iconoclasm . London 2012, p. 93.
- For classification and evaluation cf. Leslie Brubaker: Inventing Byzantine Iconoclasm. London 2012, p. 107 ff.