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Europe, Byzantium, and Islam

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The answers to the following questions maybe obtained by accessing the websites listed below. Other sites may beutilized.

 Theme: (1) The Growth of the Christian Church in Europe and the Mediterranean.

What did the acceptance of Christianity by the emperors Constantine do for the development of the Christian church? What was significant about heresies of the Church?

The Church and the Emperors

How did the Papacy arise in the early Christian Church? Early Papacy
What is the significance of St.Martin of Tours for Gaul (France) and of St. Patrick for Ireland? How was the process of conversion to Christianity carried out? What was the appeal of Christianity to non-Christian rulers? to ordinary people? What was the significance of doing penance? What do the "Penitientials", publicized by early Christian priests, emphasize? St.Martin of Tours:
St. Patrick
Conversion of Clovis
How did the Christian community adjust to the realities of the Greco-Roman world? What was the attitude of Christ to women? What was the attitude of the Church to women? Why did these attitudes emerge? Christian communities: In Meek's essay, see paragraphs "Immigrants in the Greco-Roman cities" and "Christians - A New Family" and the last paragraph.
What does Augustine have to say about the natureof sin and the appeal of evil to individuals? What did he say about the state of sinfulness of priests and the acceptability of the rites they administer? (The Donatist heresy)? What does his argument signify as tothe role of Christians in society? What did he say, in the "City of God" about human history, the role of the state, and the role of the church? Saint Augustine (Site 1)

Theme (2): Monasticism

How and why did monasticism develop within the Christian community? What was the fundamental purpose of living the monastic life? Monasticism
What are the particular reasons for the success of the Benedictine monastic life? The Benedictine Order: Site(1)
Site (2)
How did western and eastern monasticism differ from each other? eastern monasticism: Site(1)

Theme (3): Germanic Society

Who are the Germanic tribes and what is known about their origins? How were they organized? What was the most important determinant of status and power in the German tribe? Migration
What was the basis of the Germanic economy? What was the status of women? What was a prime determinant of their value to the society? Germanic tribes
What was the historical setting in England for the Arthurian legends? Arthurian legends:

Theme (4): The Byzantine East

Why did the Roman empire split in two? What was the status and role of the Byzantine Empire in relation to the long term development of western civilization?

Eastern  Roman Empire:
Site (1)

How did church-state relations differ in the east from the west? What are the reasons for the schism between Catholic and Orthodox Christianity? The Schism  Christian Orthodox Church
How was the law code of Justinian developed and what influence has it had? The Law Code of Justinian
What was the cultural and intellectual contribution of the Byzantine Empire?

Byzantine Architecture

Site 2

Theme (5): the Arabs and Islam

In the 7th Century, which 3 civilizations or empires inherited the area which had been the original center of civilization? What were the major characteristics of the Sassanian dynasty which ruled Persia in the 7th century? 
Islam: Go to Table of Contents

What was the way of life of most of the inhabitants of Arabia and north Africa in the 7th century? What was their economic basis and how were they organized politically? What was the economic basis of the towns and urban centers? Arabs: Click on "the Arabian peninsula"
From what background does the prophet Mohammed come? What are the central features of Islamic religion? In spite of the belief in predestination, what act was believed to assure salvation?
What is the basic similarity between Judaism, Christianity and Mohammedanism? How were Jews and Christians considered by Muslims?
Mohammed: See Arab site above, then click on "Muhammad"
Islamic religion:
Site(2)   People of the Book(Site 3)   
What was the status of women in Islam? How did it differ from Germanic Europe?  Women: See "Islamic Religion" site above, Scroll to "Gender Roles"
What is the origin of the Shi'a branch of Islam?How do the Sunnis differ? Shi'a and Sunni: Proceed to "Abu Bakr"
By the early 10th century, what was the geographic extent of Islamic Society? Between the 10th and 15th centuries, what was the long term trend politically and geographically for Islam? IslamicAscendancy
Battle of Tours
What significant accomplishments in the expansion of knowledge are attributed to Islam? Intellectual achievements: Site (1)
What were the relations between the Islamic and the Christian world and why? How did Christians view Muslims? How did Muslims view Christians? Who was more tolerant of the other? Which society absorbed the most from the other? People of the Book: See Site (3) above
Western View of Islam: Scroll to "Framing the Ubiquitous Orient" and "Races debased and Unities Sundered"

Maps of Antiquity                    Maps of Europe AD1: 1000


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