The Roman Catholic Church in Medieval Europe
The Age of Faith
I believe that the era between 500 and 1400 in Europe should be labeled the age of faith. In a time of invasions and inconsistent structure in Europe, the Roman Catholic Church stepped in. From the ashes of The Fall of the Roman Empire grew beautiful, majestic art in the form of cathedrals (document 7). Much of Europe’s culture and the economy came from the church. The economic impact of the Roman Catholic Church was great. A lot of money, materials, and labor were needed to build a cathedral and only a wealthy and powerful organization could build them. Building the Cathedral’s took money, but it also put money back into the economy.
During this period, people’s lives were mostly in turmoil. For many, looking towards the church gave them spiritual support and allowed the Church to gain power. As evidenced by the Truce of God, in document 3, “That from the first day of the Advent of our Lord through Epiphany…and throughout the year on every Sunday, Friday, and Saturday, and on the fast days of the four seasons…this decree of peace shall be observed…so that no one may commit murder, arson, robbery, or assault, no one may injure another with a sword, club, or any kind of weapon….On…every day set aside, or to be set aside, for fasts or feasts, arms may be carried, but on this condition, that no injury shall be done in any way to anyone…If it shall happen that any castle is besieged during the days which are included within the peace, the besiegers shall cease from attack unless they are set upon by the besieged and compelled to beat the latter back….” the church believed in the word of God and called for the observance of thereof. The Truce provided a needed respite for the constant battles between landlords.
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The Crusades were a number of wars that were fought between the Christians and the Muslims, over control of the Holy Land. In 1095, Pope Urban II issued a war to recapture the holy land, as talked about in document 6. “Your brethren who live in the [Middle] East are in urgent need of your help….For, as most of you have heard, the Turks and the Arabs have attacked them and have conquered the territory of Romania [the Byzantine Empire]. …They have occupied more and more of the lands of those Christians….They have killed and captured many, and have destroyed the churches and devastated the Empire….All who die by the way, whether by land or sea or in the battle against the pagans, shall have immediate remission of sins.” The series of what was about 7 wars lasted about 200 years, and after killing thousands of people the Christians took back the Holy Land. So once again the era between 500 and 1400 in Europe should be labeled as The age of Faith because of how big of an impact it had on Europe as a whole.