World History 1 199 - 13.1 The Post-Roman West in the Early Middle Ages

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Analyze the foundations of medieval society that emerged in the post-Roman world
  • Define feudalism in western Europe
  • Describe the role of religion in medieval European culture and society
  • Discuss the establishment of Muslim rule in western Europe and the religiously diverse society in Spain

Of all the regions in the post-Roman world, western Europe experienced arguably the most dramatic change. Its political order fragmented under Germanic warlords empowered mainly by their ability to provide loot for their followers. In this world of soldiers, the Roman church, directed by the pope, worked to secure military assistance from kings and convert various groups to Christianity. The church’s goal was to ensure that its vision of Christian beliefs and practices eclipsed those of other sects such as the Arians, Christians who questioned the Roman church’s basic tenet that Jesus was divine. The merging of these two antithetical cultures—the religious and the military—helped prepare the ground for a new civilization we call the medieval culture, which emerged between the end of Rome and the rise of the modern world.

The content of this course has been taken from the free World History, Volume 1: to 1500 textbook by Openstax