Unit 9.8 High Medieval Ages – Black Plague Period
This chapter describes how strong leadership in the Catholic Church helped it to become a dominant presence in European society during the Middle Ages; how the Crusades affected Europe and southwest Asia; new forms of church architecture as well as the development of universities and vernacular literature; and how disastrous forces, including epidemic disease and war, caused widespread changes in medieval Europe.
Chapter 12 – Crusades and Culture in the Middle Ages, 1000-1500 C.E.
- How did the Church influence political and cultural changes in medieval Europe?
• How did both innovations and disruptive forces affect people during the Middle Ages?
- The controversy between king and pope over lay investiture led to a reform of the papacy.
- The political power of the Catholic Church reached its height under Pope Innocent III.
- New religious orders—including those involving women—emerged and made a strong impact on the lives of medieval Europeans.
- The Church created a court to deal with those they believed went against its teachings.
- The Church of the High Middle Ages was a crucial part of people’s lives from birth to death.
- The Crusades began when Byzantine Emperor Alexius I, a Christian, asked the Europeans for help against the Muslim Seljuk Turks.
- Italian port cities grew rich and powerful during the Crusades.
- Muslim and Christian forces fought for control of Jerusalem, but the Muslim ruler Saladin eventually gained control of the holy city.
- Crusaders sacked Constantinople in 1204, thereby weakening the Byzantine Empire.
- One effect of the Crusades was the eventual breakdown of feudalism.
Culture of the Middle Ages
- The development of ribbed vaults and pointed arches made Gothic cathedrals the artistic triumph of the High Middle Ages.
- The university of today—with faculty, students, and degrees—was a product of the High Middle Ages.
- Medieval university students applied scholasticism to the study of theology.
- Literature appeared in the vernacular, rather than in Latin, when educated people took interest in new sources of entertainment.
- Troubadour poetry and the heroic epic poem were popular forms of vernacular literature in the twelfth century.
Chapter 13 – Kingdoms and States of Medieval Africa, 500-1500 C.E.
This chapter describes the geographic factors that affected the development of African civilizations, the Bantu migration, Indian Ocean trade in East Africa, aspects of African society and culture, and the growth
of great trading states such, as Ghana, Mali, and Songhai.
- How does geography affect society, culture, and trade?
African Society and Culture
- Northern and southern Africa are dominated by deserts; eastern Africa is home to the Great Rift Valley with a tropical climate; and western Africa is mostly covered by grasslands and tropical forests.
- Many African societies were matrilineal and based on extended family units, with most people living in rural villages.
- Very young children were raised and taught by their mothers. As they got older, fathers took over their sons education, whereas girls continued to learn from their mothers.
- Most Africans shared common traditional religious beliefs and customs, especially the honoring of their ancestors, though these beliefs were challenged by the arrival of Islam.
- Africa’s rich culture of paintings, carvings, sculpture, music, and dance often served a religious purpose.
Kingdoms and States of Africa
- Ghana had an abundance of gold, which it traded for goods brought by Muslim merchants from North Africa.
- Berbers and their camel caravans were crucial in trade across the Sahara.
- Sundiata Keita established the kingdom of Mali in the mid-1200s.
- Mali extended from the Atlantic coast to the city of Timbuktu.
- Mansa Mūsā doubled the size of the kingdom of Mali, created a strong central government, and established a library and university in Timbuktu, which became a cultural and intellectual capital.
- The kingdom of Songhai rose to power because it was located along major trade routes and because its rulers conquered neighboring territory.
- The migration of the Bantu resulted in the spread of their language, agricultural skills, and ironworking to South and East Africa.
- Sea trade along the East African coast became part of the Indian Ocean trading network, bringing cultural influences from Muslim traders and settlers.
- In southern Africa, independent villages organized into states, the most powerful of which was Zimbabwe.
Chapter 14 – Pre-Columbian America, 300-1550 C.E.
This chapter discusses how early peoples who came to North America established unique ways of living suited to particular regions of the continent; the early civilizations, including the Maya and the Aztec, that rose and fell in parts of Mexico and Central America; and how the Inca developed a well-organized and militaristic empire that came to dominate a vast area along the western coast of South America.
- In what ways were civilizations in early Mesoamerica and South America complex?
• How were civilizations in early Mesoamerica and South America influenced by previous cultures?
The Peoples of North America and Mesoamerica
- Early peoples in eastern North America experienced a shift to full-time farming around CE 700, and their surrounding environments often influenced their cultures.
- Maya civilization was composed of city-states; the Maya social structure included the ruling class, nobles and scribes, and peasants and townspeople.
- Spiritual perspective was very important to the Maya, and rulers of the Maya city-states claimed to be descended from the gods.
- The Maya created ways to measure time based on a belief of cycles of creation and destruction; they also used hieroglyphs to record important events in Maya history.
- The Toltec contributed new technologies in architecture and metalwork.
- The Aztec built the city of Tenochtitlán on one of the islands in Lake Texcoco; the Aztec formed a Triple Alliance with two other city-states, Tetzcoco and Tlacopan, which enabled them to extend Aztec rule over much of what is modern-day Mexico.
- The powerful Aztec monarch claimed lineage with the gods; the rest of the populations fell into a strict hierarchy; Aztec religion was based on the belief in a struggle between good and evil forces in the universe.
Early South American Civilizations
- The Nazca culture in Peru preserved some aspects of the Chavin culture.
- The Nazca etched large designs into the soil in the image of animals and humans, as well as geometric shapes. These are known as the Nazca Lines.
- The Moche civilization developed near the coast, just south of the border of modern-day Ecuador.
- The Inca ruler Pachacuti eventually brought most of the Pacific coastal region under Inca control, creating an empire built on war.
- The Inca empire had a highly structured political system, at the top of which was the emperor, and a strictly controlled society.
- When the Inca conquered a new territory, they instructed the inhabitants in Quechua, the Inca language. This helped the Inca emperors to better administer the law throughout the empire.
- The Inca carried out complex engineering projects to their economic and political advantage.
- The construction of a road system allowed for extensive trade.
- The Inca kept detailed records despite their lack of a writing system