excommunication

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What does it mean to be Pope? History of Christianity

By |2018-04-24T23:11:02+00:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion, Romans|

Peter and Paul, in a mosaic from Ravenna (500s AD) In the later Roman Empire and the Middle Ages, the Pope was the leader of the Catholic Church. Whenever there was a question about whether God would like something or not, people could ask the Pope, and he would tell them what God wanted. According to [...]

Montanus and Montanism – an early Christian heresy

By |2018-04-24T23:07:40+00:00August 22nd, 2017|Religion, Romans|

Montanus and Montanism: This is the amphitheater in ancient Carthage where Romans killed Christians during the Decian persecution. Montanism was a Christian heresy. A man named Montanus started it; he lived in the Roman Empire about 170 AD. Montanus lived in Phrygia (modern Turkey). We know about him from the Christian historian Eusebius [...]

What is Christian mass? Christianity – Religion

By |2017-08-22T14:16:43+00:00August 22nd, 2017|Religion|

Catholic priests celebrating Mass The central part of Christian life in antiquity and the Middle Ages was the Christian Mass. That was when you went to church and the priest went through a series of prayers to God. You would participate in some of the prayers. Sometimes you just said Amen at the end. Other times you called out answers - [...]

What is excommunication? Christianity – religion

By |2017-08-21T22:41:35+00:00August 21st, 2017|Religion|

Medieval excommunication ceremony Excommunication was a Christian idea. It meant you could not  take Communion anymore. Beginning in the Roman period, bishops or groups of bishops excommunicated people who were doing things the Church didn't like. The Pope sometimes personally excommunicated very powerful people like kings and emperors. It might not sound so serious to be excommunicated. Who cares, [...]

What is Christian communion? History of religion

By |2017-08-21T18:22:28+00:00August 21st, 2017|Religion, Romans|

Maybe our earliest image of the Last Supper - from the Catacombs of Domitilla, 100s AD At the Last Supper, Jesus gave his disciples bread and wine. Then shortly after he was crucified, he appeared to Peter and again gave him bread and wine. Jesus told Peter that whenever he ate bread during the Mass, it would turn into the [...]

Bishop Ambrose of Milan – History of Christianity

By |2017-08-20T23:56:44+00:00August 20th, 2017|Religion, Romans|

Bishop Ambrose of Milan By the later 300s AD, the Roman emperors were all Christians. So more and more of the people of the empire converted to Christianity. One of the most important men who encouraged people to convert was Ambrose, the bishop of Milan in northern Italy. Ambrose worked hard to define what sort of relationship Roman emperors [...]

Sixth Crusade – Medieval History

By |2017-08-03T15:08:20+00:00August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor Soon after the failure of the Fifth Crusade, Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor, decided he would try his luck on Crusade, since he hadn't been allowed to go on the last one. Frederick marched on Acre, in Syria. Acre was under the control of the Islamic Mamluks. But not everyone [...]

Fourth Crusade – the sack of Constantinople

By |2018-04-24T09:08:57+00:00August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

In 1200 AD, Pope Innocent began to ask the rulers of Europe to participate in a fourth crusade, again attempting to take Jerusalem away from the Ayyubids who ruled there. Saladin had died in 1193 AD, and the Crusaders thought his successors were weaker and would be easier to beat. This time they would try something different. Instead of coming down from the north, [...]

Late medieval Florence – the Medici

By |2018-04-10T22:50:25+00:00August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Lorenzo de' Medici In the early 1400s AD, a few rich families ruled the city-state of Florence in northern Italy. With the Holy Roman Empire very weak, these families ran Florence as an independent country. But most people in Florence had lost the political power they used to have, and they were angry about it. The Medici family, who owned a successful bank, [...]

King John and the Magna Carta

By |2018-04-24T09:04:03+00:00August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Prince John on a coin When Richard the Lionhearted died in 1199 AD (when he was 42), his younger brother John became king. The lords (the rich men) of England hated John. They hated him partly because John had taxed everyone so much to pay for the Third Crusade. And they also hated him because John seems [...]