Lombards

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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 [...]

Venice – Early Medieval Italy

By |2018-04-16T10:32:29+00:00August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice, Italy (about 1100 AD) During the fall of the Roman Empire, in the 400s AD, people who lived along the north-east coast of Italy didn't feel safe. Central Asian people like the Huns and Germanic people like the Ostrogoths were invading over and over again. Some people abandoned their homes and moved to wetlands and [...]

Matilda of Canossa – Medieval Europe

By |2018-05-07T11:39:05+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Matilda of Canossa (Vatican Museum) Northern Italy around 1000 AD By 1000 AD, the invading Lombards had married local rich men and women of Italy and mixed their families together. A few rich families - part Lombard and part Roman - ruled most of northern Italy as small independent countries. Supposedly these countries were part of the Holy Roman [...]

Early Middle Ages – Dark Age Europe

By |2017-08-02T16:40:06+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Interior of Hagia Sophia The Early Middle Ages comes after the fall of Rome, about 400 AD. But all the way through the Early Middle Ages, European people still thought of themselves as living in the Roman Empire and being Romans. Even armies who had invaded by force thought they were Romans. Even armies who [...]

Vikings – Early Medieval Scandinavia

By |2018-04-24T08:19:15+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

A Viking ship. Viking trade took the Vikings all over the world.  Who were the Vikings? The Vikings were Indo-European people from Scandinavia (modern Denmark, Norway and Sweden). Around the 400s AD the Vikings started to make frequent raids by boat into Europe. They even went into the Mediterranean Sea and raided Sicily and southern Italy. The Vikings started to attack the Atlantic coast [...]

The Lombards – Early Medieval Italy

By |2018-04-15T16:50:52+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Lombard Christian altar (700s AD) (University of Alabama) In 568 AD, a Turkic people, the Avars, pushed the Indo-European Lombards out of their home in Central Europe. This was the westernmost edge of a general tendency for Turkic people to take over more of Asia around this time. The Lombards moved south into northern Italy, and conquered it from [...]

Who was Charlemagne? Early Middle Ages

By |2018-06-18T12:57:00+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Who was Charlemagne? This is Charlemagne, or possibly his grandson (now in the Louvre Museum) What's Charlemagne's real name? Charlemagne's name is really Charles le Magne, or Charles the Great. In German they call him Karl der Grosse, which also means Charles the Great. How did Charlemagne get into power? Charlemagne's father, Pippin, left Charlemagne his [...]

The Avars – Early Middle Ages

By |2018-03-21T15:11:55+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Grasslands of Central Asia - the steppe homeland of the Avars Ruled by the Rouran The Avars were a mostly Turkic group of people. We first hear of them living in Central Asia under the rule of the Rouran, in the 400s AD. The Chinese, who lived to their south-east, called the Avars the Juan-Juan. Like other Central [...]

Leo to Empress Irene – Byzantine History

By |2017-08-02T09:17:48+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Leo the Isaurian (ca. 720 AD, Louvre museum, Paris) When Justinian's assassin Philippicus turned out to be a worthless party animal, other Roman officials killed him. In 713 AD the people of Constantinople chose a court official named Anastasius II to be the next emperor. Anastasius (ann-ah-STAYS-yus) was a practical guy, with good ideas - but [...]

Constans II – Byzantine history

By |2017-08-01T17:45:13+00:00August 1st, 2017|History, Medieval|

Mu'awiya on a Sassanian-style coin When Heraclius died in 641 AD, his sons Heraclonas and Heraclius Constantine took over as Byzantine emperors, ruling together. They only lasted a few years. Heraclius Constantine died within the year. His son Constantine (usually called Constans II) succeeded him, even though he was only 11 years old. Soon afterwards [...]