Sacred and Secular Power in Medieval Europe

Middle Ages

In the history of European continent there are three stages of analysis, namely:

  • Classical Civilization or Antiquity
  • Middle Ages
  • The Modern Period

Petrarch a humanist and a poet of the 1330’s had brought about a classification in eras on the basis of Christian times, these were referred to as Antiqua and nova, Antiqua being said for the pre- Christian times and nova for the Christian period. Leonardo Bruni a historian brought about the use of tripartite periodisation in the year 1442 in his work the” History of the Florentine People” (1442). Here Bruni and later historians discussed about how Italy had recovered after the poet Petrarch’s era and so they felt a need to add another period in between, “ the Middle Ages”. The middle ages grew to have many different names with the passage of time such as medium aevum around the year 1604 and media saecula around the year 1625 or terms like mediaeval or medieval deriving from medium aevum.

Bruni the historian first used medieval ages concept and 476 is the year widely known as the starting year of medieval ages and the 1500 as the end of the Middle Ages. But the ending date is not universally agreed upon. For English historians the Battle of Bosworth Field in the year 1485 is the marking that signifies the end of the medieval period.

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Church and monasticism in Medieval Europe

If we look deeply into the history it is observed that before the conquests of the Arab invaders, Christianity had played a vital role in unifying Eastern and Western Europe. This was tarnished with the conquest of North Africa which in turn sundered maritime connections. Growing differences and lower connections to each other lead to the following of different languages, practices and liturgy between the Byzantine Church and the western Church. The Eastern Church used Greek instead of the western Latin. These differences grew so much so that till the middle 8th century issues such as iconoclasm, clerical marriage, and state control of the church had widened beyond repair and to such to the extent that the cultural and religious differences were greater than the similarities. The main reason can be the emergence of Theological and political differences. The Final straw broke in the year 1054 when the issues between the papacy and the patriarchy of Constantinople over papal supremacy broiled, leading to the excommunication each other by both of them. This led to the division of Christianity into two churches—the western branch became the Roman Catholic Church and the eastern branch the Orthodox Church.

During the fall of the Roman Empire in the early 5th century, no powerful secular government in the west arose but there was a prominence of central ecclesiastical power in Rome, the Catholic Church. All these factors contributed in establishing the dominance of power of the Church in the west. With the rising expansion of The Church during the early 10th century, and as secular kingdoms gained power at the same time, there arose expected conflicts between the church and the kingdoms to have the ultimate authority.

Plato a Greek Philosopher in the medieval ages stated that the soul of tripartite lies only where these three functions of human soul are expressed:

  • “reason”,
  • “the spirited element”
  • and “appetites” (or “passions”)

When analyzed it is seen that all The conflict between Church and state was in many ways an exclusive to the Western phenomenon which was born in the Late Antiquity. It believed that the Papal States in Italy, were ruled directly by the Holy See as Contrary to Augustinian theology. It is seen that during middle ages the Pope claimed the right to depose the Catholic kings of Western Europe. They surely did try to exercise it and sometimes succeeded and sometimes not.

So we see that the Church, legislatures, or social elites tried to restrain monarchical power Before the Age of Absolutism. Some series of events such as;

  • The end feudal partitioning,
  • consolidation of power with the monarch,
  • rise of state,
  • rise of professional standing armies,
  • professional bureaucracies,
  • the codification of state laws,
  • and the rise of ideologies that justify the absolutist monarchy,

Marked the starting of the Absolutism. Therefore, it is believed that Absolutism was born from the innovation of new technology and characterization of the phenomena of the Early Modern Europe, rather than that of the middle ages.

Intellectual life during the period

11th century saw a lot of developments in the portions of philosophy and theology that in turn led to increase in intellectual activity. During the 12th and the 13th century there were efforts made to reconcile authoritative texts and to fuse Philosophy and theology together which led to the development of a new subject, ‘scholasticism’.

The culture of Chivalry and courtly love budded in the royal and noble courts. The major highlighter is that this ethos was expressed in the vernacular languages rather than Latin. These were often spread by the troubadours or wandering minstrels in the forms of poems, stories, legends, and popular songs. Not only ethos of chivalry and courtly love developed but also Secular and religious histories were also generated.

Europe saw an advanced in the subjects of legal issues and their studies during the 12th century. This change came in the form that both the secular law and ecclesiastical law were studied during the ‘High Middle Ages’. The discovery of the Corpus Juris Civil is in the 11th century greatly increased the horizon of the Roman or the Secular law. A major succession of this was seen as the recording and standardization of legal codes throughout Western Europe.

In the subject matter of mathematics new advancements were seen in Roman numerical. This new advancement came in the form of replacement of Roman numerals with the decimal positional number system and the invention of algebra. This allowed more advanced mathematics to be introduced. Moving towards the 12th century we saw an advancement in Astronomy which followed the translation of Ptolemy's Almagest from Greek into Latin. Also we see an increasing popularity of learning and studying Medicine especially in the areas of southern Italy, where Islamic medicine influenced the school at Salerno. These were among some of the results of the Greek and Islamic influence on the history of Europe.

With the above information we see the various aspects of medieval ages, their dates, starting, ending, the effect of church on people, secularism and autocracy, etc. making assignments on such topics are very time consuming and boring. It becomes very hard to complete assignments with little time to spare and approaching deadline. To combat such a stressful situation and to release some stress from your shoulders assignmenthelp.net is here to help through it. We are the best assignment help providers in Australia and we assure you that you will never be disappointed in us. We are very true to our words, bound to schedules, on time, and always eager to help you. We specialize in assignment completion but we also providing extra but relevant information on any topic which relates to academics. Also we have a 24/7 helpline where you can contact us anytime and we’ll help you no matter what. Also we have an expert team of tutors and professional writers who are experts in their respective fields and have years of experience on their hands. So you can be stress free as your assignments are now our responsibility. We assure you that your assignments will be plagiarism free and totally original. If you don’t believe us, you can check! We also provide you online tutorials for better understanding. If you want to see some sample assignments, then visit our website assignmenthelp.net. We know that marks hold a very great importance for you that is why we do our work with full dedication. All you have to do is log on to assignmenthelp.net submit your assignment to us and put a deadline and be tension free. We will complete and give it back to you by the deadline.

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