Medieval Europe: Western & Eastern Roman & World Then-Socio-Political Change YouTube Lecture Handouts Part 1

Get unlimited access to the best preparation resource for competitive exams : get questions, notes, tests, video lectures and more- for all subjects of your exam.

Medieval Europe: Western & Eastern Roman & World then - Socio-Political Changes | Rise of Feudalism

Title: Medieval Europe Rise & Spread of Christianity

Medieval Europe

  • Medieval Age in Asia & Europe
  • Medieval Age in India
  • Early Medieval 700 - 1200 AD
  • Later Medieval 1200 - 1750 AD

Roman Empire

  • Western Roman Empire
  • By 500 CE, western roman empire was destroyed by attacks of barbarians
  • It was divided into small kingdoms and renaissance also developed during this period
  • West was the Roman – Emperor Maximian – Spoke Latin and were more traditional
  • Gladiators were ancient professional fighters in Rome.
  • Most fighters were slaves or condemned prisoners
  • Triumphant gladiators were celebrities on walls and paintings
  • Gladiator spectacles were most watched popular entertainment in Roman world.

Eastern Roman Empire

  • Eastern roman empire founded before 500 CE remained for 1000 years
  • East was Byzantine – emperor Diocletian – spoke Greek and were less traditional

Gupta Declining with Hun Invasion

  • Gupta empire was crumbling due to weak kings and Hun invasion as rising
  • Early 7th century was rise of Islam under Prophet Muhammad – Arab civilization become the most advanced civilization

Socio-Political Changes

Trade & Commerce

Land most important form of Property

Old kingdoms

New kingdoms


  • Feudalism (system where peasants received land and protection from lords and worked and fought for them in return) 1st developed in western Europe and then in eastern Europe
  • Economic life was rural
  • Most produce was consumed locally
  • Peasants were sometimes given share and at other times were not given the share
  • Town and trade played a little role and declined
  • Feudalism was unique to Europe
  • Exploitation of peasantry was main change called as serfdom in Europe and zamindari in India (nobility took a large share) – however status of Indian peasants were not that of serfs (tied to lord՚s estate and could not leave without permissions)

Pompey the Great

  • Roman Conquest of Palestine
  • Siege of Jerusalem occurred during Pompey the great՚s campaign in east.
  • His conquest of Jerusalem (Palestine) spelled the end of Jewish independence and Judea became part of Roman Empire
  • Siege continued for 3 months and led to death of 12000 Jews in contrast to few Romans who were killed.

Rise of Christianity

  • Jesus was born in Bethlehem a village in Jerusalem
  • Parents were Jews
  • Born in 4 BCE
  • Jesus follower Paul spread Christianity to Roman world – despite persecution the faith grew and in 391 CE it became the official religion in Rome
  • Jesus taught in synagogues, houses, by lake sides and on hill slopes – use parables or short vivid stories about ordinary people՚s live
  • Joseph (Father)
  • Mary (Mother)
  • Angel visited Mary the mother of Jesus and told that she is blessed and her son too is blessed
  • Pontius Pilate was Roman Governor of Palestine
  • Rich accused Jews of calling him the king of Jews and encouraged people to rebel against Roman Rulers
  • Jesus as arrested and crucified (killed by fastening on the cross)
  • Cross became the holy symbol
  • 3rd day after crucifixion, Jesus rose to life
  • This is called as resurrection or Easter
  • The day of fructification is Good Friday
  • The day of birth of Jesus is Christmas
  • It is believed that Jesus was a son of God who died a painful death on cross to save the mankind from sin
  • The holy book is Bible
    • Old testament – history of Jews and relation with God before the birth of Christ
    • New testament – life of Christ and his teachings

Teachings of Christ

  • God is one – so no need to worship many gods
  • God is just and benevolent – so love him as he loves his people
  • Sinner can always repent and get saved from God
  • Hate the sin and not the sinner
  • Have sympathy and compassion for fellow beings
  • New testaments have 4 gospels by Mathew, Mark, Luke and John – he chooses 12 disciples to help spread the word to the world
  • Show compassion to poor, feed the hungry and sick & give shelter to homeless people

Spread of Christianity

  • Initial Struggle
  • Rise under Constantine
  • Emergence of Constantinople

Followers of Christ After His Death

  • After death of Christ, Peter, Paul and John started to spread Christianity in Roman Empire. Roman Rulers felt threatened about it.
  • In the beginning, Christians were hated by Romans and were regarded as dangerous, disloyal and unpatriotic

Fire in Rome under Nero – 62 AD

  • St. Paul was killed
  • Christians persecuted ruthlessly
  • In 62 AD, a great fire broke in Nero and Christians were held responsible for it.
  • Christians were burnt alive and were thrown to wild animals in amphitheater
  • Many Christians were tortured during reign of Marcus Aurlieus
  • Diocletian removed Christians from army and public offices, burnt churches and refused to free Christian slaves.
  • Edict of Toleration Edict of Milan
  • The Edict of Toleration (311 AD) by Galerius was issued by Roman Emperor Galerius, Constantine I and Licinius officially ending persecution of Christians
  • Edict of Milan – 313 AD – Roman emperor Constantine I and Licinius – legalizing Christianity across Roman Empire
  • Under Theodosius I (379 - 395 AD) – Christianity became the only religion recognized by the state – it spread throughout the Roman empire which included most of the European Countries
  • Emperor Constantine
  • Established Christianity
  • Introduced laws supporting Christian Moral teachings
  • He started custom of observing Sunday as Christian holy day (Sabbath)
  • In next 200 to 300 years, Christianity spread throughout Europe
  • Disciple of Christ St. Paul՚s carried his teachings to Greece and Rome
  • Emperor Constantine I embraced Christianity in 313 AD and it became the official religion by end of 4th century AD
  • Christian church were well organized
  • Bishop at St. Peter՚s Church in Rome came to be considered as representative of Christ on Earth. People called him Pope.

Constantine I

  • Established new capital of Byzantine in 330 AD
  • Named Constantinople after Constantine I
  • Byzantine empire with Constantinople as its capital prospered for 1000 years until 1453 AD
  • It had close relations with India
  • Kind of Christianity followed there came to be known as Eastern or Greek or Orthodox
  • Built beautiful churches with lavish decorations
  • Most famous is Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, Modern Istanbul
  • Constantinople became largest city in Europe – most splendid and prosperous and centre of Christianity
  • Emergence of this new capital led to rise of trade and commerce
  • New governing classes arose as the new capital required a new Senate
  • Monetary stability and expanding population stimulated economic growth
  • Constantinople began dominating trading with east

Developed by: