Published on October 29, 2007
After the Fall of Rome: After the Fall of Rome After the fall of Rome: After the fall of Rome The fall was a real decline in quality of life Church was primarily urban, in no position to control rural areas Pagan comes from Latin pagus, countryside Heathen means someone who lives in the heath Traditional Roman cults persisted until 600 A.D and beyond in rural areas There were two "dark ages".: There were two "dark ages". The first, due to the collapse of Roman infrastructure and trade, bottomed out around 600-700 A.D. There was a revival around 800 culminating in the reign of Charlemagne Another decline about 900-1000 due to the raids by Vikings and Magyars. Technological innovations in post-Roman Europe: Technological innovations in post-Roman Europe Steel--most Roman steel came from Austria Rise of water wheels Stirrup Motte and Bailey castle (stockade on a mound). Heavy plow 3-field crop rotation Horse collar The lifestyle of many parts of Western Europe around 700 A.D. would not have differed greatly from the Mound Builder societies in North America that would arise a little later. : The lifestyle of many parts of Western Europe around 700 A.D. would not have differed greatly from the Mound Builder societies in North America that would arise a little later. The role of Ireland: The role of Ireland Romans abandon Britain in A.D. 409 to defend closer to home. Ireland at this time was a clan society, with frequent petty warfare, not so much for conquest as adventure. Irish frequently raided Britain for slaves Also, the culture was remarkably casual about sex. Ireland: Ireland Saint Patrick: Saint Patrick Patricius, a Romanized Briton, was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave about 410 A.D. After seven years as a shepherd, he escaped. After escaping, decided to become a priest. He interpreted dreams of Ireland as a call from God to evangelize Ireland, and he returned. Patricius is better known to us as St. Patrick. What Patrick accomplished:: What Patrick accomplished: First missionary in 300 years (since Paul) to travel widely, and the first ever to venture outside the Roman realm in Europe. He successfully identified the core values of Irish culture and tailored Christianity to those values. Ireland is the only country ever converted to Christianity completely without bloodshed. What Patrick accomplished:: What Patrick accomplished: Patrick so successfully converted Ireland and pacified it that it became a source of slaves for petty warlords in Britain. Patrick protested to his British fellow clerics and is the first known person in Western history to condemn slavery as evil. After Patrick: After Patrick The Irish, who loved epics and adventures, became fascinated by Greek literature, and developed a tradition of literacy. Some fulfilled their cultural desire for adventure by venturing out on missionary travels of their own. Irish missionaries are among the first people in the West who go to difficult places just "because they're there." Ireland Reaches Out: Ireland Reaches Out Followers of Patrick, Aidan and Columcille, spread Christianity back to Scotland and northern Britain. Irish had no racial or cultural biases against converting the Saxons, who were invading Britain Ireland Reaches to Europe: Ireland Reaches to Europe Columba (ca 500) spread Irish Christianity to the European mainland. He and his successors established dozens of monasteries in Germany, Austria, and even Italy, traveled as far as Kiev Irish missionaries re-disseminated literacy to Western Europe. They also established Christianity outside the cities, something the Romanized Christianity of the time had not done. Decline of Ireland: Decline of Ireland Vikings sacked Irish monasteries beginning about 700 A.D. Vikings occupied much of Ireland, built first cities (Dublin) Real decline began in 15th-16th centuries as English stamped out Irish resistance Disastrous famine and migration, mid-19th century. Recovery only in Twentieth Century What Happened to the Celts?: What Happened to the Celts? What Happened to the Celts?: What Happened to the Celts? In Pre-Roman times, occupied most of Western and Central Europe Now occupy fringes of Europe Romans did not engage in genocide Celts had some familiar values: pragmatism, love of adventure and exploration To what extent is Western culture really Celtic?