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OCTOBER 1ST 2013 readings.docx

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University of Guelph
HIST 2200

ST HIST 2200 SHORT HISTORY OF THE MIDDLE AGES OCTOBER 1 2013 CHAPTER FOUR POLITICAL COMMUNITIES REORDERED (c.900-c.1050) th th - Centralized Gov. of the 9 c. dissolved in the 10 - In Byzantium- the primacy of the emperor was never effectively challenged - Islamic world: new dynastic groups established themselves as regional rulers - Western Europe: Carolingian kings ceased to control land and men BYZANTIUM: THE STRENGTHS AND LIMITS OF CENTRALIZATION - 1025- empire shadowed the Danube and touched Euphrates - Constantinople emperors radiated power of the imperial court - Centralized model of the state was challenged by powerful men in the countryside THE IMPERIAL COURT - Palace of Constantinople expanded, redecorated, and fortified under Constantine’s successors - More than a symbolic emplacement of imperial power - Central command post of the empire - Servants, slaves, and grooms, top courtiers, learned clergymen, cousins, siblings, and hangers-on of the emperor and empress lived within - Others were on call at every hour - Mainly male preserve but did have women’s quarters - Zoe (d. 1050) – daughter of Constantine VIII – had the right to rule but people were happier when she married - Third gender – eunuchs – raised to be teachers, doctors, or guardians of the women – originally foreigners but soon came from upper class too – some accompanied emperor in sacred duties- one became grand chamberlain (responsible for internal affairs) - Grand chamberlain : Michael Psellus (1018-1092) o New school of phil. At Constantinople founded by Constantine IX flourished o Moralist o Keen to explore the character and emotional life of powerful men and women A WIDE EMBRACE AND ITS TENSIONS th th - Expansion of Byzantium began in 9 century and quickened in the 10 under Nicephorus Phocas and John Tzimisces - Crete- lost to Muslims- retaken - Cyprus reconquered in 965 - Antioch - Basil II (r 963-1025) – Bulgaria defeated and put under Byzantine rule – nickname : Bulgar Slayer - Empire was now a sprawling, multi-ethnic and multilingual o East- embraced Armenians, Syrians, and Arabs o North- included Slavs, Bulgarians, pecheneges (Turkic group ) o West- Lombard’s, Italians, Greeks - Russian soldiers were backbone of Basil’s “Varangian Guard” – elite troops - Mid 11 c. mercenaries included franks, Arabs, and Bulgarians th - 10 c Jews expelled from Constantinople o Affected the silk trade - Annexation of Armenia did not lead to the assimilation of Armenians - Ethnic diversity partly responsible for new regional political movements that threatened centralized imperial control - Regional revolts occurred due to rise of new wealthy class (dynatoi) - Dynatoni : made military men their clients o Held positions in government o Dalasseni family  Army leader (founder of group) and governor of Antioch  Network of connections to other powerful families  Could sometimes defy the emperor and even coordinate rebellions - Rise of provincial aristocracy and prestige of solider emperors worked to change byzantine culture o Civilian to military ideals - Artists portrayed emperors as a symbol of military power THE FORMATION OF RUS - Digenis plied his trade in Anatolia th - Before 9 c. fur traders (Vikings) settled east of gulf of Finland o Took advantage of river networks and trade routes as far south as Iraq and west to Austria - Khazars: powerful state laid upon black and Caspian sea – dominated silk road o Ruled by a khagan (like the Avars and the Bulgars) - Scandinavians (Vikings) – had no khagan but were influenced by its culture and adopted the title for the ruler at their state Novgorod (1 Rus polity) - Rus- ad affiliate in south- Kiev o Occasionally attacked Khazars and Byzantines o Byzantines wanted their fine furs, wax, honey, and slaves o 10 c. brought Khazars empire to its knees - Good relationship b/w Byzantines and rus was through religious conversion o Many Christians lived in rus o Conversion of rus to Christianity was work of Vladimir (r.c978-1015)  Ruler of rus by conquest  98 he adopted byzantine for of Christianity and took the name Basil th th  His conversion was part of a larger movement of the 10 and 11 centuries – most of the remaining non-monotheistic people of western Eurasian land mass adopted 1nof 4 monotheisms: Islam, roman Catholicism , byzantine orthodoxy, or Judaism  Went under protection of pope  Northern Scandinavians were turning to Catholic Christianity  East of rus- Khazars were Jewish  Volga Bulgars converted to Islam - Rus (ancestor of Russia ) became heir of the byzantine church, customs, art, and political ideology DIVISION AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD th - In the 11 c. profusion of regional groups and dynasties divided the Islamic world - Was a period of prosperity and intellectual blossoming EMERGENCE OF REGIONAL POWERS - Muslim conquest did not eliminate all local powers or regional affiliations totally - Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates remained strong – imposed rule through governors and army - Caliphate became weak in 10 and 11 c. th - Main groups that emerged: the Samnids, Buyids, Hamdanids, Fatimids and Zirids - There were many smaller independent rulers as well - Lack of revenue was key cause of weakness for Abbasid caliphate. o Landowners, recalcitrant military leaders in various regions of Islamic world refused to pay taxes into treasury o Had to rely on farmland of Iraq o Revolt 869-883 by Zanj who were black slaves from sub-Saharan Africa who had been put to work to turn marshes into farmland – this revolt devastated Iraqi economy o 10 c. Qaramita – a sect of Shi’ites based in Arabia found Iraq easy prey - In the end the caliphs could not pay their troops and therefore people who could took over the reins of power reducing Abbasid political authority - Buyids – belonged to ancient warrior tribes from mountains of Iran o With help of Turkish mercenaries dominated region of the Caspian sea including Baghdad th o End of 10 c their power is challenged o The progressive regionalization and fragmentation of power echoed in the Islamic world and parts of western Europe as well - Fatimids: were Shi’ites – leader claimed to be the true imam, descendent of ali but also the Mahdi. The divinely guided messiah come to bring justice to earth o Allied with the Berbers in n.africa o Rulers of Tunisia and Libya – then moved to rule Egypt, southern Syria and western edge of the Arabian peninsula o Important Sunni rulers: Umayyad’s at Cordoba o Abd al Rahman III took title caliph to counterweight Fatimids o Under his rule al-andalus became a powerful centralized state - Islamic rulers worked to underm
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