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Chapter 9

SOSC 1731 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Main Source, Vishvarupa, Snob

Social Science
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SOSC 1731
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Chapter 9
Part 01 - The Heavenly City
- "By renouncing all that the pagan world had coveted and striven for, the Christian took the first
steps toward building up a new fabric out of the wreckage" (243). New religious visions gave life
to an empire that was slowly decaying.
- "Throughout the Empire Christianity had long been an underground movement: regarded
officially, until A.D. 313, as a subversive activity" (244).
- Many Roman buildings became "functionally worthless", such as the theatre, arena, and bath,
because they "contradicted the whole Christian way of life" (244). On top, they had Pagan
symbols and pictures on the walls and everything. Only old basilicas and temples were easily
converted into shelters for Christian congregations. After Christianity, "baths were no longer
used as baths, nor the arenas as arenas" (244). Many of these building just dilapidated over time.
- By this time, "the very highroads that had once brought them security and wealth now only
made easier the path of barbarian conquest" (245). The population was shrinking, and cities were
getting smaller.
- "The Monastery was in fact a new kind of polis: an association, or rather, a close brotherhood
of likeminded people, not coming together just for occasional ceremonies, but for permanent
cohabitation" (246). Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo founded such an order in the fourth century.
- "If it was in the royal palace that the secular instruments of urban civilization first took shape, it
was in the monastery that the ideal purposes of the city were sorted out, kept alive, and
eventually renewed" (246).
- "The closest link between the classic city and the medieval city was that formed, then, not by
the surviving buildings and customs, but by the monastery" (247).
- "Threatened with anarchy the Bishops were driven to exercise political authority and even to
assume military leadership, when other powers failed" (247).
Part 02 - Need for Protection
- As the Roman empire disintegrated, cities became more isolated and smaller (for safety from
barbarians who were intercepting trade shipments and also invading villages). Cities in the west,
like in France and Italy, never lost their old ways (culture/tradition), although they lapsed.
- "Against sudden raids a wall, on guard at all hours, was more useful than any amount of
military courage" (250). Walls became very important during these times with the constant threat
of barbarians (Norsemen, Goths, and more). They were even built around monasteries and
nunneries, and served a political function (symbolizing peace and security).
- There were weekly markets held for "exchanging neighboring peasants, fishermen, craftsmen"
(251). Merchants and traders had a much more significant role in society now.
- The practice of granting freedom between the 11th-14th centuries includes examples like "one
discovers in the grant of freedom to Barcelona, wherein the king decreed that no toll-gatherer or
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