Medieval History: 10th Century


Figure 1.--Viking warior Rollo (c846 – c930 AD) became the first ruler of Normandy, a coastal region of modern France given to the Vikings by Charles the Simple, the Frankish king of West Francia. He is often referred to as the 1st Duke of Normandy. Rollo agreed to end his raiding and provide the Franks with protection against other Viking raiders. He converted to Christinity. This is a 14th century view of his baptism. Source: Toulouse Library.

With the disolution of Charlemagne's empire and the development of petty states throughout Europe the Church rises in prestige and importance. From the 10th to the 13th century, the Church enjoys a prestige and influencec that it never before had or was to every again enjoy. The Church diminated Medieval European history, its authority, influence, wealth, and prestige was unchallenged. Churchmen dominated virtaally every important field of European life. The Church to some extent filled the vacuume created by lack of strong centalized political control. But the Church could not play the military role of Charlemagne's empire. This meant that the small principalities as well as local rulers had to defend themselves. Thus these local rulers rose in importance. Many built castles or fortifiedc keeps as needed protection in a very dangerous world. It is at this time that the Norsemen or Vikings appear in Western Europe, For two centuries they are the scourge of Europe. They were not just confined to Scandinavia and pillage. The Norsemen virtually created Russia and made major contributions to the evolving English and French nations. England in the 10th century was a fractured nation composed of Wessex, Mercia, East Anglia, and Northumbria subjected to raids from King Macbeth in Scotland and Danish Vikings who were bought off with bribes called Danegeld. Archbishop Wulfstan in York helped codify law for the usurper King Canute of Denmark. The first Hapsburg, a minor count appears for the first time in the historical record. In the east Prince Mieszko of Poland was converted by Jordan, the chaplain of his Bohemian wife, Dobrawa. Thus although Greek Orthodox arrived in Poland first, Poland became a Roman Catholic country. By the end of the century the German king Otto the Great managed to recreate much of Charlemagne's empire and for tyhe next three centuries, Otto's Holy Roman Empire was atv least nominally the most important power in Europe.

Importance

The 10th century did not begin well for Western Chritsendom. Charlemagne's great empire was divided into contentios parts. The Vikings were pilaging the northern coast. The Moors who invaded Spain had established a brilliant culture in the Iberian Peninsula, more advanced than any where else in West. In the East the Byzantin Empire was ashadow of its former self and hard pressed by the Caliphate. The Papacy in ome was caught up in conflict. Many historians classify the 10th century as part of the Dark Ages. One historian sees the century as the birth of the West. [Collins] He sees the 10th century as a period of transition, the historical point that chaos began to tranform into order.

Development of National States

With the disolution of Charlemagne's empire and the development of petty states throughout Europe the Church rises in prestige and importance. This meant that the small principalities as well as local rulers had to defend themselves. Thus these local rulers rose in importance. Many built castles or fortifiedc keeps as needed protection in a very dangerous world.

Christianity

From the 10th to the 13th century, the Church enjoys a prestige and influencec that it never before had or was to every again enjoy. The Church dominated Medieval European history, its authority, influence, wealth, and prestige was unchallenged. Churchmen dominated virtaally every important field of European life. The Church to some extent filled the vacuume created by lack of strong centalized political control. But the Church could not play the military role of Charlemagne's empire.

The Vikings

The Vikings played a major role in the 10th century, moving both east and west. It is at this time that the Norsemen or Vikings appear in Wester Europe, For two centuries they are the scourge of Europe. They were not just confined to Scandinavia and pillage. The Norsemen virtually created Russia and made major contributions to the evolving English and French nations. Their voyagers reached Greenlan (900). Vikings settlenebts dominate eastern England and almost overwealm Anglo-Saxon England (8th century). They continue to play an important role in England. They become entrenched in what became known as Nomandy. Charles the Simple, the Frankish king of West Francia granted Rollo Normandy in exchanhe for protection. Rolo becomes Christian beginning their assimilation into Western Christianity (912). Here we see his baptism (figure 1). In the East the Swedish Rus found the Kievian state. Eric the Red’s family moves to Iceland from Norway (962). Icelanders expel Eric the Red for mirder (982). He proceeds to establish a Viking colony in Greenland where the xlimate was milder than the case today. An estimsted . 700 Icelanders people followed him but only 14 of the 25 ships manage to reach Greenland in the rough seas.

Economy

The medieval guilds begion to organize. The first dyers guild established (925).

England

England in the 10th century was a fractured nation composed of Wessex, Mercia, East Anglia, and Northumbria subjected to raids from King Macbeth in Scotland and Danish Vikings who were bought off with bribes called Danegeld. Archbishop Wulfstan in York helped codify law for the usurper King Canute of Denmark.

Balkans

Prince Caslav Klonimirovic drives out the Bulgarians (927). This unites what is modern Serbia, Montenegro, Herzegovina and Bosnia founding medieval Serbia. Orthodox Christianity becomes the Serb state religion.

Spain

Spain with its mixture of Christians, Jews, and Muslims is Europe's intelectual center. Despite this the intellectual and religious diversity is seen as a weakness in both the Muslim and Christian world. The Muslim principality of Córdoba pursues a brilliant cuktural and intelectual life (mid-century). The Moors who invaded Spain had established a brilliant culture in the Iberian Peninsula, more advanced than any where else in West. There were medical schools, libraries, and a paper trade.

Poland

In the east Prince Mieszko of Poland was converted by Jordan, the chaplain of his Bohemian wife, Dobrawa. Thus although Greek Orthodox arrived in Poland first, Poland became a Roman Catholic country. Mieczyslaw I becomes first ruler of a Polish state (960). He founds the Piast Dynasty and converts to Christianity (62).

Intelectual Developments

Arabs introduce modern arithmetical notation to Europeans (about 975). This revolutionizes mathematics by replacing the cumbersome Roman numerals. The first recorded use of the zero in Europe (976).

Germany

The first Hapsburg, a minor count appears for the first time in the historical record. Holy Roman Emperor Otto II gives a margravate to the Franconian count Leopold (Liutpold) this essentially founds the Austrian staste (976). By the end of the century the German king Otto the Great managed to recreate much of Charlemagne's empire and for tyhe next three centuries, Otto's Holy Roman Empire was av least nominally the most important power in Europe.

France

France developed out of the Frankish state. The Vikings settled in Normandy land granted by Charles the simple in return for protection. The resulting principality became one of the most important in French and English history. The French elect Hugh Capet is elected King of France (987). He founded the Capetian dynasty which ruleed France until 1328.

Russia

The Swedish Rus moving down Russian rivers found the Kievian state--the first large Russian state. Grand Duke Vladimir of Kiev converts to Orthodox Christianity (988). He takes the name Basil in honor of the Emperor of Constantinople. He marries the Emperor’s sister, Anna, and begins a general conversion of Russia.

The Arts

Musical notation systematised (990). The first translation of the New Testament into the developing English language is produced (995).

Sources

Collins, Paul. The Birth of the West: Rome, Germany, France and the Creation of Europe in the 10th century (2013), 496p.






CIH







Navigate the Children in History Website:
[About Us]
[Introduction] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Climatology] [Clothing] [Disease and Health] [Economics] [Freedom] [Geography] [History] [Human Nature] [Ideology] [Law]
[Nationalism] [Presidents] [Religion] [Royalty] [Science] [Social Class]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Children in History Home]



Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web chronological pages:
[Return to the Msain medieval chronology page]
[Return to the Main history chronology page]
[Return to the Main chronology page]
[Return to the Main medieval page]
[The 6th century] [The 7th century] [The 8th century] [The 9th century] [10th century] [The 11th Century] [The 12th century] [The 13th century] [The 14th century] [The 15th century] [The 16th Century]




Created: 8:04 AM 1/27/2011
Last updated: 9:21 PM 7/12/2017