Medieval Europe (6th century to 8th century)
Through the 500s and the early 600s, there was a continue partition of empires. Fight for control within dynasties, disintegration of control of the centre and an increase in smaller kingdoms and local power increased the disputes in Europe. In the Merovingian lands, a mayor, Pepin II managed to unite states by defeating his other Merovingian counterparts. His actions were continued by his son Charles Martel who subdued the Muslim invaders in 732 and extended further control in the East. Martel’s son Pepin III, along with support from the church dethroned the last Merovingian and then went on to Italy to put an end to the attacks by the Lombards on the Pope.
The emerging dynasty which was established by Pepin III was given the title as ‘Protector of the Romans’ by the Pope Stephen II in 752. Pepin III forge a relationship with the Church and had its support. This gave the priests a lot of power and tenth century papal staes were also established. Pepsin III’s son, Carlos Magnus who was also known as Charlemagne inaugurated the Carolingian dynasty. He rule from 768 to 814. His military conquered and Catholicized the Saxons of Northern Germany, Bavaria, Bohemia, Poland, and the Czech Adriatic regions.
Charlemagne’s forces went south and defeated the Lombards of France on the request of the Pope. After his victory, Charlemagne was crowned the new Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope in 800. However, Charlemagne’s successors weren’t as successful with their rights because of constant infighting, even though three more kingdoms were added to the already vast empire in 843.
In the ninth century, the Carolingian empire disintegrated and the Vikings and the Normans raided the lands into Spain, France, and Italy. During this time, the Muslim invaders began to build a strong naval fleet in the Central Mediterranean. This created commotion in the trading activity of the Mediterranean countries and their polities. The Normans established tiny states in Northern France, Apulia, and Sicily by displacing the Muslims in Apulia and Sicily. this was the beginning of the Crusades. There was a lot of localisation of the European power with feudal bonds being forged, an introduction of the vassals and the organisation of the rural and the agrarian society for food security.
The Bishoprics were sought for advice and counsel on moral grounds, justice, and administration. The papacy played a major role in governing and administration of European states since 600. While they played a major role in the ruling, the Church also expanded and created their own doctrines.
There were several monastic reforms which gave the Church and the Papacy a lot of power. The Church attempted to preserve classical learnings, reduce the fighting in Europe, and explain theology.