Topic VI.  Christianity: East & West, 500-1500









THEME: The Development of Christendom as the Foundation of Medieval European Civilization

The conversion of the Roman Empire went on steadily in the centuries after the establishment  of  Christianity. The result was an idea of society, state, and church as all related parts of one entity, Christendom
During the last 500 years of the first millennium the conversion of Germanic, Slavic, and other peoples produced a synthesis of classical Greco-Roman civilization and the invading cultures. 
Christendom, although preserving the ideal of a unified Roman Empire,  developed into distinct Latin and Greek traditions. Between 1000 and 1500 the schism was completed and the two cultural traditions of Christendom were established.
In the first 500 years of the second millennium the Western  and Eastern traditions of classical Christianity came into full flower. 


Rome: Old and New
Review The Christian Empire in Topic 5

Constantinople: The New Rome [OC: chap. 3 (106-112)]
Byzantine Empire [map]
Emperor and Patriarch: Caesaropapism & Symphonia
A presentation on Caesaropapism in Byzantine Empire
Eusebius Extols Contantine
Eastern Orthodoxy [explore this site from Christian History]
Byzantine Religion [Halsall's Guide with sources]
Icons & Eastern Orthodox Piety: Christ, the True Image [OC: chap. 3 (112-127); JP: 7; D: Part III, Section I d]
Byzantine Architecture and Icons: Expressions of Orthodox Piety
Orthodox Liturgical Piety
Iconoclastic Controversy
Iconoclasm  [Halsall's Guide with sources]
John of Damascus
Eastern Orthodox Art Treasures, Mount Athos Monasteries
Monasticism and Orthodox Piety
W: Browse at least one of these sites:
Mount Athos and Greek Orthodox Monasticism
Greek Orthodox Monasticism, an extensive media site
Greek Orthodox Monastic Tradition, another rich site
From Estrangement to Schism  
OC: chap. 3 (126-127) or MN: chap. 6; D: Part II, section I, pp. 105-106
The Great Schism [MSN Encarta version]
The Great Schism [Catholic Encyclopedia Version]
The Great Schism [Greek Orthodox version]
Rise of Islam and its meaning for Christianity, East and West [OC: 127-129]
Timeline of Eastern Orthodoxy to 1453


 Byzantine Architecture and Icons: Expressions of Orthodox Piety
hagsph1.jpg (79950 bytes) Hagia Sophia, interior.   For a presentation on its architecture click here
hagsph.jpg (56732 bytes) Hagia Sophia, interior
ikonst.jpg (81103 bytes) Iconostasis (Click for a discussion)
virgluke.jpg (85431 bytes) Theotokos (God Bearer); Mater Dei (Mother of God): Virgin of Vladimir, Russian, c. 1125
annunc.jpg (70032 bytes) Annunciation: Icon on a processional cross by the Master of Constantinople, early 14th century, Macedonian
rublev.jpg (76023 bytes) The Holy Trinity,  painted by Andrei Rublev, a Russian icon painter, (c.1370-1430)

For a discussion of this icon click HERE.


The Old Rome: The Rise of the Papacy & the Conversion of Western Europe
The Two Swords: Temporal & Spiritual Power
chap. 4 (130-162); D: Part II, Section II, 106-127
The Rise of the Papacy (a presentation )
Constantine’s Donation (D:107-110)
Innocent III (D:123-124)
Boniface VIII, Clericis Laicos & Unam Sanctam (D:124-127
Investiture Controversy (Web sources)
Crisis: From Avignon to Council of Contance
"The Papacy Over reaches" [Paul Halsall's guide with rich sources]
Forms of Piety [OC: chap. 4 (143-166)]
The Monastic Ideal & Renewal (JP: chap. 9; MN: chap. 4; D: II, Section III. [compare the rules of Benedict and Francis]
Western Monasticism [Halsall's Guide with sources]
Mysticism (OC: 166-170; JP: chap. 10; BIBLE: Song of Solomon)
Julian of Norwich's Showings of Divine Love 
Hildegard of Bingen
Western Spirituality [Halsall's  Guide with sources]
Pilgrimages and Popular Religion
Architecture and Art: Romanesque and Gothic
Romanesque Art & Architecture
Romanesque Architecture [images from a site of Prof. Jeffery Howe, Boston College]
Gothic Architecture and Art [click here for another overview]
Gothic Architecture [Jeffery Howe, Boston College]
Browse this University of Pittsburgh site
Christian Humanism & the Transformation of Church and Society
 OC: chap. 4 (162-183)
The Divine & Human Model (JP: chap. 11;)
Little Flowers of St. Francis
Christian Humanism & the Renaissance [Slide Presentation] (JP: chap. 12; X: Erasmus)

Western (Latin) Christian Piety in Architecture and Art

Abbey of Conque (click for an overview) Conque, a village in France on the pilgrimage route to Santiago di Copostella, has an abbey church  that is a fine example of Romanesque church architecture and art. The following images of the tympanum over the main doors on the western facade, depict the last judgment, a common theme in western Christian art. These carvings treat that theological theme with both power and humor.
conq1.jpg (18205 bytes) West facade, an example of Romanesque architectural style.
conq2.jpg (20145 bytes) West Portal, note the typical rounded arch and the tympanum under it. 
conq3.jpg (20986 bytes) Full view of the scene. Christ as judge is at the center.
conq4.jpg (19311 bytes) Pantocrator, Christ the cosmic judge and ruler. His left hand point down in judgment of the damned below on the left.
conq5.jpg (22037 bytes) Full view. Below the line over which Christ and the heavenly city rest are those under judgment. On the left, the damned; on the right, the righteous.
conq6.jpg (25654 bytes)
conq7.jpg (28592 bytes)
conq8.jpg (29421 bytes)
conq9.jpg (26711 bytes)
conq10.jpg (25573 bytes)
conq11.jpg (26585 bytes)
conq12.jpg (28378 bytes)


salis.jpg (51856 bytes) Salisbury Cathedral, England
wellsint.jpg (59999 bytes) Wells Cathedral, interior; nave looking east towards the choir and sanctuary.
cantex.jpg (61745 bytes) Canterbury Cathedral, England
cantin1.jpg (61168 bytes) Canterbury, nave looking east towards entrance to choir and sanctuary. The choir is through the arch in the distance.
cantb1.jpg (20224 bytes) Canterbury. choir looking east towards high altar and, just beyond that, the shrine of St Thomas Becket. The choir has some characteristics of earlier Romanesque style in the rounded arches of the side pillars but with gothic vaulting above.
cantbvlt.jpg (64241 bytes) Canterbury. Note distinctive vaulting.

MAJOR EVENTS: 500-1500
Note the links for some of these events. Try some of them out as you try to understand the themes outlined in the notes above. 

527-565 Emperor Justinian (The Justinian Age) re-conquers Italy and North Africa;  529 he issues the Justinian Code of Roman law, a revision of Theodosius' Code.

540 Benedict writes Monastic Rule

563 Columba starts Celtic Christian mission community on Iona

590-604  Gregory I (the  Great) Bishop of Rome

597 Augustine, sent by Gregory I, converts Ethelbert, king of Kent (England), beginning  conversion of Saxon England

622 Muhammad’s Hegira (flight to Medina), birth or Islam

638-56 Arabs (Islam) conquer Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Egypt

664 Celtic and Roman churches joined at Council of Whitby in England

698 Lindisfarne  Gospels

711-16 Arabs (Islam) conquer Spain

719-754 Boniface's mission to Germans

726-843 Iconoclast Controversy in Eastern Church

732 BATTLE OF TOURS, Arabs driven back from France by Charles Martel

737 2nd Council of Nicea settles Icon controversy; resistance continues to 843.  The council's position followed John of Damascus' Defense or Icons written about 730.

800 Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor

861 East-West conflict over Photius

862 Cyril and Methodius begin mission to the Slavs, expanding Greek Christianity [Eastern Orthodoxy] into eastern Europe.

909 Monastery of Cluny founded, beginning a center for reform

988 Conversion of Vladimir of Kiev, beginning conversion of Russia and  extending Greek Christianity [Eastern Orthodox] into north eastern Europe.

1054 "The Great Schism" between Rome and Constantinople, splitting Eastern [Greek] and Western [Latin] Christianity

1059 - 1122 Investiture Controversy: Begins in 1059 with Pope Nicholas II condemning the custom of emperors and other secular rulers investing bishops and abbots with their symbols of office, a practice linked to lay patronage to key church posts.

1066 William the Conqueror and the Norman Conquest of  England

1075 Pope Gregory VII prohibits all lay investiture for Church offices.

1077 Emperor Henry IV submits to Pope over Investiture

1093-1109 Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury

1095 First Crusade begins

1105 England and Papacy compromise over Investiture
1107 France and Papacy compromise on Investiture

1115 Bernard founds monastery at Clairvaux

1122 Concordat of Worms ends Investiture Controversy

1141 Hildegard of Bingen begins writing
1141 Abelard's teaching condemned

1150 Universities of Oxford and Paris begin
1150 Mystery plays flourish

1170 Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, murdered in the cathedral; Sacred Site note

1173 Waldensian movement  begins, eventually leading to a "heretical" movement.

1208 Francis of Assisi renounces wealth

1215 Magna Carta
1215 Pope Innocent III calls 4th Lateran Council

1220 Dominic establishes Order of Preachers

1232 Pope Gregory IX appoints "Inquisitors"

1272 Thomas Acquinas's Summa Theologica

1302 Pope Boniface VIII in Unam Sanctam proclaims Papal supremacy

1309 Papacy's "Babylonian" exile to Avignon in  France begins a long decline in the power of the Papacy and the health of the Western Church.  Read a presentation about the conflict between Boniface VIII and King Philip of France and its consequences by Dr. Ellis L. Knox Boise State University

1321 Dante's Divine Comedy

1348 Black Death begins

1370 Catherine of Siena's Dialogue (on her ecstatic experiences)

1371 Julian of Norwich's Showings of Divine Love 

1378 Great Papal Schism begins [See 1309 above]

1380 John Wyclif works on translation of the Bible into English

1414 Council of Constance

1415 Jan Hus burned at the stake for heresy

1431 Joan of Arc burned at the stake

1453 Constantinople falls to the Turks; end of the Eastern Roman Empire

1456 Gutenberg Bible and the cultural revolution of print

1476 Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

1479 Spanish Inquisition established

1492 Columbus's First  Voyage

1497 Savonarola excommunicated