The label ‘Age of Faith’ best describes The Middle Ages because the church was always present during the good and difficult times. The Middle Ages are known as the ‘Age of Faith’ because it was the rise of Christianity. The church had one of, if not the biggest impact on Europe during the Middle Ages. The church controlled almost all aspects of life in medieval society. Even during dark times, the religion aspect of the country was solid and assured. Religion was flourishing and had an immense impact on society as a whole.
The idea of an afterlife gave people something to look forward to, and had a large impact on the decisions they made. The church had an influence on wealth, politics, corruption, daily routines, music and dance, etc. Leaders formed alliances with the church to gain protection. The church became the most powerful organization during medieval times. The church was exempt from taxation and collected a percentage of annual earnings from people in society.
On page 320 of The Humanistic Tradition, it was very apparent to me just how much control the church had. Early medieval music and liturgical drama were both influenced by the church. For example, Antiphons were added to classical Gregorian chants. “Thus, ’Lord, have mercy upon us.’ became ’Lord, omnipotent Father, God, Creator of all, have mercy upon us.’” Though the original had faith-based influences, the adjustment was a much more apparent appreciation for God himself. During this time the church had power and influence in government decisions.
The Crusades were a series of seven wars that had faith-based reasons behind it. The Crusades are considered a holy war. The Christians fought the Muslims, trying to take back Jerusalem, their holy land, along with attempting to eradicate other religions. These series of wars had both a negative and positive impact on Europe. The Crusades led to a long-time heritage of religious detestation between the Christians and the Muslims. Once Jerusalem was in the Christians control again, people began to visit the holy land. Unfortunately, the majority of them were robbed and killed by Muslims along the way. After these ruthless wars, trade flourished, which had an extremely positive impact on Europe.
3. Evaluate the effects of the Germanic tribes on the course of the middle ages. Cite specific examples of their traditions and their arts. Pg 250 4. What lasting contributions did the Middle Ages make to the humanistic tradition? Cite specific examples. The humanistic tradition is a way of understanding the world, finding the meaning of life, and instructing the fundamentals of moral thinking in culture.
5.Compare the Samurai to the medieval knights. What do their activities and morals say about the culture from which they arise? In both Europe and Japan an honorable group of warriors were the basis for military power. European Knights: A knight was a horse-riding cavalry warrior who wore chain mail, stirrups, and carried weapons. These knights were skilled courageous warriors who carried out God’s work. A knight pledged his service to his lord. This oath immediately bound two parties by law. The oath itself was considered a legal contract. Knights were invested in honor and duty and were expected to provide protection. Knights were bound by a code stressing honor, loyalty, and protection. Knights owned land and in return they were required to defend and protect their lord. According to Fiero ‘The knight’s conduct and manners in all aspects of life were guided by a strict code of behavior called chivalry.’ This code required a knight to be loyal to his lord and fellow warriors, courageous during battle, and respectful toward women.
Japanese Samurai: Samurai were military nobility, translated to ‘those who serve’. Samurai were skilled warriors equipped with armor and warhorses. These skilled warriors were experts in swordsmanship, martial-arts, and archery. The Samurai code of honor required intense loyalty, and selflessness in battle. Samurai warrior duty was to protect his master with the purpose of giving up one’s life and embracing death. The samurai had seven virtues that had to be followed: justice, courage, compassion, respect, honesty, honor, and loyalty. According to If the samurai disobeyed the code they were dishonored and disemboweled, also called ritual suicide. Samurai obeyed his lord as if it were a bond of kinship, rather than a legal agreement. Samurai were rewarded with land due to their loyal service. Medieval Europe and medieval Japan shared many similarities, along with many differences. Europeans were governed by a social, political and economic structure called the feudal system. Japan had very similar structures in place at the time. The knight’s morals were a direct representation of European culture during the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages, often referred to as an ‘Age of Faith’, were heavily influenced by religion. The knights were bound to their service by a legal binding with the lord. Knights were expected to do God’s work, but reclaiming God’s holy land from the Muslims. The church was a dominant power in Europe and religions outside of Christianity was considered unorthodox. Samurai were driven by loyalty, honor, discipline, and respect, which greatly affected Japanese culture. According to “Samurai and “the way of the warrior” ‘ the influence of these great warriors still manifests itself deeply in Japanese culture and samurai heritage it is deeply ingrained into the psyche of the Japanese people.’ These skilled warriors believed that Zen Buddhism strengthened them in battle. This religious belief had a profound effect on arts, culture, and education of the warrior government.