During the Middle Ages how did Western Christianty preserve elements of classical society and establish a foundation for cultural unity?
In what ways did western europe find to maintain order and stability even in the absence of a durable centralized empire?
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This is a big question for a small space. When the Roman Empire fell prey to barbarian invasion in the fifth century, the only institution strong enough to fill the void was the Roman Catholic church. The church united present day Europe into an area referred to by its inhabitants as Christendom. The church preserved not only the writings of the Romans, early Christian fathers and the Bible, but also, in its very structure of bishoprics and synods, the concepts of republican government and democracy. When Edward III of England developed Parliament, he was modelling the synods of the church; he had no knowledge of the Roman Senate.
Unlike present day Christianity, the Roman Church was the only game in town for Medieval Christians. In every town, in every village, masses were sung, sermons were preached, and lessons were taught; all in Latin. There was no concept of nationhood during much of the medieval period. Society was ordered not by nationality or state lines, but by a network of confusing relationships based on duties and obligations. One did not live in France or England or Germany; one lived in Christendom. The era was an Age of Faith in which faith in Christ was the unifying factor of society. The church gave validity to the order of society by asserting that order was set by God. Thus if you broke your obligation to your Lord, you also broke your obligation to God. This went a long way to preserving stability in an unstable time.
During the Middle Ages, the Medieval Monastery served as a microcosm of society. The Monks set up a small town within the walls of the Monastery which included a school, a library, a barn, a bakery, storehouses for provisions, a hospital and even rooms for visitors.
"A Medieval monastery received pilgrims and travellers, at a period when western Europe was almost destitute of inns
A Medieval monastery performed many works of charity, feeding the hungry, healing the sick who were brought to their doors, and distributing their medicines
A Medieval monastery provided education for boys who wished to become priests and those who intended to lead active lives in the world
A Medieval monastery copied the manuscripts of classical authors preserving valuable books that would otherwise have been lost
A Medieval monastery kept records of the most striking events of their time and acted as chroniclers of the medieval history of the Middle Ages"
One of the most important functions that the Monastery performed was the copying of manuscripts.
Since the Arains masters have invaded and occupied Italy during the 5th century, it brought about the collapse of the centralized government structure in the past in Rome. Soon, the Catholic church took over the void left behind by the Russian empire, so this brought about the rise of Christianity and the love for God.
It preserved the Latin culture from eroding- its language, writings and also used the centralized structure of administration, similar to the one used in the past Roman Empire, preserving its way of life, by using bishops as a group of people to control the people in Rome. People were filled with the spirit of Christianity and believe God as their true leader and salvation unlike the foreign leaders. They seemed to have a purpose and a direction, and so on their free times, they were go to the Catholic for bible-study, singing songs of worship, praying to God and listening to sermons said by the priest. The life was filled with the words of God, so the stability of the Rome was not at all affected, as a leader (they say God) was present.
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