Complete the following
Two barbarian tribes who attacked the Roman Empire.
Capital cities of Eastern and Western parts of the Roman Empires (395 CE).
Two countries where the Crusaders established a Christian state.
Two groups of people who had devoted their life to the service of humanity.
Two famous universities which were earlier monasteries.
(a) The Oxford
(b) The Cambridge
Fill in the blanks
The Roman Empire began to disintegrate after the death of Emperor Constantine.
The western part of the Roman Empire had its capital at Rome.
The Eastern Roman Empire was known as Byzantine Empire.
Crusades were the religious wars fought between the Christians and the Muslims.
Service to the Society was the motto of the monasteries.
Answer the following
What were the reasons for the decline of the ancient Roman Empire?
The reasons for the decline of the ancient Roman Empire were following:
- The Institution of Slavery — Slaves who had no interest in the development or preservation of the empire constituted three quarters of the subjects of Rome by the third century CE.
- Decline in population — Due to constant wars, avoidance and postponement of marriage, infanticide and plagues, the Roman population declined considerably and non-romans mainly barbarians flooded the empire.
- The Land — It was the monopoly of a few wealthy persons.
- Heavy taxes — People were heavily taxed to provide for extravagant court and the maintenance of a huge army and government officials. But only one-third of the revenue reached the imperial treasury as the remaining two-third was pocketed by the provincial officers.
- Wide gap between the rich and poor — The rich lived in luxury whereas poor lived in great poverty. The poor did not take any interest in the affairs of the state when enemies attacked their territory.
- No discipline in the army — There was neither loyalty nor discipline in the army. The army at times became too strong and army commanders put on the throne weak rulers, many of whom were removed from the throne in tragic circumstances.
- Decline in production — Agricultural and industrial production declined due to numerous wars and revolts.
What was the effect of the barbarian invasions on the Eastern Roman Empire?
The eastern Roman was known as Byzantium. Although it was attacked by the barbarians it was able to withstand the attacks from the barbarians because it was located on a strait and therefore it was difficult to break its defences. It had shorter common frontier with Europe, stronger administrative centre, internal political stability, sufficient manpower and great wealth which helped it to withstand the attacks. Thus the Byzantine Empire survived and continued as a Christian Capital for about a thousand years after the fall of Rome.
State the reasons that led to the spread of Christianity to many parts of the world.
Following reasons led to the spread of Christianity to many parts of the world:
- Encouragement given by the Roman emperors to missionaries resulted in every nation in Europe embracing Christianity within a few centuries.
- The efforts made by Christian missionaries.
- Christianity was open to all: kings and nobles, poor and slaves and middle class.
- The common people were influenced by the feelings of equality and brotherhood, concern for the poor, the sick and the orphans.
- The excellent organisation of the Church and the spirit of sacrifice and dedication of its leaders made Christianity popular.
What were the Crusades? Why were they undertaken?
Crusades were the Christian military expeditions organised by the Western Christians in response to Muslim Wars of expansion in the late 11th century.
Following were the objectives of Crusades:
- To check the spread of Islam.
- To take control of the Holy Land.
- To spread Christianity.
- To recapture former Christian territories.
Explain the role of monasteries in Medieval Europe.
Following were the roles of monasteries in Medieval Europe:
- Monasteries helped in spreading Christianity in Europe and other parts of world. The Monks travelled to every nook and corner of the world to spread the message of Christ.
- The Nuns and Monks of monasteries educated children. Some monasteries developed into famous universities like the Oxford and the Cambridge.
- Monasteries played a significant role in preserving and spreading knowledge. They hand-copied and preserved books like the Bible and prayer books, besides copies of Latin and Greek books.
- Monasteries did a great service to mankind with their motto —'service to society'. They looked after the sick and wounded, provided shelter to the travellers as well as food and clothing to the poor.
- Monasteries emerged as the centres of art and architecture encouraging woodcarving, mural paintings, art of making stained glass, etc.
- Monasteries had their own lands and brought barren lands into cultivation.
Study the picture and answer the following questions:
(a) The university in the picture was earlier a monastery. Where is the university located?
(b) What is a monastery?
(c) Explain briefly the role of monasteries in spreading education.
(a) The Cambridge University is located at Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
(b) Monastery is a place were monks and nuns live. The monasteries of nuns were known as convents or nunneries.
(c) Monasteries' contribution in the field of education was immense. The nuns and monks educated children and in course of time, some of these monasteries developed into famous universities like the Oxford and the Cambridge.