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The Effect of One Tribe on an Entire Nation

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 09:23 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.6 
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The Roman Catholic Church is a foundation of medieval European culture. However, certain people also had influential effects. These included Pope Urban II, Walter the Penniless, and Peter the Hermit. Everyone in Europe belonged to the Roman Catholic Church except Arabs, Jews, and the people of the Byzantine Empire.

The position of Pope had great responsibility. The Pope had more power and wealth than any king or noble. However, most of the power of the church came from the excommunication. Anyone who had committed an offense against the church was expelled from it. Also, Christians were forbidden contact with anyone excommunicated, even if they were family. One show of the vast power held by the church involved King Henry IV. Pope Gregory VII excommunicated him in 1076 C.E. King Henry IV was forced to beg for absolution and was eventually forgiven by Pope Gregory VII because he was bound by his position to resolve him. However, if an excommunicated noble remained defiant, he was forbidden to receive the Sacraments as well as the normal procedures. This law kept the nobility in line. The church also had the power to extend sanctuary to anyone accused of an evil offense. Sanctuary was a place of protection. If a man was being sought after for a crime, one option was for him to enter the church, confess his sins, and be resolved. His seekers had no power over him while he was residing there. The church also provided an education for most people. The language of the teachings was Latin.

Since the church was so large, the task of maintenance was great. Men and women who retreated from worldly distractions were called monks and nuns. Nuns held residence in nunneries; while, monks lived in monasteries. Monks followed the Rule of Benedict. This devoted them to certain work and prayer. Their work was significant though because Romans and Barbarians of the time considered work to be for slaves and below the level of even commoners. Their main duties were...

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