History Key Terms Essay

Justinian Code is a collection of works in jurisprudence, issued from 529 to 534 by order of Justinian I, the Byzantium Emperor. This code regulated the life of people living in the Byzantium Empire and the Code comprised laws issued in the empire. In such a way, the collection of laws represented the major legal collection of the empire since its norms referred to different spheres of life of Byzantines. In fact, the Justinian Code can be viewed as a first attempt to codify legal acts existing in the country and, in a way, it was a precursor of Constitutions that appeared later in the USA and European countries.

Byzantium was the state which was founded on the basis of the former Roman Empire. To put it more precisely, the Byzantium Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire which survived the Barbarian invasion and maintained its position as a leading power in the Eastern Mediterranean, while the Western Roman Empire was ruined. At the same time, the Byzantium Empire evolved consistently and preserved only some elements of the norms and traditions of the Roman Empire. In actuality, it was the state based on Roman and Hellenistic traditions, which preserved achievements of the Roman Empire and developed its own civilization on the basis of Orthodox Christianity.

Eventually, the Byzantium was ruined under the attacks of the Ottoman in the mid-15th century.

Koran is the sacred book of Muslims. In fact, literally Koran means the “recitation”. Muslims believe that Koran is a book containing the divine guidance and direction for mankind and consider the original Arabic text to be the final revelation of God. According to Islamic tradition, it is believed that Koran was revealed to the prophet Mohammad by the angel sent by Allah. Koran contains the guidance concerning the virtuous and correct life of Muslims. In actuality, this scared text regulates practically all spheres of life of Muslims.

Theodora is the Byzantine Empress, the wife of the Byzantine emperor Theophilus. She was an aristocratic Armenian descent, who married the young emperor, who succeeded the throne in 829.  After the marriage, the position of her family had improved consistently in the empire, but Theodora proved to be able to rule the country herself. After the death of her husband, she became a regent for her son Michael and performed the function of the head of the state and the ruler of the entire empire. She managed to improve the socioeconomic situation in the empire, but her expectations to preserve her power failed as the influence of Bardas, the uncle of Michael grew stronger. Eventually, she was assassinated and sainted for her contribution to the restoration of the Christian Church.

Feudalism is a term which is traditionally applied to the medieval epoch and defines the existing political and socioeconomic system. To put it more precisely, feudalism was a political system composed of a set of reciprocal legal and military obligation among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs. Lords occupied the highest social position and they were treated as masters whom vassals were supposed to obey, while fiefs occupied the lowest position in the social hierarchy of the feudal society.

Charlemagne was one of the most successful and powerful kings of Franks who ruled from 768 to 814. He gained the public acclaim and fame due to his successful military campaigns and wise state policy. He expanded the Franks’ kingdom enormously and transformed it into the Frankish Empire. In a way, he attempted to re-establish the Roman Empire as he conquered not only the territory of modern France and Germany but also Italy, where he was crowned as Imperator Augustus. His reign was accompanied by economic and cultural progress of his empire.

Alcuin, or to put it more precisely, Alcuin of York, was a scholar, ecclesiastic, poet and teacher from York. He was renowned not only in York and England but also in other parts of Europe. He was invited by Charlemagne to the Frankish Empire, where he became a leading scholar and teacher at the Carolingian court. He was famous for his theological and dogmatic treatises as well as grammatical works and a number of poems. He made a career as a clergyman. He was appointed an abbot of Saint Martin at Tours, where he remained until his death in 804. He made a significant contribution to the Carolingian renaissance.

Clovis was first King of the Franks who managed to unite all the Frankish tribes under his rule. In fact, he was a founding father of the united kingdom of Franks. As he succeeded the throne from his father, he conquered all the neighboring Frankish tribes and united them under his rule. However, he faced the problem of internal conflicts between tribes. To minimize the risk of conflicts, which could destroy his kingdom, he converted to Roman Catholicism, which became the ideological foundation to his kingdom.

Serfs were peasants in the epoch of feudalism. In fact, these peasants were not free in their socioeconomic activities. Even though they have a relative personal freedom, which was consistently limited by their master, they were totally deprived of any economic freedom because they had to pay off a considerable part of their crops to their masters, who actually owned the land which serfs used to cultivate plants and collect crops. In such a way, serfs were unfree peasants who could not act independently or against the will of their master. At the same time, they worked on the fields of landowners, in return for protection and the right to work on their leased fields.

Rollo, baptized Robert, was the founder and the first ruler of the Viking principality in what soon became known as Normandy. He was an extremely successful ruler who expanded the territory of his kingdom consistently. He conquered France and established his control over a large territory which he distributed among his warriors, who were his vassals. He was a gifted commander in chief and king who managed to create a powerful kingdom.

Magna Carta was an English legal charter, which was originally issued in 1215. It was written in Latin and required King John of England to proclaim certain rights, mainly of his barons, respect certain legal procedures, and accept that his will could be bound by the law. In such a way, it was one of the first legal documents that aimed at the restriction of the absolute power of the king and introduced larger rights to his subjects, while his own power was limited by the law.

William the Conqueror was originally the rule of Normandy. However, he proved to be a gifted and successful ruler and commander in chief who invaded a large part of France and in 1066 he started the invasion of England, which he successfully accomplished. In fact, William the Conqueror laid the foundation to the Norman’s rule in England since his court and his noblemen created the basis of English aristocracy.

After the invasion, it was Normans who controlled England and were rulers of the country. At the same time, William the Conqueror did not attempt to destroy England. Instead, he attempted to develop his kingdom’s economy and introduced a number of important changes which improved local economy. In addition he supported the development of art in his kingdom.

Gregory VII was the Pope from 1073 to 1085. After his death he was sainted. Gregory VII was one of the great reforming popes, who is best known for the part he played in the Investiture Controversy, his dispute with Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor affirming the primacy of the papal authority and the new canon law governing the election of the pope by the college of cardinals.

Leo IX was the Pope from 1049 to 1054. He is regarded as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. He is considered to be the most significant German Pope in the Middle Ages. However, he is the most remembered as the Pope who sent the legatine mission, which authored the bull excommunicating the Patriarch of Constantinople.

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