Middle ages: shedding light on the dark ages
Reflections on civilization in medieval periods
Reflections on the dark ages
King Charlemagne, Justinian, and Theodora have one thing in common, and that is that they were all Romans living under Catholic values bestowed by the Catholic Church. All the achievements and contribution towards improving the conditions and helping to lay the seeds for modern civilization contributed by the two kings who are still viewed as Catholic Church contributions. The Catholic Church emerges a luminary that improves conditions for modern civilization through the achievement of various innovations. The contributions of the Catholic Church in the civilization of humankind, and the contribution of Justinian 1 with wife Theodore as well as that of King Charlemagne as far as social enlightenment is concerned form the basis of discussion in this paper.
On the trails of the King’s Contributions
King Charles the Great was instrumental in making western Europe a united front, thus creating Germany and France. During the time, he was in authority, King Charles. Also King Charlemagne, worked hard, albeit without the pope’s support, in ensuring that Western Europe remained united for the long run. His efforts in the bid to unite Western Europe after the fall of Roman Empire, lead to the Carolingian Renaissance, when intellectualism and inclusive cultural practices became the foundation of the church. He is a great luminary because, without him, a united Western Europe may have not existed.
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The efforts of the King were best times. It was the time when the famous Roman Empire could not stand together. The king took a personal initiative to ensure that he salvaged the unity that was fast diminishing. Though his did not achieve much, his approach proved very important in the sense that people became more enlightened, more intelligent a focused more in intellectual reasoning as opposed to irrational reasoning. His efforts get appreciation to date, evident in the significant milestones that he was able to initiate during his tenure.
Some people call him The Last Roman while his official position was Justinian the Great. In other quarters, he is the renowned Justinian 1, or simply as Saint Justinian the Great, whose efforts were at large very critical in uniting the last bits of the falling Roman Empire. Working trough Eastern Orthodox Church, Justinian 1 is the core for conquering the lost half of the Western Roman Empire as a way to revive the falling dynasty. Though he was not very successful, his contributions formed the foundation for growth, innovation, a development that led to the great civilization in Europe.
Theodore and Justinian 1 was a formidable couple, a professional family. A wife of her stature, Theodore was very handy in helping Justinian 1 collect the remnants of the Roman Empire. Theodore is renowned for the success of their kingdom and her husband due to her courage. Together, the two saw many efforts that formed a viable platform for growth and innovations. Through Theodore, peace and enlightenment of the Catholic Church followers was core. Though busy, and intelligent, Theodore remains is a significant figure in the development of positivism.
The contributions of Charles the Great, Justinian 1 and Empress Theodore remains to be great even in the modern day innovations and inventions. The foundation that they lay down during their tenure remains relevant and directly affects people’s lives even today. The number and greatness of the innovations that the initial Catholic Church followers or people from their lineage have made in the modern day society are surmountable.
The Church Is Not Left Behind
From its leaders to the faithful, the church has been inspiring numerous innovations and over time. Moreover, they have also realized many other the followers make significant contributions to the inventions field. Many early inventors and innovators rose from the church and their capability to think different and invent relevant the sound teaching of the doctrines in the church circles.
The Catholic Church encouraged the members to be innovative, share knowledge and develop a solution that could apply to the society. Problem-solving as a way of developing long-term strategies to social problems was a central theme in most teachings. In the following sections, some of the contributions that the Church inspired in the medieval periods are critically illustrated. It is important to note that while these innovations and inventions are not summative, one can easily point out other innovations and inventions not covered here.
Optical and Photographic Industry
The optical initiatives are a product of Pope Clement (IV). The contributions formed the foundations of application of lenses that later on developed into telescopes and microscopes. There is also the Gregorian calendar; put to wide use around the globe is also a fruit of effort by the Catholic astronomers. The priest initiated the big bang cosmologic studies. This even today, has remained the most important guideline in the cosmologic studies.
Contributions in Natural Science
A remarkable contribution made by the Catholic civilization in scientific investigation and mapping of the earth that produces great explorers such as Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus. The Catholic world also produced the initial scientific map that shows that the world was not flat. Similarly, Stratigraphy also has its foundations attributed to the existence of the church, Nicolassteno (1686). Stratigraphy is the interpretation of the rock structure and layers to understand the structure, the seismic and volcanic activities that can take place on the rock. This is important to archeologists and geographers who would like to know how much activity of earth plate movements are possible from the available rocks. Another contribution towards civilization is from a French Catholic, who first developed the evolution theory altogether with the notion of the transmutation of some species and a genealogical tree.
From the set mentioned above of activities, the Catholic Church faithful have worked to helped in the understanding of the earth and the universe as a whole. In the added knowledge that has arisen from the church, various fields of study have consequentially come into existences that have created more employment opportunities for the majority. The church’s contributions in the fields of natural sciences also improved the quality of life.
University System of Education
The church developed the university system of education. This is the greatest contribution to education through Catholic civilization. Many universities in the world, which emerges because of the Catholic civilization up to date, show the sign of their Catholic foundation e.g. the Oxford University. Today, Catholic runs a big number of schools, which educates many people worldwide.
Apart from the universities, the church has also set its activities far reaching in the education system. From the building of schools to employing of teachers and the design o the curriculum for study, the activities the church has put in the education sector are still significant. It is the first church that spread the need of education to many parts of the world, giving very many people the opportunities to get educated and become civilized.
Initiations of Law and Jurisprudence
Pope Gregory presided over the formation the laws that govern the church and status of Europe. The first body of Law was a result of the subsequent application of philosophy in conjunction with the great Catholic works of other philosophers. This revolution led to the founding of law schools and so, legal profession emerged.
Today, the law has become a core aspect of the life of the society. It has created legal systems that govern every aspect of life. Through the legal activities, people can define their behaviors and get antisocial behavior corrected. It is difficult to imagine the current society that we live in if legal systems were not in place. In line with that, the Catholic Church is a considerable luminary for the contribution it inspired in these law-based systems.
The Church’s Contributions in Music
Catholic Church also draws some inspiration from music where musical tradition got its foundation by the Catholic civilization. The church also initiated the development of monophonic Gregorian chant. Such contribution saw methods used for recording music and has led to the invention of the musical notions, which in turn is a benefit for the recording of music.
Today, music is in every aspect of the society, performing different functions to different people. People use music to teach, to inspire, to challenge, to inform and mostly to entertain. Though fewer attributes go to the church, the importance of music in daily lives of people are authentic. It is through the church that this important attribute came into existence.
The Status of Women in Church Sphere
Catholic Church also draws inspiration to women through their strong faith, which has honored many women saints and natured great nuns. Catholic Church, through its doctrines also challenged many women to become scientists and professors. The need for women empowerment becomes easier by the fact that many women can easily attend to the Catholic based universities to get the further education. In many cases, the Catholic schools can also provide very viable sponsorships and scholarships to the women in the church. From such initiatives, women become better equipped in being competitive with their men counterpart.
Catholicism and Language Spread
Popular literacy is great as it formed the major doctrine of the church and facilitated by the Catholicism spread by the Catholic missions, and exploration has led to the great spread of languages. This is the reason as to why languages spread through Catholicism become most widely used the alphabet-writing system in the world. It is also through Catholic where languages such as the American Georgia and Cyrillic alphabets emerged. The Catholic hymn of Cardmon is still the oldest extant text of Old English. It is still in Catholic Church, where the first school for the blind existed. The school in return saw a visually impaired student develop a system of writing for the blind, and the system is still finding recognition the world over.
There have been a lot of innovations and inventions in the world today. Their success, however, the innovations and inventions are founded on the strong foundations of the early contributors. The significance of the pounding Catholic Church membership is still paramount. Similarly, the contributions of the medieval kings in Europe like Justinian 1 have also contributed a lot to the development of the current society. With Theodore at his support, the process of uniting Western Europe became possible. King Charlemagne also made similar contributions.
BIBLIOGRAPHY l 1033 Woods, T. J. (2005). How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. Washington DC: Library of Congress.
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