Hello all, this debate topic is in response to the most recent crash course video about the medieval period or more commonly known as the dark ages.  Before we begin I want to tell you a few things about me

1) I am dyslexic I try to do my best with grammer and spelling but there will be problems and odd bits.  I am sorry for your pain for having to read the mistakes but being dyslexic does not make me dumb or any other names someone might feel like calling me.

2) I have a two degrees in history.  Along with a few other degrees.  But one of them is in world history focusing on fudeal, imperial, and medieval periods.

3) I have writen one thesis already on the crusades.  I am not euro centric but do feel the love for my fudeual periods.  I actually focused on the crusades from the arab point of view, damn those franks.  ;)

4) I am doing this because the discution in youtube lacks a certain level of understanding and education.  It also had to many moder biases that missed the larger point.

5) I dispise blanket statements about history but will unfortunatly be making this simplified so will be using them insert dependent on time and place as you see fit.


Now onto the show.  John simply comprese a highly complicated period that incompased most of the world during rouughly the same time.  Crash course has had an amazing ability to be mostly correct and stay broad without giving into too many blanket statements.

The comments on the otherhand have missed the point as per usual youtube.  I am going to list a few points for discution feel free to agree disagree with support.

1: serfs are the same as peasents.  No actually they are not peasents is a general term discriping those of a certain social and money class.  They where often free "men" bound to areas by laws and loyalty.  They could go to court, own land, become nobiltiy through deeds and family ties.  They where educated.  Serfs where bound persons, bound to the land they works and often where very very poor and had little education.  They could become free men.  You could be born as a sefr or become a serf through the loss of wealth.  Peasents and serfdom varied from area to area.  Serfdom being most common in Russia.  (Which went through its own vastly diffrent fudal period then the rest of Europe)

2: peasents where forced into the fudal system or where slaughterd.  This again is a blanket statement that lacks variation for area and time.  There are a few large examples that peasents where not helpless to the sword so to say.  The "Peasents revolt" being the largest.  We also still have law text and church documents of who sued who aften peasents suing their "lords", who bought what and married who.  being under a king or a lord was part of their social system just as for us being under a congress or parliment.  The fuduel system was a complicated intertwining system of loyalty, formal and verbal contracts, family relations, and friends.  You do not whole out slaughter your ties, family, and firends or the people that feed you.

3: The church limited education to control the masses.  This is just not true for the large part of the period.  The churches control did expand over time.  But the church was the heart of learning as where trade schools.  You learned to read and write about mathmatics.  Literacy was not as large of an issues as it is today.  you needed to know enough to do your books and complete contracts, but math was more important.  Yes access to the holy books where limited.  But the monistaries where open to all boys (and some girls) and where most often free for anyone serf, peasent, or nobility.  Also this statement is completly Eurocentric and ignores what was happening in the arab world or in China.  But let us stay on topic.  Also the church was a part of everyday life it was your meeting house, your fair ground, your hospiltal, ect.  No one for the most part thought of it as evil, corrupt, or a limiter of freedom.  Education as for most of the other areas of the world during this time was interlinked with religion.


Ok so those are just a few very broad points in a very large complicated series of events that we are still learning about today.  As with all history I feel it is important to see the intricate parts then the easy blanket statements.  We are still being effected by the medieval period today.  What happened in the crusades lead to parts of the enlightenment, the black plague helped to construct part of the economic foundation for the industrial revolution.  This is just in Europe not including Russia.  Once you look into the middle east, Asia, or Japan it turns things on its head and gets oh so much fun.


Ok have fun I have said my peace.  Debate, read, learn, enjoy, and keep it civil.



Tags: ages, church, course, crash, dark, fudeul, history, knights, medieval, peasents, More…period, religion, serf, serfdom, youtube

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I am confused, I thought Peter meant rock, but I could be wrong?

Okay so  there has been some changes.  I am wondering what your thoughts are on the idea of multiple popes?  Like there was once more than one Pope, and then the church split into the Eastern Orthodox and Roman rite and all the rest (I am going by Catholic teachings here, which may be incomplete knowledge)?  How did this effect the coronation of emperors and kings?  And why did they turn it into a life-long job, instead of what it used to be?

What about Henry VII?  Isn't he the guy who split from the Catholics so he could get divorced. Well why did they need the Archbishop of cantebury anyway to divinely coronate the king?  Couldn't he just say "well screw you, I'm the king, and I've got lots of army men to stab you if you disagree"?

Peter, from Greek petros, meaning rock.

I'm just fishing from my limited knowledge of the era, but I think the multiple Popes era came after the split. As for the political consequences of the East-West split, it has to do with the relationship between the crown and the Church. In Rome, the Pope has significant political/military power, and as God's representative on Earth, more influential than kings at that time. He->crowns->them. In Constantinople on the other hand, the SOP is for the Emperor to 'appoint' the patriarch of Constantinople, the so called "first among equals" in the Orthodox Church.

As for Henry the Eighth (missed an "I" back there), It still boggles my mind you could split a religion just to get a divorce. Though I don't think he has enough religious acumen to be an effective sole spiritual leader. Maybe that's why he kept the Archbishop around.

Again, limited knowledge here...

Thanks I wasn't sure in which language Peter ment rock, even got the wrong name, sorry.


I need to go back and read up on my Popes again.  Because I am not sure when the Roamn/Orthodox divide happened.


Yeah Henry the eigth kind of amazing.  Church of Egland still has many of the same structures as the church they divided from just no Pope that could order a king around from what I understand.  Never have been very clear where Church of England stands on things.

hmmm I think I'll go into digestion mode for awhile and see what you fine people come up with next...

Enjoy digestion. 

JV Welcome to the conversation :).  

Please feel free to correct or fill in anything. 


Thanks Susanne :)

Yeah I got the wrong name and dialect, sorry. 


The only true multiple pope period I know of was in the early medieval period.  The two popes excomunicated eachother so all of Europe was going to "hell" for a generation or so before it got sorted out.   I am not really sure where and when the divide happened.  For the rest of your questions I don't know. 

How did this effect the coronation of emperors and kings? 

This flows easily into the long standing practice of 1) identifing yourself as a god that is why I get to rule or 2) I was chosen by god to rule that is why this important person from our religion is crowning me.  I don't think it changed much it just solidified power better.  It also continued the long standing link between those who ruled on earth and those who ruled by heaven.  It is a trend seen all across the world through most of humaninty. 


Henry the eigth did split into the church of England for the suposed reason of getting a divorce.  It was smart to keep many of the same constructions of the old church.  Kings where inplaced by God you still needed someone to speak for God also you had a large country that you where leading that was heavily church oriantated.  Luther had happened by this period, but the whole questioning the church and dividing it was still in its infancy.  (Both where alive in the 16th century) Luthers divide had done a number on the church but the sects that sprange up where still very Cathlic but for a few changes.

 Couldn't he just say "well screw you, I'm the king, and I've got lots of army men to stab you if you disagree"?  I sure he could have because Henry was a bastard in that sort of way.  But the church had a larger loyalty set and more power than any king.  He could have killed an number of church people but there is still the Vatican and that is a fortress.  I don't think anyone would have enough power to take down the catholic church, especially back then. 


(Time and secularlis is now the foe of the Cathlic church.  They may take down the church in size like no army ever could) 

And thus the issues between protestantism and catholicism in the UK were born?

Wow. To think that stories like Ned Kelly and Guy Fawkes have historical roots in a dude that had more XX sperm than XY sperm and wanted a divorce....and now they have those Anonymous masks which are from V for Vendetta which is based on Guy Fawkes and worn by dudes who can't get laid (now I'm just being a cow, sorry, lol).  Man....

Right, so he couldn't kick the Vatican out completely?  He could only establish divine kingliness Version 2,  this one with him as the boss of the religion, even though he needed someone else to back it up (the archbishop)? Seems loopy to me.  So how does Luther come into it?  I mean I'm sure it was protestantism (no pope) but it doesn't seem like it's actually why Henry VIII did it......unless I'm reading this the wrong way....

Also JV has a discussion about historical weapons you'll likely enjoy participating in....

Thanks for the endorsement CD, very appreciated XD

Sure why not?  Similar interests and all that.  I'm totally riding on your respective expertises.....Knowledge scabbing I am XD

I will go click over to the weapons talk.  I am trained in a number of martial arts and historic weapons so always like to see what people think about the old cutters.


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