Franks, Brits and Pope Gregory the Great

It is the 6th century.

The Western Roman Empire has been overrun by Germanic barbarians and has collapsed. We’re looking at the aftermath as the Franks spill over the Rhine and begin to conquer northern Gaul. Clovis unites all the Franks under his rule, converts to Christianity and forces his subjects to convert. By the 7th century, the Franks rule most of France and western Germany.

Shortly after the Romans withdraw from Britain in 410 AD, the Anglo-Saxons arrive no later than 450 AD and begin the conquest of what is now England from which they carve out the seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Kent (Jutes), Wessex, Essex, Sussex (Saxons), East Anglia, Mercia and Northumbria (Angles). Hengist and Horsa were Jutes who established the first beachhead in Kent in the far southeast of England where there was a catastrophic collapse of Roman civilization in the 5th and 6th centuries. It must have resembled a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Genetically speaking, Britain is largely unchanged down to the present day and still resembles what it looked like in 600 AD. This was the beginning of a huge cultural change though because it was around this time that the Anglo-Saxons began to convert to Christianity.

There were four factors that converged here:

The Anglo-Saxons kingdoms converted to Christianity in the 7th century. In the late 9th and early 10 centuries, King Alfred and his successors created a unified Christian England in response to the Viking invasions. Shortly thereafter, England was conquered by the Danes and Normans and by that point we are in the High Middle Ages which is a different era.

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21 Comments

  1. And again, you are incorrect. The entire Church was ONE until the PAPAL SCHISM in 1054. Yes, there were rumbles starting with Llanfranc, Charlemagne, but the church stayed unified until around the first millennium. Pope Leo’s plaques with the filioque omitted, still visible in the Vatican, is proof of my assertion that the Church was Orthodox, but did not ‘become’ the Roman Catholic Church, until she broke with the other 4/5ths of Christendom around the 11th Century.

    So, your byline “The Roman Catholic Church picks up the pieces of the Western Roman Empire” is not only purposefully intellectually ignorant, it is historically inaccurate, as well. And you call yourself a student of history….

    Really, HW, it’s almost as if you were not LCMS, but some form of Ultramontane Papist in disguise, in your willingness to submit both to Roman as well as Talmudic propaganda, by labeling certain things with the oldest ‘fake news’ memes on the planet….

    • No, you are just obsessed with Orthodoxy and try to turn every discussion here into one about it in the comment section. I’m not a Catholic, but we are studying a period roughly a thousand years before Luther’s time and 500 years before the split with Orthodoxy.

  2. I’ll defend HW here, you are being a bit hard on him.
    There are many sources and they don’t cover history
    the same especially on YouTube.

    I know this history to the point of it is hard to remember
    the details, too much going on.

    1054 did not happen overnight, it was over 200 years in the
    making of back and forth. It was one church. A lot is happening
    in the world at this time, Constantinople is fighting the
    moslems nonstop.

    The greatest story is of Charles the Great, he along with
    the Roman Church at the time asked for recognition and
    Constantinople gave it, crowned King along with his Church
    he rebuilt, commissioning them to save scripture and Latin.

    This Church does great things througout Europe, farming,
    blacksmithing, beehiving, literature, Universities, etc etc.

    Be objective and take history for what it is people.

    There is ZERO reason for any European anywhere to
    corrupt this history, a lot of good and bad, from Ireland
    to Greece, from Norway/Iceand/Kiev to Gibraltor, nobody
    gains anything other than our enemies corrupting
    European history.

    The rest of the planet today is not better, never was.

    There are incredible University level podcasts on all of this,
    you cannot go wrong. Don’t get stuck on details.

    HW , good job, I think you know, a lot of ” W N ” will take
    issue with the history you are covering, stand tall .

    • Byzantium and Orthodoxy was its own insular world and have little to do with the Western church as it evolved even in the Early Middle Ages. See iconoclasm which was a bit later and long before 1054. In Britain in the 6th and 7th centuries, there was only Roman and Celtic Christianity.

      • Gregory the Great was the first Pope to issue a protection order for the Jews in 598 AD. Although prior Popes’ had done similar without the force with which Pope Gregory did it.

        The Greeks went back and forth over the centuries with the Pope, at the time of the Muslim conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the Pope was, and had been the overlord of the Eastern Roman Emperor. For all the Catholic crying, the Pope did nothing to save his Greek vassal and Constantinople.

  3. If it was not for the Roman Catholic Church, Pre and Post 1054
    we would not be here today.

    If it was not for Constantinopole, we would not be here today as
    we know Europe, the moslems were attacking for 900 years.

    If it was not for Italians fighting to the death on the Walls of
    Constantiople and on the Seas, we would not be here today.

    If it was not for Charles the Great, Europe would be a very
    different place and again, we would not be here today.

    Fighting Moslems, brutal raiders from the north, one of the main
    priorities was literature and saving Latin, Church Scripture,

    lessons for today, we can come back from the ” dark age ” ,

    THE CAROLINGIAN RENAISSANCE

      • I’m assuming you mean that since Islam is a split from Christianity, without Christianity it couldn’t exist. Maybe so, but the arabs clearly had a strong desire to unite together and gang up on whitey, regardless of the religious excuse. Mohammed would’ve just used different source material to concoct his warrior religion and tap into the arabs primal rage against the white man.

        …and just being honest I don’t know how well a pagan Europe would’ve handled the Muslim invasion. Maybe if Western Rome didn’t fall they could’ve been staved off but without that it’s doubtful.

  4. One of the greatest documentaries I ever saw on YouTube,
    from TV, put on from a military perspective, hard to find,

    The Turks attack Malta, the Knights of St. John destroy them,
    saving Europe. A fight to the death. Facing incredible odds.

    We are still standing because of them.

    Vs the Moslems , we outnumbered 10 to 1 , is very good odds
    anywhere.

    • ANON,

      Yes. Well said. My family has a book in our library on the Siege of Malta in 1566. We also have one on the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

      Europe needed a unifying force to stop the Moslems. Different barbarian tribes never could have therefore it had to be religion back then.

      I do not see how anyone can blame Christianity for the formation of Islam. Defined dogmas consider Islam to be a mortal sin. We fought Crusades against them etc.

  5. That high school history teacher is very good but I wonder what he really wanted to do with his life? I’ll bet he drinks a lot. That tenured position at the University….It should have been mine!

    • spahnranch1969,

      I have not read St. Augustine’s City of God. I have heard of it and I imagine it would be in the school library or our family’s library.

      I am sorry you lost out on that University position. Keep a stiff upper lip.

  6. The “Holy Roman Empire” was none of those things. And much of the art and literature of the Classical world has been lost forever because of villains like Theodosius I.

    • spahnranch1969,

      You just quoted Voltaire if I remember my 7th grade History class correctly.

      As for Theodosius I he made Catholicism the state religion of the Roman Empire and may have been the last Emperor who held the Empire together from Britain to Syria.

      That to me and I am sure to the inhabitants of the Empire being attacked on all sides by enemies is far more important than art and literature. Modern historians seem to place things as more important than people. If they lived back then I am sure unity and a powerful Army would /should take precedence in their minds.

      Naturally, I wish such art/literature would not have been destroyed.

      • Cristina,

        Always the pragmatic. Your cold, yet rational calculations are impressive. Are you sure you’re not a reincarnation of some lost in time wise queen or perhaps the brains behind some other giant of Western civilization? Yes, I know your Catholic dogma doesn’t accept the concept of reincarnation, but like certain “heresies” the church denounces, these rejections do not make them any more or less so.

        • November,

          You are the soul of sweetness. I am being taught and educated very nicely. I have had private tutors and the tuition at my school is expensive. There are of course no scholarships so the students here come from dedicated families.

          However, in the United States we cook our own food so the want to be Empress of Mexico/Spain/ or Russia now has to go and help her grandmother and mother prepare dinner. My older sister can set the table.

          The males in our family are relaxing in front of the fireplace. My father loves his brandy. I am not used to cold weather so I love it when it arrives. I love snow on the few occasions I have experienced it.

          • Theodosius was the last emperor to rule over the unified Eastern and Western Empires, miss. A short time later Rome was sacked by the Visigoths and never recovered. Have you read Augustine’s City of God?

        • November,

          Maria would like to but she is too small and young to hold and swing a cleaver. I have slaughtered chickens once. Some workers were killing them and I thought I would give it a try.

          I ordered one of them to hand me a cleaver while he put the chicken’s head behind some bent nails on a wooden table to pin it. So I chopped her head off. I did it for a few chickens.

          I definitely know what they mean by running around like a chicken without their heads. Maria did laugh at the sight and I did too the first time. Then I viewed it as a necessity in order to eat food.

          I believe it is a good lesson to remember how food is acquired. My father and uncles like to hunt. Naturally, there can be no moral difference between killing your own food or hiring someone to butcher it for you at a huge mark up in price.

          • Cristina,

            Definitely a good lesson to learn.

            I had to get over my initial revulsion of killing animals too. It’s still not something that comes naturally, but I can and have been able to do it when necessary.

            Maria should be used as a cartoon protagonist or have her own YouTube channel detailing her idiosyncrasies. It would be a hoot.

            Your father seems like a man of refinement but not too distant or removed from a rougher life as a ranch hand or sod buster. You and your siblings are very fortunate to have such a formidable and loving Patron.

        • November,

          Thank you for the compliment on our father down below. He believes in efficiency and organization. He is generally a happy person. When he is grumpy all of us except my grandmother and Maria are careful around him. My grandmother is his mother so she is never afraid of him.

          My sister Maria can be like a cartoon villain but she is very brave and will just jump in father’s lap when he is grumpy and start telling stories that are funny and meaningless. Soon my father starts laughing and everything is okay.

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