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European culture and the early Middle Ages

"Middle Ages" in the development of European cultureRenaissance thinkers called the time of universal decline, which fell between the brilliant Antiquity and the talented Renaissance. In fact, the culture of the early Middle Ages (V-IX centuries) was a complex and many-sided phenomenon. It has become a new stage in the development of European consciousness and spiritual life.

The transition to the Middle Ages from Antiquity wasdue to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and the collapse of ancient culture, as well as the Great Migration. The formation of a new culture took place under the conditions of a dramatic collision of two completely different cultures - the ancient (Romanesque) and barbarian (German) ones. No less important factor than the two, was the growing influence of Christianity, which became the integrating principle of a single, holistic culture of a new level.

The culture of Western Europe in the early Middle Ages -This is a unique mixture of different cultures, which occurred as a result of a very controversial synthesis of the ancient heritage with young barbaric ideas, which occurred under the influence of Christianity. It became the dominant culture of this period, the pillar of the new worldview, world outlook and world view of people.

Spiritual life is always based on material. In the early Middle Ages, the social basis of culture was as follows:

  • alienation of the peasant from the land;
  • the conventionality of feudal rights to land ownership (vassal system);
  • feudal hierarchy, precluding the existence of complete private property.

In such conditions, formed twosociocultural poles - feudal lords and peasants dependent on them. This led to the emergence of an intellectual and spiritual elite, which was diametrically different from the “silent majority” of the illiterate common people. Features of economic life, which had the early Middle Ages, significantly influenced the formation of culture.

This period is special for Europe.It was at this time that the tasks were solved that determined the future of European civilization. In antiquity "Europe" did not exist as a cultural and historical community. It began to form only at this time.

The early Middle Ages did not give the world great achievements, but it was this period that marked the beginning of the European culture itself. Therefore, its value can be compared with the heights of ancient culture.

The brightest phenomena in the cultural life of 5-7 centuriesassociated with the assimilation of the ancient heritage, which was especially lively in Italy and Spain. Theology and rhetorical culture are developing rapidly. But since the second half of the 7th century, Western European culture has declined. She huddles in monasteries, protected only by monks.

Early Middle Ages - the time of the creation of the firstwritten "Stories" of the barbarians. The abolition of slavery contributed to the more rapid development of technical inventions. Already in the 6th century begins the use of water energy.

Воссоздать культурную жизнь варварских племен practically not possible. It is generally accepted that by the time of the Great Migration the heroic epic was already beginning to take shape. The barbarians brought a new view on the perception of the world, based on primitive power, tribal ties, militant energy, unity with nature and the inseparability of people from the gods.

The early Middle Ages was the beginning of the growth of the self-consciousness of the barbarian peoples. The philosophy of this time is to universalism. Spirit prevails over matter, God - over the world.

Oral poetry is developing, especially in the countries of Scandinavia and England.

A special cultural phenomenon was mummery. Glory was used by troubadours - poets who performed their own poems with musical accompaniment.

The regulator of the social rhythm of society isthe peasantry, which, despite ignoring the ruling class, in a certain sense dominated the spiritual life of society. The church was not hostile to the peasants, considering poverty as an ideal state. The schools of Europe were in the hands of the church, but the level of education was minimal.