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Germany [eastern Franks] becomes the greatest power in Europe, uniting to itself Upper Italy and Lotharingia.
Western Franks [france]. Early in this century the northern part of the country is invaded by the Norsemen, — bold seafaring adventurers from Denmark and other northern lands, from whom the name Normandy is derived. (See below, under Normandy.) The kingdom of France begins in 987.
Italy. The northern part becomes united with the German Empire. A large part of Southern Italy is still subject to the Eastern Empire.
Eastern Empire. The territory and power of the Eastern Empire become much extended.
Saracens. The Saracen Empire is divided at the beginning of this century into no less than seven independent caliphates, of which the most distinguished is that of the Fatimites. The Saracenic civilization in Spain is now at its height. By the end of the century the power of the Saracens in the East is of but little account politically.
Denmark, Norway, and Sweden are powerful kingdoms by the close of this century. (See also under Western Franks [france], and England.)
England is engaged in struggles with the Danes.
Normandy becomes independent in 912. (See above, under Western Franks [france].)
Burgundy lasts through the century.
Leon. This Christian kingdom in Spain begins in 916, and that of Navarre is founded in 905.
Russia in this century is composed of very extensive principalities.
The Magyars, or Hungarians, before the end of the century have established a strong kingdom in the southeast of Europe; and to the north the Slavonic states of Poland and Bohemia are planted.
A. D. 900 — A. B. 1000.
908. Beginning of the Patimite dynasty in Africa.
912. The Normans, under Rollo, settle in France, and take possession of Normandy.
924. Beginning of the kingdom of Great Britain.
962. Coronation at Rome of the Emperor Otho the Great
967- The Fatimites in Egypt
987. Hugh Capet becomes King of France. End of the Carlovingian dynasty.
A widespread belief in the approach of the end of the world and the day of judgment prevails during the latter part of the century.
PROMINENT NAMES OF THE CENTURY.
Emperors and Kings. — Conrad, Henry (the Fowler), Otho (the Great).
King. — Hugh Capet
Kings. — Alfred, Edward the Elder, Athelstan, Edward the Martyr.
Dunstan, Suidas, Gerbert (Pope Sylvester II.).
THIS century is, for the most part, rather a period of religious and social movements and tendencies than one of accomplished results. One important movement is the establishment of the "Holy Eoman Empire," by Otho the Great, in 962, — a sort of revival of the Western Empire. A protracted contest between the popes and the emperors begins, which leads in the next century to a great increase in the power of the Church. Feudalism is now nearly at its highest point of development.
In the beginning of the tenth century the family of Charlemagne had almost disappeared; his monarchy was broken into many hostile and independent states; the regal title was assumed by the most ambitious chiefs ; their revolt was imitated in a long subordination of anarchy and discord, and the nobles of every province disobeyed their sovereign, oppressed their vassals, and exercised perpetual hostilities against their equals and neighbors. — Gibbon.
THE SARACENS IN SPAIN.
The Mahometan civilization in Spain is at the summit of its power and splendor, presenting a strong contrast to the degraded condition of the rest of Western Europe.
Laying the foundations of their power in a system of wise and equitable laws, diligently cultivating the arts and sciences, and promoting agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, they gradually formed an empire unrivalled for its prosperity by any of the empires of Christendom; and, diligently drawing round them the graces and refinements which marked the Arabian empire in the East at the time of its greatest civilization, they diffused the light of Oriental knowledge through the western regions of benighted Europe. The cities of Arabian Spain became the resort of Christian artisans, to instruct themselves in the useful arts. The universities of Toledo, Cordova, Seville, and Granada were sought by the pale student from other lands to acquaint himself with the sciences of the Arabs and the treasured lore of antiquity; the lovers of the gay science resorted to Cordova and Granada to imbibe the poetry and music of the East; and the steel-clad warriors of the North hastened thither to accomplish themselves in the graceful exercises and courteous usages of chivalry. . . . With all this, however, the Moslem empire in Spain was but a brilliant exotic that took no permanent root in the soil it embellished. Severed from all their neighbors in the West by impassable barriers of faith and manners, and separated by seas and deserts from their kindred of the East, the Morisco Spaniards were an isolated people. Their whole existence was a prolonged, though gallant and chivalric, struggle for a foothold in a usurped land.— Irving.
Here the Moorish khalifs of Cordova became the rivals of the Arab khalifs of Bagdad. At a time when profane learning was ignored elsewhere, they were patrons of science, learning, and the arts; they founded schools and universities ; they encouraged every branch of scientific research; and their court was the centre of an intellectual society. Their splendid palaces still remain as monuments of their magnificence and taste. Their civilization was several centuries in advance of that of Europe. — May.
That in many subjects they made experiments, may easily be allowed. There never was a period of the earth's history, and least of all a period of commerce and manufactures, luxury and art, medicine and engineering, in which there were not going on innumerable processes which may be termed experiments; and in addition to these the Arabians adopted the pursuit of alchemy, and the love of exotic plants and animals. But so far from their being, as has been maintained, a people whose "experimental intellect" fitted them to form sciences which the " abstract intellect" of the Greeks failed in producing, it rather appears that several of the sciences which the Greeks had founded were never even comprehended by the Arabians. I do not know any evidence that these pupils ever attained to understand the real principles of mechanics, hydrostatics, and harmonics, which their masters had established. At any rate, when these sciences again became progressive, Europe had to start where Europe had stopped. There is no Arabian name which any one has thought of interposing between Archimedes, the ancient, and Stevinus and Galileo, the moderns. — William Whewell.
But when I am told, as we sometimes are, not only that they [the Saracens] had made great comparative advances in learning and science, but that they had all the learning and science then in the world to themselves, I simply attribute it to our strange habit of entirely forgetting the existence of an Eastern as well as a Western Christendom. Whence did the Saracens obtain their knowledge? They confessedly did not bring it with them from Mecca or Medina, and it hardly sprang spontaneously from the ground either at Cordova or at Bagdad. We must again look to our poor friend, the "Greek of the Lower Empire." . . . The Arabs seem to have positively invented nothing, though what they learned from their Byzantine masters they often, with the zeal of new scholars, developed and improved. — Freeman.
The characteristic feature of medieval society is the institution known as feudalism, which reached its highest point of diffusion and power in the eleventh century. It is a form of government which was unknown in ancient times. Established by the barbarous nations of Europe, based upon a new division of property resulting from military service, and the grant of lands by kings and lords