Application and Reflection Questions
What challenges did people face in the period of time after the collapse of Roman authority in western Europe?
How did religion influence political life in the early Middle Ages?
What roles did women play in early medieval societies?
How did the Germanic tribes transform the western Roman Empire?
What external and internal forces challenged the stability of states, Christian or Islamic, in this period?
In what circumstances were peoples of different faiths tolerated in this period? Under what conditions were people more divided over religion? Why?
In what ways were the Germans, the Byzantine Empire, and the Muslim states all inheritors of Roman and Greek culture?
How did religious reform shape relationships between different Christian communities?
What do the Christian ideas of crusade have in common with the Islamic ideas of jihad? What complicates these ideas as notions of “just war”?
What stated goals did the crusading movement achieve, and what unintended consequences arose from them?
In what way did the Crusades bring peoples from across Afro-Eurasia into contact with each other?
In what ways did the Crusades change the relationship between Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities in the Middle East? What impact have the Crusades had on subsequent ideas of religious toleration?
How did geography affect the crusaders, the Byzantine Empire, or the Muslim states?