5.1 Lords and vassals, Franks and Frisians (2020)

   Age 3 : The age of Monks and Knights

5.1 Lords and vassals, Franks and Frisians
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In deze les zitten 44 slides, met interactieve quizzen, tekstslides en 1 video.

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   Age 3 : The age of Monks and Knights

5.1 Lords and vassals, Franks and Frisians

Slide 1 - Tekstslide

Middle Ages

Slide 2 - Woordweb

Why did the Roman Empire fall?

Slide 3 - Open vraag

Slide 4 - Tekstslide

500 - 1000

Slide 5 - Tekstslide

AGE 3: the Time of Monks and Knights
500 - 1000 AD
Typical Aspects:

  1. the spread of Christianity in Europe
  2. the rise and spread of Islam
  3. the Manorial system and serfs
  4. the Feudal system
Early Middle Ages 
/ Dark Ages

Slide 6 - Tekstslide

1. The symbol / icon of this Age is a:
Roman helmet
Viking helmet
Christian helmet
Muslim helmet

Slide 7 - Quizvraag

What is this lesson about?
Local Germanic rulers came to power after the fall of the Roman Empire. They had a warrior culture that focused on the bond between lords and their vassals. From the sixth century the Franks established an empire that controlled large parts of Europe, including the Netherlands.

Slide 8 - Tekstslide

What you can explain /  do after this lesson
- Who were the Franks?
- How did the Franks establish a new empire?
- How did the system of lords and vassals work?
- how was exchanging gifts a way to form and maintain friendly alliances.
- Who was Charlemagne?
- Why was Charlemagne such an important ruler and innovator?

Slide 9 - Tekstslide

Word Duty

Franks - most powerful of the Germanic tribes
Warrior culture - culture in which fights and battles are ways to achieve honour and power
Lord - medieval word for rulers, such as kings
Vassals - follower of a lord with special rights
Hall - room to accomodate a large group. It was used to make important decisions
Hereditary: going from father to son(s).
Frisians - people who lived in the northern and western parts of the Netherlands and along the river delta in the middle of the Netherlands.
Charlemagne - also known as Charles the Great, was king of the Franks. He united most of Western Europe into one empire.
Saxons - Germanic tribe, they invaded England
Barrows - large mounds used as graves

Slide 10 - Tekstslide

Important dates in this lesson:

From this Age all dates are automatically AD, so there is no need to add this to the dates.
So, 476 is 476 AD.

476: end of the Western Roman empire, start of the early Middle Ages, or Dark Ages.

466 - 511: Clovis unites all the Franks under his leadership.

800: the Frankish king Charlemagne (Karel de Grote) is crowned "emperor" of the Frankish Empire by the pope.

Slide 11 - Tekstslide

With the Roman empire gone, many things changed for the people in Europe. 
The Romans had spread civilisation, education, art, science, architecture. In the Roman empire trade had flourished. Traders could travel safely across the whole empire to sell their goods using Roman coins.
This was all gone now.
So, what changed? And what did not change? That's what this lesson is about.

Slide 12 - Tekstslide

Europe at the beginning of the Time of Monks and Knights

Slide 13 - Tekstslide

Local rulers

The fall of the Roman Empire had huge consequences for the whole society. The empire had been run centrally from Rome. A professional army secured its protection and local government had been in the hands of city officials. This system of government ended with the fall of the Empire.
The Germanic peoples, including the Franks, had a different kind of society. They had no cities, did not know how to write and they did not have one, but several rulers. 
These local rulers now became the kings of the different Germanic kingdoms.

Slide 14 - Tekstslide

2. Why did people live safe lives during the time of
the Roman Empire? There are two correct answers.
Slaves were trained and given weapons to protect Roman families.
The Roman Empire had a professional army to secure its protection.
People in Roman times travelled as little as possible.
The Empire did not have competing rulers, but was run centrally from Rome.

Slide 15 - Quizvraag

The Frankish empire

One of the local leaders was the Frank Childeric ( 440-482). He was not the leader of all the Franks, but he created a Frankish empire in the area he controlled around Tournai (Belgium). His son Clovis     466-511) was able to unite all the Franks under his rule by killing other leaders. Among them were several of his relatives. He saw them as competitors for his position. In addition, he conquered other areas to extend his territory. Although many battles for power would follow, the Frankish kingdom was from then on the most powerful empire of Western Europe.
Clovis became the first Frankish king. And more important; he also became a Christian.

The Franks had a warrior culture: it was common to fight. In combats and battles they could earn honour and booty. The amount of victories that a warrior had on the battlefield and the way he showed bravery and - to our eyes - cruelty, provided him with power. This can be seen in the story in which Clovis personally executes a warrior who had opposed his authority (see question 4).
Clovis is baptised and becomes a Catholic Christian.
Frankish warriors

Slide 16 - Tekstslide

3. How did Clovis increase his power?
(two answers)

Slide 17 - Open vraag

4. Read the source.
Why did people fear Clovis?

Slide 18 - Open vraag

5. Why was the death of a Frankish king often followed
by a war or splitting up of the Empire?

Slide 19 - Open vraag

Lords and vassals

Lord is the term used in the Early Middle Ages for rulers, such as kings. In Germanic society, the bond between a lord and his followers, vassals, was very important. It was a personal bond based on mutual benefits. The benefits for the lord were that vassals fought for him and gave him respect. The lord’s power was demonstrated by the number of his followers. A powerful lord offered his followers protection, shelter and income.

The bonds between lords and their vassals were strengthened in the hall: a building that could accommodate a large group of people. In the hall people ate and drank, made music and listened to stories together. Important decisions were made here, about starting a war or forming alliances, for example. Visitors such as traders came to the hall to offer their goods. In the hall, the lord also gave gifts.
a vassal kneels and swears loyalty to his lord

Slide 20 - Tekstslide


Slide 21 - Sleepvraag

Franks and Frisians

The expansion of the Frankish Empire had started in the end of the fifth century, in the time of King Clovis. The expansion often came to a standstill in the centuries that followed. The weakness of the Empire was that it was personal property of the King. When he died, the land was divided among his sons. They fought each other to get their hands on more territory.
Lords at the borders paid little attention to the Frankish kings. This also applied to the Frisian lords at the northern border of the Frankish Empire. The Frisians were a people that lived in the coastal areas of the northern and western Netherlands and along the river delta in the middle of the Netherlands. The area inhabited by the Frisians around 700 AD is therefore different from the present province of Friesland.
In the first half of the eighth century, the Franks started the political centralisation of their Empire. They removed the power of local rulers to increase the influence of the Frankish kings. The military leader Charles Martel (718-741) managed to defeat the Frisians and gain possession of their lands.

Slide 22 - Tekstslide

7. Where did the two Germanic tribes live? Drag to the right position.


Slide 23 - Sleepvraag

What is?
centralisation and decentralisation ?

Centralisation: this means that a country / empire is ruled from 1 place (the centre) and by one ruler (king / emperor)
For example: The whole Roman empire was ruled from 1 place (Rome). Everywhere within the empire there were the same laws, rules, money, taxes. Everything was decided from Rome (the centre)

Decentralisation: this means that a country does not have one central point from where all the laws are made, but the country is divided into many different regions, each with its own ruler, laws, money, taxes, etc.
For example: Ancient Greece was a decentralised country because every city state had its own laws, rulers, money etc.

Slide 24 - Tekstslide

8. It says that Frankish rulers started with
the political centralisation of their Empire.
Would you consider gift-giving as political
centralisation or political decentralisation? Explain your answer.

Slide 25 - Open vraag

Slide 26 - Video

Make a picture / scan of the finished handout of the
video questions of the School TV Histoclip about
Charlemagne (page 1)
and upload it here.

Slide 27 - Open vraag

Make a picture / scan of the finished handout of the
video questions of the School TV Histoclip about
Charlemagne (page 2)
and upload it here.

Slide 28 - Open vraag


The Frankish Empire was at its largest during the rule of Charlemagne (768-814). He managed to defeat the Saxons and other peoples. He also conquered parts of Italy. Besides fighting, Charlemagne focused on improvements in his kingdom.
He appointed a body of officials and made sure that laws were written down. Furthermore he greatly encouraged education and science. He even interfered with the administration of other rulers, such as the kings of England. His authority was so great, it was reminiscent of the power of the Roman emperors. He was even crowned Emperor by the Pope in 800 AD.
The pope puts the imperial crown on Charlemagne's head and makes him "EMPEROR". There had not been an emperor in Western Europe since the Roman emperor, and many people saw this event as a return to the times of the Roman Empire. They also saw Charlemagne as being the most powerful ruler on earth, just as powerful as Roman emperors used to be. 

Slide 29 - Tekstslide

9. In Dutch Charlemagne is called.....

Slide 30 - Open vraag

10. Which event is shown on the painting?

Slide 31 - Open vraag

11. On the coin below, you can see a portrait of Charlemagne.
Was this coin made before or after 800 AD? Use the coin
to explain your answer.

Slide 32 - Open vraag

What is?
continuity and discontinuity (in history lessons)?

Continuity: this means that somethings continues, or "keeps going on" . 
For example: After the fall of the western Roman empire Christianity continued as an important religion.

Discontinuity: this means that something ends and is replaced by something different (it does NOT continue)
For example: When the Roman monarchy ended and Rome became a Republic.
A system of government was replaced by a very different system. So this is "discontinuity".

Slide 33 - Tekstslide

Study this overview. Can you tell in your own words what it shows?

In the next question you must drag & drop texts to the correct category: discontinuity of continuity.
500 AD

Slide 34 - Tekstslide

500 AD
International trade
Latin language
use of money
Roman roads
living in cities
Rome: the center of Christianity
literacy and education

Slide 35 - Sleepvraag

12. For the Franks and other Germanic tribes a lot of things also
changed or continued.
Choose 'continuity' if it was an idea they already had before they conquered the Roman empire . Choose 'discontinuity' if they adopted the idea from the Romans.
a. The Germanic tribes had several rulers.

Slide 36 - Quizvraag

12b. The Frankish ruler Clovis converted to Christianity.

Slide 37 - Quizvraag

12c. Gift-giving was used by Frankish lords to
guarantee the
loyalty of his followers.

Slide 38 - Quizvraag

12d. The power and property of the Frankish
kings was hereditary

Slide 39 - Quizvraag

13a. Look at source 5.11 in your textbook (page 101). This pin was made out of silver and gold. It is richly decorated with precious stones called almandine. Almandine are pretty rare and are only found in parts of Asia near India.
a. What does this pin tell us about the status of its owner? Explain your answer

Slide 40 - Open vraag

13b. What does this pin tell us about trade in the Early Middle Ages? Explain your answer.

Slide 41 - Open vraag

Write down one question about something from this lesson that you find difficult.

Slide 42 - Open vraag

Make a picture / scan of the summary of lesson 5.1
and upload it here.

Slide 43 - Open vraag


Slide 44 - Tekstslide