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Before the Gregorian ReformThe Latin Church at the Turn of the First Millennium$
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John Howe

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452895

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452895.001.0001

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“Enter Confidently into the War of the Lord God”

“Enter Confidently into the War of the Lord God”

(p.50) Chapter 2 “Enter Confidently into the War of the Lord God”
Before the Gregorian Reform

John Howe

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the connection between the rise of the West and the revival and reform of the Latin Church. At the end of the eleventh century, descendants of the demoralized Latin Christians who in the tenth century had to endure attacks by non-Christian invaders would fight their way through Greek, Turkish, and Arab empires to raise the Latin cross over Jerusalem. The success of the Crusaders was more than a military achievement. This chapter begins with a brief overview of the military, political, and ecclesiastical history of the tenth-century Latin West, with particular emphasis on “encastellation” (the development of extensive internal fortifications) as a form of military security in early medieval Western Europe. It then considers how barbarian invasions and the wreckage they caused reshaped the political order and resulted in the fragmentation of Europe into smaller polities. It also discusses the efforts of the kings and ruling elites of the new order to rebuild the Church and carry out ecclesiastical reform via church building.

Keywords:   ecclesiastical reform, Latin Church, Latin West, encastellation, Western Europe, church building, barbarian invasions

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