History 104A, November 4: Learning the Hard Way!


               We're going to talk about the agricultural growth in medieval


          Europe in what's called the high middle ages.  Basically from 1347 we


          saw a dramatic growth in food production and population and health and


          life expectancy.  But of course 1347 devastated much of that growth.


          What happened in 1347?  The so called black plague, the bubonic plague


          that was caused by?


          A    Rats.


               THE PROFESSOR:  It wasn't caused by rats.


          A    The fleas on the rats.


               THE PROFESSOR:  The fleas on the rats.  And that plague was to be


          intermittent in Europe until the end of the 17th century.  And the


          reason it disappeared finally, we're not exactly sure.  The black rat


          that was the host for the fleas began to be replaced by a brown rat


          where the fleas didn't live very well on.  And it helped supposedly to


          wipe out the continuous rebirth or reappearance of the plague.  We


          still see bubonic plague sometimes -- there was a case a few years ago


          found in Yosemite.  It appears, but today at least we have means of


          treating within limitations or finding it and getting rid of it




               So our period of time in a sense -- well, I got start dealing


          with the growth economically and the tremendous increase in


          agricultural production that came with the so called high middle ages.


          And that also meant learning and the knowledge of education to the


          extent that the 1100 period, the 12th century is known as the 12th



          century renaissance, the renaissance being a rebirth.  Of course it's


          never really a full rebirth.  We're talking about the culture,


          learning, knowledge, trade.  So the 12th century is seen as the first


          of a renaissance period.  Of course the fourth century begins the era


          that we historically call the renaissance.  The waning of the middle


          ages begins after 1347.  And as I say, there was not only the


          devastation that came about there from the plague, but the tremendous


          warfare, including the 100 years war that began to basically


          exterminate the population in Europe, some areas two-thirds of the


          people died.


               I did promise you an exam question for Wednesday's exam.  I do


          want to distribute this.  However, I may need to do some explanation.


          Candidly, I just could not come up with the wording I wanted.  I kept


          changing it and changing it and changing it.  Maybe I should at least


          try and explain it.  The picture of the ship there is probably a


          little after our period, in fact, maybe a lot after.  I was looking


          for something that sort of fit the question in my clip art.  This sort


          of did it.  We got enough?  Any extras?  Okay.  The first millennium


          CE.  Give me a translation of this making sure we all understand those


          first words?  What does that say in plain English?


          A    The first 1,000 years in the common era.


               THE PROFESSOR:  Of the common era, yeah.  In other words, after


          what Christians call the birth of Christ saw the emergence of complex


          societies throughout much of the world.  Again, I pulled this stuff


          out of basically the chapters in the textbook and to a large extent,



          it applies to seven and eight.


               What is in a sense meant by when the textbook author uses the


          term "complex societies"?  If you recall, since I see a lot of blank


          stares, the authors basically refer to complex societies synonymously


          as civilization.  So in a sense, this is the high advancement of


          civilization is what they're referring to.  And I put in throughout


          much of the world that included migration, movement, trade, and the


          spread of belief systems, excluding Europe, because that's western


          civilization and the other two questions that I make up will deal with


          western Europe.


               Using specific examples, describe these defining events.  This


          probably should be the defining event.  These works, defining events


          and the formation of these complex societies.  So as I say, obviously


          we're dealing with other areas of the world as they begin to expand


          into more advanced civilizations, probably would have worded it that


          way, but I wanted to use closer to the wording of the book so that


          when you were looking in the book, you could locate certain concepts


          that came out of the Earth and its peoples.


               Questions about the question?  Any of you need clarifications?  I


          know it's going to take a little thought for those of you who chose to


          do it.  I think about one-third of you, somewhere between a quarter


          and a third took the take-home question last time.  Some of you


          planned to until you saw my other questions and decided they were


          easier, I think.


          A    Pretty much.



               THE PROFESSOR:  Don't promise that this time.  As I say, since


          the questions that I give you to take home are more complex because


          you have the resources, I think that's only fair to sort of make the


          ones that are given in class a little more, a little clearer or a


          little more specific.  Questions on this question?  All right.  If you


          have any after you read it, you still have Monday to ask it, so read


          through it.  If anything arises during the weekend, don't hesitate.


          If you've got a question, you can rest assure that five or six other


          people have the same but their afraid to ask it because they don't


          want the look dumb or whatever.  If you're going to bend down in front


          of me you have to go way down because I'm so short.


               Okay, then let's pick up where I left off a few minutes go


          before -- the period again that we're going to touch on deals with the


          topic universal truths.  And if you look at your outline, again, the


          topic's going to deal with disruption and renewal, revealed knowledge,


          faith and reason, guilded and the crusading spirit.  There's a lot


          there actually, and we'll see how far we can go with it.  Before


          getting into the crusades, let's deal with the development of the era




               And in a sense, what we're seeing during this era is a


          redevelopment of, as I said, agriculture, wealth -- we're beginning to


          see capitalism expanding.  It's not formal.  But by the end of the


          medieval period, we're moving into the era known a as bullionism where


          power rests in gold and silver that extends into mercantilism, where


          nations believe that they will get their wealth from the



          manufacturing, selling things, and they use colonies for raw


          materials.  And finally, into capitalism where individuals begin to


          profit if they can produce things that people are willing to buy.  But


          certain elements of capitalism also begin to appear during this era,


          including banking systems and bookkeeping and accounting to make it


          perhaps a more profitable era in and of itself.


               Tied of course to capitalism in a way is the rise of cities.  The


          cities are going to move from entities that are controlled by the


          church as in the early medieval period.  And the beginning of the high


          medieval period, you see the center of the city as the cathedral,


          specifically the Gothic cathedral represents this high middle ages.


          One of my professors once described it as the hand of God coming down


          and holding people in.  In a sense, it really does create the image


          because the Gothic cathedral is different from the Romanesque.  In


          Romanesque, they're solid and built strong and round, thick walls and


          in part they reflect that expansion that existed in Europe with the


          invasion of the Norsemen, the earlier Germanic tribal invasions and of


          course the expansion into parts of southern Europe.  The Gothic


          cathedral is light, the stained glass windows, and they take hundreds


          of years to build.  And that's why in some cases they're very


          different in different sections of the cathedrals themselves.  Because


          different architects are involved in their construction, but their


          high ceiling, arches that bring you up towards the heavens.  And


          they're built often in a crucifix basilica kind of pattern.  So again,


          the earlier part of the period, the center of the community is the





               By the 14th century, the cities are now going to be surrounded,


          are going to surround the guild houses, the guild buildings.  And in


          the center of the guild buildings which are in a sense the craftsman


          organizations, the skilled worker organizations, in the center of


          those are the city halls.  The city hall now becomes the center of the


          city where the burghermeister, the burgher being the businessmen, the


          bourgeoisie that are emerging, the emerging entrepreneurs.  The


          burghermeister is the mayor.  And now, we're beginning to see


          something coming out of the 13th century, the tower with the clock on


          it.  And so the center of the city looks like building five over here


          with our clock tower right in the center of the community, very much


          reflective I think of, in a sense, that late medieval architecture.


               The emergence of cities becomes a vital area.  And the reason


          they can emerge out of the manner system is because the invaders of


          Europe, those dastardly Vikings, Norsemen, Muslims, Germanic peoples


          settle down.  They become basically rather than migrating, they settle


          in various areas.  And so cities begin to move back to the waterways.


          The waterways are no longer threats.  And of course trade resumes with


          the people.  Part of the reason for the wealth of capitalism


          developing is, we're now beginning to see the fairs and development of


          fairs where goods and services are trades where people from all over


          come to sell their wares or to buy objects.  Trading fairs are on the


          water.  They start out for short periods of time, once or twice a


          year; but as the population increases, the fairs are there in a



          permanent basis.  Of course many of you have visited the renaissance


          fair.  I'm not sure if people go to the renaissance fair as often


          anymore now that it's up in Fairfax or something.  How many of you


          have been to the renaissance fair?  Years ago when it was up in


          Novato, almost all my students used to go.  It was a thing to do.  I


          guess they had to move it out of there, quote/unquote, black forest.


               Something else that came with the expansion of the cities that


          we're going to talk about when we go into it a little further is in a


          sense freedom.  It's not only that a serf can live in the city for a


          year and a day and be declared a freeman from being unfree, but the


          cities themselves, different from anywhere else in the world, are


          actually independent units now.  They're like the ancient Greek city


          states.  How do they become independent?  Because what's happening is


          that the merchants who are producing these cities, if you will, the


          town halls the merchant buildings.


               The burgers have wealth.  And the kings begin to realize that


          with that wealth, if they had some way to get it, they could hire


          professional soldiers.  They didn't to have rely on obligations


          through feudalism.  And they do that by giving the burghers in the


          city contracts, in a sense, charters.  These charters give them


          freedom to run their own community in return for wealth given to the


          king.  Now, the king could take all the money if he wanted, but then


          the money would be gone and so would the entrepreneur.  You would tax


          them out of business.  What you had was a deal.  You have to freedom


          to do what you want.  You can run the city however you want, just



          produce a certain amount of wealth for me each year.  So rather than


          40 days and 40 nights of service, what we now have is a payment.  Call


          it a bribe or whatever you want, but it was a payment for a charter.


          That charter, that contract provided the wealth of the new emerging


          king to go take over power from the nobles.  And this new merchant


          class slowly created an aggressive economic system that we know as




               Also developing, especially in the high middle ages, is the


          technological development.  Some of it was known by the Romans but


          wasn't used.  As I made the point before, the Romans used slave labor.


          They didn't need the technology.  So what we began to see was the use


          of windmills, water mills, technology that came forth for the


          production of goods and services but a different form of technology as


          well.  The heavy plow that could break the lands, frozen land in


          northern Europe, to be able to produce, break down the soil so things


          could be planted.  That technology played a role.  Of course later in


          the medieval era, the development of the sailing ships with the rudder


          to direct them.  And of course early in the medieval period, the use


          of the compass came in to direct people into getting a little off from


          going around the coast and having to stay close to land.  And of


          course also from the Arab world, the astrolabe, the ability to be able


          to read latitude as sailors went out to sea.  Of course, as I


          indicated, the mechanical clock.  And now we had a sense of time.  And


          a sense of time had a lot to do with some of the change in Europe that


          deal with when things are done, how they're done, and we'll get into



          that at another point.


               With the expansion of the cities, with the expansion of wealth,


          we see a greater element of secularization.  Secularization means


          worldliness, moving away to some extent from religious domination.  A


          full separation of church and state, but a separation of church and


          nature, meaning that now, it was possible to study theology separately


          from the physical world around us, which opened the door to not only


          agricultural advances and technological advances, but the foundation


          from these, of what's going to be known as science, experimentation.


          Rational interpretation are going to come about through certain


          religious scholars as well because they're separating the world of the


          heavens from the nature and the world that we live in.  And that


          really is, in a sense, a form of secularization.


               We're seeing the expansion of new political institutions that I


          spoke about or alluded to.  We're moving from that world of the feudal


          rulers, the lords, the vassals, the knights in shining armor, if you


          will, to a different world where you now have kings who have


          professional armies and they bring in large numbers of people who do


          not need armor, if you will, because -- for example in England, the


          development of the longbow where the common soldier becomes important


          in battle, not just the knight with the horse.  And there is a


          territorial expansion as well.


               Europe begins to expand throughout much of the world beginning


          with -- and in contact with the rest of the world.  And I didn't


          mention this.  The climate changes as well.  It is said that the



          reason the Norsemen or Vikings, if you will, the Danes can get to


          Iceland, Greenland, and the Americas is because the area has become


          warmer.  There's a greater ability to move.  And so there's an


          expansion out and a settlement into north Europe.  And with that, the


          missionaries appear.  And by the 12th century, northern Europe becomes


          Christian as well.  A new intellectual development I alluded to


          earlier which brings in that beginnings of science, so we're going to


          go back to the early years of that development and talk about the


          conflict between faith and reason and the attempt to bring together


          faith and reason.  So these are some of the themes that we're going to


          deal with.  They include, if you will, as I define it, by the end of


          the medieval period, the death of the unicorn.  The unicorn symbolized


          the Catholic church.  It symbolized the unity, the purity, the honesty


          of one world government.  And the enemy, the natural enemy of the


          unicorn was the lion.  The lion dealt with his own selfish control,


          his own selfish pride, if you will, the pride being the women


          lionesses who protected his territory in a sense.  We now see the


          emergence of nation states, each creating their own religion in some


          ways coming out of that era.  The unicorns reflecting the one horn of


          Christ, reflecting the goodness of one faith.  And during the medieval


          period, unicorn horns were worth a fortune.  They used to break them


          down into little powders and sell them to people to cure disease and


          to help you get to heaven.  I know many of out are saying, unicorns,


          did they really exist?  Of course we know the unicorn song and most of


          us think that Noah forget the unicorn.



          A    No, sing it.


               THE PROFESSOR:  No.  I can't remember the words basically.  It


          was done by --


          A    The Clancey Brothers.


               THE PROFESSOR:  It was written by Shell Silverstein, the guy who


          did a couple of books you probably read when you were probably kids.


          What was the name of the book?  This is not bringing back anything?


          A    Keep talking.  It sounds familiar.


               THE PROFESSOR:  He started out as a cartoonist for Playboy and


          then he went on from there to doing some music and he wrote a number


          of children's books.


          A    In Napoleon's castle in Italy, he had a big stature of a unicorn.


               THE PROFESSOR:  Well, in a sense, the unicorn was symbolizing a


          unity that Napoleon was attempting to create by bringing back total


          control from the little lions or the nations making everyone pure like


          the French, ha ha.  The way the unicorn could gets caught for the sale


          of their horns by these wicker hunters is that they would find a pure


          woman, that is to say, a virgin.  They would sit her down under a tree


          in the nude and the unicorn would approach because of respect and


          purity.  But if the woman turned out not to be pure, the unicorn would


          get angry and run her through with his horn.  Now, you say what


          happened to the unicorns?  Well, I think it's pretty obvious.  They


          can't get anybody to trap them today.  Sorry.


               Also, dealing as long as we are with heraldry and mythology, the


          symbol of pegasus raises a symbol.  Some of you remember the flying



          horse that came from the head of the medusa when Perseus slew the


          medusa.  Remember medusa had all of those little snake hairs and


          Perseus reflected his shield and so she cut off her own head and out


          of that flew a beautiful white horse who flew away.  Men can do all


          sorts of things, and you can even kill the medusa if you will.


               All right.  Let's go back and let's move into the realm of


          education as well.  We had some small renaissance periods, progress,


          knowledge, and learning.  We mentioned one earlier, the Careligeon.


          We identified that during the Charlomaine period, from 800 on, we saw


          a birth of schools even though Charlomaine himself was illiterate.  We


          saw the beautiful calligraphy and the illuminated manuscripts and a


          number of schools opening to deal with the liberal arts on that area.


          And with that, it expands into the 9th century.  We mentioned the


          Ottoman renaissance there.  But it's in the 11th century that we begin


          to see through a conflict, the real expansion of learning and


          questioning that's going to lead us into the 13th century era of


          scholasticism.  And this is a battle that occurs between two groups


          known as the nominalists and the rationalists, nominalists and


          rationalists.  The nominalists were basically, if you will,


          Aristotelian.  The rationalists were more Platonism, Plato.  I did


          deal a little about Aristotle and Plato earlier, so we'll sort of


          expand on it.


               The first of a nominalists -- and by the way, rationalists in


          several terms would be directed towards faith.  By rationalists here,


          we're dealing with people who have faith and learning and knowledge is



          revealed by God through authority, through the church fathers.  And


          you do not question that authority because those church fathers know


          better because the knowledge has been revealed to them directly by


          God; versus the nominalists who are more leaning towards rational


          interpretation, even though they're not called rationalists because


          they're looking at more of the particulars.  They're examining through


          inductive reasoning.  Inductive reasoning meaning examining through


          the particulars to come to a conclusion.


               Deductive reasoning refers to taking a theorem, an idea, a


          priority from its wording itself and coming to a conclusion from the


          words.  Accepting by faith what truth is and rationally, logically,


          deriving further truth from the original truth.  And education


          basically is going to be expanding on that sort of rationalist


          concept.  People are taught and continue to be taught in the middle


          ages how to use logic rather than investigative knowledge.


               The first of the nominalists is a man named Roscellinus,


          R-O-S-C-E-L-L-I-N-U-S.  He lived from 1050 to 1125 CE.  And he


          questions the whole issue of universals.  The issue is, is there an


          individual thing as an apple or do we have this idea of an apple that


          let's us know it's an apple?  In other words, is there a general


          apple?  Or is there just a specific particular apple?  Do we have


          knowledge of this universal apple and therefore we know an apple


          because it's been revealed to us?  Or do we know apples because we


          examine all the different species of apples?  Can an apple exist apart


          from these particular apples?  Or do the apple concept only exist



          because we've examined particular apples?  Is the concept of an apple


          is a thing or is it above the universe?  Roscellinus argued that the


          universals concepts themselves are nothing but names.  They are


          nothing more than sounds.  He refused to recognize the existence of a


          universal.  And this certainly seemed to question the existence of


          God.  Were we created in God's image or do we know God because we


          examine ourselves and look for the perfect in us and therefore create


          a thing that does not exist called God?  Hell of an argument in the


          12th, 11th, and 12th century when you think about it.  And it almost


          seems to separate into three Gods:  Father, son, and holy spirit.  How


          can they both be one?  It makes so sense.


               Well, a very famous -- A-N-S-E-L-M.  Who was the abbe of Beck and


          later became the arch bishop of Canterbury.  What country?


          A    England.


               THE PROFESSOR:  Denounced Roscellinus because he felt that


          Roscellinus was directly opposed to the fathers of the church and to


          revealed truth.  Anselm said, I do not seek to know that I may


          believe, but I believe so that I may know.  So we don't search


          knowledge; we believe and knowledge comes to us.  Roscellinus, under


          the threat of burning at the stake, recanted some of his views, copped


          out I guess.


               However, the individual whose best known in a sense for the


          nominalist's thesis and who continues to come down in history is a man


          called Abelard, A-B-E-L-A-R-D.  And of course we also -- many times


          historically we see the famous love story, one of those unrequited



          love tales between Abelard and Heloise, H-E-L-O-I-S-E.  Anybody know


          the story of Abelard and Heloise?  Abelard was born at the end of the


          11th century and died at the middle of the 12th century, 1079 to 1142,


          not that you need to know them, but I'm throwing them at you.  As a


          young man, he was a brilliant scholar, brilliant memorization scholar,


          not in a sense of research, but memorizing the books of St. Augustine,


          et cetera, and would propound and discuss and deal with the church


          fathers.  And because of that, at a very young age, in his early


          twenties, he was recognized as a teacher under the cathedral in Paris


          at Notre Dame, which began the development of the educational system


          of the university -- but before it became bound within four walls,


          what generally happened is, people who were renounced would hold


          classes.  He would stand on a street corner in warm weather and they


          would lecture to the throng, to the crowd which would then give them


          money.  Or in cooler weather, they would rent an apartment and invite


          in students.  Now obviously education was mainly directed towards the


          men, but every now and then some women would sneak into the crowd and


          many groupies to the rock singers of their age.  And among a groupie


          to Abelard was a young 16-year-old woman named Heloise.  And Abelard


          made the dastardly mistake that teachers should know better, he slept


          with his student.  They later got married secretly because marriages


          had to be approved.  She was only 16.  He was in his early 20s,


          statutory rape, et cetera.  Parents found out.  Heloise's father, his


          uncle, his brother, her brother waylaid Abelard one night and


          castrated him.  He hampered in him in a lot of different ways to say



          the least.  When you're a dynamic speaker and your voice changes and


          you start talking like this, it kills your lecture.  Sorry about that.


          I couldn't resist.  Obviously it ruined his ability to marry.  He was


          a priest.  He wasn't supposed to marry anyway.  Heloise went off to a


          convent, a nunnery -- get thee to a nunnery -- and Abelard continued


          his writings, his philosophizing.  They communicated throughout life,


          wrote back and forth.  They may have seen each other once later on in


          life, if the movie has any accuracy to it.  I don't know.  The fact is


          that the love letters between the two and his own writings about his


          suffering without her reflect that unrequited love, love for afar.


          For 40 years that love continued yet they were not together.  They


          were not married.  So why the hell do we need same sex marriage?  Why


          the hell do we even need marriage?  Keep it from afar?  Of course we


          would have no population left, I guess.  Sorry.  Playing with the




               That story is one side and the one that's well-known mainly


          because Abelard was such a trouble maker, a free thinker.  His famous


          book SIC ET NON -- translated from the Latin:  Yes or no.  You know


          folks, now that he finally arrives --


          A    Jessica told me we don't have class today.


               THE PROFESSOR:  You listened to Jessica?  Don't go anywhere


          because I've got something to tell you.  I'm going to put the exam off


          until Friday of next week.  The reason is I don't --


          A    Friday is a holiday.


               THE PROFESSOR:  Here?



          A    Veterans day.


               THE PROFESSOR:  We're off at Ohlone?  I didn't know we were off.


          I don't like holidays.


          A    Monday.


               THE PROFESSOR:  All right.  The exam is put off until Monday.


          You get a weekend to study.  That means you don't get the exams back


          right away.  I have too much material I want to cover here with my


          stories.  I'll finish it up.  It's only right.  The exam will be


          Monday, November 14th.  Thanks for cluing me in.