Po Valley

Po plainPadan plainPianura Padana
The Po Valley for a time hosted the capital of the Western Roman Empire, in Mediolanum from 286 to 403, and then in Ravenna until its political collapse. It was attacked in the 3rd century by Germanic tribes bursting through the Alps and sacked two centuries later by Attila the Hun. Led by their king Theoderic the Great, the Ostrogoths conquered the region from the north in the final years of the 5th century, deposing Odoacer, the barbarian ruler of Italy who had succeeded the last Western Roman emperor. The Gothic War and Justinian's plague devastated the Padan population.

Salian Franks

During the period of Merovingian rule, the Franks began to adopt Christianity following the baptism of Clovis I in 496, an event that inaugurated the alliance between the Frankish kingdom and the Roman Catholic Church. Unlike their Gothic, Burgundic and Lombardic counterparts, who adopted Arianism, the Salians adopted Catholic Christianity early on; giving them a relationship with the ecclesiastical hierarchy, and their subjects in conquered territories. The division of the Frankish kingdom among Clovis’s four sons (511) was an event that would repeat in Frankish history over more than four centuries.

Saint Faith

St FaithSt. FaithFaith
However, the reliquary can be seen in the Abbey at Conques, in France. Important churches were also dedicated to her at Conches-en-Ouche in Normandy and at Sélestat, in Alsace (see St. Faith's Church, Sélestat). Several geographical locations have been named after Saint Faith in North America: In the United States, the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, as well as the Santa Fe Springs in Los Angeles, California, take their namesake from Saint Faith. ;Explanatory footnotes * * Biographical resources. Saint Faith at Catholic Online. Santa Fede di Agen. Saint Faith of Agen. Hagiography. Abbey of Saint Foy, Conques. Indexed images of Abbey of St. Foy from Bluffton University.

Latin Church

Latin CatholicWestern ChurchLatin Rite
The Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church, employing the Latin liturgical rites. It is one of 24 such churches, the 23 others forming the Eastern Catholic Churches. It is headed by the Bishop of Rome, the pope – traditionally also called the Patriarch of the West – with his cathedra in this role at the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, Italy. The Latin Church traces its history to the earliest days of Christianity through its direct leadership under the Holy See, founded by Peter and Paul, according to Catholic tradition.

Theodosius I

TheodosiusTheodosius the GreatEmperor Theodosius
As his heir in the Eastern Roman Empire he left Arcadius, who was about eighteen years old, and in the Western Roman Empire Honorius, who was ten. Neither ever showed any sign of fitness to rule, and their reigns were marked by a series of disasters. As their guardians Theodosius left Stilicho, who ruled in the name of Honorius in the Western Empire, and Flavius Rufinus who was the actual power behind the throne in the East. Several historians mark the day of Theodosius' death as the beginning of the Middle Ages. Bibliography * * * This list of Roman laws of the fourth century shows laws passed by Theodosius I relating to Christianity. De Fide Catolica.


SpanishESPKingdom of Spain
In the following reigns the Catholic kings of France assumed the role of protectors of the Hispano-Roman Catholics against the Arianism of the Visigoths, and in the wars which ensued Alaric II and Amalaric lost their lives. Athanagild, having risen against King Agila, called in the Byzantines and, in payment for the succour they gave him, ceded to them the maritime places of the southeast (554). Liuvigild restored the political unity of the peninsula, subduing the Suebians, but the religious divisions of the country, reaching even the royal family, brought on a civil war. St.

Visigothic Kingdom

VisigothsVisigothicVisigothic Spain
The Visigoths and their early kings were Arians and came into conflict with the Catholic Church, but after they converted to Nicene Christianity, the Church exerted an enormous influence on secular affairs through the Councils of Toledo. The Visigoths also developed the highly influential law code known in Western Europe as the Visigothic Code (Liber Iudiciorum), which would become the basis for Spanish law throughout the Middle Ages. From 407 to 409 AD, an alliance of Germanic Vandals, Iranian Alans and Germanic Suebi crossed the frozen Rhine and swept across modern France and into the Iberian peninsula.


PapacypapalBishop of Rome
After the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, barbarian tribes were converted to Arian Christianity or Catholicism; Clovis I, king of the Franks, was the first important barbarian ruler to convert to Catholicism rather than Arianism, allying himself with the papacy. Other tribes, such as the Visigoths, later abandoned Arianism in favour of Catholicism. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the pope served as a source of authority and continuity. Pope Gregory I (c 540–604) administered the church with strict reform. From an ancient senatorial family, Gregory worked with the stern judgement and discipline typical of ancient Roman rule.


ProtestantProtestantsProtestant church
This established the preconditions for a series of conflicts, known as the French Wars of Religion. The civil wars gained impetus with the sudden death of Henry II of France in 1559. Atrocity and outrage became the defining characteristics of the time, illustrated at their most intense in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of August 1572, when the Roman Catholic party annihilated between 30,000 and 100,000 Huguenots across France. The wars only concluded when Henry IV of France issued the Edict of Nantes, promising official toleration of the Protestant minority, but under highly restricted conditions.

Mediterranean Sea

MediterraneanMediterranean coastWestern Mediterranean
The Western Roman Empire collapsed around 476 AD. Temporarily the east was again dominant as Roman power lived on in the Byzantine Empire formed in the 4th century from the eastern half of the Roman Empire. Another power arose in the 7th century, and with it the religion of Islam, which soon swept across from the east; at its greatest extent, the Arab Empire controlled 75% of the Mediterranean region and left a lasting footprint on its eastern and southern shores. The Arab invasions disrupted the trade relations between Western and Eastern Europe while cutting the trade route with Oriental lands. This, however, had the indirect effect of promoting the trade across the Caspian Sea.

Justinian I

JustinianEmperor JustinianJustinian the Great
Having thus secured his eastern frontier, Justinian turned his attention to the West, where Germanic kingdoms had been established in the territories of the former Western Roman Empire. The first of the western kingdoms Justinian attacked was that of the Vandals in North Africa. King Hilderic, who had maintained good relations with Justinian and the North African Catholic clergy, had been overthrown by his cousin Gelimer in 530 A.D. Imprisoned, the deposed king appealed to Justinian. In 533, Belisarius sailed to Africa with a fleet of 92 dromons, escorting 500 transports carrying an army of about 15,000 men, as well as a number of barbarian troops.

State church of the Roman Empire

state religion of the Roman Empirestate religionChristianity
History of the Catholic Church. History of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Byzantine Empire

ByzantineEastern Roman EmpireByzantines
Urban saw Alexios's request as a dual opportunity to cement Western Europe and reunite the Eastern Orthodox Church with the Roman Catholic Church under his rule. On 27 November 1095, Pope Urban II called together the Council of Clermont, and urged all those present to take up arms under the sign of the Cross and launch an armed pilgrimage to recover Jerusalem and the East from the Muslims. The response in Western Europe was overwhelming. Alexios had anticipated help in the form of mercenary forces from the West, but he was totally unprepared for the immense and undisciplined force that soon arrived in Byzantine territory.

Edict of Nantes

Revocation of the Edict of NantesEdit de Nantesconcession
The Edict of Nantes (French: édit de Nantes), signed in April 1598 by King Henry IV of France, granted the Calvinist Protestants of France (also known as Huguenots) substantial rights in the nation, which was still considered essentially Catholic at the time. In the edict, Henry aimed primarily to promote civil unity. The edict separated civil from religious unity, treated some Protestants for the first time as more than mere schismatics and heretics, and opened a path for secularism and tolerance.

Edict of Fontainebleau

Revocation of the Edict of Nantesrevocationrevoked
The 1787 edict was a pivotal step in eliminating religious strife, however, and it officially ended religious persecution in France. Moreover, when French Revolutionary armies invaded other European countries between 1789 and 1815, they followed a consistent policy of emancipating persecuted or circumscribed religious communities (Roman Catholic in some countries, Protestant in others, Jewish in most). In October 1985, French President François Mitterrand issued a public apology to the descendants of Huguenots around the world. Jean Chardin. Denis Papin. Jean Barbot.

Same-sex marriage

gay marriagemarriage equalitysame sex marriage
Opponents of same-sex marriage who want marriage to be restricted to pairings of a man and a woman, such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Catholic Church, and the Southern Baptist Convention, use the term traditional marriage to mean opposite-sex marriage.


After the barbarians overran the Western Roman Empire, Constantinople became the indisputable capital city of the Roman Empire. Emperors were no longer peripatetic between various court capitals and palaces. They remained in their palace in the Great City and sent generals to command their armies. The wealth of the eastern Mediterranean and western Asia flowed into Constantinople. The emperor Justinian I (527–565) was known for his successes in war, for his legal reforms and for his public works. It was from Constantinople that his expedition for the reconquest of the former Diocese of Africa set sail on or about 21 June 533.

Christian pilgrimage

As a result, Lourdes became a major place of Roman Catholic pilgrimage and of miraculous healings. Today Lourdes receives up to 5,000,000 pilgrims and tourists every season. With about 270 hotels, Lourdes has the second greatest number of hotels per square kilometer in France after Paris. Some of the deluxe hotels like Grand Hotel Moderne, Hotel Grand de la Grotte, Hotel St. Etienne, Hotel Majestic and Hotel Roissy are located here. Latin America has a number of pilgrimage sites, which have been studied by anthropologists, historians, and scholars of religion. In Mesoamerica, some predate the arrival of Europeans and were subsequently transformed to Christian pilgrimage sites.


Rome, ItalyRomanRoma
The Bishops of Rome were also seen (and still are seen by Catholics) as the successors of Peter, who is considered the first Bishop of Rome. The city thus became of increasing importance as the centre of the Catholic Church. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, Rome was first under the control of Odoacer and then became part of the Ostrogothic Kingdom before returning to East Roman control after the Gothic War, which devastated the city in 546 and 550.

Pepin the Short

PepinPippin the YoungerPippin the Short
Pepin's assumption of the crown, and the title of Patrician of Rome, were harbingers of his son's imperial coronation which is usually seen as the founding of the Kingdom of France. He made the Carolingians de jure what his father had made them de facto — the ruling dynasty of the Franks and the foremost power of Europe. Known as a great conqueror, he was undefeated during his lifetime. Pepin married Leutberga from the Danube region. They had five children. She was repudiated some time after the birth of Charlemagne and her children were sent to convents. In 741, Pepin married Bertrada, daughter of Caribert of Laon.

Ecclesiastical Latin

LatinChurch LatinEcclesiastical
Following the split, early theologians like Jerome translated Greek and Hebrew texts into Latin, the dominant language of the Western Roman Empire. The loss of Greek in the Western half of the Roman Empire, and the loss of Latin in the Eastern half of the Roman Empire were not immediate, but changed the culture of language as well as the development of the Church.

Fall of the Western Roman Empire

decline of the Roman Empirefall of Romefall of the Roman Empire
[[File:Roman Republic Empire map.gif|thumb|Animated map of the Roman Republic and Empire between 510 BCE and 530 CE |alt=Animated map of the Roman Republic and Empire]] The Fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called Fall of the Roman Empire or Fall of Rome) was the process of decline in the Western Roman Empire in which the Empire failed to enforce its rule, and its vast territory was divided into several successor polities.


GallicGalliaGallia Comata
Eventually, after it became the official religion of the Empire and paganism became suppressed, Christianity gradually won out in the twilight days of the Western Roman Empire (while the Christianized Eastern Roman Empire lasted another thousand years, until the invasion of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453); a small but notable Jewish presence also became established. The Gaulish language is thought to have survived into the 6th century in France, despite considerable Romanization of the local material culture.


LugudunumLyonColonia Copia Claudia Augusta Lugdunum
Though the Western Empire persisted another century and a half, the border regions extending along the Rhine River in Germany to the Danube River in Dacia became far more important from a military and strategic standpoint. Cities like Augusta Treverorum (Trier) eclipsed Lugdunum in importance. The status of the western provinces declined further when Constantine made Byzantium (later named Constantinople after his death) the capital of the Eastern part of the Empire. As the Western Empire disintegrated in the 5th century, Lugdunum became the principal city of the Burgundian kingdom. History of Lyon. Abascantus. Dio Cassius. Roman History. XLVI, 50. André Pelletier.