Gallia Belgica was a province of the Roman empire located in the north-eastern part of Roman Gaul, in what is today France and Luxembourg, along with parts of the Netherlands and Germany. In 50 BC after the conquest by Julius Caesar during his Gallic Wars, it became one of the three newly conquered provinces of Gaul. An official Roman province was created by emperor Augustus in 22 BC; the province was named for the Belgae, as the largest tribal confederation in the area, but included the territories of the Treveri, Leuci, Sequani and others. The southern border of Belgica, formed by the Marne and Seine rivers, was reported by Caesar as the original cultural boundary between the Belgae and the Celtic Gauls, whom he distinguished from one another; the province was re-organised several times, first increased and decreased in size. Diocletian brought the northeastern Civitas Tungrorum into Germania Inferior, joining the Rhineland colonies, the remaining part of Gallia Belgica was divided into Belgica Prima in the eastern area of the Treveri and Leuci, around Luxembourg and the Ardennes, Belgica Secunda between the English channel and the upper River Meuse.
The capital of Belgica Prima, became an important late western Roman capital. In 57 BC, Julius Caesar led the conquest of northern Gaul, specified that the part to the north of the Seine and Marne rivers was inhabited by a people or alliance known as the Belgae; this definition became the basis of the Roman province of Belgica. Caesar said that the Belgae were separated from the Celtic Gauls to their south by "language and laws" but he did not go into detail, except to mention that he learnt from his contacts that the Belgae had some ancestry from east of the Rhine, which he referred to as Germania. Indeed, the Belgian tribes closest to the Rhine. Modern historians interpret Caesar and the archaeological evidence as indicating that the core of the Belgian alliance was in the present-day northernmost corner of France; these were the leaders of the initial military alliance he confronted, they were more economically advanced than many of their more northerly allies such as the Nervii and Germani Cisrhenani.
Apart from the southern Remi, all the Belgic tribes allied against the Romans, angry at the Roman decision to garrison legions in their territory during the winter. At the beginning of the conflict, Caesar reported the allies' combined strength at 288,000, led by the Suessione king, Galba. Due to the Belgic coalition's size and reputation for uncommon bravery, Caesar avoided meeting the combined forces of the tribes in battle. Instead, he used cavalry to skirmish with smaller contingents of tribesmen. Only when Caesar managed to isolate one of the tribes did he risk conventional battle; the tribes fell in a piecemeal fashion and Caesar claimed to offer lenient terms to the defeated, including Roman protection from the threat of surrounding tribes. Most tribes agreed to the conditions. A series of uprisings followed the 57 BC conquest; the largest revolt was led by the Bellovaci after the defeat of Vercingetorix. During this rebellion, it was the Belgae, they harassed the Roman legions, led by Caesar, with cavalry detachments and archers.
The rebellion was put down. The revolting party was slaughtered. Following a census of the region in 27 BC, Augustus ordered a restructuring of the provinces in Gaul. Therefore, in 22 BC, Marcus Agrippa split Gaul into three regions Agrippa made the divisions on what he perceived to be distinctions in language and community - Gallia Belgica was meant to be a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples; the capital of this territory was Reims, according to the geographer Strabo, though the capital moved to modern day Trier. The date of this move is uncertain. Modern historians however view the term'Gaul' and its subdivisions as a "product of faulty ethnography" and see the split of Gallia Comata into three provinces as an attempt to construct a more efficient government, as opposed to a cultural division. Successive Roman emperors struck a balance between Romanizing the people of Gallia Belgica and allowing pre-existing culture to survive; the Romans divided the province into four "civitates" corresponding to ancient tribal boundaries.
The capital cities of these districts included modern Cassel, Bavay, Thérouanne, Arras, St. Quentin, Reims, Amiens, Triers and Metz; these civitates were in turn were divided into smaller units, pagi, a term that became the French word "pays". Roman government was run by Concilia in Trier. Additionally, local notables from Gallia Belgica were required to participate in a festival in Lugdunum which celebrated or worshiped the emperor’s genius; the gradual adoption of Romanized names by local elites and the Romanization of laws under local authority demonstrate the effectiveness of this concilium Galliarum. With that said, the concept and community of Gallia Belgica did not predate the Roman pro
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories. On 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish king Charlemagne as Emperor, reviving the title in Western Europe, more than three centuries after the fall of the earlier ancient Western Roman Empire in 476; the title continued in the Carolingian family until 888 and from 896 to 899, after which it was contested by the rulers of Italy in a series of civil wars until the death of the last Italian claimant, Berengar I, in 924. The title was revived again in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne and beginning a continuous existence of the empire for over eight centuries.
Some historians refer to the coronation of Charlemagne as the origin of the empire, while others prefer the coronation of Otto I as its beginning. Scholars concur, however, in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, describing a gradual assumption of the imperial title and role; the exact term "Holy Roman Empire" was not used until the 13th century, but the concept of translatio imperii, the notion that he—the sovereign ruler—held supreme power inherited from the ancient emperors of Rome, was fundamental to the prestige of the emperor. The office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective, although controlled by dynasties; the German prince-electors, the highest-ranking noblemen of the empire elected one of their peers as "King of the Romans", he would be crowned emperor by the Pope. The empire never achieved the extent of political unification as was formed to the west in France, evolving instead into a decentralized, limited elective monarchy composed of hundreds of sub-units: kingdoms, duchies, prince-bishoprics, Free Imperial Cities, other domains.
The power of the emperor was limited, while the various princes, lords and cities of the empire were vassals who owed the emperor their allegiance, they possessed an extent of privileges that gave them de facto independence within their territories. Emperor Francis II dissolved the empire on 6 August 1806 following the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by emperor Napoleon I the month before. In various languages the Holy Roman Empire was known as: Latin: Sacrum Imperium Romanum, German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, Italian: Sacro Romano Impero, Czech: Svatá říše římská, Polish: Święte imperium rzymskie, Slovene: Sveto rimsko cesarstvo, Dutch: Heilige Roomse Rijk, French: Saint-Empire romain. Before 1157, the realm was referred to as the Roman Empire; the term sacrum in connection with the medieval Roman Empire was used beginning in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa: the term was added to reflect Frederick's ambition to dominate Italy and the Papacy. The form "Holy Roman Empire" is attested from 1254 onward.
In a decree following the 1512 Diet of Cologne, the name was changed to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, a form first used in a document in 1474. The new title was adopted because the Empire had lost most of its Italian and Burgundian territories to the south and west by the late 15th century, but to emphasize the new importance of the German Imperial Estates in ruling the Empire due to the Imperial Reform. By the end of the 18th century, the term "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" had fallen out of official use. Besides, contradicting the traditional view concerning that designation, Hermann Weisert has stated in a study on imperial titulature that, despite the claim of many textbooks, the name "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" never had an official status and points out that documents were thirty times as to omit the national suffix as include it. This, or the shortened "Roman Empire of the German Nation", is used in Germany to refer to the Holy Roman Empire. In a famous assessment of the name, the political philosopher Voltaire remarked sardonically: "This body, called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire."
As Roman power in Gaul declined during the 5th century, local Germanic tribes assumed control. In the late 5th and early 6th centuries, the Merovingians, under Clovis I and his successors, consolidated Frankish tribes and extended hegemony over others to gain control of northern Gaul and the middle Rhine river valley region. By the middle of the 8th century, the Merovingians had been reduced to figureheads, the Carolingians, led by Charles Martel, had become the de facto rulers. In 751, Martel's son Pepin became King of the Franks, gained the sanction of the Pope; the Carolingians would maintain a close alliance with the Papacy. In 768, Pepin's son Charlemagne became King of the Franks and began an extensive expansion of the realm, he incorporated the territories of present-day France, northern Italy, beyond, linking the Frankish kingdom with Papal lands. In 797, the Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VI was removed from the throne by his mother Irene who declared herself Empress; as the Church regarded a male Roman Emperor as the head of Christendom, Pope
The Celts are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of Europe identified by their use of Celtic languages and cultural similarities. The history of pre-Celtic Europe and the exact relationship between ethnic and cultural factors in the Celtic world remains uncertain and controversial; the exact geographic spread of the ancient Celts is disputed. According to one theory, the common root of the Celtic languages, the Proto-Celtic language, arose in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture of Central Europe, which flourished from around 1200 BC. According to a theory proposed in the 19th century, the first people to adopt cultural characteristics regarded as Celtic were the people of the Iron Age Hallstatt culture in central Europe, named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria, thus this area is sometimes called the "Celtic homeland". By or during the La Tène period, this Celtic culture was supposed to have expanded by trans-cultural diffusion or migration to the British Isles and the Low Countries, Bohemia and much of Central Europe, the Iberian Peninsula and northern Italy and, following the Celtic settlement of Eastern Europe beginning in 279 BC, as far east as central Anatolia in modern-day Turkey.
The earliest undisputed direct examples of a Celtic language are the Lepontic inscriptions beginning in the 6th century BC. Continental Celtic languages are attested exclusively through inscriptions and place-names. Insular Celtic languages are attested beginning around the 4th century in Ogham inscriptions, although they were being spoken much earlier. Celtic literary tradition begins with Old Irish texts around the 8th century CE. Coherent texts of Early Irish literature, such as the Táin Bó Cúailnge, survive in 12th-century recensions. By the mid-1st millennium, with the expansion of the Roman Empire and migrating Germanic tribes, Celtic culture and Insular Celtic languages had become restricted to Ireland, the western and northern parts of Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Brittany. Between the 5th and 8th centuries, the Celtic-speaking communities in these Atlantic regions emerged as a reasonably cohesive cultural entity, they had a common linguistic and artistic heritage that distinguished them from the culture of the surrounding polities.
By the 6th century, the Continental Celtic languages were no longer in wide use. Insular Celtic culture diversified into that of the Gaels and the Celtic Britons of the medieval and modern periods. A modern Celtic identity was constructed as part of the Romanticist Celtic Revival in Great Britain and other European territories, such as Portugal and Spanish Galicia. Today, Scottish Gaelic and Breton are still spoken in parts of their historical territories, Cornish and Manx are undergoing a revival; the first recorded use of the name of Celts – as Κελτοί – to refer to an ethnic group was by Hecataeus of Miletus, the Greek geographer, in 517 BC, when writing about a people living near Massilia. In the fifth century BC, Herodotus referred to Keltoi living around the head of the Danube and in the far west of Europe; the etymology of the term Keltoi is unclear. Possible roots include Indo-European *kʲel'to hide', IE *kʲel'to heat' or *kel'to impel'. Several authors have supposed it to be Celtic in origin, while others view it as a name coined by Greeks.
Linguist Patrizia De Bernardo Stempel falls in the latter group, suggests the meaning "the tall ones". In the 1st century BC, Julius Caesar reported that the people known to the Romans as Gauls called themselves Celts, which suggests that if the name Keltoi was bestowed by the Greeks, it had been adopted to some extent as a collective name by the tribes of Gaul; the geographer Strabo, writing about Gaul towards the end of the first century BC, refers to the "race, now called both Gallic and Galatic," though he uses the term Celtica as a synonym for Gaul, separated from Iberia by the Pyrenees. Yet he reports Celtic peoples in Iberia, uses the ethnic names Celtiberi and Celtici for peoples there, as distinct from Lusitani and Iberi. Pliny the Elder cited the use of Celtici in Lusitania as a tribal surname, which epigraphic findings have confirmed. Latin Gallus might stem from a Celtic ethnic or tribal name perhaps one borrowed into Latin during the Celtic expansions into Italy during the early fifth century BC.
Its root may be the Proto-Celtic *galno, meaning "power, strength", hence Old Irish gal "boldness, ferocity" and Welsh gallu "to be able, power". The tribal names of Gallaeci and the Greek Γαλάται most have the same origin; the suffix -atai might be an Ancient Greek inflection. Classical writers did not apply the terms Κελτοί or Celtae to the inhabitants of Britain or Ireland, which has led to some scholars preferring not to use the term for the Iron Age inhabitants of those islands. Celt is a modern English word, first attested in 1707, in the writing of Edward Lhuyd, whose work, along with that of other late 17th-century scholars, brought academic attention to the languages and history of the early Celtic inhabitants of Great Britain; the English form Gaul (first recorded in the 17th cent
Pannonia was a province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia. Pannonia was located over the territory of the present-day western Hungary, eastern Austria, northern Croatia, north-western Serbia, northern Slovenia, western Slovakia and northern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Julius Pokorny believed the name Pannonia is derived from Illyrian, from the Proto-Indo-European root *pen-, "swamp, wet". Others believe that the name is related to the god of the nature and shepherds Pan and/or pan, the Proto-Slavic/Proto-Indo-European word for lord/master, which could mean Pan's Land or Land of the Master, more probable due the fact the Ionian fleet supplied Pannonia via the Black Sea and Danube, Panionium festivities were well known in the region to its Celtic, Adriatic Veneti and Scythian inhabitants. Pliny the Elder, in Natural History, places the eastern regions of the Hercynium jugum, the "Hercynian mountain chain", in Pannonia and Dacia.
He gives us some dramaticised description of its composition, in which the close proximity of the forest trees causes competitive struggle among them. He mentions its gigantic oaks, but he—if the passage in question is not an interpolated marginal gloss—is subject to the legends of the gloomy forest. He mentions unusual birds, which have feathers that "shine like fires at night". Medieval bestiaries named these birds the Ercinee; the impenetrable nature of the Hercynian Silva hindered the last concerted Roman foray into the forest, by Drusus, during 12–9 BC: Florus asserts that Drusus invisum atque inaccessum in id tempus Hercynium saltum patefecit. The first inhabitants of this area known to history were the Pannonii, a group of Indo-European tribes akin to Illyrians. From the 4th century BC, it was invaded by various Celtic tribes. Little is heard of Pannonia until 35 BC, when its inhabitants, allies of the Dalmatians, were attacked by Augustus, who conquered and occupied Siscia; the country was not, definitively subdued by the Romans until 9 BC, when it was incorporated into Illyricum, the frontier of, thus extended as far as the Danube.
In AD 6, the Pannonians, with the Dalmatians and other Illyrian tribes, engaged in the so-called Great Illyrian Revolt, were overcome by Tiberius and Germanicus, after a hard-fought campaign, which lasted for three years. After the rebellion was crushed in AD 9, the province of Illyricum was dissolved, its lands were divided between the new provinces of Pannonia in the north and Dalmatia in the south; the date of the division is unknown, most after AD 20 but before AD 50. The proximity of dangerous barbarian tribes necessitated the presence of a large number of troops, numerous fortresses were built on the bank of the Danube; some time between the years 102 and 107, between the first and second Dacian wars, Trajan divided the province into Pannonia Superior, Pannonia Inferior. According to Ptolemy, these divisions were separated by a line drawn from Arrabona in the north to Servitium in the south; the whole country was sometimes called the Pannonias. Pannonia Superior was under the consular legate, who had administered the single province, had three legions under his control.
Pannonia Inferior was at first under a praetorian legate with a single legion as the garrison. The frontier on the Danube was protected by the establishment of the two colonies Aelia Mursia and Aelia Aquincum by Hadrian. Under Diocletian, a fourfold division of the country was made: Pannonia Prima in the northwest, with its capital in Savaria / Sabaria, it included Upper Pannonia and the major part of Central Pannonia between the Raba and Drava, Pannonia Valeria in the northeast, with its capital in Sopianae, it comprised the remainder of Central Pannonia between the Raba and Danube, Pannonia Savia in the southwest, with its capital in Siscia, Pannonia Secunda in the southeast, with its capital in SirmiumDiocletian moved parts of today's Slovenia out of Pannonia and incorporated them in Noricum. In 324 AD, Constantine I enlarged the borders of Roman Pannonia to the east, annexing the plains of what is now eastern Hungary, northern Serbia and western Romania up to the limes that he created: the Devil's Dykes.
In the 4th-5th century, one of the dioceses of the Roman Empire was known as the Diocese of Pannonia. It had its capital in Sirmium and included all four provinces that were formed from historical Pannonia, as well as the provinces of Dalmatia, Noricum Mediterraneum and Noricum Ripense. During the Migrations Period in the 5th century, some parts of Pannonia was ceded to the Huns in 433 by Flavius Aetius, the magister militum of the Western Roman Empire. After the collapse of the Hunnic empire in 454, large numbers of Ostrogoths were settled by Marcian in the province as foederati; the Eastern Roman Empire controlled it for a time in the 6th century, a Byzantine province of Pannonia with its capital at Sirmium was temporarily restored, but it included only a small southeastern part of historical Pannonia. Afterwards, it was again invaded by the Avars in the 560s, the Slavs, who first settled c. 480s but became independent only from the 7th century, the Franks, who named a frontier march the March of Pannonia in the late 8th century.
The term Pannonia wa
Christianization is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire groups at once. Various strategies and techniques were employed in Christianization campaigns from Late Antiquity and throughout the Middle Ages; the conversion of the ruler was followed by the compulsory baptism of his subjects. Some were evangelization by monks or priests, organic growth within an partly Christianized society, or by campaigns against paganism such as the conversion of pagan temples into Christian churches or the condemnation of pagan gods and practices. A strategy for Christianization was Interpretatio Christiana – the practice of converting native pagan practices and culture, pagan religious imagery, pagan sites and the pagan calendar to Christian uses, due to the Christian efforts at proselytism based on the Great Commission. Reformatting native religious and cultural activities and beliefs into a Christianized form was sanctioned. In essence, it was intended that the traditions and practices still existed, but that the reasoning behind them was altered.
The existence of syncretism in Christian tradition has long been recognized by scholars. Since the 16th century and till modern days, significant scholarship was devoted to deconstruction of interpretatio christiana, i.e. tracing the roots of some Christian practices and traditions to paganism. Early works of this type have tended to be downplayed and dismissed as a form of Protestant apologetics aimed at "purification" of Christianity; the Council of Jerusalem, according to Acts 15, agreed that lack of circumcision could not be a basis for excluding Gentile believers from membership in the Jesus community. Rather, they instructed new believers to avoid "pollution of idols, things strangled, blood", expecting them to hear Moses read on the Sabbath days; these clarifications were put into writing, distributed by messengers present at the Council, were received as an encouragement to the growth of these gentiles' trust in the God of Israel as revealed in the Gospel. The Apostolic Decree thus helped to establish nascent Christianity as a unique alternative among the forms of Judaism for prospective Proselytes.
The Twelve Apostles and the Apostolic Fathers initiated the process of transforming the Jewish sect into a diaspora of communities composed of both Jews and gentiles, united by their trust in Jesus. The Armenian and Ethiopian churches are the only instances of imposition of Christianity by sovereign rulers predating the council of Nicaea; the initial conversion of the Roman Empire occurred in urban areas of Europe, where the first conversions were sometimes among members of the Jewish population. Conversions happened among the Grecian-Roman-Celtic populations over centuries initially among its urban population, with rural conversions taking place some time later; the term "pagan" is from Latin and means "villager, civilian." It is derived from this historical transition. The root of that word is present in today's word "paisan" or "paisano"; the Christianization of the Roman Empire is divided into two phases and after the year 312, which marked the momentous conversion of Constantine. By this date, Christianity had converted a significant but unknown proportion of at least the urban population of the empire including a small number of the elite classes.
Constantine ended the intermittent persecution of Christianity with the Edict of Milan, in fact a quote from a letter of the emperor Licinius by Eusebius, which granted tolerance to all religions, but mentions Christianity. Under Constantine's successors, Christianization of Roman society proceeded by fits and starts, as John Curran documented in detail. Constantine's sons did not close the temples. Although all state temples in all cities were ordered shut in 356, there is evidence that traditional sacrifices continued. Under Julian, the temples were state religious sacrifices performed once more; when Gratian, emperor 376-383, declined the office and title of Pontifex Maximus, his act brought an end to the state religion due to the position's authority and ties within the Imperial administration. Again, this process ended state official practices but not private religious devotion; as Christianity spread, many of the ancient pagan temples were defiled, destroyed, or converted into Christian sites by such figures as Martin of Tours, in the East by militant monks.
However, many temples remained open until Theodosius I's edict of Thessalonica in 381 banned haruspices and other pagan religious practices. From 389 to 393 he issued a series of decrees which led to the banning of pagan religious rites, the confiscation of their property and endowments; the Olympic Games were banned in 392 because of their association with the old religion. Further laws were passed against remaining pagan practices over the course of the following years; the effectiveness of these laws empire-wide is debatable. Christianization of the central Balkans is documented at the end of the 4th century, where Nicetas the Bishop of Remesiana brought the gospel to "those mountain wolves"
Alsace is a cultural and historical region in eastern France, on the west bank of the upper Rhine next to Germany and Switzerland. From 1982 to 2016, Alsace was the smallest administrative région in metropolitan France, consisting of the Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin departments. Territorial reform passed by the French legislature in 2014 resulted in the merger of the Alsace administrative region with Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine to form Grand Est. Alsatian is an Alemannic dialect related to Swabian and Swiss German, although since World War II most Alsatians speak French. Internal and international migration since 1945 has changed the ethnolinguistic composition of Alsace. For more than 300 years, from the Thirty Years' War to World War II, the political status of Alsace was contested between France and various German states in wars and diplomatic conferences; the economic and cultural capital of Alsace, as well as its largest city, is Strasbourg. The city is the seat of bodies; the name "Alsace" can be traced to the Old High German Ali-saz or Elisaz, meaning "foreign domain".
An alternative explanation is from a Germanic Ell-sass, meaning "seated on the Ill", a river in Alsace. In prehistoric times, Alsace was inhabited by nomadic hunters. By 1500 BC, Celts began to settle in Alsace and cultivating the land, it should be noted that Alsace is a plain surrounded by the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest mountains. It creates Foehn winds which, along with natural irrigation, contributes to the fertility of the soil. In a world of agriculture, Alsace has always been a rich region which explains why it suffered so many invasions and annexations in its history. By 58 BC, the Romans had established Alsace as a center of viticulture. To protect this valued industry, the Romans built fortifications and military camps that evolved into various communities which have been inhabited continuously to the present day. While part of the Roman Empire, Alsace was part of Germania Superior. With the decline of the Roman Empire, Alsace became the territory of the Germanic Alemanni; the Alemanni were agricultural people, their Germanic language formed the basis of modern-day dialects spoken along the Upper Rhine.
Clovis and the Franks defeated the Alemanni during the 5th century AD, culminating with the Battle of Tolbiac, Alsace became part of the Kingdom of Austrasia. Under Clovis' Merovingian successors the inhabitants were Christianized. Alsace remained under Frankish control until the Frankish realm, following the Oaths of Strasbourg of 842, was formally dissolved in 843 at the Treaty of Verdun. Alsace formed part of the Middle Francia, ruled by the eldest grandson Lothar I. Lothar died early in 855 and his realm was divided into three parts; the part known as Lotharingia, or Lorraine, was given to Lothar's son. The rest was shared between Louis the German; the Kingdom of Lotharingia was short-lived, becoming the stem duchy of Lorraine in Eastern Francia after the Treaty of Ribemont in 880. Alsace was united with the other Alemanni east of the Rhine into the stem duchy of Swabia. At about this time, the surrounding areas experienced recurring fragmentation and reincorporations among a number of feudal secular and ecclesiastical lordships, a common process in the Holy Roman Empire.
Alsace experienced great prosperity during the 13th centuries under Hohenstaufen emperors. Frederick I set up Alsace as a province to be ruled by ministeriales, a non-noble class of civil servants; the idea was that such men would be more tractable and less to alienate the fief from the crown out of their own greed. The province had a central administration with its seat at Hagenau. Frederick II designated the Bishop of Strasbourg to administer Alsace, but the authority of the bishop was challenged by Count Rudolf of Habsburg, who received his rights from Frederick II's son Conrad IV. Strasbourg began to grow to become the commercially important town in the region. In 1262, after a long struggle with the ruling bishops, its citizens gained the status of free imperial city. A stop on the Paris-Vienna-Orient trade route, as well as a port on the Rhine route linking southern Germany and Switzerland to the Netherlands and Scandinavia, it became the political and economic center of the region. Cities such as Colmar and Hagenau began to grow in economic importance and gained a kind of autonomy within the "Décapole", a federation of ten free towns.
As in much of Europe, the prosperity of Alsace came to an end in the 14th century by a series of harsh winters, bad harvests, the Black Death. These hardships were blamed on Jews, leading to the pogroms of 1336 and 1339. In 1349, Jews of Alsace were accused of poisoning the wells with plague, leading to the massacre of thousands of Jews during the Strasbourg pogrom. Jews were subsequently forbidden to settle in the town. An additional natural disaster was the Rhine rift earthquake of 1356, one of Europe's worst which made ruins of Basel. Prosperity returned to Alsace under Habsburg administration during the Renaissance. Holy Roman Empire central power had begun to decline following years of imperial adventures in Italian lands ceding hegemony in Western Europe to France, which had long since centralized power. France began an aggressive policy of expanding eastward, first to the riv
Feudalism was a combination of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour. Although derived from the Latin word feodum or feudum in use, the term feudalism and the system it describes were not conceived of as a formal political system by the people living in the Middle Ages. In its classic definition, by François-Louis Ganshof, feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility revolving around the three key concepts of lords and fiefs. A broader definition of feudalism, as described by Marc Bloch, includes not only the obligations of the warrior nobility but those of all three estates of the realm: the nobility, the clergy, the peasantry bound by manorialism. Since the publication of Elizabeth A. R. Brown's "The Tyranny of a Construct" and Susan Reynolds's Fiefs and Vassals, there has been ongoing inconclusive discussion among medieval historians as to whether feudalism is a useful construct for understanding medieval society.
There is no accepted modern definition of feudalism, at least among scholars. The adjective feudal was coined in the 17th century, the noun feudalism used in a political and propaganda context, was not coined until the 19th century, from the French féodalité, itself an 18th-century creation. In a classic definition by François-Louis Ganshof, feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords and fiefs, though Ganshof himself noted that his treatment related only to the "narrow, legal sense of the word". A broader definition, as described in Marc Bloch's Feudal Society, includes not only the obligations of the warrior nobility but those of all three estates of the realm: the nobility, the clergy, those living by their labour, most directly the peasantry bound by manorialism. Since the publication of Elizabeth A. R. Brown's "The Tyranny of a Construct" and Susan Reynolds's Fiefs and Vassals, there has been ongoing inconclusive discussion among medieval historians as to whether feudalism is a useful construct for understanding medieval society.
Outside a European context, the concept of feudalism is used only by analogy, most in discussions of feudal Japan under the shōguns, sometimes medieval and Gondarine Ethiopia. However, some have taken the feudalism analogy further, seeing feudalism in places as diverse as Spring and Autumn period in China, ancient Egypt, the Parthian empire, the Indian subcontinent and the Antebellum and Jim Crow American South; the term feudalism has been applied—often inappropriately or pejoratively—to non-Western societies where institutions and attitudes similar to those of medieval Europe are perceived to prevail. Some historians and political theorists believe that the term feudalism has been deprived of specific meaning by the many ways it has been used, leading them to reject it as a useful concept for understanding society; the term "féodal" was used in 17th-century French legal treatises and translated into English legal treatises as an adjective, such as "feodal government". In the 18th century, Adam Smith, seeking to describe economic systems coined the forms "feudal government" and "feudal system" in his book Wealth of Nations.
In the 19th century the adjective "feudal" evolved into a noun: "feudalism". The term feudalism is recent, first appearing in French in 1823, Italian in 1827, English in 1839, in German in the second half of the 19th century; the term "feudal" or "feodal" is derived from the medieval Latin word feodum. The etymology of feodum is complex with multiple theories, some suggesting a Germanic origin and others suggesting an Arabic origin. In medieval Latin European documents, a land grant in exchange for service was called a beneficium; the term feudum, or feodum, began to replace beneficium in the documents. The first attested instance of this is from 984, although more primitive forms were seen up to one-hundred years earlier; the origin of the feudum and why it replaced beneficium has not been well established, but there are multiple theories, described below. The most held theory was proposed by Johan Hendrik Caspar Kern in 1870, being supported by, amongst others, William Stubbs and Marc Bloch.
Kern derived the word from a putative Frankish term *fehu-ôd, in which *fehu means "cattle" and -ôd means "goods", implying "a moveable object of value." Bloch explains that by the beginning of the 10th century it was common to value land in monetary terms but to pay for it with moveable objects of equivalent value, such as arms, horses or food. This was known as feos, a term that took on the general meaning of paying for something in lieu of money; this meaning was applied to land itself, in which land was used to pay for fealty, such as to a vassal. Thus the old word feos meaning movable property changed little by little to feus meaning the exact opposite: landed property. Another theory was put forward by Archibald R. Lewis. Lewis said the origin of'fief' is not feudum, but rather foderum, the earliest attested use being in Astronomus's Vita Hludovici. In that text is a passage about Louis the Pious that says annona militaris quas vulgo foderum vocant, which can be translated as "Louis forbade that military provender (which they popular