Mister Richardson’s
Church History Class

Chapter 7

A. The Barbarian Invasions
1. In the 4th Century, Rome was beginning to have trouble on its northern borders.
2. To the far east were the Huns, who were expanding westward.
3. This, in turn, pushed the Germanic tribes west and south into Roman territory.
4. The Visigoths crossed the Danube River in 376 and were later joined by the Ostrogoths.
5. The Goths defeated a Roman army at Adrianople in 378, marking the first major victory of barbarians over Roman power.
6. This left the northern boundaries unguarded and the Germanic tribes began to take over larger parts of the Empire.

B. The Fall of Rome
1. In 410, the Goths, under the leadership of Alaric, sacked the city of Rome.
2. This was a huge shock to the Roman world.
3. Jerome believed the Antichrist was at hand.
4. Augustine wrote The City of God to answer those who claimed that Christianity had caused the disaster.
5. The Huns would have sacked Rome in 452, but Pope Leo I negotiated a truce.
6. The Vandals pillaged Rome for 14 days in 455.
7. By 476, the western half of the Roman Empire had fallen to the Barbarians.
8. The unconquered eastern half still had its capital at Constantinople and would become known to us in history as the Byzantine Empire.

C. Missionary work among the Barbarians
1. The Church faced two important tasks with the coming of the barbarians - Christianizing and educating.
2. This would not be easy because the barbarians were illiterate and tended to destroy books.
3. One of the ways that older writings were preserved was through the copying work of monks.
4. The Franks were converted as whole when their king, Clovis, was baptized on Christmas day, 496.
5. He had seen a vision of a cross in the sky before a battle and became a Christian after his victory.
6. The Franks were orthodox, whereas many other tribes were Arian.
7. St. Patrick evangelized Ireland in the 400's.
8. Columba founded Iona and evangelized Scotland in the 500's.
9. Augustine arrived in Angleland to evangelize the Angles in 597.
10.In the 700's, Boniface converted the Germans by cutting down Thor's tree. When Thor didn't respond, the people became Christians.
11. Willibrord worked in the Netherlands in the early 700's.

D. Gregory the Great
1. Gregory was the first monk to become pope, ruling from 590 to 604.
2. He was the first pope to assume broad political powers.
3. Gregory appointed heads of cities, raised armies, and made treaties.
4. He also strongly supported missionary work.
5. Gregorian Chant takes it names from Gregory, though he may not have actually started it.
6. He clearly taught the sacrifice of the mass, praying to saints, and purgatory.

1. Why did Augustine write The City of God?
2. What new tasks presented themselves to the Church when the barbarians invaded and then settled down in the Roman Empire?
3. What important work did the monks perform during the dark days of the early Middle Ages?
4. What effect did the mass conversions of barbarian tribes have on the purity of the Church?
5. Why did the Church survive the barbarian invasions?
6. How did the Franks differ from the Vandals as to Christianity? How did this affect the Church?