World of Middle Ages Essay

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Roman Catholic Church In the Middle Ages The most important Medieval institution was the Roman Catholic Church. In the Medieval period, a major focus in life was getting to heaven. This meant following the rules of the Catholic Church. Not following the major rules usually meant a trip to hell after death or to the purgatory. After committing a serious sin, one could avoid eternal damnation by going to the sacrament of Penance and asking for God’s forgiveness The average life span for Medieval persons was approximately 35 years of age The body was often viewed as a barrier to the spiritual aspirations of the soul. The body was an occasion for sins such as gluttony, concupiscence, and drunkenness. bathing was frowned upon as a possible occasion of sin. Among the upper classes, body odours were often masked by liberal doses of perfumes. education was controlled by the Roman Catholic Church In its monasteries and churches, monks and priests read the Bible and sacred texts in Latin, and wrote treatises, such as the Summa Theologiae. Many nobles and even monarchs were illiterate. The monopoly over literacy gave further credibility to the power of the Catholic Church. the authority of the Roman Catholic pope was as great as or greater than the power of kings. (Henry IV of Germany and Pope Gregory VII) The Judicial System in the Middle Ages The judicial system in Medieval Europe often relied on a combination of facts, superstitions, and religious beliefs An accused person would need to carry a hot piece of metal in his/her hand. The hand would then be bandaged. If the burned hand healed cleanly, God was sending a message that the person was innocent. If the hand healed badly, God was sending a message that the person was guilty torture and capital punishment were often used. Public executions as a means of entertainment were frequent. The Islamic

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