Lack of ego, violence, and unproductiveness were some of the few characteristics Manchester attributed to the medieval mind. During this period of history, the people lacked creativity and only used the mechanisms that were created by the generations before. Violence helped noblemen rise to define themselves while the creative ones took generations to build a cathedral because they only cared about glorifying God. Knowing their identity in life was irrelevant. Peasants were unaware of the world outside the common since they all lived and died without ever leaving their birthplace.
Violence was often seen during this period in history. Homicides were twice more as frequent than accidents themselves and one out of the hundred murderers was brought to justice. Becoming a criminal was even pursued and during tournaments for “entertainment and exercise,” knights would arm themselves and abduction and turmoil would take place. Blood was often shed and even death occurred.
Henry IV had received a punishment for appointing a bishop without the pope’s consent. This punishment was to excommunicate Henry which brought him to his knees. Excommunication was the worst punishment a Christian could have as it was a suspension from the religious committee. After hearing those words, Henry begged for pardon which was later granted after he spent three days kneeling in the snows of Canossa outside the papal castle. The pope pardoned him but in a few years conflict came again upon Henry and the pope.
The German princes and people supported Luther’s reformations due to political and economical reasons rather than religious ones. The church’s selling indulgences has used up most of the people’s money and had left them in poverty. People also saw that the Germans poverty was the outcome of the wealthy church. “Even men devoted to the Church and the Holy See often declared that the German grievances against Rome were, from a financial point of view, for the most part only too well founded.” (Manchester 144). With Luther’s reformation, people agreed to the most part that the church was causing everyone to become broke. Especially Germans who went to avenge for their freedom. “For many years Germany has lain in the dust, bemoaning her poverty and her sad fate. But now her nobles have awakened as from sleep; now they have resolved to shake off the yoke, and to win back their ancient freedom.” (Manchester 161).
During the Great Schism, the peasantry was unaware of such event. No one told them as the priest himself had no knowledge either and the archbishop had the reasons to stay quiet. The people just continued to carry on with their daily lives going to mass, getting married, being baptized, and on. They showed no need to open their mouths to ask about Church affairs so all was as if nothing was happening.
Manchester finds using the using the phrase “Dark Ages” as an appropriate term for this period in history even though modern historians have already abandoned it....