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Medieval European Culture

Cultural Influences and their effects on the Medieval European Culture

             The development of the early Medieval European Culture is a mix of numerous sources and it has affected religion, art and social order in different ways. This essay is an exploration of both sources and effects, in order to give a framework by which readers could understand better the Medieval European Culture. The first section of the essay will provide a brief view of four of the major sources, then the second part will look in depth at the effect on the culture, before heading to the conclusion.

Medieval European Culture

            At the beginning of the Medieval Age, one of the culture that perhaps gave the most important contribution to the formation of the Medieval European Culture is the Roman Culture. The Roman Culture, developed in a few centuries of Roman Empire, was the culture that left an impression so ingrained in the European Medieval Age that, even after centuries, people would still think about it as the model to follow in order to have a successful empire. The influence of the Roman Culture was not only in terms of government and social stability but also religion since Christianity had become the empire religion (Gibbon, 2014).

Medieval European Culture

The second most important source in the formation of the European Medieval Culture is the Barbaric Culture. The Barbarians was a heterogeneous group of population with substantial differences in culture and society, but what it is possible to say for all of them is that they had already influenced the late Roman Culture, but their influence continued even after the fall of the Roman Empire, especially in those countries at the border of the Empire where the Roman Culture had a little influence (Halsall, 2007).

Medieval European Culture

Then, there were other sources that played a role in the making of the European Medieval Culture: the Arabic Culture, that was in the development in the V and VI centuries AC, played a role that was important in those countries were the presence of the Arabian Empire was the most accentuated, like South Italy and Spain. Other cultures played a role as well, even if in a less important context, like the Viking Culture or the Byzantine Culture (Gyug, 2003).

            All those influences have some effects on the Medieval European Culture. The religion was perhaps the most important since especially the early Medieval Culture was mostly focused on the religion. Christianity is a religion that has its roots based on the Roman Empire, although in the centuries certain traditions and symbols that were originally from other cultures were taken in a new religion, in order to facilitate the transition from paganism toward Christianity. Those influences were not limited to religion, since religion was a fundamental part of the life of the population, spreading into the social order and arts (Petts, 2011).

Medieval European Culture

The social order was influenced in a various way based on where people lived: the fall of the Roman Empire saw the social order collapsed and the new one that was formed was heavily shaped by the dominant population on the territory, so for example in some regions of Italy there were Byzantine forms of government, while in Ireland there were mostly Saxons forms of social orders (Gibbon, 2014).

Medieval European Culture

The art was influenced by all those aspects above, and usually it is the form where it is easier to detect which cultures was the mainly inspired behind the pieces, even if this is not always the case, as they were some form of art, particularly in church, that showed how all those elements mixed together to create a new culture (Gyug, 2003).

Medieval European Culture

            In this essay, an exploration of the main influences behind the Medieval European Culture is provided, like the Romans, the Barbaric and other cultures as well. A brief explanation of the different kind of influences is explained as well, including art, religion and social order. All of this confirms the development of the Medieval European Culture was the results of centuries of merging between different cultures and population.


Gibbon, Edward. The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire. New York, NY: Sheba Blake Publishing, 2014.

Gyug, Richard F. Medieval Cultures In Contact. New York: Fordham Univ. Press, 2003.

Halsall, Guy. Barbarian migrations and the Roman West, 376–568. Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Petts, David. Pagan And Christian. London: Bristol Classic Press, 2011.

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