The 10th Century in Europe: Byzantium on the Offensive and the Emergence of the Ottonian Dynasty

This is Part 6 of our Centuries series. In it, we will examine the chaotic 10th century, beginning with the changing map of Europe and the growing influence of the Catholic Church.

We will then move on to a reinvigorated Byzantium as it goes on the offensive for the first time in centuries and enjoys tremendous prosperity, as well as the role played by the Rus Vikings.

The successor dynasties to the Carolingians are then introduced as the Frankish Empire disintegrates, especially the Ottonians who bring an end to the Magyar threat.

Finally, we address the foundation of the Duchy of Normandy in France and the beginnings of English unification.   

Demonstration of a Sample Page

Gospels of Otto III

Healing the Blind Near Jericho

The miracles performed by Jesus can be divided into two categories: those in which he controlled nature, i.e. walking on water, and healings. Jesus healed numerous blind people including Bartimaeus, who became a follower of Jesus after his encounter on the road from Jericho, shown here before a classical architecture. 

One of the ways 10th century German emperors sought to assert their equality with Constantinople was by imitating their art. This splendid Ottonian miniature originated from an imperial commission, which is evident in both its style and quality. It has a brilliantly burnished gold background – one of numerous Byzantine stylistic elements in addition to the figures with typified faces, large eyes, and expressive gestures.