Blonde Ashley

Sometimes it's good to be a little weird

Western Civilization: Philip IV and Boniface VIII and The Black Death

1. Philip IV of France and Pope Boniface VIII show that there has been conflict between church and state for a long time.

The cause for conflict is this: the monarchy believed the king/emperor had the right to subjugate the church to his power. the church had another opinion. The church wanted independence from the state. Sometimes the church would go as far as saying that the church was above the state; meaning the pope had power over the king, but that didn’t get said very often.

What started the fighting was this: Philip started taxing the clergy as any other citizen, and normally you would ask the papacy before doing this. Boniface didn’t like this and threatened to banish Philip and placing the kingdom under interdict. Philip threatened to cut funding for the church and Boniface backed down. But the fighting continued until Boniface’s death in 1303.


2. The Black Death accrued in Europe in the 14th century. It was caused by the Bubonic plague which traveled via flea infested rats, and the pneunomic plague which traveled via sneezing and coughing. Once someone got it they would be dead within days. The disease whipped out approximately one-third of the European population. Because people were dying left and right, serfs would leave their lords. Soon the government made them stay, but wages stayed the same and taxes increased. This lead to the Peasant Revolt. But the peasants weren’t the only one’s suffering. Clergy were also dying which lead to their positions being filled with unfit people. People went crazy and some resulted to walking down the street, beating themselves to try to pay their penance. Other would, “eat drink and be merry.”



Western Literature: How Do I Get Eternal Life?

Religion was very prominent in the Medieval ages. Much of this religion was Catholic, and that includes The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi. And because of the Catholic influence much of the literature from the Medieval times focuses on salvation and righteousness.

In The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi the main thing we learn that leads to righteousness is to live humbly: St. Francis was fixated on living in poverty. This is to bring a person humility and holiness. But as unpleasant as living like this may seem, it taught him and his followers to trust God 100% present because if God didn’t come though they would die.

Though he lived as he did St. Francis thought of himself as a sinner worthy of hell. People listening to The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi would be under the impression they were “paying” for their sins.

The Franciscans believed that praying would draw you closer to God.Through prayer they would receive guidance, protection, and ability to perform miracles.


Biology: Am I Hungry?

Multiple times throughout the day you most likely feel hungry. This is called glucose homeostasis. Whenever your stomach is empty, ghrelin, or “the hunger hormone,” is released. after we eat our food it enters our digestive system where gastric juices break it down. When the stomach is full the ghrelin is suppressed by other hormones.

Western Civilization: Popes and Emperors.

There has always been a struggle between church and state. Sometimes the emperor and pope would be on good terms, but often the emperor would try to get more power than he was due and try to get power over the church.

The emperor would want centralization and power over everything, including the church but the pope would not support that.

This pattern continued throughout most of Medieval history.

Western Literature: The Song of Roland Discrepancies

Towards the beginning of the poem Charlemagne sends Ganelon to negotiate a deal with the Muslim King. Before this it was mentioned that the Muslims were out numbered. Ganelon made a deal with the Muslims to kill Roland and the rest of the rear guard after Charlemagne was gone. Then out of nowhere Turold announces that the Muslims had 400,000 men. Where did all those men come from? And why couldn’t they defeat the French then?

Later in the poem the rear guard was down to Roland and Turpin. Despite having multiple arrows piercing him, Turpin killed 400 Muslims, then he died. Plus, Turold told us that a large army of Muslims retreated from two, two! men. They only had the courage to shoot arrows at them.

Then towards the end Ganelon is standing trial for treason and he made excusses and the court ruled in his favor. But Thierry, one of the knights ruled against him. Thierry manages to get Ganelon put to death despite the rest of the courts ruling. How did one man get the ruling changed?

Western Civilization: Gothic Cathedrals and Western Europe’s Economic Success

1. Romanesque cathedrals were built with very heavy materials. Because they were so heavy, it was hard to be able to put very many windows in them. This was because the walls and roof were so heavy that they needed more support than the windows would be able to give. Because of the lack of windows Romanesque cathedrals were dark inside. Gothic cathedrals had great heights, had relatively thin walls, and had huge, stainglass windows. They were able to do this using the flying buttress. A flying buttress is an outside structure that supports the building. This meant that they could put big windows in. This was supposed to make people think of the light of the world, God.

2. Western Europe was able to have a sustained economic success because of decentralization of government. This was when they distributed economic power to a greater number of people rather then have all the economic power to just a few people. When the Roman Empire fell, no one rose to take it’s place. Instead, competition came into place. These competing individuals helped keep the prices of goods low and affordable. Representative bodies formed and limited things like taxes. All these things put together made so Western Europe had a flourishing free market and made so individuals could prosper.

Western Literature: Roland and Oliver

The “Song of Roland” is based in the time of King/Emperor Charlemagne of France around the late 8th century. Roland was the general of Charlemagne’s army and Oliver was Roland’s right hand man.

The story opens up with a conflict between the Muslims and the Franks. The Muslims King Marsilie decides to try to deceive the Franks. He does this in hopes of having a better chance of defeating them. King Marsilie offers the King riches from his country along with a peace treaty. A hesitant King asks the advice of his men, Roland is strongly against it but Ganelon urges Charles to accept it.

Charles decides to take Ganelon’s advice and sends him to King Marsilie to arrange things. When he returned he brought many gifts, but he also brought a secret scheme to murder Roland via the Muslim troops. When Roland found out that Muslims troops were making advances towards France, he immediately volunteers to lead the Frankish troops. Little did he know that he was out numbered 100,000 to 400,000.

When ever he and Oliver realized how greatly they were out numbered; Oliver suggested that they blow the trumpet so Charlemagne could bring more troops. Roland, however, refused saying it would bring dishonor to their country and families.

In the beginning the Franks were successful. However, as the Muslim troops kept coming; wave after wave, the Frankish troops got more and more tired as well as having fewer and fewer troops. At this point in the battle, Roland realized that he should have sounded the trumpet. Oliver was reluctant, saying that at this point it would be dishonorable. Roland ignores him and sounded the trumpet, Before Charlemagne could get there, Oliver was killed and Roland, seeing his friend get killed, fainted from exhaustion and sorrow.

In conclusion, Roland and Oliver viewed the battle differently, Roland looked at it as needing to show bravery and being optimistic. While Oliver looked at it as: we need to do, what will give us the greatest chance of winning.

Biology: Intelligence in Animals

All animals have at least some levels of intelligence.

Somethings that would be called intelligence would be:

1. Understanding orders.

2. Recognizing your own kind.

3. Gathering things such as food for the future.

4. Being able to be trained.

Humans can do all of these and more which is why they are believed to be the most intelligent species.

Western Civilization: Thomas Aquinas

1. Thomas Aquinas is known for being one of the greatest Christians Scholastics in Chatholicism. He greatly admired Aristotle’s philosophy which, like all Greek philosophy emphasized human reason. He used to argue that the things in the Bible are true.

The first thing Aquinas attempted to prove was the that there is one God. He argued that things that are potential can’t actualize themselves; someone has to do that. For example, a ball can’t move itself, someone or something, has to move it. Thomas Aquinas stated that basically the ultimate cause of all reactions is the Christian God because He is the “unmoved mover”  He is an independent power.

2. John Duns Scotus and William of Ockham basically opposed the argument Thomas Aquinas and other Scholastics composed through reason. They argued that faith is separate from reason. They argued that faith is separate from reason. They also said that the Christian God just rules the universe with His will. Everything is this way cause He wanted it that way and he can change it very quickly. They basically stated that everyone is basically following God.


Blog at

Up ↑