It seemed like everywhere else on Earth, east and west is going fast forward and Europe is going darker and darker under the rule of the Catholic Church. But if we learn one thing from our story so far it is nothing stays the same forever especially when it comes to the fight between light and darkness. The Catholic Church was going to face its worst nightmare…..s
As we said the Church was in control of everything in Europe. It had what we can call absolute power. Until one day that power was threatened. In the 7th century the Islamic Empire started to expand significantly. Here is the map that shows how far they got:
See that part in the far western side of Europe? That place was one day called ‘Al-Andalus’. It was covering most of today’s Spain and Portugal and it was one of the strongest and most important territories for Muslims. It was very important on both the intellectual and military levels. The Church knew that this new power in the region is threatening their very existence. Especially with all the scientific discoveries and inventions the Muslim do all the time. They had to do something. So they tried and tried until they figured that the only way to destroy the Muslims in Al-Andalus was by spreading rumours and making them lose confidence in their leaders. After years and years of trying, they finally managed to take over Al-Andalus at the 15th century. But it was too late. Europe was already out there in the free air of public knowledge by then as we will see during the final chapters of our story.
The fall of the Catholic Church power started in the 11th century and by the hands of science along with their love for power and control. In the 11th century new farming techniques appeared like heavy plough and three-field crop rotation which made farming possible with fewer manpower. That meant that land owners could get rid of many of their farmers. Farmers who do not work cannot live on the land so they had only one option, to move to the cities. In the same time, the Church was leading a lot of crusades in the East to fight the huge expansion of the Islamic Empire and try to maintain their power and authority over the place. These crusades opened a lot of routes for exchange with the East which let a lot of imported stuff in the cities which meant exposure to different cultures.
With all that happening in the cities of Europe, everything started to go up instead of down for the normal people. There, in the cities, it all started.