century the Christian world was still being shaped and re-shaped by wars
between nations and endless internal political struggles.
Women continued to
play subservient roles in the major cultures that dominated the scene: the
slavonic states in the East; the latin cultures of southern Europe; the new
Germanic states from Germany to Britain; the Nordic civilizations established
by the Vikings.
Rare exceptions are, for
instance, Empress Zoe in Constantinople who poisoned her husband and then ruled
with her new husband until 1041; and Queen Agnes of the Holy Roman Empire in
the German lands served as Regent for her son from 1056 - 1065.
The First Crusade began with a call by Alexius I of
Constantinople in 1095 for assistance from other Christian states to counter
repeated attacks made by Seljuk Turks. He also decried Muslim control of the
Holy Land. His call was echoed by the Pope. As many as 30,000 fighting men
responded and joined the Crusade. The Seljuk Muslims were defeated in Syria. In
1099, the Crusaders arrived in Jerusalem. They laid siege to the city, captured
it and massacred thousands of Muslims indiscriminately.
Issues of power and security
ruled the day. Philosophy, culture and art found little lasting expression.
Ordination rites for women
deacons were preserved in some very old manuscripts. The
Bessarion (or Grotta
ferrata) Codex written at Constantinople in around 1020 AD contains very
old texts, certainly not later than the 7th and 8th centuries AD.
Vatican Manuscript, gr.
1872 was written before 1100, according to Jean Morin who inspected it.
A variation on the text is
found in the Coislin
gr. 213 Manuscript (the Paris Codex) of AD 1027.