Europe as a whole was not yet to be free from the incursions of barbarian peoples and left unmolested to fashion its own future: the Mongol Empire was to be established on the Middle Danube in the thirteenth century and the Turkish Empire in the fifteenth century. But the immunity of the West from the shock and devastation of such assaults made possible the régularisation of feudalism as the basic organization of society, the introduction of reforms in the Church and the enhancement of its authority, and the diversion of military strength to the Crusades which brought the West into closer touch with the thought and the wealth of the East. The sense of security made the twelfth and thirteenth centuries a period of remarkable advance. Some manifestations, such as the rapid development of urban life, are discussed later in connexion with their political implications. Here we must confine our attention to two broad aspects: the religious revival, which expressed itself in the foundation of new Orders, and the intellectual renaissance which saw a renewed interest in the classics, an altered attitude towards theology, a systematic study of Roman law in its civil and ecclesiastical forms, and the beginnings of the universities. If we seem to spend more time upon the European background than upon the English scene, it is because this is the great age of cosmopolitanism, and events in England are part and parcel of continental movements, from which they must not be divorced if they are to be understood.