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Page: 444. Successor states to the Roman empire, 500 AD. Byzantine empire and its neighbors 527-554 C.E. Page: 329. The Byzantine Empire. After the Western Roman Empire fell in AD 476, the Eastern Roman Empire continued (AD 330-AD 1453). It was called the Byzantine Empire.

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Page 444

Page: 444

Successor states to the Roman empire, 500 AD

The Byzantine


After the Western Roman

Empire fell in AD 476, the

Eastern Roman Empire

continued (AD 330-AD

1453). It was called the

Byzantine Empire.

Constantinople was its


Byzantine emperors

claimed that God gave

them the right to rule

(divine right).

Justinian was their most

famous ruler (reign: AD

527-567). He built the

Hagia Sophia and gave his

empire written laws.

Western Europe

and the “Dark


In western Europe, the

Early Middle Ages (AD

500-1000) is known as

the “Dark Ages.”


*Literacy declined.

*Roman law (judges,

innocent until proven

guilty) was replaced by

trial by ordeal or


*Towns declined and

crime increased.

Latin evolved into

languages such as

Italian, Spanish, and


The Franks, the


Empire, and Clovis

An ethnic group, the

Franks, became very

powerful. Clovis (AD 481-

511) founded the

Merovingian Empire and

converted his people to


Charlemagne and

the Carolingian


A different family took

control of the Franks in the

early 8th C. and began the

Carolingian Empire.

Charlemagne (Charles the

Great) ruled from AD 768

to 814 and expanded the


Invasions from Muslim

forces, the Vikings, and

Magyars ended the


The Vikings

(Northmen or


From Scandinavia.

From AD 800 to AD 1000

the Vikings raided lands

from Ireland to Russia.

They were fierce

barbarians who

worshipped war-like gods.

Bersrkrswere “crazy”

Viking warriors.

Excellent sailors;

technologically advanced

ships; skilled explorers.

Images are from

Bottom picture shows sculpture of

Leif Ericson in Reykjavik, Iceland


*Eric the Red (Greenland

in CE 982).

*Leif Ericson (New

Foundland in CE 1000).

Settlements in Iceland,

Ireland, England, France, and


Viking raids stopped. Why?

*Opponents responded


*Agricultural output


*Converted to Christianity


Most people were farmers

who received protection

from wealthy landowners

in return for military

service or crops.

The High Middle


From AD 1000 to AD 1300

Agricultural improvements

led to more food


Population increased.

Towns and trade grew.

Literacy increased.

The Christian

Church divided

Christian Church splits

(schism) into two

branches in AD 1054:

*Roman Catholic: Bishop

of Rome (Pope) is their

spiritual leader. Priests

cannot marry.

Eastern Orthodox:

Patriarch of

Constantinople is their

spiritual leader. Priests

can marry.

The Crusades

The Crusades (AD 1096

AD 1272) were military

attempts by Christians to

gain control of the Holy

Land (Palestine) from


Late Middle Ages

AD 1300-AD 1500

Black Death (1347-1351):

Bubonic Plague killed one

out of every three


Hundred Years’ War

(1337-1453): Series of

conflicts between France

and England.