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CHAPTER 5. BYZANTIUM, EASTERN EUROPE, AND RUSSIA, 325-1500. Consequences of Roman Collapse. Tremendous consequences for Europe came from The decline and collapse of Roman authority in the West The relocation of the empire’s center of power to Byzantium in the East. . Christianity Emerges.

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Consequences of Roman Collapse

  • Tremendous consequences for Europe came from

    • The decline and collapse of Roman authority in the West

    • The relocation of the empire’s center of power to Byzantium in the East.

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Christianity Emerges

  • The Christian faith emerged as a dynamic agent of civilization.

  • It preserved the rich legacy of classical antiquity.

  • It fused Graeco-Roman institutions and Christian theology with Germanic and Slavic cultures.

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Roman Catholic Independence

  • In the West, the Roman Catholic Church asserted both religious and political independence from the Byzantine emperor.

  • The papacy played a prominent role in shaping the new political order in western and parts of eastern Europe.

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Orthodox Church

  • The Orthodox Church had an equally profound impact on the culture of the peoples who migrated to regions within the sphere of Byzantium’s influence.

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Missionary Work

  • Orthodox missionaries brought Christianity to much of eastern Europe and the Balkans.

  • They promoted literacy in Slavic languages.

  • They encouraged the development of new political and social structures.

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Byzantine Power

  • Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, however, the Orthodox Church remained subordinate to the authority of the Byzantine emperor, who claimed to be the “thirteenth apostle.”

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Shield Against Islam

  • From their prosperous metropolis, Constantinople, the Byzantines formed a shield for Christian Europe against the drive of Islam from the south.

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National Identities

  • Behind this shield Bulgarians, Serbs, and other peoples within the Byzantine sphere developed separate national identities.

  • They lost their independence to the Ottoman Turks in the fifteenth century.

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Slavic Ties

  • In contrast, many Slavic peoples forged ties with the West.

    • Poles

    • Czechs

    • several other Slavic peoples.

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Slav Independence

  • Although threatened by Mongols and Turks, these Slavs remained within the orbit of Western culture and the Roman Catholic Church and maintained their political independence.

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  • The Russians developed in yet another way.

  • From an early eminence under Byzantine and Varangian tutelage, Russian power declined due to internal conflict and external pressure from Mongols and Tatars.

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Russia Freed

  • In the sixteenth century the Grand Dukes of Moscow freed Russia.

  • Russia began the long, difficult task of building a modern nation-state.

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  • The political and religious circumstances into which Jesus was born, the efforts and persecutions of his early converts, and their eventual success in shaping the early church.

  • The role of Christian monasteries and missionaries in preserving and extending Greco-Roman civilization.

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  • The theological disputes and political rivalries that culminated in a schism between the Roman and Orthodox Christian churches.

  • The Byzantine Empire and the power of the Orthodox church.

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  • The growth of Slavic nations in eastern Europe under Byzantine tutelage.

  • The origins of Russia and its links with the Byzantine Empire.

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