The byzantine empire
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The Byzantine Empire. I. After the Fall of Rome. 330, Emperor Constantine moved Empire’s capital to Byzantium, later renamed Constantinople 395 – Roman Empire officially split between East and West empires Two emperors share equal power

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The Byzantine Empire

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The byzantine empire

The Byzantine Empire


I after the fall of rome

I. After the Fall of Rome

  • 330, Emperor Constantine moved Empire’s capital to Byzantium, later renamed Constantinople

  • 395 – Roman Empire officially split between East and West empires

    • Two emperors share equal power

  • After decline of west, eastern Roman Empire would last another 1000 years

    • Becomes known as Byzantine Empire

The state of the Roman Empire by 476.


Ii a new power

II. A New Power

  • 527 C.E. – Justinian, a Byzantine noble-man, takes throne of eastern empire

    • Sent his armies to reconquer western territories

      • North Africa, Italy, parts of Spain eventually reclaimed in name of Rome

      • Ruled over almost all of the territory that was once originally Roman Empire

    • Ruled with absolute power

      • Head of empire and church

    • Led to a new age of Roman influence and domination


Ii continued

II. Continued…

  • Justinian ordered the building and construction of many great projects

    • 14-mile stone wall along city coast

    • Hagia Sophia – once considered greatest church in Christian world

    • Public baths, aqueducts, courts, schools


Iii new roman culture

III. New Roman Culture

  • The Byzantine Empire developed its own culture separate from that of the western empire

  • Latin no longer most popular language, most people spoke Greek

  • Restructuring of Roman Law

    • Justinian Code – based on 400 years of Roman law, made up of four works:

      • Code: contained 5,000 Roman laws still considered useful

      • Digest: summarized opinions of Rome’s greatest legal thinkers

      • Institutes: textbook explaining how to use laws

      • Novellae: means New Laws, anything passed after the year 534

    • Covered everything: marriage, slavery, women’s rights, criminal law, and much more

    • Lasted over 900 years as dominant law


Iii continued

III. Continued…

  • Preservation of Greco-Roman culture

    • Education focused on Greek & Latin grammar, philosophy

    • Byzantine scholars helped preserve many scholarly works from Ancient Greece and Rome

      • Along with Muslim scholars, would help influence the Renaissance in western Europe


Iv split in christian church

IV. Split in Christian Church

  • When Roman Empire split, Christianity began to develop differently in east & west

    • Causes:

      • distance and lack of contact/communication

      • Disagreements on practices/beliefs – use of icons, behavior of Christians

  • In east: Patriarch was leading bishop, but Emperor head of church

  • In west: the pope was head of church

  • Arguments between the eastern patriarch and western pope led to permanent split

    • Roman Catholic Church in west

    • Orthodox Church in east


V end of another empire

V. End of another empire

  • Plague of Justinian

    • Began before Justinian’s death (Justinian himself survived the disease)

    • 542 C.E. – 10,000 people a day were dying

    • Would come and go until the year 700

    • Killed up to 25% of population

  • Empire slowly shrank due to constant attacks

    • Sassanid Persians in the east

    • Muslim armies from south

    • Lombards in the west

    • Avars, Slavs, Bulgars in north

    • 1350 – reduced to tip of Anatolia

      • City of Constantinople held until 1453


Vi influence on eastern europe

VI. Influence on Eastern Europe

  • Byzantine Empire pushed Christianity north

    • Accelerated development of independent civilizations in Eastern Europe

    • Missionaries bring culture – development of Slavic written language (Cyrillic)

  • Kievan Rus’

    • Scandinavian traders moved through Slavic lands of eastern Europe

    • Settlements and governments established along trade routes

    • City of Kievbecame focal point of commerce, culture

      • Became center of small kingdom, called Kievan Rus’, later Russia


Vi continued

VI. Continued…

  • Based many traditions on Byzantine culture

    • Autocratic (supreme) ruler that controlled church – Russian Orthodoxy develops

      • Called tsar, from Russian word for “Caesar”

    • Developed strong aristocratic class – known as “boyars”

  • Invaded/conquered by Mongols (Tatars) in 1200s


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