Byzantine and Slavs Chapter 10
The New Rome 10-1
Byzantine Foundations • A. In A.D. 330 the Roman emperor Constantine built Constantinople at a strategic place where Europe and Asia meet; the site, on a peninsula, offered control over trade routes and natural protection from attack. • Byzantine Foundations • B. The Byzantine Empire with its classical Greek heritage and Christian religion, created a distinct Byzantine civilization that was one of the most advanced in the world between A.D. 500 and 1200
Justinian’s Rule • A. At its height the Byzantine Empire was ruled by Justinian, a son of prosperous peasants from Macedonia, who became emperor in A.D. 527.
Justinian’s Rule • B. Justinian’s wife, Theodora, participated actively in government; she was especially concerned with improving the social standing of women.
Justinian’s Rule • C. During Justinian’s reign, the Byzantines beat back a serious military threat from the Persians to the east.
Justinian’s Rule • D. Aiming to restore the Roman Empire, Justinian regained Italy, North Africa, and Spain; the reconquest exhausted most of the Byzantine resources; within a generation of Justinian’s death, the empire lost many of its outlying territories to the expanding Persian Empire.
Justinian’s Rule • E. The Justinian Code, or the Corpus of Civil Law, written by a commission appointed by Justinian, preserved Rome’s legal heritage and became the basis for most European legal systems.
Justinian’s Rule • F. Under Justinian, Byzantine art and architecture achieved their distinctive character.
Byzantine Religion • A. The Byzantine emperors, regarded as God’s representatives on earth, took an oath to defend the Christian faith; Byzantine emperors frequently played a major role in church affairs.
Byzantine Religion • B. In the A.D. 700s, the use of icons in churches became a political issue; in A.D. 843 the Eastern Church allowed the use of pictures, but not statues, in worship.
Byzantine Religion • C. As the centuries passed, disagreements between the Eastern and Western Churches intensified; the most serious issue concerned the source of religious authority—whether or not the pope in Rome was the supreme leader of the Church.
Byzantine Religion • A. By A.D. 1054 doctrinal, political, and geographical differences finally led to a schism of the Church into the Roman Catholic Church in the West and the Eastern Orthodox Church in the East; the split further weakened the Byzantine Empire.
Byzantine Life • A. Although Byzantine society was divided into a hierarchy of social groups, there were few barriers to prevent a person from moving from one group to another.
Byzantine Life • B. Byzantine women were expected to live partly in seclusion, but they had gained some rights and influences through the empress Theodora’s efforts.
Byzantine Life • A. Although the base of the Byzantine economy was agricultural, commerce thrived in cities such as Constantinople.
Decline and Fall • A. After Justinian died in A.D. 565, the Byzantine Empire gradually gave way to invaders; by A.D. 700 the empire was reduced to the territories that were primarily Greek.
Decline and Fall • B. In A.D. 1204 Christian soldiers from western Europe helped the Venetians attack Constantinople and looted the city.
Decline and Fall • C. The western Christians established “a Latin empire” in Constantinople but were successfully resisted by the Byzantine people.
Decline and Fall • D. In A.D. 1453 the Ottoman Turks laid siege to Constantinople, defeating the Byzantines in six weeks; with the fall of Constantinople, central Europe lay open to attack by Islamic forces
Neighboring Kingdoms • A. During the time of the Byzantine Empire, four neighboring kingdoms went through periods of prosperity and decline—Armenia and Georgia to the northeast and Bulgaria and Serbia to the northwest.
Neighboring Kingdoms • B. In the early A.D. 300s, Armenia became the first officially Christian country in the world. After successfully fending off an attack by the Persians, Armenia was invaded by Arab armies in the A.D. 600s; a succession of Turkish invaders followed, and during the A.D. 1800s, Armenia was divided between the Russian and Ottoman empires.
Neighboring Kingdoms • C. During the A.D. 1100s and early A.D. 1200s, Georgia enjoyed a golden age of freedom and culture; by the early A.D. 1800s, however, Georgia could no longer defend itself and became part of the Russian empire.
Neighboring Kingdoms • D. The first Bulgarian state arose in the A.D. 600s, reaching its peak 300 years later before succumbing to Byzantine invaders; the second Bulgarian state survived 200 years before Ottoman invaders from central Asia conquered the territory.
Neighboring Kingdoms • E. The Serbian kingdom, which had accepted Eastern Orthodox Christianity and the Cyrillic alphabet, enjoyed prosperity in the A.D. 1300s; the Serbs were defeated by the Ottomans in 1389 in the Battle of Kosovo; through almost 500 years of Ottoman rule, a desire to avenge the shame of Kosovo kept Serbian national pride alive.
The Eastern Slavs 10-3
The Setting • A. The early Slavic civilization was rooted in one of the Byzantine trade routes that ran north across the Black Sea and up the Dnieper River, then overland to the Baltic Sea.
The People • A. Although historians know little about the origin of the first Slavic peoples, they do know that by about A.D. 500, the Slavs had formed into three distinct groups that had settled in different parts of eastern Europe.
The People • B. The largest Slavic group, the Eastern Slavs, lived north of the Black Sea; this group included those now known as Ukrainians, Russians, and Belarussians.
The People • C. The early Eastern Slavs were farmers and hunters who lived in villages made up of related families; they used rivers for transportation and trade, setting up trading towns along the riverbanks.
Kievan Rus • A. The early Eastern Slavs were not warlike; instead they relied on Vikings to protect their trade routes and help lay the foundations of Slavic government.
Kievan Rus • B. Control of Kiev enabled the Viking Prince Oleg to dominate the water trade route and establish Kiev as the major city of a region of Slavic territories known as Kievan Rus; in A.D. 911 a treaty established trade between the Byzantines and the Eastern Slavs.
Kievan Rus • C. By A.D. 900 Kievan Rus had organized into a collection of self-governing city-states and principalities.
Arrival of Christianity • A. In A.D. 988, after his own conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy, Prince Vladimir of Kiev ordered a mass baptism in the Dnieper River for his people. • B. The conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy brought Byzantine culture to Kievan Rus in the form of art, education, and architecture.
Kiev’s Golden Age • A. Under the rule of Yaroslav, Vladimir’s son, Kievan culture reached its height; the first library was established and the legal system was organized. • B. After Yaroslav’s death, Kiev declined in power and wealth; in A.D. 1240, Mongol invaders from central Asia captured Kiev and destroyed it.
Mongol Rule • A. The Mongols sacked towns and villages, killing thousands; they taxed the conquered peoples and required allegiance to the Mongol ruler. • B. For two centuries, Mongol rule isolated most of the Eastern Slavs from European civilization.
Rise of Moscow • A. As city life in the south declined after the fall of Kiev, many eastern Slavs moved into remote northern forests to escape Mongol rule.
Rise of Moscow • B. Using war and diplomatic marriages, the princes of Moscow gradually expanded their state’s territory until, by A.D. 1350, Moscow was the most powerful Eastern Slavic city.
Rise of Moscow • C. After Muscovite forces defeated the Mongols at the Battle of Kulikovo in A.D. 1380, the tide turned in favor of Moscow.
Rise of Moscow • D. After Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks in A.D. 1453, Moscow stood alone as the center of the Eastern Othodox Church. Ivan III, who took the title of czar, was regarded as the successor of the Byzantine emperor; Moscow’s leaders stressed the importance of obedience to the czar and the government.
Rise of Moscow • E. Western European influences were transformed by local Russian styles and tastes; the Kremlin, for instance, is known for its typically Russian onion domes and ornately decorated palaces.