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Byzantine Culture. 476-1453 (fall of Rome – conquest by the Ottoman Turks). Byzantine Empire. After Rome falls, Constantinople remains secure, preserving the Eastern Empire A stable base of agriculture and trading, with deep class divisions

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Byzantine Culture

476-1453

(fall of Rome – conquest by the Ottoman Turks)


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Byzantine Empire

  • After Rome falls, Constantinople remains secure, preserving the Eastern Empire

  • A stable base of agriculture and trading, with deep class divisions

  • A new fusion of ethnic groups: Greeks, Romans, Serbs, Slavs, Turks, Bulgarians


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Orthodox Christianity

  • A gradual split between Roman (Catholic) and Byzantine (Orthodox) churches

    • Differences in language (Greek the language of the Eastern Roman empire, Latin the language of the Western Roman empire)

    • Differences in religious practice (Roman Catholic priests were celibate, Orthodox priests could marry)

    • Different positions on the Iconoclastic Controversy (726-843): the Eastern Roman Empire was Iconoclast (image-breakers), while the papacy in the West refused to join.


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Byzantine Culture

  • mixture of Christian principles and Greco-Roman ideals

  • Classical Values--restraint, order, proportion, thought--are now put to the service of Christianity.


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Literary Culture

  • Law: the Justinian Code

    • Created by the Emperor Justinian, who reigned 527-565

    • preserves Roman law and passes on legal principals into the Christian medieval period


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Byzantine Architecture

  • The great structures of the Byzantine period embody two basic purposes (sometimes one, sometimes both)

    • A) glorifying the empire

    • B) expanding Christianity’s power


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Byzantine style

  • A combination of styles:

  • Greek: the use of the classical columns

  • Roman: the use of the arch and the dome

  • “Asian: (Persian, Arabic, Islamic, Turkish) influences

    • More lavish colors and intricate ornamentation

  • Form of Greek cross

  • Use of dome

  • Prevalence of mosaic


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Byzantine Architecture

  • Hagia Sophia was the mother church of the Orthodox church






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