Marinate on this… Byzantium serves as a bridge between what we learned in the last unit about the Roman Empire, and what we will learn in the next unit about Medieval Europe. Also the study of Byzantium and its influence introduces us to Russia, and Eastern European history. Also relevance to what we learned about the spread of Islam, Muslim conquests, and the Crusades.
Origins of the Byzantine Empire • Romans set up eastern capital to their empire in the 4th Century CE in Constantinople (yes Constantine loved himself sooooo much that he named the city after himself). • Constantine constructs churches, and other elegant buildings • City is build on the grounds of the town of Byzantium • Even before the Western portion of the Roman Empire fell to Germanic invaders, the eastern half had their own Emperors.
Origins of the Byzantine Empire • Constantinople was responsible for • The Balkan Peninsula • The Northern Middle East • The Mediterranean coast • North Africa • Greek becomes the official language of the Eastern Roman Empire (replacing Latin). • Greek gave scholars access to the philosophical works of the ancient Greeks
Justinian • Constant threat of invasion plagued earlier emperors, but Justinian was the man. • Soon, eastern emperors beat off attacks by the Sassanian Empire in Persia and by the Germanic Invaders • In 533 CE, Justinian, urged by his wife Theodora made a push to re-conquer Western territory. J&T were bringin’ territory back.
Justinian • Justinian was the man. He • Rebuilt Constantinople in a big way. • Systemized the Roman Legal Code • Justinian’s Code • Extended Roman Architecture (plus domes) • The Hagia Sophia (a.k.a. Holy Wisdom).
Military Exploits • Emperor Justinian wants to recapture Rome itself, but dealt with constant pressure from Germanic tribes. • Westward expansion had weakened the empire at home. • New Slavic groups moved into the Balkans • Justinian pushes Persian forces back, but loses some middle eastern territory. • Dies in 565 CE
Beyond Justinian… • Successors must defend the Eastern Empire itself • Reverse Persian successes in the 7th Century. • Population forcibly converted to Christianity.. • Byzantine Empire represented a mix of Hellenistic tradition, Christianity, as well as Roman engineering, military tactics, and codified law. • Strong enough to withstand the threat of the expanding Arab Muslim Empire (until 1453, that is).
The Muslim Threat • While the Byzantines were able to withstand the Muslim threat, they did so taking on massive losses. • Arabs built a naval fleet that challenged Byzantine naval supremacy in the Eastern Mediterranean • Arabs launched continual attacks on Constantinople. • Wars with the Muslims added economic burdens to the Empire. • Byzantine territory was cut back to half the size of the earlier eastern Roman Empire. Held out nevertheless, but the Arab threat was never entirely removed.
Byzantine Military • Byzantine rulers adapted Roman system by recruiting troops locally and rewarding them with grants of land in exchange for military service. • Hereditary military leaders gained regional power, displacing traditional and better educated aristocrats. • While this was bad for the empire, it helped to protect a state that was constantly under attack from the Muslims (Persians, Arabs, and Turks), as well as nomadic intruders from Central Asia
Byzantine Society and Economics • Constantinople controlled the countryside • Bureaucracy regulated trade and controlled food prices. • Large peasant class was vital to provide the goods and supply the bulk of tax revenues. • Empire had a huge trading network with Asia to the east and Russia and Scandinavia to the North. Empire also traded with India, the Arabs, and east Asia. The Empire received simpler goods from Western Europe and Africa. • Merchants did not gain much power (like China)
Byzantine Culture • Byzantine art and culture was inspired by the Greek example • Byzantine strength lay in preserving and commenting on past literary and artistic forms • Art and Architecture were exceptions to that rule. • Icon Painting-paintings of saints and other religious figures.
The Schism • Eastern Christianity was headed by a Patriarch who was the spiritual leader of the Byzantine Empire… was also controlled by the Emperor. • Western Christianity was headed by the Pope who exerted great control over the Medieval rulers of Western Europe. • Western Bible in Latin, Eastern Bible in vernacular (local language).
The Schism In 1054, Patriarch Michael brought back old quarrel over what kind of bread to use for the Eucharist. Must it be baked w/o yeast? Michael also attacked Roman Catholic practice of celibacy for priests. Allowed E. Orthodox priests to marry. Pope excommunicated the Mike and his followers. The patriarch excommunicated all Roman Catholics. Split btwn the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodoxy (Byzantine or Greek, Russian Orthodoxy, etc.) became official and has endured to the present.
Decline of the Byzantine Empire Decline begins shortly after the schism. Turkish troops, the Seljuks, who were converts to Islam, seized most of the Asiatic provinces of the Empire. Loss in battle of Manzikert in 1071 never allowed Byzantine Army to recover. Creation of new, independent Slavic kingdoms in the Balkans (like Serbia) showed the Empire’s diminished power. Eastern leaders appeal to the west for assistance against the Turks, but they were ignored. Western Crusades did not helps the Byzantines.
Decline of the Byzantine Empire • 1453-Turkish Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed II brings his powerful army, with artillery purchased from the west to Constantinople. The city falls in under two months. • The fall of the Byzantine Empire was one of the great events in World History. • Now the Muslim Ottomans would be supreme in the Mediterranean.
THESE OTTOMANS Suleiman the Magnificent Mehmed II
Spread of Civilization to Eastern Europe • Byzantine influence did not die with the fall of Constantinople, but was continued in Eastern Europe. • Orthodox missionaries were sent from the Byzantine Empire northward to extend the scope of Christianity through the Balkans. • In 864, Byzantine govt sent missionaries Cyril and Methodius to what is now Czech and Slovak republicsin Eastern Europe. They spread the Eastern Orthodox faith.
Spread of Civilization to Eastern Europe • Cyril and Methodius used their ability to speak the Slavic language to spread Christianity throughout E. Europe. • The two missionaries devised a written script for the Slavic language, derived from Greek letters. To this day, the Slavic alphabet is known as Cyrillic. • The possibility of literature thus developed in E. Europe along with Christianity. • Byzantine missionaries were willing to have local languages used in church services, broadening Christianity’s appeal (another contrast w/ Western Catholicism which insisted on church Latin).
Kievan Rus’ • Slavic peoples had moved into the plains of Russia and Eastern Europe during the Roman Empire. • Slavs already used iron, extended agriculture into the Ukraine, had political organization that rested in family tribe and villages, and maintained an animist religion. They also had great folk music and oral legends. • Development of loose regional kingdoms.
Slavs • Origins of Slavic Peoples
Kievan Rus’ • During the 6th and 7th centuries Scandinavian traders worked through Slavic lands while trading w/ Byzantium. Being militarily superior to the Slavs, they set up governments along their trade routes, particularly in the city of Kiev
Kievan Rus’ • A monarchy emerged, and Rurik, a native of Denmark, became the first prince of KievanRus’ in 855 CE. • Flourished until the 12th century when the word Russia was coined from the Greek word for “red,” which was the hair color of many Norse traders. • Ethnic mix of Slavic/Norse people.
Kievan Rus’ • Kiev becomes an active trading center with the Byzantine Empire. • Prince Vladimir I, who ruled from 980-1015 converted himself and all his people to Christianity. • Massed, forced conversions. • The Russian Orthodox Church developed from influence by the Byzantines. • Kiev issued a formal law code • Kievan prince Yaroslav arranged the translation of religious literature from Greek to Slavic.
Russian Culture • Influenced by the Byzantines, and Orthodox Christianity. • Devotion to the power of God and Eastern Saints • Ornate churches filled with Icons and incense. • Monastic movement stresses prayer and charity. • Russian and Ukrainian art focused on the religious also • Icon painting and illuminated manuscripts. • Byzantine architecture- cruciform plan with dome
Kievan Decline In the 12th Century, Kiev fades…aided by the slowdown and disruption to its neighbor to the south, the Byzantine Empire. 1237-1238, and 1240-1241: Mongol Invasions take over most of the weakened Russian Cities, but fail to press west. Over 200 years, Russia remained under Mongol Control, separating Russia from the dynamism of Western Europe during this time.
MONGOL MANIA!!! • FOR 200 YEARS CONTROLLED MUCH OF PRESENT DAY RUSSIA • CONQUERED THEM IN THE WINTER- THE ONLY PEOPLE TO EVER DO THAT succeffsully. • THIS CUT OFF THE NORTH-SOUTH TRADE AXIS, CUT THEM OFF CULTURALLY AS WELL • HAD LITTLE IMPACT ON ORTHODOX RELIGION