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Byzantine & Islamic Timeline. 527 Justinian and Theodora begin rule 642 Islam begins expansion 632-655 First Conquests (Syria, Persian Empire, Egypt) 655-661 Islamic Civil War: Umayyads vs. Ali (Sunni vs. Shia) 661-750 Second Conquests (North Africa, Spain)

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Byzantine & Islamic Timeline

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byzantine islamic timeline
Byzantine & Islamic Timeline
  • 527 Justinian and Theodora begin rule
  • 642 Islam begins expansion
  • 632-655 First Conquests (Syria, Persian Empire, Egypt)
  • 655-661 Islamic Civil War: Umayyads vs. Ali (Sunni vs. Shia)
  • 661-750 Second Conquests (North Africa, Spain)
  • 732 Islamic expansion ends with battle of Tours
main concepts
Main concepts
  • Roman system of government - laws, institutions
  • Christian nation
  • Bureaucracy
  • Greek based empire protects Europe.
roman resurgence
Roman Resurgence
  • Until 527 the Roman Empire was declining culturally, militarily and geographically.
roman resurgence6
Roman Resurgence
  • Reign of Justinian and Theodora
    • reclamation of lost territories
roman resurgence8
Roman Resurgence
  • Reign of Justinian and Theodora
    • Code Justinian
    • last Latin speaking Emperor
    • builds the Church of the Holy Vision (Hagia Sophia).
decline after justinian
Decline after Justinian
  • Conquests and plagues leave empire weakened
  • weakened by wars
    • attacks from the steppe (Bulgars and Avars)
    • invasion from Arabia in 634 CE (loss of Syria, Palestine, Egypt and North Africa)
    • invasion from loss of Italian and Spanish territories
  • weakened by religious controversies.
  • Iconography
  • Patriarch
  • Greek Orthodox Church
  • church as refuge
  • mystical, but not open to innovation.

Our Lady of Vladimir - Icon

  • Role of Christianity
    • Emperor deeply involved in religious issues
    • monks and monasteries
    • unify the empire: role of Emperor
    • can tear apart the empire - iconoclasm
  • missionaries.
sample ninth twelfth century icons
Sample ninth-twelfth century Icons

St. John

St. Thomas

St. Philip

  • 9th century Byzantium returns to use of icons
    • Opened a serious breach between East and West
    • Led to renewed emphasis on Orthodox faith as key to political unity
  • Greek fire and importance of trade

Use of Greek fire against Umayyid navy

  • Sources of stability
    • Internal political history, the story of violence and palace revolts
    • Efficient bureaucratic practices
      • Education and religion
      • Economic activity
      • The army and navy
      • Sound economic base
      • Role of Constantinople as trade emporium
      • Agriculture
  • government manages economy - wages, prices, jobs
  • monopoly on silk from the Chinese empire
  • makes Bzyantine state rich

New Testament Illustration

Gold marriage ring



Justinian-style Cross

  • Byzantine culture
    • Preserved ancient Greek heritage
    • Greek thought
      • Revered Plato and Thucydides
      • Aristotle regarded with less interest
      • Neglected Greek scientific and mathematical tradition
      • Preservation rather than innovation the hallmark of Byzantine classicism
    • Education extended to both men and women
    • Art and architecture
      • Church of Santa Sophia (Holy Wisdom)
protects europe
Protects Europe
  • Byzantium and the Western Christian world
    • Growing religious tensions
    • Sack of Constantinople by crusading armies (1204)
    • Legacy to the West
      • Bulwark against Islam
      • Preserved an independent and Christian West
      • Preservation of classical literature
      • Art and architecture
muhammad 571 632
Muhammad (571-632)
  • Born into lesser branch of one of Mecca’s leading clans
  • has a mystical experience - becomes a prophet
  • 622 flees from Mecca to Medina - known as Hijra - year 1 in Islamic calendar
  • Begins conquests
    • 630 Mecca submits
    • 632 rest of Arabia does as well.
the growth of islam
The Growth of Islam
  • The Religious teachings of Islam
    • Islam means “submission”
    • Allah—the Creator God Almighty
    • Muhammad as the last and greatest prophet
    • Practical steps for salvation and the Qur’an
    • Islam, Christianity, and Judaism
      • Jesus was a prophet but was not the son of God
      • Old and New Testaments as divinely inspired
      • Islam as a way of life—no sacraments or clergy
koran qur an
Koran (Qur’an)
  • God’s communication directly with Mohammed - last of a long line of prophets
  • ultimate authority on spiritual and worldly matters
  • respects, but supersedes Old and New Testaments
five pillars of faith
Five Pillars of Faith
  • God would assure all of eternal salvation if they led upright, sober lives and followed the five precepts of Islam
    • “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.”
    • pray 5 times a day
    • fast during month of Ramadan
    • give generous alms
    • pilgrimage to Mecca
  • sixth - but not a mandated - struggle to expand and protect the community - this is where the concept of jihad manifests.
first conquests
First Conquests
  • Muhammad prohibited warfare against other Muslims
  • unified region attacks the weakened Sassanid (Persian) and Byzantine Empires
  • success leads to territorial acquisitions
    • Syria and Egypt dislike Byzantine religion - do not put up much fight
  • 636 defeat of Byzantine army
  • 637 defeat of Sassanid army
  • expansion (see map).
civil war 655 661
Civil War (655-661)
  • Conflict over who would lead the unified religious/political territory (caliphate)
  • Ali, cousin and son in law of Muhammad (Shi’ites)
  • Umayyad (powerful family in Mecca) (Sunnis)
  • Umayyads win and move capital to Damascus.
abbasids 750 1258
Abbasids (750-1258)
  • Period of massive conversion to Islam among conquered people (not permitted in earliest years)
  • shift of capital to Baghdad - shift focus east
  • expansion into India and East Indies
  • changing role of women
  • “Golden Age” of Islam.
scientific practices
Scientific Practices
  • Building upon classical learning of the Greco-Roman world
  • synthesis of learning from Greece, Rome, Persia and India - founding of the House of Wisdom
  • only because of Islam were the works of the Greeks preserved
  • period of massive cultural achievement
    • architecture, art, poetry, medicine, astronomy.
  • Normally Muslim leaders did not persecute Christians and Jews (some exceptions) they ruled
  • taxation
  • rising cultural strength attracts conversion.

Percentage of Final Muslim Population


islamic culture
Islamic Culture
  • Muslim society and culture, 900–1250
    • Cosmopolitan and dynamic society
    • At Baghdad and Cordoba, careers were open to those with talent
    • Treatment of women
      • The Qur’an allowed a man four wives
      • The harem
  • Fusion of many cultures stimulates many creations
  • Limitation on creative directions
  • incorporation and transformation of existing art types.
abbasid decline
Abbasid Decline
  • Disintegration of empire begins
  • Spain (Umayyad), Egypt, Syria and eastern Persia break free
  • 1055 conquered by Seljuk Turks
  • period of fighting between other Muslim kingdoms
  • decline coincides with the Crusades.
impact of the islamic world
Impact of the Islamic World
  • The impact of early Islamic civilization on Europe
    • Economics and technology
    • Greek philosophical and scientific knowledge
    • Preservation and interpretation of the works of Aristotle