Housing • Different types of homes existed for different social classes • Rich - single family homes, two stories tall, brick, Roman style (a blank wall faced the street, and inside rooms opened up to a courtyard with a garden, fountain, and trees), balconies (wives would sit & watch people events & taking place on maze-like side streets (privacy), sometimes had a city home and country home • Poor - multi-story apartment buildings, high & narrow to save land and money, usually built of stone, brick, or wood, no glass for window, only wooden shutters, sometimes lived on the streets
Trade and Commerce • Boats and horses brought - spices, jewels, clothing • Enormous warehouses near the harbor held the imported goods • Markets - shouts of merchants, beauty of goods, smells of food stands with foods from Egypt, Spain, etc. • Artisans & craftsmen sold - jewelry, silverware, expensive cloth, books, and carved ivory figures
Public Works and Charity • Different laws for rich and poor • Wealthy people could not be put to death or punished harshly • To help the poor - Church ran hospitals, orphanages, and homes for the poor and elderly, daily meals and bread were available. • Government - public baths - everyone in the city was clean and fairly healthy • Empress Theodora worked to improve the living conditions of young, poor women by giving them housing, money, food, and even attractive clothing.
Education • Artisans and craftsmen (low class) - did not attend school. • Children of craftsmen learned a skill, such as blacksmithing or weaving, as an apprentice (a person who learns a job through experience) • Daughters (rich) - learn to cook, clean, and sew (at home) • Sons (rich) - theoretical education (meaning they learned about ideas but not about practical, real world things) • Boys (rich) often attended a university as they got older. There they would study Greek, Latin, philosophy, and law. • Not many scientific discoveries were made at this time since technology was not considered important.
Religious Life • Constantinople was the Christian capital of the world • “One God, One Empire, One Religion.” • Religious services lasted several hours. • Parades and royal processions (like parades) on religious holidays • On Easter - government gave lambs to the city’s restaurants so that all citizens could feast
Recreation • Palaces, houses, streets, public baths, private baths, open market places, theaters, and a hippodrome (an open stadium for horse and chariot racing) • Socializing - streets, in marketplaces, in restaurants was very popular • Theater - pantomimes, jugglers, ballet dancers, actors • Circus - trained animals, acrobats, and musicians • Chariot races - Hippodrome held 60,000 people, cheered for the white, red, blue, or green chariots based on deme (where they lived)
Treatment of Foreigners, Slaves, Heretics • Foreigners – can enter city if Orthodox Christian, speaks Greek, has business in city • Slaves – church had rules for their treatment, if abused by master, could escape to church, many were skilled and worked in free time for money (sometimes bought their freedom) • Heretics – astrologers, Jews, Muslims, “other” Christians (sometimes forced to convert)
Government • Emperor – absolute power; divine right (ruling with the approval of God) • Imperial Palace – huge and elaborate, home of the emperor but also govt buildings and areas of entertainment • Purple – royal color • Demes (neighborhoods) – powerful and had their own militia (mini-army); controlled parts of the city; challenged the emperor • Caused the Nika rebellion (high taxes; being arrested)