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The Decline of the Byzantine Empire. The dispersed Byzantium (1204-1261AD). After the conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders, the Empire was divided among the conquerors: Latin Empire of Constantinople: Constantinople & ¼ of the former Empire (Baldwin of Flanders)

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the dispersed byzantium 1204 1261ad
The dispersed Byzantium (1204-1261AD)
  • After the conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders, the Empire was divided among the conquerors:
  • Latin Empire of Constantinople: Constantinople & ¼ of the former Empire (Baldwin of Flanders)
  • Venetians: ¾ of Constantinople & ½ of the remaining territory, mostly important marine & commercial points  Venetian domination of the sea & the marine trade
  • Rest Crusaders: division of the remaining territory into smaller states, according to the power of the pretenders  absolutely alien governing to the local population (e.g. Kingdom of Thessaloniki, Ducat of Athens, Principality of Achaea, etc.)
the dispersed byzantium 1204 1261 ad
The dispersed Byzantium (1204-1261 AD)
  • Greek states in the geographical area:
  • Empire of Nice
  • Despotate of Epirus
  • Empire of Trabzon
the dispersed byzantium 1204 1261 ad1
The dispersed Byzantium (1204-1261 AD)
  • Constant conflicts among the new states
  • Empire of Nice & Despotate of Epirus are now the only hope of “reconquista”
  • Latin Empire of Constantinople functions as a barrier against the co-operation of the Nice ’s enemies (Latin, Slavs, etc.)
  • 1261: Re-conquest of Constantinople by the Empire of Nice
last attempt of restoration 1261 1321 ad
Last Attempt of restoration (1261-1321 AD)
  • Disruption of the Latin Empire of

Constantinople

  • Exposition of the Byzantine Empire to

the northern & western enemies

  • Need of even more financial & military means
  • Aims of Byzantine Empire: survival against dangerous enemies – re-conquest of the territories that belonged to the Empire before the Latin conquest
last attempt of restoration 1261 1321 ad1
Last attempt of restoration (1261-1321 AD)
  • Defensive politic based on diplomacy  diplomatic split of the enemy alliances
  • Main enemy: Charles of Anjou

(dreamer of restoration of the Byzantine Empire under his hold)

  • Reduction of the military force
  • Necessity of external enforcement from the West  Attempt to gain the Pope ‘s help by accepting the subordination of the Eastern Christian Church to the Western  civil conflict between the Unionists & the Anti-unionists
civil wars fall 1321 1453 ad
Civil wars & fall (1321-1453 AD)
  • Defense based on mercenary troops – Complete lack of fleet
  • No income of the transporting trade, because of the Italian privileges
  • Low monetary credit,

because of the continuous

devaluation of the

byzantine currency

  • Social polarization between the wealthy owners of the land &

the poor peasants or workers

civil wars fall 1321 1453 ad1
Civil wars & fall (1321-1453 AD)
  • Civil wars between the defenders of

the byzantine throne

  • Expansive plans & invasion in the

Greek mainland by the Serbians under

the command of Stefan Dusan(dreamer

of a Serbian-Greek Empire)

  • Expansion of the Ottoman Turks

(1354 in Europe)  1422 first siege of

Constantinople

  • New attempts to obtain military help

from the West

civil wars fall 1321 1453 ad2
Civil wars & fall (1321-1453 AD)
  • Almost unconditional acceptance of the union of the two Christian Churches (1438 – 1439 Ferrara)
  • Civil conflicts
  • Hatred against the Catholic West & the Pope
  • Enforcement of the Greek national feeling
civil wars fall 1321 1453 ad3
Civil wars & fall (1321-1453 AD)
  • Territories of the last

Byzantine

Empire:

  • The area around

Constantinople

  • Chalkidiki
  • Despotate of Mystras
  • The last Emperor

Constantine 18th

Paleologos

civil wars fall 1321 1453 ad4
Civil wars & fall (1321-1453 AD)
  • April 1453: beginning of the last & fatal siege of Constantinople
  • 29th May 1453: conquest

of the city by the Ottomans

  • The end of the Byzantine Empire
  • http://qed.princeton.edu/main/MG/Empires/Byzantine_Empire
critical review
Critical review

During a period of more than 1000 years, the Byzantine Empire:

  • Was the frontier of Europe in the East
  • Combined hellenistic, western & eastern cultural elements to one culture
  • Offered a complicated model of a most organized administrative system
  • Instituted the political system of despotism on the name of the God
  • Offered the basis of the European law system (especially with the Justinian & Theodosian codes)
critical review1
Critical review
  • Enforced the Christian religion (Orthodox centre) – Clearly set the dogmatic bases of the religion in the ecumenical councils
  • Set the bases of the (orthodox)

monastic life (St. Catharine ‘ s in Sinai Peninsular, Mount Athos, Cappadocia, Nitria desert in Egypt, etc.)

critical review2
Critical review
  • Enlightened the Christian -Greek culture to the other European & especially to the Slavic nations, respecting their own language & culture
  • Developed the byzantine secular (mainly inherited through folk songs) & religious (hymns, chants, etc, all chanted only by the human voice, without any instrumental accompaniment) music
critical review3
Critical review
  • Preserved the Hellenistic Common Greek Language (based on the attic dialect) & developed it to the Medieval Greek Language
  • Simpler Complicated

oral written

language language

(“attikizousa”)

  • Appointed the Greek language as the official language of the Byzantine Empire since the 7th c. AD
critical review4
Critical review
  • Set the bases of the Modern Greek Literature (chivalrous poetical novels, Saga of DigenisAkritas, folk songs, etc.)
  • Replaced the capital letters with the small ones in the manuscripts since the 9th c. AD
  • Developed calligraphy & miniature painting
  • Preserved & commented the classical literature & the ecclesiastical tradition in the manuscripts
critical review5
Critical review
  • Formed the various byzantine architectural rates of churches (basilica, basilica with dome, cruciform church, etc)
  • Developed hagiography

(painting of saint

& scenes of the Holy Bible or abstract decoration, during the War on Icons)

critical review6
Critical review
  • Developed the arts of metallurgy, mosaic, etc. (usually in connection with the religion) & enlightened it to the West
critical review7
Critical review

Although:

  • Many civil conflicts disrupted its peace
  • The political & the religious power were sometimes inappropriately &

dangerously mixed

  • The strong Christian faith of some emperors harmed the previous ancient civilization (e.g. closure of the Philosophical School of Athens by Theodosius the Great)