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The Roman Empire Divided in 294. Barbarians invaded the Roman Empire. The Eastern Empire. Germanic invaders took over Western Europe. I mperial, or ruling, power shifted to the Byzantine Empire (the eastern part of the Roman Empire).

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the eastern empire
The Eastern Empire
  • Germanic invaders took over Western Europe.
  • Imperial, or ruling, power shifted to the Byzantine Empire (the eastern part of the Roman Empire).
Byzantium had a strategic location. Emperor Constantine made it his capital and renamed it Constantinople.
constantinople was on a peninsula it was between the black sea and the aegean sea
Constantinople was on a peninsula. It was between the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea.

Because of it’s geography, Constantinople was easy to defend. Also, it was a center for trade and it was part of the Silk Road.

furthermore constantine brought statues and art from other places in the empire to constantinople
Furthermore, Constantine brought statues and art from other places in the empire to Constantinople.
Justinian became

emperor in 527 A.D.

He married Theodora and she helped him rule the Byzantine Empire.

justinian s imperial goal unity
Justinian’s Imperial Goal: Unity
  • Justinian’s goal in the East was to centralize government.
  • He wanted everyone to have the same laws.
  • He wanted everyone to practice the same religion.

One GodOne EmpireOne Religion

one religion
One Religion
  • 380 A.D. Constantine, made Christianity the official religion of the eastern empire.
  • Justinian also wanted Christianity to be the one central religion.
the great schism
The Great Schism

Roman Catholic Church

Eastern Orthodox Church

pope vs patriarch
Pope vs. Patriarch




one law justinian s code
One Law: Justinian’s Code
  • Justinian standardized Roman law.
  • Justinian’s Code influenced the laws in many parts of Western Europe today.
one empire strong cities
One EmpireStrong Cities
  • During Justinian’s reign, the empire was strong.
  • It was strong because it had more than 1,500 cities.
  • Constantinople was the largestcity.
  • It had 350,000 inhabitants (people)
  • Constantinople was the cultural crossroads of Asian and European civilizations.

One Empire

Strong Cities

  • "Not since the world was made was there . . . so much wealth as was found in Constantinople. For the Greeks say that two-thirds of the wealth of this world is in Constantinople and the other third scattered throughout the world."
  • --Robert of Clari, a French crusader who witnessed the pillage of the city in 1204, describing Constantinople.
extensive building plans
Extensive Building Plans

Justinian was an ambitious builder. He built the magnificentchurch of Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom). It was constructed in just five years (532­37).

for a king death is better than dethronement and exile empress theodora
“For a king, death is better than dethronement and exile.” Empress Theodora
  • Not everyone liked Justinian.
  • In 532, many people protested and tried to get him to leave power.
  • They burned down many buildings.
  • Justinian won the battle and rebuilt the city.
the byzantine empire at its height
The Byzantine Empire at Its Height

The empire was at its height In 565, during Justinian’s reign. It included most of the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.