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Eastern Roman Empire. By: Sami, Megan, Alissa, and Jenny. History. Also known as Byzantine East Empire Ruled much of the Mediterranean Sea and lands north and east that had been under Roman rule Emperor Constantine I began the empire in 330 A.D.

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Eastern roman empire

Eastern Roman Empire

By: Sami, Megan, Alissa, and Jenny


  • Also known as Byzantine East Empire

  • Ruled much of the Mediterranean Sea and lands north and east that had been under Roman rule

  • Emperor Constantine I began the empire in 330 A.D.

  • It originated as the eastern half of the classical Roman empire, which survived the collapse of the western empire

  • Capital started as Byzantine which started as a modest market town and had convenient access for trade

  • It soon became the most important political and military center of early Roman empire


  • Constantine was first Christian emperor

  • He moved the capital from Byzantine to Constantinople

  • His most significant change was the way that Christianity and its followers were perceived and made an impact for many years to comeAlso first Christian emperor

  • Initiated a policy known as caesaropapism, which says the emperor not only ruled as a secular lord but also took part in ecclesiastical affairs


  • One of the greatest rulers of the Byzantine Empire

  • Helped to rebuild Constantinople and provided the foundation for later intellectual, legal, and cultural development

  • He built Haggia Sophia or “Church of the Holy Wisdom”

  • This marked the high point of ecclesiastical architecture

  • He was able to complete the codification of the law he began in 529 known as Justinian’s code

  • It served as a source of legal inspiration


  • Iconoclasm was started by Emperor Leo III and it means the breaking of icons

  • It sparked protest throughout the empire because of the popularity of icons in the church

  • Dress and court etiquette drew attention to the status of rulers, and the color purple was a color reserved for imperial use only

  • Chariot races were one of the city’s favorite pastimes

  • Constantinople contained a Hippodrome which was a large stadium where athletic matches, contests, and circuses took place

  • Mediterranean Christianity formed into Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic because of the differences

  • The most distinctive feature of Byzantine Christianity was its close relationship with the imperial government

Continuity change
Continuity & Change

  • Roman emperor Constantine changed capital to Constantinople in 340 A.D.

  • By late fourth century it was the most important political and military center of the eastern Roman empire

  • After decline of the western empire, Byzantine emperors faced challengers, and they built a state significantly different from the classical Roman empire

  • The city was renamed Istanbul in 1453 C.E., when it fell off the Ottoman Turks

  • Problems arose because of the Theme System and it caused political, military, and economic difficulties


  • Occasionally neighboring peoples would seize portions of the Byzantine empire

  • Constantinople was the center of trade and had no rival among other Byzantine cities

  • Egypt, Anatolia, and lower Danube were the main source of grain for Byzantine

  • There were direct links with manufacturers and merchants in central Asia, Russia, Scandinavia, northern Europe, and lands of the Black Sea

  • It served as the western anchor of a Eurasian trading network

  • Byzantine was the economic powerhouse of the postclassical era


  • Settled on a peninsula, has good natural harbor, and gave them the potential to control Bosphorus.

  • Had convenient access to lands of Anatolia, SW Asia, and SE Europe

  • Trade routes linked empire to ports through out Mediterranean basin

  • Eventually expanded to Syria and southern Italy which brought them much wealth


  • Capital of Byzantine empire

  • Largest city in Europe during the empires existence

  • Was filled with libraries, churches, museums, marble palaces, and artistic treasures

  • By late fourth century it was the most important political and military center of the eastern Roman Empire


Able to resist capture by others with their military technology

Used forces known as Greek fire

Silk industry made them a lot of money

Good reputation for glassware, linen, woolen textiles, gems, jewelry, fine work in gold and silver

Long tradition of producing icons such as pictures of Jesus, saints, and other religious figures


Political organization
Political Organization technology

  • Basically dominated the eastern Mediterranean because of it’s wealth and power

  • During the seventh and eighth centuries C.E., the southern regions of the empire fell into the hands of Arab Muslim conquerors

  • Had pressures during the end of the dynasty from Normans and Venetians from the west and nomads from the east

  • Came to an end during the 15th century when Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople

  • After the sixth century, emperors became absolute rulers

  • The job of the advisors and Bureaucrats was to help the emperor complete his duties, and the emperor can override their decisions or suggestions

Social structure
Social Structure technology

  • Aristocrats maintained large palaces that included courtyards, reception halls, libraries, chapels, and quarters for family, servants, and slaves

  • Women lived in separate apartments and didn’t receive many visitors from outside the household

  • They often didn’t participate in parties or banquets

  • Less privileged classes like artisans and craft workers lived in rooms above shops

  • Government officials and clerks lived in multistory apartments sharing kitchens and bathrooms with neighbors

  • Empire supported a large class of free peasants who served as the backbone of the military

  • Wealthy families ran large estates as hired servants cultivated their land for them

Intellectual life
Intellectual Life technology

  • Government machinery required literate and intelligent individuals

  • Aristocrats often hired tutors for private instruction for their children

  • State-organized school system that offered a primary education in reading, writing, and grammar, followed by studies of classical Greek literature, philosophy, and science

  • Byzantine merchants, manufacturers, clergy, and military personnel usually had at least a primary education

  • Constantinople had a school of higher learning that offered advanced instruction in law, medicine, and philosophy

  • Byzantines with a literary education considered themselves the direct heirs of classical Greece


www.ancienthistory.abc-clio.com technology




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