Byzantium Chapter 9 EQs: Why is Byzantium called the вЂњSecond RomeвЂќ? How did Byzantium flourish while fending off Muslim and Barbarian invasions? Beginnings вЂў It was Constantine the Great who began the rebuilding of Byzantium in 324, naming the city Constantinople and dedicating it in 330. This founding marks the early beginnings of the empire. вЂў Constantinople became the sole capital of the Eastern Roman Empire вЂў The death of the complete Roman Empire in 476 AD marked the birth of the new Roman Empire in Constantinople. Greek influences resurfaced. вЂў Greek thus became primary language in the 6th C вЂў The empire was renamed Byzantine after the city Byzantium which was renamed Constantinople. вЂў The empire benefited from being the focal point of trade from east to west and vice versa Justinian вЂў The greatest of all the eastern emperors was clearly Justinian (c.482-565), who reigned for thirty-eight years between 527 and 565. вЂў Justinian was a reformer in the fashion of Augustus Caesar. вЂў It was Justinian's desire to restore the Empire -- both East and West -- to all of its former glory. вЂў In fact, it has been said that his desire to restore the former Roman Empire was an obsession (Nova Roma) Justinian вЂў His greatest accomplishment toward this end was the revision and codification of Roman law. Justinian understood that a strong government could not exist without good laws. вЂў The Byzantine laws had grown too numerous and too confusing. вЂў Justinian created a commission of sixteen men to bring order out of all the laws. вЂў These men worked for six years and studied more than 2000 texts. вЂў In 534, the commission produced the Corpus Juris Civilis вЂ“ the Body of Civil Law (Justinian Code). вЂў Contained laws pertaining to religion, anti-paganism, heresy crimes and anti-Semitism TheodoraвЂ™s Influence вЂў Justinian was aided by his wife, Theodora (c.500-547), the daughter of a bearkeeper at the Hippodrome, and was no less ambitious than her husband. вЂў In 532, mob violence erupted in Constantinople. These riots were called the Nika Riots ("Nika"= "Victory!"), and grew from political unrest over the government's fiscal measures. вЂў Rival factions of Blues and Greens (admirers of rival chariot-racing teams) fought in the streets over the results of a chariot race (kinda like soccer hooligans). вЂў Some Byzantine Senators saw this riot as an opportunity to overthrow Justinian вЂў Justinian wanted to leave the city during the riots, but two of his generals (Belisarius and Narses) and his wife Theodora, persuaded him to stay. вЂў Theodora took it upon herself to raise a personal army, an army that eventually killed 35,000 people in a single day and expelled the plotting senators. Arab Pressures вЂў JustinianвЂ™s successors began to concentrate on protecting the eastern frontier from Muslim invasions вЂў The Byzantine Empire managed to withstand this threat, but not without losses вЂў Byzantine control over the Mediterranean realm began to slip as the Arabs built a strong navy вЂў Byzantium also held off a siege of Arab ships by using a new weapon called вЂњGreek fireвЂќ вЂў The empire lost key points in Phoenicia, Palestine and Egypt The Bulgars вЂў The most serious challenge to Byzantium was Bulgaria вЂў Bulgarian kings were feisty and resisted Byzantine rule from ConstantinopleвЂ™s founding all the way thru the 11th century вЂў 1014 вЂ“ Basil II finally defeated the Bulgarian threat; he blinded their captive soldiers and bribed as many of their generals to gain their favor Society/Politics вЂў Similar to early China вЂў Emperor ordained by God, was head of Orthodox church вЂў Women held considerable authority throughout the empireвЂ™s history вЂў Theodora (NOT JustianianвЂ™s wife) exerted her power as emperor вЂў An elaborate bureaucracy (China similarity again) supported the emperor, one educated in Greek traditions/knowledge вЂў Members of this bureaucracy could come from any social classes, though aristocrats dominated вЂў This bureaucracy regulated trade (Silk Road) and food prices as well as taxed the peasants for resources вЂў Military organization similar to Roman organization вЂў Peasants served the army in return for land grants that could be passed down via inheritance Society/Politics вЂў Empire depended on control over countryside (rural base) вЂў A large controlled peasant class was crucial to providing tax revenue to the empireвЂ™s treasury вЂў The empire was not very urbanized; Constantinople was only large city вЂў Trade was crucial вЂў Held together the network of trade that linked China/India to the newly emerging European kingdoms вЂў Life was centered on secular Greek traditions вЂў Orthodox Christian artwork was took mosaic form, which even brought controversy (icons were considered graven idols) Religious Influence and Issues вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў Little innovative artistic creativity emerged from Byzantium save those in the forms of religious arts and architecture (still influenced by Rome and Greece) The construction of domed churches (ie. Haggia Sophia) continued Roman architectural forms The creation of mosaics and icon painting flourished, enough to cause controversyвЂ¦a brief clash over iconoclasm ensued (concern that icons were idols)вЂ¦eventually it disappeared What did occur was a rift between the West (Rome and Catholicism) and the East (the Orthodox Church of Byzantium)вЂ¦the Greek Bible was translated into LatinвЂ¦popes got involved with the iconoclasm issueвЂ¦Charlemagne becomes declared the вЂњtrue heir of RomeвЂќ In 1054, the schism was made official (thanks to an argument over bread and sex) as pope and head of the Orthodox church excommunicated each other Spreading Byzantium вЂў Emperors realized they could gain influence over other areas by spreading Orthodox faith in Slavic вЂњCyrillicвЂќ language translation to various вЂњbarbaricвЂќ societies вЂў Missionaries like St. Cyril and Methodius went into Eastern Europe and Kievan Russia and brought them a new language and a new faith вЂў Each area was absorbed into the Byzantine Empire through this conversion The Rise of Eastern Europe and Russia вЂў Slavic peoples migrated into Russia and eastern Europe during the Roman EmpireвЂ¦they were simple agriculturalists organized in tribes and villages вЂў They practiced animism, had rich oral traditions and songs to tell their histories вЂў Some established trade on rivers, and began interacting with ByzantiumвЂ¦the traders gained political control/influence вЂў A monarchy emerged in Kiev in the 9th C and flourished as a center of commercial tradeвЂ¦Byzantine influence began with the conversion of Vladimir the I to Orthodox Christianity in the late 10th C. вЂў Vladimir preferred orthodox Christianity because it gave him direct power as ruler/controller of the faithвЂ¦Roman Catholicism beckoned for control by the papacy. Institutions and Culture in the Kievan Rus вЂў Kiev borrowed much from Byzantium, but was unable to duplicate the bureaucratic system вЂў Rulers favored the Byzantine style of rule, a god-like king who was leader of the church, devotion to GodвЂ™s power, to saints, churches and iconic figuresвЂ¦even polygamy stopped and Russian priests were allowed to marry and have children вЂў Literary styles emphasized religion and politics while art mainly depicted religion вЂў Peasants were free farmers and the landed aristocracies (boyars) had less political power Kievan Decline вЂў Began in the 12th century when rival princes established competing governments вЂў Asian invaders seized territory as trade diminished due to Byzantine decayвЂ¦the Mongols were sweeping in from central Asia, blocking commercial contacts with the West вЂў The culture, however, survived, because the tolerant Mongols did not interfere with local customs, just politics and tradeвЂ¦as long as tribute was paid, the Russians were left alone Byzantine Decline вЂў The major force that caused Byzantine decline was the Turks who converted to Islam вЂў Seljuk Turks вЂ“ fierce nomadic warriors who came from Central Asia and took their Asian provinces which provided food and taxes (Manzikert,1071) вЂў Byzantium pleaded to European Christians for help, they got it in the form of the Crusades, but this eventually led to a greedy pillaging of their dying empire вЂў 1453 вЂ“ Beginning of the Ottoman Empire This WeekвЂ¦ вЂў Tuesday: Document Analysis Pg 207 вЂў Wednesday: PERSIA Chart on Byzantine Empire вЂў Thursday: I/O on Byzantine Empire (see next slide for topic questions) вЂў Friday: Chapter 9 test пѓ Notes Due Byzantine I/O вЂў Topic questions for discussion вЂў #1: Discuss the Byzantine Religious, Political and Social Structure. Is it вЂњtrulyвЂќ a second Rome? вЂў #2: In what ways is the Byzantine Empire similar/different to China? вЂў #3: How is Russia a stepchild of the Byzantine Empire? Why was the rest of Eastern Europe not dominated by Byzantine culture?