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The Byzantine Empire

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Pope Leo III’s Lateran
What do you make of
the fact that it is Peter
who gives Charles
the lance and not
Jesus or some other
manifestation of
Charlemagne: 742 to 814
Charlemagne’s Empire
Pope Crowned Charlemagne
Holy Roman Emperor: Dec. 25, 800
The Carolingian Renaissance
Charlemagne’s Empire Collapses:
Treaty of Verdun, 843
A political, economic, and social
system based on loyalty and
military service.
Carcassonne: A Medieval Castle
Parts of a Medieval Castle
The Road to Knighthood
Chivalry: A Code of Honor and Behavior
The Medieval Manor
Life on the Medieval Manor
Serfs at work
Checking for Understanding:
AP Multiple Choice Question:
Feudalism and manorialism were different in which of
the following ways?
a) Trade and commerce were more important in the feudal system
b) Feudalism was a political system while manorialism was an
economic system
c) Advances in agricultural technology had a more positive impact on
feudalism than on manorialism
d) While feudalism involved the exchange of military services, only
manorialism involved a social hierarchy
e) Feudalism involved service via labor, while manorialism involved
payments of tribute
Checking for Understanding:
AP Multiple Choice Question:
In the 1100s, manorialism began to end in European
nations for all of the following reasons EXCEPT
The development of a money based economy
The formations of towns and cities
Peasant rebellions against nobles
Severe floods that destroyed fields and crops
Formation of trade relationships made self-sufficiency less crucial
– What insight does The Secret History, by Procopius, give us
into the character of Justinian?
– AP Multiple Choice Question:
A major factor in the spread of Eastern Orthodoxy was
The Mongol invasions of the Balkans and Kiev Russia
The increasing illiteracy of the population
The use of icons and symbols in religious ceremonies
Integration of folk customs and practices into religious doctrine
The development of the Cyrillic alphabet
– AP Multiple Choice Question:
Which of the following statements about the Code of
Hammurabi and the Justinian code are accurate?
a) Both sets of laws derived their core philosophies from the Bible
b) The importance of each was that they attempted to organize
laws in ways that people could understand
c) While the Justinian code contained harsh provisions for those
convicted of crimes, the Code of Hammurabi was less punitive
d) Neither Code applied to women, foreigners, peasants, or slaves
e) Both sets of laws explicitly allowed slaves to bring suit against
their masters for harsh treatment
The Byzantine Empire
One God, One Empire, One Religion
When the western half of the Roman empire
crumbled and fell, the eastern half, which
became known as Byzantium, managed to
survive and, mostly, to thrive for a millennium.
During its long history, the Byzantine empire
suffered many serious setbacks because of both
internal strife and external pressures.
Introduction Continued…
Nevertheless, this culture, which blended Roman
and Greek traditions, managed to flourish
politically, economically, and socially up until the
time it began its centuries long decline
culminating in its conquest by the Islamic Turks
in 1453.
Byzantine Power:
Byzantine power was achieved and maintained
Well-trained and well-led armies
An armed naval force second to none
The secret of Greek Fire
A superior merchant marine
A vibrant international economy
A location in the Mediterranean and along the Black Sea
that gave it a favorable commercial and strategic location
7) A tradition of sophisticated diplomacy
8) A well-run bureaucracy
The Eastern Empire
As Western Europe
succumbed to the
Germanic invasions,
imperial power shifted to
the Byzantine Empire
(the eastern part of the
Roman Empire).
The city of Constantinople, was on a peninsula
overlooking the Bosporus, a strait connecting the Black
Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. From its central location,
the city controlled key trade routes that linked Europe
and Asia.
The origins
292: Diocletian divides the
Roman empire into two.
324: Constantine reunites the
two parts
330: Constantine builds a
new capital in the location
of ancient Byzantium
337: The death of
Constantine results in
division between east and
became the sole
capitol of the empire
and remained so until
the successful revival
of the western empire
in the 8th century by
The Reign of Justinian
The height of the first period of Byzantine history (324-632) was the
reign of Emperor Justinian (r. 537-565) and his wife Empress
Theodora (d. 548)
The Byzantine Empire in the Time of Justinian
В©2003 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Thomson Learning в„ў is a trademark used herein under license.
The Age of Justinian (527-75)
Procopius, Histories
532 The Nica revolt
536: Reconquest of Rome
and much of Italy took many
North Africa and the Spanish
coast were easily conquered.
Victories over Sassanid
Persia in the east consolidate
the borders
San Vitale, Ravenna Italy
Islamic Conquests and
Byzantine Revival
Islam emerges in the seventh century
Arab peoples conquered the Sasanid empire
and part of Byzantium
Prolonged series of sieges of Constantinople by
Islamic armies
Byzantium survived partly because of Greek fire
Byzantine Empire Reorganized
Provinces (themes) under leadership of generals
Armies of free peasants helped agricultural
Byzantium and western Europe – ecclesiastical
and political tensions
Byzantine Economy and Society
Rural economy and society
– Large agricultural base to support cities
– Economy strongest when large class of free
peasants existed
– Economy weakened when large landholders
consolidated and made peasants dependent
Byzantine Economy and Society
Industry and trade
Constantinople was major site of crafts and industry
Glass, linen, textiles, gems, jewelry, gold, and silver
Silk developed into major industry in sixth century; secrets came
from China
Constantinople was clearinghouse for trade
Banks and partnerships supported commercial economy
– Bezant was the standard currency of Mediterranean basin
– Western anchor of trade route revived silk roads
The Imperial Goal: Unity
The imperial goal in
the East was to
government and
impose legal and
doctrinal conformity.
One God
One Empire
One Religion
1st Method: Law
Justinian collated and revised
Roman law. His Corpus Juris
Civilis (body of civil law) had
little effect on medieval common
law. However, beginning with
the Renaissance, it provided the
foundation for most European
law down to the 19th century.
2nd Method: Religion
Religion as well as law
served imperial
centralization. In 380,
Christianity had been
proclaimed the official
religion of the eastern
empire. Now all other
religions were considered
“demented and insane.”
Increase in Church Wealth
Between the 4th and 6th
centuries, the patriarchs
of Constantinople,
Alexandria, Antioch, and
Jerusalem acquired
enormous wealth in the
form of land and gold.
Increase in Clergy
The prestige and
comfort that the
clergy enjoyed
swelled the ranks of
the clergy in the
Eastern Church.
Independent Thinking
Ideas thought to be heresies by the Roman Catholic
Church received imperial support:
– Arianism denied that Father and
Son were equal and coeternal.
– Monophysitism taught that Jesus
had only one nature, a composite
divine-human one.
– Iconoclasm forbid the use of
images (icons) because it led to
3rd Method: Strong Cities
During Justinian’s reign,
the empire’s strength
was its more than 1,500
cities. The largest with
350,000 inhabitants, was
Constantinople, the
cultural crossroads of
Asian and European
Urban Life
Housing in Constantinople varied widely by
Attractions of Constantinople
– Baths, taverns, theaters
– Hippodrome used for mass entertainment
– Chariot races most popular; Greens and Blues
Classical Heritage
The legacy of classical Greece
– Official language went from Latin to Greek
– State-organized school system trained workforce
• Primary education: reading, writing, grammar
• Later education: classical Greek, literature, philosophy,
• Higher education in Constantinople: law, medicine, philosophy
– Byzantine scholarship emphasized Greek tradition
• Wrote commentaries on Greek literature
• Preserved and transmitted Greek thought to later cultures
The Byzantine Church
Most distinctive feature was involvement of
the emperor
– Council of Nicaea (325 CE) in which Arianism
was declared heresy
– Iconoclasm controversy (726 – 843 CE) was
started by Leo III
Greek philosophy applied to Byzantine
Loyal Governors and Bishops
Between the 4th and 5th
centuries, councils were
made up of local wealthy
landowners, who were
not necessarily loyal to
the emperor. By the 6th
century, special
governors and bishops
replaced the councils
and proved to be more
loyal to the emperor.
Extensive Building Plans
Justinian was an ambitious builder. His greatest monument
was the magnificent domed church of Hagia Sophia (Holy
Wisdom), which was constructed in just five years.
In the area of architecture, Justinian blended Greek,
Roman, Persian and Middle Eastern styles. The best
known structure is the Church of Hagia Sophia whose
name means “Holy Wisdom”
The Grounds & Interior
In the area of art, the Byzantine empire made great
contributions. Icons were images of Jesus, the
Virgin Mary and others. These icons were
supposed the create the sense that the holy person
was actually present.
Byzantine artists also developed Mosaics,
pictures or designs formed by inlaid pieces of
stone or other materials. Mosaics often
displayed religious themes.
Influence of Byzantium in Eastern Europe
Domestic problems and foreign pressures
– Generals and local aristocrats allied; new elite class
challenged imperial power
– Muslim Saljuq Turks invaded Anatolia, defeated
Byzantines at Mansikert, 1071
– Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople in 1453, the
end of the empire
– Western Europe took parts of Byzantium
• Normans in southern Italy and Sicily
• Crusaders carved out states and sacked Constantinople in
The Byzantines gave Russia a written language. Two
Byzantine missionaries adapted the Greek alphabet This
new system, called the Cyrillic alphabet is still used in
Russia today.
Decline in the 7th Century
In the seventh
century the empire
lost Syria, the Holy
Land, Egypt, and
North Africa to
invading Islamic
The Iconoclastic Controversy
The Iconoclastic Controversy,
a movement that denied the
holiness of religious images,
devastated much of the empire
for over a hundred years.
During the eighth and early ninth
centuries the use of such images
was prohibited, but icons were
restored by 843.
Influence of Byzantium in Eastern Europe
Early relations between Byzantium and
Slavic peoples
– Byzantines began to influence Bulgarian
politics and culture after the eighth century
– Mission to the Slavs
• Saints Cyril and Methodius, mid-ninth century
• Cyrillic writing stimulated conversion to Orthodox
• Education and religion tied together, led to more
Influence of Byzantium in Eastern Europe
Domestic problems and foreign pressures
– Generals and local aristocrats allied; new elite class
challenged imperial power
– Muslim Saljuq Turks invaded Anatolia, defeated Byzantines
at Mansikert, 1071
– Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople in 1453, the end of
the empire
– Western Europe took parts of Byzantium
• Normans in southern Italy and Sicily
• Crusaders carved out states and sacked Constantinople in 1204
The Fall of Constantinople
in 1204, the Crusaders
attacked, conquered,
and pillaged the city of
Constantinople, a goal
that the Muslims had
been trying achieve for
Fall of Byzantium
Conquered by the Ottoman Turks
In 1453, the city was
finally and
conquered by the
Ottoman Turks and
renamed Istanbul.
Byzantine culture,
law, and
administration came
to its final end.
Contribution to Western Civilization
Throughout the early Middle Ages, the Byzantine
Empire remained a protective barrier between
western Europe and hostile Persian, Arab, and
Turkish armies.
The Byzantines were also a major conduit of classical
learning and science into the West down to the
Renaissance. While western Europeans were
fumbling to create a culture of their own, the cities of
the Byzantine Empire provided them a model of a
civilized society.
Compare the development of
civilization in eastern and
western Europe.
The West developed around Rome and its
empire; likewise, the East branched from the
Roman Empire during its decline.
The religions also branched from the Romans.
Rome developed by conquest, while trade was
what spread to the East.
Evaluate the significance of
the Byzantine Empire to the
civilization of Europe.
The Byzantine Empire was the birth place of
Orthodox Christianity.
This branch of Christianity spread through
Eastern Europe westward, creating an
alternative to Catholicism.
Russia was also influenced by this empire, and
claimed to be its heir.
The Orthodox church and the civilization of
Russia are the two most significant contributions
Compare Orthodox
Christianity to Roman
Byzantine culture, political organization, and
economic orientation help to explain the rift between
the eastern and western versions of Christianity.
Different rituals grew from Greek and Latin versions
of the Bible.
Emperors resisted papal attempts to interfere in
religious issues.
Hostility greeted the effort of the Frankish king,
Charlemagne, to be recognized as Roman emperor.
The final break between the two churches occurred in
1054 over arguments about the type of bread used in
the mass and celibacy of priests.
Even though the two churches remained separate, they
continued to share a common classical heritage.
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