Byzantine Empire ( )

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1 Byzantine Empire ( )

2 Definition Byzantine: this term is a modern invention. The Byzantines called themselves either Romans or Greeks. It was used for the medieval Greekspeaking, Christian empire that dominated the eastern Mediterranean. In antiquity, because of its strategic location, it was an important center for the transport of corn to Attica.

3 Definition 1. an ornate artistic and architectural style that developed in the Byzantine Empire and spread esp. to Italy and Russia. The art is generally stylized (as in religious icons) and the architecture typified by many-domed, highly decorated churches. 2.- (of a system or situation) excessively complicated, typically involving a great deal of administrative detail. "Byzantine regulations" - characterized by deviousness or underhanded procedure. "Byzantine intrigues"

4 Diocletian s Empire

5 Rome: Too Big Rome had grown too big for effective rule. Rome was too far away and the provinces often did not do as they were instructed The Western Roman Empire- Capital in Rome The Eastern Roman Empire- Capital in Byzantium The origins

6 The origins The ruler of the Western Roman Empire was seen as the senior ruler of Rome Diocletian then moved to rule the Eastern Roman Empire. He brought with him much of West Rome s wealth 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 west.

7 Constantinople Successive emperors build strong walls, palaces, churches, gardens, aqueducts and made the city the biggest, strongest and most enlightened city of medieval Christendom The Walls of Theodosius

8 Cistern Basilica

9 The early years East and West divided again, permanently. Christianity required 396: Prohibition of Olympic Games Hippodrome

10 The Fall of Rome Barbarian tribes keep pushing into a fragmented and weakened Roman Empire. The east through bribery, diplomacy and better military resists effectively 476: Rome Falls The Last Legion

11 The Age of Justinian (527-75) The Peasant Emperor 536: Reconquest of Rome and much of Italy took many years. North Africa and the Spanish coast were easily conquered. Victories over Sassanid Persia in the east consolidate the borders Control didn t last distrust of army leadership; withdraw to fight Persians

12

13 Justinian s Legacy Hagia Sophia remained the seat of Eastern Christianity until the Fall of Constantinople. 552: Byzantine monks sneak silkworms and mulberry out of China. Justinian orders the codification of Roman law (Corpus Iuris Civilis). (Basis of most legal system in Europe and Louisiana He was harsh regarding heresies Riots nearly abdicated till wife shamed him In 529 he closed the philosophical school of Athens, thus destroying the last stronghold of paganism.

14 Hagia Sophia, Church of the Holy Wisdom, 6th c.

15 The Byzantine empire in 565, at its largest expansion ever.

16 The Struggle with the Persians Justinian and his successors were locked into a titanic struggle with an old enemy and won. 627: Heraclios crushes the Persians at Nineveh. However, both Byzantines and Persians were exhausted and vulnerable to the Arabs and Islam. Islamic armies take territory, but not the core of the empire

17 The Empire in 668

18 The religious art of Byzantium Intellectual, idealistic, schematic, with restrained colors and reserved form. Realism is rare and undesirable The objective is the spiritual elevation of the believer

19 Icons and Iconoclasm Icons are sacred images representing the saints, Christ, and the Virgin, as well as scenes such as Christ's Crucifixion. Icons could be in marble, ivory, ceramic, gemstone, precious metal, mosaic, etc. Iconoclasm literally means "image breaking" and refers to destruction of images for religious or political reasons.

20 Iconoclasm The Isaurians, followed by the Phrygian dynasty tried to abolish icons. (The Old Testament prohibits worshipping graven images) This divided the empire. (This will be one of the issues that divides the Catholic Church) Icons were restored as objects of veneration but not worship by two ecumenical councils under the leadership of two powerful women, Empress Irene the Athenian, and Theodora, Empress consort to Theophilos.

21 The Golden Years of Byzantium Emperor Basil Emperor The 50 years following Basil s death were years of prosperity and growth. Constantine VIII ( ) was never interested in ruling. At his death his daughter Zoe became empress. Her accession was the greatest calamity for Basil s empire Empress Zoe

22 Zoe s Husbands Romanos III Argyros ( ). Reversed Basil s financial arrangements and suffered a defeat in the east which cost him popularity. Probably murdered by Zoe Michael IV Paphlagonian ( ), a reasonably successful emperor. Constantine IX Monomachos ( ) A military disaster Constantine IX

23 Islamic Seljuk Turks take most of Asia Minor The empire in 1092

24 The Empire in 1143

25 Empire further weakened by Western European armies The Fall of Constantinople to the Crusaders, 1204

26 The Latin Empire of Constantinople

27 The Fall of Constantinople The world turned its eyes on a depopulated Constantinople in the spring of A shadow of its former glory the imperial city fell after months of siege. Constantine XI, the last emperor became the subject of legends.

28 The Legacy of Byzantium International trade blocked Age of Exploration Emigration of Hellenistic culture to Western Europe Renaissance Basis of legal system in Western Europe

29 The Legacy of Byzantium Russia assumes Byzantine mantle Tsar, Church, Architecture

30 What Becomes of Constantinople?

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