Byzantines, Turks, and Russians Interact

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1 Byzantines, Turks, and Russians Interact

2 Byzantium Germanic tribes had driven the Romans east. In 330 CE, the Roman emperor had begun to favor Christianity and established a city called Constantinople, formerly a Greek city of Byzantium - note the Greco-Roman inspiration (right). The Roman empire now split: East and West. The east was much more wealthy with access to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. It had a strong army, navy, merchant class, and clever diplomats. Their leaders kept Huns and Germanic invaders from invading. They sought to preserve the integrity of Rome, making Constantinople The New Rome They forced Roman dress on the peoples within the city.

3 Blending of Greco/Roman and Persian Architecture

4 A New Rome Byzantine emperors saw themselves as Roman emperors. Lack of communication between the western and eastern parts of the empire led to a division by 395 AD. Justinian, the nephew of Constantine, wanted the empire unified. He was a shrewd leader. By By 549, he had restored almost all of the land Rome had controlled.

5 Power Struggle & the Law Having absolute power means that one would constantly be threatened by usurpers. (19 out of the 88 Byzantine emperors died violently, and 13 abandoned the throne to become monks.) They were Greek-speakers and Eastern Orthodox Christians (Don t worry, we will get there.) The Justinian Code: A book of laws relevant for 900 years. The Code = 5000 Roman laws, useful for the Byzantine empire. The Digest = quoted and summarized the opinions of Rome s greatest legal thinkers. The Institutes = text that told law students how to use the laws. The Novellae = (New Laws) presented legislation passed after 534. Dealt with marriage,slavery, property, inheritance, women s rights, and crime.

6 The City Constantinople was protected by a 14-mile stone wall, 70 feet tall, 25 feet thick. The Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) The beauty of the cathedral convinced Russian nobles to adopt Byzantine Christianity. It had baths, aqueducts, law courts, schools, hospitals. The Hippodrome offered free entertainment. It also preserved the learning of the past.

7 Conflict & Cataclysm The Nika Rebellion called for for a new emperor. Theodora saves the day: My opinion is that now is a poor time for flight, even though it bring safety. For any man who has seen the light of day will also die, but once who has been an emperor cannot endure to be a fugitive. If now you wish to go, Emperor, nothing prevents you. There is the sea, there are the steps to the boats. But take care that after you are safe, you do not find that you would gladly exchange that safety for death. The Plague of Justinian - Likely came from India (rats on ships.) By 542, 10,000 people were dying per day! A wave every 8-12 years until 700, when it died out. The plague had devastated population making the city vulnerable to attack. Attacks on western and northern borders were weakening Justinian s empire. Persian attacks on the city itself, (626). With the rise of Islam, Arabs began attacking (674 and 717) Russians attempted to attack between 860 and The Crusades (knights from Western Europe sacked the city in 1014 on their way to fight the Turks.) The Byzantines tried diplomacy, but the empire did not long survive By 1350, it held only the tip of Anatolia and a strip of the Balkans. After 100 years, the walls of Constantinople could not hold off its enemies: it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 (Muslim peoples.)

8 The Christian Church Officially Splits Eastern church patriarchs could not agree with their western counterparts. In 730, Emperor Leo III banned the use of icons (figures eastern Christians used thin their devotions.) The army and enthusiastic iconoclasts plundered churches of their icons, exacerbating a growing conflict. One pope ordered the excommunication of a Byzantine emperor! In 843, Theodora restored icons. In 1054, an eastern patriarch and a western pope excommunicated each other = schism. Christianity would be permanently divided between the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox church. Byzantine missionaries convert Slavs, whilst a new, Slavic nations was forming. Invented the Cyrillic alphabet

9 Differences Between the Two Churches Roman Catholic Eastern Orthodox Services conducted in Latin Services conducted in Greek or local languages. The pope has the authority over all other bishops The patriarch and other bishops head the church as a group The pope claims authority over all kings and emperors The emperor claims authority over the patriarch and other bishops of the empire. Priests may not marry Priests may be married Divorce is not permitted Divorce is allowed under certain conditions

10 Russians and Byzantine Culture Background to the Slavic conversion process: In the mid 800s, the Slavs, people from the forests north of the Black Sea began trading with Constantinople. (Diffusion) Slavs had inhabited forests - they had been farmers and traders. They had a common tongue, but no political unity. Those thought to be Vikings ventured south into these forests, settling along the rivers shared by the Slavs. Russian legend says the Slavs invited Viking chief Rurik to be their king. Russian culture = a Slavic/Nordic outgrowth - a blend of Greek and Byzantine cultures. King Rurik founded Novgorod - Russia s first important city. Around 880, a nobleman from Novgorod moved south to Kiev and began trading their timber, fur, wax, honey and slaves with Constantinople. Slav translates to slave - you do the math. Vikings intermarried with their Slavic subjects, eventually there ended up being no distinction between the two groups. Kiev, and the rest of Russia was soon Eastern Orthodox. Vladimir, 989.

11 Kiev s Power and Decline Vladimir expanded the state west into Poland and north almost to the Baltic Sea. In 1019, his son Yaroslav the Wise came to power. Followed the Byzantine model of skillfully married off his daughters and sisters to the kings and princes of Western Europe. (Important political alliances.) Problem: Yaroslav died in He had split up all of his lands between his sons, instead of passing them onto the eldest son. Fights ensued: tradition of splitting assets remained, causing new struggles in each generation. The Crusades also disrupted trade. EVEN WORSE!!!! Enter the Mongols.

12 Mongol Invasions Lead to the Rise of Moscow In 1240, Mongols, thought to be related to the Huns, demolished Kiev. When we passed through that land, we found lying in the field, countless heads and bones of dead people. ~ Roman Catholic traveller. For over 200 years, the Mongol Empire in Russia held Power. The Khanate of the Golden Horde (Kingdom of the Golden Camp). Tolerant of Russian customs if there was no sign of rebellion. They also required much tribute Church leaders blamed the consequences of this period of time on the sins of the Russian people. Mongol rule kept Russia cut-off from the new ideas and inventions of the Western Europe.

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