The Byzantine Empire

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1 The Byzantine Empire -The rise of the Byzantine Empire is connected to the fall of the Roman Empire -therefore, we need to review the events that led to the fall of the Roman Empire -Review: -in AD 284, the Roman Empire was split into two halves (east and west) by Emperor Diocletian -each half was ruled by a co-emperor -in AD 330, Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome (in the west) to Constantinople (in the east) -in AD 476, the western half of the Roman Empire was taken over by Germanic tribes -although the western half of the Roman Empire was taken over, the eastern half continued to prosper and grow -the eastern half then became known as the Byzantine Empire -What allowed the eastern half of the Roman Empire to grow while the west fell?? -the answer is simple: GEOGRAPHY 1. the capital city of Constantinople is the crossroads between Europe and Asia -one half of the city is in Europe, one half of the city is in Asia -this allowed for control of trade routes between Europe and Asia -travelers from the Silk Roads could take a short boat trip to reach Constantinople 2. Constantinople s location between the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea allowed easy travel to many areas of the world -boats could easily travel between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea through the Bosporus Strait -a strait is a narrow channel that connects two larger bodies of water -because of its location, Constantinople became one of the busiest trading centers of the ancient world Byzantium s trade routes connected three continents with its system of caravan tracks, rivers, seaways and roads. The Byzantines controlled only part of these trade routes, but merchants came from faraway places to trade in Constantinople. As goods poured into the city from the distant corners of the Empire, merchants set up along the city s main street, displaying everything from rugs and shoes to fruits and vegetables to icons. From India came spices, pepper and jewels; from Africa came ivory and gold; from Russia came honey, wood and furs. Cork came from Spain; fine wines were imported from France; England gave tin and iron; and northern Europe supplied grain, wool and timber. From China, on camels that plodded for some 230 days, came prized silks. -goods poured into Constantinople from India, Africa, Russia, Spain, France, England, Greece, the Arabian Peninsula and China -emperors became wealthy from controlling portions of trade routes and from charging taxes on merchants and goods -this wealth allowed the Byzantine Empire to grow even though the western half of the Roman Empire fell

2 Binder page 88 COMPLETE SENTENCES REQUIRED. 1. Why was the city of Constantinople a great location for trade and for the capital of the new Byzantine Empire? Explain. 2. How was the Byzantine Empire a continuation of the Roman Empire? Give many examples of the similarities.

3 Defending Constantinople -The city of Constantinople grew powerful because of its location between Europe and Asia, as well as the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea. Below, you will find two documents discussing how Byzantine emperors defended this properous territory from invaders between AD 330 and AD Please answer the questions that accompany each document in COMPLETE SENTENCES. Document 1: 1. Why might the city of Constantinople need a good plan for defense? 2. How did Byzantine Emperors gain wealth? Give several examples. 3. What branch of the military was the strongest in Constantinople? What areas did this portion of the military patrol? Document 2: 4. How were the coastal portions of the city defended? 5. How was the city defended on land? What layers of defense were put in place? Give at least four methods. 6. How successful were the lines of defense mentioned above? Explain.

4 Justinian and the Byzantine Empire, Part 1 -The most notable leader of the Byzantine Empire was a man named Justinian -He ruled the empire from AD He was a very strong leader and under his reign, the Byzantine Empire had a short Golden Age -Justinian ruled as an autocrat -autocrat: a sole ruler with unlimited power -he had power over the government and the Christian church in his empire -in the Byzantine Empire, Justinian was considered god s co-ruler on earth -everything he said was final, which allowed him to reach his goals -he was, at times, very brutal and killed his own people who rebelled against this reforms and ideas -Justinian s Goal as Emperor: to restore the greatness that was once the Roman Empire; like when the west and east were once together and successful -Justinian went about his goal in several ways: 1. Justinian ordered armies under General Belisarius to reclaim areas of the old Roman Empire that had been taken over by Germans -at its greatest point, the Roman Empire once included England, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Asia Minor and Northern Africa -when Germans invaded the west, the Roman Empire lost England, France, Italy, Spain and Northern Africa -Justinian wanted those lands back and sent his armies to fight for them -the army was able to reconquer Italy, Southern Spain, and Northern Africa

5 Justinian and the Byzantine Empire, Continued 2. He built grand architectural structures, just like Roman emperors did -example: The Hagia Sophia (translation: Church of the Holy Wisdom) -the Hagia Sophia was a Christian church -while it was a functional place of worship, Justinian also built the structure in order to show off the empire s extreme wealth -it was also a symbol of Justinian s power -the structure was completed in a little over five years -it was primarily made out of brick -but, this building used many elements of Roman architecture and art -use of the dome, an architectural structure mastered by the Romans -use of the arch, another structure mastered by the Romans -decorated with mosaics, a common Roman art form -use of marble, a favorite material of Romans and Greeks -use of columns, a popular Greek and Roman architectural trait -decorated with gold throughout to show the wealth of the empire -gold was a Byzantine addition to the architecture

6 Justinian and the Byzantine Empire, Continued Review: -Justinian s goal as an emperor was to revive the glory that was once the Roman Empire. -He set out to accomplish his goal in several ways: 1. He regained some of the territory that was lost in the west 2. The Hagia Sophia was constructed using Roman architectural techniques and decoration New: 3. He set out to compile and create a comprehensive list of laws -Justinian wanted to create an organized system of laws -the basis of this new law code came from old Roman laws -however, over centuries of the Roman Empire, emperors created many laws -the Roman law code had never been organized or updated as society changed -Justinian corrected this by creating what is now known as Justinian s Code -Below is a short reading about the creation of Justinian s Code: Having unified former areas of the old Western Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, Justinian set up a panel of legal experts to regulate Byzantium s increasingly complex society. Justinian set out to create a comprehensive list of laws that would help to effectively govern his lands. The panel he assembled combed through 400 years of Roman law. It found a number of laws that were outdated and contradictory. The panel created a single, uniform code known as Justinian s Code. After its completion, the code consisted of four works. 1. The Code contained nearly 5,000 Roman laws that were still considered useful for the Byzantine Empire. 2. The Digest quoted and summarized the opinions of Rome s greatest legal thinkers about the laws. This massive work ran to a total of 50 volumes. 3. The Institute was a textbook that told law students how to use the laws. 4. The Novellae (New Laws) presented legislation passed by Justinian. Justinian s Code decided legal questions that regulated whole areas of Byzantine life. Marriage, slavery, property, inheritance, women s rights and criminal law were some of those areas. Although Justinian died in 565, his code served the Byzantine Empire for 900 years. The influence of Justinian s Code went well beyond the borders of the Byzantine Empire. In the 1100s, the code spread to other areas of Europe and influenced the law codes of European kings. Justinian s Code was also significant in that it preserved for the world a wealth of information about Roman laws and society. Without Justinian s Code, it is possible Roman legal codes would have been lost to history with the invasion and fall of the West.

7 The Byzantine Empire after Justinian -Justinian ruled the Byzantine Empire from AD After his death, the Empire was in serious financial trouble -Justinian essentially bankrupted the empire with his architectural projects and military conquests to reestablish the Roman Empire -emperors that followed him could not maintain the military presence to protect the lands Justinian conquered -Italy, Southern Spain and Northern Africa were again lost to invading groups -a few hundred years after Justinian s death, the Byzantine Empire only included the city of Constantinople, Greece, and Asia Minor -the Byzantine Empire continued on until 1453, but it was never as strong as it was under Justinian

8 Christianity in the Byzantine Empire -The Byzantine Empire was officially Christian, just like the Roman Empire was before it fell apart in AD 476 -Originally, Christianity was one unified organization throughout the Mediterranean region -However, changes in the Christian church began to form as the Byzantine Empire grew -the distance between Rome (the center of Christianity) and Constantinople brought about distinct differences -each region had different ideas about how the church should be organized, how services should be held and how priests should conduct their personal lives -in AD 1054, these differences permanently divided the Christian church into two sects -a sect is a division within a religion -in AD 1054, two sects of Christianity emerged 1. The Roman Catholic Church 2. The Eastern Orthodox Church Roman Catholic Only Both Eastern Orthodox Only -Location: Old Western Roman Empire -Head of Church: the Pope -Language of Religious Services: Latin -Priests cannot get married and cannot have children - Monotheistic - Believe in the same God and Jesus -Use of the Bible -Worship in Churches -Easter and Christmas important religious holidays -Location: Byzantine Empire -Head of Church: the Patriarch -Language of Religious Services: Greek - Priests can get married and have children -These two sects of Christianity still exist today -you are probably familiar with the Catholic Church, but there are many Eastern Orthodox Churches in Rochester and Buffalo, as well as thousands across the United States today

9 Importance of the Byzantine Empire in Global History -What happened to the Byzantine Empire? -the Byzantine Empire began in AD 476 -Justinian was the strongest ruler of the empire and after his death in AD565, the empire lost territory (see map on binder page ) -the Byzantine Empire continued on until AD in AD 1453, the Ottoman Turks invaded Constantinople which ended the Byzantine Empire -the Ottoman Turks renamed the city to Istanbul, which is the name of the city today -the Hagia Sophia was converted from a Christian church to a mosque -a mosque is a Muslim house of worship -the Ottoman Turks were a Muslim group -Top Five Reasons why we need to know about the Byzantine Empire: 1. Constantinople was a great city for trade -people from Asia, Europe and Africa met in Constantinople to trade goods and ideas -it was one of the most important ancient cities for trade and cultural diffusion 2. Justinian s Code preserved Roman ideas of law and justice -this code influenced how laws were written and organized in Europe for centuries 3. Byzantine Architecture preserved Roman and Greek ideas -Greek influence: columns -Roman influence: domes, arches, concrete, use of marble decorations and mosaics 4. Development of the Eastern Orthodox Church -this sect of Christianity is still found in the world today -a sect is a division within a religion 5. Influence on the development of Russia The Byzantine Empire s influence on Russia -Russia is located north of the Byzantine Empire -Russia was easily accessible from Constantinople via the Black Sea -Russia was never ruled by the Byzantine Empire, but Byzantine culture impacted Russia -Russians regularly traveled to Constantinople to engage in trade -in addition, people from Constantinople traveled to Russia -in particular, they traveled to Kiev, an important city in early Russian history

10 -Ways in which the Byzantine Empire influenced Russia: 1. Orthodox Christianity -eastern orthodox Christians from the Byzantine Empire traveled to Russia in an attempt to convert Russians to Eastern Orthodoxy -missionaries were successful in converting the Russian people to Orthodox Christianity -Eastern Orthodox Christianity was adopted by the Russian government and was made the official religion -as a result, Eastern Orthodox Christianity is still the main religion in Russia today 2. Written Language -Byzantine missionaries also gave Russian their first written language -missionaries wanted to translate the Bible into the Slavic languages that the Russian people spoke -to do this, missionaries came up with what is known as the Cyrillic Alphabet -it includes Greek letters because the Byzantine missionaries spoke Greek -and it includes new letters to represent sounds in the Slavic languages -the Cyrillic alphabet is still used today in Russia, the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Croatia and Macedonia -a McDonald s sign -a Russian Coke can -Pepsi can -Cyrillic Alphabet 3. Architecture -the domes of the Byzantine and Roman Empires were adopted and transformed by the Russians into onionshaped domes 4. Autocratic Style of Government -the word czar is the Russian word for Caesar (emperor) -Russian czars ruled as autocrats until just like Byzantine emperors, Russian autocrats ruled with total authority -Russian autocrats ruled not only the government, but were also in charge of the Orthodox Christian Church in Russia

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