Life After the Roman Empire - Pearland High School
Life After the Roman Empire Part I: Byzantium What happened to Christianity after the Collapse of Rome? Christianity had provided common ground for postclassical societies in western Eurasia After Romes collapse Christendom was deeply divided: Byzantine
Empire and Western Europe Byzantines continued Roman Imperial traditions Western Europe attempted to hang on to Classical world Roman imperial order disintegrated in the West How did Western Europe and Byzantine society differ? Western Europe followed Roman Catholic church Catholic church established independence from
political authorities Eastern Christianity became known as Eastern Orthodox Christianity (Byzantines) Eastern Orthodox Church was under authority of Byzantine emperor Western Europe was much more rural than Byzantium Western Europe had a 600 year period of slow growth Civilization began emerging at an increasing pace
after 1000 c.e. In 500 c.e., only about one-third of all Christians lived in Europe Many distinct forms of Christianity in other AfroEurasian regions How did the Byzantine Empire begin? Byzantine empire has no clear starting point Continuation of the Roman Empire Constantinople founded in 330c.e. by Emperor
Constantine Some scholars use this date as beginning Formal division of Roman Empire into eastern and western halves in late fourth century c.e. W. empire collapsed in 5th century; E. half
survived another 1,000 years Eastern empire contained ancient civilizations: Egypt, Greece, Syria, and Anatolia Why were the Byzantines successful when Western Rome failed? Wealthier and more
urbanized Capital (Constantinople) was easier to defend Shorter frontier Access to the Black Sea gave command of E.
Mediterranean Stronger army, navy, and merchant marine Continuation of Roman infrastructure and traditions
How was the Byzantine Empire ruled? Empire was much smaller than Roman Empire Byzantine Emperor Justinian attempted to reconquer western territory in 6th century, but failed Elaborate bureaucracy supported Emperor Government bureaucrats trained in Hellenistic (Greek) studies in secular schools
Social mobility! Generals had civil authority in the provinces raised armies from peasants Political authority tightly centralized in Constantinople Emperor ruled as Gods representative on earth Awesome grandeur of court (based on ancient Persian style)
Mostly concerned with tax collection and keeping order How did the Byzantine Empire come to an end? Territory began to shrink after 1085 Muslim Turks had taken most Asian regions by late 11th century Independent kingdoms began forming in Balkans
In 1260 army of Western European crusaders sacked Constantinople Byzantines appealed to Roman Catholic Church for help against Muslim attacks In 1453 Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople, ended empire What was the role of Christianity in Byzantine Empire? Church was closely tied to the state: caesaropapism
(emperor as pope) Byzantine emperor was head of both the state and the Church Emperor appointed the patriarch (head of Orthodox church) Emperor sometimes made decisions on religious issues
Emperor could call church councils Orthodox Christianity deeply influenced all of Byzantine life Legitimated imperial rule Provided cultural identity Religious icons/images/buildings everywhere in Byzantine society How did Western Christianity and Eastern
Christianity relate to each other? Latin Christianity (Western) was centered on the Pope and Rome Eastern Orthodox did not recognize Papal authority Rise of Islam made Constantinople and Rome the sole centers of Christendom No more Jersualem Numerous cultural differences (language, philosophy, belief, church practices) caused growing divide
Theological diffs inc.: priests shaving, celibacy, raised bread, etc. Byzantines =Greek, Roman Catholicism = latin Western Europe saw Byzantines as crumbling power Byzantines saw Western Europe as barbarians Schism occured in 1054, with mutual excommunication Ex-communication = cut off from God Crusades (from 1095 on) worsened the situation During 4th Crusade, Westerners sacked Constantinople (1204)
Ruled Byzantium for next 50 years How did the Byzantine Empire relate to the world? Geographic position was extremely important Byzantium had a foot in both Europe and Asia Continued long Roman fight with Persian Empire (Sassanids) Conflict weakened both states, left them open to
Islamic conquests Persia was conquered by Islam; Byzantium lost territory Byzantium was a central player in long-distance Eurasian trade Byzantine gold coins (bezants) were major Mediterranean/Silk Road currency for over 500 years Byzantine crafts (jewelry, textiles, purple dyes, silk)
were in high demand Byzantine govt maintained monopoly on certain key goods (very profitable) Relate to the world (continued) Important cultural influence on surrounding regions Transmitted ancient Greek learning to Islamic
world and West Transmitted Orthodox Christianity to Balkans and Russia Byzantine missionaries Cyril and Methodius created a written language to help transmit Christianity in Russia and Balkan region Invented the dome- heavily used in W. Europe after
renaissance Great example is Hagia Sophia church ordered built by Emperor Justinian Maintained Roman laws under the title Body of Civil Law
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