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The Byzantine Empire: The New Rome

Byzantine Empire Notes

The Division of the Roman Empire-REVIEW In 284 AD Diocletian became Roman emperor. He decided that the huge Roman empire could only be ruled effectively by splitting it into two parts.

The Division of the Roman Empire

From World History: Connections to Today Prentice Hall, 2003

In 330 Diocletians successor, Constantine, rebuilt the old Greek port of Byzantium, at the entrance to the Black Sea. He renamed it Constantinople and made the city the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.


Constantines City-Constantinopolis


From World History: Connections to Today Prentice Hall, 2003


1. Fall of the Roman Empire

Constantly attacked by Germanic tribes INFLATION TAXES Could not afford to pay the military Rapid decline in trade

2. Emergence of the Byzantine Empire Empire split into two by Diocletian Roman

Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire The Eastern Roman Empire becomes the Byzantine Empire in with the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5 century CE (400s) Byzantine Empire is considered a direct continuation of the Roman Empire

Byzantium Empire beginning from the 5 century CE (400s)

3. Geography

located in the Mediterranean Great location for trade and commerce Contains the Balkan mountains

4. Political
Emperor seen as a handpicked representative of God with absolute power Emperors appointed by the church Also seen as the head of the church patriarch

5. The Great Justinian

One of the greatest Emperors was Justinian who became emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire in 527 Took over after his uncle went senile Known as the emperor who never sleeps who had great energy and work ethic Coming from a peasant family, he was said to be easygoing and approachable

Justinian ruled as an autocrat with the help of Theodora. Created a huge Christian empire Empire reached its greatest size
Autocrat ruler who has complete authoritydictator

Empress Theodora

Developed the Justinian Code (extension of early roman law which became the basis for much of the legal system of Europe) Expanded the empire drastically Created lots of public works projects Maintained Greco-Roman influence and culture!

Justinian continued.

Laws were fairer to women. They could own property and raise their own children after their husbands died. Children allowed to choose their own marriage partners. Slavery was legal and slaves must obey their masters. Punishments were detailed and fit the crime His work inspired the modern concept and, indeed, the very spelling of "justice".

Justinians Code of Laws

6. Economics
Constantinople was one of the greatest centers of trade Raw goods from Asia passed through the city Byzantine silk industry was one of the best in the world- TRADE VIA THE SILK ROAD!

7. Constantinople

and most important city in the Byzantine Empire Considered the crossroads between Asia and Europe Today it is known as Istanbul

The Church played a monumental role in Byzantine daily life Christianity was the major religion of the Empire A great deal of effort was put into religious ceremonies and artwork- including church buildings, icons, mosaics

8. Religion

Byzantine Religious Artwor

9. Christianity Split- The Great Schism troubled by a growing split within the Empire
Church The Eastern churches refused to claim the Pope as the sole head of the Christian faith Also disagree about celibacy of the clergy; the western churches believed their clergy should be celibate The Great Schism Christianity splits into two branches- Eastern Orthodox Church and the Western Catholic Church

10. The Great Schism

1054 pope & patriarch excommunicated (THROW OUT-OSTRACIZE!) each other over religious dispute After this schism, or split, Christianity was permanently divided between Roman Catholics in West and Orthodox Church in East

Other differences between the two Christian traditions

Roman Catholic
services conducted in Latin
pope has authority over all other bishops

Eastern Orthodox
services conducted in Greek or local languages
patriarch and other bishops head the church as a group

pope claims authority over all emperor claims authority over the patriarch and other kings and emperors bishops in the empire priests may not marry priests may marry divorce is allowed under divorce is not permitted certain conditions

The Eastern/Greek \Orthodox Church Today

The Catholic Church Today


Largest population during European Middle Ages Great diversity within the population as the empire was centrally located

Lots of public works projects including schools, roads, bridges, walls, public baths, churches, etc Hagia Sophia created by Justinian- large cathedral consisting of a large dome, 42 windows

Hagia Sophia

The End of the Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine empire drew to a close in 1453 when forces from the Muslim Ottoman Empire surrounded and conquered Constantinople. The ancient Christian city was renamed Istanbul and became the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

Closure Questions

List two things that Justianian is known for. Why is Constantinople so important? What happened during the Great Schism?