The Byzantine Empire - Mr. Crossen's History Site

The Byzantine Empire - Mr. Crossen's History Site

The Byzantine Empire Eastern Roman Empire Capital moved to Constantinople by Constantine Called selves Romansbut spoke Greek Closer contact to the eastPersia Able to hold off barbarians Roman law and bureaucracy survived

Justinian Attempted to recover the West Building projectsHagia Sophia Revised codification of Roman law Stable Borders (sorta) Survived Arab (Umayyad and Abbasid) advances (but lost some in the Eastern Mediterranean) Survived Bulgarian threat, but constant Slavic

pressures Even survive the Mongols Politics and Military Kinda, sorta, comparable to China Emperor ordained by God Emperor head of church and state Elaborate court ritual Women occasionally on the throne Large bureaucracy, trained in traditional mores (Hellenistic and

Confucian) Well organized military Troops given land for service (brings in Slavs, Armenians) Officer corps eventually becomes hereditary, acquire regional power Economy and Society Centered on Constantinople Regulated trade and food prices (note about Justinian!) Low food prices satisfy urban class

Trade extended from Scandinavia to Russia, Western Europe to Africa, the Middle East to the Far East (i.e. the known world) Peasants supply grain and tax revenues Extremely large merchant class had no political power. Culture based on Hellenistic secular traditions and Orthodox Christianity No innovations in literature, but architecture and art flourish.

The Great Schism Latin bible in the west; Greek in the east. Spawns different rituals Conflict between the popes religious power and the emperors political power 1054 C.E. formal break over bread and celibacy of priests. Decline

Muslim Turks seize most Asian territory important source of grain and taxes Lose Battle of Manzikert to Slavs in 1071. Independent Slavic states pop up all over. Venetian Crusaders come to help but sack Constantinople instead. Conquered in 1453 by Ottomans. Influence on Eastern Europe

Conquest, Commerce, Christianity St. Cyril and MethodiusCyrillicwriting for the Slavic language. Orthodox church allowed use of local languages in Church service Competition with Catholic missionaries in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland. East Central Regional Monarchies

Poland, Bohemia, Lithuania Powerful land-owning aristocracies. Like the rest of Eastern Europe, lots of Jews Fled persecution from the West and Middle East Usually barred from agriculture, so involved in commerceSee the origins of a stereotype? Maintain own, separate traditions Emphasize education for males.

Kievian Rus Slavic peoples from Asia Mixed with locals, brought iron and agricultural practice to Ukraine and western Russia Politically centered in family tribes and villages Animistic religion Highly developed musical taste and oral legends

The Rus Rise Scandinavian traders introduce them to trade with Constantinople Kievan monarchy under Rurik emerges as a growing power c. 855 C.E. (and until wait for it the Mongols) Vladimir I (980-1015) converts to Orthodox Christianity. Formal law code (influence of Byzantines?) Largest single European state at the time

Rusian/Russian Culture Adopt much but not all of Byzantine patterns Yes to strong ruler, religion, architecture, and ceremony No to central bureaucracy and education system Different from West Not catholic Most peasants were free farmers; boyars less

political power Kievan Decline Rival princes vie for succession Asian invaders seize territory Trade with weaker Byzantines declines then collapses Mongols! Orthodoxy preserved, but much else wrecked. Reemergence after decline of Romans.

The End of the World (as we know it) Mongols and Turks Russia falls Constantinople, Near East, North Africa, the Balkans Thus Eastern Europe will develop separately from the West.

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