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Byzantine Empire. History of Constantinople  Byzantium  Rome divided  Founded by Constantine, in 330 AD  Divine order or strategic location?  Western.

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Presentation on theme: "Byzantine Empire. History of Constantinople  Byzantium  Rome divided  Founded by Constantine, in 330 AD  Divine order or strategic location?  Western."— Presentation transcript:

1 Byzantine Empire

2 History of Constantinople  Byzantium  Rome divided  Founded by Constantine, in 330 AD  Divine order or strategic location?  Western Rome declined, then collapsed  Constantinople took its place

3 Geography of Constantinople  “Golden Horn”  Harbor  Controlled Bosporus Strait  Surrounded by water  Access to Black & Mediterranean Seas  Trade crossroad between Europe & Asia

4 Constantinople = “New Rome”  Rulers saw themselves as Roman  1000 years after Rome “fell” Constantinople flourished  Carried on “glory of Rome”  Center for: Law History Architecture Classical scholarship

5 Constantinople compared w/ Rome  Byzantine culture influenced by Rome  City modeled on Rome  Built on seven hills  Buildings/structures reflected Roman influence  Stronger tradition of absolutism & monotheism

6 Arches & Columns

7 Constantinople vs. Rome Retained but relaxed many of Roman rules & customs Bread & Circuses continued Army followed Roman traditions Class-based standards of punishment Different dress for rich & poor Some mobility in social hierarchy Emperors chose officials based on merit not hereditary social class Byzantine Senate not as rigid & powerful as Rome

8 Constantinople: Heir to Rome  Bridge between ancient & modern Europe  Christianity, Roman customs, Greek classical culture all survived, blended, flourished  preserved Ancient Greek literature & philosophy  Greek was official language- required for citizenship  Preserved/codified Roman legal traditions

9 Who was Justinian?  AD  Classical education-law, music, architecture, theology  Devout, stubborn  Ambitious, military leader  Wanted to regain lost Roman territory  Taxed the people heavily

10 Justinian = “New Caesar?  Regained Roman lands  Political & Religious Leader  Absolute Rule- brutal  Chose people based on ability not wealth  Appointed & dismissed bishops

11 Justinian  Throne was built large enough for two  Symbolized the Emperor’s partnership with Jesus  Leader of all military, made laws, headed the government & church, was supreme judge

12 Primary Source  “For he was … villainous and … a moron. He was never truthful … easily hoodwinked by any who wanted to deceive him. His nature was an unnatural mixture of folly and wickedness.”  Procopius [c.490/510- c.560s]

13 What were Justinian’s Contributions to Law and Public Works?  Many construction projects-churches, bridges, roads, monasteries, forums, forts  Most famous- Church of Holy Wisdom-Hagia Sophia

14 Life in “New Rome”  Christian  Roman tradition but unique  Spoke Greek not Latin  Wealthy  Trade and commerce flourished

15 Justinian’s Code  Reformed old Roman Law  Four Parts: The Code- Roman Laws that were still useful The Digest- quoted and summarized opinions of Rome’s greatest legal thinkers The Institutes- textbook that instructed students on how to use the law The Novellae- New laws after 534 AD

16 Justinian’s Code  Combined Greek & Roman legal traditions  Process took six years  Inspired the word “justice”

17 Justian’s Code  Regulated marriage, slavery, property, inheritance, women’s rights and criminal justice  Served the empire for 900 years  Influenced European and American law

18 Justinian’s CodeAmerican Laws Women’s Rights Robbery Failure to Pay Debts Murder Inheritance

19 The Imperial Capital  Rebuilt fortifications  14-mile stone wall along the coastline  Many Churches  Enlarged palace  Baths  Aqueducts  Law courts  Schools  Hospitals

20 Preservation of Greco-Roman Culture  Classical learning  Greek  Latin  Philosophy  Literature - Homer  Euclid - geometry  Herodotus – history  Galen - medicine

21 Hagia Sophia: Then

22 Hagia Sophia: Now

23 Hagia Sophia  Over 12,000 workers to complete  Major feature was its huge dome set on top of a rectangular base  Very ornate, mosaics

24 Hippodrome

25 Theodora  Advanced her friends, destroyed her enemies  Justinian changed marriage laws to marry her  Social welfare programs for poor and homeless girls  Expanded women’s rights-convinced Justinian that women should own land  Helped save the empire during the Nika Revolt of AD 532

26 Theodora  Justinian’s wife  Intelligent, adventurous, influential, wise & politically savvy  Born into lower classes  Father was the bear-keeper for the circus  Dancer/actress courtesan

27 What was the “Nika” Rebellion  Horse racing fans sparked citywide riots against government  Justinian’s troops slaughtered 30,000 rebels in Hippodrome  Justinian wanted to flee, Theodora said…

28 Theodora said…  "My opinion then is that the present time, above all others, is inopportune for flight, even though it bring safety.... For one who has been an emperor it is unendurable to be a fugitive. May I never be separated from this purple, and may I not live that day on which those who meet me shall not address me as mistress. If, now, it is your wish to save yourself, O Emperor, there is no difficulty. For we have much money, and there is the sea, here the boats. However consider whether it will not come about after you have been saved that you would gladly exchange that safety for death. For as for myself, I approve a certain ancient saying that royalty is a good burial-shroud." When the queen had spoken thus, all were filled with boldness, and, turning their thoughts towards resistance, they began to consider how they might be able to defend themselves if any hostile force should come against them...  Procopius [c.490/510-c.560s]

29 Problems in The Empire  Justinian died  Street riots  Religious quarrels  Palace intrigues  Foreign dangers

30 What was “Greek Fire”  Developed by Navy  Chemical mix-ignited when it came into contact with fire  Secret weapon-exact mixture still unknown  Similar to Napalm

31 The Plague  Probably came from India via ships  Worst year was 542  10,000 people a day died  Re-emerged periodically


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