The Eastern Roman Empire became known as the Byzantine Empire.
Constantine, in 330 AD, moved the capital of the Roman Empire to Asia Minor, now Turkey. He called the capital “New Rome,” but it became known as Constantinople.
Constantinople Was a political and religious center Became the permanent capital of the Eastern Roman empire Was one of the five major patriarchates of the Christian church. Withstood the attacks that the western empire could not. Became known as The “queen of the Mediterranean”
The Byzantine Empire took its name from the ancient Greek city of Byzantium.
The Byzantine Empire was Roman in several ways: Same customs and traditions Roman political and legal structures But has much Hellenistic influence as well More Greek than Roman More Asiatic than European
Justinian was a famous Byzantine emperor. Ruled 527-565 AD Counseled by his wife Theodora Fought the “barbarians” to retain control of western lands.
The Justinian Code, a systematic arrangement of laws that clarified Roman legal principles, preserved the heritage of the Roman legal system.
Justinian wanted to restore the grandeur of Rome. He built churches, public buildings, aqueducts, & roads. He patronized (supported) Byzantine art.
The Hagia Sophia was a magnificent example of Byzantine architecture and still stands today in Istanbul (formerly Constantinople).
Neglected defense of the eastern and northern borders. Too much spending on military and building left the empire in financial trouble
Constantinople was a “Christian city.” Constantinople’s patriarch held the highest position in the eastern Roman empire.
Rivalry developed between eastern & western churches. The pope from Rome tried to assume authority over churches in Italy that the Patriarch of Constantinople had been in charge of. The Patriarch refused to relinquish control.
Then the Pope of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople excommunicated each other. That is, they excluded each other from the fellowship of the church.
They also differed on When to celebrate Easter Whether priests should marry Whether the church should use icons, painted images of Christ and the saints.
The Roman church was influenced by the pagan practices of ancient Rome and the Germanic tribes. The Eastern church was influenced by Greek and Oriental ideas. Both adopted non-biblical elements.
The church in the East became the state church. The political ruler and the religious leader were the same person.
Constantinople withstood the attacks because of Its defensible location Its strong fortifications Greek fire! But they still lost much of the empire: Syria, Palestine, Egypt, North Africa to the Muslims.
From 850-1050, the Byzantine empire made a comeback. Under Basil II, known as the Bulgar Slayer, (976-1025) the empire had its most successes.
Commercial rivals – Venice, Italy Seljuk Turks – took Asia Minor in 1071 @ the Battle of Manzikert Emperor asked Christians in the west for help. The result was a series of Crusades to free the east and the Holy Land in Palestine from Muslim rule.
In 1204, the Christian army from the west invaded Constantinople, capturing and looting the city. Apparently, Venetian merchants had sent the “Crusaders” to Constantinople to destroy their commercial rival. Neither their cause nor their conduct was holy!
The Byzantine empire never recovered fully from that attack. It went on for 200 years, severely weakened. Then in 1453, the Muslim Ottoman Turks, sacked the city and killed the last Byzantine emperor.
Page 132. Read The Fall of Constantinople, May 30, 1453.
If Constantinople was a Christian city, why did God let it fall to the Muslims?
The Muslims turned the Hagia Sophia into a mosque and added Minarets. They covered the beautiful frescos because their religion prohibits picturing human figures. In 1935, the Turkish government turned the Hagia Sophia into a museum.
The Byzantine Empire had acted as a shield for the west against the spread of Islam. The Byzantine Empire helped preserve and transmit the classical heritage of Greece and Rome.
Some people groups copied the governmental system of the Byzantines, which had come from ancient Rome. Many pagan people of Eastern Europe adopted Orthodox Christianity and Byzantine culture. Cyril & Methodius took the gospel and a written language system to the Slavic people of Russia and southeastern Europe.
Byzantine art was beautiful and glorified God. They used mosaics to decorate and tell stories. The churches were beautiful examples of Byzantine architecture, copied by many cultures. Domed structures, such as the Hagia Sophia.
Russia spans 2 continents and is ethnically diverse. The most populous group is the Slavs. West Slavs – Poles & Czechs – Danube Region Yugo-Slavs – South Slavs – Balkan area East Slavs – ancestors of the Russians – between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea
Varangians – Swedish Norsemen who plundered then settled the inland waterways between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. Rurik, a Varangian warrior, took control of Novgorod in 862, marking the beginning of Russian history.
Russia was strongly influenced by the Byzantine culture. Vladimir I adopted Byzantine Christianity in 988. Art ▪ Russian icons ▪ Onion-shaped dome Slavic alphabet ▪ Greek writings into Slavic ▪ Native Russian literature ▪ Russian icons
Yaroslav “the Wise” (1036-1054) – sponsored the earliest Russian code of laws, which combined Slavic tribal law and Byzantine law.
The Tartars, fierce Mongolian warriors from central Asia, swept into Russia, destroyed the city of Kiev, and ruled Russia until the late 15 th Century.
Islam started in Arabia with a man named Muhammad. He was attracted to the monotheism of the Christians and Jews as opposed to the polytheism of the Arabs.
Muhammad lived from 570-632. His homeland is Mecca in Arabia. When he was 40 years old, he began to have visions that the angel Gabriel was speaking to him. (p. 137)
At first only his friends and family believed him. He was ridiculed by the people of Mecca who were pagans who worshipped at the Kaaba, a sacred shrine housing hundreds of pagan idols. Thousands of people made “pilgrimages” to this shrine every year, making trade very profitable.
The traders feared that this monotheistic religion of Muhammad would spread and people would stop their pilgrimages, causing business to suffer. Therefore they persecuted him and his followers.
Muhammad and his followers fled to Medina to escape persecution. This move is called the Hegira (or flight) and marks YEAR 1 of the Muslim calendar.
In Medina, Muhammad preached his message and gained many followers. The people of Medina made him their religious, political, and military leader. Muhammad led his Muslim armies to force people to convert to Islam or die.
Muhammad returned to his home city, Mecca, and conquered it. He then made Mecca the holy city of his new religion.
Allah is the Arabic name for God. Islam is the name of the religion and means “submission” for submission to Allah. Muslims, “submitters to Allah,” are the followers of Islam. Koran/Q’uran is the sacred book of the Muslims.
Muslims believe in one god and that Muhammad is the most important and last prophet. See page 138 for quotes from Koran. Muslims believe that Ishmael was the son of the promise to Abraham. They believe that Ishmael was the son whom God asked Abraham to sacrifice, but then provided the lamb instead.
Muslims believe that Jesus was also a prophet of Allah, but deny his deity. They believe Jesus was a good moral teacher. Muslims reject the Trinity. (p. 139 quote)
What is a pillar? 1. an upright shaft or structure, of stone, brick, or other material, relatively slender in proportion to its height, and of any shape in section, used as a building support, or standing alone, as for a monument: Gothic pillars; a pillar to commemorate Columbus. 2. a natural formation resembling such a construction: a pillar of rock; a pillar of smoke. 3. any upright, supporting part; post: the pillar of a table. 4. a person who is a chief supporter of a society, state, institution, etc.: a pillar of the community.
1. Shahadah – No god but Allah, Mohammad is prophet 2. Salat – Pray 5 times a day facing Mecca 3. Zakat – Give to the poor 4. Sawm – fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan 5. Hajj – make at least 1 pilgrimage to Mecca in one’s lifetime.
What are they? (p. 139-140) Blue Mosque in Istanbul
Muhammad united Arabia under Islam. Successors were “Caliphs,” close friends and relatives of Muhammad. They exercised spiritual, political, & military authority.
Abu Bakr – 1 st Caliph (632-634) Umar – 2 nd Caliph (634-644) Uthman – 3 rd Caliph (644-656) Ali – 4 th Caliph (656-661) They expanded Islam by conquering Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and Persia.
1. Their desire for fertile land 2. The weakness of the Byzantine & Persian Empires (7 th Century AD) 3. Islamic unity. Jihad – holy war defending the honor of Islam
At first Arabs dominated Islam and the Islamic empire, but they treated their non- Arab converts poorly. The non-Arabs helped overthrow the Umayyad Caliphate and installed the Abbasid Caliphate, which granted better treatment to non-Arab Muslims.
The Abbasid Caliphate marked the peak of the Muslim Empire. They controlled more territory than Ancient Rome had. Capital was moved to Baghdad, which became a great commercial center.
The Seljuk Turks were a Sunni Muslim dynasty who expanded the Muslim empire into Asia Minor, taking territory away from the Byzantine Empire. This expansion into Christendom led the Christians of western Europe to be alarmed enough to launch Crusades to take back the Holy Land from the Muslims.
The Muslims embraced the cultures of the peoples they conquered. Trade Routes to China, India, East Africa Products: paper, silk, muslin, linen, damask, woven carpets, tooled leather, filigree jewelry, engraved silver & gold, knives & swords, dates, oranges, lemons, apricots, peaches, melons.