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The Byzantine Empire Preview

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Presentation on theme: "The Byzantine Empire Preview"— Presentation transcript:


2 The Byzantine Empire Preview
Starting Points Map: Spread of Christianity Main Idea / Reading Focus Emperors Rule in Constantinople Faces of History: Justinian and Theodora Byzantine Culture The Empire Declines

3 Click the icon to play Listen to History audio.
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4 The Byzantine Empire Main Idea Reading Focus
The Byzantine Empire, once the eastern half of the Roman Empire, was held together for centuries by strong leaders, profitable trade, and the influence of Christianity. Reading Focus How did Byzantine emperors rule their empire from Constantinople? What were some important features of Byzantine culture? What led to the decline of the Byzantine Empire?

5 Emperors Rule in Constantinople
Constantinople—Greek for “The City of Constantine”—became the capital of the roman Empire under Emperor Constantine I. Constantinople seat of Eastern Roman Empire Became known as Byzantine Empire Remained capital of Eastern Empire long after Rome fell Even before fall of Rome, Constantinople larger, richer city than Rome A New Rome Location on Bosporus Strait helped control trade between Asia, Europe Also helped guard city from attack Sea protected city on two sides Heavily fortified walls protected landward side Location

6 Reclaiming Western Empire
Claim to Empire Western part of empire still claimed by eastern emperors Byzantine emperor Justinian I wanted to restore original Roman Empire Military Action Military action needed to accomplish Justinian’s goal First had to reconquer North African territories taken by Germanic tribe, Vandals Belisarius 533, Justinian sent ships, troops to northern Africa Troops led by top general, Belisarius Successes By 534, fleet had recaptured African region, absorbed back into Roman Empire 535, Belisarius led troops to Italy to retake that region

7 Rebellion at Home Justinian, wife Theodora served as co-rulers of empire At home, faced threat from rebels Many resented Justinian’s efforts to reform empire’s administration 532, opposition led to rebellion called Nika Revolt Facing Problems Two factions led revolt: Greens representing lower classes, Blues upper classes Constantinople in flames, Justinian prepared to flee Theodora stood firm, refused to flee, back down, convinced Justinian to do same Belisarius attacked rioters, slaughtered them by thousands Rebellion Quelled


9 Achievements Justinian’s Code
Nika Revolt destroyed parts of Constantinople Gave Justinian, Theodora chance to rebuilt city with new monuments Most important new building, church, Hagia Sophia, “Holy Wisdom” Spectacular blend of domes, arches; building still stands Justinian’s Code Justinian set up commission that codified, systematically arranged, empire’s existing laws, legal opinions into clear system Corpus Juris Civilis had four parts; first part included all existing constitutions from time of Emperor Hadrian Code later updated, expanded to include Justinian’s laws as well

10 Changes after Justinian
Justinian’s achievements many, but did not last Died 565, left government nearly bankrupt from expenses of taking back empire’s territory Had expanded empire beyond what government could effectively administer Western provinces fell to migrating tribes after his death Reign of Heraclius began 610 Heraclius defeated Persians on eastern border Settled Croats, Serbs within Balkan frontiers to west to act as buffers against new invaders Croats, Serbs converted to Christianity, extending Byzantine influence into region

11 What did Justinian accomplish during his reign?
Summarize What did Justinian accomplish during his reign? Answer(s): put down the Nika Revolt, built the Hagia Sophia, reformed Roman law

12 Byzantine Culture The Role of the Emperor Changing Culture
Two institutions central to Byzantine culture—emperor, Christianity Emperor, priest-king, considered deputy of Jesus Christ on earth, his co-ruler Emperor responsible for both civil, religious law Changing Culture Example of emperor’s influence reflected in empire’s changing culture People of Constantinople referred to selves as Roman, but Greek cultural influences grew stronger End to Roman Traditions Emperor Heraclius brought official end to Roman traditions Made Greek official language, replacing Latin Replaced old Roman imperial titles with Greek ones

13 Religion and the Arts Stylized Art Architecture
Christianity greatly influenced artistic life of Byzantines Art, architecture, literature based on religious themes Byzantine art often featured saints, figures from Bible Most art in form of mosaics Mosaics decorated floors, walls, ceilings Nature of Byzantine mosaics, painting changed over time Became more detailed, stylized Symbols used for common themes Examples: hand above cross, hand of God; 12 lambs, Christian flock, community, on earth Stylized Art Religion force behind Byzantine architecture; churches built by placing round dome over square foundation Rested dome on corner supports, not walls, as in Hagia Sophia Influenced styles in Europe, Asia Architecture

14 Religious Conflicts In the 700s the use of art in churches deeply divided society. This religious controversy threatened the strength of both church and state. The controversy involved the use of icons—paintings or sculptures of sacred figures. Churches contained beautiful icons Some Christians objected to their presence, believed use too close to non-Christian worship of idols People called iconoclasts, “icon breaker” Icons and Controversy 726, Emperor Leo III forbade use of icons, ordered destruction Iconoclast movement unpopular with many in church hierarchy Since few could read, clergy found sacred images useful for teaching Iconoclast Movement Reaction against iconoclasm raged on and off until 843 when a council settled the issue by accepting icons. The dispute played a crucial role in the growing divide between the emperor in Constantinople and the pope in Rome.

15 The Church Splits Growing Divisions Church Governance Schism
Over time, number of issues that divided eastern, western churches grew Use of Greek one difference; theological differences also emerged Eastern church allowed clergy to marry, western church did not Church Governance Pope in Rome, patriarchs in Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem were church leaders; emperor oversaw church law, did not govern church Byzantines did not accept pope as supreme authority over religious issues Schism 1054, differences became so large, schism, split, occurred between churches Church in east became Orthodox Church, west remained Roman Catholic Later hurt Byzantine Empire, could not rely on western help against invaders

16 What led to the split between the eastern and western churches?
Summarize What led to the split between the eastern and western churches? Answer(s): theological differences, including use of icons; use of Greek; allowing members of the clergy to marry

17 The Empire Declines As far back as the reign of Heraclius, Muslims had threatened the empire. Over time, Islam, pressure from migrating tribes, and internal conflict and corruption brought about the Byzantine Empire’s fall. Byzantines constantly attacked on northern borders 600s, provinces of Egypt, Syria fell to Muslim conquerors Leo III stopped advancing Muslim forces 718, 740 Invaders in Empire Constantine V won victories against Bulgars; successors failed to maintain his gains By 800s, Byzantines had endured century of crises Century of Crises Macedonian dynasty ruled 867 to 1056 Emperors improved peasantry, created law school Extended Byzantine rule, Balkans, Bulgars Established Orthodox Christianity in southeastern Europe Period of Calm

18 Internal Weaknesses Civilian Viewpoint Military Viewpoint
Macedonian dynasty began to decline after about 150 years Conflicts symptoms of divide within Byzantine society Constantinople government composed of well-educated, cultured aristocrats Supported emperors who restrained military, used energies to make Constantinople center of culture, learning Civilian Viewpoint Focus on culture came at a cost Members of military aristocracy saw things differently Based in provinces, more aware of encroaching danger than government in capital Supported emperors who had been soldiers themselves Military Viewpoint

19 Final Decline New Enemies Byzantine Legacy
Continuing strife between the military and the Constantinople government weakened the empire, making it vulnerable to challengers from the outside. Seljuk Turks conquering areas on empire’s borders 1071, Turks defeated Byzantine army at Manzikert; permanently weakened Byzantines in eastern Asia Minor Same year, also lost last outposts in Italy, ending presence in west By 1391, empire reduced to Constantinople, outlying districts New Enemies 1453, Constantinople fell to Ottoman Turks Turks renamed city Istanbul; Hagia Sophia became mosque Ottomans had gained important seat of power, spread influence into Greece, Balkans Byzantine legacy: preservation of ancient Greco-Roman heritage; buffer between Christian West, Muslim East Byzantine Legacy

20 Identifying Cause and Effect
What was the connection between the rise of Islam and the fall of the Byzantine Empire? Answer(s): possible answer—As Islam spread and gained followers, Muslim invaders threatened the Byzantines.

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