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The Byzantine Empire in Postclassical Times. Origins  Roman Emperor Constantine moves capital to Byzantium (Constantinople) - 330 CE  Roman Empire divided.

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Presentation on theme: "The Byzantine Empire in Postclassical Times. Origins  Roman Emperor Constantine moves capital to Byzantium (Constantinople) - 330 CE  Roman Empire divided."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Byzantine Empire in Postclassical Times

2 Origins  Roman Emperor Constantine moves capital to Byzantium (Constantinople) - 330 CE  Roman Empire divided - 395 CE  In 7 th century CE Greek adopted by Byzantine Empire

3 Why did the Eastern Roman Empire survive?   Large cities (Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch)   Productive agriculture (Egypt)   Capital Constantinople easy to defend   Shorter borders with Asiatic nomads and Germanic peoples   Eastern Rome wealthier, more urbanized, stronger military than Western Rome

4 Constantinople

5 Government – What is old   Referred to themselves as Romans (even after switch to Greek)   Preserved Greek and Roman culture   wore Roman style robes and sandals   Preserved Roman law   Kept up Roman roads   Roman taxation system   Church – Christianity  Centralized government, thousands of bureaucrats in Constantinople, bureaucrats come from land owning elite  Elaborate court life

6 Government – What is new  Caesaropapism: emperor is head of both church and state  Emperor has absolute power  Church legitimizes absolute rule of the emperor (anointed by God)  Generals in the provinces have also civil authority, raise armies from land owning peasants in times of war

7 Justinian  Emperor Justinian (527-565)  regained much territory  codified Roman law, became basis of legal systems in West (Justinian´s Code)  large building program in Constantinople  (Hagia Sophia)


9 Constantinople and International Trade  Constantinople one of the largest cities in the world  Sits at cross roads of trade routes  Important both as market and manufacturing center (jewelry, linen and woolen cloth, silk, dyes)  Government control silk production  Byzantine gold coins used widely in trade in Mediterranean



12 The Demise of the Empire  Loss of possessions in North Africa and Syria to Arab empire  Balkan Peninsula invaded by Slavic tribes and tribes from Asia (Bulgarians, Magyars, and others)  Loss of Anatolia to Seljuk Turks (Battle of Manzikert 1071)  1204 Constantinople invaded and conquered by crusaders, Constantinople shrinks  1453 Constantinople conquered by Ottoman Turks (size of Constantinople: 50.000)

13 Byzantine Influences and Eastern Europe in the Postclassical Era

14 Schism between Catholic and Orthodox Church in 1054 Orthodox  Emperor nominates patriarch, church under political control  Monks and village priests, who can marry  monasteries  Decentralized organization  Localized churches, church service in local languages Catholic  Pope crowns Emperor of Holy Roman Empire  Popes, bishops often interfere in politics  All priests are celibate  Monasteries  Centralized organization  Church service in Latin

15 The Christianization of Eastern Europe  Emperor and Orthodox Church sponsor missionaries to Slavic tribes in Eastern Europe  Most of Balkan region (Serbia, Romania, Macedonia, Bulgaria) and Russia converted to Orthodox Christianity  Cyril and Method, invent script for Slavic languages (based on Greek letters)  Orthodox Church decentralized, church service in local languages, church leaders appointed by political leaders

16  Kievan Prince Vladimir converts to Orthodox Christianity  Byzantine priests, artists, architects invited  Have big impact on Eastern European art and architecture (churches, mosaics, icons)  Russia follows different path than Western Europe (Byzantine-Greek, but not Latin)

17 Byzantine Icon (St. George) Russian Icons (Sts. Boris and Gleb)

18 Byzantine influences on early Muslim architecture, Dome of the Rock 691 CE

19 Byzantine Empire in 1450

20 The Rise of Russia  Eastern Europe settled by Slavic speaking tribes  Viking traders in 9 th century founded state of Rus in Kiev, only small minority  Become Orthodox Christians  Close ties to Byzantium (trade, religion, culture)  destroyed by Russian princes and Asiatic nomads



23 Society in Kievan Russia  shifting cultivation, low agricultural production  no manorial system  few large cities, based on trade  artisans higher status than peasants  taxes on trade main income for government

24 Mongol Invasions and the Rise of Moscow  Mongols conquer Russia in 1240  Rule from afar, only interested in tribute  Moscow became the main power to extract tribute  Russia culturally isolated, follows different cultural path than rest of Europe  pressure to pay tribute leads to increased serfdom, more organized and efficient state

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