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The Byzantine Empire Part 1 One God, One Empire, One Religion.

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Presentation on theme: "The Byzantine Empire Part 1 One God, One Empire, One Religion."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Byzantine Empire Part 1 One God, One Empire, One Religion

2 The Eastern Empire As Western Europe succumbed to the Germanic invasions, imperial power shifted to the Byzantine Empire (the eastern part of the Roman Empire).

3 Constantinople Constantinople became the sole capitol of the empire and remained so until the successful revival of the western empire in the 8 th century by Charlemagne.

4 The Reign of Justinian The height of the first period of Byzantine history (324- 632) was the reign of Emperor Justinian (r. 537-565) and his wife Empress Theodora (d. 548)

5 The Reign of Justinian General Belisarius was sent to recover lands in Africa, Rome, Spain and Italy and restore glory to the empire Justinian ruled with absolute power The emperor headed the state AND the Church (Theocracy)

6 The Imperial Goal: Unity Justinian’s goal in the East was to centralize government and impose conformity. Wanted to unify legal system and Church doctrine. Developed the Justinian Code to regulate the laws and legal system in the empire. This will become the basis for future European system of laws One God One Empire One Religion

7 Justinian Code: The Law Justinian collected and revised Roman law. This code of law served the Byzantine Empire for over 900 years.

8 Eastern Orthodoxy: Religion Religion helped centralize the empire Christianity had been proclaimed the official religion of the eastern empire The Church in the East was called the Eastern Orthodox Church

9 The Church was lead by bishops called patriarchs The emperor was still the head of the Church Patriarchs of the Church acquired enormous wealth in the form of land and gold. Increase in Church Wealth

10 Struggles Within the Church The pope was the head of the Roman Catholic Church in the West Patriarchs led the Orthodox Church in the East Disputes over icons (religious images used by Eastern Christians to aid their devotions) caused major problems Differences in the Western and Eastern churches continued to grow

11 The Iconoclastic Controversy The Icon Controversy - A movement that denied the holiness of religious images, devastated much of the empire for over a hundred years. During the eighth and early ninth centuries the use of such images was prohibited, by the Byzantine Empire. The Pope disagreed with this policy. It caused a GREAT SCHISM (divide ) between the two factions in 1054 that divided the church over the use of ICONS

12 Strong Cities During Justinian’s reign, the empire’s strength was at its height, more than 1,500 cities. The largest - Constantinople, the cultural crossroads of Asian and European civilizations.

13 Extensive Building Plans Justinian was an ambitious builder. His greatest monument was the magnificent domed church of Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom), which was constructed in just five years.

14 The Empire at Its Height The empire was at its height In 565, during Justinian’s reign. It included most of the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

15 Decline in the 7 th Century In the seventh century the empire lost Syria, the Holy Land, Egypt, and North Africa to invading Islamic (Muslim) armies.

16 Recovery of Territory The Byzantines called upon the European states to push back the Muslim conquerors. The European states complied, successfully pushing back the invaders Returned territory to the Byzantines

17 Conquered by the Ottoman Turks In 1453, the city was finally and permanently conquered by the Ottoman Turk Mehmet the Conqueror Renamed Istanbul (Turkey) Byzantine culture, law, and administration came to its final end. (1000 yrs after the fall of Rome)

18 Contribution to Western Civilization Throughout the early Middle Ages, the Byzantine Empire remained a protective barrier between western Europe and hostile Persian, Arab, and Turkish armies. The Byzantines were also a major reason classical learning and science survived. The cities of the Byzantine Empire provided a model of a civilized society preserving the Greco/Roman culture.


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