Geography Centered among the three continents of Asia, Europe, and Africa Capital city of Constantinople was strategically located on the waterways of the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea. This location gave it both protection and control of trade
The civilization was centered on former lands of Greece and therefore Greek became the language of choice Separate government and difficult communication from the west gave the Byzantine Empire its character
culture Preserved the cultures of both Greece and Rome Maintained Roman because the early leaders were from Rome and Greek because it was on former Greek lands
law Emperor Justinian reorganized and categorized Roman Law. This became known as the Justinian Code. Based on the laws of precedence and the beginnings of innocent until proven guilty Became the basis of later laws throughout Europe
Justinian’s Code contains four parts Code: 5000 Roman laws still considered useful for the Roman Empire Digest: summarized the opinions of Rome’s greatest legal thinkers Institutes: instructed law students how to use the law Novellae (new laws): laws passed in the empire after 534 AD
Justinian Code served the empire for 900 years in all areas of life Ex. Marriage, slavery, property, inheritance, woman’s rights, etc…
Religion of the Byzantium Empire The Christian church was introduce/made legal by Roman Emperor Constantine. Lack of communication between the Eastern (Byzantium) and Western Roman Empire caused Christianity to develop in different ways.
Due to later influences of Greeks and Persians, the church in Byzantium became know as Eastern Orthodox Church Byzantine emperors had tremendous influences within the Orthodox church because they were seen as God’s representatives on earth Emperor was crowned by the Patriarch who was the head of the Orthodox Church. In return the emperor had the authority to appoint church officials.
Spread of the Church Through trade and missionaries the church began to spread to the Balkans and northward to Russia The church influenced language and Cyril introduced the Cyrillic alphabet Cyril and Methodius were the apostles to the Slavs. They created an alphabet for the Slavic people and brought Christianity
Division of the Church: The Great Schism As the Orthodox Church became more established in the East, their ideas on how to conduct church affairs became different from the West. This uniqueness led to the Great Schism or split between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church (Greek and Russian) in 1054 AD.
Reasons for the Great Schism Use of icons religious images used to aid in devotions. Roman Catholics supported the use of icons in the church while many iconoclasts wanted them removed in the Orthodox Church.