Constantinople Capital of Eastern Roman Empire after it split in 3 rd century AD Located on Bosporus Strait, which linked Mediterranean and Black Seas Controlled key trading routes linking Europe and Asia
Advantages of Constantinople Closer to Silk Road than Rome (Crossroads of trade) Had stronger military than Rome Easier to defend from outside enemies Easily fortified site on a peninsula bordering natural harbor More prosperous than Rome
Constantinople The city of Constantinople blended Greek, Roman and Christian cultures.
Age of Justinian (527-565 AD) Byzantium’s most important leader Tried to restore united Roman Empire Prevented German barbarians from moving eastward Built Hagia Sophia, which means “Holy Wisdom (also called Saint Sophia) Defeated rebels at Nika with Theodora’s help
Age of Justinian Used diplomacy to defeat empire’s enemies Organized all Roman laws into Justinian’s Code Ruled as autocrat (dictator) Was regarded as a spiritual as well as political authority
Justinian’s Code Activity with your table group
Byzantine Achievements Large well-trained bureaucracy Efficient army and navy Strong trade-based economy with high standard of living Powerful Church with influence throughout the Balkans and Russia
Byzantine Achievements Preservation of classical (Greco-Roman) learning in monasteries
The Church Byzantine Empire has the Greek Orthodox Church Western Roman Empire has the Roman Catholic Church
Divisions between Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity Roman Catholic Latin Pope Rome Celibate Priests They like icons Orthodox Greek Patriarch Constantinople Priests can marry Didn’t like icons for a period of time, then later became known for them.
Great Schism The differences between the two resulted in the Great Schism or divide. Now we have two separate churches
Christianity in Russia Slavic people were converted to Christianity by Cyril The Slavs had no written language St. Cyril, a monk, adapted the Greek alphabet to create a written Slavic language known as Cyrillic