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The Byzantine Emperor Justinian

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Presentation on theme: "The Byzantine Emperor Justinian"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Byzantine Emperor Justinian

2 Constantinople (founded 330)

3 The Spread of Christianity


5 Fatal development for the West
Constantine had divided the empire in half, each ruled by a co-emperor, with the eastern emperor in Constantinople as the senior partner The two halves would gradually drift apart and become, by 395, basically independent political entities Fatal development for the West 65% of all revenue came from the East but 66% of the entire army was stationed in the West Result was horrible and insoluble financial crisis in the West Troops went unpaid, supplies could not be purchased, bribes could not be paid to barbarian chiefs, etc. Division of the Empire into two independent halves left the Western half very weak and vulnerable—just as the Germans were renewing their attacks on the frontier again

6 FEUDALIZATION Cities declined further and power of large rural landowners increased In the West, cities declined rapidly and urban dwellers fled into the countryside Gradually fell under the control of large landowners In exchange for oaths of loyalty and annual fees and rents, these immigrants were granted small plots of land and military protection of landlord Aristocrats and peasants constructing a network of relatively stable and independent cells that survive the collapse of the Western Empire and serve as foundation for the Middle Ages

7 CHURCH AND STATE In the West, church leaders adopted an independent attitude towards the state What remained of towns and cities looked to Church, not the corrupt state. for protection and justice

8 SHIFT OF LOYALTY Because of the leadership of the Church, German barbarians tended to be generally respectful towards church leaders Many Roman citizens had come to view the state as parasitic Robbing and persecuting them and giving absolutely nothing in return In their eyes, local church leaders and large landowners were the only people they could trust for protection and justice

9 THE GERMANS Begin to migrate out of their homeland in Scandinavia and NE Russia around 500 BC 100 BC occupy most of modern-day Germany Primarily raised sheep and cattle Raiding

10 KINSHIP No formal political organization
Tied together by bonds of personal loyalty Kinship and Lordship Kinship Based on clans (large group who were blood relations) Group of clans would join together to form a tribe Maintained cohesion with myth that they all were descended from a legendary hero or god Major function was mutual protection If a person was killed or injured, his kin were expected to get vengeance from the offender or from the offender’s kin group.

11 LORDSHIP Relationship between leader and his retinue of warriors
Voluntary relationship How it worked Leading man would issue a call to all young warriors who wanted to fight with him Those who answered call would swear to serve leader faithfully in return for his protection and share of spoils Members of different clans would join these bands Formed groups of companions, bound to one another and to their leader by oaths Took place outside traditional ties of kinship

12 DIFFERENTIATION Before they began their migration around 500 BC, Germans had a similar language and culture But after the migrations began, different groups became isolated from one another and differences in language and culture developed. By 300 AD, two distinct major groups of Germans had developed West Germans (Saxons, Franks, and Alemanni who settled along the Roman border of the Rhine River and supported themselves by farming) East Germans (Goths, Vandals, and Lombards who lived in Hungary and southern Russia and supported themselves as nomadic horsemen and herders)

13 WEST GERMANS Large, with red or blond hair, worn long, and blue eyes
Lived to hunt and fight and, during peaceful times, drank until they passed out No central government Might choose war leader in times of emergency, but– otherwise--unity provided by kinship and lordship

14 MUTUAL INFLUENCE Since the beginning of the Roman Empire, Romans and German barbarians had influenced each other Germans began to enlist in the Roman army in the 3rd century AD Did not join individually Joined in units known as Foederati War bands who fought for Rome under their own chieftains Trade developed between two groups

15 MILITARY SITUATION Germans constantly pressed against Roman borders
Sometimes broke through and caused trouble Always ultimately driven back across the border Situation sometimes became confusing German Foederati fighting German barbarians

16 “MILITARY DEMISE” Manpower shortage caused Rome to relax eligibility requirements in the army so that most soldiers were German mercenaries by 420 AD Many became officers and some even became some commanders Called Patricians Emperors became their puppets But the problem remained Disloyal, ill-disciplined, poorly equipped German mercenaries Rome did not really have an army anymore

17 INVASION Up until 400, Germans satisfied to launch periodic raids into the empire Around 400, entire tribes and groups of tribes (nations) began to move into the empire simultaneously Captured huge chunks of territory, settled, set up independent kingdoms

18 THE HUNS Huns forced huge German migration
Nomadic people from Gobi Desert Expert horsemen Entered northern Europe Terrorized German tribes who lived there Germans migrated to escape them

19 INVASIONS Visigoths cross Danube River 375 and ultimately settle in Spain 200,000 Sueves, Vandals, and Alans sweep into Gaul and then Spain in 406 Occupy huge chunks of these provinces Vandals cross Strait of Gilbralter take control of North Africa and Sicily

20 THE West “END” In the years that followed, Angles and Saxons took Britain Franks took a large portion of Gaul Ostrogoths invade Italy In 476, the patrician Odovacar deposed the last pupper emperor, Romulus Augustulus, sent imperial regalia to Constantinople, and made himself king of Italy Western Empire “finished” Romulus Augustulus

21 Barbarian Invasions

22 Many barbarian kingdoms would not last long but they did mark the way for the future
Europe, as a unified unit, was finished forever—replaced by a multitude of small, competing entities



25 “Wild animals run from the dangers they actually see, and once they have escaped them, worry no more. We, however, are tormented alike by what is past and what is to come.” – Seneca


27 The Huns appear in history in the 3d cent. B.C
Nomadic and pastoral people who originated in N central Asia, Gobi Desert Appeared in Europe in the 4th cent. A.D., and Built up an empire there. Organized in a predominantly military manner. Divided into hordes Undertook extensive independent campaigns, living off the countries they ravaged.

28 Huns described as short and somewhat Mongolian appearance.
Military superiority due to small, rapid horses -on which they practically lived, even eating and negotiating treaties on horseback. Invaded lower Volga Valley c.372--advanced westward Pushed Germanic Ostrogoths and Visigoths Precipitated great waves of migrations that destroyed the Roman Empire… …and changed the face of Europe.

29 They crossed the Danube, penetrated deep into the Eastern Empire
Forced (432) Emperor Theodosius to pay them tribute Attila, their greatest king, had his palace in Hungary Most territories that now constitute European Russia, Poland and Germany were tributary to him Paid as Roman general in chief.

30 When Rome refused (450) further tribute, the Huns invaded Italy and Gaul
Defeated (451) by Aetius, but ravaged Italy before withdrawing after Attila’s death (453) Later movements are little known The word Huns has been used as an epithet, as for German soldiers = destructive militarism.


32 King of the Huns (445–53). After 434 he was coruler with his brother, whom he murdered in 445. In 434, Attila obtained tribute and great concessions for the Huns in a treaty with the Eastern Roman emperor Theodosius II, But, taking advantage of Roman wars with the Vandals and Persians, he invaded the Balkans in 441.

33 Turned back & invaded (452) N Italy but abandoned plan to take Rome itself
Withdrawal, credited to the diplomacy of Pope Leo I Motivated by shortage of provisions & outbreak of pestilence. Soon afterward in Hungary, Attila died of a nasal hemorrhage suffered while celebrating his marriage Attila inspired fear and was harsh, but a just ruler to his own people Encouraged presence of learned Romans at his court Often called the Scourge of God

34 THE GOTHS Divided into two sub-groups
Visigoths (lived along Danube River) Ostrogoths (lived in southern Russia) Developed more advanced form of political organization than other Germans United under strong kings Established close contact with Eastern Roman Empire Exposed to Roman/Greek civilization Reason why they were first tribe to convert to Christianity, first to become literate, and first to assume a veneer of civilization Ostrogoth King


36 (East Goths), division of the Goths, one of the most important groups of the Germans
Ancestors of Goths were the Gotar of S. Sweden By the 3d cent. A.D., Goths settled in region N of Black Sea Split into two divisions Names reflect areas in which they settled Ostrogoths settle in Ukraine Visigoths (West Goths) moved further west

37 Ostrogoths subject to Huns until the death of Attila
Ostrogoths chose Theodora-the-Great as king (471) Byzantine emperor, Zeno, commissioned Theodora to reconquer Italy from Odoacer Ostrogoths entered Italy (488) Defeated and killed Odoacer (493) Set up Ostrogoth kingdom of Italy Ravenna as capital

38 Justinian to send Belisarius to reconquer Italy.
Crushed Ostrogoth kingdom, but Ostrogoths rebelled under leadership of Totila. 552 Byzantine general Narses defeated Totila, who fell in battle. Ostrogoths lost national identity, and the hegemony over Italy passed to Byzantium, and Shortly afterward to the Lombards.


40 In 401 Alaric began attacks on Italy
First halted then successful w) invasion Visigoths became masters of Italy Negotiations between Alaric and Emperor Honorius failed 410 Visigoths sack Rome Alaric dies soon afterward


42 Under Ataulf, Visigoths left (412) Italy and went into S Gaul and N Spain
Increased territories in Spain (evacuated by Vandals) Extended influence Height of Visigothic power reached under Euric (466–84) Completed conquest of Spain In 507, Alaric II defeated by Franks Lost all possessions N of Pyrenees Toledo became new Visigoth capital, and History of the Visigoths became essentially that of Spain

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