330 AD – 1453 AD
 In our last unit, you learned how the emperor Constantine moved his capital from
Rome to the ancient city of Byzantium in 33o C.E. This city eventually became
known as Constantinople.
 After Constantine’s reign, power was usually divided between two emperors. One
was based in Rome, and one in Constantinople.
 After the fall of Rome, the eastern half of the empire continued for another 1,000
years. Today we call this eastern empire the Byzantine Empire, after Byzantium, the
original name of its capital city.
 This great empire straddled two continents, Europe and Asia. It lasted from about
500 to 1453 C.E. when it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks.
 East and west did remain connected for a time through a shared Christian faith.
BUT the church in the east developed in its own unique way. It became known as
the Eastern Orthodox Church.
 Over time, Byzantine emperors and church officials came into conflict with the
pope in Rome.
 The conflict led to a permanent split, or schism, between the Eastern
Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
 In this assignment, you will learn about the Byzantine Empire, one of its greatest
emperors, and its distinctive church.
 Emperor Constantine takes power of the
Roman Empire in the year 312 AD. He took two
steps that changed the course of European
 Step 1 – Granted tolerance to Christians
 Step 2 – Built new Capital (Constantinople)
 Constantinople and Rome were on different ends of
the falling Roman Empire
 Germanic invaders pounded the Roman Empire in the
 Constantinople was not being invaded and was
thriving as a trade center
 One would crumble, one would thrive
Byzantine Empire
Western Europe
 The “new Rome”
 Change from one way of
 Symbol of Roman
 Byzantine Empire:
Greek, Roman, and
Christian influences
life to another
 Society goes backwards
 Trade ends and back to
 Cities not important
Byzantine Empire
Western Europe
 Language: Greek
 Latin and German
 Shores of the Bosporus
Strait – Commanded key
trade routes, busiest
marketplace, linked
Europe to Asia
 Eastern Europe is home to
many different traditions.
 What does this cause?
 Western Europe, central
Italy along the Tiber
Sunset on the “Golden Horn”
*Schism (Def: permanent split)! In 1054, a feud with the
Roman Pope over holy images. The Byzantine church
outlawed praying to images = Pope excommunicated
Byzantine Emperor. This is called the Schism of 1054.
Resulted in TWO Christian Churches:
 Eastern (Greek) Orthodox in Byzantine Empire
 Roman Catholic in Western Europe
Byzantine Empire
Eastern Orthodox Church
 Christianity
 Emperor ruled over
 Rejected Pope’s
 Easter most important
 Priests could marry
Western Europe
Roman Catholic Church
 Christianity
 Church is the most
powerful – Papal
 Priests cannot marry
 Christmas most important
 Latin services
Byzantine Empire
Western Europe
 Strongest ruler: Justinian
 No significant strong
– determined to revive
classical Rome
 Absolute power along
with wife Theodora
 Weak rulers after
Justinian died, but
empire was able to thrive
because of Justinian's
laws and economy
leaders other than the
 Power moved to
 1st “leader” was
Charlemagne (800 AD)
Emperor Justinian [r. 527-564]
Empress Theodora
Justinian’s Empire at its Peak
 Reconquered western provinces (North Africa, Italy,
and Spain)
 Beautified Constantinople
 Justinian’s Code: Collected and revised ancient Roman
laws (most important)
Byzantine Empire
Western Europe
 Justinian’s Code – “Body of
 Legal system evolved
civil law”
 Laws passed by Roman
assemblies, emperors, or
 Passed to western Europe
by 100 AD- used by
Medieval monarchs and
 Used in international law
into “might is right”
 Strongest wins (Bully
 Laws of Rome forgotten
 Feudal society
Byzantine Empire
Western Europe
Studies emphasized:
 Hellenistic Culture
 Greek Philosophy
 Roman Law
 Christian influences
 Learning was not
 Church (not education)
guided people
Byzantine Empire
Western Europe
 Restore Roman glory
 Return to farms
 Large domes
 Cities not important
 Marble
 Mosaic
 Example: Hagia Sophia
(Church of Holy
Wisdom), later a
mosque, now a museum
 Nicknamed the “New Rome”
 Location made it Europe’s
busiest market place
Major architectural
 Hippodrome
 Arena built in 200’s for
 Hagia Sophia “Holy Wisdom”
 Built during Justinian Age
 Largest cathedral for 1000 yrs
 Cathedral/Mosque/Museum
(Istanbul Today)

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