Empire known as Eastern Roman Empire
Capital is Constantinople
Present-Day Istanbul
Emperor Justinian
 Most important Byzantine Emperor
 Ruled with absolute power; headed
state and church
 After 13 years in office he has
reclaimed all of the Old Roman
 Byzantines control this territory for
about 15 years, lose it about 5 years
after Justinian’s death in 550
Justinian’s Code
2nd Accomplishment
 Code served Byzantine Empire for 900 years
 A code of laws that people can actually read
and know what the law is
 Prevented oppression from leaders of
making new laws
 Still used in north Africa and southern
Europe today
 Consisted of 4 works
Code – 5,000 Roman laws
Digest – legal opinions
Institutes – how to use the laws
Novellae – New Laws
Hagia Sophia
 Greatest accomplishment of Justinian’s reign
 Most splendid church in Christian world
Theodora, Justinian’s Wife
 Most powerful woman in Byzantine
 Advisor to her husband
 As empress, she passed laws and built
Church Divides - Schism
 Western Empire becomes
Roman Catholic
 Pope supported Icons
 Pope ordered
excommunication of a
Byzantine emperor
 Conduct services in Latin
 Head of Church is the
 Eastern Empire becomes
Eastern Orthodox
 Leo III – banned icons
(viewed them as idol
 Conduct services in
Greek/local languages
 Head of Church is
Patriarch and Bishops
 Spread Christianity to
Cyrillic Alphabet
 Missionaries from the Orthodox Church took their
form of Christianity to the Slavs
 Two missionaries, Saint Methodius and Saint Cyril,
invented an alphabet for the Slavic languages.
 The Cyrillic Alphabet – allowed Slavs to read the
Bible in their own languages.
 Russia grows out of a blending of Slavic and
Byzantine cultures and adopts Eastern Orthodox
Russia’s Birth
 Emergence of Russian Culture
 Byzantium trades with Slavs – groups living north of Black
 Eventually Slavic and Greek traditions produce Russian
 Slavs and Vikings
 In 800s, Vikings settle among Slavs; move to Kiev
 Vikings and Slavs mix cultures, become one
Kiev Becomes Orthodox
 Princess Olga of Kiev visits Constantinople; converts
to Christianity
 Her grandson, Vladimir, becomes leader of Kiev
around 980
 In 989, Vladimir has all Kiev citizens convert to
Byzantine Christianity and baptized in Dnieper
 Beliefs and traditions of Orthodox Christianity
flourish in Kiev
Kiev’s Power and Decline
 Kievan Russia
 Vladimir expands Russia into Poland, and north to Baltic
 Vladimir’s son, Yaroslav the Wise, rules Kiev in 1019
 Forges alliances, creates legal code, builds churches
 Keiv’s Decline
 Yaroslav divides realm between his sons (instead of
following the custom of passing on the throne to the eldest
son); this causes civil war.
 Kiev’s commerce is further weakened by the Crusades
 The Crusades – clash between Christians and Muslims over
Holy Lands
The Mongol Invasions
 The Mongols
 Mongols, nomads from central Asia, begin conquests
in early 1200s
 Kiev falls in 1240 to Genghis Khan’s grandson, Batu
 Mongols rule much of Russia for the next 200 years
 Mongol Rule in Russia
 Mongols give Russians many freedoms, but demand
obedience, tribute
 Russian nobles such as Alexander Nevsky support
Mongols (he advised his fellow princes to cooperate
with the Mongols).
 Mongol rule isolates Russia from rest of Europe
Russia Breaks Free
 The Rise of Moscow
 Moscow founded in 1100s (crude village protected by a log wall)
 Located near three major rivers: Volga, Dnieper, and Don. Imp
because it was a strategic location, a prince of Moscow who could gain
control of all 3, could control nearly all of European Russia – be able to
challenge Mongols!!!!
 Moscow’s Powerful Princes
 Moscow’s princes grow strong under Mongol rule throughout the
 An Empire Emerges
 Late 1400s Ivan III becomes prince of Moscow; challenges Mongol
 Takes the name czar, Russian for “Caesar”, and vows to restore Russia
 Russian and Mongol armies face off at Ugra River in 1480
 Both armies retreat and Russia marks this bloodless standoff as their
liberation from Mongol rule
Turkish Empires Rise in Anatolia
 Turkish people convert to Islam and establish new
empires that renew Muslim civilization
The Rise of the Turks
 Decline of the Abbasids
 Powerful Abbasid Empire face many attacks during 700s and 800s.
 Persians conquer Abbasid capital, Baghdad in 945
 The Conquering Seljuks
 Turks are a nomadic group living along western border of China
 10th century –growing number of Turks began converting to Islam
and slowly migrating into the weakened Abbasid Empire.
 One of the first of these migrating Turkish groups was known as –
the Seljuks – seizes Baghdad in 1055 from the Persians
 In 1071 Seljuk sultans crush Byzantine Empire at Battle of
 Within 10 years, Seljuks take most of Anatolia; bring Turks close to
The Rise of the Turks
 The Turks Secure Persian Support
 Turks seek support of Persians and embrace Persian
 Give Persians key posts, include that of vizier, or
prime minister
 Adopt Persian language and religion – Islam
 Malik Shah was one of the most famous Seljuk rulers,
or shahs
 He and other shahs support Persian artists; build
Seljuks Confront Crusaders and Mongols
 In 1092, Malik Shah dies; ruled as the last of the
strong Seljuk leaders; after his unexpected death in
1092, no capable shah replaces him
 Seljuk Empire disintegrates into loose collection of
minor kingdoms
Seljuks Confront Crusaders and Mongols
 The Seljuks and the Crusaders
 Pope Urban II launched the First Crusade in 1095 –
Christians drive Turks out of Anatolia and recover
Jerusalem from Muslim rule
 In 1099, Crusaders capture Jerusalem; massacre Muslims
and Jews
 Fragment of Seljuk Empire fights back, Muslims recover
Jerusalem in 1187
 Saladin and his Western opponent King Richard I of
England sign a true.
 Agreement gives Jerusalem to the Muslims but granted
Western pilgrims access to Christian holy places
Seljuks Face the Mongols
 Remember: Mongols were a nomadic clan that grew
into a unified force under the rule of Genghis Khan
and swiftly conquered China
 Mongol armies under leader Hulagu capture
Baghdad (ruled by Seljuks) in 1258
 Hulagu, Genghis Kahn’s grandson, burns palace,
kills Abbasid caliph (an Islamic religious or political
 Ends Turkish rule with much bloodshed

The Byzantine Empire