Constantinople as its political, economic, and religious center. The empire lasted over 1,000 years. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, the Byzantine Empire emerged as the dominant eastern power, with Constantinople


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After the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, the Byzantine Empire emerged as the dominant eastern power, with Constantinople as its political, economic, and religious center. The empire lasted over 1,000 years.

  • After the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, the Byzantine Empire emerged as the dominant eastern power, with Constantinople as its political, economic, and religious center. The empire lasted over 1,000 years.



1. Western half of the Roman Empire fell in 476 A.D.

  • 1. Western half of the Roman Empire fell in 476 A.D.

  • 2. Byzantium had already been rebuilt by Emperor Constantine, who then renamed the city Constantinople.



1. Built on seven hills and divided into 14 districts, like Rome.

  • 1. Built on seven hills and divided into 14 districts, like Rome.

  • 2. Protected by 13 miles of walls, watchtowers, and gates.

  • 3. Easily fortified site surrounded on three sides by water, bordering a natural harbor. Its location combined with its control of the Bosporus Strait made the city a hub for trade and shipping between Europe, Africa, and Asia.

















4. Adequate distance from Germanic invasions of the western empire.

  • 4. Adequate distance from Germanic invasions of the western empire.

  • 5. Good location to protect Europe’s eastern frontier.

  • 6. Seized by Turks in 1435 and renamed Istanbul; today it is a major city in modern Turkey.



1. True center or seat of Byzantine power until the Ottoman conquest

  • 1. True center or seat of Byzantine power until the Ottoman conquest

  • 2. Important in preserving classical Greco-Roman culture





While alive Justinian was described as devout, determined, and energetic. Why?

  • While alive Justinian was described as devout, determined, and energetic. Why?

  • After His Death, the historian Procopius referred to Justinian as two-faced and cruel in a “Secret History”



1. Justinian Code (Corpus Juris Civilis) – sorted through old Roman laws and established a new code of law for the Byzantine Empire. It lasted for 900 years!

  • 1. Justinian Code (Corpus Juris Civilis) – sorted through old Roman laws and established a new code of law for the Byzantine Empire. It lasted for 900 years!

  • - included laws concerning marriage, slavery, property, inheritance, and women’s rights

  • - Significance – had a significant impact on European legal code





2. Re-conquered former Roman territories but not Rome

  • 2. Re-conquered former Roman territories but not Rome

  • 3. Significantly expanded trade



4. Acted as head of church and state (2-seated Chair)

  • 4. Acted as head of church and state (2-seated Chair)

  • 5. Placed a heavy emphasis on church building, which displayed his leadership of both the government and the church.

  • - Hagia Sophia – Constantinople’s masterpiece of architecture and faith





6. Came to throne at age 45! Considered Byzantium's most ambitious ruler.

  • 6. Came to throne at age 45! Considered Byzantium's most ambitious ruler.

  • 7. Drove barbarians out of North Africa, Spain, and Italy

  • 8. Built bridges, churches, hospitals, libraries, and last but not least parks.



Born into lower class, worked as an actress and dancer as a teenager.

  • Born into lower class, worked as an actress and dancer as a teenager.

  • Loved adventure, new friendships and travel

  • Married Justinian while in her 20’s, sometimes equaled or surpassed husbands wisdom and skills.

  • Convinced her husband to crush Nika rebellion

  • Established Social Welfare programs for the poor

  • Worked for the rights of women



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GBnJe_x8sA&list=UUAiABuhVSMZJMqyv4Ur5XqA&index=8&feature=plcp&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1&safe=active

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GBnJe_x8sA&list=UUAiABuhVSMZJMqyv4Ur5XqA&index=8&feature=plcp&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1&safe=active

  • In the bubble heads, write 5 statements about Theodora from the points of view of:

    • The poor
    • Women
    • Nika rebels
    • Justinian
    • Her friends




Built during Justinian’s reign. Took 5-6 years to build

  • Built during Justinian’s reign. Took 5-6 years to build

  • Known as the “Church of Holy Wisdom”

  • When Constantinople fell to the Turks, Hagia Sophia became a mosque; now it is a museum

  • Plain exterior symbolizes earthly life

  • Ornate interior symbolizes spiritual universe

  • Cathedral’s size, thick pillars, and enclosed space show Roman influence.

  • Intricate and ornate design shows Eastern influences

















1. art and architecture inspired by two things: Christian religion and imperial power

  • 1. art and architecture inspired by two things: Christian religion and imperial power

  • 2. Icons – definition – religious images

  • 3. Elaborate mosaics in public and religious structures





4. Hagia Sophia – most beautiful architectural achievement

  • 4. Hagia Sophia – most beautiful architectural achievement

  • 5. Hippodrome – entertainment venue for chariot races and circuses











1. Greek and Roman knowledge preserved in Byzantine libraries

  • 1. Greek and Roman knowledge preserved in Byzantine libraries

  • 2. Greek – primary language (as opposed to Latin in the West)

  • 3. Church – Greek Orthodox Christianity



Background: Distance and lack of contact slowly caused the doctrines and rituals of Western and Eastern Christianity to split in the 11th Century.

  • Background: Distance and lack of contact slowly caused the doctrines and rituals of Western and Eastern Christianity to split in the 11th Century.





1. Centered in Rome

  • 1. Centered in Rome

  • 2. Far from the seat of government power once the capital moved to Constantinople

  • 3. Services conducted in Latin



4. The pope had authority over all other bishops

  • 4. The pope had authority over all other bishops

  • 5. The pope had authority over all kings and emperors

  • 6. Priests cannot marry and must remain celibate

  • 7. Divorce is not permitted



1. Centered in Constantinople

  • 1. Centered in Constantinople

  • 2. Close to seat of government power once capital moved to Constantinople

  • 3. Services conducted in Greek or local languages



4. The patriarch and other bishops head the church as a group

  • 4. The patriarch and other bishops head the church as a group

  • 5. The emperor claimed authority over the patriarch and other bishops of the Byzantine Empire

  • 6. Priests may be married

  • 7. Divorce is allowed under certain conditions



Icons – Pictures of important Christians or sacred events. Can be mosaics, murals, wooden panels.

  • Icons – Pictures of important Christians or sacred events. Can be mosaics, murals, wooden panels.

  • Those who did not believe in them were called Iconoclasts (Eastern Christians)

  • This was one of the breaking points for the split.



In 1054, the split between the Eastern and Western Churches was made permanent when the Pope (in the West) and the Patriarch (in the East) excommunicated each other.

  • In 1054, the split between the Eastern and Western Churches was made permanent when the Pope (in the West) and the Patriarch (in the East) excommunicated each other.

  • Excommunication – definition: cast out from the church

  • This permanent split was called the schism







Plague of Justinian that crippled Empire

  • Plague of Justinian that crippled Empire

    • In 542, 10,000 people were dying every day!
  • Attacks from East, West, and North

    • Slavs, Persians, Turks, and Russian invasions
  • Attempt to maintain power

  • Walls kept the peninsula strong until 1453 when it fell to the Ottoman Turks

  • Split of the Church











1. Trade routes between the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea let to exchange of ideas and culture

  • 1. Trade routes between the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea let to exchange of ideas and culture

  • 2. Eastern Orthodox missionaries spread their faith to the Slavic people of Russia and Eastern Europe



3. Cyril invented an alphabet for the Slavic languages so that the Slavs could read the Bible in their own tongue. This was called the Cyrillic alphabet

  • 3. Cyril invented an alphabet for the Slavic languages so that the Slavs could read the Bible in their own tongue. This was called the Cyrillic alphabet

  • 4. Church architecture and religious art






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