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The Byzantine Empire
EQ. How did the Byzantine Empire develop
and form its own distinctive church?
Visual Vocabulary
1. Byzantine Empire
• The name for the eastern
Roman Empire, located at
the crossroads of Europe
and Asia; it lasted from
about 300-1453.
2. Constantinople
• The city on the eastern edge
of Europe, which
Constantine made the
capital of the Roman Empire
in 330.
Visual Vocabulary cont.
3. Eastern Orthodox Church
• A Christian religion that
developed out of early
Christianity in the Byzantine
4. Justinian I
• One of Byzantine Empire’s
greatest emperors, ruled
from 527-565. Rebuilt
Constantinople, revised
laws, and tried to reconquer
once lost lands.
Visual Vocabulary Cont.
5. Theodora
• Justinian’s wife. Justinian
wanted to flee during riots
she reminded him of his
power and encouraged him
to stay and fight for control.
6. Public Works
• Construction projects built
by a government for public
use; such as buildings,
roads, and bridges.
Visual Vocabulary Cont.
7. Justinian’s Code
• A systematic body of laws
built on revisions and
updates of thousands of old
Roman laws.
8. Patriarch
• In the Eastern Orthodox
Church, the bishop of an
important city.
Visual Vocabulary Cont.
9. Liturgy
• A sacred rite of public
10. Icon
• A type of religious image
typically painted on a small
wooden panel and
considered sacred by
Eastern Orthodox Church.
Visual Vocabulary Cont.
11. Schism
• A formal division in a
church or religious body.
• 330: the Emperor
Constantine moved
capital from Rome to
Constantinople (continued)
• Constantinople was easy to defend and it
lay at the crossroads of many sea and
overland trade routes linking east and
Constantinople (continued)
• Constantinople
was surrounded
by water on three
sides and fortified
by miles of walls.
A large chain
protected the
mouth of its
harbor. The city
had a sewer
system, hospitals,
homes for the
elderly, and
Constantinople (continued)
• Life in Constantinople
was more advanced than
in western Europe. The
city’s language and
culture were Greek, but
traders and visitors
spoke many languages.
Most people lived in
poverty. Many people
attended chariot races.
The emperor gave bread
to the unemployed, who
did public works in
The Reign of Justinian I
• Justinian plans to flee during Nika riots, his wife,
Theodora, convinces the emperor to stay and fight.
• Justinian rebuilt the city after the Nika riots.
• Justinian improved Constantinople by building new
bridges, public baths, parks, roads, hospitals and the
Hagia Sophia
The Reign of Justinian I (cont.)
• Justinian revised
outdated and
confusing laws.
• Justinian created
a systematic body
of law.
• Justinian Code
becomes the basis
for many legal
codes in the
Western world.
The Eastern Orthodox Church
• The Byzantine Empire was a theocracy. The
church and state was combined into one allpowerful body. The emperor was believed to be
both the head of the government and the living
representative of Jesus Christ
The Eastern Orthodox Church (cont.)
• Most people attended church regularly and
received sacraments at every stage of their
lives. Monasteries and convents cared for the
poor and sick.
Church Hierarchy
• Emperor
• Patriarch of
• Patriarch
• Bishop
• Priest
Catholic Church
Orthodox Church
Cannot Marry
Can Marry
Shaped like cross and Square with domes
Conflict Between East and West
• 730, Emperor Leo
III believed people
were worshiping
icons and ordered
them destroyed.
Pope Gregory III
the emperor.
Conflict Between East and West (cont.)
• 800, Pope crowns
Holy Roman
emperor. This
outraged the
Byzantines, who
felt they were the
rightful rulers of
the Roman
In 1054 a schism, or formal division, resulted from
the pope excommunicating the patriarch of
Constantinople and the patriarch excommunicating a
Catholic cardinal. The Eastern Orthodox Church and
the Roman Catholic Church become two separate
Christian Churches
The Byzantine Empire Questions
1. What were Justinian’s passions as an Emperor?
2. Who was Theodora and what role did she play in
the Byzantine Empire?
3. Why did the empire decline after the rule of
4. In what ways did the Eastern Empire change from
the Western Empire?
5. Why were Eastern Emperors more powerful than
those in the West?
6. How did Christianity in the Eastern Empire differ
from that in the west?
7. What caused Christians in the East to break away
from the Roman church?
Constantinople Advertisement
• On the handout provided, create a real estate advertisement to
encourage people to move to Constantinople after the schism of 1054.
Your advertisement must include these elements:
– a memorable slogan
– a map that shows where Constantinople is located
– four paragraphs of information about the city’s geography,
government, religion, and daily life
– four visuals that represent key ideas in the written information
– extra creative touches that make the advertisement look authentic
– writing that is free from spelling and grammatical errors