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The Byzantine Empire The Roman empire, divided in the late AD200’s, was weakened by internal and external forces. Power shifted to the east, as Germanic invaders weakened the western half of the once great Roman empire. By 330, the emperor Constantine, had built a new capital city in Constantinople on the site of the Greek city Byzantium. The Byzantine empire arose from this site. At its height, the Byzantine empire covered an area from Rome through southeastern Europe and Asia Minor, down to Egypt and across North Africa. The city of Constantinople, was on a peninsula overlooking the Bosporus, a strait connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. From its central location, the city controlled key trade routes that liked Europe and Asia. The Byzantine empire reached its peak under the emperor Justinian. Justinian was a autocratic ruler, or single ruler with complete authority. Emperor Justinian became known for his collection of ancient laws known as Justinian’s Code. This written set of laws became the basis today’s international laws. In the area of architecture, Justinian blended Greek, Roman, Persian and Middle Eastern styles. The best known structure is the Church of Hagia Sophia whose name means “Holy Wisdom” In the area of art, the Byzantine empire made great contributions. Icons were images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and others. These icons were supposed the create the sense that the holy person was actually present. Byzantine artists also developed Mosaics, pictures or designs formed by inlaid pieces of stone or other materials. Mosaics often displayed religious themes. In 1054, permanent split or schism occurred between the Orthodox Christian Church in the East and the Roman Catholic Church in the West. The decline of the Byzantine empire came with the onset of invading armies. The final blow came at the hands of the Ottoman empire in 1453. The Byzantine empire hoped to preserve Greek and Roman culture and also strongly influenced the first Russian state. As Russia traded with the Byzantine empire, the Byzantines influenced both Russian and eastern European development. The Byzantines gave Russia a written language. Two Byzantine missionaries adapted the Greek alphabet This new system, called the Cyrillic alphabet is still used in Russia today. Byzantine missionaries carried Orthodox Christianity to Russia and other Eastern European nations. Another Byzantine influence on Russia was that of an autocratic ruler. Autocratic rulers in Russia were known as czars. Czar is the Russian word for Caesar. THE TWO CHURCHES Roman Catholic Easter n Or thodox • Services Conducted in Latin • Pope has authority over all bishops • Pope has authority over all emperors • Priests can not marry • Services Conducted in Greek • Patriarch and other bishops head the church • Emperor has authority over Patriarch • Priests can marry BYZANTINE AND ROMAN EMPIRES Byzantine Empire • • • • • Capitol: Constantinople Spoke Greek Education religion based Art emphasized holiness and spirituality Eastern Orthodox Christian Roman Empire • • • • Capitol: Rome Spoke Latin Education science based Art emphasized beauty and physical appearance • Roman Catholic LEGACY OF BYZANTINE EMPIRE Preserved Culture of the Greeks and Romans Great Schism split Christianity into Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox LEGACY CONTINUED Justinian’s Code preserved Roman laws Be basis for creation of laws in future European countries Cyrillic Alphabet allowed for spread of Eastern Orthodox Christianity into Russia Take out a sheet of paper and answer one of the following questions. Put your name on the paper it will be turned in for a participation point. 1)List the differences between the Byzantine Empire and the Roman Empire. 2)How did the Byzantine Empire influence Russia? 3)What were the Justinian Laws and why were they significant?