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The New Rome
Byzantine Foundations
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After the Roman Empire was divided
in A.D. 395, the eastern half became
known as the Byzantine Empire.
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The Eastern Roman Empire managed to
escape many of the barbarian invasions
that threatened the stability of the West.
The city of Constantinople served as
the capital of the Byzantine Empire.
[Image source:]
was founded by
the Roman
Constantine the
Great in A.D. 330
on the site of the
tiny village of
[Image source:
At the crossroads of
the ancient world,
strategic location
allowed it to control
the trade that passed
between Asia and
Europe, and
between the Ægean
and Black seas.
[Image source:]
As a result, Constantinople
became a fabulously wealthy city.
Constantinople was easy to defend,
because it was located on a peninsula
surrounded on three sides by water.
[Image source:]
the city
from the
land side.
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“Good fences make good
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Constantinople controlled an empire
that embraced the lands of the
eastern Mediterranean Sea Basin.
The Byzantine
Empire was
regarded by
many people
as the heir to
Roman power
and traditions.
was known as the
New Rome,
because its
emperors were
Romans who
spoke Latin and
many of its
wealthy families
came from Rome.
[Image source:]
Eventually Byzantine emperors and
officials used Greek rather than Latin.
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expressed their
ideas in Greek,
developing a
distinct form of
known as
[Image source:]
The Byzantine Empire was a true
international empire, joining the
Balkans, Asia Minor, North Africa,
and Syria. It had Arabs, Jews,
Slavs, and Turks.
It was a “multiethnic Christian
The Byzantine Empire evolved into
an urbanized, cosmopolitan society.
Between A.D.
500 and A.D.
1200, Byzantine
civilization was
one of the most
advanced in the
world, boasting
a high standard
of living.
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