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Opening (3/1/11)
Enduring Understanding  Copy this down
•When a civilization collapses it is followed by
period of rapid decline in standard of living,
education and prosperity.
•What would happen if the US civilization collapsed?
Next Unit is Early Middle Ages
Topics include…
1) Byzantine Empire and Justinian
2) Franks – Clovis, Charles ‘The Hammer’ Martel, and Charlemagne
3) Vikings and the creation of the = Feudal System
• Justinian - Emperor of the Byzantine Empire from AD 527
to AD 565, led the greatest period in Byzantine history
• Justinian Code - Collection of laws of the Roman Empire
broken up into four parts:
– 1. The Code = useful Roman laws
– 2. The Digest = summarized Roman legal opinions
– 3. The Institutes = guide for law students
– 4. The Novella = laws passed after 534 AD
• Theodora – Justinian’s wife who helped change the status
of women, allowing Christian women to own property
• Greek Fire – Flammable liquid that could be sprayed or
• Icon – Holy pictures of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, or the
saints, kept in homes and venerated, or honored at
• Iconoclasts – Believed that having icons in church was
the same as worshipping idols
• Heresy – Opinion that conflicts with official church
• Excommunication – Removal from membership within
the church.
• Mosaic – A picture or design made from small pieces of
enamel, glass, or stone
• Cyrillic – A Slavic alphabet developed by Cyril, a
Christian missionary, to teach the Bible to Slavs in
central and eastern Europe.
• Hagia Sophia – “Holy Wisdom” church built in
Constantinople by Justinian in just 6 years.
1. Describe Justinian’s accomplishments: Codified
Roman/Byzantine Laws. Under his reign the Empire reached its
greatest size.
2. Describe the Justinian Code. What impact did it have on
Western Europe? Basis of Byzantine law. It covered such areas as
crime, marriage, property, and slavery. By AD 1100s, it was being
used in Western Europe, providing a framework for many
European legal systems. It preserved the Roman idea that people
should be ruled by laws rather than by the whims of leaders.
3. List all the reasons why Justinian’s reign could be considered a
Golden Age for the Byzantine Empire? During his reign, the
empire reached its greatest size, reclaiming territory in the
Western Roman Empire, a strong centralized government helped
the empire run smoothly, alliances were made with foreign
powers, the empire had effective forces to protect its frontiers,
military forces were well trained, weapons and armor were well
designed, the empire had a strong navy (ships equipped with
“Greek Fire”), wealthy (Constantinople), controlled sea routes,
emperor paid for large, magnificent public buildings with taxes.
4. Although Byzantine scholars produced many original works, what
else (very significant) did they pass on to future generations?
They passed on the learnings of ancient Greece, Rome, and the
5. What was the main subject of Byzantine art? What forms of art
did this typically include? Religion was the main subject of
Byzantine art. Murals and icons covered walls, floors, and ceilings
of churches, and mosaics covered floors, walls, and arches. (The
did not try to imitate reality, but to inspire adoration of religious
figures and to help people look toward the afterlife)
6. Describe the architecture found in the Byzantine Empire. What is
one of its most famous buildings? The Byzantines created great
religious architecture. One of the world’s great buildings is the
church of the Hagia Sophia. Byzantine architects were the first to
solve the problem of placing a round dome over a rectangular
• What events and developments led to the gradual decline of the
Byzantine Empire?
• Wars and conflicts with outside powers began after Justinian died
in AD 565. War to the east with the Persians. The Lombards
(Germanic tribe) settled Italy. The Avars and Slavs invaded the
Balkan Peninsula. The Muslim Empire conquered Syria, Palestine,
and much of North Africa. By AD 650, the Byzantines had lost
many lands.
• During the 1100s, the Seluq Turks, a nomadic people from central
Asia, captured much of Asia Minor (an important source of food
and soldiers for the empire). The Turks then attacked
Constantinople. Constantinople asked the West for help, but in
1204, the West turned against the Byzantine Empire and captured
Constantinople. In AD 1261, the Byzantines recaptured
Constantinople allowing the Byzantine Empire to continue for 200
• By the 1300s, the Ottoman Turks began to threaten Byzantine
territory, moving into the Balkans. In 1361, they took Adrianople,
and in 1453, they captured Constantinople, finally ending the
Byzantine Empire.
Roman Empire divided in 294 AD by Diocletian
Constantine’s City-Constantinopolis
All Roads Lead to………………….………Konstantinople?
Byzantine Empire
Role of Constantinople:
• Seat of the Byzantine Empire until
Ottoman conquest (1453 AD)
• Preserved classical Greco-Roman
• Crossroads/Center of trade
–Lots of tax money to Byzantine
Justinian I
Why is he so important?
1. Led the revival of the Byzantine Empire
– Goal was to recapture the glory and former
territories of the Roman Empire
– Helped to influence later rulers and scholars to
preserve Greek and Roman literature in their
2. Created a law code based off of Roman Law
– Justinian Code – ensured that people were
ruled by laws and not by the whims of their
3. Expanded trade and wealth of
–Western end of Silk Road, protected by
naval supremacy, revenue from taxes
on trade make Constantinople and the
Byzantines extremely rich
4. Built the Hagia Sophia in
Constantinople in 532 AD
–Built as a Christian Church, showed the
importance of Christianity in their lives
Justinian I
What was the influence of Justinian’s
codification of Roman law on the Byzantine
Empire and later legal codes?
• As the first to codify Roman law,
Justinian provided the basis for the law
codes of Western Europe.
• Codification of Roman law impacted
and influenced future European legal
codes in nations (ex. – England)
Justinian I
What was Justinian’s influence on the
expansion of the Byzantine Empire and its
• Under Justinian, the Byzantine Empire
reached its height in culture and
• Reconquest of former Roman territories
• Expansion of trade
The enlargement of the Eastern Roman Empire's
territory between the rise to power of Justinian
(red, 527) and his death (orange, 565)
“Greek Fire” = secret to Byzantine Naval Power
This secret, flammable mixture kept the enemies of
Byzantium at a distance in naval warfare.
“Greek Fire”…flamethrower!
Like Napalm in Vietnam
that were
filled with
Greek fire,
National Historical
Athens, Greece
Byzantine Culture
Greek Orthodox Christianity combined
with imperial patronage (support)
enabled the Byzantine Empire to
develop a unique style of art and of
Byzantine Culture
What were the contributions
of Byzantine art and
Byzantine Culture
What were the contributions of Byzantine art and
• Inspiration provided by Christian Religion
(mostly) and imperial power (powerful men
showing off)
Byzantine Culture
What were the contributions of
Byzantine art and architecture?
• Icons (religious images)
Byzantine Culture
What were the contributions of
Byzantine art and architecture?
• Mosaics in public and religious
What is a Mosaic?
• Mosaic = An artistic technique that uses tiny
pieces of glass or stone to create a larger
– In the Byzantine Empire mosaics were most
commonly seen in churches and displayed
religious images
• They could be found on the floors, in domes, on
walls, and inside arches
• Byzantine artist wanted to inspire faith and
admiration for Christianity
Mosaics from the Hagios Demetrios (Church of St. Demetrius,
patron saint of Thessoloniki, Byzantine’s 2nd largest city)
Mosaic from San Vitale in Ravenna, showing the Emperor Justinian and
Bishop Maximian of Ravenna surrounded by clerics and soldiers.
Jerusalem on the Madaba (Jordan) Map
The most famous of the
surviving Byzantine
mosaics is in the Hagia
Sophia in Constantinople.
It is the image of Christ
Pantocrator on the walls
of the upper southern
gallery. Christ is flanked by
the Virgin Mary and John
the Baptist. The mosaics
were made in the 12th
Byzantine Culture
What were the contributions of Byzantine art and
• Hagia Sophia (a Byzantine domed church)
– Means – Holy Wisdom
The current building was originally
constructed as a church between 532
and 537 A.D. on the orders of the
Byzantine Emperor Justinian, and was
in fact the third Church of the Holy
Wisdom to occupy the site.
Blend of Western and Eastern
Byzantine Culture
Greek and Roman traditions were
also preserved in the Byzantine
How did Greek and Roman
culture survive within the
Byzantine Empire?
Byzantine Culture
1. Continued flourishing of Greco-Roman
traditions and culture
2. Greek and Roman knowledge preserved in
Byzantine libraries
3. Greek language (as contrasted with Latin in
the West)
4. Greek Orthodox Christianity (dominates the
eastern half of Europe to this day)
Questions to be able to answer (3/2)
• What language did the Byzantines use?
• What was the Hagia Sohpia?
• What was the point/theme of Byzantine
• How did the Byzantines preserve Greek and
Roman culture?