Byzantine Empire
160K - views

Byzantine Empire

Similar presentations

Download Presentation

Byzantine Empire

Download Presentation - The PPT/PDF document "Byzantine Empire" is the property of its rightful owner. Permission is granted to download and print the materials on this web site for personal, non-commercial use only, and to display it on your personal computer provided you do not modify the materials and that you retain all copyright notices contained in the materials. By downloading content from our website, you accept the terms of this agreement.

Presentation on theme: "Byzantine Empire"— Presentation transcript:


Byzantine Empire



The eastern portion of the former Roman EmpireCapital City – Constantinople (modern day Istanbul)Excellent location for trade


Military defense

Fought with the following for control of the areaSassanids to the east (Persia)Germanic invaders to the north and westDefensive walls were built around Constantinople


Byzantine Government


Imperial bureaucracy remained even during times of uncertainty


Justinian the Great (r. 527 – 565)

Revitalization of Constantinople



Justinian’s Code - (Body of Civil Law)

Expanded the size of the empire

Defeated the


in the east

Took control of Northern Africa, southern Spain, Sicily and Italy in the west

However due to expansion – Byzantine Empire was almost bankrupt by the time Justinian died in 565


After Justinian

The empire contracted


(Turkic people) took control of the Balkans

Germanic tribes took control of Italy

Arabs took over Syria Egypt, and the rest of North Africa

Byzantines were unable to expand again until the 800s


Heraclius (r. 610 – 641)

Spoke GreekFocused toward the east Resisted attacks from Islamic forcesReduced power and influence of the Sassanids in SW Asia


Leo III (r. 717 – 770)

“The Syrian”Reclaimed lands, lost by previous ruler, in the Near East AND gained additional lands in Asia MinorInstituted iconoclasm – opposed the worship of religious images and icons (possible Islamic influence)


Basil II (r. 976 – 1025)

Resumed successful Byzantine ExpansionDefeated the Bulgars at the Battle of KleidionConquered territory in eastern Asia Minor



Theocracy – no separation of church and state

Christianity (Eastern Orthodox) was practiced

Emperor appointed the patriarch (head of the church)


and religious communities common – provided aid to people in times of natural disasters

Most nuns and monks opposed Leo III’s policy of iconoclasm


Christian Missions

Hope to convert nonbelievers (Bulgars and Moravians) to ChristianityCyril – successful missionaryCreated an alphabet adopted by Russians and other Slavic peoples


Conflict with Rome

Conflict between western and eastern branches of the Christian church

Points of conflict in the Christian Church

Head of the church – Pope vs. Patriarch

Iconoclastic policy of Leo III

Great Schism 1054 –

Roman Catholic Church in the West

Eastern Orthodox Church in Southeastern Europe and Russia


Trade and Prosperity

Strong economy for almost 1000 years!

Location of Constantinople played a huge part

Silk weaving industry

Government intervention in economy

Strong agricultural sector

Serf/peasant labor (most not free)

Theme system – offered freedom to peasants in exchange for military service

Limits to amount of land one landlord could own


Free Peasant Revolts

Contracted with landowners – paid rent for the land they worked

Landowners tried to force ‘free’ peasants into peasant status to increase their power

Revolts by free peasants resulted

Basil the Copper Hand (928 – 932)


(1277 – 1280)


Byzantine Culture

The ArtsChristian themes in art and literatureEducationDominated by religionUniversity of Constantinople (f. 850) Government trainingCopying classical writings from Ancient Greece and RomeCity lifeLarge lavish homesChurchesPalacesHippodrome - stadium


Decline and Fall of the Byzantine Empire

Civil Unrest

Expenses of conflict along eastern and western borders

Reluctance of the wealthy to pay taxes

Unrest by commoners


Decline and Fall (Cont.)

Military defeats

1071 – Battle of


(Seljuk Turks d. Byzantine forces) – lost territory in Asia Minor

1071 – lost lands in southern Italy and Sicily to the Normans from France

1095 – Emperor Alexus I asked the Pope for help fighting the Turks – resulting in the Crusades

1453 – Ottoman Turks (who had replaced the


Turks) – conquered Constantinople – marking the end of the Byzantine Empire (Constantinople is renamed Istanbul)


Kievan Rus


Forming the Kievan Rus

East Slavic people and Vikings (Rus – Viking ruler)Settled along the Dnieper RiverEarly 900s under Oleg a settlement was formed and called Kievan RusCollection of city-states that paid tribute to the Grand Prince of KievBoyars (nobles) rulers


Kievan Religion

Converted to Christianity (Byzantine influence)Prince Vladimir I formally brought the KR to Christianity when he married the sister of the Byzantine emperorReligion linked KR to Byzantines culturally and politically


Golden Age of Kievan Rus

10th and 11th centuriesStrong government and cohesive societyRule of Vladimir IExpansion to the westPromotion of education under Yaroslav ICodified laws – Russian Justice


Decline of Kiev

Dependence on Byzantine Empire

1169 and 1204


attacked Kiev

1240 Kiev was invaded and occupied by the Mongols



Large city-state in northern KievWide mix of occupants – German merchants, Finns, Swedes, and SlavsProspered through tradeModel of the growth of cities between 800 and 1300Absorbed into the Russian Empire in the 15th Century