The Byzantine Empire and Russia

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1 The Byzantine Empire and Russia The city of Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Location of Constantinople Constantinople provided political, economic, and military advantages 1. Protection from the eastern frontier 2. Distance from Germanic invasions in western empire 3. Easily fortified site on a peninsula bordering natural harbor Role of Constantinople Byzantium Justinian Theodora Seat of the Byzantine Empire until Ottoman conquest Preserved classical Greco-Roman culture Center of trade Emperors in the east had absolute power: headed church and state Separate government & difficult communication with the west: few spoke Latin, most spoke Greek Became head of entire Roman Empire, east & west in 533 A.D. Re-conquest of former Roman territories Under Justinian the Byzantine Empire reached its height in culture and prosperity Wife of Justinian and Empress of the Eastern Roman Empire Had been an actress from the lower class Was a great influence on Justinian and policies of state and church Is credited with convincing Justinian not to flee during the Nika riot

2 Justinian Code As the first to codify Roman law, Justinian provided the basis for the law codes of Western Europe Justinian code had four works 1. The Code : contained Roman laws 2. The Digest : quoted & summarized Roman legal thinkers 3. The Institutes : text that told how to use the law 4. The Novellae (New Laws): legislation after 534 Byzantine Achievements in Art and Architecture Inspiration provided by Christian religion and imperial power Close connection between church & state Icons (religious images) Mosaics in public and religious structures The Hagia Sophia Holy Wisdom in Greek Byzantine domed church (domes dominated Byzantine culture) Crowning glory of Justinian reign Byzantine Culture Byzantines valued education: sent children to public or monastic schools Continued flourishing of Greco-Roman traditions Greek language (as contrasted with Latin in the West) Greek Orthodox Christianity Greek and Roman knowledge preserved in Byzantine libraries The Church Divides

3 The cultural and political differences between the eastern and western Roman empire weakened the unity of the Christian Church and led to its division Roman Catholic vs. Eastern Orthodox Eastern Church 1. Centered in Constantinople 2. Close to seat of power after Constantinople became capital 3. Use of Greek language in liturgy Western Church 1. Centered in Rome 2. Farther from the seat of power in Constantinople 3. Use of Latin in the liturgy Controversy between Churches Over the use of icons (religious images) East West Schism 1. Emperor Leo III banned use of icons: idolatry 2. Pope in the west supported icons In 1054 the Christian Church officially divided between Roman Catholic, in Rome, and Eastern Orthodox, in Constantinople. The pope and the patriarch excommunicated each other. Division between Eastern & Western Churches Authority of the Pope eventually accepted in the West Authority of the Patriarch accepted in the East Practices such as celibacy eventually accepted in the West Eastern Orthodox Missionaries Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians competed for converts.

4 Orthodox missionaries like Saint Cyril, worked among the Slavic people of Eastern Europe. Cyrillic Alphabet Cyril and Methodius created an alphabet, based on Greek, for the Slavic languages. The Cyrillic alphabet allowed the Slavs to read the Bible in their own language, and is still used today. Influence of Byzantine Culture on Eastern Europe and Russia Trade routes between Black and Baltic Seas connected the Byzantine Empire with Russia and Eastern Europe. Eastern Orthodox Christianity was adopted by Vladimir of Russia & much of Eastern Europe was converted to Christianity. Invasions of Mongol Armies Genghis Khan Military and political genius who united the Mongols Led the Mongols in conquest Mongols Invaded Russia, China, and Muslim states in Southwest Asia, destroying cities and countryside Created an empire Mongol culture did not enhance the arts, science, or economy of conquered areas Mongols Rule Russia Ivan the Great Mongol control slowed economic and social progress of Russia Declared self czar (tsar): power was centralized in the hands of the czar Threw off the rule of the Mongols, centralized power in Moscow, and expanded Russian nation Tripled territory of Russian state

5 The Orthodox Church influenced unification of Russia Moscow declared Third Rome after the real Rome & Constantinople Became the center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity after the fall of Constantinople Church architecture and religious art: Domes The Ottoman Empire Ottoman Turks conquered the Byzantine Empire 1. Invaded Asia Minor and converted to Islam 2. Besieged the capital city of Constantinople Demise of Constantinople 1. Fell to Ottoman Turks in 1453, ending the Byzantine Empire 2. Became capital of the Ottoman Empire and was re-named Istanbul 3. Marked downfall of Christianity and rise of Islam in that region

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