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Byzantine Empire

9th Grade World History

Jessica Monge

on 18 February 2016

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Transcript of Byzantine Empire

Eastern half of the Roman Empire
Byzantine Empire
Greek philosophy and literature
Roman political/legal ideas
Christian theology
Life in the Empire
Since its beginning, the empire was constantly under attack from its neighbors, including Germanic Lombards, Slavs, Bulgars, Persians and Arabs
Decline and Fall
Social hierarchy = division of social groups with no barriers on mobility between groups
Family = center of social life
Marriage = sacred institution
Divorce was difficult and the church did not allow more than one remarriage
Women expected to live partly in seclusion
They had rooms in homes and churches that were built for their use
However, through the efforts of Theodora, women were able to gain some rights
Some women became very educated
Many had an influence on government affairs (like Theodora)
Some even earned a position as a
and ruled as temporary rulers
Jobs = herding, farming, and laborers
Farmers paid heavy taxes
Base of economy = agriculture
Commerce also played a big part in economy, especially in big cities
Major industry = silk weaving
Developed after Justinian sent two monks to China (China = center of silk industry)
The two monks stole silkworm eggs and brought them to Constantinople, which then increased the empire's wealth
Subject of art = religion
Icons (most popular) portrayed saints and other religious figures
Placed in churches, homes and shrines
Church icons were usually embellished with gold, silver, marble, jewels and ivory
Other popular form of art =

Mosaics captured skin tones and textures that most painters found difficult to achieve
Other popular form = illuminated manuscript
Books illustrated with elaborate and beautiful designs and lettering
Most portrayed religious themes and others portrayed daily life in the empire
Schools were an important part of culture
850 C.E - University of Constantinople was established through government support
Trained lawyers and scholars (who would then go on to get government jobs)
Religious schools were established by the church
Trained priests and theological scholars
Areas of study = medicine, law, philosophy, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music and grammar
Girls were not usually admitted to schools, so wealthy parents hired tutors for their daughters
Literature - focus on salvation of the soul and obedience to God
Hymns and poems written to praise Christ and Mary
Books were written about the lives of saints
Most scholars were tasked with copying the works of the ancient Greeks and Romans, which helped spread classical knowledge to the Western world
Spread of Christianity:
300s C.E -
(religious communities) were formed
Men called monks
Lived to develop a spiritual life and help others to do good deeds by setting an example for Christian living
Monasteries and convents began popping up and influencing Byzantine culture
Helped the poor and ran hospitals and schools
Spread arts and learning through the use of
(people who carry religious messages)
Missionaries also converted people to Christianity
After Justinian died (565 C.E), Italy was taken over by the Germanic Lombards
The Slavs moved into the Balkans and the Persians resumed their attacks from the east
626 C.E - Slavs reached the walls of Constantinople, but were stopped by a counterattack from the empire's army
630s C.E - Arabs began to move their way up into the empire and surrounding kingdoms to spread their faith (Islam) and gain wealth
Occupied Syria and Palestine, and began to enter parts of Persia
They also reached Constantinople's walls, but were stopped by the empire's army
Even though they were stopped at the city, they had gained success in taking the empire's territories in the Middle East and North Africa
700 C.E - Byzantine's remaining territories were primarily Greek
Loss of non-Greek territories ended up as a benefit to the empire, because now they could be strengthened under one religion, language and culture
Christian Conquest:
1071 C.E - Normans (people from N. Europe) took Byzantine lands in southern Italy
To help, Venice (Italian city) offered to help the Byzantine Empire regain its lands in Italy, BUT in return they wanted trading privileges in Constantinople
This offered failed and the Byzantines lost control of trade, which further weakened the economy
1071 C.E - Seljuk Turks (Central Asia) converted to Islam and defeated the Byzantines
To protect the empire, the emperor asked the pope for help in protecting Christianity
The pope sent expeditions against Islamic forces, but ended up more interesting in taking over Palestine
1204 C.E - Christian soldiers from W. Europe volunteered to help the Venetians attack Constantinople
This attack lasted 3 days
Burned and looted the city
Stole and destroyed manuscripts and artwork
These "raiders" were condemned by the pope for their actiosn
After this attack, the western Christians established a "Latin empire" in the city
Byzantines resisted this new order and reestablished their culture by 1261 C.E
Fall of Constantinople:
Years of fighting had weakened the empire
Territories were taken under control of others such as the Serbs and Slavs
Ottoman Turks (new invaders) attacked Byzantine's eastern provinces
Late 1300s C.E - Byzantine empire was reduced to include only Constantinople and a part of Greece
100,000 people remained living in Constantinople, BUT food was scarce and there was no wealth to be shared
1453 C.E - Ottomans attacked Constantinople for 6 weeks straight
Byzantines fought until their last emperor was killed
Byzantine culture and heritage continued to live on after its fall
Capital = Constantinople
Near trade routes & centers of Christianity
Multicultural center
"New Rome"
Emperors spoke Greek & Latin
Religion: Christianity
Schism: Christian Church split into TWO
Roman Catholic & Eastern Orthodox
Greatest Byzantine ruler

Theodora = wife
Supported Justinian & participated in government affairs
Main concern = women's rights
Revolts: 532 C.E, revolts began but Justinian asserted his power under the influence of Theodora
Spent the rest of his life ruling unchallenged
Military Campaigns
Empire faced outside threats
Largest = Persians
Goal = restore the Roman Empire
533 C.E: Justinian began a "reconquest" of Spain, Italy & North Africa
Used a lot of money & resources
Little money left to protect borders
After Justinian died, conquered territories were lost
Code of Laws
Legal reforms
Commission appointed to organize & classify Roman laws
10 scholars & a legal expert
Result = Corpus of Civil Law
Collection of books on Roman/Byzantine laws
The Arts
Art & architecture thrived
Construction of roads, fortresses, monasteries & aqueducts
Most famous = Hagia Sophia
Emperors = God's representatives on earth
Appointed church officials, defined styles of worship & used money on the government
Conflicts between clergy & laity
Clergy = church officials
Laity = church members
Discussions/debates held in public areas
700s: argument over use of icons in worship
Emperor Leo II ordered the removal of icons from churches
Church leaders in Rome disagreed
East vs. West
Churches disagreed on political/religious issues
Rome believed the pope = supreme authority
Byzantium believed the emperor = supreme authority
1054: Schism
West = Roman Catholic
East = Eastern Orthodox
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