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Civilization in Eastern Europe: Byzantium and Orthodox Europe


1453- Ottoman Turks conquer Constantinople. The Spread of Christianity ... fell under the Influence of the Islamic world of the Turks (Ottoman Empire) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Civilization in Eastern Europe: Byzantium and Orthodox Europe

Chapter 9
  • Civilization in Eastern Europe Byzantium and
    Orthodox Europe

Map of Byzantine Empire under Justinian (527-565)
The Byzantine Empire
  • After 476 C.E. Rome was under the control of
    foreigners who themselves claimed to be
    continuing the empire
  • The Byzantine empire continued as before,
    believing themselves to be the Roman Empire.
  • Their empire was centered in Constantinople
  • In the 4th century, Emperor Constantine
    established the capital here.
  • It was able to hold off barbarian invaders

  • Had a predominately Greek character
  • Byzantines through the course of the first
    millennium AD had to deal with cultural
    influences and political threats from European
    cultures, Asian cultures and, primarily, Islam
    after the seventh century.

  • The Byzantine Empire, with territory in the
    Balkans, the Middle East, and the eastern
    Mediterranean, maintained very high levels of
    political, economic, and cultural life between
    500-1450 C.E.
  • The empire continued many of the traditions of
    the western empire and spread its Orthodox
    Christianity to most of Eastern Europe, Belarus,
    Ukraine and Russia.

Justinian 527-565
  • Attempted to reconquer Western territory but
    without lasting success
  • Attacks from Slavs and Persian weakened frontiers
  • Serious financial pressures
  • Rebuilt Constantinople
  • (Hagia Sophia)
  • Justinians Code of Law(Corpus Iuris
  • Civilis)
  • - it was also the first systematic attempt to
  • synthesize Roman law
  • and jurisprudence with Christianity
  • - became the foundation of all European
  • law and legal practice (except for England).
  • the persecution of heretical
  • Christians

Empress Theodora
  • Byzantine empress and
  • consort of Justinian I
  • According to Procopius, already been an actress,
    dancer and courtesan when she won the heart of
    the ambitious Justinian
  • She eventually became his mistress, wife and the
    sharer of his throne (527)
  • During the Nike Riots of 532, it was Theodora who
    saved the throne or herself and her husband by
    her courage. She lavished goods upon the poor,
    especially the unfortunate of her own sex. Her
    character remained exemplary until the appearance
    of The Secret History (Historia Arcana) of
    Procopius (1623), whose chief aim was to defame
    both Justinian and Theodora.

Hagia Sophia
Arab Pressures and the Empires Defenses
  • Successors of Justinians concentrated on the
    empires defense
  • Revived empire withstood invasions of Arab
    Muslims (however some important regions were
    lost-Eastern Med./M.E. heartland
  • Free rural population was weakened (those who
    paid taxes and served in the military)

  • Strong rival
  • Basil II, the Byzantine emperor, conquered this
    kingdom in 1014
  • At the close of the tenth century the Byzantine
    emperor may have been the strongest contemporary

Byzantine Society/Culture
  • Relied on Constantinople's control of countryside
  • While classical studies, science, and philosophy
    largely dissipated in the Latin West, Byzantine
    education and philosophy still zealously pursued
    these intellectual traditions
  • Cultural life centered on Hellenistic secular
    traditions and Orthodox Christianity
  • Art and architecture was elaborate- domed
    buildings, colored mosaics, and painted icons
    expressed an art linked to religion.

Byzantine Politics
  • Resembled earlier Chinese system
  • (emperor (patriarch) ordained by God and
    surrounded by an elaborate court ritual)
  • The patriarch ruled both church and state
  • Women occasionally held the throne
  • Elaborate bureaucracy
  • Careful military organization
  • Troops recruited locally and given land in return
    for service
  • Empire socially and economically relied on
    Constantinople's control of the countryside

East/West Split
  • Throughout the middle ages various differences in
    political organization, culture and economic
    organization and the various versions of
    Christianity help illustrate the rift between
    east and west.
  • Charlemagne in 800 was crowned Holy Roman Emperor
    causing hostility
  • 1054- final straw- Empire split due to the
    disagreement over what bread to use in the mass
    and the celibacy of priests caused the schism
  • Although the two remained separate, there was
    still a common classical heritage shared

Decline of Empire
  • 11th century a long period of decline began
  • Muslim Turkish invaders
  • Manzikert 1071
  • Independent Slavic states in Balkans
  • 1204- Crusaders- Venetian merchants sack
  • 1453- Ottoman Turks conquer Constantinople

The Spread of Christianity
  • Byzantine influence spread to the people of the
    Balkans and Southern Russia through conquest,
    commerce, and Christianity
  • Cyril and Methodius- missionaries who devised a
    written script (Cyrillic) for the Slavic language
    providing a base for literacy in Europe.

  • What is a borderland?
  • Competition between eastern and western
    missionaries in the eastern Europe
  • Roman Catholics succeed in Czechoslovakia,
    Hungary and Poland.
  • Poland, Bohemia and Lithuania developed regional
    monarchies and ruled with a powerful landholding
  • Also, Eastern Europe received an influx of Jews
    from the Middle East and Western Europe
  • They were often barred from agriculture but
    participated in local commerce

Kievan Rus
  • Slavic Peoples migrated to Russia (during time of
    Roman Empire)
  • Mixed with and incorporated local population
  • Possessed iron and extended agriculture in
    Ukraine and western Russia
  • Animistic religion with rich tradition in music
    and oral legend

Rurik and Vladimir I
  • Danish merchant
  • 885- established a monarchy
  • Loosely organized they flourished until the 12th
    century when Kiev became a prosperous commercial
  • Contacts with the Byzantines led to the
    Conversion of Vladimir I (980-1015) to Orthodox
  • Vladimir controlled church appointments and
    issued a formal law code

Institutions and Culture in Kievan Rus
  • Borrowed much from Byzantine Empire
  • Orthodox Christian practices
  • Devotion to Gods power and the saints
  • Ornate churches
  • Icons
  • monasticism
  • Cultural, social and economic patterns developed
    differently from the western European experience
  • Polygamy yielded to Christian monogamy
  • Almsgiving was emphasized
  • Art and literature were heavily influenced by the
    Orthodox religion
  • Architecture was adapted from the Byzantines to
    fit local conditions
  • Peasants wer free farmers, and aristocratic
    landlords (Boyars) had less political power than
    the similar Westerners

Kievan Decline
  • 12th century
  • Rival princes established competing governments
    while the royal family quarreled over the
  • Mongol invasions of the 13th century incorporated
    Russian lands into their territories
  • Mongol (Tatar) dominance spread even to the
    western dominated areas of eastern Europe
  • Mongols were tolerant in regards to religion and
    did not interfere with local religion as long as
    tribute was paid

End of Mongol control
  • When Mongol control ended in the 15th century, a
    Russian cultural and political tradition
    incorporation the Byzantine inheritance
  • The Russians claimed to be the successors of the
    Roman Empire and Byzantine states and declared
    Moscow as Third Rome

The End of an Era in Eastern Europe
  • Difficult period for Eastern Europe
  • Mongol invasions
  • Russia decline
  • Collapse of Byzantium
  • Border territories (i.e. Poland) fell under
    Western influence while the Balkans fell under
    the Influence of the Islamic world of the Turks
    (Ottoman Empire)
  • Western and eastern Europe evolved separately,
    with the former pushing ahead in power and
    cross-cultural sophistication

Global Connections
  • Byzantines- active in interregional trade
  • Constantinople was one of the worlds greatest
    trading centers (geographical location)
  • When Byzantium declined and the Mongols conquered
    Russia a period of isolation began
  • By the 15th century, Russia began to regain
    independence and faced decisions about how to
    re-engage with the West