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The Byzantine Empire


The Byzantine Empire The last stand of the Roman Empire The Division of the Roman Empire In 284 AD Diocletian became Roman emperor. He decided that the huge Roman ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire
  • The last stand of the Roman Empire

The Division of the Roman Empire
  • In 284 AD Diocletian became Roman emperor. He
    decided that the huge Roman empire could only be
    ruled effectively by splitting it into two parts.

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  • In 330 Diocletians successor, Constantine,
    rebuilt the old Greek port of Byzantium, at the
    entrance to the Black Sea. He renamed it
    Constantinople and made the city the capital of
    the Eastern Roman Empire.

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The Byzantine Empire Under Justinian
  • At first, this Empire controlled only a small
    area around the eastern Mediterranean, but during
    the reign of Justinian (527-565), it started to
    recover much of the territory of the old Roman

Justinian and Theodora
  • Justinian ruled as an autocrat with the help of
    Theodora. Created a huge Christian empire
  • Empire reached its greatest size
  • Built Hagia Sophia

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The Byzantine economy
  • The Byzantine Empire was wealthy and produced
    gold, silk, grain, olives and wine. It traded
    these for spices, ivory and precious stones from
    countries as far away as China and India along
    the Silk Road trade routes.

Justinians Code of Laws
  • Laws were fairer to women. They could own
    property and raise their own children after their
    husbands died.
  • Children allowed to choose their own marriage
  • Slavery was legal and slaves must obey their
  • Punishments were detailed and fit the crime
  • His work inspired the modern concept and, indeed,
    the very spelling of "justice".

The Fall of the Western Roman Empire
  • By 395 AD, the Roman Empire was formally divided
    into two empires East and West. With the
    invasion of Germanic forces from the north, the
    Western Roman Empire was conquered and further
    divided. This left the eastern part of the Roman
    empire to carry on the Greco-Roman tradition.

The shrinking Byzantine Empire

I The events leading to this reduction in size
  • Repeated attacks from the Ottomans
  • Constantinople was a very desirable port
  • It had fallen into disrepair because of attacks
    by Christians during the Crusades
  • The Bubonic Plague had weakened areas and left
    them vulnerable to northern nomadic tribes

II To wrest control of Constantinople from the
Byzantines Mehmed II..
  • Built a huge fortress (called Throat-cutter in
    Turkish) on the opposite coast from
  • Had about 80,000 soldiers and 5,000 Janissaries
    (mercenaries-paid soldiers)
  • Had a naval fleet to attack from the sea

Constantine begged Europe for help in holding
back the Ottomans but
  • Europeans were too consumed with the Schism in
    the Catholic church and other battles that were
    going on at the same time.
  • A few troops arrived from north Italy but it was
    too few.

The only defense for Constantinople was
  • 14 miles of thick, strong, walls
  • About 7,000 soldiers, 2000 of which were

III Both sides had weapons and strategies that
they used in this history-making contest
  • Mehmed had
  • 27 foot long cannon called Basilic
  • BUT, the cannonballs weighed 1200 lbs. and only
    went one mile!
  • AND it took 3 hours to re-load it!
  • And even worse, it couldnt hit anything and
    after 6 weeks it collapsed under its own recoil!

B. The Byzantines had.
  • Smaller cannons
  • AND
  • Their recoil actually damaged their own defense

As for tactics
  • A. The Byzantines built a blockade across the
    entrance to the Golden Horn to stop Mehmeds
    ships from entering
  • B. Mehmed II then built a road of greased logs
    across the peninsula and ROLLED his ships across!

Another tactic tried
  • A. The Ottomans tried to build tunnels under the
    walls of Constantinople
  • B. So the Byzantines built counter tunnels that
    allowed them to kill Turkish workers. Finally,
    the Byzantines captured an Ottoman tunnel
    engineer and tortured him until he told them
    where all the tunnels were

And then the Byzantines
  • Flooded the tunnels and destroyed them!

IV Finally, Mehmed II made an offer
  • That the Byzantines would pay an astronomical fee
    and he would lift the seige
  • When the Byzantines refused, he planned to
    overpower them by sheer force.

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The foreshadowing of the fall
  • The symbol of Constantinople was a moon and on
    5/22/1453 there was an lunar eclipse and they saw
    this as an omen
  • A thick unusual fog covered the city and when it
    lifted there was a firelike glow over the Hagia
    Sophia. They thought it meant the Holy Spirit was
    leaving the church.

These phenomena were actually caused by
  • A volcanic eruption in the Pacific whose ashes
    were thrown high into the atmosphere and caused
    the eerie glow

The Fall of Constantinople
  • Constantine XI led the last attack and died
  • The Ottomans began to rape, pillage and enslave
    the population
  • The Hagia Sophia was converted to a mosque

  • The Fall of Constantinople was seen as a key
    event in ending the Middle Ages and starting the
    Renaissance due to..
  • use of cannon and gunpowder
  • in battle
  • end of the old religious order

Results of the Fall of Constantinople
  • It severed the main overland trade link between
    Europe and Asia so Europeans began to look for
    ways to reach Asia by sea..
  • This led to the discovery of the New World!

The Schism in the Catholic Church
  • Bishop of Rome- represented center of the Roman
    Empire and it was considered to be the seat of
    Saint Peter.
  • Bishop of Constantinople- because it was the
    center of the Byzantine Empire and the seat of
    Saint Andrew (Peters brother)

Factors that led to the schism
  • Separation of the Roman Empire into western and
    eastern segments
  • The western empire crumbled but the Byzantine
    empire continued to thrive.
  • Language of the West was Latin and the language
    of the East was Greek. Made communications

  • Cultural unity began to crumble too
  • Different approaches to religious practices

Tensions increased to the point
  • Led to the mutual excommunication of leading
    clergy of both sides
  • Excommunication-to be refused ability to
    communicate with God

Recent movements towards healing the split
  • 1999- Pope John Paul II met Teoctist (Patriarch
    of the Romanian Orthodox Church)
  • 2002- Teoctist visited the Pope in Rome
  • 2004- Pope John Paul II, to promote unity
    returned the bones of former Eastern Orthodox
    patriarchs to Istanbul (Constantinople)

  • 2005- Patriarch Bartholomew attended the funeral
    of Pope John Paul II. First time a patriarch had
    attended a popes funeral in centuries.
    Considered to be a serious sign of possible
  • May 2005- Pope Benedict XVI said reconciliation
    is his goal. He scheduled a visit to Turkey in
    Nov. 2006.
  • Nov. 2006- Meeting was warm and productive. New
    hope for reconciliation in future

Kievan Rus
  • Begun by invasion of Viking tribes also known
    as Slavs from north of the Baltic.
  • Both trade partner and sometime enemy of the
    Byzantine Empire.

  • During Roman times, the Slavs expanded into
    southern Russia. Like the Germanic peoples who
    pushed into western Europe, the Slavs had a
    simple political organization divided into clans.
    They lived in small villages, farmed, and traded
    along the rivers that ran between the Baltic and
    the Black seas.
  • In the 700s and 800s, the Vikings steered their
    long ships out of Scandinavia. These expert
    sailors were as much at home on Russian rivers as
    on the stormy Atlantic. The Vikings, called
    Varangians by later Russians, worked their way
    south along the rivers, trading with and
    collecting tribute from the Slavs. They also
    conducted a thriving trade with Constantinople.
  • Located at the heart of this vital trade network
    was the city of Kiev. In time, it would become
    the center of the first Russian state.

Ivan the Great(Ivan III Vasilevich)
  1. Grand Duke of Muscovy
  2. Adopted the title of Grand Duke of all Russias
  3. Quadrupled the territory of his state
  4. Claimed Moscow to be the third Rome
  5. Built the Moscow Kremlin
  6. Laid the foundations for Russian autocracy
  7. Longest reigning Russian ruler

Ivan the Great
  • Conflict with Khan Ahmed of the Golden Horde of
    Mongols led to finally defeating this branch of
    the Mongols for a time
  • He had peaceable relations with the Ottomans and
    other Mongol leaders
  • Eventually took over Lithuania

The Pope hoped to heal the Great Schism so
  • He encouraged Ivan to marry Sophia (Zoe)
    Paleologue, niece to the last Byzantine emperor.
  • He failed because Ivan took up the Orthodox faith
    rather than the Roman Catholic faith

Influence of the Grand Duchess
  • Wanted Moscow to be the third Rome so she
    introduced grand Byzantine ceremonies and
  • She also encouraged imperial ideas in Ivan and
    suggested he adopt the imperial double-headed
    eagle as his symbol.

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Ivan wanted to be a worthy successor to the
Byzantine empire
  • Invited many artists and thinkers to Moscow
  • Led in the construction of cathedrals and palaces
    in the Kremlin (center of Russian government and
    power) in Moscow which showed Ivans power

St. Basils Cathedral