03 - Byzantine Empire - Byzantine Empire-From Constantine...

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Western half of Roman Empire fell; eastern half survived (now known as Byzantine Empire) Christianity will play a large role in urbanizing northern Europe in the early Middle Ages. People now think the Second Coming will be far in the future, but it will be great and terrible o More and more monasticism as people try to cleanse themselves West Secular clergy (hierarchy of church: priests, bishops, etc.) After the fall of the western Roman Empire, more money goes into churches for the remission of sins. By the 6 th century, church hierarchy had become essentially the government in the west. The term “Byzantine” is recent—they called themselves Roman and had Roman emperors Latin or Greek? o Constantine builds Constantinople and is called “the Great” in Greek (“ho megas”), not Latin o Constantine moves the capital of Rome out of the Italian peninsula altogether. The capital had previously moved up to Milan, but Constantine moved it further east because the greatest threat was to the east (Persians) The site of the new capital was a small fishing village called Byzantium Constantine called the city “New Rome” but it quickly became known as Constantinople. Constantinople is easily defended. Narrow piece of land Only one narrow channel for invaders to funnel through by sea either way (Dardanelles or Bosphorus [both went into the Sea of Marmara]) A peninsula (“Golden Horn”) and had a perfect natural harbor Only one side is open on land o NNW o Walls built for protection Walls won’t fall until 1453 Constantinople becomes a bastion of Christianity. One exception: Julian the Apostate became emperor, abandoned Christianity, reinstated paganism, and embarked on the last persecution of the Christians o He only ruled 361-363 o Eastern half was wealthier, more urbanized, more “civilized” o Trade: “All roads lead to Rome” (Constantinople in particular) o Why did the west fall? The east was too busy defending its own borders that it didn’t have time to defend the west as well Border wars: Persians (Sasanids); Bolgars, Slavs from the north o 6 th century: Predominant language family is Greek Latin completely phased out, even in government The Last Gasp! Justinian the Great attempts to rebuild empire, including re-taking the Italian peninsula. o Begins enlarging empire in 529 by annexing the Crimea and pushing back the Persians, Bolgars, and Slavs (530) Perpetual Peace (532) with Persians because he was so successful in pushing them back o Sends his general, Belisarius, to try to reclaim the western empire 533-34: North Africa and Mediterranean side of Spain 536: Rome re-taken 540: Entire Italian peninsula re-taken Justinian fell in love with Theodora, an actress (aka prostitute) o Theodora was probably a more brilliant politician than Justinian. o
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course HIST 3215 taught by Professor Bartlett during the Spring '08 term at University of North Georgia- Dahlonega.

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03 - Byzantine Empire - Byzantine Empire-From Constantine...

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