Chapter 9 Civilizations in Eastern Europe: Byzantium and Orthodox

Chapter Summary
 The byzantine Empire in western Asia and SE Europe
expanded into eastern Europe
Catholicism influenced western and central Europe
The byzantine empire had territories in the Balkans,
the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean
The Byzantium empire maintained very high levels of
political, economic, and cultural life between 500 and
1450 CE
The empire continued many Roman patterns and
spread orthodox Christianity
The Byzantine Empire
 Once part of the greater Roman empire
 Continued from a eastern Mediterranean after Roman
 Although there were roman patterns it copied the
empire developed its own form of civilization
The Origins of the empire
 Emperor Constantine in the 4th cent. CE established a
capital at Constantinople
Latin was the court language
Greek became the official language after the 6th cent.
The empire benefitted from a high level of civilization
in the Hellenistic world
It developed a trained civilian bureaucracy
Justinian’s Achievements
 Attempted to reconquer western territory but without
lasting success
 Military efforts weakened the empire as Slavs and
Persians attacked the frontiers
 Justinian rebuilt Constantinople in the classical style;
among the architectural achievements was the church
of Hagia Sophia
 Justinian codified Roman law which later spread
throughout Europe
Arab pressure and the empires
 The empire was centered in the Balkans and western
and central turkey
 This location blended a rich Hellenistic culture with
 The revived empire withstood the 7th cent. Arab
 The wars and permanent Muslim threat had
significant cultural and commercial influences
Arab pressure and the empires
 The free rural population, the provider of military
recruits and taxes, was weakened
 Aristocratic estates grew larger and aristocratic
generals became stronger
 The empires fortunes fluctuated as it resisted pressure
from Arab and Slavic kingdoms
 Bulgaria was a strong rival, but Basil II defeated and
conquered it in the 11th cent.
Byzantine Society and Politics
 Politics resembled the earlier Chinese system
 An emperor was ordained by god and surrounded by
elaborate court ritual headed by both church and state
 Women occasionally held the throne
 Officials were trained in Hellenistic knowledge in a
secular school system
 Provincial governors were appointed from the center
and a spy system helped preserve loyalty
Byzantine Society and Politics
 Military organization defended the empire
 Troops were recruited locally and given land for service
 The empire socially and economically depended on
Constantinople's control of the countryside
The bureaucracy regulated trade and food prices
A wide spread commercial network extended into Russia,
Asia, Scandinavia, western Europe and Africa
Despite the busy trade merchants never developed political
Cultural life centered on Hellenistic secular traditions and
orthodox Christianity
The split between Eastern and
Western Christianity
 Byzantine culture, political orgainizati0n and economic
orientation help to explain the rift between eastern and
western versions of Christianity
Different rituals grew from Greek and Latin versions of the
Emperors resisted papal attempts to interfere in religious
Charlemagne, the first Frankish king, tried to be
recognized as Roman emperor
In 1054 the final break occurred over arguments about the
type of bread to use in the mass and the celibacy of the
The Empires Decline
 Decline began in the 11th cent.
 Muslim Turkish invaders seized most of the empire’s
provinces in Asia, removing the most important sources of
taxes and food
The empire never recovered from the loss of its army at
Manzikert in 1071
Independent Slavic states appeared in the Balkans
Crusades, led by Venetian merchants, sacked
constantinople in 1204
Italian navies were used to secure special trading
In 1453 the Ottoman turks conquered Constaninople
The spread of Civilization in Eastern
 Byzantine empire influenced spread among the people
of the Balkans and southern Russia through conquest,
commerce and Christianity
 9th cent. missionaries, Cyril and Methodius devised a
written script, Cyrillic
 This script was for the Slavic language to provide a
base for literacy in eastern Europe
 Unlike western Christians, the Byzantines allowed the
use of local languages in church services
The east central borderlands
 East and west Christians competed in eastern Europe
 Roman Catholics and their Latin alphabet prevailed in
Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland
 A series of regional monarchies- Poland, Bohemia,
Lithuania-with powerful land-owning aristocracies
 Eastern Europe received an influx of Jews from the
Middle East western Europe
The emergence of Kievan Rus’
 Slavic people from Asia migrated into Russia and
eastern Europe during the period of the Roman empire
 They possessed iron and extended agriculture in the
Ukraine and western Europe
 Political organization centered in the family tribes and
 The Slavs followed an animist religion and had a rich
tradition of music and oral legends
The emergence of Kievan Rus’
 A monarchy emerged at Kiev around 855 under the
Danish merchant, Rurik
 Kiev became a prosperous commercial center
 Contacts with the Byzantines resulted in the
conversion of Vladimir I (980-1015) to orthodox
 Kiev’s rulers issued a formal law code
Institutions and Culture in Kievan
 Kiev borrowed much from Byzantium but it was unable to
duplicate its bureaucracy or education system
Cultural, social, and economic patterns developed
differently from western European experience
Rulers favored Byzantine ceremonials and the concept of a
strong central ruler
Orthodox Christian practices entered Russian culture
Almsgiving emphasized the obligation of the wealthy to
the poor
Literature focused on religious and royal events
Kievan decline
 Decline began in the 12th cent.
 Rival princes established competing gov. while the
royal family fought over succession
 Asian invaders seized territory as trade diminished
because of Byzantine decay
 Mongol invasions of the 13th cent. incorporated Russia
into its territory
Kievan decline
 Russian Orthodox Christianity survived because the
tolerant mongol rulers didn’t interfer with Russian
religious beliefs or daily life as long as tributes were
 In the 15th cent mongol control ends and the russian
cultural and political tradition incorporating the
Byzantine inheritance reemerged
 The Russians claimed to be the successors to the
Roman and Byzantine states, the 3rd Rome
The end of an era in eastern
 Mongol invasions, the decline of Russia and the
collapse of Byzantium eastern Europe entered into a
difficult period
 Border territories such as Poland fell under western
 The Balkans fell to the Islamic world of the Turks
 Western and eastern Europe evolved separately, with
the east pushing ahead in power and cross-cultural

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