Ch.13: The Commonwealth of Byzantium

Describe the journey of the two christian monks as according to procopius

middle of sixth century CE from persia. result of their travels was the introduction of high quality silk to the eastern mediterranean. observed the techniques of silk production during the course of mission to china. Hollowed out walking staffs and fille

what strengthened the Byzantine economy in the late 6th century?

Mediterranean customers no longer relied on chinese producers and persian intermediaries, and local production of high-quality silk greatly strengthened the byzantine economy.

what problems did the classical societies face and what was the effects of this?

during the centuries after 200 CE most of the classical societies faced problems such as epidemic disease, declining population, economic contraction, political turmoil, social unrest, and military threats from outside that brought about their collapse.

what classical empire survived?

in the eastern mediterranean, the eastern half of the roman empire, known as the byzantine empire, withstood the various problems that brought down other classical societies and survived for almost a millennium after the collapse of the western roman empi

Describe the mediterranean region that the byzantine empire faced.

a politically and culturally fragmented mediterranean region. After the 7th century ce, islamic states controlled lands to the east and south of the mediterranean, slavic peoples dominated lands to the north, and western europeans organized increasingly p

The byzantine empire deeply influenced the historical development of what people?

the slavic peoples of eastern Europe and Russia. Byzantine missionaries and diplomats introduced writing, christianity, codified law, and sophisticated political organization.

why do historians often refer to it as the Byzantine commonwealth?

because Byzantine political, economic, and cultural influence stretched so far.

What did Byzantine policies lead to?

the formation of a large, multicultural zone of trade, communication, interaction, and exchange in eastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean basin during the postclassical era.

What does the Byzantine empire take its name from?

from Byzantion-latinized as Byzantium-a modest market town and fishing village that occupied a site of enormous strategic significance.

Describe Byzantion's location.

situated on a defensible peninsula and blessed with a magnificent natural harbor known as the golden horn, Byzantion had the potential to control the Bosporus, the strait of water leading from the black sea to the sea of marmara and beyond to the dardanel

Why did the roman emperor constantine build a new imperial capital at Byzantion, which he named Constantinople?

Because of its strategic location. Because the eastern mediterranean was the wealthier and more productive part of the roman empire and because relocation enabled the imperial court to maintain close watch over the sasanid empire in persia and the germani

Describe Constantinople.

The imperial government moved their in 340 CE. and the new capital rapidly reached metropolitan dimensions. By the late fourth century it was the most important military and political center of the eastern roman empire, and it soon became the dominant eco

what happened in 1453 CE?

The city kept the name constantinople until 1453 CE when it fell to the Ottoman turks who renamed it Istanbul.

what do historians refer to as the Byzantine empire?

the realm governed from constantinople between the fifth and fifteenth centuries CE. (byzantine empire or byzantium in honor of the original settlement).

Describe what the Byzantine empire embraced in its early days

greece, the balkan region, anatolia, syria, palestine, egypt, and northeast africa. Byzantine rulers occasionally expanded their boundaries, and neighboring peoples sometimes seized portions of the byzantine empire for themselves.

what happened during the seventh and eight centuries CE?

the southern regions of the empire fell into the hands of Arab muslim conquerors.

What challenges confronted the late Roman and early Byzantine empires?

consolidation of the dynamic sasanid dynasty (226-641 CE) in persia and the invasion of migratory peoples from the north and east.

Describe the invasions that the late roman and early byzantine empire faced

the sasanid emperors sought to rebuild the Achaemenid empire of classical persia, a goal that brought them into conflict with roman forces in mesopotamia and syria. By the late third century, roman armies had largely stabilized their eastern borders but u

Describe the Byzantine State

tightly centralized rule that concentrated power in the hands of a highly exalted emperor.

Describe Caesaropapism. Who Kinda started it?

Constantine hedged his rule with an aura of divinity. Claimed divine favor and sanction for his rule. Caesaropapism: the emperor not only ruled as secular lord but also played an active and prominent role in ecclesiastical affairs.

what happened to byzantine rulers after 6th century

Byzantine emperors became exalted absolute rulers. According to Roman law, emperors stood above the law. they had absolute authority in political, military, judicial, financial, and religious matters. services of a large and complex bureaucracy. Law and b

Who was the most important of the early Byzantine emperors? Describe him.

justinian (527-565 CE) energetic and tireless worker. the Sleepless emperor. Aid from wife Theodora. Justinian received an excellent education, found a position in the imperial bureaucracy and soon mastered the intricacies of Byzantine finance. Theodora w

what was justinians most significant political contribution?

his codification of roman law. Ordered a systematic review of Roman law that was more thorough than any that had taken place before. He then issues the Corpus iuris civilis (body of the civil law)-the definitive codification of Roman law.

What was justinian's most ambitious venture

effort to reconquer the western roman empire from the germanic peoples and reestablish Roman authority throughout the mediterranean basin. 533 he sent Belisarius, got italy, sicily northwestern africa and southern spain. By end of reign in 565 Justinian h

why did justinian's conquests not long survive his rule?

Byzantium did not posess the resources to sustain Belisarius's conquests. reconstitution of the roman empire would have required a long term occupation of reconquered regions and a costly reassertion of imperial authority. the city of Ravenna on italys ad

What happened as Justinian devoted his attention to the western Mediterranean?

The sasanids throated Byzantium from the east and Slavic peoples approached from the north. Justinians successors had no choice but to withdraw their resources from the western mediterranena and redeploy them in the east.

after the seventh century CE what posed a serious challenge to Byzantium?

the emergence of Islam and the development of a powerful and expansive islamic state. Inspired by their islamic faith, Arab peoples conquered the sasanid empire and overran large portions of the Byzantine empire as well.

What happened by mid seventh century?

Byzantine, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and North Africa had fallen under islamic rule.

What happened during late seventh and early eight centuries

Islamic forces threatened the heart of the empire and subjected constantinople itself to a prolonged siege. (674-678 and 717-718)

Describe Byzantine defensive efforts and the result of these efforts

uses weapon know as greek fire-incendiary weapon compounded of sulphur, lime, and petroleum. As result, retained its hold on Anatolia, Greece, and the Balkan Region.

Describe how Byzantine rulers reacted to the Challenges of Islam

reorganization of byzantine society under the theme system. placed an imperial province (theme) under jurisdiction of a general who assumed responsibility for both its military defense and its civil administration.

Describe the theme system

Placed an imperial province (theme) under the jurisdiction of a general, who assumed responsibility for both its military defense and its civil administration. Generals received their appointments from the imperial government which closely supervised thei

Describe what happened in Byzantium during the 10th century and the reign of Basil II (976-1025 CE)

Byzantine forces shored up defenses in Anatolia and reconquered Syria from arab muslims. During reign of Basil II (976-1025 CE) byzantine armies turned west and crushed the neighboring bulgars, who had built a large and expansive realm in the Balkans. Won

Describe the byzantine realm by the mid eleventh century.

embraced lands from syria and armenia in the east to southern italy in the west, from the danube river in the north to cyprus and crete in the south.

Describe the christian church of constantinople

conducted its affairs in greek and bowed to the will of caesaropapist emperors

describe the christian church of rome

conducted its affairs in latin and rejected imperial claims to oversee eclesiastal matters.

Describe the eclesiastal grievances between rome and byzantine

ecclesiastical authorities in Byzantium regarded Roman Christians as poorly educated and uncouth. Church leaders in rome considered their byzantine counterparts subtle and learned but insincere and insufficiently wary of heresy.

Describe the political grievances between byzantine and western European lands.

During the fifth and sixth centuries, imperial authorities could do little but watch as germanic peoples established successor states to the western roman empire. Visigoths, Vandals and Franks etc imposed their rule on lands that byzantine emperors regard

Describe Liudprand of Cremona

was sent by Otto on a diplomatic mission to constantinople in 968. Slammed Byzantium

What was the major source of grain for Byzantium?

until its conquest by the arabs, Egypt was the major source. Afterward, Anatolia and lower Danube region served as the imperial breadbasket. All these lands produced abundant harvests of wheat, which supported large populations in Constantinople, Thessalo

When was Byzantine economy and society strongest?

when the empire supported a large class of free peasants who owned small plots of land. Besides serving as the backbone of byzantine military forces, they cultivated their lands intensively in hopes of improving their families fortunes.

Describe the conditions of the peasants in Byzantium

were a dependent class. They did not become slaves, but neither did they remain entirely free. Sometimes bound to the land, could not depart without permission from their lord. Other times worked under sharecropping agreements, landlords contracted landle

What events strengthened the peasants?

the invasions of the sixth and seventh centuries broke up many large estates and afforded peasants an opportunity to rebuild small holdings. The theme system strengthened the free peasantry by making land available to those who performed military service.

what happened to peasants from the 11th century onward?

over long term, wealthy landowners built ever larger estates. They transformed the peasants into an increasingly dependent class and by thirteenth century free peasants accounted for only a small percentage of rural population.

what was the implications for financial and military affairs of the accumulation of landholdings.

large estates did not contribute to imperial tax coffers at the rate of small peasant holdings, since wealthy landowners had the influence to obtain concessions and exemptions. The decline of free peasantry diminished the pool of recruits available for se

what did Byzantine prosperity derive from?

empires productive capacity and the importance of constantinople as a center of trade.

What was byzantine craft workers reputation for?

glassware, linen and woolen textiles, gems, jewelry, and fine works in gold and silver.

what was added to the list of products manufactured in the byzantine empire after the 6th century BCE?

high-quality silk textiles. Most important addition to the economy and Byzantine became the principle supplier to lands in the mediterranean basin. government closely supervised every step in the production and sale. Regulations allowed individuals to par

Describe trade in the byzantine economy.

Constantinople was maine clearing house for trade in western part of Eurasia. merchants of constantinople maintained direct commercial links with manufacturers and merchants in central asia, russia, scandinavia, northern europe and the lands of the black

what was the bezant?

the byzantine gold coin that became the standard currency of the mediterranean basin from the sixth through the twelfth centuries.

what did byzantium draw enormous wealth from?

the control of trade and the levying of customs duties on merchandise that passed through its lands. Served as the western anchor of a Eurasian trading network that revived the silk roads of classical times.

What helped to fuel byzantine trade?

banks and business partnerships. Banks advanced loans to individuals seeking to launch business ventures and thus made trade possible even when merchants did not personally posses large supplies of liquid wealth. partnerships allowed them to pool their re

What was constantinople referred to as by the subjects of the Byzantine empire?

The City. The heart was an imperial palace. gold pineapple fountain that spouted wine.

Describe life for women in constantinople

did not receive visitors from outside the household. often did not participate in banquets and parties.

Describe the dwellings of the lower class in constantinople

artisans and craftsworkers in rooms above shops, clerks and gov officials in multistory apartment buildings, workers and the poor in dangerous tenements.

Describe the attractions of Constantinople

city of baths. taverns and restaurants. theaters. Hippodrome-large stadium adjacent to the imperial palace. Chariot races.

What were the factions of the chariot racing fans?

the greens and the blues. fought in streets and tried to influence imperial officials to favor one group or another. one time united a mounted a serious popular uprising against high taxes imposed by justinian. 532 seized the Hippodrome and proclaimed a n

What was the official language of early Constantinople?

local inhabitants spoke greek, official language was latin. after 6th century, greek replaced latin as the language of the empire.

What did Byzantine scholars study?

drew intellectual inspiration from the new testament and the philosophy and literature of classical greece.

Describe Byzantine education

aristocrats usually hired tutors to provide private education for children. state organized school system that offered primary education in reading, writing, grammar, followed by studies of classical greek literature, philosophy, and science.

what was at the pinnacle of the state educational system in constantinople?

a school of higher learning that offered advanced education in law, medicine, and philosophy. 425 CE until 1453.

Describe Byzantine scholars

reflected the cultural legacy of classical greece. focused on the humanities-literature, history, and philosophy-rather than natural sciences or medicine. produced commentaries on homer, plato, and aristotle---textbooks for schools alongside writing from

Describe Byzantines with a literary education

considered themselves direct heirs of classical greece, went to great lengths to preserve and transmit the classical legacy. almost all literary and philosophical works of classical greece that survive have come down to present in copies made between the

Describe Byzantine Christianity

close relationship with the imperial government. Caesaropapist emperors participated actively in religious and theological matters. q

What did Constantine instigate in 325 CE

organized the council of Nicaea, brought together bishops, spokesmen, and leaders from all important christian churches to consider the views of the arians.

Who were the arians

followers of the priest from Alexandria named Arius (250-336 CE). Arians taught that jesus had been a mortal human being and that he was a creation of God rather than a divine being coeternal with God. many christians however thought that jesus was both a

How did the Byzantine emperors treat the church as a department of the state?

they appointed individuals to serve as patriarch of Constantinople-the highest ecclesiastical official in the Byzantine church, counterpart of the pope in rome-and they instructed patriarchs, bishops, and priests to deliver sermons that supported imperial

Describe Iconoclasm

inaugurated by emperor Leo III (717-741). 726, destroying religious images and prohibiting their use in churches. 843 abandoned their efforts.

Describe the theology of Byzantine Christianity

influence of classical greek philosophy. christian revelation and greek philosophy. Theologians spent time in examination of religious questions from a philosophical point of view. Debates about the nature of jesus and the extent to which he posses both h

Describe the Byzantine laity

had little interest in fine points of theology or high level church administration and resented policies like iconoclasm that infringed on cherished patterns of worship. looked to local monasteries for religious inspiration.

Describe Byzantine monasticism

extreme asceticism and self denial. some went to live in desert or in caves as hermits. others to celibacy, fasting, and prayer. St. Simeon Stylite, pillar saints. disciples gathered around these extreme ascetics and thus formed the earliest monasteries o

Describe the reforms of Saint Basil of Caesarea (329-379) the patriarch of constantinople during mid 4th century

In Basilian monasteries, monks and nuns gave up their personal possessions and lived communally. obeyed the rule of elected superiors and all community members devoted themselves to work and prayer. Did not become centers of education. Peity and devotion

Describe Mt. Athos

a cold and windswept peninsula in Northern Greece that has been the site of monasteries since the ninth century CE. banned women

Describe the social services monks and nuns provided to their communities

provided spiritual counsel to local laity, organized relief efforts to communities struct by disaster. opposed iconoclasm.

What issues divided the churches of Constantinople and Rome?

Western religions regarded religious images as perfectly appropriate aids to devotion and resented Byzantine claims to the contrary. The iconoclasts took offense at the efforts of Romans to have images restored to Byzantium. forms of worship and the preci

What happened in 1024

The patriarch and Pope mutually excommunicated each other, each refusing to recognize the other church as properly christian. easter christian church is the Eastern Orthodox Church and its western counterpart as the Roman Catholic Church.

what did Byzantines call themselves

Romaioi (romans)

Describe the domestic problems that arose in the Byzantine empire after Basil II who died in 1025 CE.

Arose from the success of the theme system. Generals who governed the themes were natural allies of local aristocrats who held large tracts of land. Generals and their offspring intermarried with local aristocrats, creating a super powerful elite class. s

Describe the foreign challenges Byzantium began to face

from west came expanding western european society. early 11th cent the normans-scandinavians who had seized and settled in normandy-become independent power in southern Italy. Robert Guiscard led them. 12-13 cents crusades-recaputre jerusalem and other si

where were the slavic people located?

eastern Europe and Russia. Close relationships between Byzantium and Slavic peoples date from the sixth century.

Describe what happened when Justinian deployed Byzantium military resources in the western mediterranean

slavic peoples from north moved into Byzantine territory. Serbs and Croats moved into Balkan peninsula and bulgars established a powerful kingdom in lower Danube region.

Describe the relationship between Byzantine and Bulgarian Society

tense. end or eight century, b/c of wealth and sophisticated diplomacy, Byzantium had begun to influence Bulgarian politics and society. Byzantine emperors recognized Bulgarian rulers, enhancing their status as legitimate sovereigns. political, commercial

Describe Byzantine missionary efforts

Sent missionaries to balkan lands and bulgars and other slavic people began to convert to orthodox christianity.

Who were Saints Cyril and Methodius

most famous of missionaries to the slavs. mid ninth century conducted missions in Bulgaria and Moravia. devised Cyrillic alphabet-adapted from written greek but represented the sounds of slavic people.

What did the creation of a written slavic language enable?

enabled slavic peoples to organize complex political structures and develop sophisticated traditions of thought and literature. stimulated conversion to orthodox christianity.

what did the russians do about the mid ninth century

created several principalities governed from thriving trading centers, kiev on Dnieper river on main trade route linking Scandinavia and Byzantium. Dominated much of the territory between the volga and the Dnieper 10-13 cents.

What did prince Vladimir of Kiev do in 989

converted to Orthodox Christianity. After his conversion, Byzantine influences flowed rapidly into Russia. for two centuries Kiev served as a conduit for the spread of Byzantien cultural and religious influence in Russia. Byzantine art and architecture do