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Byzantium vs. greece
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Byzantium vs. greece



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  • 1. Alyssa Shannon<br />Period 1 <br />March 7, 2011<br />Compare Contrast Essay<br />Greece VS. Byzantium<br />Imagine a granddaughter talking to her grandmother who was born and raised in a foreign country. They are separated in time, but joined together by family roots. It may seem like they have no similarities, when in fact, these two women are very alike. Both share the will to become better people, although they may have different standards for what a ‘better person’ is; they have both experienced much of what life has to offer, although the grandmother may be more knowledgeable. Though a generation gap may exist, the one can still understand the other’s culture. This relationship is analogous to that of the empires of ancient Greece and Byzantium. These two empires have shared cultural roots, including a shared language, yet distinctions between the two exist, including their war military goals and religious practices.<br />That shared language and culture is due to the Roman conquer of the Macedonian Empire, of which Greece was a part of. The Romans, though conquerors of the Greeks, sustained the culture. As the Roman Empire extended around the Mediterranean region, the Greek culture spread east. As an eastern extension of the Roman Empire (commonly called New Rome), the Byzantine Empire adopted many of these Greek influences. By virtue of this common souvenir so too the language of the Greeks was assimilated. So that at the fall of the Roman Empire, which led to the rise of the Byzantine Empire. The language that was created in Greece was preserved in Byzantium. <br />It is known that each of these Empires’ militaries were respected. The Greek military’s priority, however, was to conquer new land. They focused on expansion. The Byzantine Empire’s main goal was to protect the land that the Roman Empire had attained before them. Because Byzantium was such a rich and fertile empire, barbarians saw opportunity there and often tried to wrest control of its resources. Due to this, defense became the priority of the Byzantine Empire and was where most of its military funds went.<br />To aid their warring, each empire turned to religion for aid. Yet, that is where the similarity ended. Where the Greek Empire was polytheistic, the Byzantine Empire was monotheistic. In Ancient Greece, the people believed multiple gods and goddesses each ruled over a certain aspect of life, and built great temples in their honor. The Byzantine Empire, however, as successors of a by then Christian Roman Empire built the foundations of the Christian church. They believed in a single God and also believed that Jesus Christ is their savior. Large churches were built in order to worship God. Both religions allowed the worship of religious idols. <br />The most obvious aspect of the relationship between the granddaughter and her grandmother is that they are two very different people. However, when looked at closely, you can see that they have similarities. The granddaughter models herself after the grandmother. In this way, Byzantium modeled quite a few of its cultural aspects after Greece, such as their language. Byzantium also changed many aspects of Greek culture, such as military techniques and religious practices. <br />Citations<br />"Everyday Life in Byzantium." Hellenic Macedonia. Ekdotike Athenon S.A., n.d. Web. 12 Dec 2010. <br /> <http://www.macedonian-heritage.gr/HellenicMacedonia/en/D2.1.html>.<br />"The Byzantine Empire." International World History Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Mar 2011. <http://www.neobyzantine.org/byzantium/army/index.php>.<br />"The Byzantine Empire." Ed. Austin, Texas: CNN, 2000. Print.<br />"Greece's Golden and Hellenistic Ages." Ed. Austin, Texas: CNN, 2000. Print.<br />