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Rise and Fall of Byzantium


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The Byzantine Empire lasted more than a thousand years and kept Roman politics, art, architecture, engineering, learning and military tactics alive. It acted as a buffer between the Muslim controlled Middle East and Christian Europe throughout the Dark Ages, and also allowed for the safe keeping of knowledge that helped incubate the Renaissance. Furthermore, it directly contributed to the emergence of the Crusades, which influenced Middle East/European politics and Christian/Muslim interactions through the present day.

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Rise and Fall of Byzantium

  1. 1.  During the lesson on the Qin, I mentioned that each of you as students of history ARE historians. Today each of you will show what your beliefs are about the fall of the Roman Empire, particularly the Eastern Roman Empire, or the Byzantine Empire. Put your thinking caps on! Just do your best!
  2. 2.  Simply put, a Historian examines information from the past and draws conclusions about their meaning.
  3. 3. The Byzantine Empire – Eastern Roman Empire
  4. 4. Emperor Constantine unites the Empire Moves the Capitol – builds Constantinople “By this symbol you shall conquer” Christian symbol painted on shields Christianity became state religion
  5. 5. •Emperor of Eastern Empire (Byzantium) •Sought to regain old Roman Empire •Want Mediterranean to be a “Roman Lake” •Instituted massive taxes •Raised money through deception •Raised mighty army •Retook most of old Roman Empire •Hagia Sophia – greatest Christian Cathedral •Codified Roman Law •Heavily supported the arts
  6. 6.  After a battle with the Lombards, the Byzantine Empire lost most of their lands in Italy.
  7. 7.  By 641 C.E., the Byzantine Empire had lost Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and North Africa to the Muslims after they sought to expand the word of the prophet Muhammad following his death in 632 C.E.
  8. 8.  They had a revival of their greatness for 200 years.
  9. 9.  Emperor Alexios I writes a letter to Pope Urban I in Rome asking for a few Knights to help defend against Muslim attacks. His letter ignites The Crusades in which nearly 80,000 Knights converge in Constantinople and attack the Holy Land and take Jerusalem.
  10. 10.   During 4th Crusade, Crusaders attack and take Constantinople. Empire never fully recovers.
  11. 11.  The Black death was a plague that swept through Europe and Asia. The weak empire couldn't stand against this last fatal blow. Historians say cities lost 30% - 50% of their population to death by bubonic plague.
  12. 12. Constantinople falls to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 after lengthy siege.  Ottomans use cannons to break thru walls  It is renamed Istanbul and remains so today.  The End
  13. 13.   List an advantage of a large empire in ancient history List a disadvantage or difficulty of a large empire in ancient times
  14. 14. Western Empire “Latin Empire” Emperor exercised total control Emperor strictly political Unable to be self supportive Capitol in Rome Isolated in trade Catholic Christianity/Pagan Overrun by “barbarian” tribes Fell 476 C.E. Eastern Empire “Greek Empire” Emperor relied on “4 Pillars” Emperor “Head of Church” Self supportive Capitol in Constantinople Traded heavily Eastern Orthodox Christianity Overrun by Ottoman Turk Empire Fell 1453 C.E.