Chapter 9: Civilizations in Eastern Europe: Byzantium and Orthodox Europe

The Byzantine Empire, the successor to Rome, built a lasting empire rooted in trade, expansion, and religion.

  • Byzantine Empire was the successor and direct continuation of Rome (eastern portion). The people were very proud of their Roman heritage. Empire lasted around 1000 years.

Civilization in Eastern Europe/Byzantine

  • Constantinople: capital of the Empire; a hub for inter-regional trade i.e. between Arabs, Byzantines, other parts of Asia and Europe
  • Justinian: (533 CE) tried to recover lost land in west, led to great expansion; constructed the Hagia Sophia; accomplished codification of Roman Law; western expansion weakened Empire
  • The state had power over the church
  • Women had power. Ex. Theodora
  • Had careful military organization.
  • Economic success was linked to control over countryside.

The Split Between the East and West Christianity

  • Schism between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholic religion sparked by: type of bread used during rituals; celibacy for priests; role of state vs. church
  • Churches followed different patterns of development: art, religious ideas, philosophical traditions
  • Empire collapse: Turkish invaders (Muslims) took over East. West denied the East help. The west moved closer to Holy Land. The collapse was major deal.

Spread of Civilizations in Eastern Europe

  • Byzantine government sent Missionaries to the Czech/Slovak republics but it was ineffective.
  • Roman Catholics were more successful in Missionary efforts

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