Byzantine Empire
By: Nick and Ryan

Essential Question

What was the impact of the Byzantine Empire on the future empires?

Time Period, Capital, Rise and Fall

The Byzantine Empire lasted from 330 A.D to 1253 A.D. The capital was Constantinople, which Constantine dedicated to Eastern Rome. It was centrally located which was great for trad land and sea trade. Byzantium rose to existence by the foundation of the city Constantinople in 324 AD, and the final division to Eastern and Western Roman Empire didn't happen until 395 AD. It lasted until the year 1253 when Constantinople was conquered by the Turks. The crusaders took the city and Constantinople was pillaged and massacred for three days. Many priceless icons, relics, and other objects ended up in Western Europe, a large number in Venice.

Justinian and His Code

Justinian took power in 527 and was the first great ruler of the Byzantine Empire. He conquered part of former Western Rome an helped spread the Christian Religion. Under his rule he reformed and codified Roman Law, establishing a Byzantine legal code that helped shape the modern concept of the state.

Religion and Religious Changes

The Council of Chalcedon established the Christian world into five patriarchates, each ruled by a patriarch: Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. The Byzantine emperor was the patriarch of Constantinople and the head of both the church and state. He built the Hagia Sophia under the rule of Justinian. The Hagia Sophia was taken over the Ottomans, who later changed it to meet their Islamic needs. The church was closely tied to government, in fact it was treated as a department of the state. Justinian did not allow churches to profit from the sake of land. The church grew to a point where a typical city looks like a large religious community.

Greek Influence on Byzantium

The Greek language was widely spoken. The students receive education in Greek history, literature, and culture. The Greeks influenced architecture, language, and had more influence than Roman culture.

Critical Thinking Question

What are some of the impacts that Greece had on the Byzantine Empire?

Main Characteristics of The Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire maintained high levels of political, economical, and cultural activity. The leaders saw themselves as emperors. Constantinople was one of the best cities in the world because it was centrally locate which allowed for trade. Christianity became the main religion.


literature, art and theology. Byzantine culture would exert a great influence on the Western intellectual tradition, translating Greek pagan and Christian writings. Long after its “end,” Byzantine culture and civilization continued to exercise an influence on countries that practiced Christianity, including Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece. Justinian's codifying of the Roman Law was also a great achievement.

Don't Forget: Essential Question

What was the impact of the Byzantine Empire on future empires?


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  • Emmons, Jim Tschen. "Renaissance." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014
  • Papayianni, Aphrodite. "Byzantine Empire." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.
  • Rautman, Marcus. "pilgrimage in the Byzantine Empire." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.
  • The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright © 2000 Columbia University Press.

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