Byzantine empire

The Byzantine empire was in the early 400s to 1457 AD.

The byzantine empire was the eastern half of the old roman empire.The Byzantine Empire, and its capital of Constantinople, held a geographical significance.  Constantinople is located right between the Black Sea and the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea.  As a result most trade between Asia, Europe and North Africa had to go through the Byzantine Empire.  Due to
the location, the Byzantine became a very wealthy empire for a

Located on the European side of the Bosporusthe strait connected the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, the site of Byzantium was mostly located to serve as a passing and trade point between Europe and Asia Minor. In 330 A.D., Roman Emperor Constantine picked Byzantium as the site of a new Roman capital, Constantinople. Five years earlier, at the Council of Nicaea, Constantine chose Christianity  as Rome's official religion. The citizens of Constantinople and the rest of the Eastern Roman Empire identified strongly as Romans and Christians, though many of them spoke Greek and not Latin.

Though Constantine ruled over a unified Roman Empire until the year 337. In 364, Emperor Valentinian I again divided the empire into western and eastern sections, placed himself in power in the west and his brother Valens in the east. The fate of the two regions split  greatly over the next several centuries. In the west, repeatedly  attacks from German invaders such as the Visigoths broke the struggling empire down piece by piece until Italy was the only territory left under Roman control. In 476, the barbarian Odoacer removed forcibly  the last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustus, and Rome had fallen.

Survival of the Byzantine Empire

The eastern half of the Roman Empire proved less exposed to external attack, thanks in part to its geographic location. With Constantinople located on a strait, it was extremely difficult to attack the capital's defenses; in addition, the eastern empire had a much shorter common frontier with Europe. It also benefited greatly from a stronger center and internal political steadiness, as well as great wealth compared with other states of the early medieval period. The eastern emperors were able to exert more control over the empire's economic resources and more efficiently muster sufficient manpower to combat invasion. As a result of these advantages, the Eastern Roman Empire known as the Byzantine Empire was able to survive for 1000 years after the fall of Rome.

Though Byzantium was ruled by Roman law and Roman political organizations, and its official language was Latin, Greek was also widely spoken, and students received education in Greek history, literature and culture. In terms of religion, the Council of Chalcedon in 451  established the division of the Christian world into five areas, each ruled by a patriarch: Rome (where the patriarch would later call himself pope), Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem. The Byzantine emperor was the head of Constantinople, and the head of both church and state.

The Byzantine Empire Under Justinian

Justinian I, was emperor from 527 and would rule until his death in 565, was the first great ruler of the Byzantine Empire. During the years of his reign, the empire included most of the land surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, as Justinian's armies took over part of the former Western Roman Empire, including North Africa. Many great monuments of the empire would be built under Justinian, including the domed Church of Holy Wisdom. Justinian also reformed and arranged Roman law, establishing a Byzantine legal code that would endure for centuries and help shape the modern concept of the state.

At the time of Justinian's death, the Byzantine Empire was supreme as the largest and most powerful state in Europe. Debts through war had left the empire in terrible financial straits, however, and his successors were forced to heavily tax Byzantine citizens in order to keep the empire afloat. In addition, the  army was stretched too thin, and would struggle to maintain the territory conquered during Justinian's rule. During the seventh and eighth centuries, attacks by Persians and Slavs, combined with internal political instability and economic recession, threatened the empire. A new, even more serious threat came across in the form of Islam, founded by the prophet Muhammad in Mecca in 622. In the year 634, Muslim armies began their assault on the Byzantine Empire by storming into Syria. By the end of the century, Byzantium would lose Syria, the Holy Land, Egypt and North Africa (among other territories) to the strong Islamic forces.

The Romans capital was Rome, the religion was roman catholic, the language was Latin, it was the western half of the old Roman Empire. it fell into the dark ages. Byzantine capital was Constantinople, the religion was eastern Greek Orthodox,  and the language was Greek. Byzantine was the eastern half of the old roman Empire it grew strong and lasted 1000 years.

The Byzantine empire had a great impact on Russia. The eastern Orthodox spread to Russia (known as Russian Orthodox.) Many Byzantine ideas were introduced into Russia through trade. The ideas were the Cyrillic alphabet, art work (mosaics), religion, and architecture. There were many contributions to today's society  the Justinian`s code they were  the laws of the byzantine empire based on the twelve tables of roman law. The Justinian`s Laws  became a basis for laws in European nations. Art and Architecture usually supported the christian Church. The Byzantines were the preservers of Greek and Roman culture. Their empire saved the knowledge, art, and ideas of the old roman and Greek cultures.

The contributions to modern day society were the architecture from the Greeks. The Byzantine gave us the language Greek. They also gave us the eastern Greek Orthodox church. Contributions to modern day society was also the alphabet if they did not give us the alphabet we could not know how to talk the right way.

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