Byzantine Empire

    The Byzantine Empire, or Byzantium, began in 380 and lasted until 1453 A.D. It lasted over 1000 years. The Byzantine  Empire followed after the Roman Empire. When the Roman Empire was declining the emperor decided to split the empire in half to make it easier to govern. Eventually civil wars broke out in the western empire, but the eastern empire remained fairly stable. Emperor Constantine decided to create a new capital in the eastern half, and named it Constantinople. The eastern half continued to survive and thrive, while the western half collapsed in around 476 A.D. The Byzantine Empire was located between the entrance to the Black sea, and Mediterranean sea. Because of this, trade between Europe, Asia, and North Africa had to pass through the Byzantine Empire. The strategical placing of this empire caused it to become very wealthy for some time.

The Byzantine Empire was located between the entrance to the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea.

The byzantine Empire in Comparison

    The Byzantine Empire differed from the Roman Empire in many ways. The Byzantine Empire was able to last almost twice as long as the Roman Empire because it had an organized government. The Byzantine Empire did not grow too large, and the empire minded its own business. One difference between the Roman and Byzantine Empires was the capital. The capital in the Roman Empire was Rome, but the capital in the Byzantine Empire was Constantinople. Both Empires were Christian, but followed a different form. The Roman Empire was Roman Catholic, and the Byzantine Empire was Eastern, or Greek, Orthodox. The language spoken was also different. The Roman Empire spoke latin, whereas the Byzantine Empire spoke Greek. The Roman Empire was the western half of the old Roman Empire. When the Roman Empire collapsed, it fell into the dark ages. The Byzantine Empire was the eastern half of the old Roman Empire. It grew strong and lasted 1000 years.

The eastern and western halves of the old Roman Empire

Impact on Russia

     Many Byzantine ideas were introduced to Russia through trade. One of the ideas introduced to Russia was the Byzantine Empire's religion, Greek Orthodox. Once this religion spread to Russia it also became known as Russian Orthodox. Another idea was the Cyrillic Alphabet. This was a writing system named for a Greek Monk, St. Cyril. There is dispute whether he actually invented it though. It is believed that two missionaries, Cyril and another person, Methodius, wanted to spread ideas of Christianity to Slavic people. They could not teach it though, because the Slavs had no written language, so they created the Cyrillic Alphabet. Other ideas spread were the Byzantine Empire's art work, such as mosaics, and Architecture.

Cyrillic Alphabet


     The Byzantine Empire made contributions to our society. One contribution was Justinian's Code. These were the laws of the Byzantine Empire. They were based on the "Twelve Tables" of Roman law. This became a basis for laws in many European Nations. The Byzantine Empire also contributed art and architecture, which was supported by the Christian Church.

Justinian's Code


     The Byzantine Empire did some very important things, one was the preservation of the Roman and Greek culture.When the western empire collapsed in 476 many libraries and places of learning were destroyed. Books and important information were burned and much of the knowledge of Roman and Greek civilization was lost. However, the eastern half of the old Roman empire, The Byzantine Empire, survived. The Byzantine Empire preserved many of the Greek and Roman advancements, on of them being Justinian's code. Another important thing was cultural diffusion. Not only did the Byzantine Empire preserve the Roman and Greek culture, it spread the ideas to other parts of the world.

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