The Byzantine Empire and Russia The Byzantine Empire



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The Byzantine Empire and Russia

The Byzantine Empire

  • Objectives
    • Identify the factors that contributed to the growth & strength of the Byzantine Empire
    • Explain how the Christian church came to be divided
    • Analyze the cultural contributions made by the Byzantines
    • Explain the factors that contributed to the down fall of the Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire

  • Justinian Code was a collection of Roman laws
    • Code- contained useful Roman laws
    • Digest- summarized Roman legal opinions
    • Institutes- guide for law students
    • Novellae- laws passed after AD 534

Byzantine Empire

  • Justinian Code
    • Formed basis of Byzantine law
    • Provided framework for many European legal systems
    • Preserved Roman idea that people should be ruled by laws, not by leaders whims
  • Able Advisors
    • Theodora- encouraged Justinian to increase women's rights
      • Altered divorce laws, allowed Christian women to own property equal to a dowry
    • Belisarius- General of the army, ended Nika revolt

Strengths of the Empire

  • Strong and Centralized Government
  • Officials were skilled, efficient, well paid
  • Created alliances through marriages
  • Military forces well trained, weapons/armor well designed
    • Greek Fire- chemical weapon of the Navy, liquid that burst into flames
  • Eastern Roman Empire
    • Constantinople was source of strength, location allowed control of sea trade routes between Europe and Asia

The Christian Church

  • Icon- holy picture of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, or the Saints
  • Iconoclasts- believed having icons was the same as worshipping idols
  • Iconoclastic Controversy was a battle about the use of icons in the Christian Church

The Christian Church

  • Roman Catholic
  • Clergy
  • No Married Priests
  • Married Priest allowed
  • Icons
  • No icons allowed
  • Icons rejected at first then later accepted
  • Leadership
  • Roman Pope was supreme church authority
  • Patriarch of Constantinople
  • Trinity
  • Accepted Holy Trinity
  • Believed God the Father was more important than the Son or Holy Spirit

Byzantine Culture

  • Cyril and Methodius created the Cyrillic alphabet to teach the Bible to Slavs
  • Art
    • Religion was the main subject
    • Murals, Paintings, icons, and mosaics
    • Location of image important
    • Helped people look toward the afterlife

Byzantine Culture

  • Architecture

The Decline

  • After Justinian died the empire was weakened and taken over by various groups from different locations
    • The Seljuiq Turks capture of Asia Minor affected the empire because it was a source for food and soldiers.
    • Western Roman Empire helped regain Constantinople but later captured the city
  • The Byzantine Empire was conquered by the Ottoman Turks

The Rise of Russia

  • Objectives
    • Explain why different peoples settled in Eastern Europe
    • Describe how Kievan Russia differed from the Byzantine Empire

The Setting and People

  • Ural Mountains serve as a border between Europe and Asia
  • The steppe covers the southern part of the great plains of Russia
  • Rivers crisscross the plain to provide transportation
  • Eastern Europe primarily populated by the Slavs
  • Vikings moved into Eastern Europe to build trade routes

Kievan Russia

  • Cities of Kiev and Novgorod lie along the Viking trade route
  • Rurik- leader of the Rus people
  • Kiev prospered bc of location as trade route between Constantinople and the Baltic Sea
  • Kiev served as the capital for 300 years

Kievan Government

  • Governed by princes and a council of nobles called boyars
  • Held town meetings (veche) to and discuss important matters…war and disputes between princes
  • Yaroslav the wise introduced the Pravda Russkia, a code of laws
  • “Russian Justice” was a combination of fines and vengeance

Kievan Religion

  • Traders and Greek missionaries brought Christianity to the area
  • Vladimir I- 1st Russian ruler to convert to Christianity in order to marry Byzantine emperor daughter
  • Ordered Kievan Russia to become Christian
  • Many worshipped the spirits of their ancestors or gods of nature
  • Religious writings, singing, and art dominated the culture

Kievan Economy

  • 2 agricultural regions, the steppe and taiga
  • Traded agricultural products and provided slaves to the Byzantines
  • Trade helped develop Kievan into a strong, wealthy power
  • Kievan Class Society
    • Local Princes and family
    • Boyars
    • Town Artisans and merchants devoted to trade
    • Peasants, produced all crops that fed Russia
    • Clergy- performed religious ceremonies and ran the hospitals and charities

Russia and the Mongols

  • Objectives
    • Identify the ways in which Mongol rule affected Kievan Russia.
    • Describe the effects of Moscow’s growing power and independence.

Attacks on Kiev

  • Reasons for decline
    • Declined due to infighting among Kievan rulers sons
    • Turkish Polovtsy controlled trade south of Kiev
    • Competition with Italian city-states that developed new trade routes
    • The sacking of Kiev
    • Mongol Invasion

Kievan under the Mongols

  • Ruled from 1240 to about 1500
  • Gained wealth by taxing heavily
  • Used peasants for as labor for projects
  • Mongol influence
    • Built roads to improve transportation
    • Improved communication
    • Customs, traditions, behavior, and some language entered Russian Society

Kievan Russia & its neighbor

  • Lithuania and Poland established hostile kingdom to the eastern Slavs
  • Poland converted to Catholicism (Western Christianity)
  • Other Slavs kept the eastern Orthodox religion
  • Slavs become suspicious of Western Europeans

Rise of Moscow

  • Prince Ivan I was known as the Great Prince by the Mongols
  • Head of the Orthodox Church moved to Moscow
  • Ivan the Great
    • Took control and power away from the Mongols
    • Established independent state of Russia
    • Began absolute monarchy in Russia

Ivan IV…the Terrible

  • Became heir to throne at age of 3
  • Took the title of czar
  • Developed modern legal system and code
  • Renewed trade with Western Europe
  • Formed the oprichniki to arrest boyars
  • Laid foundation for new Russian state that stretched from Siberia to the Caspian Sea

Church Growth

  • Grew richly by acquiring land and donations
  • Became the center of the Orthodox Church after the fall of Constantinople
  • Called Moscow the “Third Rome”
  • Elaborate dome churches
  • Thought churches would inspire people & make Russia the spiritual light to the whole world.


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