The Middle Ages: The Bizantine Empire

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Information about The Middle Ages: The Bizantine Empire

Published on September 19, 2013

Author: chusteacher



Created by María Jesús Campos, teacher of Social Studies, Geography and History in a bilingual section in Madrid (Spain)


THE FALL OF THE WESTERN ROMAN EMPIRE The fall of the Western Roman Empire after the conquest of Rome by the Ostrogoths in the year 476 A.D. meant the break-up of Mediterranean unity and the arose of new powers and civilizations as the Germanic Kingdoms, the Byzantine Empire and


THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE  While the Western Roman Empire dissapeared, the Eastern Roman Empire resisted the Germanic invasions and became prosperous.  It changed its name into Byzantine Empire. Its capital city was Constantinople.

 It prospered thanks to:  A well trained army.  An effective diplomatic policy.  A society united by religion and culture.

 In the 6th century, emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora tried to regain much of the old Roman Empire.  They conquered territories in the north of Africa, Sicily, Italy and southern territories in the Iberian Peninsula.  They also set up the Justinian Code which modernised Roman law.

 After Justinian’s death (6th century), the Byzantine Empire adopted Greek customs. Greek replaced latin as the official language.  The empire was attacked from all sides by Germanic tribes, Asiatic tribes and the Slavs. The Lombards recovered Italy, the Visigoths recovered the Spanish territories, the Muslims conquered the southern and eastern coasts of the Mediterranean.  Nevertheless, between the 9th and the 13th centuries the Byzantine Empire strengthened again thanks to a dynasty of strong kings. Constantinople became the cultural centre of the Mediterranean.

 Finally, during the 15th century, invasions and power struggles from within weakened the empire.  In the year 1453, the Ottoman Turks (Islamic Empire) conquered Constantinople assasinating the last Byzantine

The Ottoman Empire was going to survive until the 20th century. It dissapeared after the II World War.

BYZANTINE ART AND CULTURE  Constantinople became the cultural centre of the Mediterranean.  Art was absolutely concerned with religion.  Impressive buildings were built such as Hagia Sophia.  They used expensive materials and decorated the walls

Developed by María Jesús Campos Chusteacher wikiteacher

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