Byzantine Empire Unit We will be learning about the Byzantine Empire in this next unit. By the end of the unit, we will know: Major events in Byzantine History Impact that the Byzantine Empire had on Eastern Europe and Russia Key vocabulary Byzantine’s impact on the preservation of Greco- Roman culture. The Basics Byzantine Empire forms from Eastern Roman Empire. Area is blend of Roman, Greek, and Christian culture. (Greco-Roman) Empire lasts from AD 330 to 1453. This civilization impacts Russia and Eastern Europe. Goals For Today Today we will: Identify what the ancient city of Constantinople was like by reading a quote about the city. Identify why the Capital city of the Roman Empire was moved to the city of Constantinople. Analyze why Constantinople was such a successful city. Quotation Activity “Now you may know that those who had never before seen Constantinople looked upon it very earnestly, for they never thought there could be in all the world so rich a city; and they marked the high walls and strong towers that enclosed it round about, and the rich palaces and mighty churches – of which there were so many that no one would have believed it who had not seen it with his eyes – and the height and length of that city which above all others was sovereign. And it be known to you, that no man there was of such hardihood but his flesh trembled; and it was no wonder, for never was so great an enterprise undertaken by any people since the creation of the world.” -Marzials’ G. De Villehardouin The Roman Empire Moves East Constantine moves capital of Roman Empire to Byzantium, renames it Constantinople Why? Far from invasions (Huns) Easier to defend on peninsula Closer to wealth of trade routes along Aegean and Black Seas. Today’s Big Question: “Why was Constantinople established as the Eastern Roman Empire (or Byzantine Empire)? Byzantine Empire Constantinople The original Greek city on this site was Byzantium. The location of Constantinople had many advantages. It was a waterway between great areas of trade in Europe and Asia. Its location allowed it to control land and water trade. It has a good harbor that creates a safe haven for fishing boats, merchants and warships It is protected by water on 3 sides. The 4th side is protected by a huge wall. It protects the Eastern frontier It is further away from Germany and it’s invaders. Map of Constantinople Constantinople cont… It took only FOUR years to build up Constantinople from the smaller town of Byzantium. The city was heavily influenced by Roman culture. It was located on several hills. Its government buildings and palaces were molded after those found in Rome. Constantinople even had a building like the Circus Maximus called the Hippodrome What did they do there? Constantinople cont. The political and social life was also modeled after Rome. The Emperor operated under Roman laws. The army followed Roman military customs. The poor received bread and were entertained by circuses and chariot races just like Rome. Where were the chariot races? The family was the center of social life. Most families made their living by farming, herding or working as laborers Citizens of Constantinople About 600,000 people lived in Constantinople during Constantine’s rule. Among them were Greeks, Turks, Italians, Slavs, Persians, Armenians, and Jews They spoke Greek to each other and Latin for official government business. Reflection Do you think Constantine was smart to move the capital from Rome to Byzantium (Constantinople)? Why yes or no?
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