Guided practice: continuity and change in the Byzantine Empire (article) | Khan Academy
After the Eastern Roman Empire's much later fall in CE, western scholars began calling it the ” Byzantine Empire ” to emphasize its distinction from the. Alternative Titles: Byzantium, East Rome, Eastern Roman Empire . Nor did hostility always characterize the relations between Byzantines and those whom they. Initially the relation between the two empires was really rocky. This state of bad relations existed even before Charlemagne declared himself emperor, in fact it.
Justin's successor, Tiberius IIchoosing between his enemies, awarded subsidies to the Avars while taking military action against the Persians. Although Tiberius' general, Mauriceled an effective campaign on the eastern frontier, subsidies failed to restrain the Avars.Comparing Roman and Byzantine Empires - AP US History - Khan Academy
They captured the Balkan fortress of Sirmium inwhile the Slavs began to make inroads across the Danube. Maurice's treaty with his new brother-in-law enlarged the territories of the Empire to the East and allowed the energetic Emperor to focus on the Balkans. Bya series of successful Byzantine campaigns had pushed the Avars and Slavs back across the Danube. A revolt broke out under an officer named Phocas, who marched the troops back to Constantinople; Maurice and his family were murdered while trying to escape.
Fresco by Piero della Francescac. He was eventually deposed in by Heracliuswho sailed to Constantinople from Carthage with an icon affixed to the prow of his ship. After this, the Sassanid army was forced to withdraw to Anatolia.
The loss came just after news had reached them of yet another Byzantine victory, where Heraclius's brother Theodore scored well against the Persian general Shahin. The Byzantine Empire in — Because of the Byzantine—Sasanian War of — both Byzantines and Persians exhausted themselves and made them vulnerable for the expansion of the Caliphate. In the Byzantine Empire had lost all of its southern provinces except the Exarchate of Africa to the Caliphate.
At the same time the Slavs laid pressure and settled in the Balkans. The main Sassanid force was destroyed at Nineveh inand in Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem in a majestic ceremony,  as he marched into the Sassanid capital of Ctesiphonwhere anarchy and civil war reigned as a result of the enduring war. Eventually, the Persians were obliged to withdraw all armed forces and return Sassanid-ruled Egyptthe Levant and whatever imperial territories of Mesopotamia and Armenia were in Roman hands at the time of an earlier peace treaty in c.
The war had exhausted both the Byzantines and Sassanids, however, and left them extremely vulnerable to the Muslim forces that emerged in the following years. The Arabs, now firmly in control of Syria and the Levantsent frequent raiding parties deep into Asia Minor, and in — laid siege to Constantinople itself. The Arab fleet was finally repulsed through the use of Greek fireand a thirty-years' truce was signed between the Empire and the Umayyad Caliphate. The city also lost the free grain shipments inafter Egypt fell first to the Persians and then to the Arabs, and public wheat distribution ceased.
This system may have had its roots in certain ad hoc measures taken by Heraclius, but over the course of the 7th century it developed into an entirely new system of imperial governance.
Twenty Years' Anarchy The withdrawal of large numbers of troops from the Balkans to combat the Persians and then the Arabs in the east opened the door for the gradual southward expansion of Slavic peoples into the peninsula, and, as in Asia Minor, many cities shrank to small fortified settlements.
InByzantine forces sent to disperse these new settlements were defeated. InConstantine IV signed a treaty with the Bulgar khan Asparukhand the new Bulgarian state assumed sovereignty over a number of Slavic tribes that had previously, at least in name, recognised Byzantine rule. He was driven from power inand took shelter first with the Khazars and then with the Bulgarians. Until those two provinces were lost to Islam in the 7th century, each Eastern emperor had to somehow cope with their separatist tendencies as expressed in the heresy.
He had either to take arms against miaphysitism and attempt to extirpate it by force, to formulate a creed that would somehow blend it with dyophysitism, or to frankly adopt this position as his own belief. None of those three alternatives proved successful, and religious hostility was not the least of the disaffections that led Egypt and Syria to yield, rather readily, to the Arab conqueror. If ever the East Roman emperor was to reassert his authority in the West, he necessarily had to discover a formula that would satisfy Western orthodoxy while not alienating non-Chalcedonian Christians.
The empire at the end of the 5th century In the reign of Anastasius I —all those tendencies of the 5th century found their focus: Acclaimed and elected as the Roman and Orthodox emperor who would end both the hated hegemony of the Isaurians and the detested activity of the purported monophysites, Anastasius succeeded in the first of those objectives while failing in the second.
While he defeated the Isaurians and transported many of them from their Anatolian homeland into Thrace, he gradually came to support non-Chalcedonian Christianity despite the professions of Orthodoxy he had made upon the occasion of his coronation. If his policies won him followers in Egypt and Syria, they alienated his Orthodox subjects and led, finally, to constant unrest and civil war. An inflation of the copper currency, prevailing since the age of Constantine, finally ended with welcome results for those members of the lower classes who conducted their operations in the base metal.
Responsibility for the collection of municipal taxes was taken from the members of the local senate and assigned to agents of the praetorian prefect. Trade and industry were probably stimulated by the termination of the chrysargyron, a tax in gold paid by the urban classes. If, by way of compensating for the resulting loss to the state, the rural classes had then to pay the land tax in money rather than kind, the mere fact that gold could be presumed to be available in the countryside is a striking index of rural prosperity.
In the East, the economic resurgence of the 4th century had persisted, and it is not surprising that Anastasius enriched the treasury to the extent ofpounds of gold during the course of his reign. In the course of the 4th century, new sources of hostility emerged as East Rome became a Christian empire. Hostilities were exacerbated when Armenialying to the north between the two realms, converted to Christianity and thus seemed to menace the religious integrity of Persia. If small-scale warfare during the 4th and 5th centuries rarely erupted into major expeditions, the threat to Rome nonetheless remained constant, demanding vigilance and the construction of satisfactory fortifications.
Bythe balance might be said to have tipped in the favour of Persia as it won away the cities of Theodosiopolis, Amida, and Nisibis. The years of achievement to Justinian is but one example of the civilizing magic that Constantinople often worked upon the heirs of those who ventured within its walls. Justin, the uncle, was a rude and illiterate soldier; Justinian, the nephew, was a cultivated gentleman, adept at theologya mighty builder of churches, and a sponsor of the codification of Roman law.
The history of East Rome during that period illustrates, in classical fashion, how the impact of war can transform ideas and institutions alike. The reign opened with external warfare and internal strife. From Lazica to the Arabian Desert, the Persian frontier blazed with action in a series of campaigns in which many of the generals later destined for fame in the West first demonstrated their capacities.
The strength of the East Roman armies is revealed in the fact that, while containing Persian might, Justinian could nonetheless dispatch troops to attack the Huns in Crimea and to maintain the Danubian frontier against a host of enemies.
In Justinian decided to abandon military operations in favour of diplomacy. Thus, Justinian succeeded in attaining the first of the objectives needed for reconquest in the West: Even before his accession, Justinian had aided in the attainment of the second.
Shortly after his proclamation as emperor, Justin had summoned a council of bishops at Constantinople. The council reversed the policies of Anastasius, accepted the Christological formula of Chalcedon, and called for negotiations with the pope.
Justinian had personally participated in the ensuing discussions, which restored communion between Rome and all the Eastern churches save Egypt. In the same year ofJustinian survived a revolt in Constantinople, stemming from the Nika riot, which initially threatened his life no less than his throne but, in the event, only strengthened his position.
To understand the course of events, it is essential to remember that Constantinople, like other great East Roman cities, often had to depend upon its urban militia, or demes, to defend its walls.
Coinciding with divisions within the demes were factions organized to support rival charioteers competing in the horse races: It was originally thought that those two factions were divided by differing political and religious views and that those views were aired to the emperor during the races. More-recent scholarship has shown that the factions were seldom motivated by anything higher than partisan fanaticism for their respective charioteers. Angered at the severity with which the urban prefect had suppressed a riot, the Blues and the Greens first united and freed their leaders from prison; they insisted then that Justinian dismiss from the office two of his most-unpopular officials: John of Cappadocia and Tribonian.
Even though the emperor yielded to their demands, the crowd was not appeased, converted its riot into a revolt, and proclaimed a nephew of Anastasius as emperor. Justinian was saved only because the empress, Theodora, refused to yield.
In those early years of the s, Justinian could indeed pose as the pattern of a Roman and Christian emperor. Latin was his language, and his knowledge of Roman history and antiquities was profound. Called the Codex Constitutionum and partly founded upon the 5th-century Theodosian Code, it comprised the first of four works compiled between and called the Corpus Juris Civilis Body of Civil Lawcommonly known as the Code of Justinian.
In the latter work, order and system were found in or forced upon the contradictory rulings of the great Roman jurists; to facilitate instruction in the schools of law, a textbook, the Institutioneswas designed to accompany the Digesta. Meanwhile, architects and builders worked apace to complete the new Church of the Holy Wisdom, Hagia Sophiadesigned to replace an older church destroyed in the course of the Nika revolt.
Byzantine diplomacy - Wikipedia
In five years they had constructed the edifice, and it stands today as one of the major monuments of architectural history. When King Hilderich was deposed and replaced, Justinian could rightfully protest that action taken against a monarch who had ceased persecution of North African Catholics and had allied himself with Constantinople. Success came with surprising ease after two engagements, and in Justinian set about organizing that new addition to the provinces of the Roman Empire.
Those were, in fact, years of major provincial reorganization, and not in North Africa alone. A series of edicts dated in andclearly conceived as part of a master plan by the prefect John of Cappadociaaltered administrative, judicial, and military structures in Thrace and Asia Minor. In general, John sought to provide a simplified and economical administrative structure in which overlapping jurisdictions were abolished, civil and military functions were sometimes combined in violation of Constantinian principles, and a reduced number of officials were provided with greater salaries to secure better personnel and to end the lure of bribery.
Developments during and in Ostrogothic Italy made it the most likely victim after the fall of Vandal North Africa. Inas ina small tentative expedition sent to the West—in that instance, to Sicily—met with easy success. There the progress of East Roman arms proved slower, and victory did not come until when Belisarius captured Ravennathe last major stronghold in the north, and, with it, King Witigisa number of Gothic nobles, and the royal treasure.
All were dispatched to Constantinople, where Justinian was presumably thankful for the termination of hostilities in the West. During the seventh and eighth centuries, attacks from the Persian Empire and from Slavs, combined with internal political instability and economic regression, threatened the stability of the empire.
A new, even more serious threat arose in the form of Islamfounded by the prophet Muhammad in Mecca in InMuslim armies began their assault on the Byzantine Empire by storming into Syria. Iconoclasm During the eighth and early ninth centuries, Byzantine emperors beginning with Leo III in spearheaded a movement that denied the holiness of icons, or religious images, and prohibited their worship or veneration.
Though it stretched over less territory, Byzantium had more control over trade, more wealth and more international prestige than under Justinian. The strong imperial government patronized Byzantine art, including now-cherished Byzantine mosaics. Rulers also began restoring churches, palaces and other cultural institutions and promoting the study of ancient Greek history and literature.
Greek became the official language of the state, and a flourishing culture of monasticism centered on Mount Athos in northeastern Greece. Monks administered many institutions orphanages, schools, hospitals in everyday life, and Byzantine missionaries won many converts to Christianity among the Slavic peoples of the central and eastern Balkans including Bulgaria and Serbia and Russia.
The Crusades The end of the 11th century saw the beginning of the Crusadesthe series of holy wars waged by European Christians against Muslims in the Near East from to As armies from France, Germany and Italy poured into Byzantium, Alexius tried to force their leaders to swear an oath of loyalty to him in order to guarantee that land regained from the Turks would be restored to his empire.
After Western and Byzantine forces recaptured Nicaea in Asia Minor from the Turks, Alexius and his army retreated, drawing accusations of betrayal from the Crusaders.
During the subsequent Crusades, animosity continued to build between Byzantium and the West, culminating in the conquest and looting of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade in Many refugees from Constantinople fled to Nicaea, site of a Byzantine government-in-exile that would retake the capital and overthrow Latin rule in Fall of the Byzantine Empire During the rule of the Palaiologan emperors, beginning with Michael VIII inthe economy of the once-mighty Byzantine state was crippled, and never regained its former stature.