Byzantine Empire Chapter 9 section 1

Built on the Hellenistic culture

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Built on the Hellenistic culture

  • Christian beliefs

  • Greek science, art and literature

  • Roman engineering


  • The city is located on the shores of the Bosporus Strait that links the Med. Sea to the Black Sea

  • It commanded key trade routes linking Europe and Asia, making it one of the busiest commercial centers

  • Excellent harbor guarded on 3 sides by water and could easily be defended

Life in Constantinople

  • Largest city in Europe in the Middle Ages

  • Based on trade until the 12th century/ Europe’s greatest center of Commerce

  • During Justinian’s reign, silkworms were smuggled from China to begin a silk industry.

  • The Church of Holy Wisdom or the Hagia Sophia

  • Hippodrome was an arena where gladiator fights & chariot races were held

  • Macedonians ruled the Byzantine Empire from 876-1081

  • Macedonians expanded the empire

  • Expanded trade relations w/ Western Europe

  • Late 11th century there was a lot of political & social disorder

Justinian I (483 –565) FlaviusPetrus Sabbatius Justinianus

  • Ruled from 527-565 A.D..

  • Byzantine empire reached greatest size

  • Wanted to recover what had been lost during the fall of Rome

  • Re-conquered N. Africa, Italy and southern Spain

  • Victories were temporary, some ending a few years after his death

  • The Nica Revolt on following fires in 532 caused the destruction of a large portion of the city

  • Justinian rebuilt Constantinople in classical style; among the architectural achievements was the huge church of Hagia Sophia

  • In 529 he closed the philosophical school of Athens, thus destroying the last stronghold of paganism.

  • 552: Byzantine monks sneak silkworms and mulberry out of China

  • He was heavy-handed towards heresies

  • He ruled as an autocrat, combining both his political and spiritual power, with his wife Theodora as an advisor.

Justinian Laws
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