Eastern Christendom after the fall of Rome


End came1453Turkic Ottoman Empire finally took Constantinople



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End came1453Turkic Ottoman Empire finally took Constantinople

  1. The Church

  1. Caesaropapismemperor assumed role of both “Caesar”head of state and popehead of the Church

  2. Emperor appointed the patriarch, or leader, of the Orthodox Church

  3. Byzantine churches were filled with icons – religious paintings

  1. Religious Differences: East and West

  1. Disagreements about nature of Trinity

  2. Between 726 and 843, Eastern Orthodox Church, on orders from emperors, took offensive against icons, arguing that they were “idols”

  1. Known as iconoclasm, involved destruction of icons and generated opposition within Byzantium until it was ended

  2. But iconoclasm was also offensive within Roman Catholic circles for most Roman Popes were supporters of icon veneration

  1. Priests in West shavedafter 1050, to remain celibate, while in Byzantiumallowed beards to grow long-permitted to marry Eastern leaders rejected claims of Roman popes to be sole authority for all

  2. By 1054, representatives of both churches mutually excommunicated each other (Great Schism)

  3. Crusades, launched in 1095 by Catholic pope against forces of Islam, made things worse as Crusaders passing through Byzantine Empire engaged in frequent conflict with local people




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