Byzantine Analysis

1226 Words 5 Pages
Byzantine was an empire lost to the void of time, its memory wiped from minds of all. Lars Brownworth, an established author, tried to do justice to the book and offer a voice to the ones drowned out by the pages of history. He told the stories of a great empire that served as a ground of rebirth for a crumbling Rome, rescuing it from a certain doom, in an attempt to expose one to the history of Byzantine vast enough to rival the lands of the empire during the reign of Justinian. The author pieces together the East and West, Byzantium and Rome, in an artful masterpiece as one would expect from someone who has as much distinguished work and experience as him. Mr. Brownworth was once a history teacher, and thus knows how to teach history in a …show more content…
Diocletian uses a tetrarchy, splitting the empire in two halves-East and West (p. 4). This split ultimately led to the fall of the West and the rise of the new Rome, Byzantium, in the East. Nineteen years after Diocletian came Constantine the Great. Constantine was the emperor who actually moved the capital of the Roman Empire to what was the eastern half Diocletian’s split, and established Constantinople, the city that would henceforth be the new capital of the Roman Empire. Constantine was the first Christian emperor, and under him, Rome would be reborn with Christian beliefs and Greek roots (p. 21). Julian the Apostate would later try to reconvert the empire to paganism, but it will have been to no avail (p. 37). Christianity has taken hold.Christianity was later made the sole religion of Rome in the age of Theodosius (p. 46). Although citizens still called themselves Roman for the whole duration of Byzantium’s existence and spoke Latin for some, the empire was never again the same (p. xvi). Brownworth illustrated a new Rome, Constantinople, gleaming in the new Christian light as it overtook the beliefs of the old Rome. The reign of Constantine, Julian, and Theodosius showed the fight between the new and old beliefs of Rome, which ultimately resulted in a Christian victory. Byzantium was not a separate empire, but instead, the new era of …show more content…
Justinian created the first comprehensible law code, the Codex, which is still the basis for many European courts and the state of Louisiana. The Codex helps prove the author’s point of Byzantine being a major influence on the modern world. Justinian, in addition, employed a brilliant general by the name of Belisarius, to reconquer lost territories, including Rome and Carthage. Carthage at the time was overrun with a barbarian group known as the Vandals who, under the leadership of Gelimer, resisted Byzantine rule. Belisarius made quick work of the Vandals, completely destroying them (p. 76; 89). Maybe if it were not for Belisarius’s total victory, parts of North Africa might still today contain traces of the Vandal legacy. But due to the Byzantine Empire, the Vandals are but a distant memory to today’s generation. Indeed, Belisarius had also succeeded in retaking Rome in the name of the emperor. But all the same, the future would not reflect the glitz and glory of Justinian’s Constantinople. “Justinian was...the last fleeting glimpse of an old [order]. Never again would such a visionary rule the empire, nor a man whose first language was Latin ever sit on its throne again.” (p. 113). The old Roman Empire was

Related Documents