Essay Byzantium versus Western Europe

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The Eastern part of the Roman Empire held imperial power headed by the city Byzantium later renamed Constantinople after the emperor Constantine (316). It remained the capital until Charlemagne revived the Western Empire (316). Between 324 and 330, “the Byzantine Empire passed from an early period of expansion and splendor to a time of sustained contradiction and splintering and, finally, catastrophic defeat” (316). The first period; between 324 and 632, of Byzantine history experienced great successes territorially, politically, and culturally (317). Especially, under the reign of Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora; both intelligent and tough; even to the extent of being called tyrants by their court historian and biographer (317-18). …show more content…
However, the Slavs eventually converted to Byzantine Christianity and after the King of Moravia turned to Constantinople for aid against the Franks, The Byzantine Emperor sent missionaries to evangelize the people (321). This led to the creation of a Greek-based alphabet followed by a written language used to permeate Byzantine Christianity throughout eastern Europe (321). During the reign of Heraclius, the emperor spent his entire reign resisting Persian and Islamic invasions (321). He defeated the Persian King Chosroes however, after 632, Islamic armies overran the empire (321). The reign of Leo III ended the raid of Arab armies and allowed the empire to regain most of Asia Minor (321). Unfortunately, the empire was still forced to reconstruct and downsize (321). This was done by “creating locally governed and garrisoned provincial strongholds; the new system made a more disciplined and flexible use of military power” (321). Constantinople was vital to the Empire because of its prosperity (321). The cities’ riches attracted merchants from afar who either married Byzantine citizens and settled independently or operated in quarters (321). By 1143, the empire had Genoan, Pisan, French, Venetian, Jewish, and Muslim quarters which provided financial support as well as helped to defend the city (321). The palace body guards; known as the Varangian Guard, were primarily Scandinavian and English soldiers who came to the city for a piece

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