The Byzantine Empire was heir to the Eastern Roman Empire. Its capital was set in an ancient Greek colony: Byzantine, renamed by Rome Constantinople, now Istanbul.
The Roman Empire had great differences between East and West. West was basically rural, while the East was urban and industrialized. This gave East a strategic advantage in order to survive over the centuries.
Constantine the Great moved the capital of the Roman Empire Constantinople and the death of Theodosius the Great Roman Empire of East definitely separated from the West. The Old Eastern Roman Empire thus became the Byzantine Empire gradually culturally differing from what was the Old Roman Empire through a gradual return to Greek culture and a strong Christianization. The capital of the Byzantine Empire was renamed Byzantine, its Greek name
History, conquests and territories of the Byzantine Empire
In an original plans during the sixth century the Emperor Justinian (518-565) the Byzantine Empire became stronger and even managed to expand its borders and maintain some control over the Mediterranean, Carthage reconquering the Italian peninsula and the coast of Spain. < br />
But during the seventh century with the appearance on the scene of Islam gradually lost capacity to manage and control its zone of influence. Egypt, Syria and Palestine were lost. This was a blow because it was except for the capital itself Constantinople of the richest, populated and industrialized areas
. Centuries IX, X and XI were years of prosperity, but appeared a great new and powerful threat, the Turks. Crusades of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries got some air exhausted empire finally succumbed in 1453 when Mohamed II conquered Constantinople.
The Byzantine Empire lasted from 395 to 1453 so it can boast of being the only state that survived throughout the Middle Ages and has been one of the big states that have influenced both Western European culture, as in Russia and the Islam.
Organization, economy and society of the Byzantine Empire
At first the Byzantine Empire held the Roman custom of basing its economy on the labor of slaves, with Egypt as a granary of the empire and burgeoning industrial and commercial cities, Alenjandría. Antioch and own Byzantine.
In the eighth century, and after the loss of Egypt and Syria, the Byzantine Empire retained only not particularly fertile territories that were organized by a feudal system. The use of Latin was also abandoned in favor of the Greek and Roman name he was also abandoned by Byzantine, which is the Greek name for Constantinople.
The Byzantine Empire was deeply Christian. The Church crowned Emperors and maintained tense relations of power with them. The patriarch of Byzantine remained tense relations with the Roman Church. In 1054 came the Schism that has survived to this day, when the patriarch Michael Cerularius broke with Rome.
The Byzantine art = =
The first thing to emphasize is that culture and art are basically Byzantine Greeks heavily influenced by East but with a main feature: it is a Christian culture
Byzantium was fortunate to retain art and Greek and Roman culture. The masterpiece is the Hagia Sophia, built under the reign of Justinian and today has been transformed into a museum. It is a spectacular piece of Byzantine architecture with Greek cross, a huge dome covering the central area and covered with impressive mosaics. After the fall of Constantinople was transformed into a mosque and served as a model for other mosques in Istanbul.
The Byzantine religious art had a pattern repeated over and over again. Christ Pantocrator solemn aspect
Byzantium did not leave indifferent to other civilizations around her. Both European Christians, and Muslims, as the Slavic world was evangelized by Byzantium had the art, culture and science of Byzantium as a model to study and often imitated, such as the Basilica of San Marco in Venice with clear Byzantine influence.