Comparative Byzantine Notes

After this lecture you should be able to:
Compare the effect of Byzantium on Eastern
Europe with the effect of Islamic Core on
Africa and Southern Asia.
React & discuss the following:
The Byzantine Empire provides an
opportunity to compare the religious,
commercial, and political patterns of postclassical civilizations.
In the contemporary world any overly
complicated system or bureaucracy is critically
referred to as Byzantine.
What does this suggest about the nature, role,
and function of the Byzantine Empire?
How does it connect to the five themes of AP
I. Codification of Laws & Impact
A. Corpus Juris Civilis
1. Organized empire
2. Reduced confusion
3. Spread common legal principles and
II. Spread of Civilization in Eastern Europe
A. Contacts & Impact
1. Contact with Russia through trade
routes & missionaries
2. Missionaries- Cyril & Methodious
a. Slavic alphabet – Cyrillic
b. Religious text move from Latin to
local languages
c. Allowed influence to spread to Slavic, Baltic, &
B. Bureaucrats
1. Maintained order
2. Trained in Greek philosophy and
3. Economically- controlled food prices/
regulated trade
III. Emergence of Kievan Rus’
A. Byzantine influence formative period
B. Early Culture
1. Animistic
2. Strong family tribes / villages
3. Folk tradition & oral legends
C. Scandinavians- Est. Trade at Kiev
1. Rurik emerged 1st monarch
2. Vladimir I coverts to Christianity on
behalf of people
a. Orthodox instead of Roman
b. Rejected influence of Pope
c. Became largest decentralized state
in Europe
d. Couldn’t replicate Byzantine
bureaucracy or educational system
IV. Decline &Outside Invasion
A. Kiev
1. Rival princes, internal conflict, &
regional governments
2. Declining impact of Byzantine – relied on
prosperity of trade & manufacturing
3. 1237-1241 Mongol Invasion
B. Byzantine
1. Long threatened by Ottoman Turks
2. 1453 Ottoman Turks conquer
3. Power Vacuum
a. Border territories & Poland under
Western control
b. Balkans fall to Islamic Turk control
c. Crusades 1095-1291
V. Impact/ Similarities Byzantine & Islamic Core
a. Influence through trade
b. Influence through missionaries
c. Influence through codification &
bureaucratic systems
d. Both passed influences that supported
centralized governments supported by
religions and core cultures
e. Contrast- Islam had a larger impact &
endures in all regions today
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