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Byzantine Empire and the

Triumph of Christianity
Audrey Lim
Lorenzo Cruz III

Byzantine Empire (330-1453 A.D.)

Bridge between
the Roman, Greek
and Hellenistic
Last direct heir of
the Roman
1st Christian

Geographic Setting
Constantinople is
located right
between the Black
Sea and the
entrance to the

Constantine the Great

Flavius Valerius Constantinus
Born at Moesia on 280 A.D.
Mother: St. Helena found the
True Cross of Christ (Palestine)
Constantius one of Diocletians
Died in 306 A.D.

323 A.D. became the sole emperor

of Rome

2 Important Decisions
1. Gave Christians
friendship and
legal status
312 A.D. vision
before the Battle
of Milvian Bridge
With this sign
you will conquer

Battle of Milvian Bridge

Conversion of Constantine

Edict of Milan
(313 A.D.)
Christians to
practice religion
freely and make
337 A.D.
was baptized
before his death

Edict of Milan

Theodosius the Great

2 Important Decisions
2. May 11, 330
A.D. capital at
distance bet.
Europe and Asia

Christ and Christianity

Embraced and
religion in the
world (1 billion)
Played a major
role in history

2 Reasons:
1. God incarnate, second person in
the Holy Trinity.
. Character and life inspired awe
and love.
. Put to death by leaders
. Resurrected from the dead and
ascended into heaven
. Converted thousands of believers
. 50 A.D. entered Rome

2 Reasons:
2. Message of salvation; freely given by
the grace of God
Needs only to be accepted by the
believers that Jesus is the Christ

Christianitys Contribution
Code of ethics based on love of God and
all men and races (faith, hope, charity,
honesty, kindness)
Abolished barbaric customs (human
sacrifice infanticide, blood feuds, incest,
Improved condition of the poor
Improved family life
Enriched arts and letters
Offers a last refuge for hope and solace

Spread of Christianity
Apostolic Age (30-476 A.D.)

First 5 centuries
First apostles were martyred
Refused to worship traditions or the
the disciples would scarcely have been
willing to die for a lie - Origen
Ended when it became the religion of the
Byzantine Empire

of St. Peter
and St.

Decapitation of
St. Paul

Spread of Christianity
Middle Ages (5th 16th Century)

Roman Catholic Church in the West and

Eastern Orthodox in Byzantium spread
East: Russia and the Byzantine Empire
West: barbarian tribes of Europe
Papacy grew in power
Scholastics (St. Thomas Aquinas, St.
Augustine): Developed Catholic
Dogma and laws
St Jerome: translated Bible to Latin

St. Thomas

St. Jerome

St. Augustine

Spread of Christianity
Protestant Reformation and Catholic
Counter Reformation (16th 17th
Martin Luther of Germany
New sects or denominations were
Spread Christianity to Asia, Africa and
Latin America

Martin Luther and his 95 theses

Spread of Christianity
Modern Era (18th 20th Century)

Islam, science, materialism and

philosophical cults
Await the 2nd physical coming of Christ
despite the challenges of the modern
world to the teachings of Christ

Byzantine Emperors
Julian (361 363 A.D.)

the Apostate
Half brother of Constantine the Great
Last non-Christian ruler of the Roman
bring the Empire back to its ancient
Roman values in order to save it from

Burning the bones

of St. John the

Byzantine Emperors
Theodosius (379 395 A.D.)

381 A.D. made Christianity the only

religion of the state
last emperor to rule over both
theeasternand thewesternhalves of
theRoman Empire
Saint Theodosius (Eastern Orthodox

Byzantine Emperors
Justinian (527 565 A.D.)

Last of the great Roman emperors

Rules with his wife, Queen Theodorica
(Theodora, former actress and courtesan)
Recaptured territories lost to Spain,
France and North Africa
Built the Hagia Sophia (Church of St.
Updated Roman law and Justinian Code

Hagia Sophia

Byzantine Emperors
Basil II (976 1025 A.D.)
Bulgar slayer
Conquered the Balkan
peninsula, Syria and Iraq
Neara land owned by
wealthy land owners was
divided and given to poor

The Byzantine Empire during Basil IIs reign

Byzantine Life and Culture


Hippodrome (chariot races, duels,

celebrations and public executions)


Byzantine Life and Culture

Court intrigues

Intrigues of emperors, priests, advisers,

eunuchs and women
No law of succession
atmosphere of plots and counterplots
Byzantine devious
Out of 88 emperors: 29 died violent deaths,
13 fled to monasteries and 1 was tortures
and executed in the Hippodrome in 1185
(Andronicus I Comnenus)

Byzantine Life and Culture

Religous mysticism

1st Christian nation

Theocratic union of church and state
Emperor as the chief representative of
Christ and God
Mystics and monks: conscience of the
Hermit: ermos= desert
Monk: monachos= alone, solitary
Hagia Sophia in 537 A.D.

Hagia Sophia
Church of the
Holy Wisdom of
100 ft across
180 feet high

Religious icons
and relics

Contributions of Byzantium
Greco-Roman culture
Roman law (Justinian code)
Abstract, interpretative and religious
art and literature
Greek fire

Contributions of Byzantium
Digenes Akrites

Cryllic (Byzantine Greek

miniscule script)

Decline of the Byzantine Empire

Odoacer barbarian who sacked
Rome; offered to be a lieutenant to
the Byzantine Emperor
The Second Rome

Causes of Decline and Fall

Internal intrigues

Struggles for power

Rivalry of Roman and Eastern


Icons as educational tools or idols

(iconoclasm by Pope Leo III)
Crowning of Charlemagne emperor of the
Holy Roman Empire
1054 excommunication of both

Causes of Decline and Fall

1965 Pope Paul VI and Archbishop
Makarios lifted the excommunication
Pope Roman Catholics
Patriarch Eastern Orthodox Church
Metropolitan of Moscow Russian
Orthodox Church

Western competition in trade

Venice, Italy

Causes of Decline and Fall

The Crusades

4th Crusade fought in Constantinople

Treasures found in Western Europe
60 years under Latin rule (1261)

Invasions by the Muslim Turks

Seljuk Turks
Ottoman Turks (14th Century)
1397 Constantinople
May 29, 1453 Constantinople fell after
a 2 month siege

Causes of Decline and Fall

Muhammad II
(Mehmed II)
Conqueror of
3 days to pillage and
Converted Hagia
Sophia to a mosque
changed to Istanbul

Pope Paul VI and

Archbishop Athenagoras,
December 7, 1965

Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor

Horses from the

facade of St.
Mark's Basilica,
originall from

Fall of Constantinople

End of the Byzantine Empire

Ivan III married the daughter of the
last Byzantine emperor, Sophia

Moscow as the 3rd Rome

Adopted the double headed eagle
Czar: Caesar
Heir of Byzantium
Kept the Eastern Orthodox Church

Prince Vladimir converted in 988 A.D.

End of the Byzantine Empire

Greeks expelled Turks (1821)

Modern Greece (child of Byzantium)

Cyprus: Cypriot Orthodox Church head,
Archbishop Makarios III (1959-1977)

End of the Byzantine Empire

Ivan III (the Great)

Prince Vladimir
Russian Coat of
Arms, 1472