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Chapter 9 world history AP notes Essay

Overall Summary (ablongman)- “In addition to the great civilizations of Asia and North Africa forming during the postclassical period, two related major civilizations formed in Europe. The Byzantine Empire, in western Asia and southeastern Europe, expanded into eastern Europe. The other was defined by the influence of Catholicism in western and central Europe.

The Byzantine Empire, with territory in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the eastern Mediterranean, maintained very high levels of political, economic, and cultural life between 500 and 1450 C.E. The empire continued many Roman patterns and spread its Orthodox Christian civilization through most of eastern Europe, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia. Catholic Christianity, without an imperial center, spread in western Europe. Two separate civilizations emerged from the differing Christian influences”

The Byzantine Empire
“The Byzantine Empire unfolded initially as part of the greater Roman Empire. Then, as this framework shattered with Roman decline, it took a life of its own, particularly from the reign of Emperor Justinian onward. It centered on a territory different from and smaller than the eastern Mediterranean as Rome had defined it. This was the result of new pressures, particularly the surge of Islam throughout North Africa and the bulk of the Middle East. Despite many attacks, the empire flourished until the 11th century.”

Origins of the Empire:
•You can think of the beginning of the empire as the 4th century CE oThis was when the Romans set up their western capitol of Constantinople •This one city became a strong and thriving center of an empire with a falling imperial structure •Emperor Constantine started to build many elaborate buildings, some of which were Christian churches oBuild his city off of the small town of Byzantium

oEastern emperors would rule from this new city
•Even before the fall of western Rome
•Warded off intruders (including the Huns)
•Had a solid tax base because of the peasant agriculture of the eastern Mediterranean

•Emperor Justinian (in the 6th century) changed the official
language to Greek (Latin had been the court language of the eastern empire; however, it became inferior & considered barbaric) oThis Greek knowledge gave scholars of the eastern empire to read the ancient Athenian philosophical and literary classics & the Hellenistic writings freely •High levels of commerce (Had been in the eastern Mediterranean) helped the new empire

•Hellenized Egyptians and Syrians started to become involved in their administration oThis was due to the fact that many of them were moving to Constantinople (& entered the expanding bureaucracy) •Byzantine empire had many foreign enemies

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