Byzantine Empire

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Social Studies 5 *World History and Civilization*

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Byzantine Empire

  1. 1.  The term “Byzantine” derives from Byzantium, an ancient Greek colony founded by a man named Byzas.  Located on the European side of the Bosporus the strait linking the Black Sea to the Mediterranean  Its capital city was Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul),
  2. 2. The Roman empire, divided in the late AD200’s, was weakened by internal and external forces. Power shifted to the east, as Germanic invaders weakened the western half of the once great Roman empire.
  3. 3. By 330, the emperor Constantine, had built a new capital city in Constantinople on the site of the Greek city Byzantium. The Byzantine empire arose from this site.
  4. 4.  During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe.  Both "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms applied in later centuries; its citizens continued to refer to their empire as the Roman Empire
  5. 5. Rise of Constantine the Great
  6. 6. The first recorded official persecution of Christians on behalf of the Roman Empire was in AD 64, when, as reported by the Roman historian Tacitus, Emperor Nero attempted to blame Christians for the Great Fire of Rome.
  7. 7.  When put in the arena, a popular method was for them to be killed by wild animals.  A problem the Romans faced is that the Christians welcomed death and the chance to be martyred. They took joy in death… which the Romans found unfathomably bizarre.  They would even taunt the crowd to kill them.
  8. 8.  His association with Christianity began with a fateful battle for control of the Western Roman Empire.  Constantine faced Western Roman Emperor Maxentius at the Tiber River's Mulvian Bridge in A.D. 312.  Fourth-century historian and bishop Eusebius of Caesarea reported that before the great battle Constantine saw a flaming cross in the sky bearing the words "in this sign thou shalt conquer." Constantine did indeed conquer, routing and killing his enemy on a day that loomed large not only for the emperor but for the Christian faith.
  9. 9.  Emperor Constantine I is often credited with converting the Roman Empire to Christianity. In fact, though he ended the persecution of Christians and eventually converted, some historians debate the true nature of his faith.  Constantine made clear that he believed that he owed his successes the protection of that High God alone.
  10. 10.  The next year Constantine, now the Western Roman Emperor, and Eastern Roman Emperor Licinius signed the Edict of Milan, which finally ensured religious tolerance for Christians.  The agreement granted freedom of worship to all, regardless of deity, and brought an end to the Age of Martyrs, which had begun after Jesus' death. Christians were also given specific legal rights such as the return of confiscated property and the right to organize dedicated churches.
  11. 11.  Is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.  It is the world's largest religion, with over 2.4 billion adherents, known as Christians.  Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of humanity whose coming as the Messiah (the Christ) was prophesied in the Old Testament.
  12. 12.  The central tenet of Christianity is the belief in Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah (Christ).  Christians believe that Jesus, as the Messiah, was anointed by God as savior of humanity, and hold that Jesus' coming was the fulfillment of messianic prophecies of the Old Testament.
  13. 13.  The Christian concept of the Messiah differs significantly from the contemporary Jewish concept.  The core Christian belief is that through belief in and acceptance of the death and resurrection of Jesus, sinful humans can be reconciled to God and thereby are offered salvation and the promise of eternal life.
  14. 14. What Is Christianity? 1) Historical Background: Abraham, Israelites, Hebrews, Jews, OT 2) Historical Foundation: Jesus of Nazareth (crucified ca. AD 30) & his first disciples/apostles 3) Historical Development: Tradition preserved/adapted 2000 years (interplay of both old & new, ancient & modern)
  15. 15. 1) Major Christian Branches: (Eastern) Orthodox, (Roman) Catholic, Anglican, Protestant, Restorationist, etc. 2) Orthodox, Anglicans, Protestants: O: by nation & language: Greek, Russian… A: by nations: esp. former British colonies P: by leaders/theologies: Lutheran, Reformed… 3) Groups within Catholicism: religious orders & societies (monastic, mendicant, apostolic, etc.), lay groups
  16. 16. What Is Christianity? 1) Number of Christians World-wide: ~ 2 billion in 2000; ~ 33% of world population 2) Subdivisions: 1 bill. Catholics; 500 mill. Protestant/Anglican; 250 mill. Orthodox; 250 mill. Other 3) % of Populations: 48% Africa; 85% N. America; 93% S. America; 9% Asia; 76% Europe; 85% Oceania
  17. 17. 1) The Bible: official collection of books, in two parts: both Old Testament & New Testament 2) The Creeds: short professions of faith, defined by first two Ecumenical Councils: Nicea & Constantinople 3) Other Writings: writings of Church leaders throughout history, esp. founders of orders & denominations
  18. 18. 1) One God in Three Persons (Trinity): Father / Almighty / Creator Son / Jesus / Christ / Savior / Lord Holy Spirit / Giver of Life / Paraclete 2) World & Humans: created by God, in God’s image, with free will; originally good, but corrupted by sin/death; 3) Church, Salvation, Eschatology: community of believers; body of Christ; resurrection of the body; eternal life
  19. 19. 1) Foundational Principles: do good & avoid evil; love God, others, self; develop an “informed conscience” 2) Sexual Morality: dual purpose of sex; consistent ethic of life; human relationships; central role of family 3) Social Ethics: dignity of each person; common good; care of the poor/needy; work, participation, property
  20. 20. What Is Christianity? 1) Calendar, Feasts, & Festivals: Advent & Christmas; Lent & Easter; saints’ days; local & universal festivals 2) Public / Communal Worship: official liturgies, rites, rituals, Sacraments, esp. Baptism & Eucharist; Sunday worship 3) Private / Individual Spirituality: prayer, devotions, pilgrimages, asceticism, retreats, pious/spiritual practices, etc.
  21. 21. What Is Christianity? 1) Churches & Denominations: historical divisions: always! esp. 1054, 1517 but also reunifications & mergers 2) Structures with each Church: indiv. parishes/congregations, local dioceses, national conferences, international associations 3) Leaders within each Church: bishops (incl. Pope, cardinals), priests, deacons, lay ministers; pastors, elders, etc.
  22. 22. Through its long history, the Church has been a major source of social services such as schooling. Several universities were founded by the Church.
  23. 23.  Some historians of science, have argued that the Church had a significant, positive influence on the development of science.  Some of the Church's priests have contributed to science. Nicolaus Copernicus, the clergyman astronomer who put the sun at the center of the solar system, upsetting both scientific and religious accepted theory.
  24. 24.  The Bible and Christian theology have also strongly influenced philosophers and political activists. The teachings of Jesus, such as the Parable of the Good Samaritan, are among the important sources for modern notions of Human rights and the welfare measures commonly provided by governments in the West. Long held Christian teachings on sexuality and marriage have also been influential in family life.
  25. 25.  Christianity played a role in ending practices such as human sacrifice, slavery , infanticide and polygamy. Christianity in general affected the status of women by condemning infanticide (female infants were more likely to be killed), divorce, incest, polygamy, birth control, abortion and adultery.
  26. 26.  The cultural influence of the Church has been vast. Festivals like Easter and Christ mas are marked universally as public holidays; Pope Gregory XIII's Gregorian Calendar has been adopted internationally.
  27. 27.  Interestingly, the first community of Christians was Jews.  This group believed that Christ, by example of his teachings and through resurrection, had brought a new vision and spoke as an equal to God.  As converts to Christianity increased, the religion spread. The most influential early missionary was Paul.
  28. 28.  Paul journeyed tirelessly. He preached that the Old Law, or the Laws of Moses, should be replaced by faith in Christ. Only through Christ, said Paul, can a person live a life of kindness and joy, ultimately being saved and reaching Heaven.
  29. 29.  Both Paul and the chief apostle, Peter, were martyred at the hands of the Roman emperor, Nero. It was not until the early 4th century that Christianity was legalized by Constantine the Great. By 300 CE, Christianity became the accepted religion of Rome, spreading throughout the empire.
  30. 30.  With the founding of the New World, Christianity began to spread beyond Europe and Asia. Among the early missionaries were Catholics who journeyed to Central and South America, seeking to convert native peoples. Protestants escaping persecution traveled to North America, bringing with them their beliefs.
  31. 31. By 1900, Christianity had spread onto every continent. It was a major world religion. Christian missionaries took advantage of the European colonization of India and Africa as well, as can be seen on the map below. Of course, missionary work is not solely a thing of the past. It continues most fervently today.
  32. 32. Top 5 greatest emperors of Ancient Rome
  33. 33.  During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the empire’s greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the historical Roman Empire.
  34. 34.  Justinian was well known for creating a unified code of laws – The Justinian Code, that took its excerpts  He also oversaw constructions of great buildings in his capital – the city of Constantinople, the most remarkable of them being the church of Hagia Sophia, which later on became the center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity for many centuries.
  35. 35.  The famous emperor, who went on to become the First Christian Emperor in the history, was a ruler of major historical importance.  He was also known as Constantine as he reunited a divided empire under a single emperor and scored important wins against some ardent enemies.  He also re-occupied some of the long lost Roman provinces. He created his own capital and named it after himself – Constantinople, which went on to be cradle of Byzantine empire for centuries. For that reason, he was also known as the founder of Byzantine.
  36. 36.  He became a historical figure of Christianity by becoming the first emperor to adorn it. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre,  His decision went on to have significant impact in the religious preferences in the subsequent Byzantine empire.
  37. 37.  He was one of the most peaceful ruler in the history of Roman empire. There were no records of any military related acts in his time. However, there were a few fickle conflicts here and there, but none of them caused any serious concern.  Antoninus was virtually unique among the roman emperors because he dealt with these crises without leaving Italy once during his reign. This style of government was highly praised by his contemporaries and later generations. 
  38. 38.  His rule started at one of the most troubled times in Roman history – the Romans were just recovering from the antics of infamous emperors like Nero and Caligula,  A down to earth man himself, and a competent general, who had proved his mettle in the battlefield, Vespasian was handed the task of bringing balance in Rome. And over his rule of 10 years, he did all that, sketching his name as one of the greatest Roman emperors.
  39. 39.  In his reign, much money was spent on public works as well as on restoration and beautification of Rome.  He initiated construction of the temple of peace, a number of public baths and one of the most majestic structures in ancient Rome – the Colosseum.  Sadly by the time Colosseum was completed, he was dead. After his death in 79, he was succeeded by his eldest son Titus and thus became the first Roman Emperor to be directly succeeded by his own natural son and establishing the Flavian dynasty.
  40. 40.  Born by the name of Octavian, he was given the name ‘Augustus’ by the senate as an honour for his great achievements. He went on to avenge the death of Caesar together with Mark Antony, before falling out with him. He defeated Mark Antony together with the famous Egyptian queen Cleopatra and thereafter, together with the senate of Rome, created a new constitution for the great empire.
  41. 41.  Byzantine culture included women and men alike, unlike practices in classical Greece and Rome or in medieval Europe.  Women could not attend school, but aristocratic females received tutoring in history, literature, philosophy, and composition.
  42. 42.  The culture of Byzantium was rich and affluent, while science and technology also flourished. Very important for us, nowadays, was the Byzantine tradition of rhetoric and public debate. Philosophical and theological discourses were important in public life, even emperors taking part in them.
  43. 43.  Byzantine culinary tastes focused on the regions where Hellenism flourished: cheese, figs, eggs, olive oil, walnuts, almonds, apples, and pears, were all staples of the Byzantine diet, indigenous to the lands of the empire and appreciated by aristocracy and common people alike.
  44. 44.  The Byzantine Empire was mainly comprised of an array of small towns and seaports connected by a developed infrastructure. Production was very high, and there was a notable growth in land ownership.  The Byzantines followed a Christian lifestyle which revolved around the home, where women dedicated themselves to the upbringing of their children.  There were also various public places where men sought relaxation in their leisure hours.
  45. 45.  The Byzantines were also a major conduit of classical learning and science into the West down to the Renaissance.  While western Europeans were fumbling to create a culture of their own, the cities of the Byzantine Empire provided them a model of a civilized society.
  46. 46. Art and architecture was elaborate- domed buildings, colored mosaics, and painted icons expressed an art linked to religion
  47. 47.  The Byzantine empire had its influence in the development of history. Emerging out of the once strong Roman empire, the Byzantines develop a written set of law and strongly influence art and architecture of the time.
  48. 48. New techniques and new levels of accomplishment characterized Byzantine silver- and gold smithing, enamel, jewelry, and textiles.
  49. 49. Architecture found its highest expression in the Hagia Sophia, superior in scale and magnificence to anything in the ancient world.
  50. 50.  For the next thousand years the Turks (Islam), began to take over parts of the Byzantine Empire.  Crusades failed to stop the takeover by Islam.  Constantinople falls ◦ 1453 Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople. ◦ The ancient Christian city was renamed Istanbul and became the capital of the Ottoman Empire (Muslim)
  51. 51.  in 1204, the Crusaders attacked, conquered, and pillaged the city of Constantinople, a goal that the Muslims had been trying achieve for centuries
  52. 52.  In 1453, the city was finally and permanently conquered by the Ottoman Turks and renamed Istanbul. Byzantine culture, law, and administration came to its final end.
  53. 53. Thank you for listening :* God bless us :*

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