Dynasties Of The Byzantine Empire History Essay

The history of the Byzantine Ascendancy begins with the tetrarchy alien by the Roman Emperor Diocletian in 286 CE and the founding of Constantinople as the basic of the Eastern Roman Ascendancy in 330 CE by Constantine I. Diocletian had accustomed a tetrarchy. The ascendancy gets its name from Byzantium the aloft name Constantinople. Already Constantine afflicted its name to Constantinople, he did not alternate to alarm it “the new Rome” authoritative it added important than the crumbling ability of Rome. Aback Constantine came to ability he put an end to tetrarchy replacing it with ancestral succession.

Although a allotment of the Roman Empire, the Eastern Roman Ascendancy was added Greek than Roman. The assumption accent was Greek and not Latin and bodies adopted Christianity eventually than the Romans.

Dynasties of the Byzantine empire

The attitude of dynastic rulers based on ancestral assumption was laid bottomward by Constantine (324-337 CE) which affiliated until Emperor Justinian. This absolutism was additionally alleged the Neo Flavian absolutism as every adjudicator bore the name Flavian.

Constantine Absolutism (306 CE to 363 CE)

The Constantinian Absolutism (C. 306 CE to 361 CE) disqualified over an ascendancy accoutrement portions of Egypt, Syria and the Balkans (considered to be accoutrement Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, and Moldova). Emperor Valens (364-378 CE) was the angel of the Valentinian Dynasty.

Constantine was a acute adjudicator who had alien abounding authoritative reforms to advancement the socio-political anatomy of the empire. He alien the gold solidus (coins) which stabilised the abridgement as it was awful prized.

Mosaic of Constantine in Hagia Sophia

The cardinal area of Constantinople on the bargain avenue amid the East and the West overlooking the Danube River helped Constantine to use to his advantage. He adequate the army and continued the fortifications of Constantinople authoritative them absurd to conquer. To area off the affiliated attacks of foreigners Constantine had started a arrangement of giving subsidies (purportedly 300kg gold annually) and additionally favoured merchants who traded with the Huns and alternative adopted groups.

Constantine’s breed formed arise adding the civilian and aggressive authorities which persisted until the seventh century. They added adequate the defences of Constantinople. The Eastern Ascendancy was absolved the hardships of the West acknowledgment to able administering and able rulers.

Under Constantine Christianity accustomed aristocratic advocacy in the anatomy of acceptable privileges by the emperor. This helped the adoration to ability the masses.

The Constantine Dynaty was followed by non dynastic rulers from 363 CE to 364 CE followed by the Valentian absolutism from 364 CE to 379 CE. Beneath Arcadius, a adjudicator from the Theodosian absolutism (379 to 457 CE) the Roman Ascendancy was assuredly disconnected to anatomy the Western Roman Ascendancy and the Eastern Roman Ascendancy in 395 CE.

Leonid Absolutism (457 CE to 518 CE)

This absolutism was founded by Leo I (457-474 CE) who fabricated an bootless attack to reconquering the administrative genitalia of North Africa. His son-in-law Zeno (474-491 CE) succeeded him as the abutting emperor as his own son Leo II died afterwards bedfast for alone one year. Aback the Western Roman Ascendancy fell, Zeno was in allegation in the East. Zeno approved to get aback the Western Ascendancy by sending a Gothic warrior Theodoric I as the commander-in-chief of Italy. Although Theodoric disqualified as an complete king, Zeno maintained at atomic a nominal supremacy over the Western Empire.

Justinian Absolutism (518 CE to 602 CE)

Justinian I (527-656 CE) the almsman to the artist of the absolutism Justin I, was conceivably the alone baron who boarded aloft the aggressive assignment of chain the Western and the Eastern Empire. Justinian brought abundant abundance to his kingdom. Although an aggressive ruler, some of his behavior were abhorred with the masses. This aversion about amount him his acme during the Nika Riots (532 CE). His queenTheodora encouraged him to abolish the riots rather than exhausted a hasty retreat. 30,000 civilians are believed to accept been dead in Justinian’s attack to abolish the riots.

Motivating words of Queen Thoedora that prompted Justinian I to face the Nika Riots were “Those who accept beat the acme should never survive its loss. Never will I see the day aback I am not saluted as empress.”… “Royalty is a accomplished burying shroud,” or perhaps, [the aristocratic color] “Purple makes a accomplished ambagious sheet.”

He reclaimed the arena of North Africa in 533 CE which had been absent to the Vandals. He accomplished as far as Italy and defeated the anemic Ostrogoths. But the Ostrogoths anon rearranged themselves and came aback with bifold force and evicted his accepted Belisarius. Justinian entered into a cardinal of treaties with the neighbouring kingdoms to area off the affiliated blackmail of invasion. By 555 CE, Justinian had won victories in best places except the Balkan area which was always invaded by the Slavs.

Justinian became universally acclaimed for alteration the old Roman acknowledged cipher and creating the new bulk of laws bargain accepted as Justinian’s Code. The cipher serves as a base for civilian law alike today and provides a admired acumen to historians into the apropos and activities of the afterwards Roman Empire.

Justinian was a adherent Orthodox Christian which fabricated him intolerable not alone to alternative religions but alike to differing ideologies aural Christianity. He had become a angel of Christianity and has alike been mentioned in the Bible as a saint. He adapted aggregate accompanying to adoration and law. The bishops of the Abbey recognised that annihilation could be done afterwards the will of the emperor. He atrociously suppressed any agnosticism by opponents of the Church. He acknowledgment monasticism, acceding the monks abounding rights which were beforehand advised a taboo, like owning property. He accepted them the appropriate to accede acreage from clandestine citizens and and revoked the ir appropriate to accept solemnia or the monks’ appropriate to accept ability from the administrative treasury or from the taxes of assertive provinces. He aalso banned confiscation of apostolic estates for any reason.

Justinian rebuilt the Abbey of Hagia Sophia which had been destroyed during the Nika Riots. It served as the arch abbey of the Byzantine Empire.


Byzantine art was an addendum of the Roman art. As Roman art itself was aggressive by the Greek art, one can see affinity amid the three. About Byzantine art differed with the closing two in its access which was added abstruse than realistic. The abstracts and figurines in the Byzantine art arise collapsed and one dimensional with little use of adumbration to accord a life-like appearance. Faces were continued and attenuated bare of any reality.

The sixth aeon was admired as the ‘Golden Age’ of Byzantine art. One can see a ample about-face in the cerebration and appliance of art in this period. Mathematics was admired as the accomplished science and Justinian had appointed Anthemius of Tralles, a mathematician, as one of Hagia Sophia’s architect. Anthemius declared architectonics as ‘an appliance of geometry to solid matter’. The architectonics differs from the acceptable appearance in its beheading of the domes and columns. The domes are added semi-circular than the about annular patterns begin in the West. Best of the art depicts scenes from the activity of Christ. One of the best important genres of Byzantine art was the icon, an angel of Christ, Virgin Mary or a saint. The kings too begin a abode of admiration in these religious temples.


Mosaics were added axial to the Byzantine Ascendancy than area they originated – the Western Roman Empire. Mosaics were not alone begin in churches but in every domiciliary in the anatomy of baby icons to admire the activity and times of Christ. Some alike depicted accepted life. Circuitous art was at its aiguille during the fifth and sixth centuries.

(From larboard to right) – Circuitous depicting circadian life; an iconic circuitous from the Patmos Monastery, Greece and a Gladiator circuitous begin in Cyprus

Boy and Donkey, Byzantine Mosaic


According to historians the foundation of Hagia Sophia was laid by Constantine I. The Abbey was congenital in three phases. The aboriginal abbey was by Constantius II in 360 CE and the additional by Theodosius II in 415 CE. During the Nika riots in 532 CE the abbey was austere to the ground. Justinian congenital the third appearance which is still intact.

The Hagia Sophia Building as it stands today-the minarets were added by the OttomansJustinian was actual aggressive about the Hagia Sophia church. The abbey was complete so alluringly that aback it was completed, he exclaimed, “Solomon, I accept outdone thee!” He alleged it the ‘Church of Angelic Wisdom’. He had bought the best alien and majestic abstracts from all over the Roman Ascendancy – eastern as able-bodied western. The Hellenistic columns were ordered from the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, ample stones from the quarries in Egypt, blooming marble from Thessaly, Greece; atramentous bean from the Bosporus region, and chicken bean from Syria.

Some of the few actual mosaics from the Hagia Sophia – Christ and the Virgin Mary


Ravenna served as a Byzantine centre in the Italian heartland and abounding structures were complete in the city. The Abbey of San Vitale is one of the finest examples of Byzantine art and architectonics in the Western Roman Empire. Although the artist of the anatomy is unknown, it was sponsored by a Greek broker Julius Argentarius about 527 CE. The Abbey is a accomplished aggregate of Roman and Byzantine art. It has the Roman elements of archways, domes and stepped building and the Byzantine bequest of polygonal alcove (semi circular, angled amplitude in the wall- cogent to Byzantine art), pillars, columns and attenuated bricks.

Justinian with his soldiers and the clergy

San Vitale is acclaimed for the circuitous panels of Emperor Justinian and his queen Theodora. The circuitous of Justinian says a lot about his ability and position. He is continuing in the average with soldiers to his appropriate and the clergy on his larboard including Bishop Maximianus, emphasising Justinian as the baton of both abbey and the State. He is clad in purple, the aristocratic colour and has a aureate halo, which gives him the aforementioned cachet as Christ.

Theodora too is depicted as a goddess, austere and humble, accustomed the beaker that holds the angelic wine. She is belted by priests on the appropriate who are convoying her in the abbey and a cloister of ladies on the left.

Theodora actuality escorted to the Church


Theodora, afore marrying Justinian was a accessible entertainer. In those days, this profession was not advised aces of respect. According to abbey laws, such women were not able-bodied received. About Justinian fell absurdly in adulation with Theodora and in adjustment to accomplish her his queen, abrogated the law and in actuality provided bigger aegis for women offenders and created abstracted beef for women offenders attentive by women guards.

Consider the aloft adventure and reflect on what this adventure tells us about the ability that Justinian captivated over the Church?

How has adoration become a apparatus in the easily of the powerful?

“…abrogated the law and in actuality provided bigger aegis for women…” Is it applicative to the present times? Support your answerwith reasons.

Laws accept been captivated to accept complete power; about they accept been askance and adapted to clothing one’s need, usually of the powerful. In the present ambience accept you appear beyond any such approximate law? Name it/ them and explain why you feel they are arbitrary.

Use your blah cells…

Beauty in Words…

Read the afterward article “Talking Turkey”by eminent columnist Jug Suriya anecdotic the adorableness of Istanbul, Turkey. Courtesy blog “Juggle- Bandhi”featuring in the Times of India website.



Istanbul has witnessed the alter of history amid East and West

Bunny and i booty a baiter from Europe to Asia. The adventure lasts 20 minutes. We are in Istanbul, and the bear takes us from Eminonu, which is on the European ancillary of the city, to Uskudar, which is on the Asian side, on the alternative bank of the Bosphorus.

Istanbul – aforetime accepted as Constantinople, afterwards the Christian emperor Constantine – is the fabulous affair abode of Europe and Asia, East and West. The sprawling burghal of 22 actor bodies is conspicuously beautiful, a claiming to the artist’s brush, the poet’s phrase. Seven low hills bend bottomward to the sun-spangled Sea of Marmara, belted on one ancillary by the Bosphorus, which links it to the Atramentous Sea, and on the alternative ancillary by the basin of the Aureate Horn. The baptize is so dejected that it has accustomed us the chat ‘turquoise’, a colour basic in Turkey.

Europe and Asia, East and West, rub amateur in adequate familiarity. Sleek, French-built tramcars coast noiselessly bottomward ample thoroughfares belted by alive pavements area designer-ripped jeans and hijabs go duke in hand. The attenuate minarets of a countless mosques adjure a accord of apple and sky, and adamantine bedrock discos coexist with dervishes addled in Sufi ecstasy. In the Grand Bazaar in Beyazit, the ‘fixed price’ acerbity of the western bazaar is fabricated adjustable and chatty by the eastern art of bargaining, for annihilation and everything, from carpets and spices, to 22-carat gold jewellery and cellphone cards, for the arduous amusement of it. For what bigger way for chump and shopkeeper to absorb the day than in active negotiation, over amaranthine tiny cups of thick, treacle-sweet coffee?

This co-mingling of East and West is best represented by the many-domed Ayasofya, billed as one of the best amazing barrio in the world. Originally alleged Hagia Sophia, it was congenital in the sixth aeon by the Byzantine emperor Justinian and for about a thousand years it was said to be the world’s better Christian church. In the 15th century, afterwards Sultan Mehmed II bedeviled Constantinople and afflicted its name to Istanbul, which artlessly agency ‘The City’, Hagia Sophia was angry into a abbey and renamed Ayasofya. Five hundred years later, Kemal Ataturk, the artist of avant-garde Turkey, fabricated it into a museum. Ataturk – about said to be Turkey’s analogue of Russia’s Peter the Abundant – approved to ‘westernise’ his country by authoritative it into a civilian state, introducing the Latin alphabet, and adopting the European hat as the civic headgear instead of the acceptable fez.

Today, Ayasofya is still a museum, awash by visitors who ache their necks to beam in admiration at the mosaic-encrusted axial dome, so aerial that it can board the Statue of Liberty. But Turkey has voted in favour of an Islamic government instead of Ataturk’s civilian dispensation, a development which is one of the accouterments to the country’s adapted associates of the all-Christian European Union. East or West? The alter of history has yet to achieve which of the two Turkey absolutely belongs to.

Or conceivably it belongs to both, and in accomplishing so belongs to neither. For Istanbul, added than any alternative city, is celebrated affidavit that ‘East’ and ‘West’ are approximate bounded and cultural constructs which added are acceptable changeable with anniversary other. Continued afore ‘globalisation’ became a catchphrase, Istanbul that already was Constantinople was active affidavit of a catholic absoluteness which underlies the corrective changes that history makes on the face of time.

We booty the bear from Uskudar aback to Eminonu, from Asia to Europe, from East to West. And we’re still in the aforementioned place, still in Istanbul, still in the burghal which could be accustomed a name no alternative than ‘ The City’, different unto itself.


If you had the choice, which burghal would you like to appointment a burghal of antique and why?



The Eastern Roman Ascendancy was the best affluent civilisation from the alpha of the Average Ages until the Arab invasions. Travellers and campaign declared it as the best avant-garde civilisation of the time and were in awe of the bodies active in affluence with its superb architectural marvels. Constantinople was a bargain haven, extending to Eurasia and North Africa. It was the primary western hub of the cottony trade. From Constantinople, the cottony was again exported to Egypt, Bulgaria and added west. The accompaniment controlled centralized and all-embracing bargain and captivated a cartel over arising coinage. The bill of the Byzantine Ascendancy had a aerial amount in the average ages. Reforms accomplished by Diocletian and Constantine laid the foundations for the Byzantium abridgement by replacing the gold aureus with the solidus and introducing the follies (coins) in bronze. Bill were minted both in the basic as able-bodied as provinces. Abounding mints were amid in ample eastern cities like Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, Kyzikos, Ravenna and Rome. Major guilds and corporations were supervised through taxation, authoritative absorption ante and acclimation article prices.

Non-monetary bargain of appurtenances and casework through bargain was added archetypal to alien areas.

The Byzantines had a able ascendancy on bartering activities. Professions were organised in guilds and no one was accustomed to accord to two guilds simultaneously. Builders, by law, had to accommodate a ten-year agreement of the anatomy they erected!

Solidus of Justinian II from the seventh century

Coin of Justinian I biconcave in India suggesting actuality of Indo-Roman trade

People were affianced in a array of professions, agronomics actuality the complete occupation. The high chic mostly comprised of the aristocracy, accompaniment functionaries, chief aggressive admiral and ample acreage owners. The average chic was fabricated up of the merchants, accomplished craftsmen and owners of average admeasurement acreage and backdrop while the lower chic was fabricated up of allowance earners, labourers and destitute. Men active all the official posts in the administrative courts, ascendancy and military.

Women about did not actively participate in bargain and were bedfast to domiciliary duties about affirmation of women agreeable in aberrant and spinning, alive as bake-apple and vegetable vendors, assemble gatherers and kourisses (women who dressed alternative women’s beard active either abreast or in accessible baths). Women could additionally accept the advantage of actuality physicians and midwives. Some served aliment in bedfellow houses and taverns. Although women were afar from priesthood, they had a appropriate abode in monasteries. Abounding nunneries in the Byzantine Ascendancy were run by changeable abbots.


The Byzantine association formed on the archetypal of paterfamilias. The macho exerted complete ascendancy and took affliction of the family. The families were continued ancestors with two to three ancestors active together. Nuclear families existed in burghal cities area traders confused and acclimatized with their actual ancestors members. The woman of the ancestors aloft and cared for the children.

The added advanced ancestor of the Roman association was bargain to the Greek abstraction of benevolent families area daughters were kept beneath austere ascendancy of the macho ancestors and boys were accustomed the abandon to act independently. A woman was consistently accompanied by addition whenever she larboard house. Kekaumenos, a Byzantine columnist in his assignment Strategikon has said, “Keep your daughters as prisoners, bedfast and inconspicuous”. Education was bound to account and writing.

Girls got affiliated at the age of thirteen or fourteen and the suitor was called by the parents. Sometimes able matchmakers helped in bringing two accordant families calm and becoming by demography a allotment of the dowry. Girls usually did not accept a say in allotment the partner. Alliance was a academic commemoration accustomed by the church. A woman becoming account in association through her marriage. It was important to accept at atomic one macho child.


Christianity had pervaded every angle of animal activity in the Byzantine Empire, including law and order. Accompaniment laws accustomed a all-powerful sanction as the emperor was captivated to be God’s alluvial adumbrative and so his laws were basic for advancement stability. An accretion anatomy of Canonical Laws reflect the growing ascendancy of the church.

Corpus juris civilis alien by Justinian I served as a base for civilian jurisprudence. Abounding afterwards contributions like Nomos Georgikas (Farmer’s Law) and Rhodian Sea Law were clandestine collections of codes pertaining to rural activity and amphibian activities respectively.

Criminal law mainly addressed instances of theft, robbery, accident or abrasion to addition being or property. Courts were accustomed to accord with these matters. Punishments ranged from banking compensation, imprisonment, adjournment and in cases of pre-meditated annihilation or baleful advance afterlife amends was awarded.

Class barriers existed in the Byzantine Ascendancy too. Convicted elites in cases alternative than crime could lose their titles, claimed acreage or get abandoned to a abbey or alien province, admitting accessible flogging, anamorphosis and beheading were the punishments referred for the associates of the lower classes. As the access of the abbey grew, such punishments were abhorred and adjournment in monasteries became added common. The abbey became an cover for claimed attrition and airy healing.


Decline of the Byzantine Ascendancy was a action which lasted several centuries afore the final collapse. Although there is no assertive date for the alpha of the decline, historians absolutely accede that it all started with the aggression of the Arabs.

The Arabs had baffled territories in the Levant (modern-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories) and Egypt by the ninth century. The accident of Egypt was a abundant draft as best of the bogus appurtenances and naturals assets of the Byzantine Ascendancy came from the province. Conversely Egypt now accepted to be a antecedent of accounts to the Ummayad and Abbasid Caliphates, giving them the adventuresomeness and assets to expand. The Byzantine-Arab Wars bedridden the ascendancy not alone monetarily but the affiliated accompaniment of war drained the bodies of their concrete and affecting strength.

Between the 11th and 12th centuries, the Seljuk Turks assuredly acclimatized in Anatolia. By 1025, the accomplished of Asia Minor, about 70 per cent of the Byzantine Ascendancy was absent to the Seljuks.

The Crusades were launched partly to restore the absent celebrity of the Byzantine Ascendancy but majorly to get aback the angelic places in and abreast Jerusalem. About the Crusades added to the banking accountability of the Ascendancy and became a acumen for its decline.

Important dates

286 CE- Founding of Constantinople by the aboriginal Constatnitne Emperor Constantine I.

306- Founding of the Constantine Ascendancy by Emperor Constantine.

330 -founding of Constantinople as the basic of the Eastern Roman Empire.

360- Aboriginal Abbey of Hagia Sophia congenital by Constantius II.

363 to 364- non dynastic rulers.

364 to 379 -Valentian dynasty.

379 to 457 – Theodosian dynasty.

395- Final analysis of the Western and Eastern Roman Empire.

415-Second Abbey of Hagia Sophia congenital by Theodosius II.

457 – Founding of the Leonid Dynasty.

518 – Founding of the Justinian Absolutism by Justin I.

523- Nika Riots put bottomward by Justinian I.

533- Justinian reclaims the arena of North Africa.

Use your Blah Cells…


Describe the geographic factors that fabricated Constantinople a centre of cultural diffusion, aggressive defence, and trade.

How were the Roman and Byzantine empires connected?

What is Justinian’s Code?

How did the Byzantine Ascendancy advice to bottle and address classical Greek and Roman ability and knowledge?

How did Byzantine art and architectonics alter from the Romans?


Justinian’s’ Cipher helped authorize adjustment in the Byzantine Empire. What role do you anticipate rules and laws comedy today?

Given beneath is a law on disciplinarian from Book I of Justinian’s Code. Read it anxiously and acknowledgment the questions that follow;

Slaves are in the ability of masters, a ability acquired from the law of nations; for amid all nations it may be remarked that masters accept the ability of activity and afterlife over their slaves, and that aggregate acquired by the bondservant is acquired for the master.

Was it a aloof law?

Would this law assignment today? Why?

Justinian uses the words law of nations? Do you anticipate the byword is exaggerated? Why?

In Grade 6, you learnt about Hammurabi’s Code. How does it alter from Justinian’s Code? Compare and contrast.

Why has allocation of law been an important aspect of administrative processes?


Byzantine Ascendancy has contributed badly to art and architecture. In ablaze of the account appraise the addition of Byzantine art.

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