Byzantium CCOT Essay

Topics: Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Pope Pages: 2 (886 words) Published: March 23, 2015
The Byzantine Empire was shaped by the decline of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Arabs. The empire experienced many attacks and flourished for several centuries. Byzantium was a strong centralized hereditary monarchy. It had an effective military and a bureaucracy that answered to the emperor. Under the concept of caesaropapism, the emperor was held to be ordained by God, head of church as well as state. He appointed church bishops and passed religious and secular laws. The empire developed a distant trading network with Asia to the east and Russia and Scandinavia to the north. Silk production expanded in the empire, with silkworms and techniques initially imported from China, and various luxury products, including cloth, carpets, and spices, were sent north. This gave the empire a favorable trading position with less sophisticated lands. In the period 600 to 1450, the Byzantine Empire politically altered due to invasions of Seljuk and Ottoman Turks. Conversely, the civilization culturally transformed for the reason of urbanization as a result of modern advancement. Despite changes both politically and culturally, the influence of Christianity remained constant throughout the time period. The Byzantine Empire maintained high levels of political activity during the period 600 to 1450 C.E. It controlled important but fluctuating territory in the Balkans, the northern Middle East, and the eastern Mediterranean. Its leaders saw themselves as Roman emperors, and their government was in many ways a direct continuation of the eastern portion of the late Roman Empire. However, in the eleventh century, Byzantium entered a long period of political decline and changes. Starting with the Seljuk Turks, and later their more dangerous successors, the Ottomans, slowly but unceasingly seized territory away from the empire. Crusades were launched as a result from the arrival of the Seljuk Turks. In effect, the Crusades, in addition to the Turks, assisted the weakening of...
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