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Greece & Turkey

The Byzantine Empire

In this lecture, we explored the fascinating thousand-year arc of the Eastern Roman Empire.  We began in 395 CE, when the Roman Empire was formally split into two.  We followed the dynamic rise to power of Constantine the Great, who established Christianity as a major religion for the empire, laying the foundation for one of the great pillars of the Byzantine Empire: its adherence to the Eastern Orthodox Faith. 

We saw the development and growth of the empire’s capital city, Constantinople into the “Queen of Cities,” and how the empire played a key military role in keeping the armies of Islam from conquering Europe for centuries.  We looked at the careers of Byzantine emperors such as Justinian I, Heraclius, and Basil II, and how they developed important concepts of law that are still relevant today.  We touched on the the dazzling art and architecture and the lasting cultural legacy of the Byzantine Empire, before witnessing its fall to the Ottomans in 1453.  


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