antiques
Best articles about oldest civilizations

Archive for the ‘Ancient Greece’ Category

27
Sep

Brief History of the Byzantine Empire

Posted in Ancient Greece  by antiques

byzantine-empire-mosaicIt is not possible to effectually distinguish between the later empire in Rome and the Byzantine empire centered around Constantinople. For the Byzantines were the Roman Empire, not simply a continuation of it in the East. The capital city, Constantinople, had been founded as the capital of Rome by the Emperor Constantine, but a uniquely Greek or Byzantine character to the Roman Empire can be distinguished as early as Diocletian. When Rome was seized by Goths, this was a great blow to the Roman Empire, but it didn’t effectively end it. Although Rome was under the control of foreigners who themselves claimed to be continuing the empire, the Byzantine empire continued as before, believing themselves to be the Roman Empire.

Over the centuries, however, Byzantium evolved into a very different civilization. The eastern Empire had always had a predominately Greek character, but the Byzantines through the course of the first millenium AD had to deal with cultural influences and political threats from European cultures, Asian cultures and, primarily, Islam after the seventh century. Read the rest of this entry »

27
Sep

Byzantine Empire - Invasion of the Muslims

Posted in Ancient Greece  by antiques

byzantine-empire-muslimsAlmost all of Byzantine energy over the next centuries would be focussed on Islam. The Muslims very quickly conquered Byzantine territory in Syria and Egypt largely because of disaffected populations of Christians and Jews who had been persecuted since the time of Justinian. The patriarchal caliphs and later the Umayyad caliphs, however, really had their sights on Byzantine territory—in fact, the conquest of Byzantium itself. They easily conquered all the Persian territories, but they could never quite conquer the heart of Byzantium itself. In 670, they attempted this conquest with a large fleet; in 717, they tried again with a land and sea operation against the city.

This operation, however, turned the tide away from the Muslims. Under the emperor Leo the Isaurian (717-741), the Muslim invasion was turned back and the Byzantines began to hold their own against Islamic incursions. Read the rest of this entry »

27
Sep

History of the Byzantine Philosophy and the Slavs

Posted in Ancient Greece  by antiques

byzantine-philosophy-wedding-ringPerhaps the single most salient aspect of Byzantine culture was the transmission of classical culture. While classical studies, science, and philosophy largely dissipated in the Latin west, Byzantine education and philosophy still zealously pursued these intellectual traditions. It was in Byzantium that Plato and Aristotle continued to be studied and were eventually transmitted first into the Islamic world and then back into western Europe. A basic education in Byzantium consisted first of the mastery of classical Greek literature, such as Homer (largely unknown in the West during this period)—almost all of the Greek literature we have today was only preserved by the Byzantines. Read the rest of this entry »

27
Sep

The History of Byzantine Empire from Illyria to Albania

Posted in Ancient Greece  by antiques

byzantine-empireWhen the Roman Empire divided into east and west in 395, the territories of modern Albania became part of the Byzantine Empire. As in the Roman Empire, some Illyrians rose to positions of eminence in the new empire. Three of the emperors who shaped the early history of Byzantium (reigning from 491 to 565) were of Illyrian origin: Anastasius I, Justin I, and–the most celebrated of Byzantine emperors–Justinian I.

In the first decades under Byzantine rule (until 461), Ilyria suffered the devastation of raids by Visigoths, Huns, and Ostrogoths. Not long after these barbarian invaders swept through the Balkans, the Slavs appeared. Between the 6th and 8th centuries they settled in Illyrian territories and proceeded to assimilate Illyrian tribes in much of what is now Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia. Read the rest of this entry »