The Byzantine Empire

By: Alex Lozano and Hunter Jones

EQ: How does geography affect an empire's economy?

Early Byzantine empire

The Byzantine empire was founded in 330 AD by the roman emperor Constantine I. It was the Eastern half of Rome, that survived the fall of the Roman Empire. Byzantine's placement was a midpoint location in the Europe to Asia trade. The Byzantine empire was established to restrengthen the Roman Empire and starting anew.

Time period

The Byzantine empire lasted 11 centuries, 324 - 1460 AD. They fell to the Ottoman Turks who blew in the walls of Constantinople with cannons: an up and coming type of weaponry during this time which Constant. The Byzantine emperor during their fall was Paleologus. A very centralized great place for ports and trade. This caused the Byzantine empire to become a very wealthy empire. The Byzantine had many characteristics about them that flourished all over Asia.


Justinian, the last "Caesar" was the emperor of the Byzantine empire from 527 to 565 AD. During Justinian's reign as emperor, he sought to take back the western half of the Roman Empire and restore it to its previous greatness. Justinian was successful in his endeavors, restoring the empire to its former glory in a sense of size and economy. He created "Justinian's Code", which was a simplified version of the Roman law that they already had instituted.

Greek Influence

During the golden age of Byzantine, Basil of Macedonia (Ruler in 976) encouraged studies of Greek culture. Soon enough, Greek became the official language. Emperors and empresses began wearing nice beautiful silk which was a big trade product that Greece produced. Greek culture also spread into the Byzantine empire bring Christianity into the east which had a big impact on Byzantine art. This allowed Byzantine to make beautiful mosaics based on Christianity.

Hagia Sophia & Religious Feats

The Hagia Sophia (526) was a massive centralized Christian Church in Constantinople.

Byzantine was easily able to spread their Christian faith simply because of their geographical placement on a trade route.

Legacy & Key Features of Empire

  • Europe/Asia trade route placement
  • Involvement in the crusades
  • Orthodox Christian faith spread and remains today in places like Russia, Greece, Romania.
  • Created a new era/interest in classical Greece

Main characteristics of byzantine empire

The byzantine empire maintained high levels of political, economical, and cultural activities. Leaders of the byzantine empires thought of themselves as roman emperors but they didn't actually have as much power as one. Had control of Constinople which was one of the best and most advanced cities in the world at this time. This caused the Byzantine empire to become a very wealthy and great empire because Constinople was a central location where it was easy to get goods to come in and very easy to trade goods out.

EQ: How does geography affect an empire's economy?

Critical Thinking: How would the byzantine empire have turned out, had they not had an economical success of a city like Constinople?


Justinian I, © Christel Gerstenberg/Corbis

Papagika, Angeliki. "Hagia Sophia." Hagia Sophia. Tesla Memorial Society, n.d. Web.

Giotto, Mr. "Emperor Justinian and the Byzantine Empire." Emperor Justinian and the Byzantine Empire. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

"Byzantine Empire." A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.

"Justinian I (Byzantine Emperor)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.