Continuity and Change in Europe and Western Asia

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Continuity and Change in Europe and Western Asia

During the sixth and seventh centuries the Byzantine Empire survived waves of attacks, due to efficient leadership and to natural and man-made fortifications around Constantinople (Martin 206). From this strategic point Byzantine emperors organized and preserved old Roman institutions, and the Byzantine Empire survived until 1453. In particular, the emperor Justinian led the creation of the Code, which condensed the legal genius of the Romans into a coherent whole, eliminated outdated laws and oppositions, and clarified the law itself. The survival of Byzantine was sustained on faith of citizens, unique and strong in Roman heritage, beliefs, and learning skills. Christianity offered an individual what city-state and world-state could not, a personal relationship with God, as well as membership in community.

Rome and surrounding lands made up one half ofRoman Empire and Constantinople made up the other half. Emperor Constantine struggled to maintain unity of the Roman Empire. Duringfifth and sixth centuries western and eastern halves drifted apart. From 527 to 565 Emperor Justinian (empire.net) sought to re-conquerwestern half. Large armies made of Roman legions engaged in long battles eventually exhausting allcity resources, eventually destroyingthe economy and killing a large numberof citizens. After Justinian's death a weakened Italy fell to the Lombard's, and the western half of theEmpire was once again under Germanic rule.
Constantinople, the capitol city of the Roman Empire, passed on many of the ancient institutions and traditions of Greco Roman civilization, and employed all legal and administrative systems of the Roman Empire. The senate carried on all the traditions and p...

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...to the Christian Church and inserted that church was supreme in spiritual matters.By the time the Germanic barbarians were an issue, Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. In the centuries after Constantine the most serious argument within the Orthodox Church concerned icons images or representations of God the Father. Christian teaching held that icons representing the saints. Entire provinces revolted, Iconoclasm raised question of the right of the emperor to intervene in religious disputes between church and state. The outcome was a continuing split, between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches today.

Works Cited

Weisner-Hanks.TheHistory of the World Societies. Boston: Bedford Martin, 2012

Illustrated History of The Roman Empire. Franco Cavazzi. The Roman Empire Net, 2013
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