The Byzantine Empire And Latin Christendom And The Rise Of The Middle Ages

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During the Middle Ages, the politics and religious systems of the former western Roman Empire changed in many ways due to a number of events and interactions. One of the most important and defining events of this period was the rise of both Latin Christendom and the rise of the Islamic Caliphates. More specifically, is was the ensuing interactions between the two as both faiths struggled to establish their dominance. The rise of the heirs to the Roman Empire, Byzantium, the Caliphates and Latin Christendom, led to conflict and a more clearly defined and structured western world. This “new” western world was no longer simply divided along geographical and political lines, but was now demarcated by an additional principal characteristic:…show more content…
Though one should consider the argument by some historians that the Byzantine Empire was really a continuation of the Roman empire and not in fact a new entity. The Byzantine Empire had been formed in Late Antiquity by the splitting of the Roman empire between the two heirs of Theodosius I. While the two halves retained some ties for all intents and purposes the two were independent entities after 395 CE. While the Western Empire continued to decline, the Byzantines actually flourished and by the 4th century included the Balkans, Greece, Anatolia (Asia Minor), the Levant, and parts of North Africa including Egypt. While Byzantium’s power fluctuated, especially during conflicts with the Islamic civilization and during internal wars, for the majority of its history the Byzantine Empire was a strong political, cultural and economic power in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Significant conflicts in the 11th century caused the Byzantine Empire to decline and this decline was made worse by the Sack of Constantinople in 1204 by the Venetian Crusaders. After this defeat, Byzantium was split into two portions and remained so until 1261 when it was reunified. However, the damage was done and internal conflict and civil war continued to plague the Empire until it ultimately was destroyed by the Ottoman Turks in
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