The Byzantine Empire and the Islamic Caliphate

1294 Words6 Pages
Without these two empires, much of the Greek knowledge known today would not have existed. These two empires brought back into popularity much of Greek culture and philosophy. There are many similarities that should be compared between the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic Caliphates. The Islamic Caliphates adopted an administrative structure based on Byzantine models. Caliphs of the Abbasid dynasty in Baghdad were absolute monarchs. They assumed new names when they started ruling and claimed divine support for their authority. The decline began when local regimes took up power. In the Byzantine state, the emperor became the sole and absolute ruler. The Senate ceased to have real political and legislative authority but remained as an honorary council with titular members. These are two very similar forms of government. This similarity could be due to necessity. Large societies usually have some form of an absolute monarch. These monarchs can be seen in Justinian I of the Byzantine Empire and Harun-al Rashid of the Abbasid Caliphate. Under both of these rulers, their respective empires began to decline. Because of the rule of Harun-al Rashid, major uprisings began due to his attempts at controlling the local rulers, and civil war broke out. This divided and weakened the Abbasid caliphate. The decisions that led to these massive problems seemed not to be bad or unwise, they seemed too assuming. Trying to control the local rulers presumed their loyalty in him and splitting the empire between his two sons presumed they could get along and not become power-hungry. Justinian shared the same ambition. He tried to extend his empire back to its former glory. He stretched out the empire too far. Justinian did not protect the capital and th... ... middle of paper ... ...t advances in art and literature in the Islamic Caliphates during its rise differed greatly from the few advances during the rise of the Byzantine Empire, Despite their differences, the Islamic Caliphate and the Byzantine Empire were remarkably similar. They shared similar governments, they declined under good leaders, were based off Greek ideals and had trade-based economies. Yet, their intellectual achievements were not equal and the way their trade focused economies worked were polar opposites. These empires did rise and fall in very similar ways that were not touched upon. The back and forth sharing of ideas between the empires must have been the cause for so much similarity. Works Cited "Byzantine Empire." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Oct. 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2013. "Abbasid Caliphate." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Oct. 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
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