Byzantine Institutions Essay

3417 words - 14 pages

Question: Explain the development and the nature of the Byzantine institutions (church and state), social and urban life, and cultural achievements?
Answer: Byzantine art is the term commonly used to describe the artistic products of the Eastern Roman Empire from about the 5th century until the fall of Constantinople in 1453. (The Roman Empire during this period is conventionally known as the Byzantine Empire.)
The term can also be used for the art of states which were contemporary with the Byzantine Empire and shared a common culture with it, without actually being part of it, such as Bulgaria, Serbia or Russia, and also Venice, which had close ties to the Byzantine Empire despite being ...view middle of the document...

Many smaller centers in the East were also far from insignificant, and as we proceed we will have cause to call attention to paintings and carvings in ivory which must have been produced in out-of-the-way places rather than in the great centers; they are naturally less sophisticated, but they nonetheless show the heritage of a great tradition, and sometimes, in addition, they are distinguished by the originality and freshness characteristic of a young art.
The adoption of Christianity by Constantine as the official religion of the Roman Empire through the Edict of Milan in 313 marks a turning-point in ecclesiastical history, but hardly in art, for old pagan ideas and motifs were taken over lock, stock, and barrel, and there were few immediate changes in style that could be attributed to the new faith rather than to the inevitable changes which were taking place as the result of the progress of time. The transference of the capital from Rome in Latin Italy to Constantinople in the Hellenistic Greek world in 330 marks another break, which was more significant as far as art was concerned, for it brought the Court and the Church, the two main sources of patronage, into the orbit of a new and distinct culture, in part Greek and in part Eastern. The Sack of Rome by barbarian Goths in 410 is also an important date, as is the year 476, when the last of the independent Roman emperors ceased to rule in the West. But more vital for art than all these was the reign of Justinian ( 527-65), for then the new Byzantine Empire was set on a sure foundation and an art and architecture which were both wholly Christian and also wholly new saw their first flowering. Change had set in before Justinian's day, for the new style was already budding when he came to the throne, and the beginning of the sixth century represents perhaps the true turning-point between the end of the old world and the beginning of the new, but it was Justinian's lavish patronage that established the new age firmly and definitely.
Question: What were the forces that caused the crusading movement and what effect did those forces have on the Crusades? What were the consequences of the Crusades?
Answer: The Crusades were Christian military expeditions undertaken between the 11th and the 14th century to recapture the Holy Land from the Muslims. The causes of the Crusades were many and complex, but prevailing religious beliefs were clearly of major importance. The Crusaders continued an older tradition of the Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, which was often imposed as a penance; now, however, they assumed a dual role as pilgrims and warriors. Such an armed pilgrimage was regarded as a justifiable war, because it was fought to recapture the places sacred to Christians. Jerusalem had been under Muslim rule since the 7th century, but pilgrimages were not cut off until the 11th century, when the Turks began to interfere with Christian pilgrims. For Christians, the very name of Jerusalem evoked visions of...

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