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To Byzantium and Beyond!


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Byzantine architecture was most fully expressed in churches; the most noticeable
feature was the __________ on each church.
- marble
- dome
- gold
- steeple
Domed churches, of which there are several examples in Erie, PA, are an enduring legacy of Byzantine architecture.
In what occupation did Muhammad prosper before receiving Allah's revelation?
- a monk
- a soldier
- a merchant
- an artist
a merchant
As a merchant, he would certainly have appreciated the excellent location of Constantinople for trade.
Constantinople's location and riches made it attractive to many invaders.
However, Constantinople was finally taken over by Muslims, the Ottoman Turks in 1453, the end of the Byzantine Empire.
The secret of ____________________ manufacture, a staple of Byzantine industry, was smuggled out of China.
- tapestry
- olive oil
- silk
- gunpowder
The secret was brought to Constantinople by two monks.
The Byzantine artists were especially skilled in and known for all EXCEPT ______________________.
- painting icons
- fine hand-blown glassware
- illuminating (decorating) texts
- creating intricate mosaics
fine hand-blown glassware was something for which the Venetians were famous.
Art of a religious nature is what the Byzantine artists were best known for.
Describe the typical diet in the Byzantine Empire before the wars with the Persians, Muslims and Kievan Rus warriors.
The Byzantine Empire, throughout most of its history, had an economy and a diet based on trade with nations largely bordering on the Mediterranean Sea.
Common food items included olive oil from Syria, bread made with grain from Egypt, lettuce, garlic, and onions grown in small plots along the city walls, cheeses, and fish in seaside communities.
After the great wars, their diet had to adapt to less olive oil and less grain from Egypt. They began to consume more meat and had to eat more simply because they no longer had servants to cook for them and even feed them.
In Constantinople, the primary spoken language, especially after the 7th century, was:
- Latin
- Greek
- Hebrew
- Roman
Even though the people of the Byzantine Empire considered themselves to be heirs of Rome, they spoke Greek.
Most natives of the area around Constantinople already spoke Greek because Byzantium had been a Greek colony.
Many traders from the East also were accustomed to doing business in Greek and did not know Latin.
Although Latin was used for official and court documents for a long time, even that was eventually replaced by Greek.
The Byzantine Empire was able to _________ the best of western mankind's knowledge base.

- test
- safeguard
- destroy
- plunder
When most of Europe was plunged deep into the Dark Ages and life was lived on a survival level for most of the population, the Byzantine Empire was gathering and protecting both knowledge and craftsmen.
Had it not been for the Byzantine Empire's education system and teaching missionaries, the Renaissance in Europe may not have taken place.
Both Greek and Roman cultures were preserved in Byzantium, as well as some influences from China and the Slavic Peoples.
Emperor _____________ directed his lawyers to codify, organize and revise 1000 years of
Roman law created a valuable, lasting heritage for the whole Western world. Most
law codes of today are based on this work.
- Constantine
Emperor Justinian
Among his many accomplishments, he set about recording the sum total of Roman law from the previous millenium.
What was Istanbul, Turkey called during the Middle Ages?
It was the capital of the Byzantine Empire.
Emperor Justinian ruled the Byzantine Empire from 527 to 565 C.E.
All of the following were among his accomplishments, EXCEPT for:
- he built the Hagia Sophia, roads, public buildings and aqueducts
- he greatly increased the surplus in th
HE DID NOT greatly increase the surplus in the treasury of the Byzantine Empire!
In fact, excessive spending under Justinian nearly bankrupted the Byzantine Empire.
Constantinople was finally conquered by the _______________ in 1453.
- Mongols
- Romans
- Barbarians
- Muslims
The Ottoman Turks were Muslims.
The Byzantine empire reached its greatest size by

- 330, when Constantine rebuilt the city of Byzantium.
- 565, at the end of Emperor Justinian's rule.
- 1054, when the pope and the patriarch excommunicated each other.
- 145
by 565, at the end of Emperor Justinian's rule.
It was at its smallest size just before the Ottoman Turks invaded.
Note: Emperor Justininan nearly bankrupted the Byzantine Empire with the military spending that expanded the Empire and on building projects like the Hagia Sophia.
The rise of what religion led to the loss of much of the Byzantine Empire's territory in the 7th Century C.E. as its armies swept out from what is today known as Saudi Arabia?
One of the most critical losses for the Byzantine Empire was that of Syria.
Who legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire and why was this significant?
Emperor Constantine
Christianity was legalized in the Edict of Milan.
It was significant because it signaled the end of persecution of the Christians and a climate of religious tolerance.
This tolerance which was echoed by William Penn in the founding of Pennsylvania and later in the Unites States Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantines in 1071 at the battle of ____________________.
- The Bosporus Strait
- Manzikert
- Constantinople
- Macedonia
The Emperor ________________ founded Constantinople on the ruins of a Greek city
called Byzantium. This is where the name "Byzantine" comes from.
- Augustus
- Constantine
- Alexander
- Julius Caesar
Emperor Constantine founded what was at first called "New Rome."
He later named it after himself; Constantinople means "Constantine's City."
What Roman Emperor moved the seat of government from Rome to a city on the Bosporus Strait?
Emperor Constantine
He built Constantinople at what had been a simple Greek fishing port.
The early Christian church split in half when the religious leaders of the two groups ____________ each other.
- tried to jail
- excommunicated (banned from church)
- made war on
- broke agreements with
excommunicated (banned from church)
The split, called the Great Schism, might not have been permanent if another crucial event had not followed it.
In the Fourth Crusade 1202-1204, the sacking (looting and burning) of Constantinople by Western European Christian crusaders was the final blow on already strained ties to the West.
The Byzantine Empire lasted over ________ years!
- 500
- 750
- 1000
- 1250
over 1000 years
This is generally measured from 330 C.E. when Constantine established his capital in Constantinople and ending in 1453 C.E. when the Ottoman Turks seized the city.
Name the famous church in Constantinople, built by Emperor Justinian and supporting the largest dome in the world in its day.
Haggia Sophia
It is also known as the "Church of Holy Wisdom"
Choose THREE factors that describe the importance of geography (location) of Constantinople.
- It was surrounded by natural barriers on all four sides.
- It was located along the Bosporus Strait which allowed the only entry into the Black Sea
- located along the Bosporus Strait which allowed the only entry into the Black Sea from the Aegean Sea
- located on a peninsula, defensible on three sides by water
- located at a major crossroads of the Silk Road for trade with China
Constantinople did NOT have natural defenses on its landward side, that is why they built the huge city wall as a defense.
The Byzantine culture was a mixture of Roman ____, Christian _______ and Greek ___________.
- military, popes, legal system
- trade, beliefs, law
- law, faith, philosophy
- gladiators, churches, clothing
Roman law, Christian faith, and Greek philosophy
Which of the following achievements of Emperor Justinian has had the most lasting influence on later civilizations?
- his building of the Hagia Sophia
- his collection and organization of ancient Roman laws
- his large and efficient bureau
his collection and organization of ancient Roman laws
What were the two main branches of Christianity in the Roman Empire called and where was each branch based?
Roman Catholic (based in Rome)
Eastern Orthodox (based in Constantinople)
The ____________________ were military administrative districts established by Heraclius.

- provinces
- divisions
- themes
- caliphates
Under the theme system, peasants were rewarded for military service with small plots of land to own.
This greatly improved the willingness of the peasants to fight and to use their land more productively.
Both of these factors contributed to the rise of the Byzantine Empire.
The Byzantine Empire lasted more than ______ times as long as the United States has existed so far.
- eight
- four
- six
- ten
- four
Justinian was responsible for the collecting and writing down (recodification) of Roman law.
True or False
Justininan collected and organized 1000 years of Roman law, much of which still echoes in our laws today.
What did Justinian's Code synthesize (combine)?
1000 years of Roman Law
The center of the first Russian state was the city of ___________, located in what is now the Ukraine.
- Kulikova
- Stalingrad
- Kiev
- Constantinople
Kiev was a city that developed strong trading ties with Constantinople.
It was well situated to be a trading hub between the Vikings and the Greeks; serving much the same role between Constantinople and northern Europe.
Kievan princes sometimes even attacked Constantinople, in part to enforce trade treaties.
Today, the ______________ people show the most lasting influence of the Byzantine church.
- Italian
- Egyptian
- Russian
- Syrian
Iconography, liturgy (worship service)in the Russian Orthodox church, and alphabet, music, and architecture in the Russian society as a whole all are remnants of the Byzantine influence.
What FOUR factors leading to its fall did the Byzantine Empire have in common with the fall of the Western Roman Empire?
- Split between Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches
- Internal Conflicts
- Political Instability
- Att
Internal Conflicts
Political Instability
Attacks from invading armies
Inflation and Overspending
The people who finally brought down the Byzantine empire in 1453 were the
- crusaders of western Europe.
- Muslim Saljuqs.
- Ottoman Turks.
- Russians and Bulgars.
Ottoman Turks.
Crusaders from Western Europe did sack (burn and loot) Constantinople in 1204 C.E., but that was not the end of the Byzantine Empire.
It was, perhaps, the beginning of the end, a major blow from which Constantinople never really recovered.
Who was responsible for the restoration of icon veneration (honor, worship)?
- Theodora
- Leo III
- Justinian
- Heraclius
Empress Theodora.
An icon is a stylized representation of God, Christ, or the saints.
February 19, 842 C.E. Theodora officially restored the Icons.
Empress Irene was also credited with restoring the icons after the death of Leo III.
Constantinople was well situated to establish a commercial dominance in the Byzantine Empire for all EXCEPT which one of the following factors?
- strategic location between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea
- control of trade routes to
the love most Byzantines felt for the sea was NOT a significant factor in its commercial dominance.
Its location on both land and sea trade routes and its ability to produce silk from silkworms smuggled out of China virtually guaranteed a leadership role in commerce for Constantinople.
Before the establishment of Islam, the Arabs were monotheists.
True or False
Islam was the first prominent religion in the Arab world that focused on only one god.
Polytheism, worhip of multiple gods or entities, had been customary among the Arab peoples.
What was the drawback (disadvantage) to Justinian's magnificent reign?
- He was assassinated.
- His resolution of all religious controversies destroyed the papacy.
- The cost of his campaigns bankrupted his successors.
- His elim
The cost of his campaigns bankrupted his successors.
He also spent huge sums of money on building projects including the Hagia Sophia, roads, aqueducts and public buildings.
Who was the first iconoclastic emperor?
- Leo III
- Romanus Lecapenus
- Michael the Drunkard
- Anastasius
In 726 C.E., Leo III issued an edict forbidding the use of images or icons of the sacred personages of Christianity including Christ and all the saints.
The _____ brought Christianity to the Slavic peoples.
- Scandinavian princes
- Byzantine Empire
- western kingdoms
- papal missionaries
- Byzantine Empire
- Missionaries Methodius and Cyril (sometimes known as Constantine, but not the same man as the Emperor Constantine) were the first missionaries to the Slavic peoples. The Cyrillic alphabet, a melding of Latin and Greek alphabets was developed by and named for Cyril because the Slavs had no written language.
Which of the following was NOT a cause of divisiveness in the Byzantine Empire?
- rival political factions associated with Hippodrome teams
- continuing dominance of the urban centers over the rural peasant world
- religious squabbles
- continuing dominance of the urban centers over the rural peasant world was not a major point of conflict

Believe it or not, political factions did associate themselves with specific chariot racing teams. The Hippodrome was not just a sports arena, much of Constantinople's political life also played out there.
It was a meeting place and a place where the emperor was most approachable. He often used it as a place to rule on disputes.
Which of the following was NOT a way in which Constantinople was important:
- as a busy port city
- as a major center for gladiator training
- as the center of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church
- as a key point along the Silk
- as a major center for gladiator training
Gladiator contests had largely died out with the fall of Rome.
Such barbaric events were not in keeping with the Christian Empire's focus.
Chariot racing, also dangerous, but not intended to kill, became the most common public sporting event.
The greatest emperor of the Byzantine Empire after Constantine was ____________.
- Alexander
- Justinian
- Nero
- Leo X
Emperor Justinian was considered a great emperor because he reclaimed much territory that had been lost to the Byzantine Empire and built many magnificent structures such as the church, Hagia Sophia.
The Byzantine empire came to an end in 1453 when Constantinople fell to the
- Seljuk Turks
- Greeks
- Romans
- Ottoman Turks
Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks were an Islamic people who then rebuilt Constantinople to be their capital, converting many churches into mosques.
The four minarets that now surround the Hagia Sophia and the crescent moon on its dome where a cross once stood are all symbols of Islam.
Istanbul (literally "The City of Islam")in Turkey (land of the Turks) is the modern name for what was once Constantinople.
The people of Constantinople gathered in the _____ to see the chariot races.
- the Hippodrome
- the Forum
- the Colosseum
- the Parthenon
- the Hippodrome
This track, built especially for the chariot races was located close to the Hagia Sophia and the Imperial Palace, representing the three focal points of Byzantine Society the Church, Sport, and the Emperor
Choose FOUR main factors that led to the fall of the Western Roman Empire?
- Political Instability
- Internal Conflicts
- Attacks from invading armies
- Inflation and Overspending
- Split between Eastern Orthodox and Roman Cathol
Political Instability
Internal Conflicts
Inflation and Overspending
Attacks from invading armies
During the Byzantine Empire, the Christian church split into two main groups: Roman Catholicism and _________________ Orthodox.

- Western
- Southern
- Northern
- Eastern
Eastern Orthodox.
Today we still see the Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox churches as descendents of the Eastern Orthodox church.
Which of the following achievements of Justinian greatly influenced many later civilizations?
- his building of the Hagia Sophia
- his collection and organization of ancient Roman laws
- his large and efficient bureaucracy
- his
his collection and organization of ancient Roman laws.
This collection, sometimes known as know as the Justinian Code, made up more than ten volumes and is still echoed in today's legal systems.
Emperor Justinian's recovery of parts of Italy, Spain, and North Africa did not last; those territories were lost to the Byzantine Empire again well before its eventual fall in 1453.
Which of the following was NOT a consequence of the Byzantine missions to the Slavic peoples?
- The Cyrillic alphabet became the writing system of the Slavic peoples.
- The Byzantine empire and Slavic peoples united to fight against the Islamic
- The Byzantine empire and Slavic peoples united to fight against the Islamic armies.
The Slavic leaders actually attacked Constantinople and wanted it for themselves.
Maybe if they HAD united, Constantinople would not have fallen to the Ottoman Turks (Islamic armies).
Byzantine scholars, monks and nobility made and kept copies of ancient ______, thereby preserving much of what had been learned by previous civilizations.
- drawings
- statues
- texts
- clothes
One of the most significant texts that was preserved in this way was the collection of Roman laws that Emperor Justinian had organized and codified.
An iconoclast is literally
- one who collects icons
- one who worships images
- one who worships the real person instead of the icon
- one who breaks images
- one who paints icons
one who breaks images
Byzantine culture and civilization influenced early Russia in all of the following ways EXCEPT
- domed church architecture
- Orthodox Christianity
- feudalism
- religious music and art
The greatest impact on Russian culture was in direct relation to the Christian churches, an influence still evident today in the Russian Orthodox churches.
Feudalism was not a major characteristic of Byzantine culture.
In fact, it was a form of feudalism that seriously undermined the strength of the Byzantine army.
Peasants had previously been rewarded for military service with small plots of land to own.
As powerful aristocrats siezed their land and made them serfs, the Byzantine military might wasted away and with it, the Empire.
The Romans first gained control the Greek Colony of Byzas, which they named Byzantium, in the second century (before 200) C.E.
True or False?
The Romans first gained control of this area in 196 C.E.
The ____________________ or bishop of Constantinople became the religious head of the Orthodox Church.
- cardinal
- patriarch
- pope
- delegate
the patriarch
Although the patriarch was the religious head of the Eastern Orthodox church, final authority rested with the Emperor, who was said to rule by Divine Right - by God's decree.
Justinian's reconquest brought which of the following areas back into the eastern Roman Empire?
- Egypt
- Italy
- Arabia
- Gaul
Unfortunately, the Byzantine Empire did not hold Italy for long.
Justinian's campaigns had nearly bankrupted the Empire and they were not able to withstand later invasions to seize Italy.
In 1204 Constantinople was captured by
- the Mongols
- the Ottomans
- Christian crusaders
- the Abbasids
Christian crusaders
Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade attacked largely at the prompting of Venice, a fierce economic competitor with Constantinople.
The attack was also in support of deposed Emperor Alexius IV.
Choose THREE things that contributed to the RISE of the Byzantine Empire:
- a strong Army and Navy
- the spread of Islam
- location as a hub of international trade
- the capital and largest city was easily defended
- a strong Army and Navy
- location as a hub of international trade
- the capital and largest city was easily defended
The rise of Islam contributed to the FALL of the Byzantine Empire.
Under the theme system,
- Byzantine generals used Greek fire to defend their provinces (themes).
- free peasants received allotments of land in exchange for military service.
- generals cooperated with governors in civil administration of
free peasants received allotments of land in exchange for military service.
This contributed greatly to the military strength of the Byzantine Empire because the peasants had something of their own to fight for. It was only when a type of feudal system began to take the ownership of the land from the peasants that Byzantine military might began to crumble.
Choose three major factors that contributed to the FALL of the Byzantine Empire:
- peasants lost their land and with it their will to fight in the Army
- the spread of Islam
- stealing the secret of producing silk from China
- lo
- peasants lost their land and with it their will to fight in the Army
- the spread of Islam
- loss of key territories such as Syria
The secret of silk production was an economic advantage and contributed to the RISE of the Byzantine Empire.
Emperor Leo III (reigned 717--741) launched the campaign of iconoclasm because
- he wanted to give the ecclesiastical authorities a lesson by destroying paintings and images of Jesus and the saints.
- he was convinced that the veneration of re
he was convinced that the veneration of religious images was sinful, equivalent to the worship of physical idols.
To which Byzantine document do we trace the beginnings of Western law? (known by several names)
Justinian Code,
also known as (aka) CODEX IUSTINIANUS,
aka Corpus Juris Civilis,
aka Code of Justinian,
aka The Body of Civil Law
Which of the following is true of the crusades launched by the western Europeans during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries?
- They were trying to recapture Jerusalem and other holy sites from Muslim control.
- They carved out states in parts
All of the above.
____________________ were religious images that served as intermediaries or direct links between Eastern Orthodox Christians and the divine (God, saints).
- relics
- statues
- chants
- icons
Icons were much more than pictures or images to the Eastern Orthodox Christians.
They represented a part of the power and essence of the holy ones that they depicted.
The destruction of the Icons by Leo III was such a devisive issue that it led to a bloody struggle that lasted 100 years!
Throughout most of its history the capital of the Byzantine empire was
- Byzantion
- Constantinople
- Byzantium
- Istanbul
It was called Byzantium by the Romans, who had renamed the Greek colony of Byzas. The Ottoman Turks renamed it Istanbul, literally meaning - city of Islam
What empire shielded Western Europe from eastern invaders and the expansion of Islam during the Early Middle Ages?
- Roman
- Persian
- Byzantine
- Ottoman
The Byzantine Empire provided a shield for disorganized Western Europe from the encroachment of Islam.
This allowed Christianity to take hold there.
The Byzantine Empire also served as a buffer against invading Mongol armies.
Which of the following was NOT true of Theodora?
- She was emperor Justinian's wife, advisor, and aid.
- She was the dominant political figure of her age, totally controlling the empire from behind the scenes.
- She was a former dancer an
She was the dominant political figure of her age, totally controlling the empire from behind the scenes.
She was of humble birth and common reputation, but she became a great empress and was responsible for officially restoring the icons.
Christianity was legalized by Emperor Constantine
- in Jerusalem
- by 250 C.E.
- by the Edict of Milan
- in Constantinople
- in the first century C.E.
by the Edict of Milan
The Edit of Milan was a proclamation, initiated by Constantine by which Christianity was given legal status, equal to paganism if not a little superior to it.
Persecution in any form from 313 was supposed to come to a stop.
Christianity had been an underground religion that spread rapidly across the Roman Empire, suffering persecutions both by Jews and Romans.
It was only when the Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in the early 4th century (313 C.E.) that its survival was assured.
The Byzantine Empire was a direct continuation of what other empire?
- Greek
- Persian
- Roman
- Ottoman
The Roman Empire
Byzantine icons were displayed in all of the following formats EXCEPT
- mosaics
- painted on wood or cloth
- framed by gold or silver
- statues
- carved on pillars
The use of statues as objects of veneration (honor or worship) was a key point of disagreement between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, they believed that statues were too close to the description of idols prohibited in the Old Testament of the Bible (and in the Torah).
According to the Byzantine historian Procopius's account, high-quality silk production was
- developed by Byzantine craftsmen by improving the cocoons of wild silkworms.
- introduced by two Christian monks to the Byzantine empire.
- introd
introduced by two Christian monks to the Byzantine empire.
Silk worms were smuggled out of China to enable the Byzantines to manufacture silk, one of the earliest recorded instances of industrial espionage.
Compared with Roman frescoes and mosaics, Byzantine mosaics are
- more naturalistic
- more narrative
- more static or formal
- more three-dimensional
- less colorful
more static or formal
Remember, the Byzantine mosaics and frescoes (wall paintings) were of chiefly religious, holy figures, in contrast to the Roman mosaics and frescoes which displayed much of the excesses and distinctly "unholy" behavior of the late Western Roman Empire.
In Byzantine iconography, Christ is conventionally shown
- holding a globe
- being crucified on a cross
- seated and wearing a beard
- with a sword and royal scepter
seated and wearing a beard
This image, called Christ the Pantokrator, is intended to convey his control over everything.

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