If Constantinople had fallen to invasion at the same time as the city of Rome everything today would be different. Your religion, your language, your traditions and the culture you live in would likely have no Classical foundation at all. The Renaissance Era, the Age of Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution which grew from them would never have happened. The Dark Ages would have lasted centuries longer, and the last vestiges of Classical tradition would almost certainly have been replaced by dominant Arabic culture and Islamic religion and thought.
It is a tragedy that Byzantium, the Eastern Roman Empire, is today so little appreciated and poorly remembered. Never in the history of the world has a civilization provided so much to, and sacrificed so much for, the world around it. It is shameful that even the word "Byzantine" has come to have a derogatory meaning when its true legacy has always been one of honor.
Greece, Rome, and Byzantium are the foundations of the Western World. Because of this the Byzantine Empire will always matter, and always continue to be important.
rebuild and organize anew.
The Byzantine Empire did more than protect - it also preserved. Even though the rise of Christianity was a major break which caused huge changes in the Greco-Roman world, much of the fabric of ancient life continued in Byzantium. This included the preservation and study of Classical science, literature, philosophy and critical thought, engineering, architecture, art and even medicine.
Most of the ancient Classical literature which survives today was preserved through the Byzantine Empire. The majority of the works of philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato, and the historical texts of Greece and Rome were saved by Byzantine scholars who maintained the ancient traditions of literature and learning. Works that had been lost for centuries in the West were reintroduced by Byzantines fleeing the final occupation of...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document