Byzantine Empire vs. Roman Empire
After the split of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire bloomed in the east. Its greatest ruler, Justinian, made it his main goal to regain the lost territory and power of Rome. Although the Byzantine Empire was initially a part of the Roman Empire, there are many similarities and differences found in their creation, their interpretations of Christian beliefs, and their decline.
Rome was supposedly founded in 753 BC by the twins Romulus and Remus in Italy. Early settlers were Latins, Greeks, and the Etruscans. The Byzantium Empire was created in 395 when a Roman leader named Diocletian divided the empire due to difficulties in communication between eastern and western parts of Rome. The Byzantine Empire actually ruled under the Roman Empire until its demise in AD 476. Both of these empires were located near the Mediterranean Sea and both had a written set of laws.
Emperor Contantine the First converted to Christianity after ordering his soldiers to put a cross on their shields and then being victorious in battle. After his conversion, he united the military power of Rome with the young Roman Catholic Church. Because of this union he was able to conquer much of the known world at the time. In the Byzantine Empire, Christianity and the differing ideas about it caused great conflict. When the idea of religious icons came about, Emperor Leo III created Iconoclasm, which permitted the smashing of these religious icons. The events following the creation of Iconoclasm showed how distant the church was from the government. Eventually the quarrel led to the separation of the Catholic Church from the Eastern Christian Church, known as the Great Schism. This resulted in the Orthodox Church. Despite the differences in the effects that Christianity had on each Empire, it is clear that in both societies, religion was always in opposition with the government.
There were many factors that led to the decline of both the Roman and...
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