The ancient Roman Empire is divided into two parts, an Eastern and a Western, the Eastern remained subject to successors of Constantine, whose capital was at Byzantium. Byzantine is therefore employed to designate this Eastern survival of the ancient Roman Empire. Byzantium was the Christian buffer of the spread of Islam into Europe.
Justinian the First marks the end of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Byzantine Empire. What happened between the years of ca. 750-900? In 750, the empire was at its lowest point and everything was in bad shape.Unit of army called Theme system was created that had all the trained soldiers to fight at a specific region. At the end, the theme system did, however work and Constantine V created a mobile field army. The fear of idolatry that haunted the Byzantines broke out in iconoclasm between 726-843, the imperially sponsored wholesales destruction and obliteration of all art that depicted sacred figures, and the violent persecution of its opponents. Religious art was limited mainly to images of the cross and of symbolic birds and plants.Perhaps, the most disagreeable character of all the great Byzantine women was Irene.
She is honored as a saint in the Greek Church because at the Seventh General Synod of Nicaea, she obtained important concessions in the matter of the veneration of images. “Though the adoration of images as well as other abusive practices of veneration, which had already been condemned as idolatrous, were again wholly forbidden, prostrate veneration, incense, and candles were permitted. ” She was also married to emperor Leo IV in 775-785. Without empress Irene, the icon would not be restoredThe Iconoclasts represented a principle, which we know to have been forced into the Greek-Byzantine world as something foreign. The Byzantine appear so modern precisely because they were permeated with rationalistic anti-ecclesiastical sentiments. They were found high dignitaries of church and state and for that reason, Iconoclasm was sympathetic to this rationalistic tendency.
During this whole period the Bulgarians had given great trouble to the Byzantine Empire. Nicephorus I fell in battle against them, and his successors warded them off only with the greatest difficulty.Equally violent were the wars against the Saracens and the Slavs.
There was no second investment of the capital by the Syrian Arabs. It soon remains to touch on the relations between the Byzantine Empire and the West. The Frankish nation had gradually taken the lead of all other Germanic peoples. The Byzantine rulers had always maintained their claim to sovereignty over the Germans. As far as Islamic learning goes, Muhammed created a Koran, which is collection of his revelation–the sacred writings of the Islamic religion.
The book has been revealed partially within Judaism and Christianity as well.The Koran is supreme revelation from God, and is the final spiritual and legal authority for life. In accordance with this acceptance of revelation through the prophet Muhammed, people are taught to believe in the sacred writing, the Koran, confess the creed, pray every day, fast and give alms. These are necessary aspects of living in submission to Allah. A Muslim must live according to what is taught in the Koran in communion with other Muslims.
The early expansion of Islam took place under the leadership of the four “rightly guided” caliphs (successors to Muhammed): Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali (Muhammed’s son-in-law).The Ummayad Dynasty, under the leadership of members of Muhammed’s tribe, ruled from 661 to 750. By 750 the Muslim empire extended from Morocco to the Indus River.
The basic beliefs and practices of Islam are: There is no God but Allah. Belief in angels and jinn. Belief in 104 holy books, the Koran as the final revelation. Belief in the prophets, Muhammed as the “seal” of the prophets. Belief in predestination. Belief in resurrection and judgment, paradise and hell.
Islamic culture believe that the reason the Bible does not agree with the Koran on many points is that it has been corrupted by the Jews and Christians.Islam denies the fall and that man has a sinful nature. Although it acknowledges that man is weak, it teaches that man can work out his own salvation through submission to God’s law. The Carolingian Period takes its name from the political dynasty established by Charles Martel, and Charlemagne (Charles the Great). Europe as a culture emerged under Carolingian rulers with support of papacy and monastic orders.
Charles Martel was a mayor of Palace for Merovingians. He fought battle of tours in 732 against Islamic army.Charlemagne was concerned about welfare of church and his subjects of ruling for higher purpose. He was a conqueror, an administrator and churchman who supported popes and monastic leaders in reforming church. In the end, he was crowned the Holy Roman Emperor. The Carolingian kingdom lacked many things that were associated with “states. ” The population was not homogenous and there were the descendants of the Romans, Visigoths, burgundians and other Germanic tribes. They spoke different languages and culture was different.
The government was not organized well enough.There was no set of common laws, weights and measures, currency, and civil services. Everything seemed to falling apart but Charlemagne wanted to recreate the power, prestige and culture of western Roman empire. He then appointed Margraves, Dukes and Counts to place some limits on his autonomy because that would encourage the growth of a local land-owning aristocracy. They would look to a central government to maintain their position and status.
The Carolingian had a philosophy of government based upon the king as the steward of the people of the realm.Charlemagne used letters, called the Capitularies to disseminate orders and standards throughout the realm. He also established the “missi dominici” to determine whether his orders were being observed and whether local officials were discharging their duties properly. Charlemagne established common currency, the silver penny and matched it with the values of Muslim coins to encourage trade.
Finally, he strengthened the military power to the Franks by having Frankish army engage in campaigns and conquer lands that they must defend.The Carolingian achievement was great but Charlemagne had not eliminated the basic limitations inherent in the Frankish state. The economic infrastructure of the west had not been repaired, and the reconstruction of anything resembling a western Roman empire was beyond the means of Charlemagne.
The good fortune came to an end in the reign of Charlemagne’s son, Louis the Pious. Afterwards, the empire split into states and lesser fragments. Despite the differences between the development of the Byzantine Empire, the Islamic Caliphate and the Carolingian Empire, there are however, similarities.Within the period of 750-900, religious architecture was most important.
Charlemagne ordered construction of numerous monasteries and churches. These structures established the basic principles upon which later medieval architectures would be designed. Religious beliefs came into popular.
Both the Byzantine Empire and Carolingian Empire contained Germanic tribes. Both of the empires was in critical conditions in the beginning but later on, worked their way up to establish strong and organized kingdoms.