Byzantine Empire Contributions

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The Byzantine Empire and its most important contributions to the Western Civilization will be explained in the following essay. Where and how it began. What laws they implemented. And lastly, what they contributed to Christianity. In the mid to late 500’s, the Roman Empire was divided up into four groups. The Byzantine Empire covered the Eastern part of the Roman Empire. Justinian was ruler of Constantinople. Violence broke out and Constantinople was burned. Justinian and Theodora embarked on a reconstruction plan. In this plan was the design and construction of a massive church, Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom). Justinian felt the codification of the Roman laws were full of contradictions and obscurities. He sent out lawyers to collect these laws. The result was the publication of 50 books in the mid 500’s. These books were called the Corpus Iuris Civilis ( The Body of Civil Law). It was in this form that Roman law survived and revised in the 13th century. From there, it has influenced Western Civilization. During the late Roman Empire, Christianity linked the faithful of many religions and background together in one worship. The religious separation was due mainly to the language difference. The official language in the east became Greek, while the west continued to preserve Latin. The Byzantine Emperor Leo ordered all icons destroyed in the early to mid 700’s. The western popes did not acknowledge the emperors authority therefore straining the already tense relationship between the east and west. Over the centuries, the two branches of Christianity grew further and further apart until they became two separate churches- the Catholic west and the Orthodox east. In the mid 1000’s, the patriarch of Constantinople excommunicated each other, and they became what is known today as the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches. The Byzantine Empire has contributed much

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