This small village
soon grew into a gigantous city. Rome at it's height in 117 with about 1 million people, covered what we know now as
Spain, Gaul, Italy, Britian, Greece, Asia Minor, Egypt, Syria, and part of Africa. If you lived in Ancient Rome at this
time, then you would have a pleasant life. With a theater, arena, public baths, and a marketplace you would be living
the good life.
Constantinople was built on an ancient Greek tradeing center called Byzantium.
This city was located on a pininsula surrounded by the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. This spot protected it from
attack and let the city take full advantage of trading between Europe and Asia.
As Christianity walked its way through the Roman Empire,
it was un-noticed. Even though some officials tried to stop this major religion from spreading, it just kept on walking.
By the 300's everyone was in on this new relligion, including the Roman Emperor at that time thus making it the official religion
of the Roman Empire. The Pope, bishop of Rome, soon became the most influential leader of the church leaders.
With the help of other church leaders, the pope reunified Rome as a Christian society.
Christianity was central to the Byzantine people's lives, exactlry like the west. They created beautiful
pieces of religious art to show their devotion to God. These pieces sparkled with jewels, gold, and silver. Hagia
Sophia and other Byzantine churches were even more magnificent than their art. Eventhough this was a great piece of
art, it couldn't stop the churches from spliting into Eastern and Western Europe, AGAIN!!!!!! The Eastern side was called
the Orthodox Church.
Beautiful Hagia Sophia
Even though Constantine runited and moved the capital there were still barbarian invasions. Fierce warriors from
Central Asia called Huns bombarded southeastern Europe. From there, the Huns launched raids on kingdoms that were nearby.
The Goths were among the raided knigdoms. These Goths moved backwards into Roman teritory in fear of being defeated.
The Roman emperors were afraid that these people would defeat what was their civalization. The Goths won and moved
tward Rome lands. Because of this, Rome was defeated in 410. This trophy of excellents was bragged to the other
barbarian troupes who then invaded the western half of the empire. The Vandals invaded and destroyed Spain in the
400's. They soon waltzed through Roman settelments and completley shattered them. More invasions were come apon
Gaul. Clovis a Frankish king built a huge kingdom in Gaul. Attila the Hun raided Constantinople, Greece, Gaul,
and parts of northern Italy. After those tretorous victories he dicided to not stick around for diseases but to
go south twards Rome. These efforts to destroy the Western Empire did not come short. Not only did they take Rome's
cities, but hey took their pride.
Augustus was the Roman's first emperor.
His duties were to:
Laws were placed where everyone could
see them. These laws stated how one should behave and act. Because of this, officials had to be fair to everyone.
Citizenscould pariticipate in government stuff like hold positions and vote. But it wasn't all fun and games, citizens
had to pay taxes and men had to serve their time in the army when needed.
of "perfectness" didn't last forever though, because Diocletian divided the empire into two. Ruling the Eastern half,
he sent a co-emperor to go do his job in the other part. After a while a new emperor, Constantine, reunited the
two halves. While doing this he moved Constantinople, the new capital, into the east.
a Roman Emperor, had a dream of taking back Rome and reuniting the Empire. He sent his troops out to take back Italy
and they were successful in not only that but they also took back much of the Mediterranean. He also looked at
the laws and overruled out-of-date and unchristian laws. Then he called this system Justinian's Code. Just like
all emperors, Justinian had enemies. In 532 two of them joined together and tried to overthrow him. He was a chicken
and ran. Luckily for him and the Empire his wife, Theodora, smacked some sense into him and told him to stay.
He obeyed and, with the help of his amazing wife, won the war. They also ruled the empire with much authority and power.
Unfortunatley Justantine didn't last very long. He died in 565 and the eastern empire crumbled with all the invasions
700 years later. This ended the 1000-year Roman rule.
Constantinople was probably one of the best trading
centers of all the world at their time. People from all around Europe, Asia, and Africa traveled to this city to trade.
This trade marked the trade of the best society of their time.
Citizens could vote and hold public offices.
but had to pay taxes and men had to go to war when needed. They were proud of their citizenship, and thought it was
an honor to be a citizen of Rome. Once they conquered people, they gave citizenship to special people. This
idea held the captured people to not revolt and take over the Empire.
In the Byzatine Empire people spoke Greek instead of Latin. They thought of themselves
Patricians and plebeians
broadest division was by ancestry, between patricians, those who could trace their ancestry to the first Senate established
and plebeians, all other citizens. Originally, all public offices were open only to patricians, and the classes could not
intermarry. Contemporary politicians and writers (Coriolanus, for example) in the Kingdom and early Republic thought of plebeians
as rabble barely capable of sentient thought. However, the plebeians, by withdrawing their labour, had the power to force
change. A series of social struggles (see Conflict of the Orders) saw the plebs secede from the city on three occasions, the
last in 297 BC, until their demands were met. They won the right to stand for office, the abolition of the intermarriage law,
and the office of tribune of the plebs. This office, founded in 494 BC as a result of a plebeian secession, was the main legal
bulwark against the powers of the patrician class. The tribunes originally had the power to protect any plebeian from a patrician
magistrate. Later revolts forced the Senate to grant the tribunes additional powers, such as the right to veto legislation.
A tribune's person was sacrosanct, and he was obliged to keep an open house at all times while in office.
these changes the distinction between patrician and plebeian status became less important. Over time, some patrician families
fell on hard times, some plebeian families rose in status, and the composition of the ruling class changed. Some patricians,
notably Publius Clodius Pulcher, petitioned to be assigned plebeian status, partly in order to run for the position of tribune
but also partly to lessen the patrician tax burden. Rome's growing economic power
as a trading nation left many patrician families from behind; those that could not adjust to the new commercial realities
of Roman society often found themselves in the embarrassing position of having to marry their daughters to wealthier plebeians
or even freedmen. A plebeian, such as Marius or Cicero, who was the first of his line to become consul, was known as a novus
homo ("new man"), and he and his descendants became nobiles ("nobles"); however they remained plebeian. Some religious offices
remained reserved for patricians, but otherwise the distinction was largely a matter of prestige.