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History Essay 2

1632 words - 7 pages

Achievement of the Eastern Empire

In 285CE, the Roman Empire was divided in two by the Emperor Diocletian leading to the creation of the Eastern and Western Roman Empires. Though in the coming centuries the Western Empire would struggle, before ultimately falling into barbarian hands, the Eastern empire (today referred to as the Byzantine Empire) would continue to exist, and often thrive until it's ultimate fall in 1453. This success can be contributed to the highly desirable trade location of the capital Constantinople and a powerful sense of nationalism within the empire. However, it can be contributed more so to the achievements of the Empire between the historic reign of Justinian and ...view middle of the document...

Artists in the Byzantine Empire achieved many important things. When the Byzantines started to develop their own style of painting they would begin to use it in manuscript illumination. Examples of achievements in Byzantine illumination are the 9th century CE copy of Homilies of Gregory and two other works that likely date back to the 10th century revival of classicism, the Joshua Rotulus and the Paris Psalter. Though they did make some advancements in art, for the most part they maintained a conservative style. This was because the major phases of their art came from a background that was known to have adhered to the classical principles. Some artistic activity was hampered by the Iconoclastic Controversy (726-843) as many forms of religious art was banned, removed, or painted over. However, during this time secular art flourished as paintings of various daily scenes and cities began to be created. (need a source) A more practical form of art, architecture, was an area where the Byzantines achieved a great deal.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of the Byzantine Empire during this time was the construction of the architectural masterpiece, the Hagia Sophia. The Hagia Sophia is still standing today as a museum and is considered to be a world wonder. Though the sheer fact that it still exists is an achievement in itself, the Hagia Sophia is also a testament to Byzantine architectural achievement. Construction of the grand church of Constantinople began in 532 CE and concluded in 537 CE under emperor Justinian. The interior of the church was decorated and enriched with coloured marbles, porophry, and other stones, whereas the vaults and domes were engulfed with many mosaics; a great feature of many Byzantine churches. The church itself was designed by the scientists and mathematicians, Anthemios of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus. This gives an example of how important engineering and mathematics was to the construction of the church. The achievements/advancements in engineering are shown by the Hagia Sophia through the use of the pendentive, an inverted concave triangle that allows for a rounded dome to be placed on top of straight walls. The Byzantine invention of the pendetive allowed them to abandon the Roman bascilican plan and instead create the church with a centralized build. The new architectural design of the Hagia Sophia was itself an innovation and an achievement as the centralized design would become the standard for many future churches in Byzantium. This style not only inspired future churches and buildings in Byzantium, but also the West and the world, and is still used or reflected in many buildings today; a testament to the achievement and legacy of the Hagia Sophia.

Literature- military guides/government

The Byzantines accomplished quite a bit in the genre of government and military guides. In around 600 CE, emperor Maurice commissioned the creation of the manual of military science, The Strategikon. This manual was...

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