Impact Of Religion, Structure, And Education On The Decline Of Constantinople

1029 words - 4 pages

Constantinople was the newly established capital of the once glorious Roman Empire, center of Roman religion, and was heavily influenced by the Roman culture. Then the Schism in 1054, cultural diffusion, and the change in women’s rights altered the day-to-day life of Constantinople’s inhabitants. Despite the intensity of the political changes over the long period of 400 C.E. to 1473 C.E., such as the Schism in 1054 and cultural diffusion, continuities such as classical learning and Justinian’s Code were more influential for they prevented Constantinople from declining before 1473 C.E.

Constantinople was established as the new capital of the Roman Empire in A.D. 330 by Constantine on the Bosporus Strait. Constantinople, or the city of Constantine, was strategically placed on the Bosporus Strait for trade and defense purposes that would later allow for cultural diffusion. As a result of replacing Rome, Constantinople was under immense Roman influence. Their culture as well as architecture was based on Rome’s. Constantinople was occupied with buildings modeled after those in Rome. Along with being the new capital of the Roman Empire and under Roman influence, Constantinople was the center of Roman region. Constantine made Christianity legal and emperor Theodosius made Christianity the empire’s official religion. By moving the capital from Rome to Constantinople, Constantine moved the center of Rome’s religion to Constantinople. But this was Constantinople before the political and religious changes that could have caused the decline of Constantinople if it wasn’t for the influential continuities.

Constantinople suffered and flourished as a result of several changes including the infamous Schism in 1054. The Schism in 1054 was the result of the arguments and a mutual excommunication between the patriarch of the East and the pope of the West. The patriarch and the pope disagreed over the use of icons, the Eastern Christian emperors saw the use of icons as a form of idol worship but the pope supported the use of icons. As a result of the disagreement, the pope excommunicated a Byzantine emperor. The patriarch and the pope disagreed once more over religious doctrine and excommunicated one another. As a result of the arguments and the mutual excommunication, the once unified Christian church officially split into the Roman Catholic Church in the West and the Orthodox Church in the East. The two different churches practiced Christianity differently and were completely independent from one another. The Roman Catholic Church was headed by the pope who was in complete power, centered in Rome, and held masses in Latin. The Orthodox Church’s patriarch was just a puppet of the emperor, the Church was centered in Constantinople, and they had Greek masses. Despite the split, all the women in Constantinople received more rights than those did in Rome. Following the Justinian Code established in 534, women could own property, make contracts and will, and...

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