autumn History 1

timer Asked: Nov 11th, 2016

Question description

Take an overall look at the image in the assessment. You will notice it contains quite a lot of action. Pay close attention to the things each character is doing and speculate about why they may be doing this.

A Medieval battle scene in which several men wearing blue, yellow, or orange tunics and armor are attacking a tall castle. Some of the attackers have bows or swords and shields. Many are scaling the castle on ladders while defenders await them at the top with swords and daggers. Below, there are more men in ships and on horses waiting to attack.Public Domain

You see a heavily fortified Constantinople in 1453 CE. Surrounding the city are tens of thousands of Turkish soldiers. The soldiers are armed with crossbows, shields, and swords. Some of the soldiers are using multiple ladders to scale the walls of Constantinople. Additional soldiers remain on boats to support those performing the attack.

Now is your chance to narrow in on a person in the image. Imagine yourself in his place. You will take on the role of the person you select and provide a firsthand account from that perspective. You have many individuals to choose from. Be creative while using your historical knowledge from the lesson.

  1. What person have you put yourself in the place of?
  2. What does this person smell?
  3. What does this person see?
  4. What does this person hear?
  5. What does this person touch?
  6. What fears does this person feel?
  7. Why is this person here?
  8. Name at least three goals this person thinks he will accomplish by winning the battle.
  9. What does this person think will happen the week after the battle?

Assessment 01.07 Colla

How Did the Byzantine Empire Decline? Grass and bushes are shown growing upon a section of the ruined, ancient walls of Constantinople among the remains of two towers. A section of the ruined, ancient walls of Constantinople still stands today. © De Agostini / G. Dagli Orti / Universal Images Group / ImageQuest 2015 In many sports, certain teams or players dominate the competition for a given time. For example, the New York Yankees won three consecutive World Series from 1998 to 2000. The Dallas Cowboys won three Super Bowls from 1993 to 1996. Tennis player Roger Federer won five Wimbledon titles in a row from 2003 to 2007, and Tiger Woods was the top-ranked golfer in the world for 623 weeks total (almost 12 years), from 1997 to 2010. Such dominance does not last forever, however. Star players may retire, be traded, or get injured. The coaching staff might change. Other teams or players in the league might improve. All of a sudden, or even slowly over time, the teams and players that used to dominate start losing more often. The “empire” falls, and another one (a new team or player) may take over in its place. Like a winning sports team, the Byzantine Empire was supreme for many years. Eventually, the empire began to fade and another empire, the Ottoman Empire, arose. During the reign of Justinian I, the Byzantine Empire reached the height of its power. After Justinian’s death, however, the empire began a gradual decline that lasted for nearly 900 years. This decline had many ebbs and flows, during which the empire’s territory contracted and expanded several times. Why did this happen? Invading forces and internal problems weakened the Byzantine Empire, but gifted leaders helped to build it up again. In 1453 CE, however, the empire succumbed to a collapse from which it would not recover. The Ottoman Empire came to power in its place. How Did Justinian I Contribute to the Weakening Byzantine Empire? Picture of Germanic tribesmen going into battle around 100 CE. Two groups are shown marching to the right. Each member of the group in front is carrying a round shield while wearing a limited amount of clothing. The second group is carrying a stronger shield while wearing a helmet and full uniform, including both shirts and pants. This illustration shows Germanic tribesmen going into battle around 100 CE. Germanic peoples invaded the Roman Empire for hundreds of years. After the split of this empire, Germanic tribes, such as the Lombards, continued to attack the Byzantine Empire. © Ambrose Dudley / Bridgeman Art Library / Universal Images Group / ImageQuest 2015 Sometimes, even the most carefully designed plans do not work out as intended. Have you ever started a project, confident you knew what you were doing, only to soon find everything going wrong? Perhaps you overlooked some key details, or encountered some unanticipated problems that prevented your project from being a success. For Justinian I, this situation became all too familiar in his efforts to lead the Byzantine Empire. Justinian himself planted the seeds for the Byzantine Empire’s decline. First, his constant wars and the rebuilding of Constantinople after the Nika Riot caused serious financial problems for the empire. The reconstruction of the Hagia Sophia alone cost about 320,000 pounds of gold. Second, Justinian left the Byzantine army scattered across the empire, primarily under the command of Belisarius, a general. Many units were occupied by fighting fierce nomads. One of these nomad groups, a Germanic barbarian tribe called the Lombards, had managed to conquer much of northern Italy. The thinly-spread Byzantine forces fought to prevent the Lombards from pushing farther into Italy. This situation was not uncommon. Thin lines of defense in other areas left the empire open to attack. Finally, during the last years of Justinian’s reign, the empire suffered from several attacks of bubonic plague. Called Justinian’s Plague by modern historians, the illness killed millions of people. This created a severe shortage of human power, which weakened the military and the government. How Did Invading Forces Weaken the Byzantine Empire? Have you ever witnessed the damage termites do to homes? Termites invade homes through cracks in wood. They are relentless, and before most homeowners know it, the structure begins crumbling down around them. Although not silent invaders, forces invading the Byzantine Empire were much like termites. These groups sensed a crack in the empire’s foundations, made their way in, and slowly but surely began to weaken the empire. Which groups caused the most trouble for the Byzantines? Select each tab to learn more. Slavs and AvarsAvars and Sassanids Arabs Bulgars Map of the Barbarian Invasion of the Byzantine Empire during the 6th-8th centuries. Dates and routes are shown for each major event. Map of the Barbarian Invasion of the Byzantine Empire. Public Domain In 550 CE, a group of barbarian invaders from eastern Europe named the Slavs began to raid the Balkan territory of the Byzantine Empire. To turn back these raids, the Byzantines arranged for another barbarian group, the Avars, to attack the Slavs. These barbarian tribes were often at war with each other over territory and power. The Byzantines hoped to take advantage of this. The Avars lived in the Caucasus region and were related to the Huns. The Byzantines hoped that the Slavs would be too busy fighting the Avars to raid the Balkans. However, this plan backfired horribly. The Slavs fled the attacking Avars and traveled south, deeper into the Balkans. Many Slavs settled in this region. After this, the Avars themselves decided to attack the Byzantines with armies made up of conquered Slavs. How Did the Macedonian Dynasty Strengthen the Byzantine Empire, and How Did Internal Turmoil Weaken It? During the 800s, a strong group of Byzantine landowners emerged. Called the Powerful, these landowners owned huge estates, which made them extremely wealthy. Soon the Powerful attempted to gain control of the empire. At that time, a Macedonian named Basil seized the throne. Basil was a Bulgar slave who, at the age of 25, escaped his captivity and traveled to Constantinople. An intelligent man, Basil soon rose in the political ranks from a diplomat’s groom to co-emperor with Michael III. Basil assassinated Michael in 867, thereby becoming sole emperor. His rule was marked by a constant internal struggle with the Powerful, who had taken control of a large part of the imperial army. Basil depended on troops in or near Constantinople to put down revolts by the Powerful and their forces. Despite this conflict, trade flourished under Basil and provided the empire with large amounts of wealth. Also, Basil strengthened the military and conquered regions in western Anatolia (now Turkey) and southern Italy. Indeed, the empire became almost as powerful as it had been under Justinian’s rule. Basil established a Macedonian dynasty that ruled the empire until 1025 CE. The emperors of this dynasty continued to conquer some of the empire’s lost territory, including Syria and Palestine. In addition, under Macedonian rule, Byzantine arts and literature thrived, and Byzantine missionaries spread Christianity to the Slavs and Serbs. Accomplishments of Macedonian Dynasty Mosaic picture of the Byzantine empress Zoe, which is located in the Hagia Sophia church in Istanbul. Zoe is wearing a royal robe and crown, each made of jewels. A circle is drawn around her head. Located in the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, this mosaic shows the Byzantine empress Zoe. © 2012 Associated Press Improved Byzantine economy Strengthened the army and navy Reconquered former Byzantine territory, including parts of Italy, Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, and the Balkans Supported arts and literature Weakened the control of the Powerful Sent missionaries to the Slavs and Serbs In 976 CE, Basil II took the throne and soon passed laws that broke up many of the Powerful’s estates. He also gained control of lands in the Balkans, Mesopotamia, and Armenia. With no children as heirs, the Macedonian dynasty ended upon his death. After Basil’s death, co-empresses Zoe and Theodora ruled fairly and exposed many corrupt officials. They could do nothing, however, to decrease the influence of the Powerful. The internal problems caused the empire to become unstable. Using their influence, the Powerful managed to repeal the laws passed under Basil II that broke up their estates. As the Powerful acquired land, they needed labor to keep up the land. At the same time, prices for land and other necessities increased, and peasants were responsible for paying those taxes. The burden soon became overwhelming. As a result, the peasants sought refuge by going to work for the large landowners. By working for the landowners, the peasants were no longer required to pay taxes. However, it also meant that the number of peasant soldiers decreased. The empire was left with both a weakened treasury and army. Most of the emperors that followed Zoe and Theodora proved to be incompetent and were powerless to solve the empire’s problems. The Powerful regained control of much of the military, and the armies loyal to the emperor were depleted. In addition, political corruption spread throughout the government. All this internal turmoil once again weakened the empire. How Did the Crusades Weaken the Byzantine Empire? During the 1000s, the Seljuk Turks gained control of Byzantine territory in Anatolia. The Turks also defeated the Arabs and captured Palestine and the city of Jerusalem. The Byzantine Empire was shrinking. Oil painting on the Capture of Antioch using a dark and light painting technique. Dead men and horses are scattered on the ground. A building with columns lines the background. Have a look at this painting of a battle during the First Crusade. Do you think that this painting is from the European or Byzantine perspective? What led you to your conclusion? Public Domain Afraid the Turks would attack Constantinople, the Byzantine emperor Alexius I asked the Roman Church for help. He proposed that eastern and western Christians should join forces and drive out the Turks from Anatolia and Palestine. This endeavor would be called a Holy War, or Crusade. The pope, Urban II, agreed to this plan for two reasons. First, he thought a combined East-West war against the Turks could reunite the eastern and western churches. Second, he wanted to free Palestine and Jerusalem from Muslim rule. At first, the Crusade was successful. The European armies reconquered parts of Anatolia and then captured Jerusalem in 1099 CE. Also, the crusaders returned the land they conquered in Anatolia to the Byzantine Empire. Then the crusaders set up four kingdoms in East Asia. The Muslims, however, soon regrouped and conquered these domains. The most significant impact to the Byzantine Empire came in 1203 CE, when crusaders and Venetians attacked Constantinople, causing the emperor to flee the city. It all started years before when the crusaders arrived in Venice. Alexius Angelus, the nephew of the Byzantine emperor, offered them a deal. Alexius offered to pay for the necessary warships for the crusaders if they would defeat the current Byzantine emperor and make Alexius the ruler. The crusaders and Venetians agreed. When the Byzantine Emperor fled Constantinople, Alexius then declared himself emperor. The crusaders, encamped around the city, waited for their pay. The Byzantines, however, discovered Alexius’s deal with the crusaders and killed him. Left with no pay, the crusaders captured and plundered Constantinople, destroying part of the city. After this, the crusaders established a Latin Empire, which controlled only Constantinople. The Byzantines set up a government in exile. The Latin emperors had little money and were surrounded by hostile states. In 1259 CE, the exiled Byzantine emperor, Michael VIII, defeated the Latin army. Then in 1261 CE, he led a small army into Constantinople, which was undefended. Michael attempted to build up the empire and reconquered a few lost territories. The effect of the Latins on the Byzantine Empire, however, was devastating; it never fully recovered. Indeed, the plundering of Constantinople was so extensive that the resulting damage was only partially repaired even 50 years later. Who Were the Ottoman Turks? During the late 1200s, Turkish tribes began to expand their territory in northwest Anatolia. Osman I was an early leader of this group. He formed a dynasty of Turkish rulers called Osmanli, which means “sons of Osman.” Over time, English speakers came to call this group Ottomans. The Ottoman Turks strictly followed Islam but allowed the people they conquered to practice their own faiths. They built mosques, which served as social and religious centers. Also, the Ottomans made significant contributions in tile making, carpet weaving, and architecture. In rural areas, most Ottomans worked as farmers; in urban areas, many of them were craft workers and merchants. The Ottoman government was led by the sultan, who made all the important political decisions. The power of the sultan, however, was limited in a few ways. For instance, new laws could not take effect without the approval of the chief religious judge, called the Grand Mufti. Select each tab to learn more about important Ottoman leaders and their efforts to expand the empire. 1300-1359 1360-1451 1452-1481 1512-1520 1520-1566 1566-1683 A map including portions of Europe, Africa, and Asia with the bodies of water shaded in white while the land is shaded grey. A portion of land around Constantinople is highlighted in orange showing the growth of the Ottoman Empire between 1300 and 1359 C.E. A Portrait of Osman I is in the left corner. He is wearing a green robe, decorated with white and gold embellishments and a white turban decorated with green and gold. He is kneeling on red cushions and is holding a long, curved sword. © De Agostini / A. Dagli Orti / Universal Images Group / ImageQuest 2015 Osman I began to merge powers in the Anatolian Peninsula. By 1360 BCE, his son Orkhan had enlarged their territory to include the area between the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Ottoman leaders now began to claim the title of sultan. How Did the Final Collapse of the Byzantine Empire Happen? Picture of Mehmet II, the sultan of the Ottomans. Mehmet I is facing to the left and wearing a sultan hat. An arch encases Mehmet I. Mehmet II, the sultan of the Ottomans. Before his siege of Constantinople, the Ottomans had tried to take the city but failed. However, Mehmet used gunpowder artillery, thereby starting an age of gunpowder weapons. Supported by the artillery, Mehmet captured the city. © akg Images / Universal Images Group / ImageQuest 2015 In 1453 CE, led by the Sultan Mehmet II, the Ottoman Turks laid siege on Constantinople. Constantinople was an economic and cultural center. Situated between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, it served as a major trade hub between the Middle East and Western Europe. It was also a place known for its art, literature, and architecture. Much of this was inspired by Christianity. The Ottomans knew that conquering Constantinople would give them religious and economic power over the entire region. They would make it a Muslim empire, and the Ottomans would be able to control the trade routes. The Byzantine Empire would fall, once and for all. Knowing that an attack was coming, the Byzantines asked for aid from Western Europe. Unfortunately for them, only a few volunteers arrived. The Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI, managed to form an army of about 5,000 Byzantine soldiers and 3,000 Westerners living in the city. Many of these Westerners were Venetians. The Ottoman army consisted of about 100,000 troops. Despite the relatively small Byzantine forces, Constantinople was still a difficult city to capture. The Ottomans attacked it for more than a month with a constant barrage of artillery fire. Ottoman soldiers charged the city’s walls many times, only to be turned back. The Byzantines prevented Ottoman ships from approaching the city by laying a chain across the mouth of the Golden Horn, an inlet of the Bosporus Strait. Mehmet bypassed the Byzantine defenses, however, by having his ships dragged overland across to the harbor on the seaward side. Then on May 29, 1453 CE, the Ottomans launched an all-out attack, charging at the city from three sides. During hours of intense fighting, the Ottomans managed to lay many ladders against the walls, which allowed their soldiers to climb into the city. Eventually, enough Ottomans entered the city to turn the tide of the battle. Thousands of people died during the conflict, including Constantine XI. After capturing the city, Mehmet allowed his soldiers to loot for three days. However, abiding by the Muslim tradition of respecting the religion of conquered people, Mehmet gave the Patriarch of Constantinople a large amount of authority over Christians living under Ottoman rule. The fall of Constantinople by the Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire. It had endured for more than a thousand years. Even after its fall, the influence of this empire continued. What Were the Effects of the Fall of the Byzantine Empire? Inspired by their capture of Constantinople, the Ottoman Turks conquered all of the Byzantine territory and much more. Ottoman armies overtook most of southeast Europe, the area near the Black Sea, Syria, and Egypt. Then in 1520 CE, Süleyman I became the sultan of the Ottoman Empire and started a powerful military campaign. He captured Belgrade in 1521 CE and in following years, swept across Hungary. In 1529 CE, he attacked Vienna but was forced to retreat. The Ottoman Empire reached the height of its power, or golden age, under his rule. There are moments in your life when big, life-altering changes occur. Maybe it happened when you moved to a new town and had to meet new friends and get used to calling a new place home. Or maybe it will happen when you graduate from high school, and you have to make adult decisions about college or a career. After the Ottomans conquered the Byzantine Empire, many big changes occurred there, too. Changes in the Ottoman Empire When the Ottomans conquered the Byzantines, they began to make their influence known in the social, cultural, and political fabric of the region. The Ottomans made Islam the primary religion in the region, replacing Orthodox Christianity. They did allow the practice of Christianity and other religions, however. How else did the Ottomans affect the society? Role of Women Social Causes Byzantine Influences What Was the Impact of the Byzantine Empire? Although the Byzantine Empire fell, it continued to have a widespread influence. For example, as you have learned, the legal system set up by Justinian I shaped legal systems throughout Europe. Also, Byzantines preserved many of the classic literary works of ancient Greece and Rome, which were later read by European thinkers. Inspired by these works as well as those preserved in Arabic translation, later thinkers helped to start the Renaissance in Western Europe. In addition, the Byzantine Empire had a major religious and political influence on Russia. The Russians converted to Orthodox Christianity in the 900s. After the empire collapsed, the ruler of Russia became the only remaining Orthodox monarch in the world. In fact, some people looked at Russia as the continuation of the Byzantine Empire and, in this way, of the old Roman Empire. Indeed, the name for the Russian ruler, tsar, comes from the ancient Roman title of Caesar. Finally, the Byzantine Empire prevented Muslim states from overrunning Western Europe. During the Middle Ages in Europe, Muslim states were focused on conquering the powerful and rich Byzantine Empire. Because of this, they did not attempt to invade Western Europe, which was weakly organized at the time. The Byzantines successfully repelled various Muslim forces for hundreds of years. By the time Suleyman attacked Western Europe at Vienna, European states had grown strong enough to defend themselves against the Muslim army.

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