The Rise and Fall of the Byzantine Empire

Byzantine mosaic copy

In the fourth century AD the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great decided to make the Greek city of Byzantion, which stood on the Bosphorus, his new capital city and he named it Constantinople.

 

This was the beginning of what became a great empire that lasted around 1,000 years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in AD 1453.

This lecture explains how the Byzantine Empire, which was the successor to the Eastern Roman Empire, thrived at a time when the Western Roman Empire had collapsed and went into centuries of decline.

Under the Byzantines the Eastern Orthodox Church flourished, building churches and monasteries across the Eastern Mediterranean region.  Above all, the Byzantines were patrons of great art in the form of icons, mosaics and frescoes, much of which has survived.