End of the Roman Empire
The Division of the Empire
The Barbarian Invasions
The Western Empire Collapses
The Byzantine Empire : Introduction
Constantine the Great
Byzantine Conquest - Justinian
The Schism of Christianity into two Churches - The Orthodox Church
The End of Byzantium
The Orthodox Church
Visit to an Orthodox Church
English Workshop, Classwork and Homework
Living History Project
Living History Project Index
THE LIVING HISTORY PROJECT
Constantinople : The Great Crossroads
Strange as it may seem the collapse of the Western
Empire had immediate beneficial effects on the Eastern Empire. For
centuries the wealthy east had been supporting the poor west but after
476 the situation changed dramatically and the Eastern Roman Empire
could keep all its riches to itself. But why was the Eastern Roman
Empire (which we shall now call the Byzantine Empire) so rich? If you
look at the map below you can see that Constantinople
was at the centre of four major trade routes:
Explanation of the map
to the north lay the Black Sea and what we would now call
Russia and the Ukraine. From here came products such as
iron, timber and animal furs (especially the very valuable
to the west lay the rest of Europe from which
Byzantium obtained cereals, wine, flax (to make linen) and
animal hides to make leather.
to the south lay Africa and especially Egypt. The Nile
valley still produced enormous quantities of food as it had
done in pharaonic times. It also supplied gold and copper
and precious ivory from more southern regions.
to the east lay the most important trade route of all.
From Arabia came valuable perfumes, from Persia expensive
carpets, from India spices and precious stones (especially
rubies and emeralds) and from China came silk.
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© Shirley Burchill, Chris Green, Mathew Hill, Nigel Hughes and Antony McDermott 2017
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