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Introduction to the Medieval World: Class 4

Class 4: Iconoclasm and the Glory Days of Byzantium
Assigned Reading:

I.      Introduction

II.     Heraclius        

        Turning point of Byzantine Empire

        The Theme System - Unification of Military and
        civil government - vital after cities die

III.    Arab Attacks

        A.      622 Hejira

        B.      Loss of Egypt and Syria
                First to Persians (millet system.
                Then to Arabs

        C.      717-18 Siege of Constantinople
                Greek Fire 

        D.      End of the Cities - Retreat from coasts 
                to castles

IV.     The Byzantine Dark Ages

        The Greek Empire - the Balkans and Anatolia

        A.      Demography and the Slavic Migrations
                Greece (Fallmeyer Thesis)
                Anatolia now center of Greek life.

        B.      Economy of the Empire
                Agrarian Basis

V.      Iconoclasm

        A.      The issue
                Use of icons - after paganism

        B.      Leo III the Isaurian - Began to attack 
                images in 726

        C.      Arab connection?

        D.      Emperor vs. Church

        E.      Irene and Rome

VI.     The Macedonians

        A.      Basil I 867-86
                murders Michael III

        B.      Photius 858-67, 877-
                The Schism

        C.      Constantine VII Porphrygenitos 913
                945-59 in power

                De Administrando Imperii
                De Ceremonis

                Value of Byzantine Princesses
                Family of Kings

        D.      Byzantine Missions to the Slavs
                Cyril and Methodius 863

        E.      Byzantine Conquests

        F.      Economy of the Empire

                1.      The Dynatoi
                        Basil III 976-1025

                2.      Imperial response

VII.    Bureaucracy and Family - Byzantium in the 11th Century

        Dynastic problems - Psellos - Ending the military control

VIII. Mantzikert 1071

        Turks and Turcomans
        Byzantine Collapse

IX.     Alexius Comnenus


X.      The Crusades

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© Paul Halsall, 1996.

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© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 5 June 2023 [CV]