The Byzantine Empire

How it collapsed:
  • When Emperor Basil II died in 1025, the Byzantine Empire was the dominant economic, military, and political power in the Eastern Mediterranean
  • From then on, the empire steadily declined due to domestic issues and foreign pressure from both the east and west
  • Social problems included rebellious generals and aristocrats undermining the imperial government by amassing land and recruiting private armies
  • From the east, the Islamic armies under the Umayyad and subsequent Abbasid Caliphates constantly attacked Byzantium's eastern border
  • Additionally, the dynamic Seljuk Turks inflicted a stunning defeat for the Byzantines at Manzikert, resulting in the devastating loss of Anatolia which functioned as the principal source of Byzantine grain, wealth, and military recruiting pool

Battle of Manzikert
Battle of Manzikert

  • Christian crusaders from Western Europe captured and sacked the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, during the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204)
  • Although Byzantine forces recaptured the city in 1261, the empire never fully recovered from this invasion
  • Finally collapsed in 1453 when Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople

Why the collapse was less severe than in Western Europe:
  • Replaced by a stable and prosperous empire which was the Ottoman Empire, no massive power vacuum or loss of wealth and population
ex. the Ottomans grew wealthy controlling caravan routes transporting silk
  • The Ottomans expanded and built upon Byzantine culture and art rather than allowing it to fall into ruin
ex. Constantinople was renovated after its conquest and magnificent new buildings were constructed like the Suleiman Mosque
  • The people of the Eastern Mediterranean under the Ottoman realm were well defended
ex. the Ottoman Empire effectively defended itself from the Safavids in the east and Austrians in the west
  • No loss of technology or the momentum of technological advancement, at least in the early Ottoman Empire
ex. the Janissary corp were famous for employing the latest gunpowder weapons, however later on, this unit began to suppress advancement

The Roman Empire

How it collapsed
· Series of generals seizing power and losing it shortly (235-284 CE)
· Diocletian (284-305 C.E.) split the Roman empire in to two halves- western and eastern: the western Roman empire and the eastern Roman empire
o He brought back Rome’s economy but faced the dilemma in trying to protect the whole empire from outside threats.
o Diocletian persecuted Christians within the Roman Empire. (284-305 CE)
o Constantine ruled after him

Eastern part of Roman empire:
o Constantine ruled and moved the capital to Constantinople
o Edict of Milan: Constantine’s doctrine making Christianity legal and openly practiced and put an end to the persecution
o Constantine was a Christian

Western part of the Roman empire:
o Under pressure from the Huns, Germanic peoples streamed into the Roman empire
o Established settlements in Italy, Gaul, Spain, Britain, and north Africa
o Germanic general Odovacer deposed the Roman emperor, 476 C.E.
o Imperial authority survived in the eastern half of the empire

Final separation and division of the Empire:
o Conflicts between the pope in western Rome and the head of church in eastern Rome
o New group taking over western Rome
o Eastern Rome became the Byzantine empire and the Roman empire was lost

Why the collapse of the Roman Empire was more severe than the collapse of the Byzantine Empire and the Han dynasty
· Resulted in loss of knowledge
Ex. the Romans built lots of domes, but since the fall, another dome wasn't built until the renaissance

Loss of strong central government
Ex. Europe was unable to defend itself against Vikings and Magyars

Roman empire became an open space for powers to seize
Ex. Huns under the Attila streamed into western Rome with Germanic people and founded settlements their

The Han (206 B.C.- 220 A.D.)

How it Collapsed

Why it was less severe than the collapse of the Byzantine Empire and the Roman Empire

  • There was a form of government after the fall of the Han Dynasty, even though the country was in three parts that were constantly fighting each other
  • The economy of the Chinese was not a disaster
  • Lords did not separate from the country

Creators: Christopher Song, Sydney Hayes, and Liza Logan

It could use one or two more visuals, but other than that I thought it was pretty good.
Evaluators: Coco Abrantes, Joe Rodgers, and Allen Fromlath

I concur. Good information and no mistakes.
Evaluators: Billy Ryan, Emily Weiss, Steven Lyons