Terms and concepts:
The later Roman Empire: After the classical Roman era, Rome has been separate into two empires, after the fall of western half, Eastern half of Roman Empire was known as Byzantine empire which its capital locates at Constantinople. The Eastern half of the empire survived until fifteenth century. Justinian and Theodora: Justinian was the greatest emperor in early Byzantine Empire who born in 527C.E at Macedonian as a peasant. His wife, Theodora, was a daughter of a bear keeper in a circus. The young couples were both intelligent therefore received great education. During Justinian’s reign, he, and advised by Theodora, Byzantine has made major reforms and conquered some major regions during Roman classics era. Belisarius and Byzantine Conquests: Belisarius was a great general during emperor Justinian’s reign. Ordered by Justinian, Belisarius conquered many regions that Rome used to have, including Italy peninsula, Sicily, Northern Africa and Southern Spain. However, Byzantine Empire cannot fund those regions that the conquered regions were vulnerable and fallen soon. The Peasantry: Peasantry is a special term in Byzantine Empire. The Peasantry is a part of theme system that poor peasants can own a part of land if they serve in military. As a result, the source of military was abundant that can protect the empire well. Economically, Peasantry boomed the source of food since more people are able to involve in farming. Therefore, the price of food did not go so high due to the competition, which solved inflation that Rome once experienced. Manufacturing Enterprises: Byzantium was the center of manufacturing since as a Greek city-state and during Roman classic age. Byzantium was famous for crafting. When it became the capital of Byzantine Empire, Constantinople became even more advanced. Also, when silk from China traded in Constantinople. Constantinople is the only city or region that mastered the technology. As a result, the silk industry in Constantinople became even more important due to its percentage in market. Tensions between Byzantine and Western European States: Most conflicts between Byzantine Empire with Western European States were about religion and politics. Western states often declare their imperial authority to Europe, which was challenging Byzantine Empire. The Early Byzantine State: Byzantium was just a fishing village back then. As Western Roman Empire been attacked, Constantine the Great moved the capital from Rome to Byzantium because of its strategic location that trades were still functioning and more protected. Justinian’s Code: The code was a more comprehensive vision of Roman law. The code was designed for every-day citizens therefore it has been called the civil law. Justinian’s code was considered the base of all modern laws. Also, the code state the authority of Christianity in Byzantine Empire. Decline of the Free Peasantry: As Byzantine Empire entered an age of peace. Byzantine Empire was stabilized. However, greedy nobles look upon peasant’s land. Although government tried to stop nobles from gaining too much land. Nobles still built huge estates that transformed many peasants to their dependent after centuries. This action led to the lack of resources for Byzantine military and weakened the economics. Trade: Trade was the number one reason why Byzantine stood for centuries after Western Roman Empire had fallen. The golden horn and its special location contributes let trade became convenient. For example, Byzantine Empire could trade silk with China or retail silk to the rest of Europe through Mediterranean Sea. The Organization of Trade: The concept of organization of trade of Byzantine Empire was very advanced. They collected tax from merchants that boosted the revenue of Byzantine Empire.
1) The location of the Byzantine Empire impact its development by making trade convenient and gave the empire easy access to the hostile empire at the East. The Golden Horn is a perfect harbor at Constantinople that makes huge merchant ships stop by easily. Also, the location of Byzantine Empire is at the middle of Asia and Europe. As a result, goods from both side can be trade in Byzantine easily that made Byzantine Empire a huge market. In addition, the hostile empire, Sasanid Empire, was at the East of former Roman Empire. By move the capital from Rome to Constantinople, Byzantine was able to react the invasion quicker. From both economics’ and military’s point of view, the location of Byzantine Empire affected its development greatly.
2) Constantinople was the capital of Byzantine Empire. The natural harbor, crafting skill, and location made Constantinople an important place to Byzantine Empire. First, the location of Constantinople and the fact that it has a perfect natural harbor made Constantinople the center of trading. Also, the production of silk and maritime technology made Constantinople the center of the empire.
3) Justinian’s code was a more advanced version of Roman law. Justinian’s code was based on Roman law but made it more appealing to civilians. Therefore, his code was also been called the Civil law. The only addition of Justinian’s code of that the code added the importance of Christianity.
4) The theme system impact the imperial organizations of the Byzantine Empire by creating more job opportunities to the poor and provided more military source. Theme system states that if a peasant serves in military, available land will give to him as return. As a result, more people want to serve in military that the border of Byzantine Empire was defended well. In addition, it made soldiers more loyal because if they flee or been defeated, they have something to lose. Economically, Theme system controlled the inflation because few nobles were not controlled the market, competitions made the average prices of supplies low therefore.