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The Byzantine Empire did not suddenly come into being, but it, rather, developed slowly through the evolution of its "parent" civilizations, Heather and Streets (2003). Byzantium was the “direct heir of the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome, and -as such - it joins…
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History of Civilizations The Byzantine Empire did not suddenly come into being, but it, rather, developed slowly through the evolution of its "parent" civilizations, Heather and Streets (2003). Byzantium was the “direct heir of the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome, and --as such -- it joins the Medieval West and the Islamic World as one of the three "branches" of Western Civilization in the middle Ages” (Sanders, Nelson, Morillo and Ellenberger 23-45).
Byzantine Empire came to existence by transformation of the Eastern Roman Empire into Greek speaking civilization (Blackmore and Susan 42-44). The Roman Empire was extensive, but eventually in the 3th century ethnic and cultural forces divided the empire with the blessing of the imperial government into two political entities (Bentley, Ziegler, and Streets 67-78).
According to Heather and Streets (2003), the Byzantine Empire owns is birth and transformation to Justinian. The empire in his time became different from the Roman political system and was replaced with new bureaucracy having power in royal palace over the ancient senatorial system. In the 7th century, the Greek language became official language of the state (Bradie and Michael 43-44). The Greeks continued to use a title of the Roman Empire for long time, nonetheless. But with the emergence of the Charlemagne who became the emperor of the large Frankish empire, the Greek descendant stopped to be seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. The “byzantine term is rather new; nonetheless, since the 800 onward, the non-Greek world following Rome and Pope considered that restoration of the imperial title to the Frankish kings used own term on Greek state”. For example the 9th century writers and historians from Central and Western Europe refer to various monarchs of the Constantinople as the emperor of the Greek (Sanders, Nelson, Morillo and Ellenberger 33-55).
The empires loss of territory was offset to a degree by consolidation and an increased uniformity of rule. The emperor Heraclius fully Hellenized the empire by making Greek the official language, thus ending the last remnants of Latin and ancient Roman tradition within the Empire, Heather and Streets (2003). Islam means submission to Allah (God). Islam was revealed to the “Prophet Muhammad who lived from 570 CE to 632 CE in Mecca in modern-day Saudi Arabia. Muhammad was called to prophet-hood when God dictated the Quran to him through the archangel Gabriel” (p. 132). Two years later, in front of the Kaba in Mecca, he declared Islam the religion of the people, saying he had fulfilled his mission and that he left behind him the Book of Allah and a set of clear commandments (Bentley, Ziegler, and Streets 70-88).
Monotheism is the central theme of Islam—a belief in only one God, Allah, who is omnipotent. According to Islam, God has four fundamental functions: creation, sustenance, guidance, and judgment. The overall purpose of humanity is to serve Allah, to worship him alone and to construct a moral lifestyle (Sanders, Nelson, Morillo and Ellenberger 36-49).
Islam and Christianity disagree over Jesus identity; although “Muslims believe in one God, as do Christians, they reject as heresy that this one God is three persons. For more detail on what Christians believe on this” (p. 30). It is unthinkable to the teachings of Islam that a prophet of Allah could die a horrible shameful death like a crucifixion. So the “Qur’an actually goes so far as to claim that Jesus didnt die on the cross, Judas died in his place”, God made him to look like Jesus as payback for his wicked betrayal of Jesus and the two were switched at the crucial time (Bentley, Ziegler, and Streets 77-98).
Its power had been built up over the centuries and relied on ignorance and superstition on the part of the populace. It had been indoctrinated into the people that they could only get to heaven via the church (Sanders, Nelson, Morillo and Ellenberger 43-67).
  This gave a priest enormous power at a local level on behalf of the Catholic Church. The local population viewed the local priest as their ‘passport’ to heaven as they knew no different and had been taught this from birth by the local priest. Such a message was constantly being repeated to ignorant people in church service after church service. Hence keeping your priest happy was seen as a prerequisite to going to heaven (Bentley, Ziegler, and Streets 87-98).
From Holy Peace to Holy War; Peace is a central issue of power, and the holy peace was no different, Jerry and Bentley (2003). The eleventh century was a time of great social transformation, involving a redistribution of prerogatives between secular power and ecclesiastical authority. The peace movement played a very important role in that process. It was an agent of change that contributed to the articulation—as well as to the eventual resolution—of the competition between secular power and ecclesiastical authority for domination of Christian society (Sanders, Nelson, Morillo and Ellenberger 53-65).
The Byzantine plagues (there were several, occurring at intervals of a few generations), killed millions of people, yet for sheer scope of destruction—and, perhaps, historical impact—they were dwarfed by the plague that devastated Europe in the years 1347-1351, Jerry and Bentley (2003).This one became known as the Plague that was as much a part of the epidemic as the ghastly physical symptoms it brought on: the Black Death (Bentley, Ziegler, and Streets 87-98).
Social Impact of the Plague; Lacking any modern concept of what causes disease, people looked for spiritual explanations. In just “five years the disease killed about 30% of Europes population, which had been 100 million in 1300 but which would not reach that level again until 1500”. In the short run, these economic conditions spurred peasant revolts, but in the long run, the shortage of workers brought about higher wages and contributed to the emergence of the working and middle classes (Sanders, Nelson, Morillo and Ellenberger563-85).
The term Renaissance, literally means "rebirth" and is the period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages, conventionally held to have been characterized by a surge of interest in classical learning and values, Jerry and Bentley (2003).The spread of the Renaissance throughout Europe was helped along by the invention of the printing press attributed to Johann Gutenberg (c.1398-1468) and others. Gutenberg used moveable metal type in a device derived from a wine press to print whole pages. Books, “and the ideas contained in them, became available to a much wider audience since they no longer had to be laboriously copied by hand” (p. 44). Literacy for the masses became feasible (Sanders, Nelson, Morillo and Ellenberger 63-75).
Work cited
Blackmore, Susan. “Byzantine Empire: History of Civilizations.” Free Inquiry. 2000 (summer), 20.3 42‐4.  
Bradie, Michael. “The difference between Christianity and Islam”. Free Inquiry. 2000 (summer), 20.3 43‐4.  
Bentley, J., Ziegler, H., and Streets, H. Traditions and encounters: A brief global history (3rd ed.). (2008). New York: McGraw Hill. ISBN: 9780073534534 
Sanders, T., Nelson, S., Morillo, S., and Ellenberger, N. Encounters in world history: Sources and themes from the global post volume one: to 1500 (1st ed.) .(2006). New York: McGraw Hill. ISBN: 0072451017  Read More
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