Oliver's Site

14. Rome and Byzantium (Nova Roma)

Table of Contents | 1. Earth | 2. The Origin of Life and Evolution of Man | 3. Civilisation | 4. Fertile Crescent | 5. Egypt | 6. Indus Valley | 7. Yellow River (Haung He/Huang Ho) | 8. Hittites, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Assyrians | 9. New World (B. C./Pre-Columban) | 10. Greeks and Persians | 11. Rome ( - B. C. - A. D. 96) | 12. Saul of Tarsus | 13. Rome ( - A. D. 275) | 14. Rome and Byzantium (Nova Roma) | 15. Islam | 16. Charlemagne | 17. Vikings | 18. Turks, Crusaders, Mongols, Moors, Explorers and Conquistadors | 19. Reformation, Enlightenment (1300s -1700s) | 20. Mid-1700s - early 1900s | 21. The Great War | 22. Inter-War Years | 23. The War in Europe and Africa | 24. Second World War | 25. War in the Pacific | 26. Defeating the Axis in Europe and Africa | 27. End of Japanese Imperialism | 28. Ending the War | 29. Conquest of Space | 30. Averting Nuclear War | 31. End of Empire | 32. Man on the Moon | 33. Arms Race and Limitation | 34. Lifting the Iron Curtain | 35. Outer Space | 37. | 42.

Continued from previous page, 13



Carus, Carius, Numerian





R. 284 - 305

Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus Augustus (244 - 311) (r. 284 to 305), from Dalmatia. Ended a long period of chaos in the empire and reunited it. Established the Tetrarchy. Launched the last and most extensive persecution of Christians in Roman history. Established the capital of the empire in Nicomedia in Asia Minor. First emperor to retire on his own. 


- Diocletian appointed a junior (or deputy) emperor in 285, promoted him to subordinate co-emperor in 286 and assigned him the riule of the western half of the Roman Empire.

As the paramount leader and ruler, Diocletian established the imperial capital in Nicomedia in Anatolia in 286. His co-emperor ruled the western half of the empire from Milan in northern Italy.

- In 293, Diocletian estabished the Tetrarchy   -   rule of the empire by four emperors. There were two co-emperors, one in the east and one in the west. Each emperor had a deputy emperor to rule two further divisions of the east and west. Thus, the empire was divided into four regions, two in the east and two in the west. The junior emperor in the west ruled from Trier in Germany and the junior emperor in the east ruled from Sremska Mitrovica, a town near Belgrade in Serbia. 

Tthe four regions were actually separate military spheres of influence, essentially for border defense, and not clearly defined geographic administrative zones.

(Each senior co-emperor was called the Augustus. Each deputy emperor was called the Caesar.)   

- Diocletian launched the last and harshest persecution of Christians in history (303 - 311).

- Diocletian was the first emperor to abdicate voluntarily, in 305, during (or after) a long illness, and compelled his co-emperor in the west to abdicate at the same time.


The Tetrarchy

Map of the Tetrarchy: the Roman Empire divided into four military regions, each ruled by an emperor.


A Quick Overview of Diocletian's Tetrarchy

The Roman "Rule by Four"




Episode from the documentary series Emperors of Rome



Tour of Split, Croatia (Highlights)



The Tetrarchs, porphyry sculpture taken from Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204 and today in the San Marco Basilica in Venice

Pompey's Pillar, Alexandria, Egypt, Corinthian column erected in AD 297 in commemoration of Diocletian's suppression of a revot in Alexandria


The Early Middle Ages

Two lectures by Paul Freedman from a course, The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210), at Yale U., Fall 2011

Lecture # 1

Rome's Greatness and First Crises

The Roman Empire before the Crisis of the Third Century   -   Flaws of the Roman Empire

You Tube:





Lecture # 2

The Crisis of the Third Century and the Diocletianic Reforms

Introduction and Logistics   -   Third Century Crisis and Barbarian Invasions   -   The Problem of Succession   -   The Problem of Inflation   -   The Ruin of The Local Elite   -   Diocletian and his Reforms

You Tube:







Senator GL2000 - Gold with Camel Velour Front Panel

The History of Christian Thought and Practice

Lecture from the course The History of Christian Thought and Practice (1) by Jim L. Papandrea at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois (2012) 

Lecture 10.

Persecution and the Controversies over the Lapsed and Baptism


(see more lectures Papandrea below)


Fall of the Pagans and the Origins of Medieval Christianity

24-lecture Course by Kenneth W. Harl

The Great Courses



Course description



Rome Redux:

The Tetrarchic Renaissance

Lecture by Diana Kleiner, # 22 of the course Roman Architecture HSAR 252, Yale U., Spring 2009 

-   Crisis in the Third Century and the Aurelian Walls   -   The Rise of the Tetrarchy    -   The Decennial or Five-Column Monument in the Roman Forum   -   The Senate House or Curia Julia   -   The Baths of Diocletian   -   The Palace of Diocletian at Split   -   Tetrarchic Palaces around the Empire

You Tube:



Yale U:









Ancient Rome and its Mysterious Cities

Docomentary from the Ancient Mysteries series with Leonard Nimoy

Brief description of the history of Rome from the Etruscans to Constantine







Constantine the Great

R. 306 - 337

Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus (Constantine the Great) (Constantine I) (Saint Constantine) (AD 272 - AD 337), first Roman emperor (306 - 337) to convert to Christianity; moved the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium (Constantinople) 

Vatican Museum


Constantine the Great

Discussion on the weekly Thursday radio programme In Our Time hosted by Melvyn Bragg

With Chrisopther Kelly, Lucy Crig and Creg Woolf

5 October 2017

Flash Player required to listen to the programme but download possible.



Constantine the Great




Constantine's Arch, Rome



Episode from the documentary series Ancient Rome  -  The Rise and Fall of an Empire




Constantine the Great 


Byzantium and Christianity


Episode # 10 of the documentary series

Rome  -  Rise and Fall of an Empire 






Rise and Spread of Christianity in Rome



How Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire


National Geographic Documentary






Constantine and the Early Church


Lecture # 3 by Paul Freedman from a course The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210) at Yale U., Fall 2011

Introduction   -   Constantine's Rise to Power   -   The Battle of the Milvian Bridge and Constantine's Conversion   -   Constantine as a Christian Emperor   -   The City of Constantinople   -   Constantine intervenes in Church Doctrine   -  Constantine and Diocletian


You Tube:













Episode # 2 of the 2009 documentary series Christianity: A History


Michael Portillo considers Constantine





Constantine and the Cross

1962 Hollywood movie
Selling Christianity
Secrets of Christianity
Episode from the documentary series Decoding the Ancients with Simcha Jacobovici
Like many people in the AD 100s, 200s and 300s, Constantine was a sun-worshiper.
Did he really become a Christian?
His mother, Helena, became a devout Christian.
He legalized Christianity.
He built many churches in the empire, especially in Rome and Constantinople.
It was claimed that he was baptised late in life and accepted Christianity in his last moments, on his death bed.  



The empire in the time of Constantine


Animated map displays the Roman Empire from the First Tetrarchy established by Diocletian in 295 to the rule of Constantine as sole emperor in 324


Byzantium  -  Constantinople

Nova Roma (New Rome)  -  

The Second Rome





Byzantium was a 1,000-year-old fishing village of Greek-speaking Christians on the European shore of the Bosporous. Its inhabitants were called Byzantines. They called the empire Romania.

The Roman Emperor Constantine (r. 306 - 337) chose the village for the site of the new capital of the Roman Empire in 324. He called it New Rome   -   Nova Roma. It was on the European side of the Bosporous, across the straight from the Asian side and the empire's current capital, Nicomedia.

The inhabitants of Nova Roma called the new city Constantine’s City   -   Constantinople. They considered themselves Romans. Westerners called them Greeks.


Academics divide the history of Byzantium (sometimes called the Eastern Roman Empire) into three periods:


Late Antiquity


1. Early Period (324 - mid-600s):


Foundation of Constantinople in 324


The Roman Empire, ruled from Constantinople, extended throughout the entire Mediterranean and was at its height in this period.



Late Middle Ages


2. Middle Period (mid-600s - 1060):


Islamic/Muslim/Mohammaden Arab Conquest of the eastern and southern Mediterranean in the mid-600s.


The Arab Conquest reduced the Roman Empire to Anatolia (Asia Minor), the Balkans, Greece and Sicily.


The Roman Empire faded into legend and became something to recall and try to emulate.


The Great Schism of 1053 split the Christian Church into the Orthodox in the east, centered in Constantinople, and the Catholic in the west, centered in Rome.



3. Late Period (1060 - 1453):


The 3rd or Late period can be divided into three sub-periods


1. Arrival of the Seljuk Turks in Anatolia in 1064


The Seljuk Turks stormed through the Near East, taking Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine and the holy city of Jerusalem. They occupied most of Anatolia. The Turks called their empire, the Turkish Sultanate, Rome (Rum).


The Byzantines appealed to the Pope in Rome for help to combat the Seljuk Turks. The Pope called for a Christian crusade against the Turks. Armies assembled and headed east. Three Crusades.


2. The knights of the Fourth Crusade laid siege to Constantinople in 1203, sacked it in 1204 and occupied it to 1261


The Crusaders founded the Empire of Romania (or Latin Empire of Constantinople), with a Roman Catholic emperor.


The Roman Empire dissolved and fragmented into small rival Greek and Latin states.


3. The Byzantines recaptured Constaninople in 1261 and held it to 1453.


The  Ottoman Turks laid siege to Constaninople and captured and sacked the city in 1453.



- The Turks called the inhabitants of Constantinople Romans.


- Constantinople was the capital of the Ottoman Empire until its dismemberment by the victorious Allies of the Great War (World War I) in 1922. The much smaller successor state of Turkey was created in 1922. The Turks moved the capital to Ankara in central Anatolia in 1923 and renamed the city of Constantinople Istanbul in 1930.    


- Byzantium as a term designating the eastern half of the Roman Empire with its capital in Constantinople was applied for the first time during the Renaissance, after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.



Eugen Weber lectures

The Western Tradition

1. Byzantine Empire


2. Fall of Byzantium



Engineering the Byzantine Empire

Episode from a documentary series with Peter Weller





Byzantium, the Lost Empire

Four-part documentary series with John Romer 

1. Building the Dream


2. Heaven on Earth


3. Envy of the world


4. Forever and Ever


All four episodes in one clip:








Hippodrome of Constantinople


Architecture of New Rome

Rome of Constantine and a New Rome

Lecture # 23 by Diana Kleiner from the course Roman Architecture (HSAR 252), Yale U., Spring 2009

-   The End of the Tetrarchy and the Rise of Constantine the Great   -  The Baths of Constantine in Rome and the Porta Nigra at Trier   -   The Basilica or Aula Palatina at Trier   -   The Temple of Minerva Medica in Rome   -   The Basilica Nova in Rome   -   The Arch of Constantine and the Enduring Impact of Roman Architecture

You Tube:


Yale site:






Constantine and Christianity


Council of Nicea, A. D. 325




About the Council of Nicaea




Council of Nicaea




Nicean Creed






Original Nicene Creed, 325

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;

By whom all things were made both in heaven and on earth;

Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man;

He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven;

From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

And in the Holy Ghost.

But those who say: 'There was a time when he was not;' and 'He was not before he was made;' and 'He was made out of nothing,' or 'He is of another substance' or 'essence,' or 'The Son of God is created,' or 'changeable,' or 'alterable' — they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.


The Constantinopolitan Creed (381)

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten from the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of the same substance as the Father. Through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried.

On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son). With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.



The Nicene Creed

Discussion hosted by Melvyn Bragg on In Our Time, BBC weekly radio programme

27 December 2007


Senator GL2000 - Gold with Camel Velour Front Panel

The History of Christian Thought and Practice (1)

Course lectures 11 - 14 by Jim L. Papandrea at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois (2012) 

11. The Great Persecution and Constantine


12. The Arian Controversy


13. The Council of Nicea


14. The Nicean Creed





The Trinity


God, the Father;

     Jesus, the Son;


          the Holy Ghost/Spirit



The Trinity


Discussion on the weekly BBC radio program In Our Time with by Melvyn Bragg, March 13, 2014




Source: The Orthodox Life  -  The Twenty Ten Theme  -  Blog at WordPress.com


Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity

Episode from the documentary series Religions of the World







The five major patriarchates of the Christian Church, in order of importance, in 381, were Rome, considered the center of the church in the western half of the Roman Empire; Constantinople, center of the church in the eastern half of the Roman Empire; Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem were the other major centers of the church in the eastern half of the Roman Empire.

The five patriachates eventually divided into two churches   -   the Catholic Church, also referred to as the Western Church and Roman Catholic Church, centered in Rome, and the Orthodox Church, also referred to as the Eastern Church and Greek Orthodox Church, centered in Constantinople.

The patriarchates of Alexandria and Antioch split with Constantinople in 451; thus, the Coptic (Egyptian) Church, centered in Alexandria, and the Assyrian (or Syriac) Church, centered in Antioch, became the Oriental Orthodox Church.

Emperor Justinian I (r. 527 to 565) gave the five patriarchates the designation of the Pentarchy in 531.






Julian the Apostate


Bronze coin from Antioch with the emperor Julian   -   Julian the Apostate (Julianus Apostata)   -   from 360 - 363.

Flavius Claudius Julianus Augustus (331/332 – 363), called Julian the Apostate and Julian the Philosopher, last non-Christian emperor (361 to 363),






Theodosius the Great

(r. 379 -395)

Flavius Theodosius Augustus (347 - 395), Theodosius I, Theodosius the Great, Saint Theodosius, last Roman Emperor (379 - 395) to rule an united empire, with both the eastern and western halves.

Theodosius made Eastern or Orthodox Nicaean Christianity the Roman Empire's official religion. He is considered a saint by the Orthodox Church. He terminated the Olympic Games in Greece.


Brief biography:



The Christian Roman Empire

Lecture # 4 by Paul Freedman from a course The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210) at Yale U., Fall 2011

Introduction   -   Julian the Apostate   -   Essential Heresies: Arianism and Donatism   -   Essential Heresies 2: Manicheanism   -   Roman Emperors and Christian Heresies   -   Introduction to St. Augustine's Confessions   -   Platonism



Decline and Fall of Rome

Two lectures by Eugen Weber of UCLA from the 1986 lecture series The Western Tradition  


Decline of Rome 




Fall of Rome 




The Fall of Rome


Episode from the German documentary series Fall of Great Empires (50 min.)









Hypatia of Alexandria


(ca. A. D. 350-370 - A. D. 415)


Hypatia, Greek philosopher,

mathematician and astronomer

in Alexandria



Alexandria - The Greatest City 


Episode # 1 from the documentary series The Ancient Worlds with Bettany Hughes


Includes scenes from the 2009 movie Agora





Carl Sagan on Alexandria and Hypatia


Excerpts from the series Cosmos 


1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ny91w6JPw4 


(Carl Sagan Cosmos - The Library of Alexandria )


2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=qT_OrdrtZpk 


(Carl Sagan on the great library of Alexandria part 1)


3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuzcO4mWoco 


(Carl Sagan on the great library of Alexandria part 2)





Movie about Hypatia of Alexandria (2009)


(2 hrs., 6 min., 23 sec.) 






Part 1.




Part 2.






Part 1.




Part 2.




Entire film  -  dubbed in Spanish:







Review of the movie Agora on History Buffs 





Eine aussergew÷hnliche Philosophin der Antike



The Astrolabe


Astrolabe (TW en long)







Saint Jerome
Related image
St Jerome (347 - 320)
Jerome translated the Hebrew Bible into Latin and revised the Old Latin Gospels by the oldest Greek versions. His translation of the Bible was eventually known as the Vulgate and, by the 1100s, it was the common Bible.
Thine is the Kingdom
Part 5 of 7 of the documentary series Testament with John Romer (1988)

Rome, Byzantium and the Barbarians

Romans, Germans and Huns





Documentary with Terry Jones



Dark Ages





Goths sack Rome, A. D. 410

Roman Emperor Theodosius; General Flavius Stilicho (359? –408); Alaric I, King of the Visigoths (370 - 410); and Artulf, Visigoth general


The Goths

Episode from the Barbarians documentary series



The Fall of Rome

Episode 6 of the BBC documentary series Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire



The Barbarian General - Flavius Stilicho

Episode # 11 of the documentary series Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire



The Savage Goths

Episode from the documentary series Terry Jones' Barbarians








The Vandals sacked Rome in 455


The Vandals

Episode # 2 from the documentary series Barbarians





The End of the World

Episode # 4 of the documentary series Terry Jones' Barbarians



The Vandals of North Africa

Excerpt from The End of the World (episode # 4 of the documentary series Terry Jones' Barbarians)







Saint Augustine of Hippo

(A. D. 354  -  A. D. 430)

Bishop of Hippo Regius (Annaba, Algeria)


Saint Augustine in his Study painted by Sandro Botticelli, 1480, Italy


St. Augustine 

2009 Italian movie



In English:

3 hrs 19 min. 4 sec.



Clip 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltUxyOUN6Yo

Clip 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy7kishOwv8


St. Augustine in his Study painted by Vittore Carpaccio in 1502


St. Augustine's Philosophy and Theology

Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy (Chapter 4 of Book 2)



St. Augustine's Confessions

Lecture # 5 by Paul Freedman from the course The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210), Yale U., Fall 2011

- Why we read The Confessions  

- A Brief Biography of Augustine

- The Problem of Evil

- Fears and Augustine's Conception of Sin 

- Perfectability, Sin, and Grace

You Tube:






Saint Augustine's Confessions

Discussion on the weekly Thursday BBC radio programme In Our Time hosted by Melvyn Bragg

With guests Morwenna Ludlow, Kate Cooper and Martin Palmer

15 March 2018



Saint Augustine

From the documentary Western Philosophy



Saint Augustine of Hippo's writings on display in Rome



Archeological site of Hippo







Theodosian Walls of Constaninople




Theodosian Walls built by Theodosius II  (Theodosius the Younger) (early 400s)






Transformation of the Roman Empire

Lecture # 6 by Paul Freedman from a course The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210), Yale U., Fall 2011

Introduction   -   Catastrophe   -   The Roman Army and the Visigoths   -   Another Kind of Barbarian: The Huns   -   Accomodation   -   Decline

You Tube:













Documentary from the Barbarians series



Horse Warriors

Episode about the barbarian invasions from the documentary series War and Civilization narrated by Walter Cronkite




Attila the Hun ( - 453)




Biographical Documentary

(3 clips)

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJoPW1xBtnk&feature=related

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFPI_Z5rDsY&feature=relmfu

3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QaBbIBcNtU&feature=relmfu


The Real Attila the Hun




Attila the Hun


1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2f3_IOHW3I&feature=relmfu 

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSNIuACv3KA&feature=relmfu

3. ?

4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrhRUaMn86k&feature=relmfu


Roman General Flavius Aetius and Attila



Battle of the Catalaunian Plains

(Battle of ChÔlons sur Marne)




1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PqTspSrp54&feature=related

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgWjCf9psoY&feature=relmfu


1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMZHovydSFQ

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBkNuZ6rySA&feature=relmfu 



2001 Movie ( 3 hrs.)




Barbarian Kingdoms

Lecture # 7 by Paul Freedman from the course The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210), Yale U., Fall 2011

Introduction   -   Tacitus and the Nature of the Barbarian Tribes   -   The Barbardian Kingdoms   -   Intellectual Life after the Fall of Rome   -   The Barbarian Tribes: Vandals, Moors, Angles, Saxons, and Visigoths   -   The Burgundians and the Burgundian Code

You Tube:


Yale U.:




Puppet Master
Ricimer, Roman general of Suevi and Goth origins, paramount power from 456 to 472 

Episode # 12 of Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire documentary series 






Last Roman Emperor   


End of the western empire


Orestes, Roman general (  -  476); his son, Romulus Augustus (460 - 476), last emperor; and the German chief, Odoacer (433 - 493), first King of Italy    


Episode # 13 of the documentary series Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire   





The Fall of Rome


Episode from the German documentary series Fall of Great Empires (50 min.)













Clovis, First King of the Franks

Baptism of Clovis in Reims, 496; painting by Franšois-Louis Dejuinne, 1837

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGLsZUIJH1c

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=029m5aLd5TU&feature=related


In the Sign of the Cross

Episode from the documentary series The Germanic Tribes

The Franks, Childeric, Clovis and Christianity



Clovis and the Franks

History of the Frankish Merovingian kings by Gregory of Tours

Lecture # 10 by Paul Freedman from the course The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210), Yale U., Fall 2011

You Tube:





Frankish Society

On the history of the Frankish Merovingian kings by Gregory of Tours

Lecture # 11 of the course The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210), Yale U., Fall 2011

You Tube:



Gregory of Tours (539 - 594)


History of the Franks: Books I-X


(Abridged) edited by Paul Halsall, Medieval Sourcebook, Fordham University












Justinian the Great


482 – 565

Justinian, center, and Byzantine general Belisarius, left (Ravenna mosaic)


Under Justinian I the Roman Empire reconquered briefly its former possessions in the west for the last time

Brief intro:


Justinian the Great


A clip by a blogger from edits of a documentary



Justinian I -


"Deus Judex Justus" ("God is just")


Images of Justinian assembled by a blogger





Clips (2) by a blogger edited from a documentary with Peter Weller, Byzantium - Engineering an Empire


1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpbvCF9Jj40&feature=related 


2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iVAzzQfXO0&feature=related



The Plague of Justinian


A clip from the documentary Dark Ages by a blogger





The Ravenna mosaic


Justinian and his attendants, 6th century, Ravenna

Is that really General Belasarius in the mosaic?





Empress Theodora (center) (Ravenna mosaic)



Justinian - Der Letzte R÷mer








Early Middle Ages


Two of 22 lectures by Paul Freedman from the course Early Middle Ages, 284--1000, Fall 2011, Yale U.  


Lecture # 8. Survival in the East


- Introduction

- Procopius’ Secret History

- Circumstances of the Survival of the East

- Christological Controversies – Nestorianism and


- The Rise of Islam, the Persian Threat, and

  Barbarian Invasions

- Iconoclasm

- Conclusion


You Tube:









Lecture # 9. The Reign of Justinian


1. Primary Sources: Procopius and Gregory of Tours
2. The Emperor Justinian
3. Procopius as a source on Justinian
4. Background on Justinian
5. The Circus, the Blues and the Greens, and the Nika Riots
6. Justinian’s Wars
7. Justinian’s Law Code  -  the Corpus Iuris Civilis


You Tube:













The Secret History of Procopius


A translation by Richard Atwater (1927)


I. How the great General Belisarius was hoodwinked by his wife, whose lover became a monk


II. How belated jealousy affected Belisarius's military judgment, to the joy of the enemy


III. Showing the danger of interfering Wwth a woman's intrigues, especially when the woman is the friend of an empress 


IV. How Theodora, revenging her dear Antonina, humiliated the conqueror of Africa and Italy . . . . . . .














Edward Gibbon



Portrait of Edward Gibbon (1737 – 1794)

by Henry Walton



Chapter 40
Elevation of Justin the Elder — Reign of Justinian: — I. The Empress Theodora — II. Factions of the Circus, and Sedition of Constantinople — III. Trade and Manufacture of Silk — IV. Finances and Taxes — V. Edifices of Justinian — Church of St. Sophia — Fortifications and Frontiers of the Eastern Empire — Abolition of the Schools of Athens and the Consulship of Rome
Chapter 41.
Conquests of Justinian in the West — Character and first Campaigns of Belisarius — He invades and subdues the Vandal Kingdom of Africa — His Triumph — The Gothic War — He recovers Sicily, Naples, and Rome — Siege of Rome by the Goths — Their Retreat and Losses — Surrender of Ravenna — Glory of Belisarius — His domestic Shame and Misfortunes
Chapter 42.
State of the Barbaric World — Establishment of the Lombards on the Danube — Tribes and Inroads of the Sclavonians — Origin, Empire, and Embassies of the Turks — The Flight of the Avars — Chosroes I. or Nushirvan King of Persia — His prosperous Reign and Wars with the Romans — The Colchian or Lazic War — The Ăthiopians
Chapter 43.
Rebellions of Africa — Restoration of the Gothic Kingdom by Totila — Loss and Recovery of Rome — Final Conquest of Italy by Narses — Extinction of the Ostrogoths — Defeat of the Franks and Alemanni — Last Victory, Disgrace, and Death of Belisarius — Death and Character of Justinian — Comet, Earthquakes, and Plague
Chapter 44.

Idea of the Roman Jurisprudence — The Laws of the Kings — The Twelve Tables of the Decemvirs — The Laws of the People — The Decrees of the Senate — The Edicts of the Magistrates and Emperors — Authority of the Civilians — Code, Pandects, Novels, and Institutes of Justinian: — I. Rights of Persons — II. Rights of Things — III. Private Injuries and Actions — IV. Crimes and Punishments 


The Return of Justinian the Great


A computer artist recounts her search for Justinian the Great on the Internet






Hagia Sophia, built by Justinian I in A. D. 537. Minarets added after the Ottomon siege of Constantinople in 1453


Hagia Sophia 3D



Hagia Sophia, the most beautiful church of the Byzantines





A reading of an excerpt from The Buildings by Procopius






Travel Guide










Last of the Germanic invaders, under Alboin, conquer Italy (568 – 774)

Episode from the Barbarians documentary series






Avar graves

documentary about Avar graves found in Croatia in 2011




The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire?
Lecture by Gregory Andrete, # 41 of History of the Ancient World (Removed from You Tube)

The Roman Empire in Relation to Culture
A reading of a chapter from Bertrand Russell's
History of Western Philosophy (1945)

The Last Romans
Excavation of Sagalassos, a city abandoned in the 600s A. D., in southeastern Anatolia


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