Byzantine Empire

Essential questions:
  • What role did the Byzantine Empire play in the preservation and transmission of Greek and Roman knowledge, culture, and concept of law?
  • What impact did the Byzantine Empire have in the development of historical Russia?
  • What impact did the fall of Constantinople have on Western Europe? To what extent was this event a turning point in global history?
  • How did the location of Constantinople make it a crossroads of Europe and Asia?
  • How did geography affect early Russia?

Common Core Standards:

RH.9-10.3. Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them

WHST.9-10.7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Suggested Student Objectives

  • Identify Constantinople, Justinian Code, Hagia Sofia
  • Locate the eastern half of the Roman Empire
  • Discuss the legacy of the Byzatine Empire
  • Examine the role of the Byzatine Empire in preserving Roman Culture
  • Analyze the influence of theByzantine Empire


  • Learners view a display of the classnotes from a previous session and discuss prior learning. Students analyze the information about the Byzantine contributions. Learners create a mosaic. They complete a teacher selected reading or other reinforcement activity.
  • Students discuss concepts covered in previous sessions. They view a picture of a Russian church and describe the architectural style. Students view a picture of the hagia Sophia and discuss similiarities between it and the russian church. Students shd in the Byzantine and Russian territories on a map. They complete a chart about the eastern movement of European culture
  • Pupils engage in a lesson that is about the rise of Russia as an influence in the world. They discuss research and construct a timeline using the information that is found. The lesson can be differentiated with the help of creating a graphic organizer using computer software.
  • Students examine the history of today's Istanbul. In this historical perspectives instructional activity, students research how Byzantium became Constantinople and later Istanbul as they examine the cultures of the city and create time lines that highlight their findings.
  • Complete a organizer/chart G.R.A.P.E.S for Byzantine Empire (Government, Religion, Achievements, Politics, Economics and Social)

Resource Links

The History Channel's Engineering an Empire vol. 4: The Byzantines [UHS library collection DVD 909 ENG]
Discovery Education (login required) Search: Byzantium (51:34, divided into twenty segments)
Animated map of Byzantine Empire
Map of Byzantine Empire in 1265
Hagia Sopia
GALE Student Resources in Context (login required) Search: Constantinople for references, images, etc

Suggested Additional Readings

The Byzantine Empire 1025-1204: A Political History (2nd Edition)
The Byzantine Empire 1025-1204: A Political History (2nd Edition)

Using the above timeline as a resource, complete this short answer question: Is the legacy of the Byzantine Empire importatnt? If so,how and why? Be sure to give specific examples to support your argument. If not, explain.

2. Document Based Questions and Essay

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