Though both had similar roots, they both took these similar bases & formed it into their own way. Both the Byzantine Empire and Ancient Roman have similar aspects, but each one made it unique. To better understand the similarities and differences of the Byzantine Empire and Ancient Romans one must look at each civilization’s cultural ideas, religion, & dependence on lower class. The Byzantine Empire and Ancient Romans’ cultural ideas, religion, & dependence on lower class portray commonalities between these two civilizations.
Both the Byzantine Empire and Ancient Romans had Roman influences which affected their culture. This is because after the collapse of the Roman Empire in 4th century, the build of the Byzantine Empire took on a life of its own from it. This particularly from the reign of the emperor Justinian and onward because he had given positive contributions to the empire by rebuilding Constantinople, which were ravaged by earlier riots against high taxes, & adding some Roman ideas like a systemized Roman legal code, the Justinian code, & Roman architecture.
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Both the Byzantine Empire and Ancient Romans’ religion were similar as well. They both had had people that believed in religions that were connected to Christianity. They both also had the domed buildings, the elaboration of powerful and richly colored mosaics, & a tradition of icon painting. In the showing of this the Byzantine shows artistic ideas in their architecture as did the Roman’s with their dominant aesthetic works in their architecture. Both the Byzantine Empire and Ancient Romans’ dependence on lower classes have likenesses as well. They both relied on the lower class to do the laborious work for them.
These people in both classes cultivated their land hoping to improve their families’ fortune. These relationships of common aspects show that even though they are different times, they possess some common areas. However, even though the Byzantine Empire and Ancient Romans’ cultural ideas, religion, & dependence on lower class show some similarities between these two civilizations, they each had distinct ideas of each. Though their ideas are similar, their roots of these are still different. Rome was basically influenced by the Etruscans with their monarchy and nfrastructure of paved streets, public buildings, defensive walls, large temples, & geographic advantages of being near (i. e. easy access to the Mediterranean which helped in trade. ) Though the Byzantine was much influenced by the Romans, they were also influenced by the Middle East. Like Islamic views which were spreading throughout north of Africa and the bulk of the Middle East. In addition, during the 7th century the Arab Muslims had built a fleet that challenged the Byzantine naval supremacy in the eastern Mediterranean while repeatingly attacking Constantinople.
The Arabs quickly swallowed the empire’s remaining provinces along the eastern seaboard of the Mediterranean. This attack influenced the Byzantine empire’s pattern of life with Arab cultural and commercial influence. From attacks to religion, we see the religion between the Byzantine Empire and Ancient Romans are similar due to the fact they are associated with Christianity, but each civilization found ways to make it their own. The Romans, being that Christianity was becoming one of the major world religions, did of course arise during the time of Rome.
However, Christianity was not really a product of roman culture & roman gods and goddesses were. The Byzantine Empire created a new branch of Christianity, the Eastern, or Orthodox, Christianity. This was due to the fact Byzantine emphasized on preserving and commenting on the past forms rather than developing new ones. Though they both depended on the lower classes as the laborers of the civilization, they each treated them differently. The higher classed Romans treated their lower classes badly.
The higher class had some lower classes as slaves, but also they hoard the wealth to themselves so those in poverty were often unemployed or working in harsh conditions. The Byzantine Empire treated their lower classes nicer than the Romans did. The lower classes weren’t slaves but were peasants. These peasants were allowed to accumulate land to become rich. Also in the Byzantine empire, though it had lower classes at first, but as time went on the peasants started to become wealthier causing a change in classes. This was because as the lower classes accumulated wealth from the wealthy this began to even out the wealth among the classes.
These diversities show that though they have common traits, they are very much different. These similarities and differences of the Byzantine Empire and Ancient Romans one must look at each civilization’s cultural ideas, religion, & dependence on lower class showed that though they are two different civilizations, they still have common ideas. Some of the Byzantine ideas that were branched off the Romans are still seen today. The Eastern, or Orthodox, Christians are still seen today as well as the dome structures, & iconoclasm.