Comparing and Contrasting The roman and Byzantine Empire
When Rome declined, the western half of the empire formed the Byzantine Empire. The eastern half became the Holy Roman Empire. Because the Byzantine Empire came from the fall of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire had many similarities with Rome. In addition to these similarities, there were also several differences between these two empires. This includes culture, religion, and location. These similarities and differences helped shape the Byzantine Empire into what it became.
One similarity between these two Empires was the form of entertainment that took place in these cultures. Both the Byzantine Empire and the Roman Empire enjoyed watching gladiator fights at a big stadium. (Rautman) The people of the Roman Empire held these events at the Coliseum. In the Byzantine Empire, there was the Circus Maximus, another stadium. The use of this arena was the same as the Coliseum in Rome. Gladiator fights and chariot races were held here. It is estimated that 50,000 to 350,000 people, or approximately a quarter of the population of the city could fit inside. It has also been calculated that the arena of the Coliseum would fit 12 times into the Circus Maximus. (Crowther)
A difference between the Byzantine and Roman Empire was their form of religion. (Salisbury)In Rome the people worshipped Jupiter as the father of all gods. Jupiter and his wife Juno had many children that were also gods. For example, Mars, the god of war was a child of Jupiter. Mercury, the messenger god was another son of Jupiter and his wife. This meant that Rome was a polytheistic society. They believed in more than one god. The Byzantine Empire, on the other hand, was a monotheistic society. This meant that they believed in only one god. They mainly followed the teachings of Christianity. (Ermatinger)
In conclusion, the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire were unique in their own was. Both civilizations rose out of fallen cultures. While the Roman Empire rose from the Roman Republic, the Byzantine Empire was established because of the fall of the Roman Empire. Despite these differences, the two cultures had similar aspects in culture, geography, science and technology. Some of these included government, religion, and location. These characteristics helped develop the two great civilizations and influence the world today.
Crowther, Nigel B. "Circus Maximus." 2007. ACB-CLIO. 25 March 2013.
Ermatinger, James W. "Growth of Christianity in Ancient Rome." 2013. Daily Life through History. ABC-CLIO. 25 March 2013.
Rautman, Marcus. "Entertainment in the Byzantine Empire." 2013. Daily Life through History. ABC-CLIO. 25 March 2013 .
Salisbury, Joyce E. and Gregory S. Aldrete. "Religious Beliefs in Rome: Ancient World." 2013. ABC-CLIO. 25 March 2013.