Many people look down at the Byzantine, even using the word as a synonym to being strange or sneaky, but what people don’t know is that the Byzantines played a huge role in history in your daily life and virtues today. People always down-play he Byzantines, but truth to be told, they were very important. And so why should we study the Byzantines? Meaning, what makes the Byzantines so important that everyone should learn about it? Well, if not for the Byzantines, the Eastern Orthodox religion wouldn’t exist, many ancient greek literature wouldn’t have perished and America and the western world might all be Muslim.
Nearly 250 million people, as of 2010, are Eastern Orthodox, a religion that the Byzantines had developed. The Christian Church of Rome and the Christian Church of Constantinople had gradually grew apart and split officially in 1054, this caused the Eastern Orthodox Church. The different interpretations of the bible was what driven the break-up. In the United States alone, there are 5 million people that are Eastern Orthodox. In other countries like Greece, Romania, Russia and Ukraine, more than three-fourth of the country are Eastern Orthodox. This shows the importance of Byzantine since they had molded a religion that many people all of the world are.
If the Byzantines had not recopied the Ancient Greek literatures, the writings we all admire today, like the Iliad, tragedy plays and more, would not exist. Many great literatures we all know and love today, such as Homer’s works, the Iliad and the Odyssey, tragedy plays written by Sophocles, the Socratic method which is widely used across the world and Plato’s works on society would cease to exist if not for the Byzantines. Many doctors take the Hippocratic oath which was saved by the Byzantines as well as Euclid’s inquiries into astronomy, music and math and Aristotle’s many scientific and philosophical writings. If not for the Byzantines, I can’t imagine what the world would be like today. Without writings on developments that the Byzantines recopied from Ancient Greece, technology, science and literature would not be as advanced as it is today.
Another very important point to back up the fact that the Byzantines played a huge role in world history, is that without the Byzantines, America might be Muslim today. According to John Julius Norwich in A Short History of Byzantium, he states “The Byzantines … [withstood] five years of siege by [the Arabs] hitherto considered irresistible, and in doing so … Saved Western civilization. Had the [the Arabs] captured Constantinople in the seventh century … All Europe – and America – might be Muslim today.” In the sixth and seventh centuries, the Byzantines defeated the Muslim Arabs and the Persians and Avars, which was the stepping stone for defeating the Muslims. Today, if America was Muslim, the history of America and the World would be very different. Things that people love, probably wouldn’t even exist. America, would not be as advanced as it is currently.
We all are much in debt to the Byzantines, without their help, I can’t imagine what the world would be like, there would be no mentioning of ancient Greek developments and literature, the Eastern Orthodox religion that 250 million people use, wouldn’t be alive and the course of World history would play totally different cards. Justinian, a ruler of Byzantine, had created a set of rules that valued everything we value today. In fact, the Declaration of Independence was loosely inspired by Justinian’s code. Truth to be told, the Byzantines play a very important role in world history and without them, my life, everyone’s life, would be totally different.
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