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How the Byzantine Empire Rose, Fell, and Created the Wonderful Hagia Sophia: A Historical past in Ten Animated Minutes


For those who solely know one truth in regards to the Roman Empire, it’s that it declined and fell. If you realize one other, it’s that the Roman Empire gave option to the Europe we all know at this time — within the fullness of time, no less than. A great deal of historical past lies between our twenty-first century and the autumn of Rome, which in any case wouldn’t have appeared like such a decisive break when it occurred. “Most historical past books will let you know that the Roman Empire fell within the fifth century CE,” says the narrator of the animated TED-Ed lesson above. “This is able to’ve come as an amazing shock to the tens of millions of people that lived within the Roman Empire up by means of the Center Ages.”

This medieval Roman Empire, higher referred to as the Byzantine Empire, started within the 12 months 330. “That’s when Constantine, the primary Christian emperor, moved the capital of the Roman Empire to a brand new metropolis known as Constantinople, which he based on the location of the traditional Greek metropolis Byzantium.” Not solely did Constantinople survive the barbarian invasions of the Empire’s western provinces, it remained the seat of energy for eleven centuries.

It thus remained a protect of Roman civilization, astonishing guests with its artwork, structure, gown, regulation, and mental enterprises. Alas, a lot of these glories perished within the early thirteenth century, when the town was torched by the disgruntled military of deposed ruler Alexios Angelos.

Among the many surviving constructions was the jewel in Constantinople’s crown Hagia Sophia, about which you’ll study extra about it in the Ted-ED lesson simply above. The lengthy continuity of the holy constructing’s location belies its personal troubled historical past: first constructed within the fourth century, it was destroyed in a riot not lengthy thereafter, then rebuilt in 415 and destroyed once more when extra riots broke out in 532. However simply 5 years later, it was changed by the Hagia Sophia we all know at this time, which has since been a Byzantine Christian cathedral, a Latin Catholic cathedral, a mosque, a museum (on the behest of secular reformer Mustafa Kemal Atatürk), and most recently a mosque once more. The Byzantine Empire could also be lengthy gone, however the finish of the story informed by Hagia Sophia is nowhere in sight.

Associated content material:

An Introduction to Hagia Sophia: After 85 Years as a Museum, It’s Set to Turn out to be a Mosque Once more

360 Diploma Digital Excursions of the Hagia Sophia

Hear the Hagia Sophia’s Awe-Inspiring Acoustics Get Recreated with Laptop Simulations, and Let Your self Get Transported Again to the Center Ages

Hear the Sound of the Hagia Sophia Recreated in Genuine Byzantine Chant

French Illustrator Revives the Byzantine Empire with Magnificently Detailed Drawings of Its Monuments & Buildings: Hagia Sophia, Nice Palace & Extra

Istanbul Captured in Stunning Shade Pictures from 1890: The Hagia Sophia, Topkaki Palace’s Imperial Gate & Extra

Primarily based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His initiatives embody the Substack publication Books on Cities, the guide The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by means of Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video sequence The Metropolis in Cinema. Comply with him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Fb, or on Instagram.



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