Relationship between Byzantium and Islam
According to the research findings, administrative and doctrinal differences caused the Eastern and Western churches to divide in 1054, ending a centuries-long partition between Greek and Latin Christendom. Byzantium attained its political height through Justinian, who re-conquered the old Western empire parts. Successive attacks from various peoples, including Latin Christians, made Byzantium weak, finally falling to the Ottoman Turks (1454). As the 7th century began, vast territories that extended from Egypt to Syria and across North African territories were under the rule of Byzantine Empire from Constantinople (modern Istanbul), its capital. Critical to the power and wealth of the empire, these southern territories long influenced by the Greco-Roman traditions held Orthodox, Syriac, and Coptic, Christians, Jewish communities, among other many religions. Great pilgrimage centers engrossed the faithful followers from as far away as Scandinavia in the west and Yemen in the east. Major trade routes extended down the Red Sea to eastward past Jordan to Indian lands in the south, bringing ivories and silks to the imperial territories. Key cities made wealthy by commerce protracted along inland trade routes Constantinople north and along the coastline of Mediterranean sea. Commerce carried ideas and images freely through the region. In the same 7th century, the newly founded faith of Islam began from Medina and Mecca along the Red Sea trade way and reached westward to the Byzantium Empire’s southern provinces. Religious and political authority was conveyed from the long conventional Christian Byzantine to the newly founded Umayyad and well along Abbasid Muslim dynasties. These new powers capitalized on the advantage of existing region traditions in developing their compelling religious and secular visual identities. This exhibition shadows the Byzantine Empire southern provinces artistic traditions from the 7th century to the 9th, as they were changed from being fundamental to the Byzantine tradition and beliefs to being a critical Islamic world part.