New
New
Year 7

Background to the Crusades: the Byzantine Empire

I can describe the position of Byzantium in the 11th century and the problems it faced.

New
New
Year 7

Background to the Crusades: the Byzantine Empire

I can describe the position of Byzantium in the 11th century and the problems it faced.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Byzantium considered itself to be the successor to the Roman Empire.
  2. Byzantium was a Christian empire.
  3. The reign of Justinian I was a high point for the Byzantine Empire.
  4. By the 11th century, the Byzantine Empire had been weakened by a series of internal conflicts.
  5. By the 11th century, Byzantium was facing external threats from the Seljuk Turks.

Common misconception

Towns and cities are called by the same name as they were given when they were founded.

Towns and cities all over the world have changed their name repeatedly for a wide variety of reasons. For example, York was called Eboracum by the Romans, Eoforwick by the Saxons and Jorvik by the Vikings!

Keywords

  • Empire - an empire is a group of territories ruled over by one person or group of people

  • Idolatry - idolatry is the worship of images

  • Iconoclasm - iconoclasm is the destruction of holy images

  • Eastern Orthodox - Eastern Orthodox Christianity was the form of Christianity practised in the Byzantine Empire

Encourage students to make links between the internal and external problems faced by the Byzantines: get them to consider how one set of problems was exacerbated by another set of issues, e.g. the inadequate army vs the invasions from all sides.
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Contains subject matter which individuals may find upsetting.
  • Contains conflict or violence.

Supervision

Adult supervision suggested.

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

Video

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6 Questions

Q1.
To which city do all the major Abrahamic religions lay claim?
Correct answer: Jerusalem
Mecca
Medina
Q2.
Which of the following statements is the best definition of the word emperor?
a ruler of a single nation
Correct answer: a ruler of an area often made up of several kingdoms and regions
a person who inherits this title through birth
Q3.
Which of the following statements is the best definition of the word colony?
Correct answer: an area under the political control of another country
an area that has political control of itself
an area that has political control of other areas
Q4.
Which of the following statements is the best definition of the word conquest?
the act of gaining control over a territory or people peacefully
Correct answer: the act of gaining control over a territory or people through military force
the desire to be controlled by someone else
Q5.
Which of the following statements is the best definition of the word territory?
an area of land that nobody has control over
an area with its own local government
Correct answer: an area of land under the control of a particular government, country or person
Q6.
Which of the following were the two main religions of the Roman Empire?
Correct answer: Christianity
Islam
Correct answer: Polytheism
Judaism

6 Questions

Q1.
This keyword is a group of territories ruled over by one person or group of people.
Correct Answer: empire, Empire
Q2.
Match the words with their definitions. Write the correct letter in each box.
Correct Answer:Idolatry ,the worship of images

the worship of images

Correct Answer:Iconoclasm,the destruction of holy images

the destruction of holy images

Correct Answer:Eastern Orthodox ,the form of Christianity practised in the Byzantine Empire

the form of Christianity practised in the Byzantine Empire

Q3.
Starting with the earliest, sort these events into the order in which they happened.
1 - City founded as a Greek colony
2 - Constantine converts to Christianity
3 - City renamed Constantinople
4 - Roman Empire splits into East and West
5 - Western Roman Empire collapses
Q4.
Which two of the following weakened the Byzantine Empire from within?
Correct answer: conflicts over religion
invasions by Germanic tribes
Correct answer: violent changes of rulers
loss of territory in wars
Q5.
Whose reign was considered to be a high point for the Byzantine Empire?
Constantine
Correct answer: Justinian I
Caligula
Q6.
From whom was Byzantium was facing external threats by the 11th century?
Correct answer: Seljuk Turks
Arabic Muslims
Germanic tribes
Slavic tribes

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