ChAPTER 14 -- Part 1: Civilization in Eastern Europe:
Two issues were raised by Vladimir's decision.
The 15th-century miniature shows Russia's King Vladimir being christened in Cherson in the year 988.
Vladimir had knowledge of islam, Judaism, Western Catholicism, and Byzantine, or Orthodox, Christianity.
According to legend, he rejected Judaism because it wasn't associated with a strong state.
He rejected Catholicism because he didn't want interference from the pope.
Russia's neigh bor was a leading trading partner of the Byzantine Empire.
According to a legend, the Byzantine emperor was reluctant to give his sister in marriage to a backward warrior, but Vladimir captured a major Byzantine city and refused to give it back until the emperor relented.
The relationship with Byzantium would include choosing Orthodox Christianity.
It was important that Vladimir made the decision.
Byzantine influences began to shape Russian culture.
The boundaries of Christianity and Islam were changed.
The Russian state gained new prestige and used religion to unify its population.
The kingdom was rated from Roman Catholic western Europe, which helped to create a cultural divide between eastern and western Europe.
Even as other parts of eastern and western Europe are united, the implications of this separation continue to affect world affairs.
Two major Christian civilizations took shape in Europe during the postclassical period.
One centered on the papacy in Rome, but the other was from Constantinople.
The post classical period saw the emergence of state forms that were char acteristic.
The Byzantine empire had high levels of political, economic, and cultural activity from 600 to 1450 c.e.
The Balkans, the northern Middle East, and the eastern Mediterranean were all controlled by it.
Its leaders saw themselves as Roman emperors, and their government was a continuation of the eastern part of the empire.
The significance of the Byzantine empire goes beyond its ability to keep Rome's memory alive.
Between Rome's collapse in the West and the final overthrow of the regime by Turkish invaders, the empire lasted for almost a thousand years.
The Orthodox Christian churches that became dominant throughout most of eastern Europe were one of the two major branches of Christianity.
The Byzantine empire spread its influence to parts of the world that hadn't previously been controlled by a major civili zation.
The Byzantines began to shape civilization in the Balkans and western Russia, just as Muslim influence helped shape civilization in parts of Africa south of the Sahara.
Interregional trade was served as a major agent by the empire.
There were active exchanges with the Arab world.
Silk production techniques from China were imported by the empire to reduce its dependence on foreign trade for this commodity.
Constantinople was a hub for goods from east central Europe and Russia to be exchanged for goods from the other side of the world.
As part of the formation of the transcon tinental network, the empire played a key role in extending the range of contacts.
There were many similarities between eastern and western Europe.
Polytheism gave way to monotheism, although important compromises were made.
Russia, Poland, Germany, and France struggled for political definition without being able to compete with the more advanced societies in Asia and north Africa.
New trading activities brought northern regions into contact with the major centers of world commerce, including Constantinople.
In both cases, newly civilized areas looked back to the Greco-Roman past, as well as to Christianity, for cultural inspiration, using some of the same political ideas and artistic styles.
The civilizations that expanded in the east and developed in the west were largely on their own tracks.
They produced different versions of Christianity that were hostile and culturally different.
The civilizations didn't have a lot of contact.
The commercial patterns in both cases were south to north until late in the period.
Major portions of eastern Europe were more advanced than western Europe in a number of areas.
Interregional trade was more important to Byzantium than it was to the West.
The two civilizations met as distant cousins, but not close relatives.
Constantinople was the capital of the empire.
The city quickly became the most vigorous center of the attacks and flourished for several fading imperial structure.
The new city built by Emperor Constantine was built on the foundations of a previously modest town asian and European trade.
Before the western portion of the empire fell to the Germanic invaders, separate eastern emperors ruled from the new metropolis.
They had a good tax base in the peasant agriculture of the eastern Mediterranean.