Muslim Empire vs. Byzantine Empire

Essay by iloveauntrosie2Junior High, 9th grade March 2005

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        For almost a decade, Europe's overall power declined immensely with the exception of two empires, which experienced Golden Age's throughout this time. Rome fell around 450 B.C. due to tax farming, no support of the people, a corrupt government, an unfaithful army, and the increased use of slave labor. As an effect of the decline of Rome and the Crusades, half of Rome developed into a new empire named the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine Empire reached a Golden Age in 527 B.C. under the rule of Justinian. Under Justinian's Golden Age, trade and culture prospered. The other half of Rome grew into an Islamic empire while the Byzantine Empire's Golden Age flourished. The Islamic Empire was run by Muhammad, who claimed he was the last prophet of Jesus to walk the face of the Earth. Muhammad had a vision in which he was told by Gabriel about the coming Muslim religion and how he was to become the messenger of God.

Muhammad also led a Golden Age in his empire. If not for Greece and Rome, the Byzantine and Islamic empires would not have prospered as they did. Greece and Rome influenced knowledge and technological advances, some of which are still used today.

        The Byzantine and Islamic empires were very similar, yet they also had many different attributes. Both empires used arches, domes and columns, which were adopted from the ancient Greek and Romans. (7:Doc 7, 5:Doc 4) The Byzantine Empire used many buildings and fortifications to protect their cities, especially Constantinople because it was the trading center of the Middle East. Many gates, moats, harbors and walls were used to barricade the city from intruders. (5:Doc 5) Muslims followed the Quran and it strictly prohibited any worship of idols. Therefore, artists were forbidden from portraying God or religious figures...