Introduction to the Byzantine Empire
Introduction to the Byzantine Empire

Introduction to the Byzantine Empire

I can compare Eastern and Western Rome, and describe the beginning of the...

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General

In this lesson, students learn about the split of the Roman Empire and compare the Eastern and Western empires. They will explore the Eastern Empire, which came to be known as the Byzantine Empire. This includes Constantinople, the Great Palace, the Hippodrome, and the Hagia Sophia.

Learning Objective

Students will be able to compare and contrast Eastern and Western Rome and describe the city of Constantinople during the Byzantine Empire.

Introduction

Review the division of Ancient Rome by emperor Diocletian and explain how the Eastern Roman Empire became the Byzantine Empire. Show students the video of Istanbul and have them point out any buildings or structures that stand out to them. What do they notice about the architecture?

Instruction

Show the model of the ancient Constantinople city and point students to the locations of the Hagia Sophia, the Sea of Marmara, the Hippodrome, the Great Palace Complex, the Palace of Boukoleon, and the Walls of Constantinople. After this, describe the Great Palace and read the description of the golden throne room together. Ask students to think of a few words to describe this room based on the description. Next, discuss the hippodrome and the Hagia Sophia. Explain that this structure has been said to have “changed the history of architecture.” Ask students if they have seen a building that looks similar to the Hagia Sophia. Then describe the walls of Constantinople and describe how the structure provided protection. Finally, go over the differences between the Eastern and Western Roman empires including the difference capitals, language, religion, location, and trade.

Quiz

Check student understanding with ten multiple-choice, fill-in, and true or false questions.

Closing

Students drag to label the model of the ancient city of Constantinople.

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