The Fall of an Empire - The Lesson of Byzantium

The riveting documentary that reveals how the lessons of Byzantium's catastrophic fall still affect us today.

This riveting documentary, filmed by Metropolitan Tikhon Shevkunov, author of a bestseller and enormously popular bishop, reveals what the fall of Byzantium can teach us about the modern world. Definitely watch!!

The Fall of an Empire — The Lesson of Byzantium

Script writer and anchorman: archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov)

In 1453 the Byzantine Empire fell. Let us now take a look at how this happened

This city was once called Constantinople. Six centuries ago it was the capital city of what was, without exaggeration, one of the greatest civilizations in world history — the Byzantine Empire.

A rule by law — something we now take for granted — was created here, based upon the Roman codes in Byzantium 1500 years ago. A legal system, which was to become the basic foundation of all types of laws in most modern governments, was the monumental creation of Byzantine jurisprudence during the reign of Emperor Justinian. 

The system of elementary and higher education first developed in Byzantium. It was here in the 5th century that the first university appeared. 

The most stable financial system in the history of mankind was created in Byzantium, and existed in a nearly unaltered form for over 1,000 years.

Modern diplomacy with its basic principles, rules of conduct, and etiquette was created and refined here in Byzantium. 

Byzantine engineering and architectural arts were unrivaled. Even today, famous works by Byzantine masters — like the domes of the Hagia Sophia — amaze the world with their technological perfection.

No other Empire in human history lasted as long as Byzantium. It existed for 1,123 years. In comparison, the great Roman Empire collapsed 800 years after its establishment. The Ottoman Empire fell apart after 500 years. The Chinese kingdom, or Manchu Empire, after 300 years. The Russian Empire lasted 200 years. The British, 150 years. The Austro-Hungarian Empire lasted around 100 years. 

During its zenith, Byzantium was home to one-sixth of the entire world population. The Empire stretched from Gibraltar to the Euphrates in Arabia. It encompassed the territories of modern Greece and Turkey, Israel and Egypt, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Albania, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco, part of Italy, Spain, and Portugal. There were around 1000 cities in Byzantium, nearly as many as in modern Russia. The capital city's incalculable wealth, its beauty and elegance, amazed all the European peoples, who were still barbarians at the time when the Byzantine Empire was at its apogee.

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