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The Heirs of Rome: The Byzantium

The Byzantine East, Islam, and Latin Christendom arose following the collapse of the Roman Empire. Rome was faced with difficulties after it enlarged arising from invasions by other tribes, as it overspent on its military division to counter these attacks. It was further crippled by the lack of finances, the rise of Christianity, and other factors, which led to its decline and, ultimately, the rise of the three civilizations, namely Byzantium, Islam, and Latin Christendom.

The Byzantium Empire, the Eastern side of the Roman Empire, was powerful, prosperous, and advanced. Many reforms took place dealing with laws, religion, art, and women’s property right. The kingdom weakened from continuous conflicts with Islam and Latin Christendom and eventually collapsed in 1453 following the capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks (Perry et al. 2016). The Byzantine Empire was successful in reforming the Roman laws, maintaining the Greek language and culture, and advancing Christianity in Europe. It influenced Islamic civilization directly and Europe indirectly in the middle ages.

Prophet Muhammad founded Islam and called for obedience to Allah, use of the Koran, and adherence to rules and the Five Pillars of Faith. A holy war was declared through which they acquired a large territory which covered Spain, North Africa, up to Constantinople. They lived alongside Jews and Christians, and preserved early tradition and culture, which played a significant role in influencing medicine, philosophy, and science (Cooper 2020). The Arab Empire split as a result of the attacks by the Turks and Europeans, and Islam as a religion remained the only unifying factor among states.

The Latin Christendom was characterized by Greco-Roman, Christian, and Germanic features, and a great influence by the church. Germanic tribal customs led to a decline in trade, living standards, and intellectual property. Christianity flourished in the Byzantine Empire and the Latin West. Greek culture was preserved, the church’s worldly position in the world established, Germanic culture and Christianity fused, and feudalism emerged. Moreover, constant wars were witnessed between Muslims, Christians, and other tribes.

To conclude, the collapse of Rome brought with it new ways of life and civilizations, which contributed to the Western world. Latin Christendom was the most successful as its influence on religion and politics shaped the role played by the church in state affairs. The Byzantium and Islamic civilizations, though Eastern, also influenced the Western world today, nevertheless, it is the Latin Christendom which fathered it.


Cooper, Glen. 2020. “Memory and Erasure in the Story of the West: Or, Where have All the Muslims Gone?” Web.

Perry, Marvin, Myrna Chase, James R. Jacob, Margaret C. Jacob, and Theodore H. von Laue. 2016. Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society. 11th ed. Boston: Cengage Learning.

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StudyKraken. "The Heirs of Rome: The Byzantium." March 20, 2022.


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StudyKraken. (2022) 'The Heirs of Rome: The Byzantium'. 20 March.

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