For over 1,000 years, the Byzantine Empire was the eye of the world – the origin of great literature, fine art and modern government. Heir to Greece and Rome, the Byzantine Empire was also the first Christian empire.
After a year of filming on three continents, TLC unlocks this ancient civilization, spanning 11 centuries and three continents. Pass through the gates of Constantinople, explore the magnificent mosque of Hagia Sophia and see the looted treasures of the empire is now in San Marco, Venice.
Byzantium, gives life to an empire that, though seemingly distant, is closely linked to the evolution of Western civilization. A review of the emergence of the first Christian empire, which lasted over a thousand years and the maturity and decline of Byzantium, through its conquest by the Ottoman Turks in 1453.
John Romer, the author and on-screen guide of the series, breathes life into the city and the powerful ideas that made the Byzantium a thriving cultural and commercial center while western Europe was painfully through the Middle Ages the Middle Ages.
At its height, Byzantium is the most precious Christian relics, including a piece of the cross of Christ. Located on the border of Europe and Asia, who ruled an empire that stretched across Asia Minor and the Balkans. Then, after the advent of Islam, the empire shrank until little was left outside the city walls.
Byzantium turned to Europe for help in the fight against the infidels, only to have its own city sacked by the Crusaders whose help is sought. Venice, its main trading partner of old, took many of his works of art. The Hagia Sophia, originally built as a Christian church, became Istanbul’s most famous mosque.
And the scholars who had kept alive the study of Greek for more than a millennium fled to Europe, where he helped lay the groundwork for the rebirth. Byzantium, the video takes us on a visual journey of luxury to key locations throughout the empire, while putting a human face on the key players in the history of this unique and vital empire. I never suspected I would find this story as compelling as it turned out to be.