Key Points

Shortly after the extended debate over the oriental Iconoclasm, the oriental Empire would recover under the Macedonian Dynasty, beginning in 867 CE.The Macedonian dynasty saw the oriental Renaissance, a time of boosted interest in timeless scholarship and also the adaptation of classical motifs right into Christian artwork.The empire likewise expanded during this period, conquering Crete, Cyprus, and also most of Syria.However, the Macedonian Dynasty likewise saw increasing dissatisfaction and competition for land amongst nobles in the template system, which weakened the authority of the emperors and led come instability.

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Byzantine Renaissance

The time during the Macedonian empire when art, literature, science, and philosophy flourished.

Emperor Basil I

Shortly after the extended conflict over iconoclasm, which more or less finished (at the very least in the east) through the regent Theodora reinstating symbol worship in 842 CE, Emperor Basil I started a new dynasty, the Macedonian Dynasty, in 867 CE. Basil to be born a simple peasant in the oriental theme of Macedonia; he rose in the imperial Court, and also usurped the imperial throne indigenous Emperor Michael III (r. 842-867). Despite his humble origins, he showed an excellent ability in running the affairs of state, causing a renewal of imperial power and also a renaissance of oriental art. He was perceived by the Byzantines as one of their greatest emperors, and the Macedonian dynasty ruled end what is pertained to as the many glorious and also prosperous era that the oriental Empire.

It to be under this empire that the byzantine Empire would recover from its vault turmoil, and also become the most powerful state in the middle ages world. This was additionally a duration of social and imaginative flowering in the oriental world. The cities of the empire expanded, and also affluence spread throughout the provinces since of the new-found security. The populace rose, and production increased, stimulating new demand, while also helping come encourage trade. The iconoclast motion experienced a steep decline; the decline was useful to the kings who had softly suppressed iconoclasm, and to the reconciliation of the religious strife that had actually drained the imperial resources in the vault centuries.


Emperor Basil I. A depiction of oriental Emperor Basil I, the the Macedonian Dynasty, ~ above horseback.

Macedonian Renaissance

The time the the Macedonian Dynasty’s ascendancy over the oriental Empire is sometimes referred to as the byzantine Renaissance or the Macedonian Renaissance. A long period of military struggle because that survival had actually recently dominated the life the the byzantine Empire, yet the Macedonians ushered in an er when art and also literature as soon as again flourished. The classic Greco-Roman heritage of byzantium was main to the writers and also artists that the period. Byzantine scholars, most notably Leo the Mathematician, check out the scientific and also philosophical functions of the old Greeks and also expanded top top them. Artists embraced their naturalistic format and facility techniques from old Greek and also Roman art, and also mixed them with Christian themes. Oriental painting indigenous this period would have actually a strong influence ~ above the later on painters the the Italian Renaissance.

Political and religious Expansion

The Macedonian Dynasty additionally oversaw the growth of the oriental Empire, which walk on the offensive against its enemies. For example, Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas (who ruled from 912 CE-969 CE) pursued an aggressive policy of expansion. Before rising come the throne, that had overcame Crete from the Muslims, and also as emperor he led the occupation of Cyprus and most that Syria.

The Macedonian duration also had events the momentous spiritual significance. The switch of the Bulgarians, Serbs, and Rus’ to Orthodox Christianity permanently adjusted the spiritual map the Europe, and also still results demographics today. Cyril and Methodius, two oriental Greek brothers, contributed significantly to the Christianization that the Slavs, and in the procedure devised the Glagolitic alphabet, ancestor to the Cyrillic script.

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Throughout this duration there was good competition among nobles for land in the template system. Since such governors can collect taxes and also control the military forces of their themes, they came to be independent of the emperors and also acted independently, weakening the authority of the emperors. They had tendency to increase taxes on small farmers in order to enrich themselves, thereby causing enormous dissatisfaction.