The Byzantine Empire’s Impact On Religion


The heritage of the Byzantine Empire is one of the most valuable and significant in world history. People of that time created unique art pieces and architectural constructions, implemented new religious beliefs and introduced the unfamiliar before political structure. Although Greco-Roman traditions were the main inspirations for many Byzantine inventions, they are exceptional in their nature. All the innovations do not imitate other cultures but, on their foundation, altogether build a wholesome historical legacy. Specifically, the Byzantine Empire highly influenced the global religion and contributed to the spread of Christianity. Thus, the paper aims to identify the impact of the Byzantine Empire on religion and analyze its role in the formation of modern Christianity.

The Byzantine Empire’s Influences on Christianity

Byzantine culture was undoubtedly diverse and full of incredible architectural, political, and artistic elements, but religion was the central factor of it all. Specifically, Christianity was a determinant for the international connections, economic decisions, and cultural development of the empire (Catwright 2018). Although paganism still existed many years after the massive spread of Christianity, it was insignificant compared to the new religion’s impact on the western and eastern world continents. Numerous nations united under the influence of Christianity, such as Slavs and Greeks, for example (Catwright 2018). Representatives of other faiths were also allowed to practice their beliefs inside the Christian community.

However, Christianity differently influenced the western and the east religious community, which may be observed nowadays. The Eastern world, for instance, is dominated by Catholicism and Orthodoxy, which is common among the Slavic (Catwright 2018). Western, in turn, adopted more diverse specters of religions such as Baptism and Protestantism along with the previously mentioned beliefs. Despite the fact that Christianity united many peoples with faith in one common God and the general concept of life and the afterlife, there were still possibilities to express the beliefs in different manners.

Monasteries became a crucial part of the religion, and the Byzantine Empire contributed to the appearance of monasticism. During that period, some people left their homes and families and decided to dedicate their life serving God. They led an ascetic lifestyle and complied with religious rules and morals. A huge number of scholarly and enlightening works were created inside the institutions. Some of the novices were educated and intelligent people who used the opportunity to make more learning opportunities for the regular people and write educational pieces. For example, Saint Cyril was the original creator of the Glagolitic alphabet, which he invented during his time as a monk (Catwright 2018). Many of those people were writing scholarly pieces and educating others, rewriting books since typography was not invented yet, and building more monasteries (Catwright 2018). Therefore, monasticism was not only an act of devotion to God but also a supplement to the spheres of art and teaching.


Overall, the Byzantine Empire made numerous revolutionary changes in the different aspects of the culture and human lives in general. The innovations of that time became the foundation of modern art, politic, and, most importantly, religion. Christianity determined the vector of the development of the Byzantine Empire and united populations all over the world. Byzantine religious beliefs still managed to provide a diversity of practices, traditions, and types of faith. In the monasteries, people had the ability to fully dedicate themselves to serving God and lead ascetic life to become more spiritual. That construction also accommodated scholars who wrote and created numerous educational pieces and facilitated cultural development.

Work Cited

Catwright, Mark. “Byzantine Empire.” World History Encyclopedia, 2018, Web.