Christianity: The First Two Thousand Years

Season 1 Episode 2

The Glory of Byzantium

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The Glory of Byzantium
Five centuries after the death of Jesus, Rome fell to the Goths, plunging Europe into the Dark Ages. Yet on either end of the continent, Christianity continued to grow, though it would soon face a new challenge. "The Glory of Byzantium" visits the magnificent sites of the Byzantine Empire. There, where its Christian Emperors claimed the title of "Vice-Regent of God," learning and culture flourished, while Europe suffered through the Dark Ages. But a new threat emerged on their doorstep, as Islam swept from the Arabian sands to conquer half of Christendom in only 100 years. The eventual answer to this danger lay to the west, in Ireland and the British Isles, where the followers of St. Patrick established a network of monasteries. Scholars reveal how, in this remote land, a religious revival was born that would spread throughout Europe.moreless

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