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THE EASTERN CHRISTIANITY PORTAL

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00058 christ pantocrator mosaic hagia sophia 656x800
Eastern Christianity refers collectively to the Christian traditions and churches which developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa and southern India over several centuries of religious antiquity. Eastern Christians have a shared tradition, but they became divided (SEE: SCHISM) during the early centuries of Christianity in disputes about christology and fundamental theology. In general terms, one can identify four branches or families of Eastern Christianity, each of which has distinct theology and dogma. They are: the Assyrian Church of the East, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and the Eastern Catholic Churches - the latter being in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

All of the Eastern branches, as well as the Western churches, share a common Christian tradition and most of the same Christian Biblical canon. The Eastern branches also share traditional practices in common which are not shared by the Western churches. The Eastern churches' differences from Western Christianity have as much, if not more, to do with culture, language, and politics as theology. The Assyrian Church of the East became estranged from the church of the Roman Empire in the years following the Council of Ephesus (431), Oriental Orthodoxy separated after the Council of Chalcedon (451), and the split between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church is usually dated to 1054. This event is referred to as the Great Schism.

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Manuelcomnenus
The Second Crusade (1147–1149) was the second major crusade launched by the Roman Catholic Church, called in 1145 in response to the fall of the County of Edessa the previous year. The Second Crusade was announced by Pope Eugene III, and was the first of the crusades to be led by European kings. The armies of the French and the German kings marched separately across Europe and were somewhat hindered by Byzantine emperor Manuel I Comnenus. Prior to the arrival of the Crusaders, Manuel had broken off his military campaign against the Sultanate of Rüm and signed a truce with his enemy Sultan Mesud I. This was done so that Manuel would be free to concentrate on defending his empire from the Crusaders, who had gained a reputation for theft and treachery since the First Crusade and were widely suspected of harbouring designs on Constantinople. Some of the French were outraged by Manuel's truce with the Seljuks and called for an alliance with Roger II of Sicily and an attack on Constantinople, but they were restrained by their King.

After crossing the Byzantine Empire into Anatolia, both the French and German armies were separately defeated by the Seljuk Turks. The remnants of their armies reached Jerusalem and, in 1148, participated in an ill-advised attack on Damascus. The crusade in the east was a failure for the Crusaders and a great victory for the Muslims. It would ultimately lead to the fall of Jerusalem and the Third Crusade at the end of the 12th century.

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Byzantine Constantinople eng
Credit: Cplakidas

Constantinople was the imperial capital of the Roman Empire (330–395) and the Byzantine/Eastern Roman Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453).

Did you know...

Saint mammes and Duke Alexander

  • ... that Mammes of Caesarea is said to have been breast-fed by his father?
  • ...that it is unclear whether Church of St Abamūn in 13th century Busiris was dedicated to Abamun of Tarnut or Abāmūn of Tukh?
  • ...that legend has it that Benjamin I of Alexandria was escorted to heaven by Athanasius of Alexandria, Severus of Antioch, and Theodosius I?
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    This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Portal:Eastern Christianity. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.
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    Meister von San Vitale in Ravenna
    Saint Justinian, 482 or 483 CE – 13 or 14 November 565, was the second member of the Justinian Dynasty (after his uncle, Justin I) and Eastern Roman Emperor from 527 until his death. He is considered a saint amongst Eastern Orthodox Christians, and is also commemorated by the Lutheran Church. One of the most important figures of Late Antiquity, Justinian's rule constitutes a distinct epoch in the history of the Byzantine Empire. The impact of his administration extended far beyond the boundaries of his time and empire. Justinian's reign is marked by the ambitious but ultimately failed renovatio imperii, or "restoration of the empire". This ambition was expressed in the partial recovery of the territories of the Western Roman Empire, including the city of Rome itself. A still more resonant aspect of his legacy was the uniform rewriting of Roman law, the Corpus Juris Civilis, which is still the basis of civil law in many modern states. His reign also marked a blossoming of Byzantine culture, and his building program yielded such masterpieces as the church of Hagia Sophia, which was to be the center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity for many centuries. A devastating outbreak of bubonic plague in the early 540s marked the end of an age of splendor. The empire entered a period of territorial decline not to be reversed until the ninth century.

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