Mrs. Ball's 7th Grade Class

Byzantine Empire


Byzantine Empire Webquest


The questions in the webquest are listed below.  They can also be found on the 7th grade Social Studies Class Notes page.  You may copy and paste these into your own word document.

Section 1

1.  When did Justinian come to power?

2. We know that Constantine I moved the capital from Rome to Byzantium partly because of invaders in the Roman Empire.  During Justinian's reign, how did he bring stability back to the Roman Empire?  What territories did this involve?

3.  What persona (personal image) would an Emperor have to have to keep these territories in the Empire?

4.  How could architecture accomplish this type of persona?

Section 2

Observe and React: As you scroll through the pictures, try to imagine what standing in this space might feel like.  Then answer the questions.

1. What are you feeling?

2. Describe the way the light looks in the room.  How does it make you feel? What effect does the light have on the atmosphere of the room?

3. How does Justinian use the architecture of the building to show his devotion to Christianity? In other words, what things do you see that may be signs of respect towards the religion?

4. If you were from a different territory at the time the Hagia Sophia was built, what would you think about the Byzantine Empire and Emperor Justinian after visiting the Hagia Sophia.? 

5. Picture number 5 shows the Hagia Sophia with its addition of four Minarets.  Minarets are towers that Muslims use to call followers to pray.  Many Muslims pray five times a day.  These minarets were added by the Turks when they converted the Hagia Sophia into a Mosque. 

 Questions:   Why do you think the Turks thought it was so important to add this architectural feature to this previously Christian building?

Section 3

1. What does the word 'Hagia' mean in Greek?  What does 'Sophia' mean in Greek?

2.  Why do YOU think Justinian chose those words for his temple?  What message do those words send?

3.  How did the Church serve the Byzantine Empire before the Turks conquered in 1453?

4. What message was Justinian trying to send to someone who was viewing the Hagia Sophia?

Challenge:

5. Why do you think the Ottomans thought it was so important to convert this building to a mosque when they conquered?





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