B. DEVELOPMENTS IN EUROPE AND THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE
Developments in Europe and points east became quite complicated during the Middle Ages, which is the period after the fall of Rome and before the Renaissance. As you might recall from the last chapter, the Roman Empire, and eventually Christianity, was divided into two factions that split, reconnected, then split again. Ultimately, the eastern Roman Empire, centered in Constantinople, became the highly centralized government known as the Byzantine Empire; whereas, in the west, the empire collapsed entirely, although the religion retained a strong foothold. The important point to remember about all this is that even though both segments of the empire followed Christianity, they practiced different forms of the religion; moreover, their populations competed for supremacy.
Note the Change: As the Empire Turns
They meet. They flirt for a long time, then marry and settle in Rome. Things get tough, so they take a short break from each other, but get back together in Constantinople where they build a new house. After a time they separate from each other geographically, but remain married by religion. Eventually, they get a divorce and follow their own religious paths. Will they ever be able to rekindle the romance?
The history of the Roman Empire reads a lot like a bad soap opera. Recall from Chapter 6 that the Roman Empire united the entire Mediterranean for centuries. But it became too unwieldy to govern as a whole, so in 286 C.E., the empire was split into an eastern half and a western half, in what were hoped to be more manageable administrative regions. Then, in 313, Christianity was accepted in the empire; and in 330, when Constantine converted to Christianity, he reunited the empire at Constantinople. It was still the Roman Empire, it just wasn’t centered in Rome. The empire split again in 395, at which time the eastern half became known as the Byzantine Empire. Almost 400 years later, in 800, yet another empire was established, the Holy Roman Empire centered in Rome. The Byzantines continued on as before in the east. So again there were two empires, but still one religion. That, however, was to change as well some two hundred years later when, in 1054, Christianity began to be practiced as two entirely separate religions: Roman Catholicism and Christian Orthodoxy.
As you review the events in this region, the important points to remember are
· the Byzantine Empire was a lot more centralized and organized than the Western empire
· both practiced Christianity, though not in the same way
The Byzantine Empire: The Brief Details
The Byzantine Empire was distinct from the Roman Empire. It used the Greek language; its architecture had distinctive domes; its culture in general had more in common with Eastern cultures like those of Persia; and its brand of Christianity became an entirely separate branch known asOrthodox Christianity.
Compared with what was going on at the height of the Roman Empire, much of Europe at the time was fragmented into small feudal kingdoms with limited power and fewer cultural and intellectual advancements. The Byzantine Empire, like the Islamic Empire to the south, was significantly different. The Byzantine emperors ruled by absolute authority, especially over the economy, whose industries, such as silk production (a trade learned from China), they monopolized. The Byzantines also used coined money, the value of which remained remarkably stable, making it a very desirable currency for business.
Under Justinian, who reigned from 527 to 565, the former glory and unity of the Roman Empire was somewhat restored in Constantinople. The region flourished in trade and the arts. Christian Constantinople and Islamic Baghdad rivaled each other for cultural supremacy. The Justinian period is perhaps most remembered for two things: (1) the Justinian Code, a codification of Roman law that kept ancient Roman legal principles alive (in the West these went unused for a time), and (2) the flowering of the arts and sciences, evident in the construction of major buildings and churches, most notably Hagia Sophia, an enormous cathedral that still stands today (but now as a mosque). The Byzantines are also remembered and admired for their mastery of the mosaic art form they used to decorate churches.
In contrast to the Roman Catholic emperors of the West, who regarded the pope as the leader of Byzantium’s church, secular rulers headed the church (which, remember, was Orthodox). For centuries the two churches managed to tolerate each other, but in time the differences became too great. They disagreed over the sacrament of communion, whether priests should be allowed to marry, and the use of local languages in church. They even were at odds regarding the nature of God, specifically God as a trinity, and they disagreed over the placement of icons during worship. In 1054 C.E., unable to reconcile their differences, the pope excommunicated the patriarch of Constantinople, who did the same to the pope. From this point forward, Orthodoxy influenced the East and Roman Catholicism influenced the West. Keep this schism in mind as you review theCrusades, Christian Europe’s war with the Islamic world; the Byzantine is right in the middle!
Contrast Them: Religion and State in Roman Catholicism and Christian Orthodoxy
Remember that we said the secular empire was more centralized in the east (Byzantine Empire) than in the west (Roman Empire) during the Middle Ages? Interestingly, the reverse was true in terms of their religions. Christianity as practiced by Roman Catholics was very centralized with power stemming from Rome and services held in the Roman (Latin) form. In the east, Orthodox Christianity was more localized. Russian churches, for example, conducted services in their own language. In this sense local customs merged with Christian practices in the Orthodox Church.
A great deal of the evolution of these religions in these two empires centered on control. For stability, either the heads of the church or the heads of the state needed to be in control. During the Middle Ages, the West centralized power in the church, thereby decentralizing political power. Essentially that meant the existing political leadership was blessed by the church, hence often under the control of the church as well, at least in the early centuries of the Middle Ages. In the East, the situation was the exact opposite: Political emperors were in control of both politics and the church, and church practices were localized, but not political authority. The point to remember here is that in the early centuries of the Middle Ages, the East was more of a secular empire with an official church religion; the West was more of a religious empire with subservient political units.
Impact of Orthodoxy on Russia: Feast in the East
In the ninth century, the Slavic peoples of southeastern Europe and Russia were converted to Christianity by St. Cyril, an Orthodox Christian, who used the Greek alphabet to create a Slavic alphabet that to this day is used in parts of the region. Most of these areas were not part of the Byzantine Empire itself, but were influenced by it. When Vladimir, a Russian prince from Kiev, abandoned the traditional pagan religion and converted to Christianity, he also considered Islam, Judaism, and Roman Catholicism. Rumor has it that he chose Christian Orthodoxy because it had no restrictions about when or what he could and could not eat.
The dominance of Christian Orthodoxy in this region is significant because while western Europe followed one cultural path, eastern Europe followed another, and this had a tremendous impact on the development of Russia. The Russian Orthodox Church was aligned with Byzantine but not Roman traditions. So, when the Roman church reformed later (discussed in Chapter 6), the Russian and Greek churches did not. As a result of this, and the Mongol invasion (coming up soon), Russia became culturally different from the other great powers of Europe, which grew out of the Roman Catholic tradition.
Meanwhile Out West: The Franks versus the Muslims
The best place to begin a discussion of political developments in western Europe in the Middle Ages is with the Franks. After the classical Roman Empire fell apart, due in part to invasions from Germanic tribes, these tribes settled throughout western Europe. Most of the tribes converted to Christianity relatively quickly, though politically they continued to run their own shows. That meant they came into regular conflict with each other, and they formed alliances and expanded, sometimes enough to be considered kingdoms. The most significant of these early kingdoms was the Franks.
The Franks were a Germanic tribe that united under the leadership of King Clovis in the late fifth century. He built a rather large empire that stretched from present-day Germany through Belgium and into France. He converted to Roman Catholicism and established his capital in Paris. After he died, his empire was divided among his sons, after which it declined in influence.
Nevertheless, the empire did help the various peoples of western Europe solidify under a common culture, which made it easier for them to unify against Muslim invasions, which in the eighth century took over parts of Spain and Italy. Charles Martel(remember we mentioned him at the beginning of the chapter?) led the revolt against the advancing Muslim armies and in 732 defeated them at the Battle of Tours, not far from Paris. Again, interaction through conflict.
Martel then used his position as a political and military leader under the declining Frankish Merovingian Dynasty to put his sons forth as successors, thus founding the Carolingian Dynasty (“Carolus” is Latin for Charles). Martel had worked during his tenure to reunite the region under his control, and when his son Pepin the Short (there were several Pepins in Frankish history) ascended to the throne in 752 C.E., he chose to have his succession certified by the pope, a significant step that sent the clear signal that an empire’s legitimacy rested on the Roman Catholic Church’s approval.
Charlemagne: The Empire Strikes Back
In the centuries following the breakup of the Roman Empire, no true empire existed in western Europe. The Franks had built a large kingdom, but it could hardly be considered an empire by historical standards. It would be Pepin’s son, Charles (747–814 C.E.), who would revitalize the concept of the empire in western Europe. Like his father, Charles was crowned by the pope in 800 and became known as Charlemagne (“Charles the Great”).
The empire Charlemagne built would come to be called the Holy Roman Empire upon the coronation of Otto the Great in 962. It’s important to point out that this empire had little in common with the original Roman Empire, other than the fact that power was once again centralized and Rome began to think of itself again as a world center. The size of the Holy Roman Empire, in comparison to its namesake, was relatively small. It included northern Italy, Germany, Belgium, and France. Nevertheless, it marked the beginning of western European ambition in terms of empire-building, especially among those in the church.
Under Charlemagne, a strong focus was placed on the arts and education, but not surprisingly with a much more religious bent—much of this effort centered in the monasteries under the direction of the church. And though Charlemagne was very powerful, his rule was not absolute. Society was structured around Feudalism (more on feudalism shortly). Thus Charlemagne had overall control of the empire, but the local lords held power over the local territories, answering to Charlemagne only on an as-needed basis. And because Charlemagne did not levy taxes, he failed to build a strong and united empire. After his death, and the death of his son Louis, the empire was divided among his three grandsons according to the Treaty of Verdun in 843.
The Vikings: Raiders from the Norse
During this time, western Europe continued to be attacked by powerful invaders, notably the Vikings from Scandinavia and the Magyars from Hungary. Although the Vikings were not the only raiders, they were perhaps the most successful. Beginning around 800, they used their highly maneuverable, multi-oared boats to raid well beyond their borders—on the open seas, up and down the North Atlantic coast, and along the inland rivers.
The Vikings got a bad reputation for raiding the Roman Catholic monasteries, but don’t blame the Vikings. Island life means limited resources, and raiding was a normal consequence of the pressures on a growing society. The monasteries held much wealth and food, so they were natural targets. But raiding was just one aspect of Norse economy. The Vikings were also merchants and fishermen and developed some of the earliest commercial fisheries in northern Europe. These activities, along with the raids, led to settlements as diverse as Newfoundland, Canada around 1000C.E., inland Russia, and northern France. The Vikings even got as far south as Constantinople, raiding it at least three times. In France, the Vikings were known as Normans (or north-men), the most famous of whom is William, who conquered Anglo-Saxon England in 1066. (Vikings, in the form of the Normans, had an enormous influence on England, particularly on the English language.)
Remarkably, however, in spite of their various victories, the Vikings, too, were converted to Christianity. This continued in a pattern of invading tribes assimilating to a common civilization in western Europe because of religion, not political power. Roman Catholicism became institutionalized at every level of life. By the middle of the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church had become the most powerful institution in western Europe and one of the most powerful institutions in the world.
European Feudalism: Land Divided
Feudalism, the name of the European social, economic, and political system of the Middle Ages, had a strict hierarchy. At the top was a king, who had power over an entire territory called his kingdom. Beneath him were the nobles, who in exchange for military service and loyalty to the king were granted power over sections of the kingdom. The nobles, in turn, divided their lands into smaller sections under the control of lesser lords called vassals. The vassals could also split their lands into smaller pieces and give custody of them to subordinate vassals, who could divide their lands into even smaller pieces in the custody of even more subordinate vassals, and so on. Below the vassals were peasants, who worked the land. For this system to work, everyone had to fulfill obligations to others at different levels in the hierarchy: to serve in the military, produce food, or serve those who were at a higher level. If, say, you were a lesser-lord, you were obliged to your lord, and you were obliged to your vassals as well.
The estates that were granted to the vassals were called fiefs, and these later became known as manors. The lord and the peasants lived on the manor. The peasants worked the land on behalf of the lord, and in exchange the lord gave the peasants protection and a place to live. Many of the manors were remarkably self-sufficient. Everything that was needed to live was produced on them. Food was harvested, clothing and shoes were made, and so on. Advances made in the science of agriculture during this time helped the manors to succeed. One such advance, called the three-field system, centered on the rotation of three fields: one for the fall harvest, one for the spring harvest, and one not-seeded fallow harvest (the latter allowing the land to replenish its nutrients). In this way, manors were able to accumulate food surpluses and build on the success. Lords directed what was called the “Great Clearing,” the clearing of huge areas of forest for the creation of more farmland.
Compare Them: Ancient Civilizations and Those of the Middle Ages
You have no doubt noticed that European civilizations during the Middle Ages evolved in much the same way as the Mediterranean, Indus, and Shang civilizations a couple of thousand years earlier, and for the same reason: Agricultural surpluses enabled the early civilizations to build cities, which then made it possible to form complicated institutions and promote the arts and sciences.
In western Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire, the practice of feudalism caused life to be centered on small, self-sustaining communities that didn’t initially generate much of a surplus. But as they subsequently built up storehouses of food and supplies, and as people came into greater contact with each other, they were freed to pursue other endeavors (at the discretion of their overseer, of course). As a result, we begin to see the emergence of craftspeople, individuals skilled in highly specialized ways. Towns and cities, too, began to grow, and, eventually, the Middle Ages came to an end.
The lord, as noted, owed his allegiance to the king, but only had direct contact with him when the king called upon the lord to provide a service. Otherwise, the lord was in charge of his own manor—his own life. And though the various fiefs were, in theory, self-sustaining, and the lords all beholden to the same ruler, conflicts erupted between feudal lords on a regular basis (this is where the term feud comes from). The etiquette of these disputes and rules of engagement was highly refined and flowed from the code of chivalry, an honor system that strongly condemned betrayal and promoted mutual respect. Most of the lords (and knights, who were also considered part of the nobility) followed the code of chivalry.
The feudal system, like most of the civilizations we’ve discussed so far, was male-dominated. Land equaled power, and only males could inherit land, so women were pretty much powerless. Specifically, when a lord died under the feudal system his land and title passed down viaprimogeniture, to his eldest son. Even noblewomen had few rights—though they were socially elevated (and have come to be romanticized in literature). They could inherit a fief, but they could not rule it. And their education was limited to only domestic skills. As usual in most early societies, noblewomen were admired and valued primarily for their “feminine” traits—their beauty or compassion—but were regarded essentially as property to be protected or displayed.
Peasants (called serfs) in the feudal social system, whether male or female, had few rights. As manorial life evolved, an increasing number of peasants became tied to the land quite literally: They couldn’t leave the manor without permission from their lord. Peasants were not quite slaves, but not free either. Ironically, however, it was this “imprisonment” on the land that led to the serfs becoming highly skilled workers. In short, they learned how to do whatever it took to make the manor on which they worked self-sufficient.
Contrast Them: Feudal Europe and the Islamic Empire
Remember the Abbasid Dynasty? It flowered in the Islamic world at the same time that feudalism was taking root in western Europe. Islamic merchants were trading with the world while European lords were governing their manors. Baghdad became a center of learning and art in the Islamic Empire, whereas small, secluded monasteries became centers of learning in the early Holy Roman Empire. In summary, it can be said that in the early Middle Ages, educated Europeans became very provincial, while educated Arabs became more worldly.
As many of the serfs became skilled in trades other than farming, and Europe slowly but surely started trading with the rest of the world, some of these skilled crafts people began to earn extra income. Over time, this chipped away at the rigid social stratification of the manor system. When banking began in Europe, towns and cities started to gain momentum. The result was the emergence of a “middle class,” made up of urban craftsmen and merchants. Their success lured more people into towns, in the hopes of making more money or learning new skills. By the eleventh century, western Europe was re-engaging with the world.
Height of the Middle Ages: Trading and Crusading
Given the new importance of trade, towns with wealthy merchants arose near the once all-powerful manors. Towns were chartered on lands controlled by feudal lords (the charters gave the townspeople certain rights); and within the towns, the middle-class merchants, or burghers, became politically powerful. Like their manorial predecessors, the towns had a great deal of independence within the empire but were intrinsically more interdependent than the self-sufficient manors of the feudal system. Eventually, towns formed alliances, not unlike a city-state structure. One of the most significant alliances, the Hanseatic League, had an economic basis; established in 1358, it controlled trade throughout much of northern Europe. One effect of the interdependence of the towns was to initiate a drive toward nationhood; another was to increase social mobility and flexibility among the classes.
Among the greatest artistic achievements of the Middle Ages was its architecture, specifically its cathedrals. In the early Middle Ages, churches were built in the bulky Romanesque style; later architectural advancements led to what came to be called the Gothic style. Gothic cathedrals were designed to draw worshippers closer to God. To achieve this, architects of the day used “flying buttresses,” which gave support for tall windows and vaulted ceilings. Over time, the cathedral became more than a place of worship; it became an art form and an arena for art. The church sponsored artists to adorn the inside of cathedrals with paintings and sculpture. Music, too, such as Gregorian chants, became an intrinsic part of ceremonies.
European contact with the Muslim world during the Crusades (military campaigns undertaken by European Christians of the eleventh through the fourteenth centuries to take over the Holy Land and convert Muslims and other non-Christians to Christianity) and over the trade routes helped spur new thought and broadened the perspective of these previously insular people (more on the Crusades in Section IV of this chapter). In time, people began to question organized religion (citing “reason”), which of course the church found threatening. This process of reasoning gave rise toheresies, religious practices or beliefs that do not conform to the traditional church doctrine. Sometimes what became defined as heresies were simply older beliefs that did not adapt to more mainstream changes in religious thought. In what may seem an irony today, many heretics wanted a return to the simpler ways of early Christianity; they rejected how worldly and wealthy the church had become.
Another important effect of people thinking more openly was the founding of universities, where men (not women) could study philosophy, law, and medicine, and learn from the advances made in Muslim cultures. In science, the ideas of Aristotle, Ptolemy, and other Greeks were brought to Europe through contacts with Islamic and Byzantine Empires (again, via trading and crusading). This progression, called scholasticism, also sometimes came into conflict with the church because it relied on reason rather than faith as its basis.
Doubts about the supremacy of religious dogma continued to emerge until the beginning of the thirteenth century when Pope Innocent III issued strict decrees on church doctrine. Under Innocent III, heretics and Jews were frequently persecuted, and a fourth, ultimately unsuccessful crusade was attempted. During this crusade, which seemed motivated by greed, the Crusaders conquered—and sacked—the already Christian Constantinople, and declared a Latin Empire. (This empire was short-lived, lasting only some fifty years, and ended when the Byzantines overthrew the Latins in 1261). A few years later, Pope Gregory IX set into motion the now-notorious Inquisition, a formalized interrogation and persecution process of heretics. Punishment for so-called nonbelievers ranged from excommunication and exile to torture and execution. Due to the pervasiveness of the church and its ultimate power at this time, it is sometimes referred to as the Universal Church or the Church Militant.
Late in the thirteenth century, Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274 C.E.), a famous Christian realist of this period, made significant inroads in altering Christian thought. He wrote Summa Theologica, which outlined his view that faith and reason are not in conflict, but that both are gifts from God and each can be used to enhance the other. His writings had a major impact on Christian thought, although the church remained a strict guardian of its own interpretations.
Focus On: The Bubonic Plague
Referred to as the Black Death, this epidemic originated in China where it killed an estimated 35 million people. It spread rapidly through Europe in the mid-fourteenth century. Its transmission was facilitated by new forms of commerce and trade, including Mongol control of the central Asian Silk Routes, that increased the interaction between Europe and Asia. First occurring in the 1330s, the epidemic spread westward with traders and merchants, and arrived in Italian port cities as early as 1347. Crowded conditions in Europe’s cities and the lack of adequate sanitation and medical knowledge all contributed to its rapid spread. Within 50 years, a third of Europe’s population was dead, traditional feudal hierarchies were obsolete, religious hatred intensified, and people lost faith in the power of the church. The dramatic changes brought by the epidemic sped up social and economic movements that were already impacting Europe. These included a shift toward a commercial economy, more individual freedoms, and development of new industries.
The Emergence of Nation-States: Power Solidifies
Keep in mind that during the Middle Ages, western Europe wasn’t organized into countries (nation-states); rather it was broken up into feudal kingdoms. But by the close of the Middle Ages, western Europe began to organize along cultural and linguistic lines. People who spoke French aligned themselves with France. Those who spoke English united under the banner of England. We’ll be talking a lot more about this in the next chapter, but for now, just keep this general concept in mind.
The various parts of Europe took different paths to achieve statehood during the thirteenth century. In Germany, for example, the reigning family died out without a suitable successor to the emperorship, so the region entered a period known as an interregnum(a time between kings). Germany and Italy became decentralized in a group of strong, independent townships and kingdoms, similar to city-states. In this environment, merchants and tradespeople became more powerful. In northern Germany, for example, the Hanseatic League (the influential association of merchants mentioned earlier) led the region’s progress in international trade and commerce.
England, in contrast, unified much more quickly. Since the time of William the Conqueror, England had followed a tradition of a strong monarchy. But during the rule of King John, powerful English nobles rebelled and forced him to sign the Magna Carta(1215 C.E.). This document reinstated the feudal rights of the nobles, but also extended the rule of law to other people in the country, namely the growing burgher class. This laid the foundation for the Parliament. Initially, an assembly was established made up of nobles who were responsible for representing the views of different parts of England on law-making and taxation issues. After a trial period, the Parliament was established. Later, it was divided into two branches: the House of Lords (nobles and clergy) and the House of Commons (knights and wealthy burghers). The House of Lords presided over legal issues and advised the king; the House of Commons was concerned with issues of trade and taxation. The result was that England established its identity pretty early on.
The formation of France was bound up with England. In 987, King Hugh Capet ruled only a small area around Paris; for the next couple of hundred years, subsequent French kings expanded the territory. But beginning in the twelfth century, England began to claim large parts of present-day France. The English occupation of the French-speaking territories led to revolts and, eventually, to French statehood (the goal being to unite France under its own leadership). This effort would be spearheaded by an unlikely candidate.
As a teenager, Joan of Arc, a farm girl, claimed to have heard voices that told her to liberate France from the hands of the English, who had by the early fifteenth century claimed the entire French territory by the early fifteenth century. Remarkably, this uneducated youngster somehow managed to convince French authorities that she had been divinely inspired to lead men into battle, and they supplied her with military backing. With her army, she forced the British to retreat from Orleans, but was later captured by the French, tried by the English, and burned at the stake by the French. Nevertheless, she had a significant impact on the Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453) between England and France, which eventually resulted in England’s withdrawal from France.
After the Hundred Years’ War, royal power in France became more centralized. Under a series of monarchs known as Bourbons, France was unified and became a major power on the European continent.
At around the same time, Spain was united by Queen Isabella, the ruler of Castille (present-day central Spain). Power in the Spanish-speaking region of Europe had been divided for two reasons: first, Castille was one of three independent Spanish kingdoms, and therefore no single ruler controlled the region, and second, the peasants were split along religious lines (mostly Christian and Muslim), due to the lasting influences of the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages. To overcome these obstacles, Isabella married Ferdinand, heir to the Spanish Kingdom of Aragon, in 1469, thus uniting most of Spain in a single monarchy. Rather than compete with the church for authority, Isabella and Ferdinand, both Christians, enlisted the Catholic Church as a strong ally. Spanish statehood thrived under the new monarchy and the alignment with the Catholic Church effectively ended religious toleration in the region. The result was that non-Christians (predominantly Muslim and Jewish people) were forced to convert to Christianity or leave the country. This marked the beginning of the Spanish Inquisition. The consequences for non-Christian Spaniards were tragic; the consequences for the Spanish monarchy were huge. Newly unified and energized, Spain embarked on an imperial quest that lead to tremendous wealth and glory, eventually resulting in the spread of the Spanish language, Spanish customs, and Christianity to much of the New World (as you will see in the next chapter).
Focus On: Urbanization
If trade is the way you make your living, chances are you are spending lots of time in cities. Traders and merchants needed a place to meet and conduct business and this period saw the growth of urban culture throughout the world, mostly as a result of trade contacts and networks. Along with trade, cities showcased the wealth and power of the rulers who both controlled and benefited from the trade. Urban centers usually developed along trade routes or in locations necessary for strategic defense.
In the early years, the most populous cities were in the Muslim world and China—cities that were part of the network of Silk Routes: Baghdad, Merv, and Chang’an. Prior to 1400, Constantinople was the only European city of any size and it was really considered part of the Eastern world. Along with their economic role, these cities became political and cultural centers for the new trade empires. After 1400, European cities begin to grow with Paris and the Italian city-states emerging as new trading powers.
What About Russia?
Recall that eastern Europe and Russia at this time were very different from the West. The Eastern Orthodox Christians of this area spent much time and effort defending themselves from the colonization of various western invaders. It wasn’t until 1242 that Russia succumbed to the Tatars (a group of Mongols from the east) under Genghis Khan. The Tatars ruled a large chunk of Russia for two centuries, leading to a cultural rift that further split eastern and western Europe.
By the fourteenth century the Mongol power started to decline and the Russian princes of Muscovy grew in power. By the late 1400s, Ivan III expanded Muscovy territory (the area surrounding Moscow) into much of modern-day Russia and declared himselfczar, the Russian word for emperor or Caesar. As the center of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Moscow was declared the Third Rome, after the real Rome and Constantinople. By the mid-1500s, Ivan the Terrible (or the House of Rurik) had centralized power over the entire Russian sphere, ruling ruthlessly and using the secret police against his own nobles. The next chapter will go into more of the details about Russia. By this time, nationalism in Russia was well underway.