While emperors, such as Justinian, had tried to expand the Byzantine Empire, their efforts were unsuccessful. On the one hand, severe economic problems prevented the empire from developing a firm economic foundation. On the other hand, the empire faced some significant opposition in the form of the Seljuk and later the Ottoman Turks and, perhaps surprisingly, the Christians of Western Europe who actually succeeded in capturing Constantinople for a time. With the fall of Constantinople, the center of Eastern European society and of Orthodox Christianity shifts to Moscow and the Russian Empire.
Text copyright 2003 by David W. Koeller. All rights reserved.