How would daily life pass during the Byzantine Empire?

Information such as gold, which you will not find in such a detailed way even in movies and TV series that are true to Byzantine history. Jump into the time machine and hold on tight.
byzantine empire ... Empire that left the western roman empire in 395 and showed its existence over 1000 years. for those who are curious about daily life here:

In the Byzantine Empire, one's condition was largely determined at birth and it was shaped by the social situation of his family. however, the person was able to move to a higher class with the support of education, wealth or strong people. many had to work to buy food and support their family, but the whole life was not just about working. For entertainment, fairs were set up in city centers, religious festivals were held, chariot races were held, or acrobat shows were held.

As in many ancient cultures, the work and social class that a person would do in adulthood in Byzantium was evident at birth. There were two types of citizens in the Byzantine, one of which was the concession made by the rich and called honestiores, and the other ordinary people called humiliores. In case of penalties, sanctions were applied to privileged people less frequently, in most cases, fines were converted into money. In infidelity and rape crimes, people were punished with beating or limb cutting. if he was in serious crimes such as murder or treason, he was sentenced to death, regardless of his social status. There was another class of slaves under these two social classes, and slaves were taken captive from war and sold at marketplaces.

family names would give information about one's profession or hometown. For example, keroularios meant oil lamp, or paphalgonitis meant paflagonian (nowadays in the western-central black sea). The average lifespan of people was quite low compared to today, people over the age of 40 lived above average. Many people died at a young age due to the ongoing wars and endless diseases.
childhood and education
The children of the lower class would mainly learn about the family's profession. The girls of the aristocrats learned to spin, weave, read and write. others would have learned the Bible and learned the lives of the saints who were the elders of religion, but they were not officially educated because they were expected to marry and take care of the children, take care of the house and manage the slaves.

For the sons of aristocrats, many cities would have schools run by local priests, and they would go here. In addition, those who could afford could take lessons from them by hiring a private trainer. men were taught to read and write in Greek first, and then they were trained in seven branches. these seven branches were grammar, rhetoric, logic, mathematics, geometry, harmony and astronomy. Among the trainings seen, there was an Iliad epic written by Homer and students were expected to memorize many literary works like this. Although the reason for memorizing a long literary work is not understood nowadays, it is thought that it is probably to influence the lower class people with their memories.

Those who want to receive further education would go to the cities of Constantinople, Alexandria, Athens or Jerusalem. The curriculum was to learn philosophy, especially the teachings of plateau and aristotals, and to understand Christian theology. children could also be sent to church or court for education. In the city of Constantinople, there was a school of politics for children who would be interested in bureaucracy, while in the city of beirut there was a law school. Mathematics started to be taught at the university established in the city of Constantinople in the 9th century, and then a law school was established in the 11th century.
family and marriage
girls would marry at the earliest when they were 12 and boys at the age of 14. the couples who got married should have loyalty to each other and their families had to have consent to this marriage. For this reason, it revealed the meaning that the couples got engaged together. The widow of the deceased widow was allowed to marry for the second time after the mourning period was over, but the third marriage was very rare and was done in special situations such as no childbearing. It was almost impossible to divorce for no reason, if the woman had cheated on her husband, she could leave her husband, and if the man committed murder or witchcraft, the woman could leave her husband. however, the emperor justinianus completely abolished divorces with a law he passed, and he only allowed it if he devoted himself to the monastery in his two lives. The leader of the house was a man, but a woman whose husband died was able to continue living in her house and, where necessary, could take the role of leading the house.
food and drink
Foods for the lower classes included boiled vegetables, cereals, bread, eggs, cheese and fruits. meat and fish were kept for special occasions. rich families would meet their meat needs from wild birds, rabbits, pigs and sheep. olive oil was widely used as a condiment, many spices came from the east, and wine was ubiquitous. For dessert, there would be pastries or vine leaves with honey, nuts, cinnamon or currants. meals were usually eaten by hand, sometimes knives were used, but the fork, which began to be used in the ancient Roman period, was forgotten during the Byzantine period and was used only among aristocrats.
work and profession
At the top of the career ladder in the Byzantine, there were people who helped the state to run its affairs, such as lawyer, accounting, diplomat, clerk or officer. then there were merchants and bankers. aristocrats were skeptical of not seeing bankers as safe, and therefore bankers were less respected even if they were rich. artisans and food producers would not go out of their region because they learned the family profession, they could only do this profession in the place they were born, and they could teach their own children in the same place. women could do many things men do, but they could have been specifically midwives, general practitioners, laundries, cooks, matchmakers, actresses or prostitutes. women could also open their own workplaces if they sought.

The largest group among the people were the farmers who cultivated their lands or worked on the land of the aristocrats. Although farmers were in the upper class from the lowest class slaves, they were treated the same as slaves.
Many rooms, inner courtyards, gardens, baths, fountains and a small temple of a large house could be found. The large rooms of such houses had marble floors and mosaic-embroidered walls, but the bedrooms, the majority of which were on the second floor, would not be so attentive. larger houses had a room for women only and separate from the house. women often used this room when they wanted to get away from their wives.

The houses of ordinary people were made of stone and brick, and these materials were mostly collected from old houses. It was quite ordinary to paint the walls of these houses with bright colors and draw geometric shapes on them.

the poorer ones lived in simple multi-storey houses invented by the romans. People living outside the city made their own houses made of trees, mud bricks and used stones. In rural areas, small houses could come together to form a village. The houses in the villages consisted of two floors, the farmers lived on the upper floor and the animals on the lower floor. There was no water coming into the rural houses and there was no bathroom inside the houses.

The aristocrats wore high-quality dresses made of silk imported from China and Phoenician, but from 568 such dresses were made in Constantinople. The nobles would separate themselves from the public by wearing a purple-colored dress. Purple dye production was both expensive and ordinary people were forbidden to wear purple dyed clothes. the rich used to wear jewelry with gold, silver and precious stones. Even if the aristocrats were rich, they could not use the jewelry they wanted, the emperor justinianus did not allow anyone other than him to have pearls, emeralds or rubies in his belt or horse's saddle or bridle.

certain high-ranking officers had distinctive dresses that were unique to them. The design and material of the vest, jacket, belt and shoes worn would provide information about that person's position. some belt buckles were invaluable and targeted by thieves, so many officers would use imitation made of bronze instead of these belt buckles. poorer people used woolen short jackets and vests. pants came to the Byzantine in the 12th century.
free time
Even going out in the Byzantine towns was a fun activity, just like today. there were jugglers, acrobats, beggars, food and beverage vendors, prostitutes, fortune tellers, clergymen and preachers on the streets. Citizens could shop at market places opened at certain times or in bazaars that are permanently located. only people could enter some shopping places, so horses and carriages were prohibited.

Apart from many meat, seafood, fruit and vegetable types, those with money could buy spices, perfumes, incense, soap, medicine, textiles, jewelry, pottery, glassware, silver plates, small ornaments or slaves.

The materials sold at the bazaar would be weighed in official standard weight units. prices were checked regularly by the state and price excess was prevented. The best times for shopping were the times when there were festivals or fairs with important religious days. religious items are sold in churches, and especially those from other places would be closely interested in these materials. One of the biggest fairs was held in Ephesus and it would take place on the death anniversary of Saint John.

Apart from walking around, there was a hippodrome in the city of Constantinople to spend free time, and as in many other big cities, horse car races were held here. these performances were to be watched standing, but it was worth watching because musicians, acrobats and animal warmers would entertain the crowd before the races. It was commonplace to arrange bets in races or to support a certain team. there would be more than sports events in public areas, festivals, memorials, execution and other punishments, celebrating military achievements, and public display of captured slaves were held in public spaces.

In small towns, these events took place in the theater. It could also be held in theaters but also at meetings, but due to taxes or policies, these meetings could sometimes turn into rebellion. Another place where sports were held was the stadium, where athletic competitions were held. Apart from these places, women and men would go to baths, gyms and churches on a daily basis and chat and spend time there.
the dead were buried in cemeteries outside the town. There were inscriptions on the tombstones of people above a certain group, such as high-level officials and actors, so that the rich were remembered after they died. these grave writings included information such as the person's name, profession and achievements in life, and this information provided information about daily life in Byzantine.


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