Roman Empire divided under the
Emperor Diocletian in the late 200s
The Eastern half of the empire became known as the
Byzantine Empire, as its new capital
was built on the site of the old Greek city Byzantium.
The Byzantine Empire preserved much of the
culture, and helped spread it across a vast
region. The capital city of Constantinople became
a crossroads of trade between Europe and Asia. The
interdependent nature of the contact between cultures
cultural diffusion. The empire's biggest influence was on Russia.
Byzantine missionaries spread the
religion to Russia, and also adapted the Greek alphabet
to provided the
Slavic speaking peoples a written
Cyrillic, after the monk Cyril
who helped create it. Russia and Eastern Europe also
adapted art and literature from the Byzantines, as well
as architecture. In return, these areas became
important trading partners for the Byzantines.