Mr. Poole AP World 1st CC
Byzantine and Islamic culture differed on some key characteristics of an empire but agreed on some as well. One similarity for example, was that both empires had emperors who had religious and political dominance in their nations. A contrasting factor included that although the Islamic caliphate based their law upon Islam, Byzantine culture derived its law from the secular Roman code.
Both the Islamic Caliphate and the Byzantine Empire had powerful rulers who posed as the head of the state and Church. Byzantine’s Justinian and Islam’s Muhammad proved effective rulers of both as they promoted the growth of both through military conquest and enforced their religion. This was most likely the case because religion was a major part of people’s daily lives so if the ruler wanted to control people in a way other than taxes he would control their religion. A further similarity was that both emperors used religious buildings and architecture to express their political power. The Hagia Sophia and the Grand Mosque of Mecca both show the political power and wealth of the ruler. Large buildings have always signified great wealth amongst rulers, so it is expected to see this similarity in the two cultures.
Although the Byzantines used art to show the religious authority of the Emperor, Islamic doctrine prohibited that practice. The beautiful mosaics from the Byzantine Empire often depicted the emperor in the center of the mosaic while the patriarch of the Church stood off to the side. But Islam never portrayed the religious power because the Koran discourages