Constantinople was home to around one million people. Traders and visitors spoke many languages. Constantinople was the richest and most elegant city in the Mediterranean region.
Conflict between East and West
The emperor and his beautiful wife, Theodora, were attending the chariot races at the Hippodrome. Fighting broke out, spilled into the streets, and escalated into a full-scale rebellion.
Religion and government closely linked in the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines viewed the emperor as the living representative of God and Jesus Christ. The church and state were combined into one all-powerful body.
Many Christians in medieval times used images of Jesus, Mary, and the saints in worship and prayer. Some Christians in the east, however, believed that people were wrongly worshipping the icons themselves as if they were divine.