The Byzantine Empire is known for its art and architecture. In AD 395 the Roman Empire split into two parts. The eastern part became known as the Byzantine Empire and lived on until 1453. Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) was the capital of the Byzantine Empire, which extended from the Middle East to southern Spain.
The people made colorful mosaics out of broken bits of stone. They built buildings with large domes. The Byzantines also created a new branch of Christianity – Eastern Orthodoxy.
One of the greatest emperors was Justinian I. He ruled from 527 to 565 and expanded the empire and built many monuments.