Names of Istanbul
The city of Istanbul has been known by a number of different names. The most notable names besides the modern Turkish name are Byzantium and Stamboul. Different names are associated with different languages. According to Pliny the Elder the first name of Byzantium was Lygos; this may have been the name of a Thracian settlement situated on the site of the city, near the point of the peninsula. Byzantion, Latinized as Byzantium, was founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC; the name is believed to be of Illyrian origin and thus to predate the Greek settlement. It may be derived from Illyrian personal name, Byzas. Ancient Greek legend refers to a legendary king of that name as the leader of the Megarean colonists and eponymous founder of the city. After its fall, the name "Byzantine Empire" started being used by the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire whose capital the city had been; this usage was introduced by the German historian Hieronymus Wolf in 1555, a century after the empire had ceased to exist.
During the time of the empire, the term Byzantium was used only for the city, not for the empire that it ruled. The city was called Augusta Antonina for a brief period in the 3rd century AD; the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus conferred the name in honor of his son Antoninus, the Emperor Caracalla. Before the Roman emperor Constantine the Great made the city the new eastern capital of the Roman Empire on May 11, 330, he undertook a major construction project rebuilding the city on a monumental scale modeled after Rome. Names of this period included ἡ Νέα, δευτέρα Ῥώμη "the New, second Rome", Alma Roma Ἄλμα Ῥώμα, Βυζαντιάς Ῥώμη, ἑῴα Ῥώμη "Eastern Rome", Roma Constantinopolitana; the Third Canon of the First Council of Constantinople refers to the city as New Rome. The term "New Rome" lent itself to East-West polemics in the context of the Great Schism, when it was used by Greek writers to stress the rivalry with Rome. New Rome is still part of the official title of the Patriarch of Constantinople.
Kōnstantinoúpolis, Constantinopolis in Latin and Constantinople in English, was the name by which the city became soon more known, in honour of Constantine the Great who established it as his capital. It is first attested in official use under Emperor Theodosius II, it remained the principal official name of the city throughout the Byzantine period, the most common name used for it in the West until the early 20th century. It was used by the Ottoman Empire until the advent of the Republic of Turkey. Besides Constantinople, the Byzantines referred to the city with a large range of honorary appellations, such as the "Queen of Cities" as an adjective, Βασιλεύουσα, the'Reigning City'. In popular speech, the most common way of referring to it came to be the City; this usage, still current today in colloquial Greek and Armenian became the source of the Turkish name, Istanbul. Kostantiniyye is the name, it is an Arabic calqued form of Constantinople, with an Arabic ending meaning'place of' instead of the Greek element -polis.
After the Ottoman conquest of 1453, it was used as the most formal official name in Ottoman Turkish, remained in use throughout most of the time up to the fall of the Empire in 1923. However, during some periods Ottoman authorities favoured other names; the modern Turkish name İstanbul is attested since the 10th century, at first in Armenian and Arabic and in Ottoman sources. It derives from the Greek phrase "στην Πόλη" ", meaning "in the city" or "to the city", reinterpreted as a single word, it is thus based on the common Greek usage of referring to Constantinople as The City. The incorporation of parts of articles and other particles into Greek place names was common before the Ottoman period: Navarino for earlier Avarino, Satines for Athines, etc. Similar examples of modern Turkish place names derived from Greek in this fashion are İzmit, earlier İznikmit, from Greek Nicomedia, İznik from Greek Nicaea, İstanköy for the Greek island Kos; the occurrence of the initial i- in these names, including Istanbul's, is secondary epenthesis to break up syllabic consonant clusters, prohibited by the phonotactic structure of Turkish, as seen in Turkish istasyon from French station or ızgara from the Greek schára.
İstanbul was the common name for the city in normal speech in Turkish before the conquest of 1453, but in official use by the Ottoman authorities other names, such as Kostantiniyye, were preferred in certain contexts. Thus, Kostantiniyye was used on coinage up to the late 17th and again in the 19th century; the Ottoman chancelery and courts used Kostantiniyye as part of intricate formulae in expressing the place of origin of formal documents, such as be-Makam-ı Darü's-Saltanat-ı Kostantiniyyetü'l-Mahrusâtü'l-Mahmiyye. In 19th century Turkish book-printing it was used in the impressum of books, in contrast to the foreign use of Constantinople. At the same time, however, İstanbul too was part of the official language, fo
Michael III was Byzantine Emperor from 842 to 867. Michael III was the third and traditionally last member of the Amorian dynasty, he was given the disparaging epithet the Drunkard by the hostile historians of the succeeding Macedonian dynasty, but modern historical research has rehabilitated his reputation to some extent, demonstrating the vital role his reign played in the resurgence of Byzantine power in the 9th century. Michael was the youngest child of his empress Theodora. Crowned co-ruler by his father in his infancy in 840, Michael had just turned two years old when his father died and Michael succeeded him as sole emperor on January 20, 842. During his minority, the empire was governed by a regency headed by his mother Theodora, her uncle Sergios, the minister Theoktistos; the empress had iconodule sympathies and deposed Patriarch John VII of Constantinople, replacing him with the iconodule Patriarch Methodius I of Constantinople in 843. This put an end to the second spell of iconoclasm.
As the emperor was growing up, the courtiers around him fought for influence. Fond of his uncle Bardas, Michael invested him with the title kaisar and allowed him to murder Theoktistos in November 855. With the support of Bardas and another uncle, a successful general named Petronas, Michael III overthrew the regency on March 15, 856 and relegated his mother and sisters to a monastery in 857; the internal stabilization of the state was not matched along the frontiers. Byzantine forces were defeated by the Abbasids in Pamphylia, on the border with Syria, but a Byzantine fleet of 85 ships did score a victory over the Arabs in 853. There were many operations around the Aegean and off the Syrian coast by at least three more fleets, numbering 300 ships total. Following an expedition led by Michael's uncle and general, against the Paulicians from the eastern frontier and the Arab borderlands in 856, the imperial government resettled them in Thrace, thus cutting them off from their coreligionists and populating another border region.
Michael was responsible, as per the writings of Constantine VII, for the subjugation of the Slavs settled in the Peloponnese. A conflict between the Byzantines and Bulgarian Empire occurred during 855 and 856; the Byzantine Empire wanted to regain its control over some areas of Thrace, including Philippopolis and the ports around the Gulf of Burgas on the Black Sea. Byzantine forces, led by the emperor and the caesar Bardas, were successful in reconquering a number of cities – Philippopolis, Develtus and Mesembria among them – as well as the region of Zagora. At the time of this campaign the Bulgarians were distracted by a war with the Franks under Louis the German and the Croatians. In 853 Boris had allied himself to Rastislav of Moravia against the Franks; the Bulgarians were defeated by the Franks, following this the Moravians changed sides and the Bulgarians faced threats from Moravia. Michael III took an active part in the wars against the Abbasids and their vassals on the eastern frontier from 856 to 863, in 857 when he sent an army of 50,000 men against Emir Umar al-Aqta of Melitene.
In 859, he led a siege on Samosata, but in 860 had to abandon the expedition to repel an attack by the Rus' on Constantinople. In 863, Petronas defeated and killed the emir of Melitene at the battle of Lalakaon, celebrated a triumph in the capital. Bardas justified his usurpation of the regency by introducing various internal reforms. Under the influence of both Bardas and Photios, Michael presided over the reconstruction of ruined cities and structures, the reopening of closed monasteries, the reorganization of the imperial university at the Maganaura palace under Leo the Mathematician. Photios a layman, had entered holy orders and was promoted to the position of patriarch on the dismissal of the troublesome Ignatios in 858; this created a schism within the Church and, although a Council of Constantinople in 861 confirmed Photios as patriarch, Ignatios appealed to Pope Nicholas I, who declared Photios illegitimate in 863. Michael presided over a synod in 867 in which Photios and the three other eastern patriarchs excommunicated Pope Nicholas and condemned the Latin filioque clause concerning the procession of the Holy Spirit.
The conflict over the patriarchal throne and supreme authority within the church was exacerbated by the success of the active missionary efforts launched by Photios. Under the guidance of Patriarch Photios, Michael sponsored the mission of Saints Cyril and Methodios to the Khazar Khagan in an effort to stop the expansion of Judaism among the Khazars. Although this mission was a failure, their next mission in 863 secured the conversion of Great Moravia and devised the Glagolitic alphabet for writing in Slavonic thus allowing Slavic-speaking peoples to approach conversion to Orthodox Christianity through their own rather than an alien tongue. Fearing the potential conversion of Boris I of Bulgaria to Christianity under Frankish influence, Michael III and the Caesar Bardas invaded Bulgaria, imposing the conversion of Boris according to the Byzantine rite as part of the peace settlement in 864. Michael III stood by proxy, for Boris at his baptism. Boris took the additional name of Michael at the ceremony.
The Byzantines allowed the Bulgarians to reclaim the contested border region of Zagora. The conversion of the Bulgarians has been evaluated as one of the greatest cultural and political achievements of the Byzantine Empire. Michael III's marriage with Eudokia Dekapolitissa was childless, but the emperor did not want to risk a
The Khazars were a semi-nomadic Turkic people with a confederation of Turkic-speaking tribes that in the late 6th century CE established a major commercial empire covering the southeastern section of modern European Russia. The Khazars created what for its duration was the most powerful polity to emerge from the break-up of the Western Turkic Khaganate. Astride a major artery of commerce between Eastern Europe and Southwestern Asia, Khazaria became one of the foremost trading emporia of the medieval world, commanding the western marches of the Silk Road and playing a key commercial role as a crossroad between China, the Middle East and Kievan Rus'. For some three centuries the Khazars dominated the vast area extending from the Volga-Don steppes to the eastern Crimea and the northern Caucasus. Khazaria long served as a buffer state between the Byzantine Empire and both the nomads of the northern steppes and the Umayyad Caliphate, after serving as Byzantium's proxy against the Sasanian Persian empire.
The alliance was dropped around 900. Byzantium began to encourage the Alans to attack Khazaria and weaken its hold on Crimea and the Caucasus, while seeking to obtain an entente with the rising Rus' power to the north, which it aspired to convert to Christianity. Between 965 and 969, the Kievan Rus' ruler Sviatoslav I of Kiev conquered the capital Atil and destroyed the Khazar state. Determining the origins and nature of the Khazars is bound with theories of their languages, but it is a matter of intricate difficulty since no indigenous records in the Khazar language survive, the state was polyglot and polyethnic; the native religion of the Khazars is thought to have been Tengrism, like that of the North Caucasian Huns and other Turkic peoples. The polyethnic populace of the Khazar Khaganate appears to have been a multiconfessional mosaic of pagan, Jewish and Muslim worshippers; the ruling elite of the Khazars was said by Judah Halevi and Abraham ibn Daud to have converted to Rabbinic Judaism in the 8th century, but the scope of the conversion within the Khazar Khanate remains uncertain.
Proposals of Khazar origins have been made regarding the Bukharan Jews, the Muslim Kumyks, the Cossacks of the Don region, the Turkic-speaking Krymchaks and their Crimean neighbours the Karaites to the Moldavian Csángós, the Mountain Jews and others. In the late 19th century, a theory emerged that the core of today's Ashkenazi Jews descended from a hypothetical Khazarian Jewish diaspora who had migrated westward from modern Russia and Ukraine into modern France and Germany; this theory still finds occasional support. The theory is sometimes associated with anti-Zionism. Gyula Németh, following Zoltán Gombocz, derived Xazar from a hypothetical *Qasar reflecting a Turkic root qaz- being an hypothetical velar variant of Common Turkic kez-. In the fragmentary Tes and Terkhin inscriptions of the Uyğur empire the form'Qasar' is attested, though uncertainty remains whether this represents a personal or tribal name other hypotheses emerged. Louis Bazin derived it from Turkic qas- on the basis of its phonetic similarity to the Uyğur tribal name, Qasar.
András Róna-Tas connects it with the Pahlavi transcription of the Roman title Caesar. D. M. Dunlop tried to link the Chinese term for "Khazars" to one of the tribal names of the Uyğur Toquz Oğuz, namely the Gésà; the objections are that Uyğur Gesa/Qasar was not a tribal name but rather the surname of the chief of the 思结 Sijie tribe of the Toquz Oğuz, that in Middle Chinese the ethnonym "Khazars", always prefaced with the word Tūjué, is transcribed with characters different from those used to render the Qa- in the Uyğur word'Qasar'. After their conversion it is reported that they adopted the Hebrew script, it is that, though speaking a Türkic language, the Khazar chancellery under Judaism corresponded in Hebrew. In Expositio in Matthaeum Evangelistam, Gazari Khazars, are referred to as the Hunnic people living in the lands of Gog and Magog and said to be circumcised and omnem Judaismum observat, observing all the laws of Judaism. While the Khazar language went extinct centuries ago, modern Turkic languages still refer to the Caspian Sea as the "Khazar Sea".
Determining the origins and nature of the Khazars is bound with theories of their languages, but it is a matter of intricate difficulty, since no indigenous records in the Khazar language survive, the state was polyglot and polyethnic. Whereas the royal or ruling elite spoke an eastern variety of Shaz Turkic, the subject tribes appear to have spoken varieties of Lir Turkic, such as Oğuric, a language variously identified with Bulğaric and Hunnish. One method for tracing their origins consists in analysis of the possible etymologies behind the ethnonym "Khazar"; the tribes that were to comprise the Khazar empire were not an ethnic union, but a congeries of steppe nomads and peoples who came to be subordinated, subscribed to a core Turkic leadership. Many Turkic groups, such as the Oğuric peoples, including Šarağurs, Oğurs, Onoğurs, Bulğars who earlier formed part of the Tiĕlè confederation, are attested quite early, having been drive
Sviatoslav's invasion of Bulgaria
Sviatoslav's invasion of Bulgaria refers to a conflict beginning in 967/968 and ending in 971, carried out in the eastern Balkans, involving the Kievan Rus', the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines encouraged the Rus' ruler Sviatoslav to attack Bulgaria, leading to the defeat of the Bulgarian forces and the occupation of the northern and north-eastern part of the country by the Rus' for the following two years; the allies turned against each other, the ensuing military confrontation ended with a Byzantine victory. The Rus' withdrew and eastern Bulgaria was incorporated into the Byzantine Empire. In 927, a peace treaty had been signed between Bulgaria and Byzantium, ending many years of warfare and establishing forty years of peace. Both states prospered during this interlude, but the balance of power shifted in favour of the Byzantines, who made great territorial gains against the Abbasid Caliphate in the East and formed a web of alliances surrounding Bulgaria. By 965/966, the warlike new Byzantine emperor Nikephoros II Phokas refused to renew the annual tribute, part of the peace agreement and declared war on Bulgaria.
Preoccupied with his campaigns in the East, Nikephoros resolved to fight the war by proxy and invited the Rus' ruler Sviatoslav to invade Bulgaria. Sviatoslav's subsequent campaign exceeded the expectations of the Byzantines, who had regarded him only as a means to exert diplomatic pressure on the Bulgarians; the Rus' prince conquered the core regions of the Bulgarian state in the northeastern Balkans in 967–969, seized the Bulgarian tsar Boris II, ruled the country through him. Sviatoslav intended to continue his drive south against Byzantium itself, which in turn regarded the establishment of a new and powerful Russo-Bulgarian state in the Balkans with great concern. After stopping a Rus' advance through Thrace at the Battle of Arcadiopolis in 970, the Byzantine emperor John I Tzimiskes led an army north into Bulgaria in 971 and captured Preslav, the capital. After a three-month siege of the fortress of Dorostolon, Sviatoslav agreed to terms with the Byzantines and withdrew from Bulgaria.
Tzimiskes formally annexed Eastern Bulgaria to the Byzantine Empire. However, most of the country in the central and western Balkans remained in effect outside imperial control. By the beginning of the 10th century, two powers had come to dominate the Balkans: the Byzantine Empire controlled the south of the peninsula and the coasts, the Bulgarian Empire held the central and northern Balkans; the early decades of the century were dominated by Tsar Simeon, who expanded his empire at Byzantium's expense in a series of wars and secured for himself recognition of his imperial title. Simeon's death in May 927 was soon followed by a rapprochement between the two powers, formalized with a treaty and a marriage alliance that same year. Simeon's second son and successor, Peter I, married Maria, the granddaughter of the Byzantine emperor Romanos I Lekapenos, his imperial title was recognized. An annual tribute was agreed to be paid to the Bulgarian ruler in exchange for peace; the agreement was kept for forty years as peaceful relations suited both sides.
Bulgaria, despite the barrier formed by the Danube, was still menaced in its northern reaches by steppe peoples, the Magyars and the Pechenegs. They launched raids throughout Bulgaria reaching Byzantine territory as well; the Byzantine–Bulgarian peace meant less trouble from the north, as many Pecheneg raids had been sponsored by the Byzantines. Peter's reign, although lacking the military splendour of Simeon's, was still a "golden age" for Bulgaria, with a flourishing economy and a thriving urban society. Byzantium used the peace to focus its energy on wars against the Abbasid Caliphate in the East, where a series of campaigns under generals John Kourkouas and Nikephoros Phokas expanded imperial territory. At the same time, military reforms created a offensively-oriented army; the Byzantines did not neglect the Balkans, working to improve their contacts with the peoples of central and eastern Europe, subtly altering the balance of power in the peninsula. Their Crimean outpost of Cherson maintained trade with the Pechenegs and the emerging power of the Kievan Rus'.
These relationships on the periphery of the Bulgarian Empire were an important asset for Byzantine diplomacy: instigating attacks against Bulgaria by the Pechenegs and the Khazars was a time-honoured method of applying pressure on the Bulgarians. Upon the sudden death of Emperor Romanos II in 963, Nikephoros Phokas usurped the throne from Romanos' infant sons and became senior emperor as Nikephoros II. Nikephoros, a prominent member of the Anatolian military aristocracy focused on the East, leading his army in campaigns that recovered Cyprus and Cilicia, thus things stood when a Bulgarian embassy visited Nikephoros in late 965 or early 966 to collect the tribute owed. Nikephoros, his confidence boosted by his recent successes, deeming the Bulgarian ruler's demand presumptuous, refused to pay, claiming that with Empress Maria's recent death any such obligations had ceased, he sent them home with threats and insults. He proceeded with his troops to Thrace, where he staged an elaborate parade as a display of mi
Church of the Deposition of the Robe
The Church of the Deposition of the Robe is a church which stands on Cathedral Square in the Moscow Kremlin. It was begun in 1484 by masters from Pskov, most by the same group of architects who built the adjacent Cathedral of the Annunciation, it serves as a part of Moscow Kremlin Museums. The church was built on the site of a previous church, built by Jonah Metropolitan of Moscow in 1451; the name of the church, variously translated as the Church of the Virgin's Robe, The Church of Laying Our Lady’s Holy Robe, The Church of the Veil or Church of the Deposition, is said to refer to a festival dating from the 5th century AD, celebrating when the robe of the Virgin Mary was taken from Palestine to Constantinople, where it protected the city from being conquered. For example, tradition says that during the Rus'-Byzantine War of 860 the patriarch placed the Virgin's Robe into the sea, causing a storm that destroyed the invading Rus' ships. A four-level iconostasis, created by Nazary Istomin Savin in 1627, has been preserved in the church, has frescoes painted by Ivan Borisov, Sidor Pospeev and Semyon Abramov in 1644.
The church itself was built in the traditional Early Russian style, characterized by "a noticeable tendency towards more elevated proportions, the overall structure being extended by being placed on raised foundations, the drum supporting the single dome being raised." As with the Cathedral of the Annunciation, the intricate interior detail and ornamentation were characteristic of the Russian architecture of this period. The church served as the private chapel of the Patriarch of Moscow, but during the mid-17th century it was taken over by the Russian royal family; the church was badly damaged in a fire in 1737. Today, the church houses a display of wood sculpture from the 14th to 19th century. Church of Laying Our Lady’s Holy Robe
Tsargrad is a Slavic name for the city or land of Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, present-day Istanbul in Turkey. It is rendered in several ways depending on the language, for instance Old Church Slavonic: Цѣсарьградъ. Tsargrad is an Old Church Slavonic translation of the Greek Βασιλὶς Πόλις. Combining the Slavonic words tsar for "Caesar / Emperor" and grad for "city", it stood for "the City of the Caesar". According to Per Thomsen, the Old Russian form influenced an Old Norse appellation of Constantinople, Miklagard. Bulgarians applied the word to Tarnovgrad, one of the capitals of the Bulgarian tsars, but after the Balkans fell under Ottoman rule, the Bulgarian word has been used as another name of Constantinople. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the burgeoning Russian Empire began to see itself as the last extension of the Roman Empire, the force that would resurrect the lost leviathan; this belief was the supported by the Russian Orthodox Church and given at least an air of legitimacy by the marriage of Ivan III to Sophia Palaiologina, a relative of the last Byzantine Emperor.
It was an objective of the Tsars to recapture the city, but despite many southern advances and expansion by the empire, this was never realized owing to the Western interference in the Crimean War. As the zeitgeist which spawned the term has faded, the word Tsargrad is now an archaic term in Russian, it is however still used in Bulgarian in a historical context. A major traffic artery in Bulgaria's capital Sofia carries the name Tsarigradsko shose; the name Tsarigrad is retained in word groups such as tsarigradsko grozde, the dish tsarigradski kyuftentsa or sayings like "One can get to Tsarigrad by asking". In Slovene it is still used and preferred over the official name. People understand and sometimes use the name Carigrad in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia
Western Europe is the region comprising the western part of Europe. Though the term Western Europe is used, there is no agreed-upon definition of the countries that it encompasses. Significant historical events that have shaped the concept of Western Europe include the rise of Rome, the adoption of Greek culture during the Roman Republic, the adoption of Christianity by Roman Emperors, the division of the Latin West and Greek East, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, the reign of Charlemagne, the Viking invasions, the East–West Schism, the Black Death, the Renaissance, the Age of Discovery, the Protestant Reformation as well as the Counter-Reformation of the Catholic Church, the Age of Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the two world wars, the Cold War, the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the expansion of the European Union. Prior to the Roman conquest, a large part of Western Europe had adopted the newly developed La Tène culture; as the Roman domain expanded, a cultural and linguistic division appeared between the Greek-speaking eastern provinces, which had formed the urbanized Hellenistic civilization, the western territories, which in contrast adopted the Latin language.
This cultural and linguistic division was reinforced by the political east-west division of the Roman Empire. The Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire controlled the two divergent regions between the 3rd and the 5th centuries; the division between these two was enhanced during Late antiquity and the Middle Ages by a number of events. The Western Roman Empire collapsed. By contrast, the Eastern Roman Empire known as the Greek or Byzantine Empire and thrived for another 1000 years; the rise of the Carolingian Empire in the west, in particular the Great Schism between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, enhanced the cultural and religious distinctiveness between Eastern and Western Europe. After the conquest of the Byzantine Empire, center of the Eastern Orthodox Church, by the Muslim Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, the gradual fragmentation of the Holy Roman Empire, the division between Roman Catholic and Protestant became more important in Europe than that with Eastern Orthodoxy.
In East Asia, Western Europe was known as taixi in China and taisei in Japan, which translates as the "Far West". The term Far West became synonymous with Western Europe in China during the Ming dynasty; the Italian Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci was one of the first writers in China to use the Far West as an Asian counterpart to the European concept of the Far East. In Ricci's writings, Ricci referred to himself as "Matteo of the Far West"; the term was still in use in the late early 20th centuries. Christianity is still the largest religion in Western Europe, according to a 2018 study by the Pew Research Center, 71.0% of the Western European population identified themselves as Christians. The East–West Schism, which has lasted since the 11th century, divided Christianity in Europe, the world, into Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity. With certain simplifications, Western Europe is thus Catholic or Protestant and uses the Latin alphabet. Eastern Europe uses the Greek alphabet or Cyrillic script.
According to this definition, Western Europe is formed by countries with dominant Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, including countries which are considered part of Central Europe now: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and United Kingdom. Eastern Europe, meanwhile is formed by countries with dominant Eastern Orthodox churches, including Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine for instance; the schism is the break of communion and theology between what are now the Eastern and Western churches. This division dominated Europe for centuries, in opposition to the rather short-lived Cold War division of four decades. Since the Great Schism of 1054, Europe has been divided between Roman Catholic and Protestant churches in the West and the Eastern Orthodox Christian churches in the east. Due to this religious cleavage, Eastern Orthodox countries are associated with Eastern Europe. A cleavage of this sort is, however problematic.
During the four decades of the Cold War, the definition of East and West was rather simplified by the existence of the Eastern Bloc. Historians and social scientists view the Cold War definition of Western and Eastern Europe as outdated or relegating. During the final stages of World War II, the future of Europe was decided between the Allies in the 1945 Yalta Conference, between the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, the U. S. President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Premier of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin. Post-war Europe would be divided into two major spheres: the Western Bloc, influenced by the United States, the Eastern Bloc, influenced by the Soviet Union. With the onset of the Cold War, Europe was divided by the Iron Curtain; this term had been used during World War II by German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk in the last days of the war.