This is the second of the medieval history lectures. In the run-through of politics, I cover major political and power questions from the end of Rome to the end of the fifteenth century. This lecture talks a bit about the structures of the Eastern empire after Constantine – the political entity that we now call the Byzantine empire after the old name of the great city of Istanbul/Constantinople, originally called “Byzantium” by the greeks. I also talk about the rise of Islam – I don’t discuss a lot about the Islamic empire after this point, as the course focuses, perhaps overly much on Western Europe. At any rate, here’s something about these two incredibly important players in the Mediterranean throughout the history of medieval Europe.