question 1

Passage 6

Between the eighth and eleventh centuries A.D., the
Byzantine Empire staged an almost unparalleled
economic and cultural revival, a recovery that is all the
more striking because it followed a long period of severe
(5) internal decline. By the early eighth century, the empire
had lost roughly two-thirds of the territory it had
possessed in the year 600, and its remaining area was
being raided by Arabs and Bulgarians, who at times
threatened to take Constantinople and extinguish the
(10) empire altogether. The wealth of the state and its
subjects was greatly diminished, and artistic and literary
production had virtually ceased. By the early eleventh
century, however, the empire had regained almost half of
its lost possessions, its new frontiers were secure, and its
(15) influence extended far beyond its borders. The economy
had recovered, the treasury was full, and art and scho-
larship had advanced.
To consider the Byzantine military, cultural, and
economic advances as differentiated aspects of a single
(20) phenomenon is reasonable. After all, these three forms
of progress have gone together in a number of states and
civilizations. Rome under Augustus and fifth-century
Athens provide the most obvious examples in antiquity.
Moreover, an examination of the apparent sequential
(25) connections among military, economic, and cultural
forms of progress might help explain the dynamics of
historical change.
The common explanation of these apparent conn-
ections in the case of Byzantium would run like this:
(30) when the empire had turned back enemy raids on its
own territory and had begun to raid and conquer enemy
territory, Byzantine resources naturally expanded and
more money became available to patronize art and lit-
erature. Therefore, Byzantine military achievements led to
(35) economic advances, which in turn led to cultural revival.
No doubt this hypothetical pattern did apply at times
during the course of the recovery. Yet it is not clear that
military advances invariably came first. economic
advances second, and intellectual advances third. In the
(40) 860's the Byzantine Empire began to recover from Arab
incursions so that by 872 the military balance with the
Abbasid Caliphate had been permanently altered in the
empire's favor. The beginning of the empire's economic
revival, however, can be placed between 810 and 830.
(45) Finally, the Byzantine revival of learning appears to
have begun even earlier. A number of notable scholars
and writers appeared by 788 and, by the last decade of
the eighth century, a cultural revival was in full bloom, a
revival that lasted until the fall of Constantinople in
(50) 1453.Thus the commonly expected order of military
revival followed by economic and then by cultural
recovery was reversed in Byzantium. In fact, the revival
of Byzantine learning may itself have influenced the
subsequent economic and military expansion.

1. Which of the following best states the central idea of the passage?

A The Byzantine Empire was a unique case in which the usual order of military and economic revival preceding cultural revival was reversed.
B The economic, cultural, and military revival in the Byzantine Empire between the eighth and eleventh centuries was similar in its order to the sequence of revivals in Augustan Rome and fifth-century Athens.
C After 810 Byzantine economic recovery spurred a military and, later, cultural expansion that lasted until 1453.
D The eighth-century revival of Byzantine learning is an inexplicable phenomenon, and its economic and military precursors have yet to be discovered.
E The revival of the Byzantine Empire between the eighth and eleventh centuries shows cultural rebirth preceding economic and military revival, the reverse of the commonly accepted order of progress.