The Byzantines followed a Christian lifestyle which revolved around the home, where women dedicated themselves to the upbringing of their children. There were also various public places where men sought relaxation in their leisure hours.
From A.D. 500 to A.D. 1200, Byzantium was the wealthiest nation in Europe and western Asia. Its standard of living was unrivaled by other nations in Europe, and it led much of the world in art, science, trade, and architecture. We could even say that the "Byzantine Dream" existed long before the American one.
For much of this period, Byzantium maintained good commodity coinage – gold, silver and copper. To be clear: it was not a free-market disciplined standard – the government maintained the coinage. The government also maintained a complicated bureaucracy, to the point where byzantine has come to mean: