The Byzantine Empire survived for roughly a millenium, which is a long time for a European empire and an achievement in and of itself. It developed a certain distinctive style of architecture and had some other cultural achievements, but for an empire with access to the great intellectual foundation built by the classical Greco-Roman tradition, it had relatively few innovations and did not greatly enhance the knowledge developed by its forefathers. The Byzantines may have studied ancient texts, but in some respects they may have studied these texts as as they did the Bible - not looking to improve upon what they read but instead looking to absorb what they studied. When Constantinople fell in the 15th century, many Byzantine scholars fled to other parts of Europe and helped to inspire a Renaissance, yet the same scholars inside the Byzantine Empire seemed to store knowledge as opposed to inspiring intellectual progress.
Would you characterize the Byzantines as having been culturally and intellectually conservative, and has this conservative mindset carried forward into the culture and attitudes of Orthodox nations and peoples today? Additionally what role has this conservatism had with respect to the Orthodox style of religious worship?