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The Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, was the continuation of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in the East during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople
Constantinople
(modern-day Istanbul, which had been founded as Byzantium). It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.[2] During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe. Both " Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire as the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
(Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, tr. Basileia tôn Rhōmaiōn; Latin: Imperium Romanum),[3] or Romania
Romania
(Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans."[4] Several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empire's Greek East and Latin West divided. Constantine I
Constantine I
(r. 324–337) reorganised the empire, made Constantinople
Constantinople
the new capital, and legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I
Theodosius I
(r. 379–395), Christianity
Christianity
became the Empire's official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed. Finally, under the reign of Heraclius
Heraclius
(r. 610–641), the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use instead of Latin.[5] Thus, although the Roman state continued and Roman state traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium
Byzantium
from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, and characterised by Orthodox Christianity.[4] The borders of the Empire
Empire
evolved significantly over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I
Justinian I
(r. 527–565), the Empire
Empire
reached its greatest extent after reconquering much of the historically Roman western Mediterranean coast, including North Africa, Italy, and Rome itself, which it held for two more centuries. During the reign of Maurice (r. 582–602), the Empire's eastern frontier was expanded and the north stabilised. However, his assassination caused the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, which exhausted the Empire's resources and contributed to major territorial losses during the Early Muslim conquests of the seventh century. In a matter of years the Empire
Empire
lost its richest provinces, Egypt
Egypt
and Syria, to the Arabs.[6] During the Macedonian dynasty
Macedonian dynasty
(10th–11th centuries), the Empire again expanded and experienced the two-century long Macedonian Renaissance, which came to an end with the loss of much of Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks
Seljuk Turks
after the Battle of Manzikert
Battle of Manzikert
in 1071. This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia. The Empire
Empire
recovered again during the Komnenian restoration, such that by the 12th century Constantinople
Constantinople
was the largest and wealthiest European city.[7] However, it was delivered a mortal blow during the Fourth Crusade, when Constantinople
Constantinople
was sacked in 1204 and the territories that the Empire
Empire
formerly governed were divided into competing Byzantine
Byzantine
Greek and Latin realms. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople
Constantinople
in 1261, the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
remained only one of several small rival states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence. Its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople
Constantinople
to the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in 1453 finally ended the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire.[8] The last of the imperial Byzantine
Byzantine
successor states, the Empire
Empire
of Trebizond, would be conquered by the Ottomans eight years later in the 1461 Siege of Trebizond.[9]

Contents

1 Nomenclature 2 History

2.1 Early history 2.2 Decentralization of power 2.3 Recentralisation 2.4 Loss of the Western Roman Empire 2.5 Justinian dynasty 2.6 Shrinking borders

2.6.1 Early Heraclian dynasty 2.6.2 Siege of Constantinople
Constantinople
(674–678) 2.6.3 Late Heraclian dynasty 2.6.4 Isaurian dynasty to the accession of Basil I 2.6.5 Religious dispute over iconoclasm

2.7 Macedonian dynasty
Macedonian dynasty
and resurgence (867–1025)

2.7.1 Wars against the Arabs 2.7.2 Wars against the Bulgarian Empire 2.7.3 Relations with the Kievan Rus' 2.7.4 Byzantine
Byzantine
campaigns against Georgia 2.7.5 Apex 2.7.6 Split between Orthodox Christianity
Christianity
and Catholicism (1054)

2.8 Crisis and fragmentation 2.9 Komnenian dynasty and the crusaders

2.9.1 Alexios I and the First Crusade 2.9.2 John II, Manuel I and the Second Crusade 2.9.3 12th-century Renaissance

2.10 Decline and disintegration

2.10.1 Angelid dynasty 2.10.2 Fourth Crusade 2.10.3 Crusader sack of Constantinople
Constantinople
(1204)

2.11 Fall

2.11.1 Empire
Empire
in exile 2.11.2 Reconquest of Constantinople 2.11.3 Rise of the Ottomans and fall of Constantinople

2.12 Political aftermath

3 Government and bureaucracy

3.1 Diplomacy

4 Science, medicine and law 5 Culture

5.1 Religion 5.2 The arts

5.2.1 Art and literature 5.2.2 Music

5.3 Cuisine 5.4 Flags and insignia 5.5 Language 5.6 Recreation

6 Economy 7 Legacy 8 See also 9 Annotations 10 Notes 11 References

11.1 Primary sources 11.2 Secondary sources

12 Further reading 13 External links

13.1 Byzantine
Byzantine
studies, resources and bibliography

Nomenclature See also: Names of the Greeks The first use of the term "Byzantine" to label the later years of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
was in 1557, when the German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ, a collection of historical sources. The term comes from "Byzantium", the name of the city of Constantinople
Constantinople
before it became Constantine's capital. This older name of the city would rarely be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts. The publication in 1648 of the Byzantine
Byzantine
du Louvre (Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae), and in 1680 of Du Cange's Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of "Byzantine" among French authors, such as Montesquieu.[10] However, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world.[11] The Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
was known to its inhabitants as the "Roman Empire", the " Empire
Empire
of the Romans" (Latin: Imperium Romanum, Imperium Romanorum; Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων Basileia tōn Rhōmaiōn, Ἀρχὴ τῶν Ῥωμαίων Archē tōn Rhōmaiōn), "Romania" (Latin: Romania; Greek: Ῥωμανία Rhōmania),[n 1] the "Roman Republic" (Latin: Res Publica Romana; Greek: Πολιτεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων Politeia tōn Rhōmaiōn), "Graecia" (Greek: Γραικία),[14] and also as "Rhōmais" (Greek: Ῥωμαΐς).[15] The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and Graikoi,[16] and even as late as the 19th century Greeks typically referred to modern Greek as Romaika and Graikika. Although the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history[17] and preserved Romano- Hellenistic
Hellenistic
traditions,[18] it became identified by its western and northern contemporaries with its increasingly predominant Greek element.[19] The occasional use of the term " Empire
Empire
of the Greeks" (Latin: Imperium Graecorum) in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire
Roman Empire
and of the Byzantine
Byzantine
Emperor as Imperator Graecorum (Emperor of the Greeks)[20] were also used to separate it from the prestige of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
within the new kingdoms of the West.[21] The authority of the Byzantine
Byzantine
emperor as the legitimate Roman emperor was challenged by the coronation of Charlemagne
Charlemagne
as Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III in the year 800. Needing Charlemagne's support in his struggle against his enemies in Rome, Leo used the lack of a male occupant of the throne of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
at the time to claim that it was vacant and that he could therefore crown a new Emperor himself.[22] No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire
Empire
was more straightforwardly seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
was known primarily as Rûm.[23] The name millet-i Rûm, or "Roman nation," was used by the Ottomans through the 20th century to refer to the former subjects of the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire, that is, the Orthodox Christian community within Ottoman realms. History Main article: History of the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire

Part of a series on the

History of the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire

Preceding

Roman Empire

Dominate

Early period (330–717)

Constantinian-Valentinian era ( Constantinian dynasty - Valentinian dynasty) Theodosian era Leonid era Justinian era Heraclian era Twenty Years' Anarchy

Middle period (717–1204)

Isaurian era Nikephorian era Amorian era Macedonian era Doukid era Komnenian era Angelid era

Late period (1204–1453)

Fourth Crusade
Fourth Crusade
and Latin rule

Latin Empire Principality of Achaea others

Byzantine
Byzantine
successor states

Nicaea Epirus/Thessalonica Trebizond Theodoro

Palaiologan era

Despotate of the Morea

Decline of the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire Fall of Constantinople

Timeline

By topic

Art Government Economy Army Navy

Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
portal

v t e

Early history

The Baptism
Baptism
of Constantine painted by Raphael's pupils (1520–1524, fresco, Vatican City, Apostolic Palace); Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius of Caesarea
records that (as was common among converts of early Christianity) Constantine delayed receiving baptism until shortly before his death[24]

The Roman army
Roman army
succeeded in conquering many territories covering the entire Mediterranean region
Mediterranean region
and coastal regions in southwestern Europe and north Africa. These territories were home to many different cultural groups, both urban populations and rural populations. Generally speaking, the eastern Mediterranean provinces were more urbanised than the western, having previously been united under the Macedonian Empire
Macedonian Empire
and Hellenised by the influence of Greek culture.[25] The West also suffered more heavily from the instability of the 3rd century AD. This distinction between the established Hellenised East and the younger Latinised West persisted and became increasingly important in later centuries, leading to a gradual estrangement of the two worlds.[25] Decentralization of power See also: Byzantium
Byzantium
under the Constantinian and Valentinian dynasties To maintain control and improve administration, various schemes to divide the work of the Roman Emperor by sharing it between individuals were tried between 285 and 324, from 337 to 350, from 364 to 392, and again between 395 and 480. Although the administrative subdivisions varied, they generally involved a division of labour between East and West. Each division was a form of power-sharing (or even job-sharing), for the ultimate imperium was not divisible and therefore the empire remained legally one state—although the co-emperors often saw each other as rivals or enemies. In 293, emperor Diocletian
Diocletian
created a new administrative system (the tetrarchy), to guarantee security in all endangered regions of his Empire. He associated himself with a co-emperor (Augustus), and each co-emperor then adopted a young colleague given the title of Caesar, to share in their rule and eventually to succeed the senior partner. The tetrarchy collapsed, however, in 313 and a few years later Constantine I
Constantine I
reunited the two administrative divisions of the Empire as sole Augustus.[26] Recentralisation In 330, Constantine moved the seat of the Empire
Empire
to Constantinople, which he founded as a second Rome on the site of Byzantium, a city strategically located on the trade routes between Europe
Europe
and Asia and between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Constantine introduced important changes into the Empire's military, monetary, civil and religious institutions. As regards his economic policies in particular, he has been accused by certain scholars of "reckless fiscality", but the gold solidus he introduced became a stable currency that transformed the economy and promoted development.[27] Under Constantine, Christianity
Christianity
did not become the exclusive religion of the state, but enjoyed imperial preference, because the emperor supported it with generous privileges. Constantine established the principle that emperors could not settle questions of doctrine on their own, but should summon instead general ecclesiastical councils for that purpose. His convening of both the Synod of Arles and the First Council of Nicaea
First Council of Nicaea
indicated his interest in the unity of the Church, and showcased his claim to be its head.[28] The rise of Christianity
Christianity
was briefly interrupted on the accession of the emperor Julian in 361, who made a determined effort to restore polytheism throughout the empire and was thus dubbed "Julian the Apostate" by the Church.[29] However this was reversed when Julian was killed in battle in 363.[30]

Restored section of the Theodosian Walls

Theodosius I
Theodosius I
(379–395) was the last Emperor to rule both the Eastern and Western halves of the Empire. In 391 and 392 he issued a series of edicts essentially banning pagan religion. Pagan festivals and sacrifices were banned, as was access to all pagan temples and places of worship.[31] The last Olympic Games are believed to have been held in 393.[32] In 395, Theodosius I
Theodosius I
bequeathed the imperial office jointly to his sons: Arcadius
Arcadius
in the East and Honorius in the West, once again dividing Imperial administration. In the 5th century the Eastern part of the empire was largely spared the difficulties faced by the West—due in part to a more established urban culture and greater financial resources, which allowed it to placate invaders with tribute and pay foreign mercenaries. This success allowed Theodosius II to focus on the codification of Roman law and further fortification of the walls of Constantinople, which left the city impervious to most attacks until 1204.[33] Large portions of the Theodosian Walls
Theodosian Walls
are preserved to the present day. To fend off the Huns, Theodosius had to pay an enormous annual tribute to Attila. His successor, Marcian, refused to continue to pay the tribute, but Attila
Attila
had already diverted his attention to the West. After Attila's death in 453, the Hunnic Empire
Empire
collapsed, and many of the remaining Huns
Huns
were often hired as mercenaries by Constantinople.[34] Loss of the Western Roman Empire

The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
during the reigns of Leo I (east) and Majorian
Majorian
(west) in 460 AD. Roman rule in the west would last less than two more decades, whereas the territory of the east would remain static until the reconquests of Justinian I.

After the fall of Attila, the Eastern Empire
Empire
enjoyed a period of peace, while the Western Empire
Empire
deteriorated due to continuing migration and expansion by the Germanic nations (its end is usually dated in 476 when the Germanic Roman general Odoacer
Odoacer
deposed the usurper Western Emperor Romulus Augustulus[35]). In 480 with the death of the Western Emperor Julius Nepos, Eastern Emperor Zeno became sole Emperor of the empire. Odoacer, now ruler of Italy, was nominally Zeno's subordinate but acted with complete autonomy, eventually providing support to a rebellion against the Emperor.[36] Zeno negotiated with the invading Ostrogoths, who had settled in Moesia, convincing the Gothic king Theodoric to depart for Italy as magister militum per Italiam ("commander in chief for Italy") with the aim of deposing Odoacer. By urging Theodoric to conquer Italy, Zeno rid the Eastern Empire
Empire
of an unruly subordinate (Odoacer) and moved another (Theodoric) further from the heart of the Empire. After Odoacer's defeat in 493, Theodoric ruled Italy de facto, although he was never recognised by the eastern emperors as "king" (rex).[36] In 491, Anastasius I, an aged civil officer of Roman origin, became Emperor, but it was not until 497 that the forces of the new emperor effectively took the measure of Isaurian resistance.[37] Anastasius revealed himself as an energetic reformer and an able administrator. He perfected Constantine I's coinage system by definitively setting the weight of the copper follis, the coin used in most everyday transactions.[38] He also reformed the tax system and permanently abolished the chrysargyron tax. The State Treasury contained the enormous sum of 320,000 lb (150,000 kg) of gold when Anastasius died in 518.[39] Justinian dynasty See also: Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
under the Justinian dynasty

Justinian I
Justinian I
depicted on one of the famous mosaics of the Basilica
Basilica
of San Vitale, Ravenna

Theodora, Justinian's wife, depicted on the mosaics of the Basilica
Basilica
of San Vitale, Ravenna

The Justinian dynasty was founded by Justin I, who though illiterate, rose through the ranks of the military to become Emperor in 518.[40] He was succeeded by his nephew Justinian I
Justinian I
in 527, who may already have exerted effective control during Justin's reign.[41] One of the most important figures of late antiquity and possibly the last Roman emperor to speak Latin as a first language,[42] Justinian's rule constitutes a distinct epoch, marked by the ambitious but only partly realized renovatio imperii, or "restoration of the Empire".[43] His wife Theodora was particularly influential.[44] In 529, Justinian appointed a ten-man commission chaired by John the Cappadocian to revise Roman law and create a new codification of laws and jurists' extracts, known as the "Corpus Juris Civilis"or the Justinian Code. In 534, the Corpus was updated and, along with the enactments promulgated by Justinian after 534, formed the system of law used for most of the rest of the Byzantine
Byzantine
era.[45] The Corpus forms the basis of civil law of many modern states.[46] In 532, attempting to secure his eastern frontier, Justinian signed a peace treaty with Khosrau I
Khosrau I
of Persia agreeing to pay a large annual tribute to the Sassanids. In the same year, he survived a revolt in Constantinople
Constantinople
(the Nika riots), which solidified his power but ended with the deaths of a reported 30,000 to 35,000 rioters on his orders.[47] The western conquests began in 533, as Justinian sent his general Belisarius
Belisarius
to reclaim the former province of Africa from the Vandals
Vandals
who had been in control since 429 with their capital at Carthage.[48] Their success came with surprising ease, but it was not until 548 that the major local tribes were subdued.[49] In Ostrogothic Italy, the deaths of Theodoric, his nephew and heir Athalaric, and his daughter Amalasuntha had left her murderer, Theodahad
Theodahad
(r. 534–536), on the throne despite his weakened authority.[50] In 535, a small Byzantine
Byzantine
expedition to Sicily
Sicily
met with easy success, but the Goths soon stiffened their resistance, and victory did not come until 540, when Belisarius
Belisarius
captured Ravenna, after successful sieges of Naples
Naples
and Rome.[50] In 535–536, Theodahad
Theodahad
sent Pope Agapetus I to Constantinople
Constantinople
to request the removal of Byzantine forces from Sicily, Dalmatia, and Italy. Although Agapetus failed in his mission to sign a peace with Justinian, he succeeded in having the Monophysite Patriarch Anthimus I of Constantinople
Constantinople
denounced, despite empress Theodora's support and protection.[51] The Ostrogoths
Ostrogoths
were soon reunited under the command of King Totila
Totila
and captured Rome in 546. Belisarius, who had been sent back to Italy in 544, was eventually recalled to Constantinople
Constantinople
in 549.[52] The arrival of the Armenian eunuch Narses
Narses
in Italy (late 551) with an army of 35,000 men marked another shift in Gothic fortunes. Totila
Totila
was defeated at the Battle of Taginae
Battle of Taginae
and his successor, Teia, was defeated at the Battle of Mons Lactarius
Battle of Mons Lactarius
(October 552). Despite continuing resistance from a few Gothic garrisons and two subsequent invasions by the Franks
Franks
and Alemanni, the war for the Italian peninsula was at an end.[53] In 551, Athanagild, a noble from Visigothic Hispania, sought Justinian's help in a rebellion against the king, and the emperor dispatched a force under Liberius, a successful military commander. The empire held on to a small slice of the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
coast until the reign of Heraclius.[54] In the east, the Roman–Persian Wars continued until 561 when the envoys of Justinian and Khosrau agreed on a 50-year peace.[55] By the mid-550s, Justinian had won victories in most theatres of operation, with the notable exception of the Balkans, which were subjected to repeated incursions from the Slavs
Slavs
and the Gepids. Tribes of Serbs
Serbs
and Croats
Croats
were later resettled in the northwestern Balkans, during the reign of Heraclius.[56] Justinian called Belisarius
Belisarius
out of retirement and defeated the new Hunnish threat. The strengthening of the Danube fleet caused the Kutrigur Huns
Huns
to withdraw and they agreed to a treaty that allowed safe passage back across the Danube.[57] Although polytheism had been suppressed by the state since at least the time of Constantine in the 4th century, traditional Greco-Roman culture was still influential in the Eastern empire in the 6th century.[58] Philosophers such as John Philoponus drew on neoplatonic ideas in addition to Christian thought and empiricism. Nevertheless, Hellenistic philosophy
Hellenistic philosophy
began to be gradually supplanted by or amalgamated into newer Christian philosophy. The closure of the Platonic Academy
Platonic Academy
in 529 was a notable turning point.[59] Hymns written by Romanos the Melodist
Romanos the Melodist
marked the development of the Divine Liturgy, while the architects Isidore of Miletus
Isidore of Miletus
and Anthemius of Tralles worked to complete the new Church of the Holy Wisdom, Hagia Sophia, which was designed to replace an older church destroyed during the Nika Revolt. Completed in 537, the Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
stands today as one of the major monuments of Byzantine
Byzantine
architectural history.[60] During the 6th and 7th centuries, the Empire
Empire
was struck by a series of epidemics, which greatly devastated the population and contributed to a significant economic decline and a weakening of the Empire.[61]

The Eastern Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in 600 AD during the reign of Emperor Maurice

After Justinian died in 565, his successor, Justin II
Justin II
refused to pay the large tribute to the Persians. Meanwhile, the Germanic Lombards invaded Italy; by the end of the century only a third of Italy was in Byzantine
Byzantine
hands. Justin's successor, Tiberius II, choosing between his enemies, awarded subsidies to the Avars while taking military action against the Persians. Though Tiberius' general, Maurice, led an effective campaign on the eastern frontier, subsidies failed to restrain the Avars. They captured the Balkan fortress of Sirmium
Sirmium
in 582, while the Slavs
Slavs
began to make inroads across the Danube.[62] Maurice, who meanwhile succeeded Tiberius, intervened in a Persian civil war, placed the legitimate Khosrau II
Khosrau II
back on the throne and married his daughter to him. Maurice's treaty with his new brother-in-law enlarged the territories of the Empire
Empire
to the East and allowed the energetic Emperor to focus on the Balkans. By 602, a series of successful Byzantine
Byzantine
campaigns had pushed the Avars and Slavs
Slavs
back across the Danube.[62] However, Maurice's refusal to ransom several thousand captives taken by the Avars, and his order to the troops to winter in the Danube caused his popularity to plummet. A revolt broke out under an officer named Phocas, who marched the troops back to Constantinople; Maurice and his family were murdered while trying to escape.[63] Shrinking borders Early Heraclian dynasty Further information: Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
under the Heraclian dynasty

Siege of Constantinople
Constantinople
in 626 by the combined Avar, Sassanid Persian, and Slavic forces depicted on the murals of the Moldovița Monastery, Romania

The Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
in 650 – by this year it had lost all of its southern provinces except the Exarchate of Africa.

After Maurice's murder by Phocas, Khosrau used the pretext to reconquer the Roman province of Mesopotamia.[64] Phocas, an unpopular ruler invariably described in Byzantine
Byzantine
sources as a "tyrant", was the target of a number of Senate-led plots. He was eventually deposed in 610 by Heraclius, who sailed to Constantinople
Constantinople
from Carthage
Carthage
with an icon affixed to the prow of his ship.[65] Following the accession of Heraclius, the Sassanid advance pushed deep into the Levant, occupying Damascus
Damascus
and Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and removing the True Cross
True Cross
to Ctesiphon.[66] The counter-attack launched by Heraclius took on the character of a holy war, and an acheiropoietos image of Christ
Christ
was carried as a military standard[67] (similarly, when Constantinople
Constantinople
was saved from a combined Avar–Sassanid–Slavic siege in 626, the victory was attributed to the icons of the Virgin that were led in procession by Patriarch Sergius about the walls of the city).[68] In this very siege of Constantinople
Constantinople
of the year 626, amidst the climactic Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, the combined Avar, Sassanid, and Slavic forces unsuccessfully besieged the Byzantine
Byzantine
capital between June and July. After this, the Sassanid army was forced to withdraw to Anatolia. The loss came just after news had reached them of yet another Byzantine
Byzantine
victory, where Heraclius's brother Theodore scored well against the Persian general Shahin.[69] Following this, Heraclius
Heraclius
led an invasion into Sassanid Mesopotamia once again. The main Sassanid force was destroyed at Nineveh in 627, and in 629 Heraclius
Heraclius
restored the True Cross
True Cross
to Jerusalem
Jerusalem
in a majestic ceremony,[70] as he marched into the Sassanid capital of Ctesiphon, where anarchy and civil war reigned as a result of the enduring war. Eventually, the Persians were obliged to withdraw all armed forces and return Sassanid-ruled Egypt, the Levant
Levant
and whatever imperial territories of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and Armenia
Armenia
were in Roman hands at the time of an earlier peace treaty in c. 595. The war had exhausted both the Byzantines and Sassanids, however, and left them extremely vulnerable to the Muslim forces that emerged in the following years.[71] The Byzantines suffered a crushing defeat by the Arabs at the Battle of Yarmouk in 636, while Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon
fell in 637.[72] Siege of Constantinople
Constantinople
(674–678)

Greek fire
Greek fire
was first used by the Byzantine Navy
Byzantine Navy
during the Byzantine–Arab Wars (from the Madrid Skylitzes, Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid).

The Arabs, now firmly in control of Syria
Syria
and the Levant, sent frequent raiding parties deep into Asia Minor, and in 674–678 laid siege to Constantinople
Constantinople
itself. The Arab fleet was finally repulsed through the use of Greek fire, and a thirty-years' truce was signed between the Empire
Empire
and the Umayyad Caliphate.[73] However, the Anatolian raids continued unabated, and accelerated the demise of classical urban culture, with the inhabitants of many cities either refortifying much smaller areas within the old city walls, or relocating entirely to nearby fortresses.[74] Constantinople
Constantinople
itself dropped substantially in size, from 500,000 inhabitants to just 40,000–70,000, and, like other urban centres, it was partly ruralised. The city also lost the free grain shipments in 618, after Egypt
Egypt
fell first to the Persians and then to the Arabs, and public wheat distribution ceased.[75] The void left by the disappearance of the old semi-autonomous civic institutions was filled by the theme system, which entailed dividing Asia Minor
Asia Minor
into "provinces" occupied by distinct armies that assumed civil authority and answered directly to the imperial administration. This system may have had its roots in certain ad hoc measures taken by Heraclius, but over the course of the 7th century it developed into an entirely new system of imperial governance.[76] The massive cultural and institutional restructuring of the Empire
Empire
consequent on the loss of territory in the 7th century has been said to have caused a decisive break in east Mediterranean Romanness and that the Byzantine state is subsequently best understood as another successor state rather than a real continuation of the Roman Empire.[77] Late Heraclian dynasty See also: Twenty Years' Anarchy The withdrawal of large numbers of troops from the Balkans
Balkans
to combat the Persians and then the Arabs in the east opened the door for the gradual southward expansion of Slavic peoples into the peninsula, and, as in Asia Minor, many cities shrank to small fortified settlements.[78] In the 670s, the Bulgars
Bulgars
were pushed south of the Danube by the arrival of the Khazars. In 680, Byzantine
Byzantine
forces sent to disperse these new settlements were defeated.[79] In 681, Constantine IV
Constantine IV
signed a treaty with the Bulgar khan Asparukh, and the new Bulgarian state assumed sovereignty over a number of Slavic tribes that had previously, at least in name, recognised Byzantine
Byzantine
rule.[79] In 687–688, the final Heraclian emperor, Justinian II, led an expedition against the Slavs
Slavs
and Bulgarians, and made significant gains, although the fact that he had to fight his way from Thrace
Thrace
to Macedonia demonstrates the degree to which Byzantine power in the north Balkans
Balkans
had declined.[80] Justinian II
Justinian II
attempted to break the power of the urban aristocracy through severe taxation and the appointment of "outsiders" to administrative posts. He was driven from power in 695, and took shelter first with the Khazars
Khazars
and then with the Bulgarians. In 705, he returned to Constantinople
Constantinople
with the armies of the Bulgarian khan Tervel, retook the throne, and instituted a reign of terror against his enemies. With his final overthrow in 711, supported once more by the urban aristocracy, the Heraclian dynasty came to an end.[81] Isaurian dynasty to the accession of Basil I Further information: Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
under the Isaurian dynasty

The Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
at the accession of Leo III, c. 717. Striped area indicates land raided by the Arabs.

Leo III the Isaurian
Leo III the Isaurian
turned back the Muslim assault in 718 and addressed himself to the task of reorganising and consolidating the themes in Asia Minor. His successor, Constantine V, won noteworthy victories in northern Syria
Syria
and thoroughly undermined Bulgarian strength.[82] Taking advantage of the Empire's weakness after the Revolt of Thomas the Slav in the early 820s, the Arabs re-emerged and captured Crete. They also successfully attacked Sicily, but in 863 general Petronas gained a decisive victory against Umar al-Aqta, the emir of Melitene (Malatya). Under the leadership of emperor Krum, the Bulgarian threat also re-emerged, but in 815–816 Krum's son, Omurtag, signed a peace treaty with Leo V.[83] Religious dispute over iconoclasm Main article: Byzantine
Byzantine
iconoclasm The 8th and early 9th centuries were also dominated by controversy and religious division over Iconoclasm, which was the main political issue in the Empire
Empire
for over a century. Icons (here meaning all forms of religious imagery) were banned by Leo and Constantine from around 730, leading to revolts by iconodules (supporters of icons) throughout the empire. After the efforts of empress Irene, the Second Council of Nicaea
Nicaea
met in 787 and affirmed that icons could be venerated but not worshiped. Irene is said to have endeavoured to negotiate a marriage between herself and Charlemagne, but, according to Theophanes the Confessor, the scheme was frustrated by Aetios, one of her favourites.[84] In the early 9th century, Leo V reintroduced the policy of iconoclasm, but in 843 empress Theodora restored the veneration of icons with the help of Patriarch Methodios.[85] Iconoclasm
Iconoclasm
played a part in the further alienation of East from West, which worsened during the so-called Photian schism, when Pope Nicholas I
Pope Nicholas I
challenged the elevation of Photios to the patriarchate.[86] Macedonian dynasty
Macedonian dynasty
and resurgence (867–1025) See also: Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
under the Macedonian dynasty

The Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire, c. 867

The accession of Basil I
Basil I
to the throne in 867 marks the beginning of the Macedonian dynasty, which would rule for the next two and a half centuries. This dynasty included some of the most able emperors in Byzantium's history, and the period is one of revival and resurgence. The Empire
Empire
moved from defending against external enemies to reconquest of territories formerly lost.[87] In addition to a reassertion of Byzantine
Byzantine
military power and political authority, the period under the Macedonian dynasty
Macedonian dynasty
is characterised by a cultural revival in spheres such as philosophy and the arts. There was a conscious effort to restore the brilliance of the period before the Slavic and subsequent Arab invasions, and the Macedonian era has been dubbed the "Golden Age" of Byzantium.[87] Though the Empire
Empire
was significantly smaller than during the reign of Justinian, it had regained significant strength, as the remaining territories were less geographically dispersed and more politically, economically, and culturally integrated. Wars against the Arabs Main article: Arab– Byzantine
Byzantine
wars

The general Leo Phokas defeats the Hamdanid Emirate of Aleppo
Emirate of Aleppo
at Andrassos in 960, from the Madrid Skylitzes.

In the early years of Basil I's reign, Arab raids on the coasts of Dalmatia
Dalmatia
were successfully repelled, and the region once again came under secure Byzantine
Byzantine
control. This enabled Byzantine
Byzantine
missionaries to penetrate to the interior and convert the Serbs
Serbs
and the principalities of modern-day Herzegovina
Herzegovina
and Montenegro
Montenegro
to Orthodox Christianity.[88] An attempt to retake Malta ended disastrously, however, when the local population sided with the Arabs and massacred the Byzantine garrison.[89] By contrast, the Byzantine
Byzantine
position in Southern Italy
Southern Italy
was gradually consolidated so that by 873 Bari
Bari
was once again under Byzantine rule,[88] and most of Southern Italy
Southern Italy
would remain in the Empire
Empire
for the next 200 years.[89] On the more important eastern front, the Empire
Empire
rebuilt its defences and went on the offensive. The Paulicians were defeated and their capital of Tephrike (Divrigi) taken, while the offensive against the Abbasid Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
began with the recapture of Samosata.[88]

The military successes of the 10th century were coupled with a major cultural revival, the so-called Macedonian Renaissance. Miniature from the Paris Psalter, an example of Hellenistic-influenced art.

Under Basil's son and successor, Leo VI the Wise, the gains in the east against the now-weak Abbasid Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
continued. However, Sicily was lost to the Arabs in 902, and in 904 Thessaloniki, the Empire's second city, was sacked by an Arab fleet. The naval weakness of the Empire
Empire
was rectified. Despite this revenge the Byzantines were still unable to strike a decisive blow against the Muslims, who inflicted a crushing defeat on the imperial forces when they attempted to regain Crete in 911.[90] The death of the Bulgarian tsar Simeon I in 927 severely weakened the Bulgarians, allowing the Byzantines to concentrate on the eastern front.[91] Melitene was permanently recaptured in 934, and in 943 the famous general John Kourkouas
John Kourkouas
continued the offensive in Mesopotamia with some noteworthy victories, culminating in the reconquest of Edessa. Kourkouas was especially celebrated for returning to Constantinople
Constantinople
the venerated Mandylion, a relic purportedly imprinted with a portrait of Christ.[92] The soldier-emperors Nikephoros II Phokas
Nikephoros II Phokas
(reigned 963–969) and John I Tzimiskes (969–976) expanded the empire well into Syria, defeating the emirs of north-west Iraq. The great city of Aleppo
Aleppo
was taken by Nikephoros in 962 and the Arabs were decisively expelled from Crete in 963. The recapture of Crete put an end to Arab raids in the Aegean allowing mainland Greece to flourish once again. Cyprus
Cyprus
was permanently retaken in 965 and the successes of Nikephoros culminated in 969 with the recapture of Antioch, which he incorporated as a province of the Empire.[93] His successor John Tzimiskes recaptured Damascus, Beirut, Acre, Sidon, Caesarea, and Tiberias, putting Byzantine
Byzantine
armies within striking distance of Jerusalem, although the Muslim power centres in Iraq
Iraq
and Egypt
Egypt
were left untouched.[94] After much campaigning in the north, the last Arab threat to Byzantium, the rich province of Sicily, was targeted in 1025 by Basil II, who died before the expedition could be completed. Nevertheless, by that time the Empire
Empire
stretched from the straits of Messina
Messina
to the Euphrates
Euphrates
and from the Danube to Syria.[95] Wars against the Bulgarian Empire Further information: Byzantine–Bulgarian wars

Emperor Basil II
Basil II
(r. 976–1025)

The traditional struggle with the See of Rome continued through the Macedonian period, spurred by the question of religious supremacy over the newly Christianised state of Bulgaria.[87] Ending eighty years of peace between the two states, the powerful Bulgarian tsar Simeon I invaded in 894 but was pushed back by the Byzantines, who used their fleet to sail up the Black Sea
Black Sea
to attack the Bulgarian rear, enlisting the support of the Hungarians.[96] The Byzantines were defeated at the Battle of Boulgarophygon
Battle of Boulgarophygon
in 896, however, and agreed to pay annual subsidies to the Bulgarians.[90] Leo the Wise died in 912, and hostilities soon resumed as Simeon marched to Constantinople
Constantinople
at the head of a large army.[97] Though the walls of the city were impregnable, the Byzantine
Byzantine
administration was in disarray and Simeon was invited into the city, where he was granted the crown of basileus (emperor) of Bulgaria and had the young emperor Constantine VII
Constantine VII
marry one of his daughters. When a revolt in Constantinople
Constantinople
halted his dynastic project, he again invaded Thrace and conquered Adrianople.[98] The Empire
Empire
now faced the problem of a powerful Christian state within a few days' marching distance from Constantinople,[87] as well as having to fight on two fronts.[90] A great imperial expedition under Leo Phocas
Phocas
and Romanos I Lekapenos ended with another crushing Byzantine
Byzantine
defeat at the Battle of Achelous in 917, and the following year the Bulgarians
Bulgarians
were free to ravage northern Greece. Adrianople was plundered again in 923, and a Bulgarian army laid siege to Constantinople
Constantinople
in 924. Simeon died suddenly in 927, however, and Bulgarian power collapsed with him. Bulgaria and Byzantium
Byzantium
entered a long period of peaceful relations, and the Empire
Empire
was now free to concentrate on the eastern front against the Muslims.[99] In 968, Bulgaria was overrun by the Rus' under Sviatoslav I of Kiev, but three years later, John I Tzimiskes defeated the Rus' and re-incorporated Eastern Bulgaria into the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire.[100]

The extent of the Empire
Empire
under Basil II

Bulgarian resistance revived under the rule of the Cometopuli dynasty, but the new emperor Basil II
Basil II
(r. 976–1025) made the submission of the Bulgarians
Bulgarians
his primary goal.[101] Basil's first expedition against Bulgaria, however, resulted in a humiliating defeat at the Gates of Trajan. For the next few years, the emperor would be preoccupied with internal revolts in Anatolia, while the Bulgarians
Bulgarians
expanded their realm in the Balkans. The war dragged on for nearly twenty years. The Byzantine
Byzantine
victories of Spercheios and Skopje decisively weakened the Bulgarian army, and in annual campaigns, Basil methodically reduced the Bulgarian strongholds.[101] At the Battle of Kleidion
Battle of Kleidion
in 1014 the Bulgarians
Bulgarians
were annihilated: their army was captured, and it is said that 99 out of every 100 men were blinded, with the hundredth man left with one eye so he could lead his compatriots home. When Tsar
Tsar
Samuil saw the broken remains of his once formidable army, he died of shock. By 1018, the last Bulgarian strongholds had surrendered, and the country became part of the Empire.[101] This victory restored the Danube frontier, which had not been held since the days of the emperor Heraclius.[95] Relations with the Kievan Rus'

Rus' under the walls of Constantinople
Constantinople
(860)

Between 850 and 1100, the Empire
Empire
developed a mixed relationship with the new state of the Kievan Rus', which had emerged to the north across the Black Sea.[102] This relationship would have long-lasting repercussions in the history of the East Slavs, and the Empire
Empire
quickly became the main trading and cultural partner for Kiev. The Rus' launched their first attack against Constantinople
Constantinople
in 860, pillaging the suburbs of the city. In 941, they appeared on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus, but this time they were crushed, an indication of the improvements in the Byzantine
Byzantine
military position after 907, when only diplomacy had been able to push back the invaders. Basil II
Basil II
could not ignore the emerging power of the Rus', and, following the example of his predecessors, he used religion as a means for the achievement of political purposes.[103] Rus'– Byzantine
Byzantine
relations became closer following the marriage of Anna Porphyrogeneta to Vladimir the Great
Vladimir the Great
in 988, and the subsequent Christianisation of the Rus'.[102] Byzantine priests, architects, and artists were invited to work on numerous cathedrals and churches around Rus', expanding Byzantine
Byzantine
cultural influence even further, while numerous Rus' served in the Byzantine army as mercenaries, most notably as the famous Varangian Guard.[102] Even after the Christianisation of the Rus', however, relations were not always friendly. The most serious conflict between the two powers was the war of 968–971 in Bulgaria, but several Rus' raiding expeditions against the Byzantine
Byzantine
cities of the Black Sea
Black Sea
coast and Constantinople
Constantinople
itself are also recorded. Although most were repulsed, they were often followed by treaties that were generally favourable to the Rus', such as the one concluded at the end of the war of 1043, during which the Rus' gave an indication of their ambitions to compete with the Byzantines as an independent power.[103] Byzantine
Byzantine
campaigns against Georgia Main article: Byzantine–Georgian wars The integrity of the Byzantine
Byzantine
empire itself was under serious threat after a full-scale rebellion, led by Bardas Skleros, broke out in 976. Following a series of successful battles the rebels swept across Asia Minor. In the urgency of a situation, Georgian prince David
David
Kuropalate aided Basil II
Basil II
and after decisive loyalist victory at the Battle of Pankalia, he was rewarded by lifetime rule of key imperial territories in eastern Asia Minor. However, David’s rebuff of Basil in Bardas Phocas’ revolt of 987 evoked Constantinople’s distrust of the Caucasian rulers. After the failure of the revolt, David
David
was forced to make Basil II
Basil II
the legatee of his extensive possessions. Basil gathered his inheritance upon David’s death in 1000, forcing the successor Georgian Bagratid ruler Bagrat III to recognize the new rearrangement. Bagrat’s son, George I, however, inherited a longstanding claim to David’s succession. Young and ambitious, George launched a campaign to restore the Kuropalates’ succession to Georgia and occupied Tao in 1015–1016. He also entered in an alliance with the Fatimid
Fatimid
Caliph of Egypt, Al-Hakim (996–1021), that put Basil in a difficult situation, forcing him to refrain from an acute response to Giorgi’s offensive.

A miniature depicting the defeat of the Georgian king George I ("Georgios of Abasgia") by the Byzantine
Byzantine
emperor Basil. Skylitzes Matritensis, fol. 195v. George is shown as fleeing on horseback on the right and Basil holding a shield and lance on the left.

Beyond that, the Byzantines were at that time involved in a relentless war with the Bulgar Empire, limiting their actions to the west. But as soon as Bulgaria was conquered in 1018, and Al-Hakim was no more alive, Basil led his army against Georgia. preparations for a larger-scale campaign against Kingdom of Georgia
Kingdom of Georgia
were set in train, beginning with the re-fortification of Theodosiopolis. In the autumn of 1021, Basil ahead of a large army, reinforced by the Varangian Guards, attacked the Georgians
Georgians
and their Armenian allies, recovering Phasiane and pushing on beyond the frontiers of Tao into inner Georgia. King George burned the city of Oltisi
Oltisi
keep it out of the enemy’s hands and retreated to Kola. A bloody battle was fought near the village Shirimni at the Lake Palakazio (now Çildir, Turkey) on September 11 and the emperor won a costly victory, forcing George I to retreat northwards into his kingdom. Plundering the country on his way, Basil withdrew to winter at Trebizond. Several attempts to negotiate the conflict went in vain and, in the meantime, George received reinforcements from the Kakhetians, and allied himself with the Byzantine
Byzantine
commanders Nicephorus Phocas
Phocas
and Nicephorus Xiphias
Nicephorus Xiphias
in their abortive insurrection in the emperor’s rear. In December, George’s ally, the Armenian king Senekerim of Vaspurakan, being harassed by the Seljuk Turks, surrendered his kingdom to the emperor. During the spring of 1022, Basil launched a final offensive winning a crushing victory over the Georgians
Georgians
at Svindax. Menaced both by land and sea, King George handed over Tao, Phasiane, Kola, Artaan and Javakheti, and left his infant son Bagrat a hostage in Basil's hands. Apex

Constantinople
Constantinople
became the largest and wealthiest city in Europe between the 9th and 11th centuries.

Basil II
Basil II
is considered among the most capable Byzantine
Byzantine
emperors and his reign as the apex of the empire in the Middle Ages. By 1025, the date of Basil II's death, the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
stretched from Armenia in the east to Calabria
Calabria
in Southern Italy
Southern Italy
in the west.[95] Many successes had been achieved, ranging from the conquest of Bulgaria to the annexation of parts of Georgia and Armenia, and the reconquest of Crete, Cyprus, and the important city of Antioch. These were not temporary tactical gains but long-term reconquests.[88] Leo VI achieved the complete codification of Byzantine law
Byzantine law
in Greek. This monumental work of 60 volumes became the foundation of all subsequent Byzantine law
Byzantine law
and is still studied today.[104] Leo also reformed the administration of the Empire, redrawing the borders of the administrative subdivisions (the Themata, or "Themes") and tidying up the system of ranks and privileges, as well as regulating the behaviour of the various trade guilds in Constantinople. Leo's reform did much to reduce the previous fragmentation of the Empire, which henceforth had one center of power, Constantinople.[105] However, the increasing military success of the Empire
Empire
greatly enriched and empowered the provincial nobility with respect to the peasantry, who were essentially reduced to a state of serfdom.[106] Under the Macedonian emperors, the city of Constantinople
Constantinople
flourished, becoming the largest and wealthiest city in Europe, with a population of approximately 400,000 in the 9th and 10th centuries.[107] During this period, the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
employed a strong civil service staffed by competent aristocrats that oversaw the collection of taxes, domestic administration, and foreign policy. The Macedonian emperors also increased the Empire's wealth by fostering trade with Western Europe, particularly through the sale of silk and metalwork.[108] Split between Orthodox Christianity
Christianity
and Catholicism (1054) Further information: East–West Schism

Mural of Saints Cyril and Methodius, 19th century, Troyan Monastery, Bulgaria

The Macedonian period
Macedonian period
also included events of momentous religious significance. The conversion of the Bulgarians, Serbs
Serbs
and Rus' to Orthodox Christianity
Christianity
permanently changed the religious map of Europe and still resonates today. Cyril and Methodius, two Byzantine
Byzantine
Greek brothers from Thessaloniki, contributed significantly to the Christianization
Christianization
of the Slavs
Slavs
and in the process devised the Glagolitic alphabet, ancestor to the Cyrillic script.[109] In 1054, relations between the Eastern and Western traditions within the Christian Church
Christian Church
reached a terminal crisis, known as the East–West Schism. Although there was a formal declaration of institutional separation, on July 16, when three papal legates entered the Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
during Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy
on a Saturday afternoon and placed a bull of excommunication on the altar,[110] the so-called Great Schism was actually the culmination of centuries of gradual separation.[111] Unfortunately the legates did not know that the Pope had died, an event that made the excommunication void and the excommunication only applied to the Patriarch who responded by excommunicating the legates. Crisis and fragmentation The Empire
Empire
soon fell into a period of difficulties, caused to a large extent by the undermining of the theme system and the neglect of the military. Nikephoros II, John Tzimiskes, and Basil II
Basil II
changed the military divisions (τάγματα, tagmata) from a rapid response, primarily defensive, citizen army into a professional, campaigning army, increasingly manned by mercenaries. Mercenaries were expensive, however, and as the threat of invasion receded in the 10th century, so did the need for maintaining large garrisons and expensive fortifications.[112] Basil II
Basil II
left a burgeoning treasury upon his death, but he neglected to plan for his succession. None of his immediate successors had any particular military or political talent and the administration of the Empire
Empire
increasingly fell into the hands of the civil service. Efforts to revive the Byzantine economy
Byzantine economy
only resulted in inflation and a debased gold coinage. The army was now seen as both an unnecessary expense and a political threat. Native troops were therefore cashiered and replaced by foreign mercenaries on specific contract.[113] At the same time, the Empire
Empire
was faced with new enemies. Provinces in southern Italy faced the Normans, who arrived in Italy at the beginning of the 11th century. During a period of strife between Constantinople
Constantinople
and Rome culminating in the East-West Schism
East-West Schism
of 1054, the Normans
Normans
began to advance, slowly but steadily, into Byzantine Italy.[114] Reggio, the capital of the tagma of Calabria, was captured in 1060 by Robert Guiscard, followed by Otranto
Otranto
in 1068. Bari, the main Byzantine
Byzantine
stronghold in Apulia, was besieged in August 1068 and fell in April 1071.[115] The Byzantines also lost their influence over the Dalmatian coastal cities to Peter Krešimir IV of Croatia
Peter Krešimir IV of Croatia
(r. 1058–1074/1075) in 1069.[116]

The seizure of Edessa
Edessa
(1031) by the Byzantines under George Maniakes and the counterattack by the Seljuk Turks

The greatest disaster took place in Asia Minor, however, where the Seljuq Turks
Seljuq Turks
made their first explorations across the Byzantine frontier into Armenia
Armenia
in 1065 and 1067. The emergency lent weight to the military aristocracy in Anatolia, who in 1068 secured the election of one of their own, Romanos Diogenes, as emperor. In the summer of 1071, Romanos undertook a massive eastern campaign to draw the Seljuks into a general engagement with the Byzantine
Byzantine
army. At the Battle of Manzikert, Romanos suffered a surprise defeat by Sultan
Sultan
Alp Arslan, and he was captured. Alp Arslan
Alp Arslan
treated him with respect and imposed no harsh terms on the Byzantines.[113] In Constantinople, however, a coup put in power Michael Doukas, who soon faced the opposition of Nikephoros Bryennios and Nikephoros Botaneiates. By 1081, the Seljuks had expanded their rule over virtually the entire Anatolian plateau from Armenia
Armenia
in the east to Bithynia
Bithynia
in the west, and they had founded their capital at Nicaea, just 90 kilometres (56 miles) from Constantinople.[117] Komnenian dynasty and the crusaders See also: Byzantine Empire under the Komnenos dynasty
Byzantine Empire under the Komnenos dynasty
and Komnenian restoration

Alexios I, founder of the Komnenos
Komnenos
dynasty

During the Komnenian, or Comnenian, period from about 1081 to about 1185, the five emperors of the Komnenos
Komnenos
dynasty (Alexios I, John II, Manuel I, Alexios II, and Andronikos I) presided over a sustained, though ultimately incomplete, restoration of the military, territorial, economic, and political position of the Byzantine Empire.[118] Although the Seljuk Turks
Seljuk Turks
occupied the heartland of the Empire
Empire
in Anatolia, most Byzantine
Byzantine
military efforts during this period were directed against Western powers, particularly the Normans.[118] The Empire
Empire
under the Komnenoi played a key role in the history of the Crusades
Crusades
in the Holy Land, which Alexios I had helped bring about, while also exerting enormous cultural and political influence in Europe, the Near East, and the lands around the Mediterranean Sea under John and Manuel. Contact between Byzantium
Byzantium
and the "Latin" West, including the Crusader states, increased significantly during the Komnenian period. Venetian and other Italian traders became resident in large numbers in Constantinople
Constantinople
and the empire (there were an estimated 60,000 Latins in Constantinople
Constantinople
alone, out of a population of three to four hundred thousand), and their presence together with the numerous Latin mercenaries who were employed by Manuel helped to spread Byzantine
Byzantine
technology, art, literature and culture throughout the Latin West, while also leading to a flow of Western ideas and customs into the Empire.[119] In terms of prosperity and cultural life, the Komnenian period was one of the peaks in Byzantine
Byzantine
history,[120] and Constantinople
Constantinople
remained the leading city of the Christian world in size, wealth, and culture.[121] There was a renewed interest in classical Greek philosophy, as well as an increase in literary output in vernacular Greek.[122] Byzantine art
Byzantine art
and literature held a pre-eminent place in Europe, and the cultural impact of Byzantine art
Byzantine art
on the west during this period was enormous and of long lasting significance.[123] Alexios I and the First Crusade Further information: Alexios I Komnenos See also: First Crusade

Province (theme) of the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
ca. 1045

The Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
and the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm before the First Crusade

After Manzikert, a partial recovery (referred to as the Komnenian restoration) was made possible by the Komnenian dynasty.[124] The first Komnenian emperor was Isaac I (1057–1059), after which the Doukas
Doukas
dynasty held power (1059–81). The Komnenoi attained power again under Alexios I in 1081. From the outset of his reign, Alexios faced a formidable attack by the Normans
Normans
under Robert Guiscard
Robert Guiscard
and his son Bohemund of Taranto, who captured Dyrrhachium and Corfu, and laid siege to Larissa
Larissa
in Thessaly. Robert Guiscard's death in 1085 temporarily eased the Norman problem. The following year, the Seljuq sultan died, and the sultanate was split by internal rivalries. By his own efforts, Alexios defeated the Pechenegs; they were caught by surprise and annihilated at the Battle of Levounion
Battle of Levounion
on 28 April 1091.[125] Having achieved stability in the West, Alexios could turn his attention to the severe economic difficulties and the disintegration of the Empire's traditional defences.[126] However, he still did not have enough manpower to recover the lost territories in Asia Minor
Asia Minor
and to advance against the Seljuks. At the Council of Piacenza in 1095, envoys from Alexios spoke to Pope Urban II
Pope Urban II
about the suffering of the Christians of the East, and underscored that without help from the West they would continue to suffer under Muslim rule.[127] Urban saw Alexios's request as a dual opportunity to cement Western Europe
Europe
and reunite the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
with the Roman Catholic Church under his rule.[127] On 27 November 1095, Pope Urban II
Pope Urban II
called together the Council of Clermont, and urged all those present to take up arms under the sign of the Cross
Cross
and launch an armed pilgrimage to recover Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and the East from the Muslims. The response in Western Europe
Europe
was overwhelming.[125]

The brief first coinage of the Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
mint, opened by Alexios in September 1081, on his way to confront the invading Normans
Normans
under Robert Guiscard

Alexios had anticipated help in the form of mercenary forces from the West, but he was totally unprepared for the immense and undisciplined force that soon arrived in Byzantine
Byzantine
territory. It was no comfort to Alexios to learn that four of the eight leaders of the main body of the Crusade were Normans, among them Bohemund. Since the crusade had to pass through Constantinople, however, the Emperor had some control over it. He required its leaders to swear to restore to the empire any towns or territories they might reconquer from the Turks on their way to the Holy Land. In return, he gave them guides and a military escort.[128] Alexios was able to recover a number of important cities and islands, and in fact much of western Asia Minor. Nevertheless, the Catholic/Latin crusaders believed their oaths were invalidated when Alexios did not help them during the siege of Antioch
Antioch
(he had in fact set out on the road to Antioch
Antioch
but had been persuaded to turn back by Stephen of Blois, who assured him that all was lost and that the expedition had already failed).[129] Bohemund, who had set himself up as Prince of Antioch, briefly went to war with the Byzantines, but he agreed to become Alexios' vassal under the Treaty of Devol
Treaty of Devol
in 1108, which marked the end of the Norman threat during Alexios' reign.[130] John II, Manuel I and the Second Crusade Main articles: John II Komnenos
Komnenos
and Manuel I Komnenos

Medieval manuscript depicting the Capture of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
during the First Crusade

Alexios's son John II Komnenos
Komnenos
succeeded him in 1118 and ruled until 1143. John was a pious and dedicated Emperor who was determined to undo the damage to the empire suffered at the Battle of Manzikert, half a century earlier.[131] Famed for his piety and his remarkably mild and just reign, John was an exceptional example of a moral ruler at a time when cruelty was the norm.[132] For this reason, he has been called the Byzantine
Byzantine
Marcus Aurelius. During his twenty-five year reign, John made alliances with the Holy Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in the West and decisively defeated the Pechenegs
Pechenegs
at the Battle of Beroia.[133] He thwarted Hungarian and Serbian threats during the 1120s, and in 1130 he allied himself with the German emperor Lothair III
Lothair III
against the Norman king Roger II of Sicily.[134] In the later part of his reign, John focused his activities on the East, personally leading numerous campaigns against the Turks in Asia Minor. His campaigns fundamentally altered the balance of power in the East, forcing the Turks onto the defensive, while restoring many towns, fortresses, and cities across the peninsula to the Byzantines. He defeated the Danishmend Emirate of Melitene and reconquered all of Cilicia, while forcing Raymond of Poitiers, Prince of Antioch, to recognise Byzantine
Byzantine
suzerainty. In an effort to demonstrate the Emperor's role as the leader of the Christian world, John marched into the Holy Land
Holy Land
at the head of the combined forces of the Empire
Empire
and the Crusader states; yet despite his great vigour pressing the campaign, his hopes were disappointed by the treachery of his Crusader allies.[135] In 1142, John returned to press his claims to Antioch, but he died in the spring of 1143 following a hunting accident. Raymond was emboldened to invade Cilicia, but he was defeated and forced to go to Constantinople
Constantinople
to beg mercy from the new Emperor.[136]

Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
in orange, c. 1180, at the end of the Komnenian period

John's chosen heir was his fourth son, Manuel I Komnenos, who campaigned aggressively against his neighbours both in the west and in the east. In Palestine, Manuel allied with the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and sent a large fleet to participate in a combined invasion of Fatimid
Fatimid
Egypt. Manuel reinforced his position as overlord of the Crusader states, with his hegemony over Antioch
Antioch
and Jerusalem
Jerusalem
secured by agreement with Raynald, Prince of Antioch, and Amalric, King of Jerusalem.[137] In an effort to restore Byzantine
Byzantine
control over the ports of southern Italy, he sent an expedition to Italy in 1155, but disputes within the coalition led to the eventual failure of the campaign. Despite this military setback, Manuel's armies successfully invaded the Southern parts of Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
in 1167, defeating the Hungarians at the Battle of Sirmium. By 1168, nearly the whole of the eastern Adriatic coast lay in Manuel's hands.[138] Manuel made several alliances with the Pope and Western Christian kingdoms, and he successfully handled the passage of the Second Crusade
Second Crusade
through his empire.[139] In the east, however, Manuel suffered a major defeat in 1176 at the Battle of Myriokephalon, against the Turks. Yet the losses were quickly recovered, and in the following year Manuel's forces inflicted a defeat upon a force of "picked Turks".[140] The Byzantine
Byzantine
commander John Vatatzes, who destroyed the Turkish invaders at the Battle of Hyelion and Leimocheir, not only brought troops from the capital but also was able to gather an army along the way, a sign that the Byzantine army
Byzantine army
remained strong and that the defensive program of western Asia Minor
Asia Minor
was still successful.[141] 12th-century Renaissance Further information: Byzantine
Byzantine
civilisation in the 12th century See also: Komnenian Byzantine
Byzantine
army

'The Lamentation of Christ' (1164), a fresco from the church of Saint Panteleimon in Nerezi near Skopje; it is considered a superb example of 12th-century Komnenian art

John and Manuel pursued active military policies, and both deployed considerable resources on sieges and on city defences; aggressive fortification policies were at the heart of their imperial military policies.[142] Despite the defeat at Myriokephalon, the policies of Alexios, John and Manuel resulted in vast territorial gains, increased frontier stability in Asia Minor, and secured the stabilisation of the Empire's European frontiers. From c. 1081 to c. 1180, the Komnenian army assured the Empire's security, enabling Byzantine
Byzantine
civilisation to flourish.[143] This allowed the Western provinces to achieve an economic revival that continued until the close of the century. It has been argued that Byzantium
Byzantium
under the Komnenian rule was more prosperous than at any time since the Persian invasions of the 7th century. During the 12th century, population levels rose and extensive tracts of new agricultural land were brought into production. Archaeological evidence from both Europe
Europe
and Asia Minor
Asia Minor
shows a considerable increase in the size of urban settlements, together with a notable upsurge in new towns. Trade was also flourishing; the Venetians, the Genoese and others opened up the ports of the Aegean to commerce, shipping goods from the Crusader kingdoms of Outremer
Outremer
and Fatimid
Fatimid
Egypt
Egypt
to the west and trading with the Empire
Empire
via Constantinople.[144] In artistic terms, there was a revival in mosaic, and regional schools of architecture began producing many distinctive styles that drew on a range of cultural influences.[145] During the 12th century, the Byzantines provided their model of early humanism as a renaissance of interest in classical authors. In Eustathius of Thessalonica, Byzantine
Byzantine
humanism found its most characteristic expression.[146] In philosophy, there was resurgence of classical learning not seen since the 7th century, characterised by a significant increase in the publication of commentaries on classical works.[122] In addition, the first transmission of classical Greek knowledge to the West occurred during the Komnenian period.[123] Decline and disintegration Main article: Decline of the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire Angelid dynasty Main article: Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
under the Angelos dynasty

Byzantium
Byzantium
in the late Angeloi period

Manuel's death on 24 September 1180 left his 11-year-old son Alexios II Komnenos
Komnenos
on the throne. Alexios was highly incompetent at the office, but it was his mother, Maria of Antioch, and her Frankish background that made his regency unpopular.[147] Eventually, Andronikos I Komnenos, a grandson of Alexios I, launched a revolt against his younger relative and managed to overthrow him in a violent coup d'état.[148] Utilizing his good looks and his immense popularity with the army, he marched on to Constantinople
Constantinople
in August 1182 and incited a massacre of the Latins.[148] After eliminating his potential rivals, he had himself crowned as co-emperor in September 1183. He eliminated Alexios II, and took his 12-year-old wife Agnes of France for himself.[148] Andronikos began his reign well; in particular, the measures he took to reform the government of the Empire
Empire
have been praised by historians. According to George Ostrogorsky, Andronikos was determined to root out corruption: Under his rule, the sale of offices ceased; selection was based on merit, rather than favouritism; officials were paid an adequate salary so as to reduce the temptation of bribery. In the provinces, Andronikos's reforms produced a speedy and marked improvement.[149] The aristocrats were infuriated against him, and to make matters worse, Andronikos seems to have become increasingly unbalanced; executions and violence became increasingly common, and his reign turned into a reign of terror.[150] Andronikos seemed almost to seek the extermination of the aristocracy as a whole. The struggle against the aristocracy turned into wholesale slaughter, while the Emperor resorted to ever more ruthless measures to shore up his regime.[149] Despite his military background, Andronikos failed to deal with Isaac Komnenos, Béla III of Hungary
Béla III of Hungary
(r. 1172–1196) who reincorporated Croatian territories into Hungary, and Stephen Nemanja of Serbia (r. 1166–1196) who declared his independence from the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire. Yet, none of these troubles would compare to William II of Sicily's (r. 1166–1189) invasion force of 300 ships and 80,000 men, arriving in 1185.[151] Andronikos mobilised a small fleet of 100 ships to defend the capital, but other than that he was indifferent to the populace. He was finally overthrown when Isaac Angelos, surviving an imperial assassination attempt, seized power with the aid of the people and had Andronikos killed.[152] The reign of Isaac II, and more so that of his brother Alexios III, saw the collapse of what remained of the centralised machinery of Byzantine
Byzantine
government and defence. Although the Normans
Normans
were driven out of Greece, in 1186 the Vlachs
Vlachs
and Bulgars
Bulgars
began a rebellion that led to the formation of the Second Bulgarian Empire. The internal policy of the Angeloi was characterised by the squandering of the public treasure and fiscal maladministration. Imperial authority was severely weakened, and the growing power vacuum at the center of the Empire encouraged fragmentation. There is evidence that some Komnenian heirs had set up a semi-independent state in Trebizond before 1204.[153] According to Alexander Vasiliev, "the dynasty of the Angeloi, Greek in its origin, ... accelerated the ruin of the Empire, already weakened without and disunited within."[154] Fourth Crusade Further information: Fourth Crusade

The Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople, by Eugène Delacroix (1840)

In 1198, Pope Innocent III
Pope Innocent III
broached the subject of a new crusade through legates and encyclical letters.[155] The stated intent of the crusade was to conquer Egypt, now the centre of Muslim power in the Levant. The crusader army that arrived at Venice in the summer of 1202 was somewhat smaller than had been anticipated, and there were not sufficient funds to pay the Venetians, whose fleet was hired by the crusaders to take them to Egypt. Venetian policy under the ageing and blind but still ambitious Doge Enrico Dandolo
Enrico Dandolo
was potentially at variance with that of the Pope and the crusaders, because Venice was closely related commercially with Egypt.[156] The crusaders accepted the suggestion that in lieu of payment they assist the Venetians in the capture of the (Christian) port of Zara in Dalmatia
Dalmatia
(vassal city of Venice, which had rebelled and placed itself under Hungary's protection in 1186).[157] The city fell in November 1202 after a brief siege.[158] Innocent tried to forbid this political attack on a Christian city, but was ignored. Reluctant to jeopardise his own agenda for the Crusade, he gave conditional absolution to the crusaders—not, however, to the Venetians.[156] After the death of Theobald III, Count of Champagne, the leadership of the Crusade passed to Boniface of Montferrat, a friend of the Hohenstaufen Philip of Swabia. Both Boniface and Philip had married into the Byzantine
Byzantine
Imperial family. In fact, Philip's brother-in-law, Alexios Angelos, son of the deposed and blinded Emperor Isaac II Angelos, had appeared in Europe
Europe
seeking aid and had made contacts with the crusaders. Alexios offered to reunite the Byzantine
Byzantine
church with Rome, pay the crusaders 200,000 silver marks, join the crusade and provide all the supplies they needed to get to Egypt.[159] Innocent was aware of a plan to divert the Crusade to Constantinople
Constantinople
and forbade any attack on the city, but the papal letter arrived after the fleets had left Zara. Crusader sack of Constantinople
Constantinople
(1204) Further information: Siege of Constantinople
Constantinople
(1203) and Siege of Constantinople
Constantinople
(1204)

The partition of the empire following the Fourth Crusade, c. 1204

The crusaders arrived at Constantinople
Constantinople
in the summer of 1203 and quickly attacked, started a major fire that damaged large parts of the city and briefly seized control. Alexios III fled from the capital and Alexios Angelos was elevated to the throne as Alexios IV
Alexios IV
along with his blind father Isaac. Alexios IV
Alexios IV
and Isaac II were unable to keep their promises and were deposed by Alexios V. The crusaders again took the city on 13 April 1204 and Constantinople
Constantinople
was subjected to pillage and massacre by the rank and file for three days. Many priceless icons, relics and other objects later turned up in Western Europe, a large number in Venice. According to Choniates, a prostitute was even set up on the Patriarchal throne.[160] When Innocent III heard of the conduct of his crusaders, he castigated them in no uncertain terms but the situation was beyond his control, especially after his legate, on his own initiative, had absolved the crusaders from their vow to proceed to the Holy Land.[156] When order had been restored, the crusaders and the Venetians proceeded to implement their agreement; Baldwin of Flanders was elected Emperor of a new Latin Empire
Latin Empire
and the Venetian Thomas Morosini was chosen as Patriarch. The lands divided up among the leaders included most of the former Byzantine
Byzantine
possessions, though resistance would continue through the Byzantine
Byzantine
remnants of the Nicaea, Trebizond, and Epirus.[156] Although Venice was more interested in commerce than conquering territory, it took key areas of Constantinople
Constantinople
and the Doge took the title of "Lord of a Quarter and Half a Quarter of the Roman Empire".[161] Fall Empire
Empire
in exile Further information: Frankokratia After the sack of Constantinople
Constantinople
in 1204 by Latin crusaders, two Byzantine
Byzantine
successor states were established: the Empire
Empire
of Nicaea, and the Despotate of Epirus. A third, the Empire
Empire
of Trebizond, was created after Georgian expedition in Chaldia,[162] commanded by Alexios Komnenos
Komnenos
a few weeks before the sack of Constantinople, who later found himself de facto emperor, and established himself in Trebizond. Of the three successor states, Epirus and Nicaea
Nicaea
stood the best chance of reclaiming Constantinople. The Nicaean Empire
Empire
struggled to survive the next few decades, however, and by the mid-13th century it had lost much of southern Anatolia.[163] The weakening of the Sultanate of Rûm following the Mongol invasion in 1242–43 allowed many beyliks and ghazis to set up their own principalities in Anatolia, weakening the Byzantine
Byzantine
hold on Asia Minor.[164] In time, one of the Beys, Osman I, created an empire that would eventually conquer Constantinople. However, the Mongol invasion also gave Nicaea
Nicaea
a temporary respite from Seljuk attacks, allowing it to concentrate on the Latin Empire
Latin Empire
to its north. Reconquest of Constantinople Main article: Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
under the Palaiologos dynasty

The Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire, c. 1263

The Empire
Empire
of Nicaea, founded by the Laskarid dynasty, managed to effect the Recapture of Constantinople
Constantinople
from the Latins in 1261 and defeat Epirus. This led to a short-lived revival of Byzantine
Byzantine
fortunes under Michael VIII Palaiologos
Michael VIII Palaiologos
but the war-ravaged Empire
Empire
was ill-equipped to deal with the enemies that surrounded it. To maintain his campaigns against the Latins, Michael pulled troops from Asia Minor and levied crippling taxes on the peasantry, causing much resentment.[165] Massive construction projects were completed in Constantinople
Constantinople
to repair the damage of the Fourth Crusade
Fourth Crusade
but none of these initiatives was of any comfort to the farmers in Asia Minor suffering raids from Muslim ghazis.[166] Rather than holding on to his possessions in Asia Minor, Michael chose to expand the Empire, gaining only short-term success. To avoid another sacking of the capital by the Latins, he forced the Church to submit to Rome, again a temporary solution for which the peasantry hated Michael and Constantinople.[167] The efforts of Andronikos II and later his grandson Andronikos III marked Byzantium's last genuine attempts in restoring the glory of the Empire. However, the use of mercenaries by Andronikos II would often backfire, with the Catalan Company ravaging the countryside and increasing resentment towards Constantinople.[168] Rise of the Ottomans and fall of Constantinople Main articles: Byzantine–Ottoman Wars
Byzantine–Ottoman Wars
and Fall of Constantinople

The siege of Constantinople
Constantinople
in 1453, depicted in a 15th-century French miniature

The situation became worse for Byzantium
Byzantium
during the civil wars after Andronikos III died. A six-year-long civil war devastated the empire, allowing the Serbian ruler Stefan Dušan
Stefan Dušan
(r. 1331–1346) to overrun most of the Empire's remaining territory and establish a Serbian Empire. In 1354, an earthquake at Gallipoli devastated the fort, allowing the Ottomans (who were hired as mercenaries during the civil war by John VI Kantakouzenos) to establish themselves in Europe.[169] By the time the Byzantine
Byzantine
civil wars had ended, the Ottomans had defeated the Serbians and subjugated them as vassals. Following the Battle of Kosovo, much of the Balkans
Balkans
became dominated by the Ottomans.[170] The Byzantine
Byzantine
emperors appealed to the West for help, but the Pope would only consider sending aid in return for a reunion of the Eastern Orthodox Church with the See of Rome. Church unity was considered, and occasionally accomplished by imperial decree, but the Orthodox citizenry and clergy intensely resented the authority of Rome and the Latin Rite.[171] Some Western troops arrived to bolster the Christian defence of Constantinople, but most Western rulers, distracted by their own affairs, did nothing as the Ottomans picked apart the remaining Byzantine
Byzantine
territories.[172] Constantinople
Constantinople
by this stage was underpopulated and dilapidated. The population of the city had collapsed so severely that it was now little more than a cluster of villages separated by fields. On 2 April 1453, Sultan
Sultan
Mehmed's army of 80,000 men and large numbers of irregulars laid siege to the city.[173] Despite a desperate last-ditch defence of the city by the massively outnumbered Christian forces (c. 7,000 men, 2,000 of whom were foreign),[172] Constantinople
Constantinople
finally fell to the Ottomans after a two-month siege on 29 May 1453. The last Byzantine
Byzantine
emperor, Constantine XI
Constantine XI
Palaiologos, was last seen casting off his imperial regalia and throwing himself into hand-to-hand combat after the walls of the city were taken.[174] Political aftermath

The Eastern Mediterranean just before the fall of Constantinople

By the time of the fall of Constantinople, the only remaining territory of the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
was the Despotate of the Morea (Peloponnese), which was ruled by brothers of the last Emperor, Thomas Palaiologos and Demetrios Palaiologos. The Despotate continued on as an independent state by paying an annual tribute to the Ottomans. Incompetent rule, failure to pay the annual tribute and a revolt against the Ottomans finally led to Mehmed II's invasion of Morea in May 1460. Demetrios asked the Ottomans to invade and drive Thomas out. Thomas fled. The Ottomans moved through the Morea and conquered virtually the entire Despotate by the summer. Demetrios thought the Morea would be restored to him to rule, but it was incorporated into the Ottoman fold. A few holdouts remained for a time. The island of Monemvasia
Monemvasia
refused to surrender and it was first ruled for a short time by an Aragonese corsair. When the population drove him out they obtained the consent of Thomas to place themselves under the Pope's protection before the end of 1460. The Mani Peninsula, on the Morea's south end, resisted under a loose coalition of the local clans and then that area came under Venice's rule. The very last holdout was Salmeniko, in the Morea's northwest. Graitzas Palaiologos was the military commander there, stationed at Salmeniko
Salmeniko
Castle. While the town eventually surrendered, Graitzas and his garrison and some town residents held out in the castle until July 1461, when they escaped and reached Venetian territory.[175]

Flag of the late Empire
Empire
under the Palaiologoi, sporting the tetragrammic cross symbol of the Palaiologos dynasty

The Empire
Empire
of Trebizond, which had split away from the Byzantine Empire
Empire
just weeks before Constantinople
Constantinople
was taken by the Crusaders in 1204, became the last remnant and last de facto successor state to the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire. Efforts by the Emperor David
David
to recruit European powers for an anti-Ottoman crusade provoked war between the Ottomans and Trebizond in the summer of 1461. After a month-long siege, David surrendered the city of Trebizond on 14 August 1461. The Empire
Empire
of Trebizond's Crimean principality, the Principality of Theodoro
Principality of Theodoro
(part of the Perateia), lasted another 14 years, falling to the Ottomans in December 1475. A nephew of the last Emperor, Constantine XI, Andreas Palaiologos claimed to have inherited the title of Byzantine
Byzantine
Emperor. He lived in the Morea until its fall in 1460, then escaped to Rome where he lived under the protection of the Papal States
Papal States
for the remainder of his life. Since the office of emperor had never been technically hereditary, Andreas' claim would have been without merit under Byzantine
Byzantine
law. However, the Empire
Empire
had vanished, and Western states generally followed the Roman-church-sanctioned principles of hereditary sovereignty. Seeking a life in the west, Andreas styled himself Imperator Constantinopolitanus ("Emperor of Constantinople"), and sold his succession rights to both Charles VIII of France
Charles VIII of France
and the Catholic Monarchs. Constantine XI
Constantine XI
died without producing an heir, and had Constantinople not fallen he might have been succeeded by the sons of his deceased elder brother, who were taken into the palace service of Mehmed II after the fall of Constantinople. The oldest boy, renamed Has Murad, became a personal favorite of Mehmed and served as Beylerbey (Governor-General) of the Balkans. The younger son, renamed Mesih Pasha, became Admiral of the Ottoman fleet and Sancak Beg (Governor) of the Province of Gallipoli. He eventually served twice as Grand Vizier under Mehmed's son, Bayezid II.[176] Mehmed II
Mehmed II
and his successors continued to consider themselves heirs to the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
until the demise of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in the early 20th century following World War 1. They considered that they had simply shifted its religious basis as Constantine had done before, and they continued to refer to their conquered Eastern Roman inhabitants (Orthodox Christians) as Rûm. Meanwhile, the Danubian Principalities (whose rulers also considered themselves the heirs of the Eastern Roman Emperors[177]) harboured Orthodox refugees, including some Byzantine
Byzantine
nobles. At his death, the role of the emperor as a patron of Eastern Orthodoxy was claimed by Ivan III, Grand duke
Grand duke
of Muscovy. He had married Andreas' sister, Sophia Paleologue, whose grandson, Ivan IV, would become the first Tsar
Tsar
of Russia (tsar, or czar, meaning caesar, is a term traditionally applied by Slavs
Slavs
to the Byzantine
Byzantine
Emperors). Their successors supported the idea that Moscow was the proper heir to Rome and Constantinople. The idea of the Russian Empire
Empire
as the successive Third Rome
Third Rome
was kept alive until its demise with the Russian Revolution.[178] Government and bureaucracy See also: Byzantine
Byzantine
bureaucracy In the Byzantine
Byzantine
state, the emperor was the sole and absolute ruler, and his power was regarded as having divine origin.[179] The Senate had ceased to have real political and legislative authority but remained as an honorary council with titular members. By the end of the 8th century, a civil administration focused on the court was formed as part of a large-scale consolidation of power in the capital (the rise to pre-eminence of the position of sakellarios is related to this change).[180] The most important administrative reform, which probably started in the mid-7th century, was the creation of themes, where civil and military administration was exercised by one person, the strategos.[181]

The themes, c. 750

The themes, c. 950

Despite the occasionally derogatory use of the terms "Byzantine" and "Byzantinism", the Byzantine bureaucracy
Byzantine bureaucracy
had a distinct ability for reconstituting itself in accordance with the Empire's situation. The elaborate system of titulature and precedence gave the court prestige and influence. Officials were arranged in strict order around the emperor, and depended upon the imperial will for their ranks. There were also actual administrative jobs, but authority could be vested in individuals rather than offices.[182] In the 8th and 9th centuries, civil service constituted the clearest path to aristocratic status, but, starting in the 9th century, the civil aristocracy was rivalled by an aristocracy of nobility. According to some studies of Byzantine
Byzantine
government, 11th-century politics were dominated by competition between the civil and the military aristocracy. During this period, Alexios I undertook important administrative reforms, including the creation of new courtly dignities and offices.[183] Diplomacy Further information: Byzantine
Byzantine
diplomacy

The embassy of John the Grammarian in 829, between the emperor Theophilos and the Abbasid caliph Al-Ma'mun

After the fall of Rome, the key challenge to the Empire
Empire
was to maintain a set of relations between itself and its neighbours. When these nations set about forging formal political institutions, they often modelled themselves on Constantinople. Byzantine diplomacy
Byzantine diplomacy
soon managed to draw its neighbours into a network of international and inter-state relations.[184] This network revolved around treaty making, and included the welcoming of the new ruler into the family of kings, and the assimilation of Byzantine
Byzantine
social attitudes, values and institutions.[185] Whereas classical writers are fond of making ethical and legal distinctions between peace and war, Byzantines regarded diplomacy as a form of war by other means. For example, a Bulgarian threat could be countered by providing money to the Kievan Rus'.[186] Diplomacy in the era was understood to have an intelligence-gathering function on top of its pure political function. The Bureau of Barbarians
Barbarians
in Constantinople
Constantinople
handled matters of protocol and record keeping for any issues related to the "barbarians", and thus had, perhaps, a basic intelligence function itself.[187] John B. Bury believed that the office exercised supervision over all foreigners visiting Constantinople, and that they were under the supervision of the Logothetes tou dromou.[188] While on the surface a protocol office – its main duty was to ensure foreign envoys were properly cared for and received sufficient state funds for their maintenance, and it kept all the official translators – it probably had a security function as well.[189] Byzantines availed themselves of a number of diplomatic practices. For example, embassies to the capital would often stay on for years. A member of other royal houses would routinely be requested to stay on in Constantinople, not only as a potential hostage, but also as a useful pawn in case political conditions where he came from changed. Another key practice was to overwhelm visitors by sumptuous displays.[184] According to Dimitri Obolensky, the preservation of the ancient civilisation in Europe
Europe
was due to the skill and resourcefulness of Byzantine
Byzantine
diplomacy, which remains one of Byzantium's lasting contributions to the history of Europe.[190] Science, medicine and law See also: Byzantine
Byzantine
science, Byzantine
Byzantine
medicine, and Byzantine
Byzantine
law

Interior panorama of the Hagia Sophia, the patriarchal basilica in Constantinople
Constantinople
designed 537 CE by Isidore of Miletus, the first compiler of Archimedes' various works. The influence of Archimedes' principles of solid geometry is evident.

The writings of Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity
were cultivated and extended in Byzantium. Therefore, Byzantine science
Byzantine science
was in every period closely connected with ancient philosophy, and metaphysics.[191] In the field of engineering Isidore of Miletus, the Greek mathematician and architect of the Hagia Sophia, produced the first compilation of Archimedes' works c. 530, and it is through this manuscript tradition, kept alive by the school of mathematics and engineering founded c. 850 during the " Byzantine
Byzantine
Renaissance" by Leo the Geometer, that such works are known today (see Archimedes
Archimedes
Palimpsest).[192] Byzantines stood behind several technological advancements. Pendentive
Pendentive
architecture, a specific spherical form in the upper corners to support a dome, is a Byzantine
Byzantine
invention. Although the first experimentation was made in the 200s, it was in the 6th-century in Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
that its potential was fully achieved.[193] A mechanical sundial device consisting of complex gears made by the Byzantines has been excavated which indicates that the Antikythera mechanism, a sort of analog mechanism used in astronomy invented around the late second century BC, continued to be (re)active in the Byzantine
Byzantine
period.[194][195][196] J. R. Partington writes that “ Constantinople
Constantinople
was full of inventors and craftsmen. The "philosopher" Leo of Thessalonika made for the Emperor Theophilos (829–42) a golden tree, the branches of which carried artificial birds which flapped their wings and sang, a model lion which moved and roared, and a bejewelled clockwork lady who walked. These mechanical toys continued the tradition represented in the treatise of Heron of Alexandria (c. A.D. 125), which was well-known to the Byzantines”.[197] Such mechanical devices reached high level of sophistication and were made in order to impress the visitors.[198]

The frontispiece of the Vienna Dioscurides, which shows a set of seven famous physicians

John Philoponus, an Alexandrian philologist, Aristotelian commentator and Christian theologian, author of a considerable number of philosophical treatises and theological works, was the first who questioned Aristotle's teaching of physics. Before that nobody questioned Aristotle's teaching of physics despite it had flaws. John Philoponus' criticism of Aristotelian principles of physics was an inspiration for Galileo Galilei many centuries later, as Galileo cited Philoponus substantially in his works, and was the reason why Galileo also refuted Aristotelian physics during the Scientific Revolution.[199][200] Ship mill
Ship mill
is an invention made by the Byzantines, and was constructed in order to mil grains by using the energy of the stream of water. The technology eventually spread to the rest of Europe
Europe
and was in use until ca. 1800.[201][202] In the field of law, Justinian I's reforms had a clear effect on the evolution of jurisprudence, with his Corpus Juris Civilis
Corpus Juris Civilis
becoming the basis for revived Roman law in the Western world, while Leo III's Ecloga
Ecloga
influenced the formation of legal institutions in the Slavic world.[203] In the 10th century, Leo VI the Wise
Leo VI the Wise
achieved the complete codification of the whole of Byzantine law
Byzantine law
in Greek with the Basilika, which became the foundation of all subsequent Byzantine law
Byzantine law
with an influence extending through to modern Balkan legal codes.[104] The concept of hospital as institution to offer medical care and possibility of a cure for the patients due to the ideals of Christian charity, rather than just merely a place to die, appeared in Byzantine Empire.[204] Although the concept of uroscopy was known to Galen, he did not see the importance of using it to localize the disease. It was under the Byzantines with physicians such of Theophilus Protospatharius
Theophilus Protospatharius
that they realized the potential in uroscopy to determine disease in a time when no microscope or stethoscope existed. That practice eventually spread to the rest of Europe.[205] In medicine the works of Byzantine
Byzantine
doctors, such as the Vienna Dioscorides (6th century), and works of Paul of Aegina
Paul of Aegina
(7th century) and Nicholas Myrepsos (late 13th century), continued to be used as the authoritative texts by Europeans through the Renaissance. The first known example of separating conjoined twins happened in the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
in the 10th century when a pair of conjoined twins from Armenia
Armenia
came eventually to Constantinople. Many years later one of them died, so the surgeons in Constantinople
Constantinople
decided to remove the body of the dead one. The result was partly successful as the surviving twin lived in three days before dying. But the fact that the second person survived for few days after separating it, was so impressive that it was mentioned a century and half years later again by historians. The next case of separating conjoined twins will be recorded first about 700 years later in the year 1689 in Germany.[206][207] Greek Fire, an incendirary weapon which could even burn on water is also attributed to the Byzantines. It played a crucial role when the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
defeated the Umayyad Caliphate
Umayyad Caliphate
during the Siege of Constantinople
Constantinople
(717–718).[208] The discovery is attributed to Callinicus of Heliopolis from Syria, a Byzantine
Byzantine
Jew who fled during the Arab conquest of Syria. However, it has also been argued that no single person invented the Greek fire, but that it was rather “invented by the chemists in Constantinople
Constantinople
who had inherited the discoveries of the Alexandrian chemical school...”.[197]

Ceramic grenades that were filled with Greek fire, surrounded by caltrops, 10th–12th century, National Historical Museum, Athens, Greece

The first example of a grenade also appeared in Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire, where rudimentary incendiary grenades made of ceramic jars holding glass or nails were made and used on battlefields.[209][210][211] In the final century of the Empire, astronomy and other mathematical sciences were taught in Trebizond; medicine attracted the interest of almost all scholars.[212] During this period, refugee Byzantine
Byzantine
scholars were principally responsible for carrying, in person and in writing, ancient Greek grammatical, literary studies, mathematical, and astronomical knowledge to early Renaissance
Renaissance
Italy.[213] Culture Religion Main articles: State church of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
and Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople

As a symbol and expression of the universal prestige of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Justinian built the Church of the Holy Wisdom of God, Hagia Sophia, which was completed in the short period of four and a half years (532–537)

A mosaic from the Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
of Constantinople
Constantinople
(modern Istanbul), depicting Mary and Jesus, flanked by John II Komnenos
Komnenos
(left) and his wife Irene of Hungary
Irene of Hungary
(right), 12th century

The Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
was a theocracy, said to be ruled by God working through the Emperor. Jennifer Fretland VanVoorst argues, "The Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
became a theocracy in the sense that Christian values and ideals were the foundation of the empire's political ideals and heavily entwined with its political goals."[214] Steven Runciman
Steven Runciman
says in his book on The Byzantine
Byzantine
Theocracy
Theocracy
(2004):

The constitution of the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
was based on the conviction that it was the earthly copy of the Kingdom of Heaven. Just as God ruled in Heaven, so the Emperor, made in his image, should rule on earth and carry out his commandments ... It saw itself as a universal empire. Ideally, it should embrace all the peoples of the Earth who, ideally, should all be members of the one true Christian Church, its own Orthodox Church. Just as man was made in God's image, so man's kingdom on Earth was made in the image of the Kingdom of Heaven."[215] The survival of the Empire
Empire
in the East assured an active role of the Emperor in the affairs of the Church. The Byzantine
Byzantine
state inherited from pagan times the administrative, and financial routine of administering religious affairs, and this routine was applied to the Christian Church. Following the pattern set by Eusebius of Caesarea, the Byzantines viewed the Emperor as a representative or messenger of Christ, responsible particularly for the propagation of Christianity
Christianity
among pagans, and for the "externals" of the religion, such as administration and finances. As Cyril Mango points out, the Byzantine
Byzantine
political thinking can be summarised in the motto "One God, one empire, one religion".[216]

The imperial role in the affairs of the Church never developed into a fixed, legally defined system.[217] With the decline of Rome, and internal dissension in the other Eastern Patriarchates, the Church of Constantinople
Constantinople
became, between the 6th and 11th centuries, the richest and most influential center of Christendom.[218] Even when the Empire was reduced to only a shadow of its former self, the Church continued to exercise significant influence both inside and outside of the imperial frontiers. As George Ostrogorsky points out:

The Patriarchate of Constantinople
Constantinople
remained the center of the Orthodox world, with subordinate metropolitan sees and archbishoprics in the territory of Asia Minor
Asia Minor
and the Balkans, now lost to Byzantium, as well as in Caucasus, Russia and Lithuania. The Church remained the most stable element in the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire.[219]

The official state Christian doctrine was determined by the first seven ecumenical councils, and it was then the emperor's duty to impose it to his subjects. An imperial decree of 388, which was later incorporated into the Codex Justinianus, orders the population of the Empire
Empire
"to assume the name of Catholic Christians", and regards all those who will not abide by the law as "mad and foolish persons"; as followers of "heretical dogmas".[220] Despite imperial decrees and the stringent stance of the state church itself, which came to be known as the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
or Eastern Christianity, the latter never represented all Christians in Byzantium. Mango believes that, in the early stages of the Empire, the "mad and foolish persons", those labelled "heretics" by the state church, were the majority of the population.[221] Besides the pagans, who existed until the end of the 6th century, and the Jews, there were many followers – sometimes even emperors – of various Christian doctrines, such as Nestorianism, Monophysitism, Arianism, and Paulicianism, whose teachings were in some opposition to the main theological doctrine, as determined by the Ecumenical Councils.[222] Another division among Christians occurred, when Leo III ordered the destruction of icons throughout the Empire. This led to a significant religious crisis, which ended in mid-9th century with the restoration of icons. During the same period, a new wave of pagans emerged in the Balkans, originating mainly from Slavic people. These were gradually Christianised, and by Byzantium's late stages, Eastern Orthodoxy represented most Christians and, in general, most people in what remained of the Empire.[223] Jews were a significant minority in the Byzantine
Byzantine
state throughout its history, and, according to Roman law, they constituted a legally recognised religious group. In the early Byzantine
Byzantine
period they were generally tolerated, but then periods of tensions and persecutions ensued. In any case, after the Arab conquests, the majority of Jews found themselves outside the Empire; those left inside the Byzantine borders apparently lived in relative peace from the 10th century onwards.[224] Georgian monasteries first appear in Constantinople
Constantinople
and on Mount Olympos in northwestern Asia Minor
Asia Minor
in the second half of the ninth century, and from then on Georgians
Georgians
played an increasingly important role in the Empire.[225] The arts Art and literature Main articles: Byzantine art
Byzantine art
and Byzantine
Byzantine
literature See also: Byzantine
Byzantine
dress

Miniatures of the 6th-century Rabula Gospel
Rabula Gospel
display the more abstract and symbolic nature of Byzantine
Byzantine
art.

Surviving Byzantine art
Byzantine art
is mostly religious and with exceptions at certain periods is highly conventionalised, following traditional models that translate carefully controlled church theology into artistic terms. Painting in fresco, illuminated manuscripts and on wood panel and, especially in earlier periods, mosaic were the main media, and figurative sculpture very rare except for small carved ivories. Manuscript painting preserved to the end some of the classical realist tradition that was missing in larger works.[226] Byzantine art
Byzantine art
was highly prestigious and sought-after in Western Europe, where it maintained a continuous influence on medieval art until near the end of the period. This was especially so in Italy, where Byzantine
Byzantine
styles persisted in modified form through the 12th century, and became formative influences on Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
art. But few incoming influences affected Byzantine
Byzantine
style. By means of the expansion of the Eastern Orthodox church, Byzantine
Byzantine
forms and styles spread to all the Orthodox world and beyond.[227] Influences from Byzantine
Byzantine
architecture, particularly in religious buildings, can be found in diverse regions from Egypt
Egypt
and Arabia to Russia and Romania. In Byzantine
Byzantine
literature, four different cultural elements are recognised: the Greek, the Christian, the Roman, and the Oriental. Byzantine literature
Byzantine literature
is often classified in five groups: historians and annalists, encyclopaedists (Patriarch Photios, Michael Psellus, and Michael Choniates
Michael Choniates
are regarded as the greatest encyclopaedists of Byzantium) and essayists, and writers of secular poetry. The only genuine heroic epic of the Byzantines is the Digenis Acritas. The remaining two groups include the new literary species: ecclesiastical and theological literature, and popular poetry.[228] Of the approximately two to three thousand volumes of Byzantine literature that survive, only 330 consist of secular poetry, history, science and pseudo-science.[228] While the most flourishing period of the secular literature of Byzantium
Byzantium
runs from the 9th to the 12th century, its religious literature (sermons, liturgical books and poetry, theology, devotional treatises, etc.) developed much earlier with Romanos the Melodist
Romanos the Melodist
being its most prominent representative.[229] Music Main article: Byzantine
Byzantine
music

Late 4th century AD " Mosaic
Mosaic
of the Musicians" with organ, aulos, and lyre from a Byzantine
Byzantine
villa in Maryamin, Syria[230]

The ecclesiastical forms of Byzantine
Byzantine
music, composed to Greek texts as ceremonial, festival, or church music,[231] are, today, the most well-known forms. Ecclesiastical chants were a fundamental part of this genre. Greek and foreign historians agree that the ecclesiastical tones and in general the whole system of Byzantine music
Byzantine music
is closely related to the ancient Greek system.[232] It remains the oldest genre of extant music, of which the manner of performance and (with increasing accuracy from the 5th century onwards) the names of the composers, and sometimes the particulars of each musical work's circumstances, are known.

Earliest known depiction of a bowed lyra, from a Byzantine
Byzantine
ivory casket (900 – 1100 AD). (Museo Nazionale, Florence)

The 9th century Persian geographer Ibn Khurradadhbih (d. 911); in his lexicographical discussion of instruments cited the lyra (lūrā) as the typical instrument of the Byzantines along with the urghun (organ), shilyani (probably a type of harp or lyre) and the salandj (probably a bagpipe).[233] The first of these, the early bowed stringed instrument known as the Byzantine
Byzantine
lyra, would come to be called the lira da braccio,[234] in Venice, where it is considered by many to have been the predecessor of the contemporary violin, which later flourished there.[235] The bowed "lyra" is still played in former Byzantine
Byzantine
regions, where it is known as the Politiki lyra
Politiki lyra
(lit. "lyra of the City" i.e. Constantinople) in Greece, the Calabrian lira in Southern Italy, and the Lijerica
Lijerica
in Dalmatia. The second instrument, the organ, originated in the Hellenistic
Hellenistic
world (see Hydraulis) and was used in the Hippodrome
Hippodrome
during races.[236][237] A pipe organ with "great leaden pipes" was sent by the emperor Constantine V
Constantine V
to Pepin the Short, King of the Franks
Franks
in 757. Pepin's son Charlemagne
Charlemagne
requested a similar organ for his chapel in Aachen
Aachen
in 812, beginning its establishment in Western church music.[237] The final Byzantine
Byzantine
instrument, the aulos was a double reeded woodwind like the modern oboe or Armenian duduk. Other forms include the plagiaulos (πλαγίαυλος, from πλάγιος "sideways"), which resembled the flute,[238] and the askaulos (ἀσκός askos – wine-skin), a bagpipe.[239] These bagpipes, also known as Dankiyo (from ancient Greek: angion (Τὸ ἀγγεῖον) "the container"), had been played even in Roman times. Dio Chrysostom
Dio Chrysostom
wrote in the 1st century of a contemporary sovereign (possibly Nero) who could play a pipe (tibia, Roman reedpipes similar to Greek aulos) with his mouth as well as by tucking a bladder beneath his armpit.[240] The bagpipes continued to be played throughout the empire's former realms through to the present. (See Balkan Gaida, Greek Tsampouna, Pontic Tulum, Cretan Askomandoura, Armenian Parkapzuk, and Romanian Cimpoi.) Cuisine

Constantinople
Constantinople
apple quinces

See also: Byzantine
Byzantine
cuisine The Byzantine
Byzantine
culture was, initially, the same as Late Greco-Roman, but over the following millennium of the empire's existence it slowly changed into something more similar to modern Balkan and Anatolian culture. The cuisine still relied heavily on the Greco-Roman fish-sauce condiment garos, but it also contained foods still familiar today, such as the cured meat pastirma (known as "paston" in Byzantine Greek),[241][242][243] baklava (known as koptoplakous κοπτοπλακοῦς),[244] tiropita (known as plakountas tetyromenous or tyritas plakountas),[245] and the famed medieval sweet wines ( Commandaria
Commandaria
and the eponymous Rumney wine). Retsina, wine flavored with pine resin, was also drunk, as it still is in Greece today, producing similar reactions from unfamiliar visitors; "To add to our calamity the Greek wine, on account of being mixed with pitch, resin, and plaster was to us undrinkable," complained Liutprand of Cremona, who was the ambassador sent to Constantinople
Constantinople
in 968 by the German Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
Otto I.[246] The garos fish sauce condiment was also not much appreciated by the unaccustomed; Liutprand of Cremona described being served food covered in an "exceedingly bad fish liquor."[246] The Byzantines also used a soy sauce like condiment, murri, a fermented barley sauce, which, like soy sauce, provided umami flavoring to their dishes.[247][248] Flags and insignia

The double-headed imperial eagle, a common Imperial symbol

Main article: Byzantine
Byzantine
flags and insignia For most of its history, the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
did not know or use heraldry in the West European sense. Various emblems (Greek: σημεία, sēmeia; sing. σημείον, sēmeion) were used in official occasions and for military purposes, such as banners or shields displaying various motifs such as the cross or the labarum. The use of the cross, and of images of Christ, the Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
and various saints is also attested on seals of officials, but these were personal rather than family emblems.[249]

Double-headed eagle Tetragrammic cross

Language Further information: Medieval Greek

Left: The Mudil Psalter, the oldest complete psalter in the Coptic language (Coptic Museum, Egypt, Coptic Cairo). Right: The Joshua Roll, a 10th-century illuminated Greek manuscript probably made in Constantinople
Constantinople
(Vatican Library, Rome).

Distribution of Greek dialects in Anatolia
Anatolia
in the late Byzantine Empire
Empire
through to 1923. Demotic in yellow. Pontic in orange. Cappadocian in green. (Green dots indicate Cappadocian Greek
Cappadocian Greek
speaking villages in 1910.[250])

Apart from the Imperial court, administration and military, the primary language used in the eastern Roman provinces even before the decline of the Western Empire
Empire
was Greek, having been spoken in the region for centuries before Latin.[251] Following Rome's conquest of the east its 'Pax Romana', inclusionist political practices and development of public infrastructure, facilitated the further spreading and entrenchment of Greek language
Greek language
in the east. Indeed, early on in the life of the Roman Empire, Greek had become the common language of the Church, the language of scholarship and the arts, and, to a large degree, the lingua franca for trade between provinces and with other nations.[252] Greek for a time became diglossic with the spoken language, known as Koine (eventually evolving into Demotic Greek), used alongside an older written form until Koine won out as the spoken and written standard.[253] The use of Latin as the language of administration persisted until formally abolished by Heraclius
Heraclius
in the 7th century. Scholarly Latin would rapidly fall into disuse among the educated classes although the language would continue to be at least a ceremonial part of the Empire's culture for some time.[254] Additionally, Vulgar Latin remained a minority language in the Empire, mainly along the Dalmatian coast (Dalmatian) and among the Romanian peoples.[255] Many other languages existed in the multi-ethnic Empire, and some of these were given limited official status in their provinces at various times. Notably, by the beginning of the Middle Ages, Syriac had become more widely used by the educated classes in the far eastern provinces.[256] Similarly Coptic, Armenian, and Georgian became significant among the educated in their provinces,[257] and later foreign contacts made Old Church Slavic, Middle Persian, and Arabic important in the Empire
Empire
and its sphere of influence.[258] Aside from these, since Constantinople
Constantinople
was a prime trading center in the Mediterranean region
Mediterranean region
and beyond, virtually every known language of the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
was spoken in the Empire
Empire
at some time, even Chinese.[259] As the Empire
Empire
entered its final decline, the Empire's citizens became more culturally homogeneous and the Greek language became integral to their identity and religion.[260] Recreation

A game of τάβλι (tabula) played by Byzantine
Byzantine
emperor Zeno in 480 and recorded by Agathias
Agathias
in c. 530 because of a very unlucky dice throw for Zeno (red), as he threw 2, 5 and 6 and was forced to leave eight pieces alone.[261]

Byzantines were avid players of tavli ( Byzantine
Byzantine
Greek: τάβλη), a game known in English as backgammon, which is still popular in former Byzantine
Byzantine
realms, and still known by the name tavli in Greece.[261] Byzantine
Byzantine
nobles were devoted to horsemanship, particularly tzykanion, now known as polo. The game came from Sassanid Persia in the early period and a Tzykanisterion (stadium for playing the game) was built by Theodosius II
Theodosius II
(r. 408–450) inside the Great Palace of Constantinople. Emperor Basil I
Basil I
(r. 867–886) excelled at it; Emperor Alexander (r. 912–913) died from exhaustion while playing, Emperor Alexios I Komnenos
Alexios I Komnenos
(r. 1081–1118) was injured while playing with Tatikios, and John I of Trebizond (r. 1235–1238) died from a fatal injury during a game.[262][263] Aside from Constantinople
Constantinople
and Trebizond, other Byzantine
Byzantine
cities also featured tzykanisteria, most notably Sparta, Ephesus, and Athens, an indication of a thriving urban aristocracy.[264] The game was introduced to the West by crusaders, who developed a taste for it particularly during the pro-Western reign of emperor Manuel I Komnenos. Economy Further information: Byzantine economy
Byzantine economy
and Byzantine
Byzantine
silk Further information: Sino-Roman relations

A bronze coin of Constantius II
Constantius II
(337–361), found in Karghalik, Xinjiang, China

Byzantine
Byzantine
culture

Aristocracy and bureaucracy Army Art Architecture Calendar Coinage Cuisine Dance Diplomacy Dress Economy Gardens Law Literature Medicine Music Navy People Science

v t e

The Byzantine economy
Byzantine economy
was among the most advanced in Europe
Europe
and the Mediterranean for many centuries. Europe, in particular, could not match Byzantine
Byzantine
economic strength until late in the Middle Ages. Constantinople
Constantinople
operated as a prime hub in a trading network that at various times extended across nearly all of Eurasia
Eurasia
and North Africa, in particular as the primary western terminus of the famous Silk
Silk
Road. Until the first half of the 6th century and in sharp contrast with the decaying West, the Byzantine economy
Byzantine economy
was flourishing and resilient.[265] The Plague of Justinian
Plague of Justinian
and the Arab conquests
Arab conquests
would represent a substantial reversal of fortunes contributing to a period of stagnation and decline. Isaurian reforms and, in particular, Constantine V's repopulation, public works and tax measures, marked the beginning of a revival that continued until 1204, despite territorial contraction.[266] From the 10th century until the end of the 12th, the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
projected an image of luxury and travellers were impressed by the wealth accumulated in the capital.[267] The Fourth Crusade
Fourth Crusade
resulted in the disruption of Byzantine manufacturing and the commercial dominance of the Western Europeans in the eastern Mediterranean, events that amounted to an economic catastrophe for the Empire.[267] The Palaiologoi
Palaiologoi
tried to revive the economy, but the late Byzantine
Byzantine
state would not gain full control of either the foreign or domestic economic forces. Gradually, it also lost its influence on the modalities of trade and the price mechanisms, and its control over the outflow of precious metals and, according to some scholars, even over the minting of coins.[268] One of the economic foundations of Byzantium
Byzantium
was trade, fostered by the maritime character of the Empire. Textiles must have been by far the most important item of export; silks were certainly imported into Egypt, and appeared also in Bulgaria, and the West.[269] The state strictly controlled both the internal and the international trade, and retained the monopoly of issuing coinage, maintaining a durable and flexible monetary system adaptable to trade needs.[270] The government attempted to exercise formal control over interest rates, and set the parameters for the activity of the guilds and corporations, in which it had a special interest. The emperor and his officials intervened at times of crisis to ensure the provisioning of the capital, and to keep down the price of cereals. Finally, the government often collected part of the surplus through taxation, and put it back into circulation, through redistribution in the form of salaries to state officials, or in the form of investment in public works.[270] Legacy See also: Third Rome
Third Rome
and Greek scholars in the Renaissance

King David
David
in robes of a Byzantine
Byzantine
emperor; miniature from the Paris Psalter

Byzantium
Byzantium
has been often identified with absolutism, orthodox spirituality, orientalism and exoticism, while the terms "Byzantine" and "Byzantinism" have been used as bywords for decadence, complex bureaucracy, and repression. In the countries of Central and Southeast Europe
Europe
that exited the Eastern Bloc
Eastern Bloc
in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the assessment of Byzantine
Byzantine
civilisation and its legacy was strongly negative due to their connection with an alleged "Eastern authoritarianism and autocracy." Both Eastern and Western European authors have often perceived Byzantium
Byzantium
as a body of religious, political, and philosophical ideas contrary to those of the West. Even in 19th-century Greece, the focus was mainly on the classical past, while Byzantine
Byzantine
tradition had been associated with negative connotations.[271] This traditional approach towards Byzantium
Byzantium
has been partially or wholly disputed and revised by modern studies, which focus on the positive aspects of Byzantine
Byzantine
culture and legacy. Averil Cameron regards as undeniable the Byzantine
Byzantine
contribution to the formation of the medieval Europe, and both Cameron and Obolensky recognise the major role of Byzantium
Byzantium
in shaping Orthodoxy, which in turn occupies a central position in the history and societies of Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Georgia, Serbia and other countries.[272] The Byzantines also preserved and copied classical manuscripts, and they are thus regarded as transmitters of the classical knowledge, as important contributors to the modern European civilization, and as precursors of both the Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism
and the Slav Orthodox culture.[273] As the only stable long-term state in Europe
Europe
during the Middle Ages, Byzantium
Byzantium
isolated Western Europe
Europe
from newly emerging forces to the East. Constantly under attack, it distanced Western Europe
Europe
from Persians, Arabs, Seljuk Turks, and for a time, the Ottomans. From a different perspective, since the 7th century, the evolution and constant reshaping of the Byzantine
Byzantine
state were directly related to the respective progress of Islam.[273] Following the conquest of Constantinople
Constantinople
by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, Sultan
Sultan
Mehmed II
Mehmed II
took the title "Kaysar-i Rûm" (the Ottoman Turkish equivalent of Caesar of Rome), since he was determined to make the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
the heir of the Eastern Roman Empire.[274] According to Cameron, regarding themselves as "heirs" of Byzantium, the Ottomans preserved important aspects of its tradition, which in turn facilitated an "Orthodox revival" during the post-communist period of the Eastern European states.[273] See also

Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
portal

Byzantine
Byzantine
Army Byzantine
Byzantine
philosophy Byzantine
Byzantine
Rite Index of Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire-related articles Legacy of the Roman Empire Family trees of the Byzantine
Byzantine
imperial dynasties List of Byzantine
Byzantine
emperors List of Byzantine
Byzantine
inventions List of Byzantine
Byzantine
revolts and civil wars List of Byzantine
Byzantine
wars

Annotations

^ "Romania" was a popular name of the empire used mainly unofficially, which meant "land of the Romans".[12] After 1081, it occasionally appears in official Byzantine
Byzantine
documents as well. In 1204, the leaders of the Fourth Crusade
Fourth Crusade
gave the name Romania
Romania
to the newly founded Latin Empire.[13] The term does not refer to modern Romania.

Notes

^ Kaldellis 2015, p. 6 ^ " Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire". Encyclopædia Britannica.  ^ Kazhdan & Epstein 1985, p. 1. ^ a b Millar 2006, pp. 2, 15; James 2010, p. 5; Freeman 1999, pp. 431, 435–437, 459–462; Baynes & Moss 1948, p. xx; Ostrogorsky 1969, p. 27; Kaldellis 2007, pp. 2–3; Kazhdan & Constable 1982, p. 12; Norwich 1998, p. 383. ^ Ostrogorsky 1969, pp. 105–107, 109; Norwich 1998, p. 97; Haywood 2001, pp. 2.17, 3.06, 3.15. ^ Haldon, John; Haldon, Shelby Cullom Davis 3.0. Professor of European History Professor of History Hellenic Studies John (2002). Warfare, State And Society In The Byzantine
Byzantine
World 560–1204. p. 47. ISBN 9781135364373.  ^ Pounds, Norman John Greville. An Historical Geography of Europe, 1500–1840, p. 124. CUP Archive, 1979. ISBN 0-521-22379-2. ^ "The End of the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire, 1081–1453". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015.  ^ William Miller, Trebizond: The last Greek Empire
Empire
of the Byzantine Era: 1204–1461, 1926 (Chicago: Argonaut, 1969), pp. 100–106 ^ Fox, What, If Anything, Is a Byzantine?; Rosser 2011, p. 1 ^ Rosser 2011, p. 2. ^ Fossier & Sondheimer 1997, p. 104. ^ Wolff 1948, pp. 5–7, 33–34. ^ Fatouros 1992, p. 862: "Γραικία: Graecia, imperium byzantinum" (Theodori Studitae Epistulae, 145,19 and 458,28). ^ Cinnamus 1976, p. 240. ^ Institute for Neohellenic Research 2005, p. 8. ^ Ahrweiler & Laiou 1998, p. 3; Mango 2002, p. 13. ^ Gabriel 2002, p. 277. ^ Ahrweiler & Laiou 1998, p. vii; Davies 1996, p. 245; Gross 1999, p. 45; Lapidge, Blair & Keynes 1998, p. 79; Millar 2006, pp. 2, 15; Moravcsik 1970, pp. 11–12; Ostrogorsky 1969, pp. 28, 146; Browning 1983, p. 113. ^ Klein 2004, p. 290 (Note #39); Annales Fuldenses, 389: "Mense lanuario c. epiphaniam Basilii, Graecorum imperatoris, legati cum muneribus et epistolis ad Hludowicum regem Radasbonam venerunt ...". ^ Fouracre & Gerberding 1996, p. 345: "The Frankish court no longer regarded the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
as holding valid claims of universality; instead it was now termed the ' Empire
Empire
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Europe
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Papers. 13: 1–21. doi:10.2307/1291127. JSTOR 1291126.  Paparrigopoulos, Constantine; Karolidis, Pavlos (1925). Ιστορία του Ελληνικού Έθνους ["History of the Greek Nation"], vol. 4 (in Greek). Eleftheroudakis.  Parry, Kenneth (1996). Depicting the Word: Byzantine
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Further reading

Ahrweiler, Hélène; Aymard, Maurice (2000). Les Européens. Paris: Hermann. ISBN 2-7056-6409-2.  Angelov, Dimiter (2007). Imperial Ideology and Political Thought in Byzantium
Byzantium
(1204–1330). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-85703-1.  Baboula, Evanthia, Byzantium, in Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God (2 vols.), Edited by C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2014. ISBN 1-61069-177-6 Evans, Helen C. & Wixom, William D (1997). The glory of Byzantium: art and culture of the Middle Byzantine
Byzantine
era, A.D. 843–1261. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 978-0-8109-6507-2.  Cameron, Averil (2014). Byzantine
Byzantine
Matters. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-1-4008-5009-9.  Haldon, John (2001). The Byzantine
Byzantine
Wars: Battles and Campaigns of the Byzantine
Byzantine
Era. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-1795-9.  Haldon, John (2002). Byzantium: A History. Stroud, Gloucestershire: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 1-4051-3240-X.  Harris, Jonathan (2015). The Lost World of Byzantium. New Haven CT and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-17857-9.  Hussey, J. M. (1966). The Cambridge Medieval History. Vol. IV: The Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  Runciman, Steven (1966). Byzantine
Byzantine
Civilisation. London: Edward Arnold Limited. ISBN 1-56619-574-8.  Runciman, Steven (1990) [1929]. The Emperor Romanus Lecapenus and his Reign. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-06164-4.  Stanković, Vlada, ed. (2016). The Balkans
Balkans
and the Byzantine
Byzantine
World before and after the Captures of Constantinople, 1204 and 1453. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. ISBN 9781498513265.  Stathakopoulos, Dionysios (2014). A Short History of the Byzantine Empire. London: I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-78076-194-7.  Thomas, John P. (1987). Private Religious Foundations in the Byzantine Empire. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks. ISBN 9780884021643.  Toynbee, Arnold Joseph (1972). Constantine Porphyrogenitus and His World. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-215253-X. 

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Byzantine
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on In Our Time at the BBC. De Imperatoribus Romanis. Scholarly biographies of many Byzantine emperors. 12 Byzantine
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Rulers by Lars Brownworth of The Stony Brook School; audio lectures. NYTimes review. 18 centuries of Roman Empire
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by Howard Wiseman (Maps of the Roman/ Byzantine
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Empire
throughout its lifetime). Byzantine
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Byzantine
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studies, resources and bibliography

Fox, Clinton R. What, If Anything, Is a Byzantine? (Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors) Byzantine
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studies homepage at Dumbarton Oaks. Includes links to numerous electronic texts. Byzantium: Byzantine
Byzantine
studies on the Internet. Links to various online resources. Translations from Byzantine
Byzantine
Sources: The Imperial Centuries, c. 700–1204. Online sourcebook. De Re Militari. Resources for medieval history, including numerous translated sources on the Byzantine
Byzantine
wars. Medieval Sourcebook: Byzantium. Numerous primary sources on Byzantine history. Bibliography on Byzantine
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Material Culture and Daily Life. Hosted by the University of Vienna; in English. Constantinople
Constantinople
Home Page. Links to texts, images and videos on Byzantium. Byzantium
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in Crimea: Political History, Art and Culture. Institute for Byzantine
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v t e

Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
topics

History

Preceding

Roman Empire

Dominate

(330–717) Early

Constantinian-Valentinian era ( Constantinian dynasty - Valentinian dynasty) Theodosian era Leonid era Justinian era Heraclian era Twenty Years' Anarchy

(717–1204) Middle

Isaurian era Nikephorian era Amorian era Macedonian era Doukid era Komnenian era Angelid era

(1204–1453) Late

Fourth Crusade Frankokratia
Frankokratia
represented by Latin Empire Byzantine
Byzantine
Successor States (Nicaea / Epirus–Thessalonica / Morea / Trebizond) Palaiologan era Decline of the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire Fall of Constantinople

Governance

Central

Emperors

Basileus Autokrator

Senate Imperial bureaucracy Eparch

Early

Praetorian prefects Magister officiorum Comes sacrarum largitionum Comes rerum privatarum Quaestor sacri palatii

Middle

Logothetes tou dromou Sakellarios Logothetes tou genikou Logothetes tou stratiotikou Chartoularios tou sakelliou Chartoularios tou vestiariou Epi tou eidikou Protasekretis Epi ton deeseon

Late

Megas logothetes Mesazon

Provincial

Early

Praetorian prefectures Dioceses Provinces Quaestura exercitus Exarchate of Ravenna Exarchate of Africa

Middle

Themata Kleisourai Bandon Catepanates

Late

Kephale Despotates

Diplomacy

Treaties Diplomats

Military

Army

Battle tactics Military manuals Wars Battles Revolts Siege warfare Generals Mercenaries

Early

Late Roman army East Roman army

Foederati Bucellarii Scholae Palatinae Excubitors

Middle

Themata Kleisourai Tourma Droungos Bandon Tagmata Domestic of the Schools Hetaireia Akritai Varangian Guard

Late

Komnenian army

Pronoia Vestiaritai

Palaiologan army

Allagion Paramonai

Grand Domestic

Navy

Karabisianoi Maritime themata

Cibyrrhaeot Aegean Sea Samos

Dromon Greek fire Droungarios of the Fleet Megas doux Admirals Naval battles

Religion and law

Religion

Eastern Orthodox Church Byzantine
Byzantine
Rite Ecumenical councils Saints Patriarchate of Constantinople Arianism Monophysitism Paulicianism Iconoclasm Great Schism Bogomilism Hesychasm Mount Athos Missionary activity

Bulgaria Moravia Serbs Kievan Rus'

Jews Muslims

Law

Codex Theodosianus Corpus Juris Civilis Ecloga Basilika Hexabiblos Mutilation

Culture and society

Architecture

Secular Sacred

Cross-in-square Domes

Constantinople

Great Palace of Constantinople Blachernae Palace Hagia Sophia Hagia Irene Chora Church Pammakaristos Church City Walls

Thessalonica

Arch of Galerius and Rotunda Hagios Demetrios Hagia Sophia Panagia Chalkeon

Ravenna

San Vitale Sant'Apollinare in Classe Sant'Apollinare Nuovo

Other locations

Daphni Monastery Hosios Loukas Nea Moni of Chios Saint Catherine's Monastery Mystras

Art

Icons Enamel Glass Mosaics Painters Macedonian period
Macedonian period
art Komnenian renaissance

Economy

Agriculture Coinage Mints Trade

silk Silk
Silk
Road Varangians

Dynatoi

Literature

Novel Acritic songs

Digenes Akritas

Alexander romance Historians

Everyday life

Calendar Cuisine Dance Dress Flags and insignia Hippodrome Music

Octoechos

People

Byzantine
Byzantine
Greeks

Slavery Units of measurement

Science Learning

Encyclopedias Inventions Medicine Philosophy

Neoplatonism

Scholars University

Impact

Byzantine
Byzantine
commonwealth Byzantine
Byzantine
studies Museums Byzantinism Cyrillic script Neo- Byzantine
Byzantine
architecture Greek scholars in the Renaissance Third Rome Megali Idea

Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
portal

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Empires

Ancient

Akkadian Egyptian Assyrian Babylonian Carthaginian Chinese

Qin Han Jin Northern Wei Tang

Hellenistic

Macedonian Seleucid

Hittite Indian

Nanda Maurya Satavahana Shunga Gupta Harsha

Iranian

Elamite Median Achaemenid Parthian Sasanian

Kushan Mongol

Xianbei Xiongnu

Roman

Western Eastern

Teotihuacan

Post-classical

Arab

Rashidun Umayyad Abbasid Fatimid Córdoba

Aragonese Angevin Aztec Benin Bornu Bruneian Bulgarian

First Second

Byzantine

Nicaea Trebizond

Carolingian Chinese

Sui Tang Song Yuan

Ethiopian

Zagwe Solomonic

Georgian Hunnic Inca Indian

Chola Gurjara-Pratihara Pala Eastern Ganga dynasty Delhi Vijayanagara

Iranian

Samanid

Kanem Khmer Latin Majapahit Malaccan Mali Mongol

Yuan Golden Horde Chagatai Khanate Ilkhanate

Moroccan

Idrisid Almoravid Almohad Marinid

North Sea Oyo Roman Serbian Somali

Ajuran Ifatite Adalite Mogadishan Warsangali

Songhai Srivijaya Tibetan Turko-Persian

Ghaznavid Great Seljuk Khwarezmian Timurid

Vietnamese

Ly Tran Le

Wagadou

Modern

Ashanti Austrian Austro-Hungarian Brazilian Central African Chinese

Ming Qing China Manchukuo

Ethiopian French

First Second

German

First/Old Reich Second Reich Third Reich

Haitian

First Second

Indian

Maratha Sikh Mughal British Raj

Iranian

Safavid Afsharid

Japanese Johor Korean Mexican

First Second

Moroccan

Saadi Alaouite

Russian USSR Somali

Gobroon Majeerteen Hobyo Dervish

Swedish Tongan Turkish

Ottoman Karaman Ramazan

Vietnamese

Tay Son Nguyen Vietnam

Colonial

American Belgian British

English

Danish Dutch French German Italian Japanese Omani Norwegian Portuguese Spanish Swedish

Lists

Empires

largest

ancient great powers medieval great powers modern great powers

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History of Turkey

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Former states of the Italian Peninsula, Savoy, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily
Sicily
and Malta

Etruscan civilization

Lega dei popoli

Etruscan dodecapolis

Ancient Rome

Roman Kingdom
Roman Kingdom
(753 BC–509 BC) Roman Republic
Republic
(509 BC–27 BC)

Roman Italy Sicilia (241 BC–476 AD) Corsica and Sardinia
Corsica and Sardinia
(238 BC–455 AD)

Roman Empire
Roman Empire
(27 BC–395 AD)

Praetorian prefecture
Praetorian prefecture
of Italy (337 AD–584 AD) Western Roman Empire
Roman Empire
(285 AD–476 AD)

Medieval and Early Modern states

Early Italian Kingdom (476-774)

Odoacer's rule (476–493) Ostrogothic rule (493–553) Vandal rule (435–534) Lombard rule (568–774)

Duchy of Benevento Duchy of Friuli Duchy of Ivrea Duchy of Spoleto Duchy of Tridentum

Holy Roman Kingdom of Italy (774/962–1806), Papal States and other independent states

March of Ancona Duchy of Aosta Patria del Friuli
Patria del Friuli
(Patriarchate of Aquileia) Bishopric of Bressanone Duchy of Castro Commune of Rome Marquisate of Ceva Republic
Republic
of Cospaia Duchy of Ferrara Marquisate of Finale City of Fiume and its District Republic
Republic
of Florence Duchy of Florence March of Friuli Republic
Republic
of Genoa Republic
Republic
of Noli County of Gorizia Princely County of Gorizia
County of Gorizia
and Gradisca County of Guastalla Duchy of Guastalla March of Istria Duchy of Ivrea Republic
Republic
of Lucca Margravate of Mantua Duchy of Mantua Duchy of Massa and Carrara Duchy of Merania Duchy of Milan Duchy of Mirandola Duchy of Modena and Reggio March of Montferrat Duchy of Montferrat County of Nizza Duchy of Parma Principality of Piedmont Principality of Piombino Republic
Republic
of Pisa Duchy of Reggio Marquisate of Saluzzo County of Savoy Duchy of Savoy Republic
Republic
of Siena Duchy of Spoleto Terra Sancti Benedicti Bishopric of Trento March of Turin March of Tuscany Grand Duchy of Tuscany County of Tirolo Duchy of Urbino March of Verona Imperial Free City of Trieste

Byzantine Empire (584-751)

Exarchate of Ravenna
Ravenna
(584–751)

Duchy of Rome
Duchy of Rome
(533–751) Duchy of Perugia
Duchy of Perugia
(554–752) Duchy of the Pentapolis
Duchy of the Pentapolis
(554–752)

Exarchate of Africa
Exarchate of Africa
(585–698)

Republic
Republic
of Venice (697–1797)

Dogado Stato da Màr Domini di Terraferma

Southern Italy (774–1139)

Byzantine

Duchy of Amalfi Duchy of Gaeta Catepanate of Italy Longobardia Theme of Lucania Duchy of Naples Theme of Sicily
Sicily
and Byzantine
Byzantine
Sicily Duchy of Sorrento

Arab

Emirate of Bari Emirate of Sicily

Lombard

Principality of Benevento Principality of Salerno Principality of Capua

Norman

County of Apulia and Calabria County of Aversa County of Sicily Principality of Taranto

Sardinia and Corsica (9th century–1420)

Giudicati

Agugliastra Arborea Cagliari Gallura Logudoro

Kingdom of Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia
and Corsica Corsican Republic
Republic
(1755–1769)

Kingdom of Sicily (1130–1816) and Kingdom of Naples (1282–1816)

State of the Presidi Duke of San Donato Duchy of Sora Principality of Taranto Neapolitan Republic
Republic
(1647–1648) Malta under the Order Gozo Malta Protectorate Crown Colony of Malta

French Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras (1792–1815)

Republics

Alba Ancona Bergamo Bologna Brescia Cisalpinia Cispadania Crema Italy Liguria Lucca Parthenopea Piedmont Rome Subalpinia Tiberinia Transpadania

Monarchies

Benevento Etruria Guastalla Italy Lucca and Piombino Massa and Carrara Naples Pontecorvo Tuscany Elba Corsica

Post-Napoleonic states

Duchy of Genoa
Genoa
(1815–1848) Duchy of Lucca
Duchy of Lucca
(1815–1847) Duchy of Massa and Carrara
Duchy of Massa and Carrara
(1814–1829) Duchy of Modena and Reggio
Duchy of Modena and Reggio
(1814–1859) Duchy of Parma
Duchy of Parma
(1814–1859) Grand Duchy of Tuscany
Grand Duchy of Tuscany
(1815–1859) Italian United Provinces
Italian United Provinces
(1831) Provisional Government of Milan (1848) Republic
Republic
of San Marco (1848–1849) Roman Republic
Republic
(1849) United Provinces of Central Italy
United Provinces of Central Italy
(1859–1860) Kingdom of Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia
(1814–1860) Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
(1816–1861) Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia
Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia
(1815–1866) Papal States
Papal States
(1814–1870)

Post-unification

Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy
(1861–1946)

Italian Empire
Empire
(1869–1946)

Free State of Fiume
Free State of Fiume
(1920–1924) Italian Social Republic
Republic
(1943–1945) Free Territory of Trieste
Free Territory of Trieste
(1947-1954)

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Ancient Syria
Syria
and Mesopotamia

Syria Northern Mesopotamia Southern Mesopotamia

c. 3500–2350 BCE Martu Subartu Sumerian city-states

c. 2350–2200 BCE Akkadian Empire

c. 2200–2100 BCE Gutians

c. 2100–2000 BCE Third Dynasty of Ur
Third Dynasty of Ur
(Sumerian Renaissance)

c. 2000–1800 BCE Mari and other Amorite
Amorite
city-states Old Assyrian Empire
Empire
(Northern Akkadians) Isin/ Larsa
Larsa
and other Amorite
Amorite
city-states

c. 1800–1600 BCE Old Hittite Kingdom Old Babylonian Empire
Empire
(Southern Akkadians)

c. 1600–1400 BCE Mitanni
Mitanni
(Hurrians) Karduniaš
Karduniaš
(Kassites)

c. 1400–1200 BCE New Hittite Kingdom

Middle Assyrian Empire

c. 1200–1150 BCE Bronze Age
Bronze Age
collapse ("Sea Peoples") Arameans

c. 1150–911 BCE Phoenicia Syro-Hittite states Aram- Damascus Arameans Middle Babylonia
Babylonia
( Isin
Isin
II) Chal de- ans

911–729 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire

729–609 BCE

626–539 BCE Neo- Babylonian Empire
Empire
(Chaldeans)

539–331 BCE Achaemenid Empire
Empire
(Persians)

336–301 BCE Macedonian Empire
Macedonian Empire
(Ancient Greeks)

311–129 BCE Seleucid Empire

129–63 BCE Seleucid Empire Parthian Empire
Empire
(Iranians)

63 BCE – 243 CE Roman Empire/ Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire
Empire
(Syria)

243–636 CE Sasanian Empire
Empire
(Persians)

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History of Europe

Prehistory

Paleolithic Europe Neolithic Europe Bronze Age
Bronze Age
Europe Iron Age
Iron Age
Europe

Classical antiquity

Classical Greece Roman Republic Hellenistic
Hellenistic
period Roman Empire Early Christianity Crisis of the Third Century Fall of the Western Roman Empire Late antiquity

Middle Ages

Early Middle Ages Migration Period Christianization Francia Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire Maritime republics Viking Age Kievan Rus' Holy Roman Empire High Middle Ages Feudalism Crusades Mongol invasion Late Middle Ages Hundred Years' War Kalmar Union Renaissance

Early modern

Reformation Age of Discovery Baroque Thirty Years' War Absolute monarchy Ottoman Empire Portuguese Empire Spanish Empire Early modern France Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth Swedish Empire Dutch Republic British Empire Habsburg Monarchy Russian Empire Age of Enlightenment

Modern

Great Divergence Industrial Revolution French Revolution Napoleonic Wars Nationalism Revolutions of 1848 World War I Russian Revolution Interwar period World War II Cold War European integration

See also

Art of Europe Genetic history of Europe History of the Mediterranean region History of the European Union History of Western civilization Maritime history of Europe Military history of Europe

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 246502786 LCCN: n80085269 GND: 4009256-2 HDS: 2

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