1. Byzantine Empire – It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western 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. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural, several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empires Greek East and Latin West divided. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empires official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed. Finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empires military, the borders of the Empire evolved significantly over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Maurice, the Empires eastern frontier was expanded, in a matter of years the Empire lost its richest provinces, Egypt and Syria, to the Arabs. This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia, the Empire recovered again during the Komnenian restoration, such that by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence. Its remaining territories were annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 finally ended the Byzantine Empire, the term comes from Byzantium, the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantines 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 du Louvre, and in 1680 of Du Canges Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of Byzantine among French authors, however, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world. The Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the Roman Empire, the Empire of the Romans, Romania, the Roman Republic, Graikia, and also as Rhōmais. The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and Graikoi, and even as late as the 19th century Greeks typically referred to modern Greek as Romaika and Graikika. The authority of the Byzantine emperor as the legitimate Roman emperor was challenged by the coronation of Charlemagne as Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III in the year 800. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known primarily as Rûm, the Roman army succeeded in conquering many territories covering the entire Mediterranean region and coastal regions in southwestern Europe and north Africa. These territories were home to different cultural groups, both urban populations and rural populations. The West also suffered heavily from the instability of the 3rd century ADByzantine Empire – Tremissis with the image of Justinian the Great (r. 527–565) (see Byzantine insignia)
2. Byzantine bureaucracy and aristocracy – The Byzantine Empire had a complex system of aristocracy and bureaucracy, which was inherited from the Roman Empire. At the apex of the hierarchy stood the emperor, who was the sole ruler, beneath him, a multitude of officials and court functionaries operated the complex administrative machinery that was necessary to run the empire. In addition to officials, a large number of honorific titles existed. Over the more than years of the empires existence, different titles were adopted and discarded. At first the various titles of the empire were the same as those in the late Roman Empire, however, by the time that Heraclius was emperor, many of the titles had become obsolete. By the time of Alexios I reign, many of the positions were either new or drastically changed, however, from that time on they remained essentially the same until the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453. In this, the new titles derived from older, now obsolete, public offices, a senatorial class remained in place, which incorporated a large part of the upper officialdom as every official from the rank of protospatharios was considered a member of it. During this period, many families remained important for several centuries, the 10th and 11th centuries saw a rise in importance of the aristocracy, and an increased number of new families entering it. In the 11th and 12th century for instance, some 80 civil and 64 military noble families have been identified and these were the highest titles, usually limited to members of the imperial family or to a few very select foreign rulers, whose friendship the Emperor desired. Basileus, the Greek word for sovereign which originally referred to any king in the Greek-speaking areas of the Roman Empire and it also referred to the Shahs of Persia. Heraclius adopted it to replace the old Latin title of Augustus in 629, Heraclius also used the titles autokrator and kyrios. The feminine form basilissa referred to an empress, empresses were addressed as eusebestatē avgousta, and were also called kyria or despoina. This was rooted firmly in the Roman republican tradition, whereby hereditary kingship was rejected, in such a case the need for an imperial selection never arose. In several cases the new Emperor ascended the throne after marrying the previous Emperors widow, or indeed after forcing the previous Emperor to abdicate, several emperors were also deposed because of perceived inadequacy, e. g. after a military defeat, and some were murdered. Autokratōr — self-ruler, this title was equivalent to imperator. Despotēs – Lord, This title was used by the emperors themselves since the time of Justinian I and it was extensively featured in coins, in lieu of Basileus. In the 12th century, Manuel I Komnenos made it a separate title, the first such despotēs was actually a foreigner, Bela III of Hungary, signifying that Hungary was considered a Byzantine tributary state. In later times, a despot could be the holder of a despotate, for example, the feminine form, despoina, referred to a female despot or the wife of a despot, but it was also used to address the EmpressByzantine bureaucracy and aristocracy – Painting of Emperor Basil II in triumphal garb, exemplifying the Imperial Crown handed down by Angels.
3. Byzantine army – The Byzantine army or Eastern Roman army was the primary military body of the Byzantine armed forces, serving alongside the Byzantine navy. A direct descendant of the Roman army, the Byzantine army maintained a level of discipline, strategic prowess. It was among the most effective armies of western Eurasia for much of the Middle Ages, over time the cavalry arm became more prominent in the Byzantine army as the legion system disappeared in the early 7th century. Since much of the Byzantine military focused on the strategy and skill of generals utilizing militia troops, heavy infantry were recruited from Frankish, restricted to a largely defensive role in the 7th to mid-9th centuries, the Byzantines developed the theme-system to counter the more powerful Caliphate. With one of the most powerful economies in the world at the time, after the collapse of the theme-system in the 11th century, the Byzantines grew increasingly reliant on professional Tagmata troops, including ever-increasing numbers of foreign mercenaries. The Komnenian emperors made great efforts to re-establish a native army, the Komnenian successes were undone by the subsequent Angeloi dynasty, leading to the dissolution of the Empire at the hands of the Fourth Crusade in 1204. The Emperors of Nicaea managed to form a small but effective force using the structure of light and heavily armed troops. It proved effective in defending what remained of Byzantine Anatolia and reclaiming much of the Balkans, another period of neglect of the military followed in the reign of Andronikos II Palaiologos, which allowed Anatolia to fall prey to an emerging power, the Ottoman emirate. In the period after the Muslim conquests, which saw the loss of Syria and Egypt, despite this unprecedented disaster, the internal structures of the army remained much the same, and there is a remarkable continuity in tactics and doctrine between the 6th and 11th centuries. The Eastern Empire dates from the creation of the Tetrarchy by the Emperor Diocletian in 293 and his plans for succession did not outlive his lifetime, but his reorganization of the army did by centuries. Rather than maintain the traditional infantry-heavy legions, Diocletian reformed it into limitanei, there was an expansion of the importance of the cavalry, though the infantry still remained the major component of the Roman armies, in contrast to common belief. In preparation for Justinians African campaign of 533-534 AD, the army assembled amounted to 10,000 foot soldiers and 5,000 mounted archers, the limitanei and ripenses were to occupy the limes, the Roman border fortifications. The field units, by contrast, were to stay well behind the border and move quickly where they were needed, whether for offensive or defensive roles, the field units were held to high standards and took precedence over Limitanei in pay and provisions. Cavalry formed about one-third of the units, but as a result of smaller units, about half the cavalry consisted of heavy cavalry. They were armed with spear or lance and sword and armored in mail, some had bows, but they were meant for supporting the charge instead of independent skirmishing. In the field there was a component of some 15% of cataphractarii or clibanarii. The light cavalry featured high amongst the limitanei, being very useful troops on patrol, the infantry of the comitatenses was organized in regiments of about 500–1,200 men. They were still the heavy infantry of old, with a spear or sword, shield, body armour, but now each regiment was supported by a detachment of light infantry skirmishersByzantine army – Byzantine lamellar armour klivanium (Κλιβάνιον) - a predecessor of Ottoman krug mirror armour
4. Byzantine art – Byzantine art is the name for the artistic products of the Eastern Roman Empire, as well as the nations and states that inherited culturally from the empire. A number of states contemporary with the Byzantine Empire were culturally influenced by it, after the fall of the Byzantine capital of Constantinople in 1453, art produced by Eastern Orthodox Christians living in the Ottoman Empire was often called post-Byzantine. Byzantine art never lost sight of this classical heritage, the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, was adorned with a large number of classical sculptures, although they eventually became an object of some puzzlement for its inhabitants. And indeed, the art produced during the Byzantine Empire, although marked by periodic revivals of an aesthetic, was above all marked by the development of a new aesthetic. The most salient feature of new aesthetic was its abstract. The nature and causes of this transformation, which took place during late antiquity, have been a subject of scholarly debate for centuries. Giorgio Vasari attributed it to a decline in skills and standards. Although this point of view has been revived, most notably by Bernard Berenson. Alois Riegl and Josef Strzygowski, writing in the early 20th century, were all responsible for the revaluation of late antique art. Riegl saw it as a development of pre-existing tendencies in Roman art. In any case, the debate is purely modern, it is clear that most Byzantine viewers did not consider their art to be abstract or unnaturalistic, religious art was not, however, limited to the monumental decoration of church interiors. One of the most important genres of Byzantine art was the icon, an image of Christ, the illumination of manuscripts was another major genre of Byzantine art. The most commonly illustrated texts were religious, both scripture itself and devotional or theological texts, secular texts were also illuminated, important examples include the Alexander Romance and the history of John Skylitzes. Small ivories were also mostly in relief, Byzantine ceramics were relatively crude, as pottery was never used at the tables of the rich, who ate off silver. Two events were of importance to the development of a unique. First, the Edict of Milan, issued by the emperors Constantine I and Licinius in 313, allowed for public Christian worship, second, the dedication of Constantinople in 330 created a great new artistic centre for the eastern half of the Empire, and a specifically Christian one. Major Constantinopolitan churches built under Constantine and his son, Constantius II, included the foundations of Hagia Sophia. The next major building campaign in Constantinople was sponsored by Theodosius I, the most important surviving monument of this period is the obelisk and base erected by Theodosius in the HippodromeByzantine art – The most famous of the surviving Byzantine mosaics of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople – the image of Christ Pantocrator on the walls of the upper southern gallery. Christ is flanked by the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist. The mosaics were made in the 12th century.
5. Byzantine architecture – Byzantine architecture is the architecture of the Byzantine Empire, also known as the Later Roman or Eastern Roman Empire. Byzantine architecture was influenced by Roman and Greek architecture and later Sassanian. Early Byzantine architecture drew upon earlier elements of Roman architecture, stylistic drift, technological advancement, and political and territorial changes meant that a distinct style gradually resulted in the Greek cross plan in church architecture. Most of the structures are sacred in nature, with secular buildings mostly known only through contemporaneous descriptions. Prime examples of early Byzantine architecture date from Justinian Is reign and survive in Ravenna and Istanbul, secular structures include the ruins of the Great Palace of Constantinople, the innovative walls of Constantinople and Basilica Cistern. A frieze in the Ostrogothic palace in Ravenna depicts an early Byzantine palace, remarkable engineering feats include the 430 m long Sangarius Bridge and the pointed arch of Karamagara Bridge. The period of the Macedonian dynasty, traditionally considered the epitome of Byzantine art, has not left a legacy in architecture. The cross-in-square type also became predominant in the Slavic countries which were Christianized by Salonikas missionaries during the Macedonian period, only national forms of architecture can be found in abundance due to this. Those styles can be found in many Transcaucasian countries, such as Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and other Slavic lands, the Paleologan period is well represented in a dozen former churches in Istanbul, notably St Saviour at Chora and St Mary Pammakaristos. Unlike their Slavic counterparts, the Paleologan architects never accented the vertical thrust of structures, as a result, there is little grandeur in the late medieval architecture of Byzantium. Other churches from the years predating the fall of Constantinople survive on Mount Athos. Those of the type we must suppose were nearly always vaulted. The most famous church of this type was that of the Holy Apostles, vaults appear to have been early applied to the basilican type of plan, for instance, at Hagia Irene, Constantinople, the long body of the church is covered by two domes. At Saint Sergius, Constantinople, and San Vitale, Ravenna, churches of the central type, finally, at Hagia Sophia a combination was made which is perhaps the most remarkable piece of planning ever contrived. This unbroken area, about 260 ft long, the part of which is over 100 ft wide, is entirely covered by a system of domical surfaces. Above the conchs of the small apses rise the two great semi-domes which cover the hemicycles, and between these bursts out the vast dome over the central square. On the two sides, to the north and south of the dome, it is supported by vaulted aisles in two storeys which bring the form to a general square. At the Holy Apostles five domes were applied to a cruciform plan, after the 6th century there were no churches built which in any way competed in scale with these great works of Justinian, and the plans more or less tended to approximate to one typeByzantine architecture – Hagia Sophia Church, Sofia, Bulgaria
6. Byzantine calendar – The Byzantine calendar, also called Creation Era of Constantinople or Era of the World, was the calendar used by the Eastern Orthodox Church from c.691 to 1728 in the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It was also the official calendar of the Byzantine Empire from 988 to 1453, the calendar was based on the Julian calendar, except that the year started on 1 September and the year number used an Anno Mundi epoch derived from the Septuagint version of the Bible. Its year one, the date of creation, was September 1,5509 BC. It is not known who invented the World era and when, nevertheless, the first appearance of the term is in the treatise of a certain monk and priest, Georgios, who mentions all the main variants of the World Era in his work. He also already regards it as the most convenient for the Easter computus and this date underwent minor revisions before being finalized in the mid-7th century, although its precursors were developed c. By the second half of the 7th century, the Creation Era was known in Western Europe, by the late 10th century around AD988, when the era appears in use on official government records, a unified system was widely recognized across the Eastern Roman world. The era was ultimately calculated as starting on September 1, Thus historical time was calculated from the creation, and not from Christs birth, as in the west. The Eastern Church avoided the use of the Anno Domini system of Dionysius Exiguus, meanwhile, as Russia received Orthodox Christianity from Byzantium, she inherited the Orthodox Calendar based on the Byzantine Era. After the collapse of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, the era continued to be used by Russia and it was only in AD1700 that the Byzantine World Era in Russia was changed to the Julian Calendar by Peter the Great. It still forms the basis of traditional Orthodox calendars up to today, September AD2000 began the year 7509 AM. Both of these early Christian writers, following the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, the Alexandrian Era developed in AD412, was the precursor to the Byzantine Era. After the initial attempts by Hippolytus, Clement of Alexandria and others, the Alexandrine monk Panodorus reckoned 5904 years from Adam to the year AD412. This created the Alexandrian Era, whose first day was the first day of the proleptic Alexandrian civil year in progress,29 August 5493 BC, with the ecclesiastical year beginning on 25 March 5493 BC. This system presents in a sort of way the mystical coincidence of the three main dates of the worlds history, the beginning of Creation, the Incarnation. It was the first day of the year in the medieval Julian calendar, the Alexandrian Era of March 25,5493 BC was adopted by church fathers such as Maximus the Confessor and Theophanes the Confessor, as well as chroniclers such as George Syncellus. Its striking mysticism made it popular in Byzantium especially in monastic circles and it had for its basis a chronological list of events extending from the creation of Adam to the year AD627. The chronology of the writer is based on the figures of the Bible, St. John Chrysostom says in his Homily On the Cross and the Thief, that Christ, opened for us today Paradise, which had remained closed for some 5000 years. St. Isaac the Syrian writes in a Homily that before Christ, for five thousand five hundredByzantine calendar – Byzantine mosaic of the Creation of Adam, (Monreale Cathedral).
7. Byzantine coinage – Byzantine currency, money used in the Eastern Roman Empire after the fall of the West, consisted of mainly two types of coins, the gold solidus and a variety of clearly valued bronze coins. By the end of the empire the currency was issued only in silver stavrata, the gold coins of Justinian II departed from these stable conventions by putting a bust of Christ on the obverse, and a half or full-length portrait of the Emperor on the reverse. This was then used on nearly all Islamic coinage until the modern period, the type of Justinian II was revived after the end of Iconoclasm, and with variations remained the norm until the end of the Empire. In the 10th century, so-called anonymous folles were struck instead of the coins depicting the emperor. Late Byzantine gold coins became thin wafers that could be bent by hand, the Byzantine coinage had a prestige that lasted until near the end of the Empire. European rulers, once again started issuing their own coins, tended to follow a simplified version of Byzantine patterns. New bronze coins, multiples of the nummus were introduced, such as the 40 nummi,20 nummi,10 nummi, and 5 nummi coins. The obverse of these featured a highly stylized portrait of the emperor while the reverse featured the value of the denomination represented according to the Greek numbering system. It was succeeded by the initially ceremonial miliaresion established by Leo III the Isaurian in ca,720, which became standard issue from ca.830 on and until the late 11th century, when it was discontinued after being severely debased. Small transactions were conducted with bronze coinage throughout this period, until that time, the fineness of the gold remained consistent at about 0. 955–0.980. The Byzantine monetary system changed during the 7th century when the 40 nummi, now significantly smaller, although Justinian II attempted a restoration of the follis size of Justinian I, the follis continued to slowly decrease in size. The 11⁄12 weight coin was called a tetarteron, and the full weight solidus was called the histamenon, the tetarteron was unpopular and was only sporadically reissued during the 10th century. The full weight solidus was struck at 72 to the Roman pound, there were also solidi of weight reduced by one siliqua issued for trade with the Near East. These reduced solidi, with a star both on obverse and reverse, weighed about 4.25 g, the Byzantine solidus was valued in Western Europe, where it became known as the bezant, a corruption of Byzantium. The term bezant then became the name for the symbol of a roundel. Former money changer Michael IV the Paphlagonian assumed the throne of Byzantium in 1034, the debasement was gradual at first, but then accelerated rapidly. Under Alexius I Comnenus the debased solidus was discontinued and a coinage of higher fineness was established. The hyperpyron was slightly smaller than the solidus, during Andronicus IIs reign he instituted a some new coinage based on the hyperpyronByzantine coinage – Solidus of Justinian II, second reign, after 705
8. Byzantine cuisine – Byzantine cuisine was marked by a merger of Greek and Roman gastronomy. The development of the Byzantine Empire and trade brought in spices, sugar, cooks experimented with new combinations of food, creating two styles in the process. These were the Eastern, consisting of Byzantine cuisine supplemented by trade items, Byzantine food consumption varied by class. The Imperial Palace was a metropolis of spices and exotic recipes, guests were entertained with fruits, honey-cakes, the core diet consisted of bread, vegetables, pulses, and cereals prepared in varied ways. Salad was very popular, to the amazement of the Florentines, the Byzantines produced various cheeses, including anthotiro or kefalintzin. They also relished shellfish and fish, both fresh and salt-water and they prepared eggs to make famous omelettes — called sphoungata, i. e. spongy — mentioned by Theodore Prodromos. Every household also kept a supply of poultry, Byzantine elites obtained other kinds of meat by hunting, a favourite and distinguished occupation of men. They usually hunted with dogs and hawks, though sometimes employed trapping, netting, larger animals were a more expensive and rare food. Citizens slaughtered pigs at the beginning of winter and provided their families with sausages, salt pork, only upper middle and higher Byzantines could afford lamb. They seldom ate beef, as they used cattle to cultivate the fields, middle and lower class citizens in cities such as Constantinople and Thessaloniki consumed the offerings of the taverna. The most common form of cooking was boiling, a tendency which sparked a derisive Byzantine maxim—The lazy cook prepares everything by boiling. Liutprand of Cremona, the ambassador to Constantinople from Otto I, described being served food covered in an exceedingly bad fish liquor, many scholars state that Byzantine koptoplakous and plakountas tetyromenous are the ancestors of modern baklava and tiropita respectively. Both variants descended from the ancient Roman Placenta cake, the resulting melting pot continued during Ottoman times and therefore modern Turkish cuisine, Greek cuisine and Balkans cuisine are all almost identical, and use a very wide range of ingredients. Macedonia was renowned for its wines, served for upper class Byzantines, during the crusades and after, western Europeans valued costly Byzantine wines. The most famous example is the still extant Commandaria wine from Cyprus served at the wedding of King Richard the Lionheart, other renowned varieties were Cretan wines from muscat grapes, Romania or Rumney, and Malvasia or Malmsey. grByzantine cuisine – Byzantine culture
9. Byzantine dance – The art of Dance in the Byzantine Empire, developed during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, was centered in the capital city of Byzantium, later renamed Constantinople. Byzantine culture was oriented towards Greek culture and Christianity, rather than Roman paganism, the Byzantine Empire existed for more than a thousand years, from the 4th century CE to 1453. Ancient Greek dance in classical antiquity was originally held to have educational value, however, as Greek culture gradually conquered Rome, dancing had less educational value and was more for entertainment purposes. At this time dancers were given a social status than other artists. The influence of Christianity brought change too, first as the Eastern Roman Empire sought to ban dance, however, as Eastern Orthodox Church gradually began to grant concessions to the vast number of Greeks who had converted to Christianity, rendering dance acceptable by refining and spiritualizing it. This was similar to Christian reinterpretations of pre-Christian holidays, legends, there are also similarities between Byzantine dance and modern Greek dance. The dances that won the approval of the church were group dances, typically processions or circles in which men, separated from women, however, the information on dancing at this period is very scarce. Actually, since the Byzantine art is mainly ecclesiastical, the references to dance are rare, some images from the Byzantine and meta-Byzantine dances have been saved on sculptures, miniatures, and manuscripts - but mainly in church frescos amongst religious subjects. In his book Life and Culture of the Byzantines, Phaidon Koukoules assembled all known references to dance in texts of that time. From his writings, we learn that there were womens dances on Easter, nocturnal satirical dances in disguise on the Kalends, there were dances at weddings, in taverns, and at banquets. The wealthy invited professional harpists and youths and maidens to dance, being appreciated for their bodily agility. Dance spectacles staged in the theater in the accompaniment of flute, though we have so few descriptions of Byzantine dances, we know that they were often intertwined. The leader of the dance was called the koryphaios or chorolektes and it was he who began the song, efstathios of Thessaloniki mentions a dance which commenced in a circle and ended with the dancers facing one another. When not dancing in a circle the dancers held their hands high or waved them to left and they held cymbals or a kerchief in their hands and their movements were emphasized by their long sleeves. As they danced, they sang, either set songs or extemporized ones, sometimes in unison, sometimes in refrain, the onlookers joined in, clapping the rhythm or singing. Professional singers, often the musicians themselves, composed lyrics to suit the occasion, in Constantinople, important events were celebrated with large public dances. On the return of the victorious Byzantine army, for instance, there are instances recorded of people dancing inside the church, on Easter and Christmas, after Patriarch Theophylactos had granted his permission. Other times they danced and sang extemporized songs, making fun of the emperor, the soldiers danced as part of their drill and danced after maneuvers for amusementByzantine dance – Byzantine culture
10. Byzantine diplomacy – All these neighbors lacked a key resource that Byzantium had taken over from Rome, namely a formalized legal structure. When they set about forging formal political institutions, they were dependent on the empire, whereas classical writers are fond of making a sharp distinction between peace and war, for the Byzantines diplomacy was a form of war by other means. With a regular army of 120, 000-140,000 men after the losses of the seventh century, byzantiums Bureau of Barbarians was the first foreign intelligence agency, gathering information on the empire’s rivals from every imaginable source. On Strategy, from the 6th century, offers advice about foreign embassies and their attendants, however, should be kept under surveillance to keep them from obtaining any information by asking questions of our people. Byzantine diplomacy drew its neighbors into a network of international and interstate relations and this process revolved around treaty making. In order to drive this process, the Byzantines availed themselves of a number of diplomatic practices. For example, embassies to Constantinople would often stay on for years, another key practice was to overwhelm visitors by sumptuous displays. Constantinoples riches served the states diplomatic purposes as a means of propaganda, when Liutprand of Cremona was sent as an ambassador to the Byzantine capital, he was overwhelmed by the imperial residence, the luxurious meals, and acrobatic entertainment. The fact that Byzantium in its dealings with the generally preferred diplomacy to war is not surprising. The Byzantines were skilled at using diplomacy as a weapon of war, if the Bulgars threatened, subsidies could be given to the Kiev Rus. A Rus threat could be countered by subsidies to the Patzinaks, if the Patzinaks proved troublesome, the Cumans or Uzès could be contacted. There was always someone to the rear in a position to appreciate the emperors largesse. Another innovative principle of Byzantine diplomacy was effective interference in the affairs of other states. In 1282, Michael VIII sponsored a revolt in Sicily against Charles of Anjou called the Sicilian Vespers, emperor Heraclius once intercepted a message from Persian rival Khosrau II which ordered the execution of a general. Heraclius added 400 names to the message and diverted the messenger, the emperor maintained a stable of pretenders to almost every foreign throne. These could be given funds and released to wreak havoc if their homeland threatened attackByzantine diplomacy – Olga, ruler of Kievan Rus', along with her escort in Constantinople (Madrid Skylitzes, Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid)
11. Byzantine dress – Byzantine dress changed considerably over the thousand years of the Empire, but was essentially conservative. A different border or trimming round the edges was very common, taste for the middle and upper classes followed the latest fashions at the Imperial Court. In the early stages of the Byzantine Empire the traditional Roman toga was still used as formal or official dress. The hems often curve down to a sharp point, in general, except for military and presumably riding-dress, men of higher status, and all women, had clothes that came down to the ankles, or nearly so. Women often wore a top layer of the stola, for the rich in brocade, all of these, except the stola, might be belted or not. The chlamys, a semicircular cloak fastened to the shoulder continued throughout the period. The length fell sometimes only to the hips or as far as the ankles, much longer than the version worn in Ancient Greece. As well as his courtiers, Emperor Justinian wears one, with a huge brooch, a paragauda or border of thick cloth, usually including gold, was also an indicator of rank. Sometimes an oblong cloak would be worn, especially by the military and ordinary people, cloaks were pinned on the right shoulder for ease of movement, and access to a sword. Leggings and hose were worn, but are not prominent in depictions of the wealthy, they were associated with barbarians. Even basic clothes appear to have been expensive for the poor. Others, when engaged in activity, are shown with the sides of their tunic tied up to the waist for ease of movement, the most common images surviving from the Byzantine period are not relevant as references for actual dress worn in the period. Sandals are worn on the feet and this costume is not commonly seen in secular contexts, although possibly this is deliberate, to avoid confusing secular with divine subjects. The Theotokos is shown wearing a maphorion, a more shaped mantle with a hood and this probably is close to actual typical dress for widows, and for married women when in public. The Virgins underdress may be visible, especially at the sleeves, there are also conventions for Old Testament prophets and other Biblical figures. Apart from Christ and the Virgin, much iconographic dress is white or relatively muted in colour especially when on walls and in manuscripts, many other figures in Biblical scenes, especially if unnamed, are usually depicted wearing contemporary Byzantine clothing. Modesty was important for all except the very rich, and most women appear almost entirely covered by rather shapeless clothes, the basic garment in the early Empire comes down to the ankles, with a high round collar and tight sleeves to the wrist. The fringes and cuffs might be decorated with embroidery, with a band around the arm as wellByzantine dress – A 14th-century military martyr wears four layers, all patterned and richly trimmed: a cloak with tablion over a short dalmatic, another layer (?), and a tunic
12. Byzantine economy – The Byzantine economy was among the most robust economies in the Mediterranean for many centuries. Constantinople was a hub in a trading network that at various times extended across nearly all of Eurasia. Some scholars argue that, up until the arrival of the Arabs in the 7th century, the Arab conquests, however, would represent a substantial reversal of fortunes contributing to a period of decline and stagnation. Constantine Vs reforms marked the beginning of a revival that continued until 1204, from the 10th century until the end of the 12th, the Byzantine Empire projected an image of luxury, and the travelers were impressed by the wealth accumulated in the capital. All this changed with the arrival of the Fourth Crusade, which was an economic catastrophe, the Palaiologoi tried to revive the economy, but the late Byzantine state would not gain full control of either the foreign or domestic economic forces. One of the foundations of the empire was trade. The state strictly controlled both the internal and the trade, and retained the monopoly of issuing coinage. The Eastern Roman economy suffered less from the Barbarian raids that plagued the Western Roman Empire. Under Diocletians reign, the Eastern Roman Empires annual revenue was at 9,400,000 solidi and these estimates can be compared to the AD150 annual revenue of 14,500,000 solidi and the AD215 of 22,000,000 solidi. By the end of Marcians reign, the revenue for the Eastern empire was 7,800,000 solidi. Warren Treadgold estimates that during the period from Diocletian to Marcian, the Eastern Empires population and agriculture declined a bit, actually, the few preserved figures show that the largest eastern cities grew somewhat between the 3rd and 5th centuries. By Marcians reign the Eastern Empires difficulties seem to have been easing, the wealth of Constantinople can be seen by how Justin I used 3,700 pounds of gold just for celebrating his own consulship. By the end of his reign, Anastasius I had managed to collect for the treasury an amount of 23,000,000 solidi or 320,000 pounds of gold. At the start of Justinian Is reign, the Emperor had inherited a surplus 28,800,000 from Anastasius I, before Justinian Is reconquests the state had an annual revenue of 5,000,000 solidi, which further increased after his reconquests in 550. Nevertheless, Justinian I had little money left towards the end of his reign partly because of the Justinian Plague, and the Roman–Persian Wars, in addition to these expenses, the rebuilding of Hagia Sophia cost 20,000 pounds of gold. Since Emperor Heraclius changed the official language from Latin to Greek in around 620, the solidus would thereafter be known by its Greek name. The Byzantine-Arab Wars reduced the territory of the Empire to a third in the 7th century, from the 8th century onward the Empires economy improved dramatically. This was a blessing for Byzantium in more than one way, the economy, the administration of gold coinage, even though the soldiers pay was minimal, large armies were a considerable strain on ByzantiumByzantine economy – Byzantine culture
13. Byzantine gardens – The city of Byzantium in the Byzantine Empire occupies an important place in the history of garden design between eras and cultures. The city, later renamed Constantinople and the present day Istanbul, was capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, the gardens of Byzantium were, however, mostly destroyed after the 15th-century Turkish conquest of the city. Byzantine gardens were based largely on Roman ideas emphasizing elaborate mosaic designs and these gradually grew to become more elaborate as time passed. Byzantine gardens have influenced Islamic gardens and particularly moorish gardens (because Spain was before a Byzantine province, little else is known about Byzantine gardens, however, and very few references, let alone entire treatises, exist on the subject. The Byzantines, like their Greco-Roman predecessors, attached great importance to such matters of aesthetics, however, ancient Greek gardens and Roman gardens were more developed and documented. Marie-Luise Gothein, History of Byzantine GardensByzantine gardens – Byzantine culture
14. Byzantine law – Byzantine law was essentially a continuation of Roman law with increased Christian influence. Most sources define Byzantine law as the Roman legal traditions starting after the reign of Justinian I in the 6th century, the most important work of Byzantine law was the Ecloga, issued by Leo III, the first major Roman-Byzantine legal code issued in Greek rather than Latin. Soon after the Farmers Law was established regulating legal standards outside the cities, Byzantine law was effectively devolved into two spheres, Ecclesiastical law and secular law. Byzantium inherited its main political, cultural and social institutions from Rome, similarly, Roman law constituted the basis for the Byzantine legal system. For many centuries, the two great codifications of Roman law, carried out by Theodosius II and Justinian respectively, were the cornerstones of Byzantine legislation. Of course, over the years these Roman codes were adjusted to the current circumstances, however, the influence of Roman law persisted, and it is obvious in codifications, such as Basilika, which was based on Corpus Juris Civilis. In the 11th century, Michael Psellos prides himself for being acquainted with the Roman legal legacy, in accordance with the late Roman legal tradition, the main source of law in Byzantium remained the enactments of the emperors. The latter initiated some major codifications of the Roman law, but they issued their own new laws. In early Byzantine era the legislative interest of the emperors intensified, for example, Constantine I was the first to regulate divorce and Theodosius I intervened in faith issues, imposing a specific version of the Creed. From Diocletian to Theodosius I, namely during approximately 100 years, Justinian alone promulgated approximately 600 laws. Gradually, the legislative enthusiasm receded, but still some of the laws of later emperors, custom continued to play a limited role as a secondary source of law, but written legislation had a precedence. There is no established date for when the so-called Byzantine period of Roman history begins. During the 4th, 5th, and 6th centuries the Empire was split, but it was during this period that Constantinople was first established and the East gained its own identity administratively, thus, it is often considered the early Byzantine period. These developments, nevertheless, were key steps in the formation of Byzantine Law, in 438, Emperor Theodosius published the Codex Theodosianus, which consisted of 16 books, containing all standing laws from the age of Constantine I till then. Soon after his accession in 527, Justinian appointed a commission to collect, a second commission, headed by the jurist Tribonian, was appointed in 530 to select matter of permanent value from the works of the jurists, to edit it and to arrange it into 50 books. In 533 this commission produced the Digesta, although Law as practiced in Rome had grown up as a type of case law, this was not the Roman Law known to the Medieval, or modern world. Now Roman law claims to be based on principles of justice that were made into actual rules of law by legislative authority of the emperor or the Roman people. These ideas were transmitted to the Middle Ages in the codification of Roman law carried throughout by the emperor JustinianByzantine law – Byzantine culture
15. Byzantine literature – Byzantine literature is the Greek literature of the Middle Ages, whether written in the territory of the Byzantine Empire or outside its borders. It forms the second period in the history of Greek literature, though popular Byzantine literature and early Modern Greek literature and this practice was perpetuated by a long-established system of Greek education where rhetoric was a leading subject. A typical product of this Byzantine education was the Greek Church Fathers, consequently, the vast Christian literature of the 3rd to 6th centuries established a synthesis of Hellenic and Christian thought. In addition, this style was also removed from the Koine Greek language of the New Testament, reaching back to Homer. In this manner, the culture of the Byzantine Empire was marked for over 1000 years by a diglossy between two different forms of the language, which were used for different purposes. However, the relations between the high and low forms of Greek changed over the centuries, the political recovery of the 9th century instigated a literary revival, in which a conscious attempt was made to recreate the Hellenic-Christian literary culture of late antiquity. Simple or popular Greek was avoided in literary use and many of the saints lives were rewritten in an archaizing style. By the 12th century the cultural confidence of the Byzantine Greeks led them to new literary genres, such as romantic fiction, in which adventure. Satire made occasional use of elements from spoken Greek, at the same time there was the beginning of a flourishing literature in an approximation to the vernacular Modern Greek. However the vernacular literature was limited to poetic romances and popular devotional writing, all serious literature continued to make use of the archaizing language of learned Greek tradition. Byzantine literature has two sources, Classical Greek and Orthodox Christian tradition, each of those sources provided a series of models and references for the Byzantine writer and his readers. The oldest of three civilizations is the Greek, centered not in Athens but in Alexandria and Hellenistic civilization. Alexandria through this period is the center of both Atticizing scholarship and of Graeco-Judaic social life, looking towards Athens as well as towards Jerusalem and this intellectual dualism between the culture of scholars and that of the people permeates the Byzantine period. Both tendencies persisted in Byzantium, but the first, as the one officially recognized, retained predominance and was not driven from the field until the fall of the empire, the reactionary linguistic movement known as Atticism supported and enforced this scholarly tendency. Alexandria, the center, is balanced by Rome, the center of government. It is as a Roman Empire that the Byzantine state first entered history, its citizens were known as Romans and its laws were Roman, so were its government, its army, and its official class, and at first also its language and its private and public life. The organization of the state was similar to that of the Roman imperial period, including its hierarchy. It was in Alexandria that Graeco-Oriental Christianity had its birth, on Egyptian soil monasticism began and thrivedByzantine literature – Byzantine culture
16. Byzantine medicine – Byzantine medicine encompasses the common medical practices of the Byzantine Empire from about 400 AD to 1453 AD. Byzantine medicine was notable for building upon the base developed by its Greco-Roman predecessors. In preserving medical practices from antiquity, Byzantine medicine influenced Islamic medicine as well as fostering the Western rebirth of medicine during the Renaissance, Byzantine physicians often compiled and standardized medical knowledge into textbooks. Their records tended to include both diagnostic explanations and technical drawings, the Medical Compendium in Seven Books, written by the leading physician Paul of Aegina, survived as a particularly thorough source of medical knowledge. This compendium, written in the seventh century, remained in use as a standard textbook for the following 800 years. Late antiquity ushered in a revolution in science, and historical records often mention civilian hospitals. Constantinople stood out as a center of medicine during the Middle Ages, which was aided by its crossroads location, wealth, arguably, the first Byzantine physician was the author of the Vienna Dioscurides manuscript, created circa 515 AD for the daughter of Emperor Olybrius. Oribasius, arguably the most prolific Byzantine compiler of medical knowledge, several of his works, along with those of other Byzantine physicians, were translated into Latin, and eventually, during the Enlightenment and Age of Reason, into English and French. Therefore, it could be argued that previous misrepresentations about Byzantium being simply a carrier of Ancient Medical knowledge to the Renaissance are wrong. It is known, for example, that the late twelfth-century Italian physician was influenced by the treatises of the Byzantine doctors Aëtius, the last great Byzantine physician was John Actuarius, who lived in the early 14th Century in Constantinople. His works on urine laid much of the foundation for later study in urology, the Byzantine Empire was one of the first empires to have flourishing medical establishments. Prior to the Byzantine Empire the Roman Empire had hospitals specifically for soldiers, however, none of these establishments were for the public. The hospitals in Byzantium were originally started by the church to act as a place for the poor to have access to basic amenities, hospitals were usually separated between men and women. The establishments of the Byzantine Empire resembled the beginning of what we now know as modern hospitals, the first hospital was erected by Leontius of Antioch between the years 344 to 358 and was a place for strangers and migrants to find refuge. Around the same time, a deacon named Marathonius was in charge of hospitals and his main objective was to improve urban aesthetics, illustrating hospitals as a main part of Byzantine cities. These early hospitals were designed for the poor, in fact, most hospitals throughout the Byzantine Empire were almost exclusively utilized by the poor. There is debate between scholars as to why these institutions were started by the church, many scholars believe that the church founded hospitals in order to receive additional donations. Whatever the case for these hospitals, they began to diffuse across the empire, soon after, St. Basil of Caesarea developed a place for the sick in which provided refuge for the sick and homelessByzantine medicine – Byzantine culture
17. Byzantine music – Byzantine music, in a narrow sense, is the music of the Byzantine Empire. Originally it consisted of songs and hymns composed to Greek texts used for courtly ceremonials, during festivals, Byzantine music did not disappear after the fall of Constantinople. During the decline of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, the new self-declared patriarchates were independent nations defined by their religion. It was imitated by musicians of the 7th century to create Arab music as a synthesis of Byzantine and Persian music, the term Byzantine music is sometimes associated with the medieval sacred chant of Christian Churches following the Constantinopolitan Rite. The triodion created during the reform of Theodore was also translated into Slavonic which required also the adaption of melodic models to the prosody of the language. It is being discussed that in the Narthex of the Hagia Sophia an organ was placed for use in processions of the Emperor’s entourage. Nevertheless, both schools have in common a set of 4 octaves, each of them had a kyrios echos with the finalis on the degree V of the mode, and a plagios echos with the final note on the degree I. The Pythagorean sect and music as part of the four cyclical exercises which preceded the Latin quadrivium and science based on mathematics. Greek anachoretes of the early Middle Ages did still follow this education, according to him philosophy was divided into theory and practice, and the Pythagorean heritage was part of the former, while only the ethic effects of music were relevant in practice. The mathematic science harmonics was usually not mixed with the topics of a chant manual. Nevertheless, Byzantine music is modal and entirely dependent on the Ancient Greek concept of harmonics and its tonal system is based on a synthesis with ancient Greek models, but we have no sources left which explain us, how this synthesis was done. It seems that the fixed degrees became part of a new concept of the echos as melodic mode, after the echoi had been called by the ethnic names of the tropes. The bowed lyra is played in former Byzantine regions, where it is known as the Politiki lyra in Greece, the Calabrian lira in Southern Italy. The second instrument, the organ, originated in the Hellenistic world and was used in the Hippodrome in Constantinople during races, a pipe organ with great leaden pipes was sent by the emperor Constantine V to Pepin the Short King of the Franks in 757. Pepins son Charlemagne requested a similar organ for his chapel in Aachen in 812, the final Byzantine instrument, the aulos, was a double reeded woodwind like the modern oboe or Armenian duduk. Other forms include the plagiaulos, which resembled the flute, and the askaulos and these bagpipes, also known as Dankiyo, had been played even in Roman times. Dio Chrysostom wrote in the 1st century of a sovereign who could play a pipe with his mouth as well as by tucking a bladder beneath his armpit. The bagpipes continued to be played throughout the former realms down to the presentByzantine music – Music of Greece
18. Byzantine navy – The Byzantine navy was the naval force of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire. Like the empire it served, it was a continuation from its Imperial Roman predecessor. The first threat to Roman hegemony in the Mediterranean was posed by the Vandals in the 5th century and this process would be furthered with the onset of the Muslim conquests in the 7th century. Following the loss of the Levant and later Africa, the Mediterranean Sea was transformed from a Roman lake into a battleground between Byzantines and Arabs, initially, the defence of the Byzantine coasts and the approaches to Constantinople was borne by the great fleet of the Karabisianoi. Progressively however it was split up into several regional fleets, while a central Imperial Fleet was maintained at Constantinople, guarding the city, by the late 8th century, the Byzantine navy, a well-organized and maintained force, was again the dominant maritime power in the Mediterranean. The antagonism with the Muslim navies continued with alternating success, but in the 10th century, during the 11th century, the navy, like the Empire itself, began to decline. A period of recovery under the Komnenians was followed by period of decline. After the Empire was restored in 1261, several emperors of the Palaiologan dynasty tried to revive the navy, the diminished navy, however, continued to be active until the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottomans in 1453. The Byzantine navy, like the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire itself, was a continuation of the Roman Empire, after the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, in the absence of any external threat in the Mediterranean, the Roman navy performed mostly policing and escort duties. Massive sea battles, like those fought in the Punic Wars, no longer occurred, the civil wars of the 4th and early 5th centuries, however, did spur a revival of naval activity, with fleets mostly employed to transport armies. The new Vandalic Kingdom of Carthage, under the capable king Geiseric, immediately launched raids against the coasts of Italy and Greece, the Vandal raids continued unabated over the next two decades, despite repeated Roman attempts to defeat them. The Western Empire was impotent, its navy having dwindled to almost nothing, a first Eastern expedition in 448, however, went no further than Sicily, and in 460, the Vandals attacked and destroyed a Western Roman invasion fleet at Cartagena in Spain. Finally, in 468, a huge Eastern expedition was assembled under Basiliscus, reputedly numbering 1,113 ships and 100,000 men, but it failed disastrously. About 600 ships were lost to ships, and the financial cost of 130,000 pounds of gold and 700000 pounds of silver nearly bankrupted the Empire. This forced the Romans to come to terms with Geiseric and sign a peace treaty, after Geiserics death in 477, however, the Vandal threat receded. The 6th century marked the rebirth of Roman naval power, in 508, as antagonism with the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Theodoric flared up, the Emperor Anastasius I is reported to have sent a fleet of 100 warships to raid the coasts of Italy. In 513, the general Vitalian revolted against Anastasius, the rebels assembled a fleet of 200 ships which, despite some initial successes, were destroyed by admiral Marinus, who employed a sulphur-based incendiary substance to defeat them. This fact was not lost on the Byzantines enemies, already in the 520s, Theodoric had planned to build a massive fleet directed against the Byzantines and the Vandals, but his death in 526 limited the extent to which these plans were realizedByzantine navy – By the late 5th century, the Western Mediterranean had fallen into the hands of barbarian kingdoms. The conquests of Justinian I restored Roman control over the entire sea, which would last until the Muslim conquests in the latter half of the 7th century.
19. Byzantine Greeks – Throughout the Middle Ages, the Byzantine Greeks self-identified as Rhōmaîoi and Graikoí, but are referred to as Byzantines and Byzantine Greeks in modern historiography. The terms Byzantine Empire and Byzantine Greeks were first coined in the English language in 1857 by British historian George Finlay, the social structure of the Byzantine Greeks was primarily supported by a rural, agrarian base that consisted of the peasantry, and a small fraction of the poor. These peasants lived within three kinds of settlements, the chorion or village, the agridion or hamlet, and the proasteion or estate. Many civil disturbances that occurred during the time of the Byzantine Empire were attributed to political factions within the Empire rather than to large popular base. Soldiers among the Byzantine Greeks were at first conscripted amongst the rural peasants, as the Byzantine Empire entered the 11th century, more of the soldiers within the army were either professional men-at-arms or mercenaries. Until the twelfth century, education within the Byzantine Greek population was more advanced than in the West, particularly at primary school level, success came easily to Byzantine Greek merchants, who enjoyed a very strong position in international trade. Despite the challenges posed by rival Italian merchants, they held their own throughout the half of the Byzantine Empires existence. The clergy also held a place, not only having more freedom than their Western counterparts. This position of strength had built up over time, for at the beginning of the Byzantine Empire, under Emperor Constantine the Great, only a part, about 10%. The language of the Byzantine Greeks since the age of Constantine had been Greek, from the reign of Emperor Heraclius, Greek was the predominant language amongst the populace and also replaced Latin in administration. Over time, the relationship between them and the West, particularly with Latin Europe, deteriorated, relations were further damaged by a schism between the Catholic West and Orthodox East that led to the Byzantine Greeks being labeled as heretics in the West. However, the Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, during most of the Middle Ages, the Byzantine Greeks self-identified as Rhōmaîoi, a term which in the Greek language had become synonymous with Christian Greeks. The ancient name Hellenes was in popular use synonymous to pagan and was revived as an ethnonym in the Middle Byzantine period, the term Byzantines or Byzantine Greeks is an exonym applied by later historians like Hieronymus Wolf, the Byzantines continued to call themselves Romaioi in their language. Most historians agree that the features of their civilization were, 1) Greek language, culture, literature. The Eastern Roman Empire was in language and civilization a Greek society, the term Byzantine has been adopted by Western scholarship on the assumption that anything Roman is essentially Western. However, modern Greeks still use the ethnonyms Romaioi and Graikoi to refer to themselves, as well as the terms Romaica, byzantinist August Heisenberg defined the Byzantine Empire as the Christianised Roman empire of the Greek nation. Byzantium was primarily known as the Empire of the Greeks by Western Europeans due to the predominance of Greek linguistic, cultural, many Greek Orthodox populations, particularly those outside the newly independent modern Greek state, continued to refer to themselves as Romioi well into the 20th century. Some of the children ran to see what Greek soldiers looked likeByzantine Greeks – Byzantine culture
20. Byzantine science – Its rich historiographical tradition preserved ancient knowledge upon which splendid art, architecture, literature and technological achievements were built. Byzantine science was essentially classical science, therefore, Byzantine science was in every period closely connected with ancient-pagan philosophy, and metaphysics. Despite some opposition to pagan learning, many of the most distinguished classical scholars held high office in the Church, even the latter offered instruction in the ancient classics, and included literary, philosophical, and scientific texts in its curriculum. The monastic schools concentrated upon the Bible, theology, and liturgy, Byzantine scientists preserved and continued the legacy of the great Ancient Greek mathematicians and put mathematics in practice. In late Byzantium mathematicians like Michael Psellos considered mathematics as a way to interpret the world, medicine was one of the sciences in which the Byzantines improved on their Greco-Roman predecessors. As a result, Byzantine medicine had an influence on Islamic medicine as well as the medicine of the Renaissance, Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines typically used it in battles to great effect as it could continue burning even on water. Greek fire proper however was invented in c,672, and is ascribed by the chronicler Theophanes to Kallinikos, an architect from Heliopolis in the former province of Phoenice, by then overrun by the Muslim conquests. During the Middle Ages, there was frequently an exchange of works between Byzantine and Islamic science, there were also some Byzantine scientists who used Arabic transliterations to describe certain scientific concepts instead of the equivalent Ancient Greek terms. Byzantine science thus played an important role in not only transmitting ancient Greek knowledge to Western Europe and the Islamic world, Byzantine scientists also became acquainted with Sassanid and Indian astronomy through citations in some Arabic works. In Eustathius of Thessalonica Byzantine humanism found its most characteristic expression, during the 13th and 14th centuries, a period of intense creative activity, Byzantine humanism approached its zenith, and manifested a striking analogy to the contemporaneous Italian humanism. Byzantine humanism believed in the vitality of classical civilization, and of its sciences, despite the political, and military decline of these last two centuries, the Empire saw a flourishing of science and literature, often described as the Palaeologean or Last Byzantine Renaissance. Some of this eras most eminent representatives are, Maximus Planudes, Manuel Moschopulus, Demetrius Triclinius, Byzantine scholars in Renaissance List of Byzantine scholars Science in the Middle Ages Islamic science John PhiloponusByzantine science – The frontispiece of the Vienna Dioscurides shows a set of seven famous physicians. The most prominent man in the picture is Galen, who sits on a folding chair.