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1. History of the Byzantine Empire – This history of the Byzantine Empire covers the history of the Eastern Roman Empire from late antiquity until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD. Several events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the transitional period during which the Roman Empire's west divided. In 285, the Diocletian partitioned the Roman Empire's administration into eastern and western halves. Between 330, Constantine I transferred the main capital from Rome to Byzantium, later known as Constantinople and Nova Roma. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became others such as Roman polytheism were proscribed. And finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use instead of Latin. The borders of the Empire evolved significantly over its existence, as it went through several cycles of recovery. During the reign of Maurice, the north stabilised. In a matter of years the Empire lost Egypt and Syria, to the Arabs. This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle as a homeland. The final centuries of the Empire exhibited a general trend of decline. Its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 finally ended the Empire. During the 3rd century, three crises threatened the Roman Empire: external invasions, an economy riddled with weaknesses and problems. The city of Rome gradually became less important as an administrative centre.History of the Byzantine Empire – Map of the Roman Empire showing the four Tetrarchs' zones of influence after Diocletian's reforms.
2. Byzantine Empire – During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, military force in Europe. 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 reorganised the empire, legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became other religious practices were proscribed. Finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use instead of Latin. The borders of the Empire evolved significantly over its existence, as it went through several cycles of recovery. During the reign of Maurice, the north stabilised. In a matter of years the Empire lost Egypt and Syria, to the Arabs. This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle as a homeland. The Empire recovered again during such that by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. Its remaining territories were progressively 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 Constantine's capital. This older name of the city would rarely be used from this point onward except in poetic contexts. However, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came in the Western world.Byzantine Empire – Tremissis with the image of Justinian the Great (r. 527–565) (see Byzantine insignia)
3. Roman Empire – The imperial period of Rome lasted approximately 1,500 years compared to the 500 years of the Republican era. The first two centuries of the empire's existence were "Roman Peace". Following Octavian's victory, the size of the empire was dramatically increased. After the assassination of Caligula in 41, the senate briefly considered restoring the republic, but the Praetorian Guard proclaimed Claudius emperor instead. Under Claudius, the empire invaded its major expansion since Augustus. His short reign was followed by the long reign of his brother Domitian, eventually assassinated. The senate then appointed the first of the Five Good Emperors. The empire reached its greatest extent under Trajan, the second in this line. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. Commodus' assassination in 192 triggered the Year of the Five Emperors, of which Septimius Severus emerged victorious. Constantine subsequently shifted the capital to Byzantium, renamed "Constantinople" in his honour. It remained the capital of the east until its demise. Constantine also adopted Christianity which later became the official state religion of the empire. The Eastern Roman Empire endured for another millennium, eventually falling to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. The Roman Empire was among the most powerful economic, cultural, political and military forces in the world of its time.Roman Empire – The Augustus of Prima Porta (early 1st century AD)
4. Dominate – In form, the Dominate is considered to be more bureaucratic than the Principate from which it emerged. The Dominate is derived from the Latin dominus, which translates as lord or master. Augustus actively discouraged the practice, Tiberius in particular is said to have reviled it as sycophancy. The Dominate system of government emerged as a response to the 50 years of chaos, referred to as the Crisis of the Third Century. These bureaucratic machines worked moderately well, their success might have been extraordinary if the monarchs who directed them had always been men of superior ability. Blots of course and defects there were, especially in the fields of economy and finance. The political creation of the Illyrian Emperors was not unworthy of the genius of Rome." Under the Principate, the position of emperor saw the concentration of military offices within a single magistry. Under the Dominate, the burden of the imperial position was increasingly shared between colleagues, referred to as the Consortium imperii. This original model lasted from AD 289 through to AD 324, being undone during the Civil wars of the Tetrarchy. With Constantine I’s death in AD 337, the empire was again shared between multiple augusti, lasting until AD 350. During the Roman Republic, the office of Consul was the highest elected magistry in the Roman state, with two consuls elected annually. If they were especially skilled or valued, they may even have achieved a second consulate. The process began with the reforms of Gallienus, who removed senators from military commands, placing them in the hands of the Equites. Under Diocletian, the military transformation was taken a stage further, with the removal of hereditary senators from most administrative, well as military, posts.Dominate – Ancient Rome
5. Byzantium under the Theodosian dynasty – This history of the Byzantine Empire covers the history of the Eastern Roman Empire from late antiquity until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD. Several events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the transitional period during which the Roman Empire's east and west divided. In 285, the emperor Diocletian partitioned the Roman Empire's administration into eastern and western halves. Between 324 and 330, Constantine I transferred the main capital from Rome to Byzantium, later known as Constantinople and Nova Roma. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and others such as Roman polytheism were proscribed. And finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use instead of Latin. 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 Empire's eastern frontier was expanded and the north stabilised. 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 as a homeland. The final centuries of the Empire exhibited a general trend of decline. Its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 finally ended the Empire. During the 3rd century, three crises threatened the Roman Empire: external invasions, internal civil wars and an economy riddled with weaknesses and problems. The city of Rome gradually became less important as an administrative centre.Byzantium under the Theodosian dynasty – Map of the Roman Empire showing the four Tetrarchs' zones of influence after Diocletian's reforms.
6. Byzantium under the Leonid dynasty – This history of the Byzantine Empire covers the history of the Eastern Roman Empire from late antiquity until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD. Several events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the transitional period during which the Roman Empire's east and west divided. In 285, the emperor Diocletian partitioned the Roman Empire's administration into eastern and western halves. Between 324 and 330, Constantine I transferred the main capital from Rome to Byzantium, later known as Constantinople and Nova Roma. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and others such as Roman polytheism were proscribed. And finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use instead of Latin. 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 Empire's eastern frontier was expanded and the north stabilised. 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 as a homeland. The final centuries of the Empire exhibited a general trend of decline. Its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 finally ended the Empire. During the 3rd century, three crises threatened the Roman Empire: external invasions, internal civil wars and an economy riddled with weaknesses and problems. The city of Rome gradually became less important as an administrative centre.Byzantium under the Leonid dynasty – Map of the Roman Empire showing the four Tetrarchs' zones of influence after Diocletian's reforms.
7. Byzantine Empire under the Justinian dynasty – The Byzantine Empire had its first golden age under the Justinian Dynasty, which began in 518 AD with the Accession of Justin I. The Justinian Dynasty ended with the deposition of Maurice and the ascension of his successor, Phocas. The Justinian Dynasty began to the throne. Justin I was born in the 450s AD. He rose through the ranks to become the commander of the Excubitors, a very influential position. In this time, he also achieved the rank of senator. After the death of the Emperor Anastasius, who had left no clear heir, there was much dispute as to who would become emperor. To decide who would ascend the throne, a grand meeting was called in the hippodrome. The Byzantine Senate, meanwhile, gathered in the great hall of the palace. As the senate wanted to avoid outside influence, they were pressed to quickly select a candidate; however, they could not agree. Several candidates were rejected for various reasons. After much arguing, the senate chose to nominate Justin; and he was crowned on 10 July. Justin, from a Latin province, spoke little Greek; and was almost completely illiterate. As such, he surrounded himself with intelligent advisers, the most notable of, Justinian. Justinian is considered by some historians, such as Procopius, to be the real power behind the throne.Byzantine Empire under the Justinian dynasty – A coin showing the bust of Justin I.
8. Byzantine Empire under the Heraclian dynasty – The Byzantine Empire was ruled by Hellenized Armenian emperors of the dynasty of Heraclius between 610 and 711. The Heraclians presided over a period of cataclysmic events that were a watershed in the world in general. The Heraclian dynasty was named after the general Heraclius the Younger, who, in 610, sailed from Carthage, overthrew the usurper was crowned Emperor. At the time, the Empire was embroiled with the Sassanid Persian Empire, which in the next decade conquered the Empire's eastern provinces. His successors struggled to contain the Arab tide. The Levant and North Africa were lost, while in 674 -- 678, a Arab army besieged Constantinople itself. Nevertheless, the establishment of the Theme system allowed the imperial heartland of Asia Minor to be retained. Under Tiberios III the imperial frontier in the East was stabilized, although incursions continued on both sides. Ever since the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Eastern Roman Empire continued to see Western Europe as Imperial territory. However, only Justinian I attempted to enforce this claim with military might. However, the Visigoths soon reduced the imperial holdings in Spain. At the same time, wars with the Persian Empire brought no conclusive victory. In 591 however, the long war was ended with a treaty favorable to Byzantium, which gained Armenia. Thus, after the death of Justinian's successor Tiberius II, Maurice sought to restore the prestige of the Empire. The final blow to the government was a decision to cut the pay of its army to financial strains.Byzantine Empire under the Heraclian dynasty – Solidus of Heraclius' reign, showing his son Constantine III as co-emperor.
9. Twenty Years' Anarchy – Justinian II set in motion a chain of events by embarking on a despotic and increasingly violent course. Leontios was in turn overthrown by Tiberios III. Justinian then continued to reign for a further six years. He continued to rule in a manner, despotic and cruel. He lost the ground imposed his views on the Pope. Before long he faced a rebellion led by Philippikos Bardanes. Justinian was executed as was his son and co-emperor, Tiberius, thus extinguishing the Heraclian line. Justinian had taken the Byzantine empire further from its origins. He effectively abolished the historical role of Consul, merging it with Emperor, thus strengthening the Emperors' constitutional position as absolute monarch. Moving troops to defend the capital allowed the Arabs to make incursions in the east. His reign ended abruptly when an rebellion deposed him and replaced him with Anastasius II. However the strength of factional struggles within the Arab world enabled it to do so. Byzantine -- Arab Wars Byzantium under the Isaurians Byzantine -- Bulgarian Wars #Tervel's Walter Emil. The Early Islamic Conquests. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.Twenty Years' Anarchy – Justinian II
10. Byzantine Empire under the Isaurian dynasty – The Byzantine Empire was ruled by the Isaurian or Syrian dynasty from 717 to 802. The Heraclian dynasty faced some of the greatest challenges in history. Following the Muslim conquest of Syria, the Empire's chief source of grain and tax revenue, had fallen to the Arabs. These three areas would be the main fields of Byzantine-Arab contention during the next half-century. The Arabs continued most notably constructing a navy that successfully challenged Byzantine supremacy in the Mediterranean. Emperor Constans II reinforced his position in the Balkans and Italy. Carthage finally fell in a Byzantine recovery attempt defeated next year. Finally, the Umayyad caliph Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik began preparing another huge expedition to conquer Constantinople. The barter economy experienced a revival as well. At the same time, the central bureaucracy in Constantinople also rose in importance. After Justinian II's second overthrow, the Byzantine Empire spiralled into another era of chaos matched only by Phocas' mishandling of the last Persian War. Philippikos Bardanes, the Crimean rebel who seized the throne proved to be totally incompetent for rule. Rather than face the looming threat of Bulgars the Arabs, he intended to reignite the religious controversies by imposing the much hated Heraclian Monothelitism. When King Tervel of Bulgaria invaded Thrace, Bardanes had no choice but to summon the troops of the Opsician Theme to combat the Bulgars. Artemios was crowned as Anastasios II.Byzantine Empire under the Isaurian dynasty – The emperors of the Isaurian Dynasty on a gold solidus from ca. 775–780. Leo IV with his son Constantine VI on the obverse, Leo III with his son Constantine V on the reverse
11. Byzantium under the Amorian dynasty – This history of the Byzantine Empire covers the history of the Eastern Roman Empire from late antiquity until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD. Several events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the transitional period during which the Roman Empire's east and west divided. In 285, the Diocletian partitioned the Roman Empire's administration into western halves. Between 330, Constantine I transferred the main capital to Byzantium, later known as Constantinople and Nova Roma. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and others such as Roman polytheism were proscribed. And finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's administration were adopted Greek for official use instead of Latin. 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 Empire's eastern frontier was expanded and the north stabilised. 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 as a homeland. The final centuries of the Empire exhibited a general trend of decline. Its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 finally ended the Empire. During the 3rd century, three crises threatened the Roman Empire: external invasions, an economy riddled with problems. The city of Rome gradually became less important as an administrative centre.Byzantium under the Amorian dynasty – Map of the Roman Empire showing the four Tetrarchs' zones of influence after Diocletian's reforms.
12. Byzantine Empire under the Macedonian dynasty – The cities of the empire affluence spread across the provinces because of the new-found security. Production increased, stimulating new demand while also helping to encourage trade. Culturally, there was considerable growth in learning. Ancient texts were preserved and patiently re-copied. Brilliant mosaics graced the interiors of the many new churches. The latter in favoured culture at the court, with a careful financial policy, steadily increased the gold reserves of the Empire. The rise of the Macedonian dynasty coincided with internal developments which strengthened the religious unity of the empire. Despite tactical defeats, the administrative, legislative, cultural and economic situation continued to improve under Basil's successors, especially with Romanos I Lekapenos. The system reached its definitive form in this period. These favourable conditions contributed to the increasing ability of the emperors to wage war against the Arabs. The process of reconquest began with variable fortunes. The threat from the Arab Muslims was meanwhile reduced in the east. It took several campaigns to subdue the Paulicians, who were eventually defeated by Basil I. In 904, disaster struck the empire when Thessaloniki, was sacked by an Arab fleet led by a Byzantine renegade. The Byzantines responded by sacking the city of Laodicea in Syria two years later.Byzantine Empire under the Macedonian dynasty – Emperor Basil II the Bulgar Slayer (976–1025).
13. Byzantine Empire under the Komnenos dynasty – Moreover, it was during the Komnenian period that the'Latin' Christian West, including the Crusader states, was at its most crucial stage. Above all, the cultural impact of Byzantine art on the west at this period was enormous and of lasting significance. The Komnenoi also made a significant contribution to the history of Asia Minor. By reconquering much of the region, the Komnenoi set back the advance of the Turks in Anatolia by more than two centuries. In the process, they planted the foundations of the Byzantine successor states of Nicaea, Epirus and Trebizond. Meanwhile, their extensive programme of fortifications has left an enduring mark upon the Anatolian landscape, which can still be appreciated today. The Komnenian era was born out for the Byzantine Empire. Meanwhile, the remnants of the armed forces were allowed to decay, to the point where they were no longer capable of functioning as an army. Elderly men with ill-maintained equipment mixed with new recruits who had never participated in a exercise. The simultaneous arrival of new enemies -- Turks in the east and Normans in the west -- was another contributory factor. In 1040, originally landless mercenaries from northern parts of Europe in search of plunder, began attacking Byzantine strongholds in southern Italy. In order to deal with them, a mixed force of conscripts under the formidable George Maniakes was sent to Italy in 1042. Before it could be concluded he was recalled to Constantinople. However, a mortal wound led to his death afterwards. With opposition thus absent in the Balkans, the Normans were able to complete the expulsion of the Byzantines by 1071.Byzantine Empire under the Komnenos dynasty – Nikephoros III Botaniates, Byzantine emperor from 1078 to 1081.
14. Byzantine Empire under the Angelos dynasty – The Angeloi rose to the throne following the deposition of Andronikos I Komnenos, the last male-line Komnenos to rise to the throne. The Angeloi were female-line descendants of the previous dynasty. The Fourth Crusade is seen by historians today as the death knell of the Byzantine Empire. It is therefore no exaggeration to suggest that the Angeloi led Byzantium to her ultimate demise. When Manuel I Komnenos died on 24 September 1180, his son and successor was the 11-year-old Alexios II Komnenos. He passed "his entire life at play or the chase, contracted several habits of pronounced viciousness". Consequently, this child, unfit to rule both mentally ruled with a regency led by Maria of Antioch. Maria then decided to appoint an unpopular pro-western Byzantine also named Alexios Komnenos, a nephew of Manuel Komnenos, to be her chief advisor in the regency. Andronikos was over 6 feet tall; his flattering charms stole the hearts of many noble women and with it earned the anger of their menfolk. Exiled by Manuel Komnenos, he returned in 1180 following his death. Despite his senior age of 64 years in 1182, Andronikos retained the good looks of his forties. In August of that year Andronikos sparked a rebellion by marching on to the Capital. Soon rebellion broke out in the name of Andronikos. A massacre of Latins then proceeded, with even the sick in the hospitals of the Capital shown no mercy. The trading rights of the Venetians, granted by Alexios almost a century earlier, were also revoked.Byzantine Empire under the Angelos dynasty
15. Fourth Crusade – Instead, a sequence of events culminated in the Crusaders sacking the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Christian-controlled Byzantine Empire. The intention of the crusaders was then to continue with promised Byzantine financial and military assistance. On June 1203 the main crusader fleet reached Constantinople. Smaller contingents continued to Acre. Following clashes outside Constantinople, Alexios Angelos was crowned co-Emperor with crusader support. However, in January 1204, he was deposed by a popular uprising in Constantinople. In April 1204, they captured and set up a new Latin Empire as well as partitioning other Byzantine territories among themselves. Byzantine resistance based in unconquered sections of the empire such as Nicaea, Trebizond, Epirus ultimately recovered Constantinople in 1261. Ayyubid Sultan Saladin had conquered most of the Frankish, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, including the ancient city itself, in 1187. The Kingdom had been established 88 years before, after the sack of Jerusalem in the First Crusade. Returning it to Christian hands had been a primary purpose of the First Crusade. Saladin led his incorporation of Jerusalem into his domains shocked and dismayed the Catholic countries of Western Europe. The timing of his death makes that impossible. The crusader states had been reduced to three cities along the coast: Tyre, Tripoli, Antioch. The experiences of the first two crusades had thrown into stark relief the cultural differences between the two Christian civilizations.Fourth Crusade – Conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204
16. Frankokratia – The term derives from the fact that the Orthodox Greeks called the Western Catholics "Latins", most of whom were of French or Venetian origin. The Latin Empire, encompassing Thrace and Bithynia, while also exercising nominal suzerainty over the other Crusader states. Its territories were gradually reduced to little more than the capital, eventually captured in 1261. Duchy of Philippopolis, fief of the Latin Empire in northern Thrace, by the Bulgarians. Lemnos formed a fief of the Latin Empire from 1207 until conquered by the Byzantines in 1278. Its rulers bore the title of megadux of the Latin Empire. The Kingdom of Thessalonica, encompassing Macedonia and Thessaly. The brief existence of the Kingdom was continuously troubled by warfare with the Second Bulgarian Empire; eventually, it was conquered by the Despotate of Epirus. It came under Catalan and later Navarrese rule before being sold to the Knights Hospitaller in 1403. It was finally conquered in 1410. The Marquisate of Bodonitsa, like Salona, later came under the influence of Achaea. In 1335, the Venetian Giorgi family ruled until the Ottoman conquest in 1414. The Principality of Achaea, encompassing the Morea or Peloponnese peninsula. It quickly prospered even after the demise of the Latin Empire. Its main rival was the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea, which eventually succeeded in conquering the Principality.Frankokratia – The Greek and Latin states in southern Greece, ca. 1214.
17. Empire of Nicaea – Founded by the Laskaris family, it lasted from 1204 to 1261, when the Nicaeans restored the Byzantine Empire in Constantinople. In 1204, Byzantine emperor Alexios V Ducas Murtzouphlos fled Constantinople after crusaders invaded the city. Trebizond had broken away as a few weeks before the fall of Constantinople. Nicaea, however, was in the best position to attempt to re-establish the Byzantine Empire. Theodore also defeated an army from Trebizond, well as other minor rivals, leaving him in charge of the most powerful of the successor states. In 1206, Theodore proclaimed himself emperor at Nicaea. The Nicaeans were compensated for this territorial loss when, in 1212, the death of David Komnenos allowed their annexation of his lands in Paphlagonia. Theodore consolidated his claim by naming a new Patriarch of Constantinople in Nicaea. It proved short-lived, as it came under Bulgarian control in 1230. With Trebizond lacking any real power, John III expanded his territory across the Aegean Sea. In 1235, he allied with Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria, allowing him to extend his influence over Thessalonica and Epirus. In 1245, John allied by marrying Constance II of Hohenstaufen, daughter of Frederick II. In 1246, John attacked Bulgaria and proceeded to incorporate Thessalonica into his realm. By 1248, John had surrounded the Latin Empire. He continued to take land until his death in 1254.Empire of Nicaea – Nicaea city wall, Lefke gate; Iznik, Turkey
18. Despotate of Epirus – It claimed to be the legitimate successor of the Byzantine Empire, along the Empire of Nicaea and the Empire of Trebizond. The term "Despotate of Epirus" is, like "Byzantine Empire" itself, a modern historiographic convention and not a name in use at the time. After that, the Epirote state was forced to other regional powers. It nevertheless managed to retain its autonomy until conquered by the restored Palaiologan Byzantine Empire in ca. 1337. He actually crowned emperor at Thessalonica ca. 1225. 1225. Consequently, it was often borne by the princes sent to govern semi-autonomous appanages and came to be associated later with these territories. The term "Despotate of Epirus" is thus sometimes replaced by " State of Epirus" in contemporary historiography. The Epirote realm itself did not have an official name. The Epirote state was founded by a cousin of the Byzantine emperors Isaac II Angelos and Alexios III Angelos. Michael did not honour this alliance, assuming that mountainous Epirus would be mostly impenetrable by any Latins with whom he made and broke alliances. Meanwhile, in 1210 Michael attacked Boniface's Kingdom of Thessalonica. Michael was excessively cruel to his prisoners, in some cases crucifying Latin priests. Pope Innocent III excommunicated him in response.Despotate of Epirus – The Paregoretissa Church, the new cathedral of the Despotate's capital, Arta, built in the 13th century during the reign of Nikephoros I Komnenos Doukas.
19. Empire of Thessalonica – Thessalonica's ascendancy was brief, ending with the disastrous Battle of Klokotnitsa in 1230, where Theodore Komnenos Doukas was captured. In 1246 the city was annexed by Nicaea. After the Fourth Crusade captured Constantinople in April 1204, the Byzantine Empire was divided between the Crusader leaders and the Republic of Venice. His successor Theodore Komnenos Doukas captured Thessalonica in 1224. The capture of Thessalonica, traditionally the second city of the Byzantine Empire after Constantinople, allowed Theodore to challenge the Nicaean claims on the imperial title. With the support of the bishops of his domains, he was crowned emperor at Thessalonica by the Archbishop of Ohrid, Demetrios Chomatenos. The date has been placed either in 1225 or in 1227/8. Having openly declared his imperial ambitions, Theodore turned his gaze onto Constantinople. The Bulgarian emperor John II Asen were strong enough to challenge him. Theodore was free to Constantinople, but for unknown reasons delayed this attack. In 1230, Theodore finally marched against Constantinople, but unexpectedly turned his army north into Bulgaria instead. In the ensuing Battle of Klokotnitsa, he himself taken captive and later blinded. This defeat abruptly diminished the power of Thessalonica. A state relying on the ability of its ruler, its administration was unable to cope with defeat. Its territories in Thrace, well as most of Macedonia and Albania rapidly fell to the Bulgarians, who emerged as the strongest Balkan power.Empire of Thessalonica – Billon trachy coin of Theodore Komnenos Doukas as Emperor of Thessalonica
20. Empire of Trebizond – The Emperors of Trebizond pressed their claim on the Imperial throne for decades after the Nicaean reconquest of Constantinople in 1261. The Trapezuntine monarchy survived the longest of the Byzantine successor states. The Despotate of Epirus was slowly decimated, briefly occupied by the restored Byzantine Empire c. The Crimean Principality of Theodoro, an offshoot of Trebizond, lasted another 14 years, falling to the Ottomans in 1475. Its demographic legacy endured for several centuries after the Ottoman conquest in 1461 and the region retained a substantial number of Greek Orthodox inhabitants until 1923. These are usually referred to as Pontic Greeks. The few still remaining were required to leave, with the exchange between Greece and Turkey. Many were resettled in Greek Macedonia. This territory corresponds to an area comprising all or parts of the modern Turkish provinces of Sinop, Samsun, Ordu, Giresun, Trabzon, Bayburt, Gümüşhane, Rize, Artvin. In the 13th century, some experts believe the empire controlled the Gazarian Perateia, which included Cherson and Kerch on the Crimean peninsula. However, after Michael VIII Palaiologos of Nicaea recaptured Constantinople in 1261, the Komnenian use of the style "Emperor" became a sore point. Rulers of Trebizond were also known as "Prince of Lazes". Its wealth and exotic location endowed a lingering fame on the polity. Cervantes described the eponymous hero of his Don Quixote as "imagining himself for the valour of his arm already crowned at least Emperor of Trebizond." Rabelais had his character Picrochole, the ruler of Piedmont, declare: "I want also to be Emperor of Trebizond."Empire of Trebizond – Alexios III, from the chrysobull he granted to the Dionysiou monastery on Mount Athos.
21. Byzantine Empire under the Palaiologos dynasty – From the start, the régime faced numerous problems. The Turks of Asia Minor had since 1263 been raiding and expanding into Byzantine territory in Asia Minor. By 1380, the Byzantine Empire consisted of a other isolated exclaves, which only nominally recognized the Emperor as their lord. The Empire of Trebizond, fell shortly afterwards. However, the Palaiologan period witnessed a renewed flourishing in art and the letters, in what has been called the "Palaiologian Renaissance". The migration of Byzantine scholars to the West also helped to spark the Renaissance in Italy. In addition, the disintegration of the Byzantine Empire allowed the various Turcoman emirates of Anatolia to make gains. The Nicaean Empire was successful in holding its own against its Latin and Seljuk opponents. At the Battle of Meander Valley, a Turkic force was repelled and an earlier assault on Nicaea led to the death of the Seljuk Sultan. In 1261, the Empire of Nicaea was ruled by John IV Laskaris, a boy of ten years. However, John IV was overshadowed by his co-emperor, Michael VIII Palaiologos. Thrace, Macedonia and Thessalonica had already been taken by Nicaea in 1246. Following the capture of Constantinople, Michael ordered the blinding of John IV in December 1261, so as to become sole emperor. He was replaced by Joseph I. The Fourth Crusade and their successors, the Latin Empire, had done much to reduce Byzantium's finest city to an underpopulated wreck.Byzantine Empire under the Palaiologos dynasty – The Byzantine Empire ca. 1265
22. Fall of Constantinople – The Fall of Constantinople was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire by an invading army of the Ottoman Empire on 29 May 1453. The conquest of Constantinople followed a 53-day siege that had begun on 6 April 1453. The capture of Constantinople marked the end of the Roman Empire, an imperial state that had lasted for nearly 1,500 years. After the conquest, Sultan Mehmed II transferred the capital of the Ottoman Empire from Edirne to Constantinople. Constantinople had been an imperial capital since its consecration in 330 under Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great. In the following eleven centuries, the city was captured once: during the Fourth Crusade in 1204. They also fought to the Byzantine throne. The Nicaeans eventually reconquered Constantinople from the Latins in 1261. The Black Plague between 1346 and 1349 killed almost half of the inhabitants of Constantinople. The Empire of an independent state that formed in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade, also survived on the coast of the Black Sea. This optimism was reinforced by friendly assurances made by Mehmed to envoys sent to his new court. But Mehmed's actions spoke far louder than his mild words. Since the mutual excommunications of 1054, the Pope in Rome was committed to establishing authority over the eastern church. Nominal union had been negotiated in 1274, at the Second Council of Lyon, indeed, some Palaiologoi emperors had since been received into the Latin church. Emperor John VIII Palaiologos had also recently negotiated union with Pope Eugene IV, with the Council of Florence of 1439 proclaiming a Bull of Union.Fall of Constantinople – The last siege of Constantinople, contemporary 15th century French miniature
23. Byzantine art – A number of states contemporary with the Byzantine Empire were culturally influenced without actually being part of 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. Constantinople, was adorned with a large number of classical sculptures, although they eventually became an object of some puzzlement for its inhabitants. The most salient feature of this new aesthetic was anti-naturalistic character. The nature and causes of this transformation, which largely took place during late antiquity, have been a subject of scholarly debate for centuries. Giorgio Vasari attributed it in artistic skills and standards, which had in turn been revived by his contemporaries in the Italian Renaissance. Alois Riegl and Josef Strzygowski, writing in the 20th century, were above all responsible for the revaluation of late antique art. Riegl saw it in Roman art whereas Strzygowski viewed it as a product of "oriental" influences. In any case, the debate is purely modern: it is clear that most Byzantine viewers did not consider their art to be unnaturalistic. Religious art was not, however, limited to the monumental decoration of church interiors. The illumination of manuscripts was another major genre of Byzantine art. The most commonly illustrated texts were religious, devotional or theological texts. Secular texts were also illuminated: important examples include the history of John Skylitzes. Small ivories were also mostly in relief.Byzantine 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.
24. Byzantine bureaucracy and aristocracy – The Byzantine Empire had a complex system of aristocracy and bureaucracy, inherited from the Roman Empire. At the apex of the hierarchy stood the emperor, the sole ruler and, considered to be divinely ordained. Beneath him, a multitude of officials and court functionaries operated the complex administrative machinery, necessary to run the empire. In addition to those officials, a large number of honorific titles existed, which the emperor awarded to foreign rulers. Over the more than thousand years of the empire's existence, many gained prestige. 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, dignities of a certain level were awarded with each office. During this period, many families remained important for several centuries, several Emperors rose from the aristocracy. The 10th and 11th centuries saw a rise in importance of the aristocracy, an increased number of new families entering it. 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. It also referred to the Shahs of Persia.Byzantine bureaucracy and aristocracy – Painting of Emperor Basil II in triumphal garb, exemplifying the Imperial Crown handed down by Angels.
25. Byzantine economy – The Byzantine economy was among the most robust economies in the Mediterranean for many centuries. Constantinople was a prime hub in a network that at various times extended across nearly all of Eurasia and North Africa. The Arab conquests, however, would represent a substantial reversal of fortunes contributing to a period of stagnation. Constantine V's reforms marked the beginning of a revival that continued until 1204. All this changed with the arrival of the Fourth Crusade, an economic catastrophe. The late Byzantine state would not gain full control of either the foreign or domestic economic forces. One of the economic foundations of the empire was trade. The state strictly retained the monopoly of issuing coinage. The Eastern Roman economy suffered less from the Barbarian raids that plagued the Western Roman Empire. Under Diocletian's reign, the Eastern Roman Empire's annual revenue was at 9,400,000 solidi, out of a total of 18,000,000 solidi for the entire Roman Empire. These estimates can be compared to the AD 215 of 22,000,000 solidi. Warren Treadgold estimates that during the period from Diocletian to Marcian, the Eastern Empire's agriculture declined a bit, but not much. Actually, the preserved figures show that the largest eastern cities grew somewhat between the 3rd and 5th centuries. The population had probably begun growing for the first time in centuries. The wealth of Constantinople can be seen by how Justin I used 3,700 pounds of gold just for celebrating his own consulship.Byzantine economy – Byzantine culture
26. 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 Byzantine army maintained a similar level of discipline, strategic prowess and organization. It was for much of the Middle Ages. Over time the cavalry arm became more prominent in the Byzantine army as the system disappeared in the early 7th century. Restricted to mid-9th centuries, the Byzantines developed the theme-system to counter the more powerful Caliphate. After the collapse of the theme-system in the 11th century, the Byzantines grew increasingly reliant including ever-increasing numbers of foreign mercenaries. The Komnenian emperors made great efforts instituting the pronoia system of land grants in exchange for military service. The Komnenian successes were undone by the subsequent Angeloi dynasty, leading at the hands of the Fourth Crusade in 1204. The Emperors of Nicaea managed to form a effective force using the same structure of light and heavily armed troops, both natives and foreigners. It proved effective in reclaiming much of the Balkans and even Constantinople itself in 1261. The Eastern Empire dates by the Emperor Diocletian in 293. His reorganization of the army did by centuries. Rather than maintain the traditional infantry-heavy legions, Diocletian reformed it into limitanei and comitatenses units. In preparation for Justinian's African campaign of 533-534 AD, the army assembled amounted to 5,000 mounted archers and federate lancers. The ripenses were to occupy the limes, the Roman border fortifications.Byzantine army – Byzantine lamellar armour klivanium (Κλιβάνιον) - a predecessor of Ottoman krug mirror armour
27. Byzantine navy – The Byzantine navy was the naval force of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire. This process would be furthered with the onset of the Muslim conquests in the 7th century. Following the loss of later Africa, the Mediterranean Sea was transformed from a "Roman lake" into a battleground between Byzantines and Arabs. Initially, the defence of the approaches to Constantinople was borne by the great fleet of the Karabisianoi. By the 8th century, the Byzantine navy, a well-organized and maintained force, was again the dominant maritime power in the Mediterranean. During the 11th century, the navy, like the Empire itself, began to decline. Their efforts had only a temporary effect. The diminished navy, however, continued to be active until the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453. The Byzantine navy, like the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire itself, was a continuation of its institutions. The civil wars of the early 5th centuries, however, did spur a revival of naval activity, with fleets mostly employed to transport armies. The Vandal raids continued unabated over the next two decades, despite repeated Roman attempts to defeat them. Finally, it failed disastrously. This forced the Romans to sign a peace treaty. After Geiseric's death in 477, however, the Vandal threat receded. The 6th century marked the rebirth of Roman naval power.Byzantine 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.
28. History of Europe – The history of Europe covers the peoples inhabiting the European continent from prehistory to the present. The period known as classical antiquity began with the emergence of the city-states of Ancient Greece. The Roman Empire came to dominate the entire Mediterranean basin in a vast empire based on Roman law. By 300 AD the Roman Empire was divided into the Western and Eastern empires. AD 476 traditionally marks the start of the Middle Ages. The British Isles were the site of large-scale migrations. A period of migrations of Scandinavian peoples, occurred from the late 8th century to the middle 11th century. The Rus' people founded Kievan Rus', which evolved into Russia. After 1000 the Crusades were a series of religiously motivated military expeditions originally intended to bring the Levant back into Christian rule. The Crusaders opened trade routes which enabled the merchant republics of Genoa and Venice to become economic powers. A related movement, worked to reconquer Iberia for Christendom. Eastern Europe in the High Middle Ages was dominated by the fall of the Mongol Empire. The Late Middle Ages represented a period of upheaval in Europe. An associated famine caused demographic catastrophe in Europe as the population plummeted. Wars of conquest kept many of the states of Europe at war for much of the period.History of Europe – Europe depicted by Antwerp cartographer Abraham Ortelius in 1595