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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 period during which the Roman Empires east and west divided. In 285, the emperor Diocletian partitioned the Roman Empires 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 Empires official state religion, and finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empires 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 cycles of decline. 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 as a homeland, the final centuries of the Empire exhibited a general trend of decline. 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 Roman 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 important as an administrative centre. The crisis of the 3rd century displayed the defects of the system of government that Augustus had established to administer his immense dominion. His successors had introduced some modifications, but events made it clearer that a new, more centralized, Diocletian was responsible for creating a new administrative system. He associated himself with a co-emperor, or Augustus, each Augustus was then to adopt a young colleague, or Caesar, to share in the rule and eventually to succeed the senior partner. After the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian, however, the tetrachy collapsed, Constantine moved the seat of the Empire, and introduced important changes into its civil and religious constitution. Constantine also began the building of the fortified walls, which were expanded. Constantine built upon the administrative reforms introduced by Diocletian and he stabilized the coinage, and made changes to the structure of the army. Under Constantine, the Empire had recovered much of its military strength and he also reconquered southern parts of Dacia, after defeating the Visigoths in 332, and he was planning a campaign against Sassanid Persia as well. In the course of the 4th century, four great sections emerged from these Constantinian beginnings, Constantine established the principle that emperors should not settle questions of doctrine, but should summon general ecclesiastical councils for that purposeHistory of the Byzantine Empire – Map of the Roman Empire showing the four Tetrarchs' zones of influence after Diocletian's reforms.
2. 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)
3. Roman Empire – Civil wars and executions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesars adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the annexation of Egypt. Octavians power was then unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power, 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 empires existence were a period of unprecedented political stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana, following Octavians victory, the size of the empire was dramatically increased. After the assassination of Caligula in 41, the senate briefly considered restoring the republic, under Claudius, the empire invaded Britannia, its first major expansion since Augustus. Vespasian emerged triumphant in 69, establishing the Flavian dynasty, before being succeeded by his son Titus and his short reign was followed by the long reign of his brother Domitian, who was 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. The assassination of Alexander Severus in 235 led to the Crisis of the Third Century in which 26 men were declared emperor by the Roman Senate over a time span. It was not until the reign of Diocletian that the empire was fully stabilized with the introduction of the Tetrarchy, which saw four emperors rule the empire at once. This arrangement was unsuccessful, leading to a civil war that was finally ended by Constantine I. Constantine subsequently shifted the capital to Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinople in his honour and it remained the capital of the east until its demise. Constantine also adopted Christianity which later became the state religion of the empire. However, Augustulus was never recognized by his Eastern colleague, and separate rule in the Western part of the empire ceased to exist upon the death of Julius Nepos. 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. It was one of the largest empires in world history, at its height under Trajan, it covered 5 million square kilometres. It held sway over an estimated 70 million people, at that time 21% of the entire population. Throughout the European medieval period, attempts were made to establish successors to the Roman Empire, including the Empire of Romania, a Crusader state. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, then, it was an empire long before it had an emperorRoman Empire – The Augustus of Prima Porta (early 1st century AD)
4. Dominate – The Dominate or late Roman Empire was the despotic later phase of imperial government, following the earlier period known as the Principate, in the ancient Roman Empire. In form, the Dominate is considered to have been more authoritarian, less collegiate, the term Dominate is derived from the Latin dominus, which translates into English as lord or master. Augustus actively discouraged the practice, and 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 that is referred to as the Crisis of the Third Century. Further, not all the changes resulted in the Dominate were complete by the time of Diocletian’s abdication in AD305. Consequently, just as the Principate emerged over the period 31 BC through to 14 AD and these bureaucratic machines worked moderately well, and 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, 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 various civil and this role was almost always filled by a single individual, and the date that the Potestas tribunicia was conferred onto that person was the point when imperial authority could be exercised. Over the course of the Principate, it common for the emperor to nominate an heir. Further, it was their absence which caused usurpations to occur in response to a local or provincial crisis that traditionally would have dealt with by the emperor. Under the Dominate, the burden of the position was increasingly shared between colleagues, referred to as the Consortium imperii. This original power sharing model lasted from AD289 through to AD324, with Constantine I’s death in AD337, the empire was again shared between multiple augusti, lasting until AD350. The model became a permanent feature of the empire in AD364 with the accession of Valentinian I, barring the 3-year period of solitary rule by Theodosius I from AD 392–395, this approach would last until the overthrow of the last western emperor in AD476. While each augustus was autonomous within each portion of the empire they managed, during the Roman Republic, the office of Consul was the highest elected magistry in the Roman state, with two consuls elected annually. It was a post that would be occupied by a man halfway through his career, in his early thirties for a patrician, if they were especially skilled or valued, they may even have achieved a second consulate. Prior to achieving the consulate, these already had a significant career behind them. This had the effect of seeing a suffect consulship granted at an age, to the point that by the 4th century, it was being held by men in their early twenties. As time progressed, second consulates, usually ordinary, became far more common than had been the case during the first two centuries, while the first consulship was usually a suffect consulate, II when they were later granted an ordinary consulship by the emperor. One of the key changes in the management of the empire during the Dominate was the large scale removal of old-style senatorial participation in administrative, the process began with the reforms of Gallienus, who removed senators from military commands, placing them in the hands of the EquitesDominate – 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 period during which the Roman Empires east and west divided. In 285, the emperor Diocletian partitioned the Roman Empires 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 Empires official state religion, and finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empires 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 cycles of decline. 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 as a homeland, the final centuries of the Empire exhibited a general trend of decline. 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 Roman 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 important as an administrative centre. The crisis of the 3rd century displayed the defects of the system of government that Augustus had established to administer his immense dominion. His successors had introduced some modifications, but events made it clearer that a new, more centralized, Diocletian was responsible for creating a new administrative system. He associated himself with a co-emperor, or Augustus, each Augustus was then to adopt a young colleague, or Caesar, to share in the rule and eventually to succeed the senior partner. After the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian, however, the tetrachy collapsed, Constantine moved the seat of the Empire, and introduced important changes into its civil and religious constitution. Constantine also began the building of the fortified walls, which were expanded. Constantine built upon the administrative reforms introduced by Diocletian and he stabilized the coinage, and made changes to the structure of the army. Under Constantine, the Empire had recovered much of its military strength and he also reconquered southern parts of Dacia, after defeating the Visigoths in 332, and he was planning a campaign against Sassanid Persia as well. In the course of the 4th century, four great sections emerged from these Constantinian beginnings, Constantine established the principle that emperors should not settle questions of doctrine, but should summon general ecclesiastical councils for that purposeByzantium 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 period during which the Roman Empires east and west divided. In 285, the emperor Diocletian partitioned the Roman Empires 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 Empires official state religion, and finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empires 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 cycles of decline. 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 as a homeland, the final centuries of the Empire exhibited a general trend of decline. 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 Roman 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 important as an administrative centre. The crisis of the 3rd century displayed the defects of the system of government that Augustus had established to administer his immense dominion. His successors had introduced some modifications, but events made it clearer that a new, more centralized, Diocletian was responsible for creating a new administrative system. He associated himself with a co-emperor, or Augustus, each Augustus was then to adopt a young colleague, or Caesar, to share in the rule and eventually to succeed the senior partner. After the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian, however, the tetrachy collapsed, Constantine moved the seat of the Empire, and introduced important changes into its civil and religious constitution. Constantine also began the building of the fortified walls, which were expanded. Constantine built upon the administrative reforms introduced by Diocletian and he stabilized the coinage, and made changes to the structure of the army. Under Constantine, the Empire had recovered much of its military strength and he also reconquered southern parts of Dacia, after defeating the Visigoths in 332, and he was planning a campaign against Sassanid Persia as well. In the course of the 4th century, four great sections emerged from these Constantinian beginnings, Constantine established the principle that emperors should not settle questions of doctrine, but should summon general ecclesiastical councils for that purposeByzantium 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 in 602 with the deposition of Maurice, the Justinian Dynasty began with the accession of its namesake Justin I to the throne. Justin I was born in a village, Bederiana, in the 450s AD. Like many country youths, he went to Constantinople and enlisted in the army, where, due to his abilities, he became a part of the Excubitors. He fought in the Isaurian and Persian wars, and rose through the ranks to become the commander of the Excubitors, in this time, he also achieved the rank of senator. After the death of the Emperor Anastasius, who had no clear heir. To decide who would ascend the throne, a meeting was called in the hippodrome. The Byzantine Senate, meanwhile, gathered in the hall of the palace. As the senate wanted to avoid outside involvement and influence, they were pressed to select a candidate, however. Several candidates were nominated, but were rejected for various reasons, after much arguing, the senate chose to nominate Justin, and he was crowned by the Patriarch of Constantinople John of Cappadocia on 10 July. Justin, who was from a Latin speaking province, spoke little Greek, as such, he surrounded himself with intelligent advisers, the most notable of which was his nephew, Justinian. Justinian may have exerted influence on his uncle, and is considered by some historians, such as Procopius. After his accession, Justin removed the candidates to the throne. Unlike most emperors before him, who were Monophysite, Justin was a devout Orthodox Christian, Monophysites and the Orthodox were in conflict over the divinity of Jesus Christ. Past emperors had supported the Monophysites position, which was in conflict with the Orthodox teachings of the Papacy. Justin, as an Orthodox, and the new patriarch, John of Cappadocia, after delicate negotiations, the Acacian Schism ended in late March,519. After this initial ecclesiastical overhaul, the rest of Justins reign was relatively quiet, in 525, perhaps at the insistence of Justinian, Justin repealed a law which effectively forbade court officials from marrying people of low class. This allowed Justinian to marry Theodora, who was of low social standing, in his last years, conflict increased around the EmpireByzantine 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 events that were a watershed in the history of the Empire. At the beginning of the dynasty, the Empire was still recognizable as the Eastern Roman Empire, dominating the Mediterranean and harbouring a prosperous Late Antique urban civilization. By the dynastys end, a different state had emerged, medieval Byzantium. The Heraclian dynasty was named after the general Heraclius the Younger, who, in 610, sailed from Carthage, overthrew the usurper Phocas, and was crowned Emperor. At the time, the Empire was embroiled in a war with the Sassanid Persian Empire, after a long and exhausting struggle, Heraclius managed to defeat the Persians and restore the Empire, only to lose these provinces again shortly after to the sudden eruption of the Muslim conquests. His successors struggled to contain the Arab tide, the Levant and North Africa were lost, while in 674–678, a large Arab army besieged Constantinople itself. Nevertheless, the state survived and the establishment of the Theme system allowed the imperial heartland of Asia Minor to be retained, under Justinian II and 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 rightfully Imperial territory, however, only Justinian I attempted to enforce this claim with military might. Temporary success in the West was achieved at the cost of Persian dominance in the East, however, after Justinians death, much of newly recovered Italy fell to the Lombards, and 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 Justinians successor Tiberius II, Maurice sought to restore the prestige of the Empire. Even though the Empire had gained smaller successes over the Slavs and Avars in pitched battles across the Danube, unrest had reared its head in Byzantine cities as social and religious differences manifested themselves into Blue and Green factions that fought each other in the streets. The final blow to the government was a decision to cut the pay of its army in response to financial strains, the combined effect of an army revolt led by a junior officer named Phocas and major uprisings by the Greens and Blues forced Maurice to abdicate. The Senate approved Phocas as the new Emperor and Maurice, the last emperor of the Justinian Dynasty, was murdered along with his four sons. The Persian King Khosrau II responded by launching an assault on the Empire, ostensibly to avenge Maurice, Phocas was already alienating his supporters with his repressive rule, and the Persians were able to capture Syria and Mesopotamia by 607. By 608, the Persians were camped outside Chalcedon, within sight of the capital of Constantinople, while Anatolia was ravaged by Persian raids. Making matters worse was the advance of the Avars and Slavic tribes heading south across the Danube, while the Persians were making headway in their conquest of the eastern provinces, Phocas chose to divide his subjects rather than unite them against the threat of the PersiansByzantine Empire under the Heraclian dynasty – Solidus of Heraclius' reign, showing his son Constantine III as co-emperor.
9. 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, after successfully overcoming the Sassanid Persians, the Emperor Heraclius and his exhausted realm were faced with the sudden onset of the Muslim expansion from Arabia into the Levant. Following the Muslim conquest of Syria, the province of Egypt. These three areas would be the fields of Byzantine-Arab contention during the next half-century. The Arabs continued to make headway, most notably constructing a navy that successfully challenged Byzantine supremacy in the Mediterranean, the outbreak of the Muslim civil war in 656 bought the Byzantines time, and emperor Constans II reinforced his position in the Balkans and Italy. At the same however, he was defeated by the Bulgar khan Asparukh. Carthage finally fell in 697 and 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 loss of the Empires richest provinces, coupled with successive invasions, reduced the economy to a relatively impoverished state. The monetary economy persisted, but the economy experienced a revival as well. At the same time, the bureaucracy in Constantinople also rose in importance. After Justinian IIs 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 threat of the Bulgars or the Arabs. When King Tervel of Bulgaria invaded Thrace, Bardanes had no choice, unfortunately for the Emperor, the troops had no loyalty whatsoever to him and after the ritual blinding he was replaced in June 713 by the chief secretary of the Emperor, Artemios. Artemios was crowned as Anastasios II, every citizen was told to gather enough food for three years for if the Arabs were to reach the straits it would undoubtedly be a lengthy siege. However, Anastasios proved too good for the Empire, in an effort to avert the Arab siege of the Capital, Anastasios planned a strike against the invaders. However the Opsician Theme once more revolted and Anastasios found himself in a Thessalonika monastery by 715, the Opsicians chose Theodosios, an unwilling tax-collector, to rule the Empire. Leo III, who would become the founder of the so-called Isaurian dynasty, was born in Germanikeia in northern Syria c. 685, his origin from Isauria derives from a reference in Theophanes the ConfessorByzantine 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
10. 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 period during which the Roman Empires east and west divided. In 285, the emperor Diocletian partitioned the Roman Empires 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 Empires official state religion, and finally, under the reign of Heraclius, the Empires 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 cycles of decline. 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 as a homeland, the final centuries of the Empire exhibited a general trend of decline. 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 Roman 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 important as an administrative centre. The crisis of the 3rd century displayed the defects of the system of government that Augustus had established to administer his immense dominion. His successors had introduced some modifications, but events made it clearer that a new, more centralized, Diocletian was responsible for creating a new administrative system. He associated himself with a co-emperor, or Augustus, each Augustus was then to adopt a young colleague, or Caesar, to share in the rule and eventually to succeed the senior partner. After the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian, however, the tetrachy collapsed, Constantine moved the seat of the Empire, and introduced important changes into its civil and religious constitution. Constantine also began the building of the fortified walls, which were expanded. Constantine built upon the administrative reforms introduced by Diocletian and he stabilized the coinage, and made changes to the structure of the army. Under Constantine, the Empire had recovered much of its military strength and he also reconquered southern parts of Dacia, after defeating the Visigoths in 332, and he was planning a campaign against Sassanid Persia as well. In the course of the 4th century, four great sections emerged from these Constantinian beginnings, Constantine established the principle that emperors should not settle questions of doctrine, but should summon general ecclesiastical councils for that purposeByzantium under the Amorian dynasty – Map of the Roman Empire showing the four Tetrarchs' zones of influence after Diocletian's reforms.
11. Byzantine Empire under the Macedonian dynasty – The cities of the empire expanded, and affluence spread across the provinces because of the new-found security. The population rose, and production increased, stimulating new demand while also helping to encourage trade, culturally, there was considerable growth in education and learning. Ancient texts were preserved and patiently re-copied, Byzantine art flourished, and brilliant mosaics graced the interiors of the many new churches. The latter in particular favoured culture at the court, and, with a financial policy. The rise of the Macedonian dynasty coincided with developments which strengthened the religious unity of the empire. Despite occasional tactical defeats, the administrative, legislative, cultural and economic situation continued to improve under Basils successors, the theme system reached its definitive form in this period. These favourable conditions contributed to the ability of the emperors to wage war against the Arabs. The process of reconquest began with variable fortunes, the temporary reconquest of Crete was followed by a crushing Byzantine defeat on the Bosporus, while the emperors were unable to prevent the ongoing Muslim conquest of Sicily. The threat from the Arab Muslims was meanwhile reduced by inner struggles and it took several campaigns to subdue the Paulicians, who were eventually defeated by Basil I. In 904, disaster struck the empire when its second city, the Byzantines responded by destroying an Arab fleet in 908, and sacking the city of Laodicea in Syria two years later. The situation on the border with the Arab territories remained fluid, Kievan Rus, who appeared near Constantinople for the first time in 860, constituted another new challenge. The soldier emperors Nikephoros II Phokas and John I Tzimiskes expanded the empire well into Syria, defeating the emirs of north-west Iraq and reconquering Crete, at one point under John, the empires armies even threatened Jerusalem, far to the south. The emirate of Aleppo and its neighbours became vassals of the empire in the east, the traditional struggle with the See of Rome continued, spurred by the question of religious supremacy over the newly Christianized Bulgaria. This prompted an invasion by the powerful Tsar Simeon I in 894, but this was pushed back by the Byzantine diplomacy, the Byzantines were in turn defeated, however, at the Battle of Bulgarophygon, and obliged to pay annual subsidies to the Bulgarians. Later Simeon even had the Byzantines grant him the crown of basileus of Bulgaria and had the young emperor Constantine VII marry one of his daughters, when a revolt in Constantinople halted his dynastic project, he again invaded Thrace and conquered Adrianople. Adrianople was captured again in 923 and in 924 the Bulgarian army laid siege to Constantinople, pressure from the North was alleviated only after Simeons death in 927. Under the emperor Basil II, Bulgaria became target of campaigns by the Byzantine army. The war was to drag on for twenty yearsByzantine Empire under the Macedonian dynasty – Emperor Basil II the Bulgar Slayer (976–1025).
12. Byzantine Empire under the Komnenos dynasty – The Byzantine Empire or Byzantium is a term conventionally used by historians to describe the Greek ethnic and speaking Roman Empire of the Middle Ages, centered on its capital of Constantinople. Having survived the fall of the Western Roman Empire during Late Antiquity, in the context of Byzantine history, the period from about 1081 to about 1185 is often known as the Komnenian or Comnenian period, after the Komnenos dynasty. Moreover, it was during the Komnenian period that contact between Byzantium and the Latin Christian West, including the Crusader states, was at its most crucial stage. Above all, the impact of Byzantine art on the west at this period was enormous. 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, 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 of a period of great difficulty, in fact, most of the money was given away in the form of gifts to favourites of the emperor, extravagant court banquets, and expensive luxuries for the imperial family. Meanwhile, the remnants of the armed forces were allowed to decay. Elderly men with ill-maintained equipment mixed with new recruits who had never participated in a training exercise, the simultaneous arrival of aggressive new enemies – Turks in the east and Normans in the west – was another contributory factor. In 1040, the Normans, originally landless mercenaries from northern parts of Europe in search of plunder, in order to deal with them, a mixed force of mercenaries and conscripts under the formidable George Maniakes was sent to Italy in 1042. Maniakes and his army conducted a successful campaign, but before it could be concluded he was recalled to Constantinople. Angered by a series of outrages against his wife and property by one of his rivals, he was proclaimed emperor by his troops, however, a mortal wound led to his death shortly afterwards. With opposition thus absent in the Balkans, the Normans were able to complete the expulsion of the Byzantines from Italy by 1071, despite the seriousness of this loss, it was in Asia Minor that the empires greatest disaster would take place. With imperial armies weakened by years of insufficient funding and civil warfare, Emperor Romanos Diogenes realised that a time of re-structuring, consequently, he attempted to lead a defensive campaign in the east until his forces had recovered enough to defeat the Seljuks. However, he suffered a defeat at the hands of Alp Arslan at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. Romanos was captured, and although the Sultans peace terms were fairly lenient, on his release, Romanos found that his enemies had conspired against him to place their own candidate on the throne in his absence. After two defeats in battle against the rebels, Romanos surrendered and suffered a death by torture. The new ruler, Michael Doukas, refused to honour the treaty that had signed by RomanosByzantine Empire under the Komnenos dynasty – Nikephoros III Botaniates, Byzantine emperor from 1078 to 1081.
13. Byzantine Empire under the Angelos dynasty – During this time, many different imperial dynasties ruled over the empire, in the context of Byzantine history, the period c.1185 – c.1204 AD was under the Angeloi dynasty. The Angeloi rose to the following the deposition of Andronikos I Komnenos. 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, every emperor of the Angeloi dynasty was either deposed or killed, with the exception of Isaac Angelus who was restored for a brief time after his desposement. When Manuel I Komnenos died on 24 September 1180, his son and he passed his entire life at play or the chase, and contracted several habits of pronounced viciousness. Consequently, this child, unfit to rule both physically and mentally ruled with a led by his mother, Maria of Antioch. Her Frankish connections guaranteed her the hatred of the Byzantine Empire, 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. It is said that he was accustomed to spend the greater part of the day in bed. | The incompetence of Alexios regency led to much corruption throughout the Empire. It is little wonder therefore that Andronikos Komnenos, a grandson of Alexios I, 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, the army and the navy did not hesitate to join him and soon rebellion broke out in Constantinople in the name of Andronikos. A massacre of Latins then proceeded, with the women, children and 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. These actons made the powerful enemies in western Europe. The Emperor and his mother, Maria of Antioch, were sent to an Imperial Villa, Maria Komnene, daughter of Manuel Komnenos by his first wife Bertha of Sulzbach, was poisoned along with her husband Renier of Montferrat. Next Alexios mother, Maria of Antioch, was strangled in her cell, when Andronikos was finally crowned co-emperor in September 1183, he waited two months before disposing of Alexios II Komnenos. Afterwards, he took his 12-year-old wife Agnes of France for himself, early on, Andronikos ruled wisely – he began by attacking the corruption within the taxation and administration of the empire. However, these calamities were nothing in comparison to the storm that had lain dormant, between late 1184 and early 1185, William II of Sicily assembled a host of 80,000 soldiers and sailors and some 200–300 ships to conquer the empire. Andronikos, despite his military reputation was paralysed by indecisionByzantine Empire under the Angelos dynasty
14. Fourth Crusade – The Fourth Crusade was a Western European armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III, originally intended to conquer Muslim-controlled Jerusalem by means of an invasion through Egypt. Instead, a sequence of events culminated in the Crusaders sacking the city of Constantinople, the intention of the crusaders was then to continue to the Holy Land with promised Byzantine financial and military assistance. On 23 June 1203 the main fleet reached Constantinople. In August 1203, 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 brutally sacked the city, Byzantine resistance based in unconquered sections of the empire such as Nicaea, Trebizond, and Epirus ultimately recovered Constantinople in 1261. Ayyubid Sultan Saladin had conquered most of the Frankish, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, including the ancient city itself, the Kingdom had been established 88 years before, after the capture and sack of Jerusalem in the First Crusade. The city was sacred to Christians, Muslims and Jews, Saladin led a Muslim dynasty, and his incorporation of Jerusalem into his domains shocked and dismayed the Catholic countries of Western Europe. Legend has it that Pope Urban III literally died of the shock, the crusader states had been reduced to three cities along the sea coast, Tyre, Tripoli, and Antioch. The Third Crusade reclaimed an extensive amount of territory for the Kingdom of Jerusalem, including the key towns of Acre and Jaffa, but had failed to retake Jerusalem. The crusade had also marked by a significant escalation in long standing tensions between the feudal states of western Europe and the Byzantine Empire, centred in Constantinople. The experiences of the first two crusades had thrown into relief the vast cultural differences between the two Christian civilisations. For their part, the educated and wealthy Byzantines maintained a sense of cultural, organizational. Constantinople had been in existence for 874 years at the time of the Fourth Crusade and was the largest and most sophisticated city in Christendom. Almost alone amongst major medieval urban centres, it had retained the civic structures, public baths, forums, monuments, at its height, the city held an estimated population of about half a million people behind thirteen miles of triple walls. As a result, it was both a rival and a target for the aggressive new states of the west, notably the Republic of Venice. Crusaders also seized the breakaway Byzantine province of Cyprus, rather than return it to the Empire, barbarossa died on crusade, and his army quickly disintegrated, leaving the English and French, who had come by sea, to fight Saladin. There they captured Sidon and Beirut, but at the news of Henrys death in Messina along the way, many of the nobles, deserted by much of their leadership, the rank and file crusaders panicked before an Egyptian army and fled to their ships in Tyre. Also in 1195, the Byzantine Emperor Isaac II Angelos was deposed in favour of his brother by a palace coup, ascending as Alexios III Angelos, the new emperor had his brother blinded and exiledFourth Crusade – Conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204
15. Frankokratia – The term derives from the fact that the Orthodox Greeks called the Western European Catholics Latins, most of whom were of French or Venetian origin. The Latin Empire, centered in Constantinople and encompassing Thrace and Bithynia and its territories were gradually reduced to little more than the capital, which was eventually captured by the Empire of Nicaea in 1261. Duchy of Philippopolis, fief of the Latin Empire in northern Thrace, lemnos formed a fief of the Latin Empire under the Venetian Navigajoso family 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 almost continuously troubled by warfare with the Second Bulgarian Empire, eventually, it was conquered by the Despotate of Epirus. The County of Salona, centred at Salona, like Bodonitsa, was formed as a state of the Kingdom of Thessalonica. It came under Catalan and later Navarrese rule in the 14th century and it was finally conquered by the Ottomans in 1410. The Marquisate of Bodonitsa, like Salona, was created as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Thessalonica. In 1335, the Venetian Giorgi family took control, and ruled until the Ottoman conquest in 1414, the Principality of Achaea, encompassing the Morea or Peloponnese peninsula. It quickly emerged as the strongest Crusader state, and prospered even after the demise of the Latin Empire and its main rival was the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea, which eventually succeeded in conquering the Principality. It also exercised suzerainty over the Lordship of Argos and Nauplia, the Duchy of Athens, with its two capitals Thebes and Athens, and encompassing Attica, Boeotia, and parts of southern Thessaly. In 1311, the Duchy was conquered by the Catalan Company, and in 1388, it passed into the hands of the Florentine Acciaiuoli family, the Duchy of Naxos or of the Archipelago, founded by the Sanudo family, it encompassed most of the Cyclades. In 1383, it passed under the control of the Crispo family, the Duchy became an Ottoman vassal in 1537, and was finally annexed to the Ottoman Empire in 1579. The Triarchy of Negroponte, encompassing the island of Negroponte, originally a vassal of Thessalonica and it was fragmented into three baronies run each by two barons. This fragmentation enabled Venice to gain influence acting as mediators, by 1390 Venice had established direct control of the entire island, which remained in Venetian hands until 1470, when it was captured by the Ottomans. The County palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos and it encompassed the Ionian Islands of Cephalonia, Zakynthos, Ithaca, and, from ca. Created as a vassal to the Kingdom of Sicily, it was ruled by the Orsini family from 1195 to 1335, the county was split between Venice and the Ottomans in 1479. Rhodes became the headquarters of the monastic order of the Knights Hospitaller of Saint John in 1310Frankokratia – The Greek and Latin states in southern Greece, ca. 1214.
16. 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. Theodore I Lascaris, the son-in-law of Emperor Alexios III Angelos, was proclaimed emperor but he too, realizing the situation in Constantinople was hopeless, fled to the city of Nicaea in Bithynia. The Latin Empire, established by the Crusaders in Constantinople, had control over former Byzantine territory, and Byzantine successor states sprang up in Epirus, Trebizond. Trebizond had broken away as an independent state a few weeks before the fall of Constantinople, Nicaea, however, was the closest to the Latin Empire and was in the best position to attempt to re-establish the Byzantine Empire. Theodore also defeated an army from Trebizond, as well as minor rivals. In 1206, Theodore proclaimed himself emperor at Nicaea, numerous truces and alliances were formed and broken over the next few years, as the Byzantine successor states, the Latin Empire, the Bulgarians, and the Seljuks of Iconium fought each other. In 1211, at Antioch on the Meander, Theodore defeated an invasion by the Seljuks. The Nicaeans were compensated for this loss when, in 1212. Theodore consolidated his claim to the throne by naming a new Patriarch of Constantinople in Nicaea. In 1219, he married the daughter of Latin Empress Yolanda of Flanders, the accession of Vatatzes was initially challenged by the Laskarids, with the sebastokratores Isaac and Alexios, brothers of Theodore I, seeking the aid of the Latin Empire. Vatatzes prevailed over their forces, however, in the Battle of Poimanenon, securing his throne. It proved short-lived, as it came under Bulgarian control after the Battle of Klokotnitsa in 1230, with Trebizond lacking any real power, Nicaea was the only Byzantine state left, and 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 1242, the Mongols invaded Seljuk territory to the east of Nicaea, in 1245, John allied with the Holy Roman Empire by marrying Constance II of Hohenstaufen, daughter of Frederick II. In 1246, John attacked Bulgaria and recovered most of Thrace and Macedonia, by 1248, John had defeated the Bulgarians and surrounded the Latin Empire. He continued to land from the Latins until his death in 1254. Theodore II Lascaris, John IIIs son, faced invasions from the Bulgarians in Thrace, a conflict between Nicaea and Epirus broke out in 1257Empire of Nicaea – Nicaea city wall, Lefke gate; Iznik, Turkey
17. Despotate of Epirus – The Despotate of Epirus was one of the successor states of the Byzantine Empire established in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade in 1204 by a branch of the Angelos dynasty. It claimed to be the successor of the Byzantine Empire, along the Empire of Nicaea. The term Despotate of Epirus is, like Byzantine Empire itself, the Despotate was centred on the region of Epirus, encompassing also Albania and the western portion of Greek Macedonia and also included Thessaly and western Greece as far south as Nafpaktos. After that, the Epirote state contracted to its core in Epirus and Thessaly and it nevertheless managed to retain its autonomy until conquered by the restored Palaiologan Byzantine Empire in ca. His successor Theodore Komnenos Doukas did not use it either, earlier historians assumed that Michael I was indeed named Despot by the deposed emperor Alexios III Angelos after ransoming him from Latin captivity, this has been disproven by more modern research. Consequently, it was borne by the princes sent to govern semi-autonomous appanages. The term Despotate of Epirus is thus replaced by State of Epirus in more recent historiography. The Epirote realm itself did not have an official name, the Epirote state was founded in 1205 by Michael Komnenos Doukas, a cousin of the Byzantine emperors Isaac II Angelos and Alexios III Angelos. Epirus soon became the new home of refugees from Constantinople, Thessaly, and the Peloponnese. Henry of Flanders demanded that Michael submit to the Latin Empire, 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, Bonifaces relatives from Montferrat made claims to Epirus as well, Michael was excessively cruel to his prisoners, in some cases crucifying Latin priests. Pope Innocent III excommunicated him in response, henry forced Michael into a renewed nominal alliance later that year. Michael turned his attention to capturing other strategically important Latin-held towns, including Larissa and he also took control of the ports on the Gulf of Corinth. In 1214 he captured Corcyra from Venice, but he was assassinated later that year and was succeeded by his half-brother Theodore, Theodore Komnenos Doukas immediately set out to attack Thessalonica, and he fought with the Bulgarians along the way. Henry of Flanders died on the way to counterattack, and in 1217 Theodore captured his successor Peter of Courtenay, the Latin Empire, however, became distracted by the growing power of Nicaea and could not stop Theodore from capturing Thessalonica in 1224. Theodore now challenged Nicaea for the title and crowned himself emperor. In 1225, after John III Doukas Vatatzes of Nicaea had taken Adrianople, Theodore arrived, Theodore also allied with the Bulgarians and drove the Latins out of Thrace. In 1227 Theodore crowned himself Byzantine emperor, although this was not recognized by most Greeks, in 1230 Theodore broke the truce with Bulgaria, hoping to remove Ivan Asen II, who had held him back from attacking ConstantinopleDespotate 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.
18. Empire of Thessalonica – Thessalonicas ascendancy was brief, ending with the disastrous Battle of Klokotnitsa against Bulgaria in 1230, where Theodore Komnenos Doukas was captured. Theodore recovered Thessalonica in 1237, installing his son John Komnenos Doukas, the rulers of Thessalonica bore the imperial title from 1225/7 until 1242, when they were forced to renounce it and recognize the suzerainty of the rival Empire of Nicaea. The Komnenodoukai continued to rule as Despots of Thessalonica for four years after that. After the Fourth Crusade captured Constantinople in April 1204, the Byzantine Empire dissolved and was divided between the Crusader leaders and the Republic of Venice. The Latin Empire was set up in Constantinople itself, while most of northern and eastern mainland Greece went to the Kingdom of Thessalonica under Boniface of Montferrat, Michael I Komnenos Doukas soon extended his state into Thessaly, and his successor Theodore Komnenos Doukas captured Thessalonica in 1224. The capture of Thessalonica, traditionally the second city of the Byzantine Empire after Constantinople, with the support of the bishops of his domains, he was crowned emperor at Thessalonica by the Archbishop of Ohrid, Demetrios Chomatenos. The date is unknown, but has placed either in 1225 or in 1227/8. Having openly declared his imperial ambitions, Theodore turned his gaze onto Constantinople, only the Nicaean emperor John III Doukas Vatatzes, and the Bulgarian emperor John II Asen were strong enough to challenge him. In a bid to preempt Theodore, the Nicaeans seized Adrianople from the Latins in 1225, Theodore was free to assault 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, Theodores army was destroyed and he himself taken captive and later blinded. This defeat abruptly diminished the power of Thessalonica, a state built upon rapid military expansion and relying on the ability of its ruler, its administration was unable to cope with defeat. Its territories in Thrace, as well as most of Macedonia and Albania rapidly fell to the Bulgarians, Theodore was succeeded by his brother Manuel Komnenos Doukas. He still controlled the environs of Thessalonica as well as the lands in Thessaly and Epirus. In the end Manuel was forced to accept the fait accompli, as sign of this, he conferred on Michael the title of Despot. From the start, Manuels suzerainty was rather theoretical, and by 1236–37 Michael was acting as an independent ruler, seizing Corfu, Manuels rule lasted until 1237, when he was deposed in a coup by Theodore. The latter had released from captivity and secretly returned to Thessalonica after John II Asen fell in love with. Having been blinded, Theodore could not claim the throne for himself and crowned his son John Komnenos Doukas, Manuel soon escaped and fled to Nicaea, where he pledged loyalty to Vatatzes. Thus in 1239 Manuel was allowed to sail to Thessaly, where he began assembling an army to march on Thessalonica, Manuel agreed and ruled Thessaly until his death in 1241, at which point it was quickly occupied by Michael II of EpirusEmpire of Thessalonica – Billon trachy coin of Theodore Komnenos Doukas as Emperor of Thessalonica
19. Empire of Trebizond – The Empire of Trebizond or the Trapezuntine Empire was a monarchy that flourished during the 13th through 15th centuries, consisting of the far northeastern corner of Anatolia and the southern Crimea. 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, and briefly occupied by the restored Byzantine Empire c. 1340, thereafter becoming a Serbian dependency and later inherited by Italians, ultimately falling to the Ottoman Empire in 1479, having long ceased to contest the Byzantine throne. While the Empire of Nicaea had become the resurrected Byzantine Empire, the Empire of Trebizond continued until 1461 when the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II conquered it after a month-long siege and took its ruler and his family into captivity. The Crimean Principality of Theodoro, an offshoot of Trebizond, lasted another 14 years and 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 and their displacement was formalized, and the few still remaining were required to leave, in 1923 with the population exchange between Greece and Turkey. Many were resettled in Greek Macedonia and those living in the Crimea and the Russian province of Kars Oblast, much of which lies in modern Georgia, stayed longer, with some Greek speaking villages remaining in both locations today. Anthony Bryer has argued that six of the seven banda of the Byzantine theme of Chaldia were maintained in working order by the rulers of Trebizond until the end of the empire, helped by geography. This territory corresponds to an area comprising all or parts of the modern Turkish provinces of Sinop, Samsun, Ordu, Giresun, Trabzon, Bayburt, Gümüşhane, Rize, and Artvin. In the 13th century, some believe the empire controlled the Gazarian Perateia. However, after Michael VIII Palaiologos of Nicaea recaptured Constantinople in 1261, in 1282, John II Komnenos stripped off his imperial regalia before the walls of Constantinople before entering to marry Michaels daughter and accept his legal title of despot. However, his successors used a version of his title, Emperor and Autocrat of the entire East, of the Iberians, 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, other allusions and works set in Trebizond continue into the 20th century. The city of Trebizond was the capital of the theme of Chaldia, the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos confirmed him as governor of Chaldia, but kept his son at Constantinople as a hostage for his good conduct. Nevertheless, Gabras proved himself a worthy guardian by repelling a Georgian attack on Trebizond, one of his successors, Gregory Taronites also rebelled with the aid of the Sultan of Cappadocia, but he was defeated and imprisoned, only to be made governor once more. Another successor to Theodore was Constantine Gabras, whom Niketas describes as ruling Trebizond as a tyrant, although that effort came to nothing, this was the last rebel governor known to recorded history prior to the events of 1204. Henceforth, the links between Trebizond and Georgia remained close, but their nature and extent have been disputed, both men were the grandsons of the last Komnenian Byzantine emperor, Andronikos I Komnenos, by his son Manuel Komnenos and Rusudan, daughter of George III of GeorgiaEmpire of Trebizond – Alexios III, from the chrysobull he granted to the Dionysiou monastery on Mount Athos.
20. 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, Anatolia, which had formed the very heart of the shrinking empire, was systematically lost to numerous Turkic ghazis, whose raids evolved into conquering expeditions inspired by Islamic zeal. By 1380, the Byzantine Empire consisted of the capital Constantinople and a few other isolated exclaves, the last remnants of the Byzantine Empire, the Despotate of the Morea and the Empire of Trebizond, fell shortly afterwards. However, the Palaiologan period witnessed a flourishing in art. 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 Bulgarians, the Serbs and the various Turcoman emirates of Anatolia to make gains. Although Epirus was initially the strongest of the three Greek states, the Nicaeans were the ones who succeeded in taking back the city of Constantinople from the Latin Empire, 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, in the west, the Latins were unable to expand into Anatolia, consolidating Thrace against Bulgaria was a challenge that kept the Latins occupied for the duration of the Latin Empire. In 1261, the Empire of Nicaea was ruled by John IV Laskaris, however, John IV was overshadowed by his co-emperor, Michael VIII Palaiologos. In 1261, while the bulk of the Latin Empires military forces were absent from Constantinople, 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, as a result, Patriarch Arsenios excommunicated Michael, but he was deposed and replaced by Joseph I. The Fourth Crusade and their successors, the Latin Empire, had much to reduce Byzantiums finest city to an underpopulated wreck. Michael VIII began the task of restoring many monasteries, public buildings, the Hagia Sophia, horribly looted in the Crusade of 1204, was refurbished to Greek Orthodox tradition. The Kontoskalion harbour and the walls of Constantinople were all strengthened against a new expedition by the Latin West. Many hospitals, hospices, markets, baths, streets and churches were built, even a new Mosque was built to compensate for the one burnt during the Fourth Crusade. These attempts were costly and crippling taxes were placed on the peasantry, nonetheless, the city grew new cultural and diplomatic contacts, notably with the Mamelukes. Both had common enemies, Latin aggression, and later on, the Sultanate of Rum was in chaos and decentralized ever since the Mongol invasions in ca. The situation became worse when Charles of Anjou, brother of the King of France, in 1267, Pope Clement IV arranged a pact, whereby Charles would receive land in the East in return for assisting a new military expedition to Constantinople. Unfortunately for Michael VIII, the new union was seen as a fake by the Clements successor, the Greek Church was excommunicated, and Charles was given renewed Papal support for the invasion of ConstantinopleByzantine Empire under the Palaiologos dynasty – The Byzantine Empire ca. 1265
21. 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 Ottomans were commanded by the then 21-year-old Mehmed the Conqueror, the sultan of the Ottoman Empire. 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. The Ottoman conquest of Constantinople also dealt a blow to Christendom. After the conquest, Sultan Mehmed II transferred the capital of the Ottoman Empire from Edirne to Constantinople. The conquest of the city of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire was a key event in the Late Middle Ages, which also marks, for some historians, Constantinople had been an imperial capital since its consecration in 330 under Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great. In the following centuries, the city had been besieged many times but was captured only once. The crusaders established an unstable Latin state in and around Constantinople while the remaining empire splintered into a number of Byzantine successor states, notably Nicaea, Epirus and they fought as allies against the Latin establishments, but also fought among themselves for the Byzantine throne. The Nicaeans eventually reconquered Constantinople from the Latins in 1261, thereafter there was little peace for the much-weakened empire as it fended off successive attacks by the Latins, the Serbians, the Bulgarians, and, most importantly, the Ottoman Turks. The Black Plague between 1346 and 1349 killed almost half of the inhabitants of Constantinople, the Empire of Trebizond, an independent successor 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 Mehmeds 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, and 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, finally, the attempted Union failed, greatly annoying Pope Nicholas V and the hierarchy of the Roman church. Although some troops did arrive from the city states in the north of Italy. Some Western individuals, however, came to defend the city on their own account. One of these was a soldier from Genoa, Giovanni Giustiniani. A specialist in defending walled cities, he was given the overall command of the defense of the land walls by the emperor. In Venice, meanwhile, deliberations were taking place concerning the kind of assistance the Republic would lend to ConstantinopleFall of Constantinople – The last siege of Constantinople, contemporary 15th century French miniature
22. 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.
23. 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.
24. 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
25. 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
26. 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.
27. History of Europe – The history of Europe covers the peoples inhabiting Europe from prehistory to the present. Some of the civilizations of prehistoric Europe were the Minoan and the Mycenaean. 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. By 300 AD the Roman Empire was divided into the Western and Eastern empires, during the 4th and 5th centuries, the Germanic peoples of Northern Europe grew in strength, and repeated attacks led to the Fall of the Western Roman Empire. AD476 traditionally marks the end of the period and the start of the Middle Ages. In Western Europe, Germanic peoples became more powerful in the remnants of the former Western Roman Empire and established kingdoms and empires of their own. Of all of the Germanic peoples, the Franks would rise to a position of hegemony over Western Europe, the British Isles were the site of several large-scale migrations. The Viking Age, a period of migrations of Scandinavian peoples, the Normans, a Viking people who settled in Northern France, had a significant impact on many parts of Europe, from the Norman conquest of England to Southern Italy and Sicily. 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 under Christian rule. The Crusaders opened trade routes which enabled the merchant republics of Genoa, the Reconquista, a related movement, worked to reconquer Iberia for Christendom. Eastern Europe in the High Middle Ages was dominated by the rise, led by Genghis Khan, the Mongols were a group of steppe nomads who established a decentralized empire which, at its height, extended from China in the east to the Black and Baltic Seas in Europe. The Late Middle Ages represented a period of upheaval in Europe, the epidemic known as the Black Death and an associated famine caused demographic catastrophe in Europe as the population plummeted. Dynastic struggles and wars of conquest kept many of the states of Europe at war for much of the period, in Scandinavia, the Kalmar Union dominated the political landscape, while England fought with Scotland in the Wars of Scottish Independence and with France in the Hundred Years War. Russia continued to expand southward and eastward into former Mongol lands, in the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire overran Byzantine lands, culminating in the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, which historians mark as the end of the Middle Ages. Beginning in the 14th century in Florence and later spreading through Europe, the rediscovery of classical Greek and Roman knowledge had an enormous liberating effect on intellectuals. Simultaneously, the Protestant Reformation under German Martin Luther questioned Papal authority, henry VIII seized control of the English Church and its lands. The European religious wars between German and Spanish rulers, the Reconquista ended Muslim rule in Iberia. By the 1490s a series of oceanic explorations marked the Age of Discovery, establishing links with Africa, the AmericasHistory of Europe – Europe depicted by Antwerp cartographer Abraham Ortelius in 1595