Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories. On 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish king Charlemagne as Emperor, reviving the title in Western Europe, more than three centuries after the fall of the earlier ancient Western Roman Empire in 476; the title continued in the Carolingian family until 888 and from 896 to 899, after which it was contested by the rulers of Italy in a series of civil wars until the death of the last Italian claimant, Berengar I, in 924. The title was revived again in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne and beginning a continuous existence of the empire for over eight centuries.
Some historians refer to the coronation of Charlemagne as the origin of the empire, while others prefer the coronation of Otto I as its beginning. Scholars concur, however, in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, describing a gradual assumption of the imperial title and role; the exact term "Holy Roman Empire" was not used until the 13th century, but the concept of translatio imperii, the notion that he—the sovereign ruler—held supreme power inherited from the ancient emperors of Rome, was fundamental to the prestige of the emperor. The office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective, although controlled by dynasties; the German prince-electors, the highest-ranking noblemen of the empire elected one of their peers as "King of the Romans", he would be crowned emperor by the Pope. The empire never achieved the extent of political unification as was formed to the west in France, evolving instead into a decentralized, limited elective monarchy composed of hundreds of sub-units: kingdoms, duchies, prince-bishoprics, Free Imperial Cities, other domains.
The power of the emperor was limited, while the various princes, lords and cities of the empire were vassals who owed the emperor their allegiance, they possessed an extent of privileges that gave them de facto independence within their territories. Emperor Francis II dissolved the empire on 6 August 1806 following the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by emperor Napoleon I the month before. In various languages the Holy Roman Empire was known as: Latin: Sacrum Imperium Romanum, German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, Italian: Sacro Romano Impero, Czech: Svatá říše římská, Polish: Święte imperium rzymskie, Slovene: Sveto rimsko cesarstvo, Dutch: Heilige Roomse Rijk, French: Saint-Empire romain. Before 1157, the realm was referred to as the Roman Empire; the term sacrum in connection with the medieval Roman Empire was used beginning in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa: the term was added to reflect Frederick's ambition to dominate Italy and the Papacy. The form "Holy Roman Empire" is attested from 1254 onward.
In a decree following the 1512 Diet of Cologne, the name was changed to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, a form first used in a document in 1474. The new title was adopted because the Empire had lost most of its Italian and Burgundian territories to the south and west by the late 15th century, but to emphasize the new importance of the German Imperial Estates in ruling the Empire due to the Imperial Reform. By the end of the 18th century, the term "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" had fallen out of official use. Besides, contradicting the traditional view concerning that designation, Hermann Weisert has stated in a study on imperial titulature that, despite the claim of many textbooks, the name "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" never had an official status and points out that documents were thirty times as to omit the national suffix as include it. This, or the shortened "Roman Empire of the German Nation", is used in Germany to refer to the Holy Roman Empire. In a famous assessment of the name, the political philosopher Voltaire remarked sardonically: "This body, called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire."
As Roman power in Gaul declined during the 5th century, local Germanic tribes assumed control. In the late 5th and early 6th centuries, the Merovingians, under Clovis I and his successors, consolidated Frankish tribes and extended hegemony over others to gain control of northern Gaul and the middle Rhine river valley region. By the middle of the 8th century, the Merovingians had been reduced to figureheads, the Carolingians, led by Charles Martel, had become the de facto rulers. In 751, Martel's son Pepin became King of the Franks, gained the sanction of the Pope; the Carolingians would maintain a close alliance with the Papacy. In 768, Pepin's son Charlemagne became King of the Franks and began an extensive expansion of the realm, he incorporated the territories of present-day France, northern Italy, beyond, linking the Frankish kingdom with Papal lands. In 797, the Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VI was removed from the throne by his mother Irene who declared herself Empress; as the Church regarded a male Roman Emperor as the head of Christendom, Pope
The Fourth Crusade was a Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition was to recapture the Muslim-controlled city of Jerusalem, by first conquering the powerful Egyptian Ayyubid Sultanate, the strongest Muslim state of the time. However, a sequence of economic and political events culminated in the Crusader army sacking the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Greek Christian-controlled Byzantine Empire. In late 1202, financial issues led to the Crusader army sacking Zara, brought under Venetian control. In January 1203, en-route to Jerusalem, the Crusader leadership entered into an agreement with the Byzantine prince Alexios Angelos to divert the Crusade to Constantinople and restore his deposed father as Emperor; the intent of the Crusaders was to continue to Jerusalem with promised Byzantine financial and military aid. On 23 June 1203, the bulk of the Crusaders reached Constantinople, while smaller contingents continued to Acre. After the siege of Zara the pope excommunicated the crusader army.
In August, following clashes outside Constantinople, Alexios was crowned co-Emperor. However, in January 1204, he was deposed by a popular uprising; the Crusaders were no longer able to receive their promised payments from Alexios. Following the murder of Alexios on 8 February, the Crusaders decided on the outright conquest of the city. In April 1204, they plundered the city's enormous wealth. Only a handful of the Crusaders continued to the Holy Land thereafter; the conquest of Constantinople was followed by the fragmentation of the Empire into three rump states centred in Nicaea and Epirus. The Crusaders founded several Crusader states in former Byzantine territory hinged upon the Latin Empire of Constantinople; the presence of the Latin Crusader states immediately led to war with the Byzantine successor states and the Bulgarian Empire. The Nicaean Empire recovered Constantinople and restored the Byzantine Empire in 1261; the Crusade is considered to be one of the most prominent acts that solidified the schism between the Greek and Latin Christian churches, dealt an irrevocable blow to the weakened Byzantine Empire, paving the way for Muslim conquests in Anatolia and Balkan Europe in the coming centuries.
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 capture and sack of Jerusalem in the First Crusade, a Byzantine holding prior to the Muslim conquests of the 7th century; the city was sacred to Christians and Jews, returning it to Christian hands had been a primary purpose of the First Crusade. Saladin led a Muslim dynasty, his incorporation of Jerusalem into his domains shocked and dismayed the Catholic countries of Western Europe. Legend has it that Pope Urban III died of the shock, but the timing of his death makes that impossible; the crusader states had been reduced to three cities along the sea coast: Tyre 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 been 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 stark relief the vast cultural differences between the two Christian civilisations. The Latins viewed the Byzantine preference for diplomacy and trade over war as duplicitous and degenerate, their policy of tolerance and assimilation towards Muslims as a corrupt betrayal of the faith. For their part, the educated and wealthy Byzantines maintained a strong sense of cultural and social superiority over the Latins. 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. Alone amongst major medieval urban centres, it had retained the civic structures, public baths, forums and aqueducts of classical Rome in working form. At its height, the city held an estimated population of about half a million people behind thirteen miles of triple walls, its planned location made Constantinople not only the capital of the surviving eastern part of the Roman Empire but a commercial centre that dominated trade routes from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, China and Persia.
As a result, it was both a rival and a tempting target for the aggressive new states of the west, notably the Republic of Venice. One of the leaders of the Third Crusade, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa plotted with the Serbs, Byzantine traitors, the Muslim Seljuks against the Eastern Empire and at one point sought Papal support for a crusade against the Orthodox Byzantines. Crusaders seized the breakaway Byzantine province of Cyprus. Barbarossa died on crusade, his army disintegrated, leaving the English and French, who had come by sea, to fight Saladin. In 1195 Henry VI, son and heir of Barbarossa, sought to efface this humiliation by declaring a new crusade, in the summer of 1197 a large number of German knights and nobles, headed by two archbishops, nine bishops, five dukes, sailed for Palestine. There they captured Sidon and Beirut, but at the news of Henry's death in Messina along the way, many of the nobles and clerics returned to Europe. Deserted by much of their leade
Siege of Zara
The Siege of Zara or Siege of Zadar was the first major action of the Fourth Crusade and the first attack against a Catholic city by Catholic crusaders. The crusaders had an agreement with Venice for transport across the sea, but the price far exceeded what they were able to pay. Venice set the condition that the crusaders help them capture Zadar, a constant battleground between Venice on one side and Croatia and Hungary on the other, whose king, pledged himself to join the Crusade. Although some of the crusaders refused to take part in the siege, the attack on Zadar began in November 1202 despite letters from Pope Innocent III forbidding such an action and threatening excommunication. Zadar fell on 24 November and the Venetians and the crusaders sacked the city. After spending the winter in Zadar the Fourth Crusade continued its campaign, which led to the Siege of Constantinople. Shortly after his election as pope in 1198, Pope Innocent III published several papal encyclicals calling for the invasion and recapture of the Holy Land from the Muslims.
His plan to accomplish this differed from the earlier unsuccessful Second and Third crusades in several ways. Instead of the secular nobles who led the earlier crusades, this one would be, in theory under papal control. Innocent's plan called for the invading armies to travel to Egypt by sea and seize the Nile Delta, which would be used as a base from which to invade Palestine, his call was at first poorly received among the ruling families of Europe, but by 1200, an army of 35,000 was formed. Innocent III negotiated an agreement with the Republic of Venice, Europe's dominant sea power at the time, involving the construction of a fleet of warships and transports; the deal stipulated that about 35,000 crusaders would need transport and the Venetians would be paid 94,000 marks of silver, to be paid in installments. A council held at Soissons in June 1201 chose Boniface of Montferrat to lead the expedition; the agreement between the Venetians and the crusaders had set the date for the arrival of the host in Venice before the end of April 1202, in order to provide for a departure in time for a summer crossing at the end of June.
The crusade leaders had counted on raising the money still owed to the Venetians through the collection of passage money from the individual crusaders. However, the first crusader groups did not leave France until April and May, others straggled along throughout the summer and some of the French nobles chose to sail instead from Marseilles and other ports. Therefore, after the Venetians had suspended their regular commercial operations for a year to build and crew the ships, only about 12,000 crusaders showed up at Venice to man and pay for them. Boniface and the nobles added what money they could spare, pledged their gold and silver plate to the Venetian moneylenders. Still the crusaders found themselves only able to pay 51,000 marks to the Venetians. In response, the Venetians indicated that they would accept the invasion of Zara, a Catholic city on the coast of the Adriatic, as well as nearby Trieste, in lieu of payment for the time being. Zara had rebelled against the Venetian Republic in 1183, placed itself under the dual protection of the Papacy and King Emeric of Hungary.
Though a large group of crusaders found the scheme repulsive and refused to participate, the majority agreed, citing it as necessary to attain the larger goal of taking Jerusalem. Once the agreement was made, the crusaders and Venetians began boarding the ships; the crusaders used the 50 amphibious transports, 100 horse carriers and 60 warships designed and built for them by the Venetians. Their transports were 30 m long, 9 m wide and 12 m high, with a crew of 100; each one could carry up to 600 infantry. The horse carriers featured specially designed slings to carry their cargo of horses, featured a fold-out ramp below the waterline that could be opened to allow mounted knights to charge directly onto shore; the Venetian warships were powered by 100 oarsmen each and featured a metal-tipped ram just above the waterline as their primary weapon. They carried more than 300 siege weapons; the Venetian fleet led by Doge Enrico Dandolo left harbor on 1 October towards Istria and imposed Venetian supremacy over Trieste and Pula.
Most of the Crusader forces left Venice on 8 October. The two armies sailed together towards Zadar. Doge Dandolo was in no hurry. On the eve of St. Martin's Day the fleet arrived at Zadar; the attack on Zadar took the form of an amphibious landing followed by a brief siege. Chains and booms were laid across the mouth of Zadar's harbor as a defense, but the crusaders burst through them in their Venetian ships and landed their troops and equipment near the city, where they made a camp. Citizens of Zadar hung flags with crosses on the walls; some of the Crusader leaders, including Simon de Montfort, Robert de Boves and Guy of Vaux-de-Cernay, refused to take part in the siege and requested that the city be spared. On behalf of the Pope, Guy of Vaux-de-Cernay forbade the conquest of the city "because it is a city of Christians, you are pilgrims". However, most of the crusaders sided with Enrico Dandolo, while Simon de Montfort and other crusaders who refused to participate in the siege camped further away from the city.
On 13 November siege engines were used to bombard the city's walls. Zadar fell on 24 November 1202, and
The Black Sea is a body of water and marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean between the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Western Asia. It is supplied by a number of major rivers, such as the Danube, Southern Bug, Dniester and the Rioni. Many countries drain into the Black Sea, including Austria, Belarus and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine; the Black Sea has an area of 436,400 km2, a maximum depth of 2,212 m, a volume of 547,000 km3. It is constrained by the Pontic Mountains to the south, Caucasus Mountains to the east, Crimean Mountains to the north, Strandzha to the southwest, Dobrogea Plateau to the northwest, features a wide shelf to the northwest; the longest east–west extent is about 1,175 km. Important cities along the coast include Batumi, Constanța, Istanbul, Novorossiysk, Ordu, Rize, Sevastopol, Sukhumi, Varna and Zonguldak; the Black Sea has a positive water balance. There is a two-way hydrological exchange: the more saline and therefore denser, but warmer, Mediterranean water flows into the Black Sea under its less saline outflow.
This creates a significant anoxic layer well below the surface waters. The Black Sea drains into the Mediterranean Sea, via the Aegean Sea and various straits, is navigable to the Atlantic Ocean; the Bosphorus Strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, the Strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean Sea region of the Mediterranean. These waters separate the Caucasus and Western Asia; the Black Sea is connected, to the North, to the Sea of Azov by the Strait of Kerch. The water level has varied significantly. Due to these variations in the water level in the basin, the surrounding shelf and associated aprons have sometimes been land. At certain critical water levels it is possible for connections with surrounding water bodies to become established, it is through the most active of these connective routes, the Turkish Straits, that the Black Sea joins the world ocean. When this hydrological link is not present, the Black Sea is an endorheic basin, operating independently of the global ocean system, like the Caspian Sea for example.
The Black Sea water level is high. The Turkish Straits connect the Black Sea with the Aegean Sea, comprise the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles; the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Black Sea as follows: On the Southwest. The Northeastern limit of the Sea of Marmara. In the Kertch Strait. A line joining Cape Takil and Cape Panaghia. Current names of the sea are equivalents of the English name "Black Sea", including these given in the countries bordering the sea: Abkhazian: Амшын Еиқәа, IPA: Adyghe: Хы шӏуцӏэ, IPA: Bulgarian: Черно море, IPA: Crimean Tatar: Къара денъиз, Qara deñiz IPA: Georgian: შავი ზღვა, translit.: shavi zghva, IPA: Laz and Mingrelian: უჩა ზუღა, IPA:, or ზუღა, IPA:, "Sea" Romanian: Marea Neagră, pronounced Russian: Чёрное мо́рe, IPA: Turkish: Karadeniz, IPA: Ukrainian: Чорне море, IPA: Such names have not yet been shown conclusively to predate the 13th century, but there are indications that they may be older. In Greece, the historical name "Euxine Sea", which holds a different meaning, is still used: Greek: Éfxeinos Póntos.
The principal Greek name "Póntos Áxeinos" is accepted to be a rendering of Iranian word *axšaina-, compare Avestan axšaēna-, Old Persian axšaina-, Middle Persian axšēn/xašēn, New Persian xašīn, as well as Ossetic œxsīn. The ancient Greeks, most those living to the north of the Black Sea, subsequently adopted the name and altered it to á-xenos. Thereafter, Greek tradition refers to the Black Sea as the "Inhospitable Sea", Πόντος Ἄξεινος Póntos Áxeinos, first attested in Pindar; the name was considered to be "ominous" and was changed into the euphemistic name "Hospitable sea", Εὔξεινος Πόντος Eúxeinos Póntos, for the first time attested in Pindar. This became the used designation for the sea in Greek. In contexts related to mythology, the older form Póntos Áxeinos remained favored, it has been erroneously suggested that the name was derived from the color of the water, or was at least related to climatic conditions. Black or dark in this context, referred to a system in which colors represent the cardinal points of the known world.
Black or dark represented the north. The symbolism based on cardinal points was used in multiple occasions and is therefore attested. For example, the "Red Sea", a body of water reported since the time of Herodotus in fact designated the Indian Ocean, together with bodies of water now known as the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. According to the same explanation and reasoning, it is therefore considered to be impossible
Alexios V Doukas
Alexios V Doukas, in Latinised spelling Alexius V Ducas, was Byzantine emperor from 5 February to 12 April 1204, during the second and final siege of Constantinople by the participants of the Fourth Crusade. His family name was Doukas, but he was known by the nickname Mourtzouphlos or Murtzuphlus, referring to either bushy, overhanging eyebrows or a sullen, gloomy character, he achieved power through a palace coup. Though he made vigorous attempts to defend Constantinople from the crusader army, his military efforts proved ineffective, his actions won the support of the mass of the populace. Following the fall and occupation of the city, Alexios V was blinded by another ex-emperor and executed by the new Latin regime, he was the last Byzantine emperor to rule in Constantinople until the Byzantine recapture of Constantinople in 1261. Though possessing the name of a leading Byzantine aristocratic family, there is little known concerning the ancestry of Alexios Doukas Mourtzouphlos; the noble Doukas clan were not the only Doukai, as the surname was employed by many families of humble origins.
It has been claimed that Alexios Doukas was a great-great-grandson of the emperor Alexios I Komnenos in the female line. This is not improbable, as all other Byzantine emperors, the majority of attempted usurpers, of the period had a connection with the former imperial house of the Komnenoi, either by descent or marriage. A more precise theory has been proposed, that he was the son of an Isaac Doukas, was the second cousin of Alexios IV Angelos. A letter sent to Pope Innocent III, stated that Alexios Doukas Mourtzouphlos was'a blood relation' of Alexios IV Angelos; the contemporary historian Niketas Choniates was dismissed from office as logothete of the sekreta by Mourtzouphlos. His assessment of the emperor's character might therefore be biased; the participation of Alexios Doukas Mourtzouphlos in the attempted overthrow of Alexios III Angelos by John Komnenos the Fat in 1200 had led to his imprisonment. Mourtzouphlos was imprisoned from 1201 until the restoration to the throne of Isaac II Angelos, the brother and predecessor of Alexios III.
Isaac II, along with his son Alexios IV Angelos, were restored to the throne through the intervention of the leaders of the Fourth Crusade in July 1203. On release, Mourtzouphlos was invested with the court position of protovestiarios, he had been married twice but was the lover of Eudokia Angelina, a daughter of Alexios III. By the beginning of 1204, Isaac II and Alexios IV had inspired little confidence among the people of Constantinople with their efforts to protect the city from the Latin crusaders and their Venetian allies, the citizens were becoming restless; the crusaders were losing patience with the emperors. The fires affected about a sixth of the area of Constantinople and may have made up to a third of the population homeless. Alexios Doukas Mourtzouphlos emerged as a leader of the anti-Latin movement in the city, he won the approval of the populace by his valour in leading an attack on the Latins at "Trypetos Lithos". Mourtzouphlos exploited the hatred of the people for the Latins to serve his personal ambition.
The citizens of Constantinople rebelled in late January 1204, in the chaos an otherwise obscure nobleman named Nicholas Kanabos was acclaimed emperor, though he was unwilling to accept the crown. The two co-emperors barricaded themselves in the Palace of Blachernae and entrusted Mourtzouphlos with a mission to seek help from the crusaders, or at least they informed him of their intentions. Instead of contacting the crusaders, Mourtzouphlos, on the night of 28–29 January 1204, used his access to the palace to bribe the "ax-bearers", with their backing arrest the emperors. Choniates states that Mourtzouphlos, when bribing the guards, had the help of a eunuch with access to the imperial treasury; the support of the Varangians seems to have been of major importance in the success of the coup, though Mourtzouphlos had help from his relations and associates. The young Alexios IV was strangled in prison. Kanabos was spared and offered an office under Alexios V, but he refused both this and a further summons from the emperor and took sanctuary in the Hagia Sophia.
The timing of the deaths of the deposed emperors and of Kanabos, their relation to the coronation of Alexios V are problematic. Alexios V appears to have been acclaimed emperor as early as the night he moved against the Angeloi co-emperors. Hendrickx and Matzukis suggest that Alexios V assumed the imperial insignia but was crowned possibly on 5 February. Finding the treasury empty, the new emperor confiscated money from the aristocracy and high officials to be put to public use; these actions endeared Alexios V to the citizens, but alienated his relations and other prominent supporters. Once in firm contr
The Byzantine Empire referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. 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 and military force in Europe. Both the terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm. 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 diverged. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed.
Under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use in place of Latin. Thus, although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, characterised by Eastern Orthodox Christianity; the borders of the empire evolved over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I, the empire reached its greatest extent after reconquering much of the Roman western Mediterranean coast, including North Africa and Rome itself, which it held for two more centuries; the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 exhausted the empire's resources and contributed to major territorial losses during the Early Muslim conquests of the 7th century, when it lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arab caliphate. During the Macedonian dynasty, the empire expanded again and experienced the two-century long Macedonian Renaissance, which came to an end with the loss of much of Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.
This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia. The empire recovered during the Komnenian restoration, by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. However, it was delivered a mortal blow during the Fourth Crusade, when Constantinople was sacked in 1204 and the territories that the empire governed were divided into competing Byzantine Greek and Latin realms. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small rival states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence, its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 ended the Byzantine Empire; the last of the imperial Byzantine successor states, the Empire of Trebizond, would be conquered by the Ottomans eight years in the 1461 Siege of Trebizond. The first use of the term "Byzantine" to label the years of the Roman Empire was in 1557, when the German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ, a collection of historical sources.
The term comes from "Byzantium", the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantine's capital. This older name of the city would be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts; the publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, in 1680 of Du Cange's Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of "Byzantine" among French authors, such as Montesquieu. 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", as "Rhōmais". The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and as late as the 19th century Greeks referred to Modern Greek as Romaiika "Romaic." After 1204 when the Byzantine Empire was confined to its purely Greek provinces the term'Hellenes' was used instead. While the Byzantine Empire had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history and preserved Romano-Hellenistic traditions, it became identified by its western and northern contemporaries with its predominant Greek element.
The occasional use of the term "Empire of the Greeks" in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire and of the Byzantine Emperor as Imperator Graecorum were used to separate it from the prestige of the Roman Empire within the new kingdoms of the West. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more straightforwardly seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known as Rûm; the name millet-i Rûm, or "Roman nation," was used by the Ottomans through the 20th century to refer to the former subjects of the Byzantine Empire
The Doge's Palace is a palace built in Venetian Gothic style, one of the main landmarks of the city of Venice in northern Italy. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Venetian Republic, opening as a museum in 1923. Today, it is one of the 11 museums run by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia. In 810, Doge Agnello Participazio moved the seat of government from the island of Malamocco to the area of the present-day Rialto, when it was decided a palatium duci should be built. However, no trace remains of that 9th-century building as the palace was destroyed in the 10th century by a fire; the following reconstruction works were undertaken at the behest of Doge Sebastiano Ziani. A great reformer, he would drastically change the entire layout of the St. Mark's Square; the new palace was built out of fortresses, one façade to the Piazzetta, the other overlooking the St. Mark's Basin. Although only few traces remain of that palace, some Byzantine-Venetian architecture characteristics can still be seen at the ground floor, with the wall base in Istrian stone and some herring-bone pattern brick paving.
Political changes in the mid-13th century led to the need to re-think the palace's structure due to the considerable increase in the number of the Great Council's members. The new Gothic palace's constructions started around 1340, focusing on the side of the building facing the lagoon. Only in 1424 did Doge Francesco Foscari decide to extend the rebuilding works to the wing overlooking the Piazzetta, serving as law-courts, with a ground floor arcade on the outside, open first floor loggias running along the façade, the internal courtyard side of the wing, completed with the construction of the Porta della Carta. In 1483, a violent fire broke out in the side of the palace overlooking the canal, where the Doge's Apartments were. Once again, an important reconstruction became necessary and was commissioned from Antonio Rizzo, who would introduce the new Renaissance language to the building's architecture. An entire new structure was raised alongside the canal, stretching from the ponte della Canonica to the Ponte della Paglia, with the official rooms of the government decorated with works commissioned from Vittore Carpaccio, Alvise Vivarini and Giovanni Bellini.
Another huge fire in 1547 destroyed some of the rooms on the second floor, but without undermining the structure as a whole. Refurbishment works were being held at the palace when on 1577 a third fire destroyed the Scrutinio Room and the Great Council Chamber, together with works by Gentile da Fabriano, Alvise Vivarini, Vittore Carpaccio, Giovanni Bellini and Titian. In the subsequent rebuilding work it was decided to respect the original Gothic style, despite the submission of a neo-classical alternative designs by the influential Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. However, there are some classical features — for example, since the 16th century, the palace has been linked to the prison by the Bridge of Sighs; as well as being the ducal residence, the palace housed political institutions of the Republic of Venice until the Napoleonic occupation of the city in 1797, when its role changed. Venice was subjected first to French rule to Austrian, in 1866 it became part of Italy. Over this period, the palace was occupied by various administrative offices as well as housing the Biblioteca Marciana and other important cultural institutions within the city.
By the end of the 19th century, the structure was showing clear signs of decay, the Italian government set aside significant funds for its restoration and all public offices were moved elsewhere, with the exception of the State Office for the protection of historical Monuments, still housed at the palace's loggia floor. In 1923, the Italian State, owner of the building, entrusted the management to the Venetian municipality to be run as a museum. Since 1996, the Doge’s Palace has been part of the Venetian museums network, under the management of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia since 2008; the oldest part of the palace is the wing overlooking the lagoon, the corners of which are decorated with 14th-century sculptures, thought to be by Filippo Calendario and various Lombard artists such as Matteo Raverti and Antonio Bregno. The ground floor arcade and the loggia above are decorated with 14th- and 15th-century capitals, some of which were replaced with copies during the 19th century. In 1438–1442, Giovanni Bon and Bartolomeo Bon built and adorned the Porta della Carta, which served as the ceremonial entrance to the building.
The name of the gateway derives either from the fact that this was the area where public scribes set up their desks, or from the nearby location of the cartabum, the archives of state documents. Flanked by Gothic pinnacles, with two figures of the Cardinal Virtues per side, the gateway is crowned by a bust of Mark the Evangelist over which rises a statue of Justice with her traditional symbols of sword and scales. In the space above the cornice, there is a sculptural portrait of the Doge Francesco Foscari kneeling before the Lion of Saint Mark; this is, however, a 19th-century work by Luigi Ferrari, created to replace the original destroyed in 1797. Nowadays, the public entrance to the Doge's Palace is via the Porta del Frumento, on the waterfront side of the building; the north side of the courtyard is closed by the junction between the palace and St. Mark’s Basilica, which used to be the Doge’s chapel. At the center of the courtyard stand two well-heads dating from the mid-16th century. In 1485, the Great Council decided that a ceremonial staircase should be built within the courtyar