Thmuis is a city in Lower Egypt, located on the canal east of the Nile, between its Tanitic and Mendesian branches. During the Ptolemaic period, Thmuis succeeded Djedet as the capital of Lower Egypt's 16th nome of Kha; the two cities are only several hundred meters apart. Ptolemy states that the city was the capital of the Mendesian nome. Thmuis was an episcopal see in the Roman province of suffragan of Pelusium. Today it is part of the Coptic Holy Metropolitanate of Beheira, Marsa Matruh and Pentapolis. In the fourth century it was still an important Roman city, having its own administration and being exempt from the jurisdiction of the Prefect of Alexandria, it was in existence at the time of the Muslim invasion of Egypt in 642 AD, was called Al-Mourad or "Al-Mouradeh". Its ruins are at Tell El-Timai, about five miles north-west of Sinbellawein, a station on the railway from Zagazig to Mansourah in the central Delta. Le Quien names nine bishops of Thmuis, the last three being Monophysites of the Middle Ages.
The others are: Ammonius, Bishop of Thmuis, deposed by Heraclas of Alexandria Phileas of Thmuis, d. 306, martyr and saint Saint Donatus, his successor, martyr Liberius, at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 Saint Serapion of Thmuis, died shortly before 360, the author of various works, in part preserved, a friend of St. Athanasius Ptolemæus at the Council of Seleucia Aristobulus, at the First Council of Ephesus. Serapion Bishop of Thmuis Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "Thmuis". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Baines & Malek "Cultural Atlas of Ancient Egypt", 2000. ISBN 0-8160-4036-2 M. I. Bakr & H. Brandl, "Various Sites in the Eastern Nile Delta: Thmuis", in: M. I. Bakr and H. Brandl, with F. Kalloniatis, Egyptian Antiquities from the Eastern Nile Delta. Museums in the Nile Delta, vol. 2. Cairo/Berlin 2014, pp. 79, 294-301. ISBN 9783000453182; this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "Thmuis". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton
This article is about the ancient city called Athribis in Lower Egypt. It is located in present-day Tell Atrib, just northeast of Benha on the hill of Kom Sidi Yusuf; the town lies around 40 km north of Cairo, on the eastern bank of the Damietta branch of the Nile. It was occupied during the Ptolemaic and Byzantine eras. Athribis was once the capital of the tenth Lower Egyptian nome. Although some texts suggest Egyptian occupation dating back to the Old Kingdom, no physical evidence has been able to prove it. Today, much of the preexisting artifacts are being lost every year because local farmers like to use the sebakh, fertilizer from the ancient mudbrick blocks that were used for most of the buildings, it is known as the birthplace of Amenhotep, son of Hapu, who gained considerable recognition and prestige in his time as a public official and scribe for pharaoh Amenhotep III. The former Amenhotep leveraged his influence to convince the pharoah to patron the town and its local god. A local temple was rebuilt by Amenhotep III during the 18th Dynasty, although it no longer stands today.
One of the two lying lion statues at the Cairo Museum is thought to be from the temple, but since it was usurped by Ramesses II, its true origin is unknown. Ramesses II enlarged the local temple, placed two obelisks in black granite at the Cairo Museum. During the 26th Dynasty, Ahmose II had a temple built at Athribis, he was an important figure of Mediterranean diplomacy. Local texts suggest that the site used to have a temple dedicated to the god Horus Khenty-khety. In 1946, the tomb of Takhuit, queen of Psamtik II, was found along with other Late Period tombs; the first excavation of Athribis dates back to 1789 by a French archaeologist Bonaparte and again in 1852 by Auguste Mariette. Though Athribis has been periodically excavated since the 1800s, it has yet to be excavated. Flinders Petrie wrote a book on Athribis in Upper Egypt, so not to be confused with this Lower Egypt, it was published in 1908. Major excavations didn't start until after World War II by Prof. Kazimierz Michalowski; the Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean journal through the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw, has been publishing yearly excavation reports.
Their main reports are from the years 1985-1995 and Dr. Karol Mysliwiek has been the main archaeologist of Athribis. Although Athribis is known to be occupied during dynastic years, the city didn’t gain real power until the early Ptolemaic years; that was. Evidence shows that Graeco-Roman occupation could have been as early as the "Ptolemaic II" archaeological phase. During the middle Ptolemaic era and up to the 3rd century AD, Athribis was a busy town that had a large bathhouse and industrial buildings as well; this is considered the eastern part of Athribis. Early Byzantine excavations are at the northeastern part of the town. During the early Ptolemaic years, it was being used as a pottery workshop. Most of the kilns were shaped in circular patterns. Early Byzantine lamps were being made in the area until the late fourth century AD. There was a large discovery of stored unfired pottery which only led more evidence for a large pottery workshop. Over 300 figurines were found throughout all of Athribis in the Ptolemaic layers.
Some of the artifacts were of terracotta form. Many of the figurines depicted were heads of small dwarf-like creatures and some of them were used as oil lamps in the bathhouses. "Ptolemaic VI" is the phase, found to have the most artifacts or figurines. They were more crafted in design compared to findings in other layers and better preserved. Depictions of Egyptian and Greek gods and goddesses were abundant. Dionysus and Aphrodite seemed to be popular throughout the findings at Athribis, it is considered that these figurines could have been made in the pottery workshops, most were of terracotta make, others believe the figurines could have had more of a cult meaning. It is suggested that the Dionysus and Aphrodite figures erotic in nature, could have played as a type of fertility cult in the bathhouse areas since a lot of the figurines were found in excavated remains of the bath area. Egyptian gods were being depicted as Greek gods in the making of the figurines. Isis was being depicted as Aphrodite in some cases.
The god Silen was depicted in one of the excavated oil lamps, dated from the late second century. It shows that though Athribis at the time was of Graeco-Roman influence, Egyptian culture was still being used in some of their everyday life. Pottery itself from the workshops were abundant, but compared to the figurines, simple in design. Made from either clay or terracotta, jugs that were Greek in design but clumsily crafted are found throughout the middle Ptolemaic era. Most of the jugs were smaller, more sophisticated in design were found as well. No matter how the pottery was made, floral decorations were found on all of the finished and unfinished artifacts. Clay molds were found in the middle Ptolemaic era, they were circular in design with a sunken relief on one side. There was one artifact found from the early Ptolemaic era, made from limestone, however the rest of the molds were made from clay. Pyramid of Athribis – a now–destroyed pyramid, located in Athribis
The Roman provinces were the lands and people outside of Rome itself that were controlled by the Republic and the Empire. Each province was ruled by a Roman, appointed as governor. Although different in many ways, they were similar to the states in Australia or the United States, the regions in the United kingdom or New Zealand, or the prefectures in Japan. Canada refers to some of its territory as provinces. A province was the basic and, until the tetrarchy, the largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside Italy; the word province in Modern English has its origins in the Latin term used by the Romans. Provinces were governed by politicians of senatorial rank former consuls or former praetors. A exception was the province of Egypt, incorporated by Augustus after the death of Cleopatra; this exception was unique, but not contrary to Roman law, as Egypt was considered Augustus' personal property, following the tradition of the kings of the earlier Hellenistic period.
The Latin term provincia had a more general meaning of "jurisdiction". The Latin word provincia meant any task or set of responsibilities assigned by the Roman Senate to an individual who held imperium, a military command within a specified theater of operations. Under the Roman Republic, the magistrates were elected to office for a period of one year, those serving outside the city of Rome, such as consuls acting as generals on a military campaign, were assigned a particular provincia, the scope of authority within which they exercised their command; the territory of a people who were defeated in war might be brought under various forms of treaty, in some cases entailing complete subjection. The formal annexation of a territory created a province, in the modern sense of an administrative unit, geographically defined. Republican-period provinces were administered in one-year terms by the consuls and praetors who had held office the previous year and who were invested with imperium. Rome started expanding beyond Italy during the First Punic War.
The first permanent provinces to be annexed were Sicilia in 241 BC and Corsica et Sardinia in 237 BC. Militarized expansionism kept increasing the number of these administrative provinces, until there were no longer enough qualified individuals to fill the posts, good people; the terms of provincial governors had to be extended for multiple years, on occasion the senate awarded imperium to private citizens, most notably Pompey the Great. Prorogation undermined the republican constitutional principle of annual elected magistracies, the amassing of disproportionate wealth and military power by a few men through their provincial commands was a major factor in the transition from a republic to imperial autocracy. 241 BC – Sicilia taken over from the Carthaginians and annexed at the end of the First Punic War 237 BC – Corsica et Sardinia. It was annexed after a rebellion by the Achaean League. 146 BC – Africa home territory of Carthage. It was annexed following attacks on the allied Greek city of Massalia.
67 BC – Creta et Cyrenae. However, it was not organised as a province, it was incorporated into the province of Creta et Cyrenae when Crete was annexed in 67 BC. 63 BC – Pontus et Bithynia. It was organised as a Roman province at the end of the Third Mithridatic War by Pompey, who incorporated the eastern part of the defeated Kingdom of Pontus into it in 63 BC. 63 BC – Syria. The Romans controlled only a small area. In 74 BC Lycia and Pamphylia were added to the small Roman possessions in Cilicia. Cilicia came under Roman control towards the end of the Third Mithridatic War – 73–63 BC; the province was reorganised by Pompey in 63 BC. Cyprus was annexed and added to this province in 58 BC. 46 BC – Africa Nova, Julius Caesar annexed eastern Numidia and the new province called Africa Nova to distinguish it from the older province of Africa, which become known as Africa Vetus. Gallia Cisalpina was a province in the sense of an area of military command, but was never a province in the sense of an administrative unit.
During Rome's expansion in the Italian peninsula, the Romans assigned some areas as provinces in the sense of areas of militar
Damietta known as Damiata, or Domyat, is a port and the capital of the Damietta Governorate in Egypt, a former bishopric and present multiple Catholic titular see. It is located at the Damietta branch, an eastern distributary of the Nile, 15 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea, about 200 kilometres north of Cairo. In Ancient Egypt, the city was known as Tamiat, but in the Hellenistic period it was called Tamiathis. Mentioned by the 6th-century geographer Stephanus Byzantius, the town became known as Damiata and as Damietta, which derived from an ancient Egyptian word "Damt" that means the ability, since Damietta had the ability to combine the salt water of the Mediterranean Sea and the fresh water of the Nile in one place. Other historians note that the city was called "Tam Heet" which means the city of the water or the city of the running water. Another derivation of the name might be meaning city of North. Under Caliph Omar, the Arabs took the town and resisted the attempts by the Byzantine Empire to recover it in 739, 821, 921 and 968.
The Abbasids used Alexandria, Damietta and Siraf as entry ports to India and the Tang Empire of China. Damietta was an important naval base during the Abbasid and Fatimid periods; this led to several attacks by the Byzantine Empire, most notably the sack and destruction of the city in May 853. Damietta was again important in the 13th centuries during the time of the Crusades. In 1169, a fleet from the Kingdom of Jerusalem, with support from the Byzantine Empire, attacked the port, but it was defeated by Saladin. During preparations for the Fifth Crusade in 1217, it was decided that Damietta should be the focus of attack. Control of Damietta meant control of the Nile, from there the crusaders believed they would be able to conquer Egypt. From Egypt they could attack Palestine and recapture Jerusalem; when the port was besieged and occupied by Frisian crusaders in 1219, Francis of Assisi arrived to peaceably negotiate with the Muslim ruler. The siege devastated the population of Damietta. In October 1218 reinforcements arrived including the Papal Legate Pelagius with the English earls Ranulf of Chester, Saer of Winchester and William Aubigny of Arundel, together with Odonel Aubigny, Robert Fitzwalter, John Lacy of Chester, William Harcourt and Oliver, the illegitimate son of King John.
In 1221 the Crusaders attempted to march to Cairo, but were destroyed by the combination of nature and Muslim defences. Damietta was the object of the Seventh Crusade, led by Louis IX of France, his fleet arrived there in 1249 and captured the fort, which he refused to hand over to the nominal king of Jerusalem, to whom it had been promised during the Fifth Crusade. However, having been taken prisoner with his army in April 1250, Louis was obliged to surrender Damietta as ransom. Hearing that Louis was preparing a new crusade, the Mamluk Sultan Baibars, in view of the importance of the town to the Crusaders, destroyed it in 1251 and rebuilt it with stronger fortifications a few kilometres from the river in the early 1260s, making the mouth of the Nile at Damietta impassable for ships. Hellenistic Tamiathis became a Christian bishopric, a suffragan of the Metropolitan see of Pelusium, the capital of the Roman province of Augustamnica Prima, to which Tamiathis belonged, its bishop Heraclius took part in the Council of Ephesus in 431.
Helpidius was a signatory of the decree of Patriarch Gennadius of Constantinople against simony in 459. Bassus was at the Second Council of Constantinople. In a letter from Patriarch Michael I of Alexandria read at the Photian Council of Constantinople, mention is made of Zacharias of Tamiathis, who had attended a synod that Michael had convened in support of Photius. Bishops too of Tamiathis are named in other documents. In 1249, when Louis IX of France captured the town, it became for a short time the seat of a Latin Church bishop; the Latin bishopric, no longer residential, is today listed by the Catholic Church twice as a titular see under the names Tamiathis and Damiata, each at time of episcopal or archiepiscopal]] rank, of the Latin and Melkite Catholic Churches, for the Catholic Church, having been until the early 20th century an important centre for that church. The diocese was nominally restored in the 17th century when established as Latin Titular archbishopric of Tamiathis of the Romans and had the following incumbents of the intermediary rank: Bernardino Spada Cardinal Cesare Facchinetti Neri Corsini Angelo Maria Ranuzzi Ercole Visconti Marco Antonio Ansidei Raffaele Cosimo De Girolami Paul Alpheran de Bussan, Sovereign Military Order of Malta Vincenzo Maria de Francisco e Galletti, Dominican Order Bonaventura Prestandrea, Conventual Franciscans Bartolomeo Pacca Giovanni Francesco Compagnoni Marefoschi Giovanni Giacomo Sinibaldi * Vincenzo Gioacchino Pecci Diego Planeta Luigi Oreglia di Santo Stefano Eugène-Louis-Marie Lion, O.
P. Eugenio Lachat, Missionaries of the Precious Blood (18
Maximian was Roman Emperor from 286 to 305. He was Caesar from 285 to 286 Augustus from 286 to 305, he shared the latter title with his co-emperor and superior, whose political brain complemented Maximian's military brawn. Maximian spent most of his time on campaign. In late 285, he suppressed rebels in Gaul known as the Bagaudae. From 285 to 288, he fought against Germanic tribes along the Rhine frontier. Together with Diocletian, he launched a scorched earth campaign deep into Alamannic territory in 288, temporarily relieving the Rhine provinces from the threat of Germanic invasion; the man he appointed to police the Channel shores, rebelled in 286, causing the secession of Britain and northwestern Gaul. Maximian failed to oust Carausius, his invasion fleet was destroyed by storms in 289 or 290. Maximian's subordinate, campaigned against Carausius' successor, while Maximian held the Rhine frontier; the rebel leader was ousted in 296, Maximian moved south to combat piracy near Hispania and Berber incursions in Mauretania.
When these campaigns concluded in 298, he departed for Italy, where he lived in comfort until 305. At Diocletian's behest, Maximian abdicated on May 1, 305, gave the Augustan office to Constantius, retired to southern Italy. In late 306, Maximian took the title of Augustus again and aided his son Maxentius' rebellion in Italy. In April 307, he attempted to depose his son, but failed and fled to the court of Constantius' successor, Constantine, in Trier. At the Council of Carnuntum in November 308, Diocletian and his successor, forced Maximian to renounce his imperial claim again. In early 310, Maximian attempted to seize Constantine's title while the emperor was on campaign on the Rhine. Few supported him, he was captured by Constantine in Marseille. Maximian killed himself in mid-310 on Constantine's orders. During Constantine's war with Maxentius, Maximian's image was purged from all public places. However, after Constantine ousted and killed Maxentius, Maximian's image was rehabilitated, he was deified.
Maximian was born near Sirmium in the province of Pannonia, around 250 into a family of shopkeepers. Beyond that, the ancient sources contain vague allusions to Illyricum as his homeland, to his Pannonian virtues, to his harsh upbringing along the war-torn Danube frontier. Maximian joined the army, serving with Diocletian under the emperors Probus, he participated in the Mesopotamian campaign of Carus in 283 and attended Diocletian's election as emperor on November 20, 284 at Nicomedia. Maximian's swift appointment by Diocletian as Caesar is taken by the writer Stephen Williams and historian Timothy Barnes to mean that the two men were longterm allies, that their respective roles were pre-agreed and that Maximian had supported Diocletian during his campaign against Carinus but there is no direct evidence for this. With his great energy, firm aggressive character and disinclination to rebel, Maximian was an appealing candidate for imperial office; the fourth-century historian Aurelius Victor described Maximian as "a colleague trustworthy in friendship, if somewhat boorish, of great military talents".
Despite his other qualities, Maximian was preferred action to thought. The panegyric of 289, after comparing his actions to Scipio Africanus' victories over Hannibal during the Second Punic War, suggested that Maximian had never heard of them, his ambitions were purely military. The Christian rhetor Lactantius suggested that Maximian shared Diocletian's basic attitudes but was less puritanical in his tastes, took advantage of the sensual opportunities his position as emperor offered. Lactantius charged that Maximian defiled senators' daughters and traveled with young virgins to satisfy his unending lust, though Lactantius' credibility is undermined by his general hostility towards pagans. Maximian had two children with Eutropia: Maxentius and Fausta. There is no direct evidence in the ancient sources for their birthdates. Modern estimates of Maxentius' birth year have varied from c. 276 to 283, most date Fausta's birth to c. 289 or 290. Theodora, the wife of Constantius Chlorus, is called Maximian's stepdaughter by ancient sources, leading to claims by Otto Seeck and Ernest Stein that she was born from an earlier marriage between Eutropia and Afranius Hannibalianus.
Barnes challenges this view, saying that all "stepdaughter" sources derive their information from the unreliable work of history Kaisergeschichte, while other, more reliable, sources refer to her as Maximian's natural daughter. Barnes concludes that Theodora was born no than c. 275 to an unnamed earlier wife of Maximian one of Hannibalianus' daughters. At Mediolanum in July 285, Diocletian proclaimed Maximian as Caesar; the reasons for this decision are complex. With conflict in every province of the Empire, from Gaul to Syria, from Egypt to the lower Danube, Diocletian needed a lieutenant to manage his heavy workload. Historian Stephen Williams suggests that Diocletian considered himself a mediocre general and needed a man like Maximian to do most of his fighting. Next, Diocletian was vulnerable in that he had no sons, just a daughter, who could never succeed him, he was forced therefore to seek a co-ruler from outside his family and that co-ruler had to be someone he trusted. (The historian William Seston has argued that Diocletian, like heirless emperors before him, adopted Maximian as his filius Augusti ("Augus
The Arab–Byzantine wars were a series of wars between the Arab Muslims and the Byzantine Empire between the 7th and 11th centuries AD, started during the initial Muslim conquests under the expansionist Rashidun and Umayyad caliphs in the 7th century and continued by their successors until the mid-11th century. The emergence of Muslim Arabs from Arabia in the 630s resulted in the rapid loss of Byzantium's southern provinces to the Arab Caliphate. Over the next fifty years, under the Umayyad caliphs, the Arabs would launch repeated raids into still-Byzantine Asia Minor, twice threaten the Byzantine capital, with conquest, outright conquer the Byzantine Exarchate of Africa; the situation did not stabilize until after the failure of the Second Arab Siege of Constantinople in 718, when the Taurus Mountains on the eastern rim of Asia Minor became established as the mutual fortified and depopulated frontier. Under the Abbasid Empire, relations became more normal, with embassies exchanged and periods of truce, but conflict remained the norm, with annual raids and counter-raids, sponsored either by the Abbasid government or by local rulers, well into the 10th century.
During the first centuries, the Byzantines were on the defensive, avoided open field battles, preferring to retreat to their fortified strongholds. Only after 740 did they begin to launch counterstrikes of their own, but still the Abbasid Empire was able to retaliate with massive and destructive invasions of Asia Minor. With the decline and fragmentation of the Abbasid state after 861 and the concurrent strengthening of the Byzantine Empire under the Macedonian dynasty, the tide turned. Over a period of fifty years from ca. 920 to 976, the Byzantines broke through the Muslim defences and restored their control over northern Syria and Greater Armenia. The last century of the Arab–Byzantine wars was dominated by frontier conflicts with the Fatimids in Syria, but the border remained stable until the appearance of a new people, the Seljuk Turks, after 1060; the Arabs took to the sea, from the 650s on, the entire Mediterranean Sea became a battleground, with raids and counter-raids being launched against islands and the coastal settlements.
Arab raids reached a peak in the 9th and early 10th centuries, after the conquests of Crete and Sicily, with their fleets reaching the coasts of France and Dalmatia and the suburbs of Constantinople. The prolonged and escalating Byzantine–Sassanid wars of the 6th and 7th centuries and the recurring outbreaks of bubonic plague left both empires exhausted and vulnerable in the face of the sudden emergence and expansion of the Arabs; the last of these wars ended with victory for the Byzantines: Emperor Heraclius regained all lost territories, restored the True Cross to Jerusalem in 629. Neither empire was given any chance to recover, as within a few years they found themselves in conflict with the Arabs, according to Howard-Johnston, "can only be likened to a human tsunami". According to George Liska, the "unnecessarily prolonged Byzantine–Persian conflict opened the way for Islam". In late 620s Muhammad had managed to conquer and unify much of Arabia under Muslim rule, it was under his leadership that the first Muslim-Byzantine skirmishes took place.
Just a few months after Emperor Heraclius and the Persian general Shahrbaraz agreed on terms for the withdrawal of Persian troops from occupied Byzantine eastern provinces in 629, Arab and Byzantine troops confronted each other at the Mu'tah in response to the death of Muhammad's ambassador by a Byzantine vassal kingdom. Muhammad died in 632 and was succeeded by Abu Bakr, the first Caliph with undisputed control of the entire Arabian Peninsula after the successful Ridda Wars, which resulted in the consolidation of a powerful Muslim state throughout the peninsula. According to Muslim biographies, having received intelligence that Byzantine forces were concentrating in northern Arabia with alleged intentions of invading Arabia, led a Muslim army north to Tabouk in present-day northwestern Saudi Arabia, with the intention of pre-emptively engaging the Byzantine army. Though it was not a battle in the typical sense the event represented the first Arab attack on the Byzantines, it did not, lead to a military confrontation.
However, there is no contemporary Byzantine account of the Tabuk expedition, many of the details come from much Muslim sources. It has been argued that there is in one Byzantine source referencing the Battle of Mu´tah traditionally dated 629, but this is not certain; the first engagements may have started as conflicts with the Arab client states of the Byzantine and Sassanid empires: the Ghassanids and the Lakhmids of Al-Hirah. In any case, Muslim Arabs after 634 pursued a full-blown invasion of both empires, resulting in the conquest of the Levant and Persia for Islam; the most successful generals were Khalid ibn al-Walid and'Amr ibn al-'As. In the Levant, the invading Rashidun army were engaged by a Byzantine army composed of imperial troops as well as local levies. According to Islamic historians and Jews throughout Syria welcomed the Arabs as liberators, as they were discontented with the rule of the Byzantines.. The Roman Emperor Heraclius had fallen ill and was unable to lead his armies to resist the Arab conquests of Syria and Roman Paelestina in 634.
In a battle fought near Ajnadayn in the summer of 634, the Rashidun Caliphate army achieved a decisive victory. After their victory at the Fahl, Muslim forces conquered Damascus in 634 under the command of Khalid ibn al-Walid; the Byzanti
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