Byzantine Empire under the Isaurian dynasty
The Byzantine Empire was ruled by the Isaurian or Syrian dynasty from 717 to 802. The Isaurian emperors were successful in defending and consolidating the Empire against the Caliphate after the onslaught of the early Muslim conquests, but were less successful in Europe, where they suffered setbacks against the Bulgars, had to give up the Exarchate of Ravenna, lost influence over Italy and the Papacy to the growing power of the Franks; the Isaurian dynasty is chiefly associated with Byzantine Iconoclasm, an attempt to restore divine favour by purifying the Christian faith from excessive adoration of icons, which resulted in considerable internal turmoil. By the end of the Isaurian dynasty in 802, the Byzantines were continuing to fight the Arabs and the Bulgars for their existence, with matters made more complicated when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne Imperator Romanorum, seen as an attempt at making the Carolingian Empire the successor to the Roman Empire; the Heraclian dynasty faced some of the greatest challenges in history.
After 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 rich province of Egypt, the Empire's chief source of grain and tax revenue, had fallen to the Arabs; the Byzantines faced Arab attacks through Libya against the Exarchate of Africa, against Cilicia, which controlled the southern passes into Asia Minor, now the Empire's last major contiguous territory, against the Armenian Highland, the Empire's chief source of manpower and a vital buffer between the now Arab-dominated Syrian Desert region and the northeastern passage into Asia Minor. These three areas would be the main fields of Byzantine-Arab contention during the next half-century; the Arabs continued to make headway, most notably constructing a navy that challenged Byzantine supremacy in the Mediterranean. The outbreak of the Muslim civil war in 656 bought the Byzantines time, emperor Constans II reinforced his position in the Balkans and Italy.
His successor, Constantine IV, was able to beat off the First Arab Siege of Constantinople, in its aftermath move into the counteroffensive, securing Asia Minor, recovering Cilicia and forcing the Caliphate to pay tribute. At the same time however, he was defeated by the Bulgar khan Asparukh, was forced to accept his people's settlement in Byzantine lands south of the Danube. With the first deposition of Constantine IV's son and heir Justinian II in 695 began a period of troubles that lasted a quarter-century and brought a succession of disasters that nearly brought about the downfall of the Byzantine state. Carthage fell in 697 and a Byzantine recovery attempt defeated next year. Cilicia was conquered by the Arabs and turned into a base for raiding expeditions that penetrated deep into Asia Minor, sacking its forts and cities, while the Caucasus brought under firm Muslim control; the Umayyad caliph Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik began preparing another huge expedition to conquer Constantinople.
At the same time, the disasters of the 7th century saw major changes in the society and nature of what remained of the Empire: the urbanized, cosmopolitan civilization of Late Antiquity came to an end, the Medieval era began. With the decline of most cities to a small, fortified urban cores that functioned as administrative centres, society became agrarian, while education and intellectual life vanished; the loss of the Empire's richest provinces, coupled with successive invasions, reduced the imperial economy to a impoverished state, compared to the resources available to the Caliphate. The monetary economy persisted. Administrative practice changed: alongside the continued existence of the late Roman provincial system, the surviving field armies were reorganised into the theme system as a means to preserve the remaining imperial territory, although the extensive power concentrated in the hands of the thematic commanders, the strategoi, made them prone to rebel. At the same time, the central bureaucracy in Constantinople rose in importance.
In the religious field, the loss of the Monophysite eastern provinces ended the need for the unsuccessful compromise doctrine of Monotheletism, abandoned at the Third Council of Constantinople in 680, while the Quinisext Council in 692 saw the promotion of the interests and views of the Patriarchate of Constantinople against the See of Rome. After Justinian II's second overthrow, the Byzantine Empire spiralled into another era of chaos matched only by Phocas' mishandling of the last Persian War. Philippikos Bardanes, the Crimean rebel who seized the throne proved to be incompetent for rule. Rather than face the looming threat of the Bulgars or the Arabs, he intended to reignite the religious controversies by imposing the much hated Heraclian Monothelitism; when King Tervel of Bulgaria invaded Thrace, Bardanes had no choice but to summon the troops of the Opsician Theme to combat the Bulgars. 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. Anastasios gave the Empire a brief taste of good leadership, improving the walls of the capital and filling the granaries of the capital to bursting point, in order that the newly reported Arab invasion be dealt with; every citizen was told to gather enough food for three years for if the Arabs were to reach the straits it would undoub
The Empire of Romania, more known in historiography as the Latin Empire or Latin Empire of Constantinople, known to the Byzantines as the Frankokratia or the Latin Occupation, was a feudal Crusader state founded by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade on lands captured from the Eastern Roman Empire. It was established after the capture of Constantinople in 1204 and lasted until 1261; the Latin Empire was intended to supplant the Byzantine Empire as the titular Roman Empire in the east, with a Western Roman Catholic emperor enthroned in place of the Eastern Orthodox Roman emperors. Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders, was crowned the first Latin emperor as Baldwin I on 16 May 1204; the Latin Empire failed to attain political or economic dominance over the other Latin powers, established in former Byzantine territories in the wake of the Fourth Crusade Venice, after a short initial period of military successes it went into a steady decline. Weakened by constant warfare with the Bulgarians and the unconquered sections of the empire, it fell when Byzantines recaptured Constantinople under Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos in 1261.
The last Latin emperor, Baldwin II, went into exile, but the imperial title survived, with several pretenders to it, until the 14th century. The original name of this state in the Latin language was Imperium Romaniae; this name was used based on the fact that the common name for the Eastern Roman Empire in this period had been Romania. The names Byzantine and Latin were not contemporaneous terms, they were invented much by historians seeking to differentiate between the classical period of the Roman Empire, the medieval period of the Eastern Roman Empire, the late medieval Latin Empire, all of which called themselves "Roman." The term Latin has been used because the crusaders were Roman Catholic and used Latin as their liturgical and scholarly language. It is used in contrast to the Eastern Orthodox locals who used Greek in both liturgy and common speech. After the fall of Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade, the crusaders agreed to divide up Byzantine territory. In the Partitio terrarum imperii Romaniae, signed on 1 October 1204, three eighths of the empire — including Crete and other islands — went to the Republic of Venice.
The Latin Empire claimed the remainder and exerted control over: areas of Greece, divided into vassal fiefs: the Kingdom of Thessalonica the Principality of Achaea the Duchy of Athens the Duchy of the Archipelago the short-lived Duchy of Philippopolis in north Thrace two further duchies were projected for Nicaea and Philadelphia in Asia Minor, but they were forestalled by the establishment of the Empire of Nicaea. The Doge of Venice did not rank as a vassal to the Latin Empire, but his position in control of three-eighths of its territory and of parts of Constantinople itself ensured Venice's influence in the Empire's affairs. However, much of the former Byzantine territory remained in the hands of rival successor states led by Byzantine Greek aristocrats, such as the Despotate of Epirus, the Empire of Nicaea, the Empire of Trebizond, each bent on reconquest from the Latins; the crowning of Baldwin I and the establishment of the Latin Empire had the curious effect of creating three existing entities claiming to be successors of the Roman Empire: the Latin Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the remnants of the Byzantine Empire.
None of these polities controlled the city of Rome, which remained under the temporal authority of the Pope. The initial campaigns of the crusaders in Asia Minor resulted in the capture of most of Bithynia by 1205, with the defeat of the forces of Theodore I Laskaris at Poemanenum and Prusa. Latin successes continued, in 1207 a truce was signed with Theodore, newly proclaimed Emperor of Nicaea; the Latins inflicted a further defeat on Nicaean forces at the Rhyndakos river in October 1211, three years the Treaty of Nymphaeum recognized their control of most of Bithynia and Mysia. The peace was maintained until 1222, when the resurgent power of Nicaea felt sufficiently strong to challenge the Latin Empire, by that time weakened by constant warfare in its European provinces. At the battle of Poimanenon in 1224, the Latin army was defeated, by the next year Emperor Robert of Courtenay was forced to cede all his Asian possessions to Nicaea, except for Nicomedia and the territories directly across from Constantinople.
Nicaea turned to the Aegean, capturing the islands awarded to the empire. In 1235 the last Latin possessions fell to Nicaea. Unlike in Asia, where the Latin Empire faced only an weak Nicaea, in Europe it was confronted with a powerful enemy: the Bulgarian tsar Kaloyan; when Baldwin campaigned against the Byzantine lords of Thrace, they called upon Kaloyan for help. At the Battle of Adrianople on 14 April 1205, the Latin heavy cavalry and knights were crushed by Kaloyan's troops and Cuman allies, Emperor Baldwin was captured, he was imprisoned in the Bulgarian capital Tarnovo until his death in 1205. Kaloyan was murdered a couple of years during a siege of Thessalonica, the Bulgarian threat conclusively defeated with a victory the following year, which allowed Baldwin's successor, Henry of Flanders, to reclaim most of the lost territories in Thrace until 1210, when peace was concluded with the marriage of Henry to Maria of Bulgaria, tsar Kaloyan's daughter. At the same time, another Greek successor state, the Despotate of Epirus, under Michael I Komnenos Doukas, posed a threat to the empire's vassals in Thessalonica and Athens.
Byzantine Empire under the Palaiologos dynasty
The Byzantine Empire was ruled by the Palaiologos dynasty in the period between 1261 and 1453, from the restoration of Byzantine rule to Constantinople by the usurper Michael VIII Palaiologos following its recapture from the Latin Empire, founded after the Fourth Crusade, up to the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire. Together with the preceding Nicaean Empire and the contemporary Frankokratia, this period is known as the late Byzantine Empire. 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 heart of the shrinking empire, was systematically lost to numerous Turkic ghazis, whose raids evolved into conquering expeditions inspired by Islamic zeal, the prospect of economic gain, the desire to seek refuge from the Mongols after the disastrous Battle of Köse Dağ in 1243. With a decreasing source of food and manpower, the Palaiologoi were forced to fight on several fronts, most of them being Christian states: the Second Bulgarian Empire, the Serbian Empire, the remnants of the Latin Empire and the Knights Hospitaller.
The loss of land in the east to the Turks and in the west to the Bulgarians was complemented by two disastrous civil wars, the Black Death and the 1354 earthquake at Gallipoli, whose destruction and evacuation allowed the Turks to occupy it. By 1380, the Byzantine Empire consisted of the capital Constantinople and a few other isolated exclaves, which only nominally recognized the Emperor as their lord. Nonetheless, Byzantine diplomacy coupled with the adroit exploitation of internal divisions and external threats among their enemies, above all the invasion of Anatolia by Timur, allowed Byzantium to survive until 1453; 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 renewed flourishing in art and the letters, in what has been called the "Palaiologian Renaissance"; the migration of Byzantine scholars to the West helped to spark the Italian Renaissance. Following the Fourth Crusade, the Byzantine Empire had fractured into the Greek successor-states of Nicaea and Trebizond, with a multitude of Frankish and Latin possessions occupying the remainder, nominally subject to the Latin Emperors at Constantinople.
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 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 Seljuk opponents. At the Battle of Meander Valley, a Turkic force was repelled and an earlier assault on Nicaea led to the death of the Seljuk Sultan. In the west, the Latins were unable to expand into Anatolia. In 1261, the Empire of Nicaea was ruled by a boy of ten years. However, John IV was overshadowed by Michael VIII Palaiologos. Palaiologos was a leading noble of military standing and the main figure of the regency of John IV, who had used this role to propel himself to the throne, set the stage for his becoming sole Emperor of the restored Byzantine Empire. In 1261, while the bulk of the Latin Empire's military forces were absent from Constantinople, Byzantine General Alexios Strategopoulos used the opportunity to seize the city with 600 troops.
Thrace and Thessalonica had been taken by Nicaea in 1246. Following the capture of Constantinople, Michael ordered the blinding of John IV in December 1261, so as to become sole emperor; 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 done much to reduce Byzantium's finest city to an underpopulated wreck. Michael VIII began the task of restoring public buildings and defence works; 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 possible new expedition by the Latin West. Many hospitals, markets, baths and churches were built, some with private patronage. 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 diplomatic contacts, notably with the Mamelukes.
Both had common enemies. The Sultanate of Rum was in chaos and decentralized since the Mongol invasions in ca. 1240. As a result, the greatest threat to Byzantium was not the Muslims but their Christian counterparts in the West — Michael VIII knew that the Venetians and the Franks would no doubt launch another attempt to establish Latin rule in Constantinople; the situation became worse when Charles I of Anjou conquered Sicily from the Hohenstaufens in 1266. 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. A delay on Charles' end meant that Michael VIII was given enough time to negotiate a union between the Church of Rome and that of Constantinople in 1274, thus removing papal support for an invasion of Constantinople. For Michael VIII, the new union was seen as a fake by the Clement's successor, Martin IV; the Greek Church was excommunicated, Charles was given renewed papal support for the
Theodosius (son of Maurice)
Theodosius was the eldest son of Byzantine Emperor Maurice and was co-emperor from 590 until his deposition and execution during a military revolt in November 602. Along with his father-in-law Germanus, he was proposed as successor to Maurice by the troops, but the army favoured Phocas instead. Sent in an abortive mission to secure aid from Sassanid Persia by his father, Theodosius was captured and executed by Phocas's supporters a few days after Maurice. Rumours spread that he had survived the execution, became popular to the extent that a man who purported to be Theodosius was entertained by the Persians as a pretext for launching a war against Byzantium. Theodosius was his wife, the Augusta Constantina, he was born on August 4, 583 or 585. He was the first son to be born to a reigning emperor since Theodosius II in 401, was accordingly named after the previous ruler; the papal envoy, or apocrisiarius, to Constantinople, the future Pope Gregory the Great, acted as his godfather. The scholar Evagrius Scholasticus composed a work celebrating Theodosius' birth, for which he was rewarded by Maurice with the rank of consul.
A few years after his birth in 587, Theodosius was raised to the rank of Caesar and thus became his father's heir-apparent, while on March 26, 590, he was publicly proclaimed as co-emperor. In November 601 or early February 602, Maurice married Theodosius to a daughter of the patrician Germanus, a leading member of the Byzantine Senate; the historian Theophylact Simocatta, the major chronicler of Maurice's reign records that on February 2, 602, Germanus saved Theodosius from harm during food riots in Constantinople. In the same year, during the revolt of the Danubian armies in autumn and his father-in-law were hunting in the outskirts of Constantinople. There they received a letter from the mutinous troops, in which they demanded Maurice's resignation, a redress of their grievances, offered the crown to either of the two, they presented the letter to Maurice. The emperor however began suspecting Germanus of playing a part in the revolt. Theodosius promptly informed his father-in-law of this and advised him to hide, on November 21, Germanus fled first to a local church and to the Hagia Sophia, seeking sanctuary from the Byzantine emperor's emissaries.
On the next day however and his family and closest associates fled the capital before the advancing rebel army under Phocas, crossed over to Chalcedon. From there, Theodosius was dispatched along with the praetorian prefect Constantine Lardys to seek the aid of Khosrau II, the ruler of Sassanid Persia. Maurice, soon recalled him, on his return Theodosius fell into the hands of Phocas' men and was executed at Chalcedon, his father and younger brothers had been executed a few days earlier on November 27. Subsequently, rumours of Theodosius's survival spread wide, it was alleged that his father-in-law Germanus had bribed his executioner, a leading Phocas supporter named Alexander, to spare his life. In this story, Theodosius fled reaching Lazica, where he died. Theophylact Simocatta reports that he investigated these rumours and found them false. However, the general Narses, who rose against Phocas in Mesopotamia, exploited these rumours: he produced a false Theodosius, claimed to be fighting in his name.
The impostor was presented to Khosrau II by Narses. The Persian ruler in turn used him as a pretext for his own invasion of Byzantium, claiming that it was done in order to avenge the murder of Maurice and his family and place the "rightful" heir Theodosius on the throne. Theodosius does not appear on most of the regular coinage of Maurice's reign, with two exceptions: the copper nummi of the Cherson mint, which show him along with his father and mother, a special silver siliqua issue from the Carthage mint. ^ a: Germanus's identity is unclear. He has been sometimes identified with the son of the magister militum Germanus and Matasuntha, but with Germanus, a son-in-law of Tiberius II Constantine who became Caesar alongside Maurice but refused the throne
Fall of Constantinople
The Fall of Constantinople was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire by an invading Ottoman army on 29 May 1453. The attackers were commanded by the 21-year-old Sultan Mehmed II, who defeated an army commanded by Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos and took control of the imperial capital, ending a 53-day siege that began on 6 April 1453. After conquering the city, Sultan Mehmed transferred the capital of the Ottoman State from Edirne to Constantinople and established his court there; the capture of the city marked the end of the Byzantine Empire, a continuation of the Roman Empire, an imperial state dating to 27 BC, which had lasted for nearly 1,500 years. The conquest of Constantinople dealt a massive blow to the defense of mainland Europe, as the Muslim Ottoman armies thereafter were left unchecked to advance into Europe without an adversary to their rear, it was a watershed moment in military history. Since ancient times, cities had used ramparts and city walls to protect themselves from invaders, Constantinople's substantial fortifications had been a model followed by cities throughout the Mediterranean region and Europe.
The Ottomans prevailed due to the use of gunpowder. The conquest of the city of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire was a key event in the Late Middle Ages which marks, for some historians, the end of the Medieval period. Constantinople had been an imperial capital since its consecration in 330 under Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. In the following eleven centuries, the city had been besieged many times but was captured only once: during the Fourth Crusade in 1204; 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 and Trebizond. They fought as allies against the Latin establishments, but fought among themselves for the Byzantine throne; the Nicaeans 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, most the Ottoman Turks.
The Black Plague between 1346 and 1349 killed half of the inhabitants of Constantinople. The city was depopulated due to the general economic and territorial decline of the empire, by 1453 consisted of a series of walled villages separated by vast fields encircled by the fifth-century Theodosian walls. By 1450 the empire was exhausted and had shrunk to a few square miles outside the city of Constantinople itself, the Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara, the Peloponnese with its cultural center at Mystras; the Empire of Trebizond, an independent successor state that formed in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade survived on the coast of the Black Sea. When Sultan Mehmed II succeeded his father in 1451, he was just nineteen years old. Many European courts assumed that the young Ottoman ruler would not challenge Christian hegemony in the Balkans and the Aegean; this calculation was boosted by Mehmed's friendly overtures to the European envoys at his new court. But Mehmed's mild words were not matched by actions.
By early 1452, work began on the construction of a second fortress on the Bosphorus, on the European side several miles north of Constantinople, set directly across the strait on the Asian side from the Anadolu Hisarı fortress, built by his great-grandfather Bayezid I. This pair of fortresses ensured complete control of sea traffic on the Bosphorus. In October 1452, Mehmed ordered Turakhan Beg to station a large garrison force in the Peloponnese to block Thomas and Demetrios from providing aid to their brother Constantine XI Palaiologos during the impending siege of Constantinople. Michael Critobulus says about the speech of Mehmed II to his soldiers: "My friends and men of my empire! You all know well that our forefathers secured this kingdom that we now hold at the cost of many struggles and great dangers and that, having passed it along in succession from their fathers, from father to son, they handed it down to me. For some of the oldest of you were sharers in many of the exploits carried through by them—those at least of you who are of maturer years—and the younger of you have heard of these deeds from your fathers.
They are not such ancient events nor of such a sort as to be forgotten through the lapse of time. Still, the eyewitness of those who have seen testifies better than does the hearing of deeds that happened but yesterday or the day before." Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI swiftly understood Mehmed's true intentions and turned to Western Europe for help. Since the mutual excommunications of 1054, the Pope in Rome was committed to establishing authority over the eastern church. Nominal union had been negotiated in 1274, at the Second Council of Lyon, indeed, some Palaiologoi emperors had since been received into the Latin church. Emperor John VIII Palaiologos had recently negotiated union with Pope Eugene IV, with the Council of Florence of 1439 proclaiming a Bull of Union; these events, stimulated a propaganda initiative by anti-unionist Orthodox partisans in Consta
Byzantine Empire under the Heraclian dynasty
The Byzantine Empire was ruled by emperors of the dynasty of Heraclius between 610 and 711. The Heraclians presided over a period of cataclysmic events that were a watershed in the history of the Empire and the world in general. At the beginning of the dynasty, the Empire's culture was still Ancient Roman, dominating the Mediterranean and harbouring a prosperous Late Antique urban civilization; this world was shattered by successive invasions, which resulted in extensive territorial losses, financial collapse and plagues that depopulated the cities, while religious controversies and rebellions further weakened the Empire. By the dynasty's end, the Empire had evolved a different state structure: now known in historiography as medieval Byzantium, a chiefly agrarian, military-dominated society, engaged in a lengthy struggle with the Muslim Caliphate. However, the Empire during this period was far more homogeneous, being reduced to its Greek-speaking and Chalcedonian core territories, which enabled it to weather these storms and enter a period of stability under the successor Isaurian Dynasty.
The Heraclian dynasty was named after the general Heraclius the Younger, who, in 610, sailed from Carthage, overthrew the usurper Phocas, was crowned Emperor. At the time, the Empire was embroiled in a war with the Sassanid Persian Empire, which in the next decade conquered the Empire's eastern provinces. 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; 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; the latter 7th century saw the first conflicts with the Bulgars and the establishment of a Bulgarian state in Byzantine lands south of the Danube, which would be the Empire's chief antagonist in the West until the 11th century.
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, where the Byzantines were forced to pay tribute to avert war. However, after Justinian's death, much of newly recovered Italy fell to the Lombards, 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. Thus, after the death of Justinian's successor Tiberius II, Maurice sought to restore the prestige of the Empire. Though the Empire had gained smaller successes over the Slavs and Avars in pitched battles across the Danube, both enthusiasm for the army and faith in the government had lessened considerably. 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, who had earlier helped him to regain his throne. Phocas was alienating his supporters with his repressive rule, the Persians were able to capture Syria and Mesopotamia by 607. By 608, the Persians were camped outside Chalcedon, within sight of the imperial 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 and into Imperial territory. 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 Persians.
Seeing his defeats as divine retribution, Phocas initiated a savage and bloody campaign to forcibly convert the Jews to Christianity. Persecutions and alienation of the Jews, a frontline people in the war against the Persians helped drive them into aiding the Persian conquerors; as Jews and Christians began tearing each other apart, some fled the butchery into Persian territory. Meanwhile, it appears that the disasters befalling the Empire led the Emperor into a state of paranoia — although it must be said that there were numerous plots against his rule and execution followed execution. Among those individuals who were executed was the former empress Constantina and her three daughters. Due to the overwhelming crisis facing the Empire that had pitched it into chaos, Heraclius the Younger now attempted to seize power from Phocas in an effort to better Byzantium's fortunes; as the Empire was led into anarchy, the Exarchate of Carthage remained out of reach of Persian conquest. Far from the incompetent Imperial authority of the time, the Exarch of Carthage, with his brother Gregorius, began building up his forces to assault Constantinople.
After cutting off the grain supply to the capital from his territory, Heraclius led a substantial army and a fleet in 608
The Frankokratia known as Latinokratia and, for the Venetian domains, Venetokratia or Enetokratia, was the period in Greek history after the Fourth Crusade, when a number of French and Italian Crusader states were established on the territory of the dissolved Byzantine Empire. The term derives from the name given by the Orthodox Greeks to the Western European Latin Church Catholics: "Latins". Most Latins had Norman, or Venetian origins; the span of the Frankokratia period differs by region: the political situation proved volatile, as the Frankish states fragmented and changed hands, the Greek successor states re-conquered many areas. With the exception of the Ionian Islands and some isolated forts which remained in Venetian hands until the turn of the 19th century, the final end of the Frankokratia in the Greek lands came with the Ottoman conquest, chiefly in the 14th to 16th centuries, which ushered in the period known as "Tourkokratia"; the Latin Empire, centered in Constantinople and encompassing Thrace and Bithynia, while exercising nominal suzerainty over the other Crusader states.
Its territories were reduced to little more than the capital, captured by the Empire of Nicaea in 1261. Duchy of Philippopolis, fief of the Latin Empire in northern Thrace, until its capture by the Bulgarians. 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 Thessaly; the brief existence of the Kingdom was continuously troubled by warfare with the Second Bulgarian Empire. The County of Salona, centred at Salona, like Bodonitsa, was formed as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Thessalonica, came under the influence of Achaea, it came under Catalan and Navarrese rule in the 14th century, before being sold to the Knights Hospitaller in 1403. It was conquered by the Ottomans in 1410; the Marquisate of Bodonitsa, like Salona, was created as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Thessalonica, but came under the influence of Achaea.
In 1335, the Venetian Giorgi family took control, ruled until the Ottoman conquest in 1414. The Principality of Achaea, encompassing the Peloponnese peninsula, it emerged as the strongest Crusader state, prospered after the demise of the Latin Empire. Its main rival was the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea, which succeeded in conquering the Principality, it exercised suzerainty over the Lordship of Argos and Nauplia. The Duchy of Athens, with its two capitals Thebes and Athens, encompassing Attica and parts of southern Thessaly. In 1311, the Duchy was conquered by the Catalan Company, in 1388, it passed into the hands of the Florentine Acciaiuoli family, which kept it until the Ottoman conquest in 1456; 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, was annexed to the Ottoman Empire in 1579. The Triarchy of Negroponte, encompassing the island of Negroponte a vassal of Thessalonica of Achaea.
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. It encompassed the Ionian Islands of Cephalonia, Ithaca, from ca. 1300 Lefkas. Created as a vassal to the Kingdom of Sicily, it was ruled by the Orsini family from 1195 to 1335, after a short interlude of Anjou rule the county passed to the Tocco family in 1357; the county was split between Venice and the Ottomans in 1479. Rhodes became the headquarters of the military monastic order of the Knights Hospitaller of Saint John in 1310, the Knights retained control of the island until ousted by the Ottomans in 1522. Various Genoese domains in the northeastern Aegean: The fiefs of the Gattilusi family, under nominal Byzantine suzerainty, over the island of Lesbos and also the islands of Lemnos and Samothrace, as well as the Thracian town of Ainos.
The Lordship of Chios with the port of Phocaea. In 1304–1330 under the Zaccaria family, after a Byzantine interlude, from 1346 and until the Ottoman conquest in 1566 under the Maona di Chio e di Focea company; the Republic of Venice accumulated several possessions in Greece, which formed part of its Stato da Màr. Some of them survived until the end of the Republic itself in 1797: Crete known as Candia, one of the Republic's most important overseas possessions, despite frequent revolts by the Greek population, it was retained until captured by the Ottomans in the Cretan War. Corfu, was captured by Venice from its Genoese ruler shortly after the Fourth Crusade; the island was soon retaken by the Despota