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
Byzantine Empire under the Justinian dynasty
The Byzantine Empire had its first golden age under the Justinian Dynasty, which began in 518 AD with the Accession of Justin I. Under the Justinian Dynasty the reign of Justinian I, the Empire reached its largest territorial point, reincorporating North Africa, southern Illyria, southern Spain, Italy into the Empire; the Justinian Dynasty ended in 602 with the deposition of Maurice and the ascension of his successor, Phocas. The Justinian Dynasty began with the accession of its namesake Justin I to the throne. Justin I was born in a small village, Bederiana, in the 450s AD. Like many country youths, he went to Constantinople and enlisted in the army, due to his physical abilities, he became a part of the Excubitors, the palace guards, he fought in the Isaurian and Persian wars, rose through the ranks to become the commander of the Excubitors, a influential position. In this time, he achieved the rank of senator. After the death of the Emperor Anastasius, who had left no clear heir, there was much dispute as to who would become emperor.
To decide who would ascend the throne, a grand meeting was called in the hippodrome. The Byzantine Senate, gathered in the great hall of the palace; as the senate wanted to avoid outside involvement and influence, they were pressed to select a candidate. Several candidates were rejected for various reasons. After much arguing, the senate chose to nominate Justin. Justin, from a Latin speaking province, spoke little Greek; as such, he surrounded himself with intelligent advisers, the most notable of, his nephew, Justinian. Justinian may have exerted great influence on his uncle, is considered by some historians, such as Procopius, to be the real power behind the throne. After his accession, Justin removed the other candidates to the throne. Unlike most emperors before him, who were Monophysite, Justin was a devout Orthodox Christian. Monophysites and the Orthodox were in conflict over the divinity of Jesus Christ. Past emperors had supported the Monophysites' position, in direct conflict with the Orthodox teachings of the Papacy, this strife led to the Acacian Schism.
Justin, as an Orthodox, the new patriarch, John of Cappadocia set about repairing relations with Rome. After delicate negotiations, the Acacian Schism ended in late March, 519. After this initial ecclesiastical overhaul, the rest of Justin's reign was quiet and peaceful. In 525 at the insistence of Justinian, Justin repealed a law which forbade court officials from marrying people of low class; this allowed Justinian to marry Theodora, of low social standing. In his last years, conflict increased around the Empire. There was increased strife with the Ostrogothic Kingdom in the Italian Peninsula, their king, Theodoric the Great, was suspicious of plots by the Byzantines. However, Theodoric died in 526; the Sasanian Empire resumed hostilities with the Byzantines, the Iberian War began in the east. In 527, Justin appointed Justinian co-emperor after becoming dangerously ill. Justin recovered from the illness, several months he died of an ulcer on an old wound; the strength of the dynasty was shown under Justinian I.
After the Nika Riots, Justinian rebuilt the city and reformed the law with the "Code of Justinian". Justinian had inherited a war with Persia from his uncle and previous emperor, Justin I. Justinian continued the war, succeeding in sending a force all the way down the Euphrates, but the raid stalled, he lost the beginnings of a new fortress in a crushing defeat; this impasse of sorts led to Justinian negotiating the "Eternal Peace" in which he agreed to pay eleven thousand pounds of gold in return for a cease in hostilities and the defense of several mountain passes. He set about satisfying his dream to rebuild the Roman Empire. On his command, his favored general, began reconquering old Roman territory, starting with the Vandals; the Vandals, after maintaining North African dominance since the fall of the Western Roman Empire, had become content and laid back. The Vandal king, attempted to surround the Byzantines at the battle of Ad Decimum. Belisarius rounded up his remaining men and broke the disorganized mass of Vandals, now poorly commanded.
Belisarius went on to capture Carthage, the Byzantines were victorious. Justinian recalled the victorious Belisarius. In Italy, dynastic squabbles amongst the ruling Ostrogoths gave Justinian an opportunity to invade, he sent Belisarius to Sicily with 7500 men. Belisarius received only token resistance, he moved on to mainland Italy. After putting down a mutiny in conquered North Africa, Belisarius landed in mainland Italy; the Gothic garrison of Naples resisted however, after several months siege, Belisarius sacked the city. After more ensuing dynastic squabbles, resulting in the deaths of two kings, Belisarius was invited to Rome by the pope while the king was in Ravenna. Hearing of this, the Gothic king, sent a huge
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
Phocas was Byzantine Emperor from 602 to 610. The early life of Phocas is unknown, but he rose to prominence in 602, as a leader in the revolt against Emperor Maurice. Phocas captured Constantinople and overthrew Maurice on 23 November 602, declared himself Byzantine Emperor on the same day. Phocas distrusted the elite of Constantinople, therefore installed his relatives in high military positions, brutally purged his opponents. Phocas was an incompetent leader, both of the administration and army, under him the Byzantine Empire was threatened by multiple enemies, with frequent raids in the Balkans from the Avars and Slavs, a Sassanid invasion of the eastern provinces; because of Phocas' incompetence and brutality, the Exarch of Carthage, Heraclius the Elder, rebelled against him. Heraclius the Elder's son, succeeded in taking Constantinople on 5 October 610, executed Phocas on the same day, before declaring himself the Byzantine Emperor. Flavius Phocas' date of birth is unknown; the life of Phocas before his usurpation of the Byzantine Empire's throne is obscure, but it is known that he served as a low-ranking officer under Emperor Maurice.
In 602, the Byzantine army rebelled against Emperor Maurice due to exhaustion and outrage over orders to continue campaigning north of the Danube in winter as well as previous cuts in wages. The army declared Phocas, by a centurion, to be the new emperor, raising him on a shield on 23 November 602. Phocas was crowned the new Emperor by the Patriarch in the church of St John the Baptist at the Hebdomon. Several days afterwards. Maurice fled the city with his sons and Tiberius, but they were soon after captured and executed. Maurice's wife and daughters were put in the monastery of Nea Metanoia and killed. Despite the execution of the previous emperor and his dynastic successors, Phocas remained in a precarious position, which led him to devote his energy to purging enemies and destroying conspiracies; because of this focus, the local resistance he faced all throughout the Byzantine Empire, he was unable to confront foreign attacks on the empire's frontiers. The Avars and Slavs launched numerous raids into the Balkan provinces of the Byzantine Empire, the Sassanian Empire launched an invasion of the eastern provinces of the empire.
The Avars were able to take all land in the Balkans north of Thessalonika. The populations of Christian cities were captured; the Byzantines transferred most of their forces to the eastern front due to the threat from the Persians. The Sassanid Persians had been at peace with Maurice as a result of a treaty they made with him in 591. After Phocas usurped and killed Maurice, the Persians invaded the empire in 603; the Sassanids occupied the eastern provinces, leading the Magister militum per Orientem, Narses, to defect to their side. Phocas swiftly dealt with him, by inviting him to Constantinople under the promise of safe conduct having him burnt alive when he arrived. By 607, the Sassanids had occupied Mesopotamia and much of Asia Minor, as far as the Bosphorus. By the time his reign ended in 610, the Persians had crossed the Euphrates and taken Zenobia. Contemporary accounts describe the Persians as being brutal to the occupied population. The'miracle of St Demetrios' described the carnage: he devil raised the whirlwind of hatred in all the East, Asia and all the lands from there to Constantinople: the factions, no longer content to spill blood in public places, attacked homes, slaughtered women, the aged, the young who were sick.
Phocas was an incompetent administrator, unable to control either the state or the army effectively. Due to his distrust of the bulk of Constantinople's elite, who he had no connection with before becoming emperor, Phocas practised nepotism filling senior military positions with his relatives, he installed: his brother Domentziolus as Magister officiorum in 603. All three remained loyal to Phocas. Of the three known male blood-relatives of Phocas, all three were appointed to senior posts, two in military positions and one in an administrative position. Phocas appointed Priscus, his son-in-law by way of his marriage to Phocas' daughter Domentzia, as Comes excubitorum, the captain of the Excubitors, in 603; when Phocas was Emperor, Byzantine Italy was under continual attack from Lombards, but the Byzantine government spent few resources to aid Italy due to troubles elsewhere. In the entirety of Phocas' reign the only public building built with government money in the city of Rome was a statue of Phocas completed in 608.
When Phocas usurped Maurice, Gregory the Great was bishop of Rome and he praised Phocas as a restorer of liberty. Gregory referred to him as a pious and clement lord, compared his wife Leontia to Marcian's consort Pulcheria. In May 603, portraits of the imperial couple arrived in Rome and were ordered by the Pope to be placed in the oratory of St Caesarius in the imperial palace on the Palatine. Imperial approval was needed in that time to appoint a new Pope, but the approval was delayed
Constans II called Constantine the Bearded, was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 641 to 668. He was the last emperor to serve as consul, in 642. Constans is a nickname given to the Emperor, baptized Herakleios and reigned as Constantine; the nickname has become standard in modern historiography. Constans was the son of Constantine Gregoria. After the death of Constantine III's father Heraclius, Constantine ruled with his half-brother Heraklonas through Heraclius' second marriage to Martina. Due to rumors that Heraklonas and Martina poisoned Constantine III, Constans II was named co-emperor; that same year his uncle was deposed, Constans II was left as sole emperor. Constans owed his rise to the throne to a popular reaction against his uncle and to the protection of the soldiers led by the general Valentinus. Although the precocious emperor addressed the senate with a speech blaming Heraklonas and Martina for eliminating his father, he reigned under a regency of senators led by Patriarch Paul II of Constantinople.
In 644 Valentinus failed. Under Constans, the Byzantines withdrew from Egypt in 642, Caliph Uthman launched numerous attacks on the islands of the Mediterranean Sea and Aegean Sea. A Byzantine fleet under the admiral Manuel occupied Alexandria again in 645, the Alexandrians hailed him as a liberator, since the caliphate levied heavier taxes and showed less respect for their religion, but Manuel squandered his time and popularity in plundering the countryside, the Arab army managed to force him to embark for home. The situation was complicated by the violent opposition to Monothelitism by the clergy in the west and the related rebellion of the Exarch of Carthage, Gregory the Patrician; the latter fell in battle against the army of Caliph Uthman, the region remained a vassal state under the Caliphate until civil war broke out and imperial rule was again restored. Constans attempted to steer a middle line in the church dispute between Orthodoxy and Monothelitism by refusing to persecute either and prohibiting further discussion of the natures of Jesus Christ by decree in 648.
This live-and-let-live compromise satisfied few passionate participants in the dispute. Meanwhile, the advance of the Caliphate continued unabated. In 647 they had entered sacked Caesarea Mazaca. In the same year, they killed Gregory. In 648 the Arabs raided into Phrygia, in 649 they launched their first maritime expedition against Crete. A major Arab offensive into Cilicia and Isauria in 650–651 forced the Emperor to enter into negotiations with Caliph Uthman's governor of Syria, Muawiyah; the truce that followed allowed a short respite and made it possible for Constans to hold on to the western portions of Armenia. In 654, Muawiyah renewed his raids by sea, plundering Rhodes. Constans led a fleet to attack the Muslims at Phoinike in 655 at the Battle of the Masts, but he was defeated: 500 Byzantine ships were destroyed in the battle, the Emperor himself was killed; the sea battle was so devastating that the emperor escaped only by trading clothes with one of his men. Before the battle, chronicler Theophanes the Confessor says, the Emperor dreamed of being at Thessalonika.
Caliph Uthman was preparing to attack Constantinople, but he did not carry out the plan when the first Fitna broke out in 656. In 658, with the eastern frontier under less pressure, Constans defeated the Slavs in the Balkans, temporarily reasserting some notion of Byzantine rule over them and resettled some of them in Anatolia. In 659 he campaigned far to the east, taking advantage of a rebellion against the Caliphate in Media; the same year he concluded peace with the Arabs. Now Constans could turn to church matters once again. Pope Martin I had condemned both Monothelitism and Constans' attempt to halt debates over it in the Lateran Council of 649. Now the Emperor ordered his Exarch of Ravenna to arrest the Pope. Exarch Olympius excused himself from this task, but his successor, Theodore I Calliopas, carried it out in 653. Pope Martin was brought to Constantinople and condemned as a criminal being exiled to Cherson, where he died in 655. Constans grew fearful that his younger brother, could oust him from the throne.
Constans' sons Constantine and Tiberius had been associated on the throne since the 650s. However, having attracted the hatred of citizens of Constantinople, Constans decided to leave the capital and to move to Syracuse in Sicily. From there, in 663, he launched an assault against the Lombard Duchy of Benevento, which encompassed most of Southern Italy. Taking advantage of the fact that Lombard king Grimoald I of Benevento was engaged against Frankish forces from Neustria, Constans disembarked at Taranto and besieged Lucera and Benevento. However, the latter resisted and Constans withdrew to Naples. During the journey from Benevento to Naples, Constans II was defeated by Mitolas, Count of Capua, near Pugna. Constans ordered Saburrus, the commander of his army, to attack again the Lombards, but he was defeated by the Beneventani at Forino, between Avellino and Salerno. In 663 Constans visited Rome for twelve days—the only empero
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "family" and "clan", among others; the longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", which may be styled as "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" etc. depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members. Historians periodize the histories of numerous nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties; as such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, to describe events and artifacts of that period. The word "dynasty" itself is dropped from such adjectival references; until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members.
Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house; this has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant; the earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
Less a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic system – that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession. Not all feudal states or monarchies were/are ruled by dynasties. Throughout history, there were monarchs. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; the word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team; the word "dynasty" derives from Latin dynastia, which comes from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to "power", "dominion", "rule" itself. It was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, "power" or "ability", from dýnamai, "to be able". A ruler from a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a "dynast", but this term is used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains a right to succeed to a throne.
For example, King Edward VIII ceased to be a dynast of the House of Windsor following his abdication. In historical and monarchist references to reigning families, a "dynast" is a family member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchy's rules still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, their son Duke Maximilian was bypassed for the Austro-Hungarian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Since the abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Duke Maximilian and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position; the term "dynast" is sometimes used only to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, sometimes to include those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II through her sister Princess Margaret, is in the line of succession to the British crown.
On the other hand, the German aristocrat Prince Ernst August of Hanover, a male-line descendant of King George III of the United Kingdom, possesses no legal British name, titles or styles. He was born in the line of succession to the British throne and was bound by Britain's Royal Marriages Act 1772 until it was repealed when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 took effect on 26 March 2015. Thus, he requested and obtained formal permission from Queen Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1999. Yet, a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time, stipulating that dynasts who