Byzantine Empire under the Leonid dynasty
The Eastern Roman Empire was ruled by the House of Leo from 457, the accession of Leo I, to 518 AD, the death of Anastasius I. The rule of the Leonid dynasty coincided with the rapid decline and eventual fall of the Western Roman Empire. Following the end of the Western Empire, Emperor Zeno abolished the position of Western Roman Emperor and declared himself the sole Roman Emperor; the Eastern Roman Empire would come to last for several more centuries, subsequent dynasties would invest large amounts of resources in attempts to retake the western provinces. The Leonid dynasty ruled the Western Roman Empire from 474 to its abolishment in 480 AD. After the death of Marcian and the end of the Theodosian dynasty, Leo I was placed upon the throne by the Alan general Aspar, who served as commander-in-chief of the Eastern Roman army and enjoyed a role similar to that of Ricimer in the Western Roman Empire, appointing puppet emperors. Aspar had believed that Leo I would be a weak puppet, but Leo grew independent of him and after Aspar and his son Ardabur were murdered in a riot in 471, the Eastern Empire was restored to roman leadership, which it would retain for centuries to come.
By the time of Leo's accession, the Western Roman Empire had nearly collapsed entirely. Though it enjoyed a brief restoration of power under Emperor Majorian, the West had become restricted to northern Gaul and parts of Illyria by the late 460s. Leo attempted to reconquer North Africa from the Vandals; the campaign was unsuccessful and Northern Africa would remain outside of imperial control until the reign of Justinian I in the early 500s. Leo I was the earliest emperor to be crowned by the Patriarch of Constantinople and not by a military leader, representing the ecclesiastical hierarchy; this change would become permanent and the religious nature of the coronation had replaced the military version in the Middle Ages. As condition for an alliance with the Isaurians, Leo married his daughter Ariadne to Tarasicodissa, who took the name Zeno, in 466; the son of Ariadne and Zeno, Leo II, succeeded upon the death of Leo I in 474 but he died after only 11 months of rule and was succeeded by Zeno.
The reign of Zeno saw the end of the Western Roman Empire. The dating of the end is somewhat controversial, it is sometimes dated to 476, early in Zeno's reign, when the Germanic Roman general Odoacer deposed the titular Western Emperor Romulus Augustulus, but declined to replace him with another puppet. Odoacer accepted Julius Nepos, the deposed Western Emperor supported by Zeno, as his sovereign and acted as his viceroy of Italy. Nepos did not return to Italy but continued to reign as Western Emperor from Dalmatia until his death in 480. After the death of Julius Nepos, Zeno became the sovereign of Odoacer and he did not appoint another Western Emperor, instead proclaiming himself as the sole Emperor of the Roman Empire, juridically reuniting West and East for the first time in 85 years; the position would never again be divided. With Odoacer acting independent, Zeno negotiated with the Ostrogoths of Theoderic, who had settled in Moesia, he sent the gothic king to Italy as magister militum per Italiam.
After the fall of Odoacer in 493, who had lived in Constantinople during his youth, ruled Italy on his own. Thus, by suggesting that Theoderic conquer Italy as his Ostrogothic Kingdom, Zeno maintained at least a nominal supremacy in the West land while ridding the Eastern Empire of an unruly subordinate. Zeno was deposed by Basilicus in 475 for twenty months, but regained his throne and imprisoned Basilicus and his family in a dry cistern, where they would die from exposure. Anastasius I, an aged civil officer of Roman origin, became Roman Emperor through marriage with the widow of Zeno, Ariadne, in 491. Anastasius was a competent reformer and administrator, perfecting the coinage system introduced by Constantine I by setting the weight of the copper follis, the most used coin throughout the Empire. Anastasius abolished the chrysargyron tax, a tax, hated due to it being collected in lump sums every four years; the monetary reforms of Anastasius lead to the State Treasury containing an enormous 145,150 kg of gold upon his death.
Anastasius would be succeeded by the first Emperor of the Justinian dynasty. Family trees of the Byzantine imperial dynasties Grierson, Philip. Byzantine Coinage. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks. ISBN 0-88402-274-9. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Treadgold, Warren. A History of the Byzantine State and Society. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-2630-2
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
Gaeta is a city and comune in the province of Latina, in Lazio, central Italy. Set on a promontory stretching towards the Gulf of Gaeta, it is 120 kilometres from Rome and 80 km from Naples; the town has played a conspicuous part in military history. Gaeta's fortifications were extended and strengthened in the 15th century throughout the history of the Kingdom of Naples. Present day Gaeta is a fishing and oil seaport, a renowned tourist resort. NATO maintains a naval base of operations at Gaeta, it is the ancient Caieta, situated on the slopes of the Torre di Orlando, a promontory overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Gaeta was an ancient Ionian colony of the Samians according to Strabo, who believed the name stemmed from the Ancient Greek καιέτας, which means "cave" referring to the several harbours. According to Virgil's Aeneid, Caieta was Aeneas' wet-nurse. In the classical age Caieta, famous for its lovely and temperate climate, like the neighbouring Formia and Sperlonga, was a tourist resort and site of the seaside villas of many important and rich characters of Rome.
Like the other Roman resorts, Caieta was linked to the capital of the Empire by Via Appia and its end trunk Via Flacca, through an opposite diverticulum or by-road. Its port was of great importance in trade and in war, was restored under Emperor Antoninus Pius. Among its antiquities is the mausoleum of Lucius Munatius Plancus. At the beginning of the Middle Ages, after the Lombard invasion, Gaeta remained under suzerainty of the Byzantine Empire. In the following years, like Amalfi and Naples, it would seem to have established itself as a independent port and to have carried on a thriving trade with the Levant; as Byzantine influence declined in Southern Italy the town began to grow. For fear of the Saracens, in 840 the inhabitants of the neighbouring Formiæ fled to Gaeta. Though under the suzerainty of Byzantium, Gaeta had like nearby ports Naples and Amalfi, a republican form of government with a dux, as a strong bulwark against Saracen invasion. Around 830, it became a lordship ruled by hereditary hypati, or consuls: the first of these was Constantine, who in 847 aided Pope Leo IV in the naval fight at Ostia.
At this same time the episcopal see of Gaeta was founded when Constantine, Bishop of Formiae, fled thither and established his residence. He was associated with his son Marinus I, they were violently overthrown in 866 or 867 by Docibilis I, looking rather to local safety, entered into treaties with the Saracens and abandoned friendly relations with the papacy. He expanded the duchy and began construction of the palace. Greatest of the hypati was John I, who helped crush the Saracens at Garigliano in 915 and gained the title of patricius from the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII; the principle of co-regency governed the early dynasties: Docibilis associated John with him and John in turn associated his son Docibilis II with him. In 933, three generations were co-ruling: John I, Docibilis II, John II. On the death of Docibilis II, who first took the title dux, the duchy passed from its golden age and entered a decline marked by a division of territory. John II ruled Gaeta and his brother, ruled Fondi with the equivalent title of duke.
Outlying lands and castles were given away to younger sons and thus the family of the Docibili declined after mid-century. But improbably, from the end of the 9th century, the principality of Capua claimed Gaeta as a courtesy title for the younger son of its ruling prince. In the mid-10th century, the De Ceremoniis of Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus lists the ceremonial title "prince of Gaeta" among the protocols for letters written to foreigners. Prince Pandulf IV of Capua captured Gaeta in 1032 and deposed Duke John V, assuming the ducal and consular titles. In 1038, Prince Guaimar IV of Salerno took it from him and, in 1041, established the Norman counts of Aversa, who were afterwards princes of Capua, as puppet dukes; the native dynasty made a last attempt to wrest the duchy from Guaimar in 1042 under Leo the Usurper. In 1045, the Gaetans elected their own Lombard duke, Atenulf I, his son, Atenulf II, was made to submit to the Norman Prince Richard I of Capua in 1062, when Gaeta was captured by Jordan Drengot.
In 1064, the city was placed under a line of puppet dukes, appointed by the Capuan princes, who had usurped the ducal and consular titles. These dukes Italianate Normans, ruled Gaeta with some level of independence until the death of Richard of Caleno in 1140. In that year, Gaeta was definitively annexed to the Kingdom of Sicily by Roger II, who bestowed on his son Roger of Apulia, duly elected by the nobles of the city; the town did maintain its own coinage until as late as 1229, after the Normans had been superseded by the centralising Hohenstaufen. In the many wars for possession of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, owing to its important strategic position, was attacked and defended bravely. In 1194 the Pisans, allies of Emperor Henry VI in the conquest of the kingdom, took possession of the city and held it as their own. In 1227 the Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick II strengthened the castle. However, in the struggle between Emperor Frederick and the Papac
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
The Tyrrhenian Sea is part of the Mediterranean Sea off the western coast of Italy. It is named for the Tyrrhenian people, identified since the 6th century BCE with the Etruscans of Italy; the sea is bounded by the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, the Italian peninsula to the east, the island of Sicily. The Tyrrhenian sea includes a number of small islands like Capri and Ustica; the maximum depth of the sea is 3,785 metres. The Tyrrhenian Sea is situated near where the Eurasian Plates meet; the eight Aeolian Islands and Ustica are located in the southern part of the sea, north of Sicily. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Tyrrhenian Sea as follows: In the Strait of Messina: A line joining the North extreme of Cape Paci with the East extreme of the Island of Sicily, Cape Peloro. On the Southwest: A line running from Cape Lilibeo to the South extreme of Cape Teulada in Sardinia. In the Strait of Bonifacio: A line joining the West extreme of Cape Testa in Sardinia with the Southwest extreme of Cape Feno in Corsica.
On the North: A line joining Cape Corse in Corsica, with Tinetto Island and thence through Tino and Palmaria islands to San Pietro Point on the coast of Italy. There are four exits from the Tyrrhenian Sea: The Tyrrhenian Basin is divided into two basins, the Vavilov plain and the Marsili plain, they are separated by the undersea ridge known after Arturo Issel. The Tyrrhenian Sea is a back-arc basin that formed due to the rollback of the Calabrian slab towards South-East during the Neogene. Episodes of fast and slow trench retreat formed first the Vavilov basin and the Marsili basin. Submarine volcanoes formed because trench retreat produces extension in the overriding plate allowing the mantle to rise below the surface and melts; the magmatism here is affected by the fluids released from the slab. Its name derives from the Greek name for the Etruscans, who were said to be emigrants from Lydia and led by the prince Tyrrhenus; the Etruscans settled along the coast of modern Tuscany and referred to the water as the "Sea of the Etruscans".
Islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea include: Corsica Sardinia Sicily Elba Ischia Capri Ustica The main ports of the Tyrrhenian Sea in Italy are: Naples, Civitavecchia, Salerno and Gioia Tauro. In France the most important port is Bastia. Note that though the phrase "port of Rome" is used, there is in fact no port in Rome. Instead, the "port of Rome" refers to the maritime facilities at Civitavecchia, some 68 km to the northwest of Rome, not too far from its airport. Giglio Porto is a small island port in this area, it rose to prominence, when the Costa Concordia ran aground a few metres off the coast of Giglio and sank. The ship was refloated and towed to Genoa for scrapping. In Greek mythology, it is believed that the cliffs above the Tyrrhenian Sea housed the four winds kept by Aeolus; the winds are the Mistral from the Rhône valley, the Libeccio from the southwest, the Sirocco and Ostro from the south
The Fourth Crusade was a Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition was to recapture the Muslim-controlled city of Jerusalem, by first conquering the powerful Egyptian Ayyubid Sultanate, the strongest Muslim state of the time. However, a sequence of economic and political events culminated in the Crusader army sacking the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Greek Christian-controlled Byzantine Empire. In late 1202, financial issues led to the Crusader army sacking Zara, brought under Venetian control. In January 1203, en-route to Jerusalem, the Crusader leadership entered into an agreement with the Byzantine prince Alexios Angelos to divert the Crusade to Constantinople and restore his deposed father as Emperor; the intent of the Crusaders was to continue to Jerusalem with promised Byzantine financial and military aid. On 23 June 1203, the bulk of the Crusaders reached Constantinople, while smaller contingents continued to Acre. After the siege of Zara the pope excommunicated the crusader army.
In August, following clashes outside Constantinople, Alexios was crowned co-Emperor. However, in January 1204, he was deposed by a popular uprising; the Crusaders were no longer able to receive their promised payments from Alexios. Following the murder of Alexios on 8 February, the Crusaders decided on the outright conquest of the city. In April 1204, they plundered the city's enormous wealth. Only a handful of the Crusaders continued to the Holy Land thereafter; the conquest of Constantinople was followed by the fragmentation of the Empire into three rump states centred in Nicaea and Epirus. The Crusaders founded several Crusader states in former Byzantine territory hinged upon the Latin Empire of Constantinople; the presence of the Latin Crusader states immediately led to war with the Byzantine successor states and the Bulgarian Empire. The Nicaean Empire recovered Constantinople and restored the Byzantine Empire in 1261; the Crusade is considered to be one of the most prominent acts that solidified the schism between the Greek and Latin Christian churches, dealt an irrevocable blow to the weakened Byzantine Empire, paving the way for Muslim conquests in Anatolia and Balkan Europe in the coming centuries.
Ayyubid Sultan Saladin had conquered most of the Frankish, Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, including the ancient city itself, in 1187. The Kingdom had been established 88 years before, after the capture and sack of Jerusalem in the First Crusade, a Byzantine holding prior to the Muslim conquests of the 7th century; the city was sacred to Christians and Jews, returning it to Christian hands had been a primary purpose of the First Crusade. Saladin led a Muslim dynasty, his incorporation of Jerusalem into his domains shocked and dismayed the Catholic countries of Western Europe. Legend has it that Pope Urban III died of the shock, but the timing of his death makes that impossible; the crusader states had been reduced to three cities along the sea coast: Tyre and Antioch. The Third Crusade reclaimed an extensive amount of territory for the Kingdom of Jerusalem, including the key towns of Acre and Jaffa, but had failed to retake Jerusalem; the crusade had been marked by a significant escalation in long standing tensions between the feudal states of western Europe and the Byzantine Empire, centred in Constantinople.
The experiences of the first two crusades had thrown into stark relief the vast cultural differences between the two Christian civilisations. The Latins viewed the Byzantine preference for diplomacy and trade over war as duplicitous and degenerate, their policy of tolerance and assimilation towards Muslims as a corrupt betrayal of the faith. For their part, the educated and wealthy Byzantines maintained a strong sense of cultural and social superiority over the Latins. Constantinople had been in existence for 874 years at the time of the Fourth Crusade and was the largest and most sophisticated city in Christendom. Alone amongst major medieval urban centres, it had retained the civic structures, public baths, forums and aqueducts of classical Rome in working form. At its height, the city held an estimated population of about half a million people behind thirteen miles of triple walls, its planned location made Constantinople not only the capital of the surviving eastern part of the Roman Empire but a commercial centre that dominated trade routes from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, China and Persia.
As a result, it was both a rival and a tempting target for the aggressive new states of the west, notably the Republic of Venice. One of the leaders of the Third Crusade, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa plotted with the Serbs, Byzantine traitors, the Muslim Seljuks against the Eastern Empire and at one point sought Papal support for a crusade against the Orthodox Byzantines. Crusaders seized the breakaway Byzantine province of Cyprus. Barbarossa died on crusade, his army disintegrated, leaving the English and French, who had come by sea, to fight Saladin. In 1195 Henry VI, son and heir of Barbarossa, sought to efface this humiliation by declaring a new crusade, in the summer of 1197 a large number of German knights and nobles, headed by two archbishops, nine bishops, five dukes, sailed for Palestine. There they captured Sidon and Beirut, but at the news of Henry's death in Messina along the way, many of the nobles and clerics returned to Europe. Deserted by much of their leade
Byzantine Empire under the Macedonian dynasty
The medieval Byzantine Empire underwent a revival during the reign of the Macedonian emperors of the late 9th, 10th, early 11th centuries, when it gained control over the Adriatic Sea, Southern Italy, all of the territory of the Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria. The cities of the empire expanded, affluence spread across the provinces because of the newfound security; the population rose, production increased, stimulating new demand while helping to encourage trade. Culturally, there was considerable growth in learning. Ancient texts were patiently recopied. Byzantine art flourished, brilliant mosaics graced the interiors of the many new churches. Though the empire was smaller than during the reign of Justinian, it was stronger, as the remaining territories were both less geographically dispersed and more politically and culturally integrated. Although tradition attributed the "Byzantine Renaissance" to Basil I, initiator of the Macedonian dynasty, some scholars have credited the reforms of Basil's predecessor, Michael III and of the erudite Theoktistos.
The latter in particular favoured culture at the court, with a careful financial policy increased the gold reserves of the Empire. The rise of the Macedonian dynasty coincided with internal developments which strengthened the religious unity of the empire; the iconoclast movement experienced a steep decline: this favoured its soft suppression by the emperors and the reconciliation of the religious strife that had drained the imperial resources in the previous centuries. Despite occasional tactical defeats, the administrative, legislative and economic situation continued to improve under Basil's successors with Romanos I Lekapenos; the theme system reached its definitive form in this period. The Eastern Orthodox Church establishment began to loyally support the imperial cause, the state limited the power of the landowning class in favour of agricultural small-holders, who made up an important part of the military force of the Empire; these favourable conditions contributed to the increasing ability of the emperors to wage war against the Arabs.
By 867, the empire had stabilised its position in both the east and the west, while the success of its defensive military structure had enabled the emperors to begin planning wars of reconquest in the east. The process of reconquest began with variable fortunes; the temporary reconquest of Crete was followed by a crushing Byzantine defeat on the Bosporus, while the emperors were unable to prevent the ongoing Muslim conquest of Sicily. Using present day Tunisia as their launching pad, the Muslims conquered Palermo in 831, Messina in 842, Enna in 859, Syracuse in 878, Catania in 900 and the final Greek stronghold, the fortress of Taormina, in 902; these drawbacks were counterbalanced by a victorious expedition against Damietta in Egypt, the defeat of the Emir of Melitene, the confirmation of the imperial authority over Dalmatia and Basil I's offensives towards the Euphrates. The threat from the Arab Muslims was meanwhile reduced by inner struggles and by the rise of the Turks in the east. Muslims received assistance however from the Paulician sect, which had found a large following in the eastern provinces of the Empire and, facing persecution under the Byzantines fought under the Arab flag.
It took several campaigns to subdue the Paulicians, who were defeated by Basil I. In 904, disaster struck the empire when its second city, was sacked by an Arab fleet led by a Byzantine renegade; the Byzantines responded by destroying an Arab fleet in 908, sacking the city of Laodicea in Syria two years later. Despite this revenge, the Byzantines were still unable to strike a decisive blow against the Muslims, who inflicted a crushing defeat on the imperial forces when they attempted to regain Crete in 911; the situation on the border with the Arab territories remained fluid, with the Byzantines alternatively on the offensive or defensive. Kievan Rus', who appeared near Constantinople for the first time in 860, constituted another new challenge. In 941 they appeared on the Asian shore of the Bosporus, but this time they were crushed, showing the improvements in the Byzantine military position after 907, when only diplomacy had been able to push back the invaders; the vanquisher of the Rus' was the famous general John Kourkouas, who continued the offensive with other noteworthy victories in Mesopotamia: these culminated in the reconquest of Edessa, celebrated for the return to Constantinople of the venerated Mandylion.
The soldier emperors Nikephoros II Phokas and John I Tzimiskes expanded the empire well into Syria, defeating the emirs of north-west Iraq and reconquering Crete and Cyprus. At one point under John, the empire's armies threatened Jerusalem, far to the south; the emirate of Aleppo and its neighbours became vassals of the empire in the east, where the greatest threat to the empire was the Egyptian Fatimid kingdom. The traditional struggle with the See of Rome continued, spurred by the question of religious supremacy over the newly Christianized Bulgaria; this prompted an invasion by the powerful Tsar Simeon I in 894, but this was pushed back by the Byzantine diplomacy, which called on the help of the Hungarians. The Byzantines were in turn defeated, however, at the Battle of Bulgarophygon, obliged to pay annual subsidies to the Bulgarians. Simeon had the Byzantines grant him the crown of basileus of Bulgaria and had the young emperor Constantine VII marry one of his daughters; when a revolt in Constantinople halted his dynastic project, he again invaded