The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome; the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and Ravenna, an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople; the fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict.
In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; the following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus making him the first emperor; the first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West.
Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD; the Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453. Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, architecture, philosophy and forms of government in the territory it governed Europe; the Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of republics such as the United States and France; the corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves and provinces administered by military commanders, it was ruled, not by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which led to rule by emperors.
The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which means "command". Successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator, this is the origin of the word emperor since this title was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while extending its power beyond Italy; this was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was perpetual dictator before being assassinated; the faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citi
A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church in a military capacity. In Europe, knighthood was conferred upon mounted warriors. During the High Middle Ages, knighthood was considered a class of lower nobility. By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior. A knight was a vassal who served as an elite fighter, a bodyguard or a mercenary for a lord, with payment in the form of land holdings; the lords trusted the knights. Knighthood in the Middle Ages was linked with horsemanship from its origins in the 12th century until its final flowering as a fashion among the high nobility in the Duchy of Burgundy in the 15th century; this linkage is reflected in the etymology of chivalry and related terms. The special prestige accorded to mounted warriors in Christendom finds a parallel in the furusiyya in the Muslim world, the Greek hippeis and Roman eques of classical antiquity.
In the late medieval period, new methods of warfare began to render classical knights in armour obsolete, but the titles remained in many nations. The ideals of chivalry were popularized in medieval literature the literary cycles known as the Matter of France, relating to the legendary companions of Charlemagne and his men-at-arms, the paladins, the Matter of Britain, relating to the legend of King Arthur and his Round Table. Today, a number of orders of knighthood continue to exist in Christian Churches, as well as in several Christian countries and their former territories, such as the Roman Catholic Order of the Holy Sepulchre and Order of Malta, the Protestant Order of Saint John, as well as the English Order of the Garter, the Swedish Royal Order of the Seraphim, the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav; each of these orders has its own criteria for eligibility, but knighthood is granted by a head of state, monarch, or prelate to selected persons to recognise some meritorious achievement, as in the British honours system for service to the Church or country.
The modern female equivalent in the United Kingdom is Dame. The word knight, from Old English cniht, is a cognate of the German word Knecht; this meaning, of unknown origin, is common among West Germanic languages. Middle High German had the phrase guoter kneht, which meant knight; the meaning of cniht changed over time from its original meaning of "boy" to "household retainer". Ælfric's homily of St. Swithun describes a mounted retainer as a cniht. While cnihtas might have fought alongside their lords, their role as household servants features more prominently in the Anglo-Saxon texts. In several Anglo-Saxon wills cnihtas are left either money or lands. In his will, King Æthelstan leaves his cniht, eight hides of land. A rādcniht, "riding-servant", was a servant on horseback. A narrowing of the generic meaning "servant" to "military follower of a king or other superior" is visible by 1100; the specific military sense of a knight as a mounted warrior in the heavy cavalry emerges only in the Hundred Years' War.
The verb "to knight" appears around 1300. An Equestrian was a member of the second highest social class in the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire; this class is translated as "knight". In the Roman Empire, the classical Latin word for horse, was replaced in common parlance by the vulgar Latin caballus, sometimes thought to derive from Gaulish caballos. From caballus arose terms in the various Romance languages cognate with the English cavalier: Italian cavaliere, Spanish caballero, French chevalier, Portuguese cavaleiro, Romanian cavaler; the Germanic languages have terms cognate with the English rider: German Ritter, Dutch and Scandinavian ridder. These words are derived from Germanic rīdan, "to ride", in turn derived from the Proto-Indo-European root reidh-. In ancient Rome there was a knightly class Ordo Equestris; some portions of the armies of Germanic peoples who occupied Europe from the 3rd century AD onward had been mounted, some armies, such as those of the Ostrogoths, were cavalry.
However, it was the Franks who fielded armies composed of large masses of infantry, with an infantry elite, the comitatus, which rode to battle on horseback rather than marching on foot. When the armies of the Frankish ruler Charles Martel defeated the Umayyad Arab invasion at the Battle of Tours in 732, the Frankish forces were still infantry armies, with elites riding to battle but dismounting to fight. In the Early Medieval period any well-equipped horseman could be described as a knight, or miles in Latin; the first knights appeared during the reign of Charlemagne in the 8th century. As the Carolingian Age progressed, the Franks were on the attack, larger numbers of warriors took to their horses to ride with the Emperor in his wide-ranging campaigns of conquest. At about this time the Franks remained on horseback to fight on the battlefield as true cavalry rather than mounted in
The sarisa or sarissa was a long spear or pike about 4–6 metres in length. It was introduced by Philip II of Macedon and was used in his Macedonian phalanxes as a replacement for the earlier dory, shorter; these longer spears improved the strength of the phalanx by extending the rows of overlapping weapons projecting towards the enemy, the word remained in use throughout the Byzantine years to sometimes describe the long spears of their own infantry. The sarissa, made of tough and resilient cornel wood, was heavy for a spear, weighing 5.5 kg to 6.5 kg. It had a sharp iron head shaped like a leaf and a bronze butt-spike which could be anchored to the ground to stop charges by the enemy; the bronze material of the butt-spike prevented it from rusting. The spike served to balance out the spear, making it easier for soldiers to wield, could be used as a back-up point should the main one break; the sheer bulk and size of the spear required the soldiers to wield it with both hands, allowing them to carry only a 60 cm shield suspended from the neck to cover the left shoulder.
Its great length was an asset against hoplites and other soldiers bearing shorter weapons, as they had to get past the sarissas to engage the phalangites. However, outside the tight formation of the phalanx the sarissa was of limited utility as a weapon and a hindrance on the march; as such, it was composed of two lengths and was joined by a central bronze tube only before a battle. Complicated training ensured that the phalanx wielded their sarissas in unison, swinging them vertically to wheel about lowering them to the horizontal; the uniform swish of the sarissas daunted the Illyrian hill tribesmen against whom the young Alexander fought in an expedition early in his reign. The sarissa-bearing phalanx would march to battle in open formation to facilitate movement. Before the charge, it would tighten its files to close formation or compact formation; the tight formation of the phalanx created a "wall of pikes", the pike was so long that there were five rows of them projecting in front of the front rank of men—even if an enemy got past the first row, there were still four more to stop him.
The back rows bore their pikes angled upwards in readiness, which served the additional purpose of deflecting incoming arrows. The Macedonian phalanx was considered invulnerable from the front, except against another such phalanx; the invention of the sarissa is credited to father of Alexander the Great. Philip drilled his soldiers, whose morale was at first low, to use these formidable pikes with two hands; the new tactic was unstoppable, by the end of Philip's reign the fragile northern Greek kingdom of Macedon controlled the whole of Greece and Thrace. His son, used the new tactic across Asia, conquering Egypt and the Pauravas, victorious all the way; the sarissa-wielding phalanxes were vital in every early battle, including the pivotal Battle of Gaugamela where the Persian king's scythe chariots were utterly destroyed by the phalanx, supported by the combined use of companion cavalry and peltasts. During his campaigning, Alexander reduced the importance of the phalanx and the sarissa, as he modified his combined use of arms to incorporate'Asian' weapons and troops, not trained in Hellenistic battle tactics.
The sarissa, remained the backbone for every subsequent Hellenistic, Diadochi army. The Battle of Raphia between the Seleucids and Ptolemy IV may represent the pinnacle of sarissa tactics, when only an elephant charge seemed able to disrupt the opposing phalanx; the Successor Kingdoms of Macedon's empire tried expanding upon the design, creating pikes as long as 6.75 m, but all of these ideas were abandoned in favor of the battle-tried Philippine-Alexandrian sarissa. Battles ended up stalemated in what Oliver Cromwell described as "the terrible business of push of pike". Subsequently, a lack of training and too great a reliance on the phalanx instead of the combined use of arms led to the final defeat of Macedon by the Romans at the Battle of Pydna. Modern conclusions are that the loss was due to a failure of command on the part of Perseus, as well as the peculiar stance of the Companion cavalry, who did not engage the enemy. Part of the reason for the rapid deterioration of the sarissa's ability was that, after Alexander, generals ceased to protect phalanxes with cavalry and light-armed troops, phalanxes were destroyed too by flank attacks owing to the sarissa's tactical unwieldiness.
The sarissa was replaced by variations of the gladius as the weapon of choice. Only Pyrrhus of Epirus was able to maintain a high standard of tactical handling with armies based around the sarissa, but with the dawn of the manipular system he struggled for his victories. Ancient Macedonian military Battle of Chaeronea Dory Pole weapon Sarissophoroi Wood economy Xyston Lane Fox, Robin. Alexander the Great. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-008878-4. M. Markle, III, Minor. "The Macedonian Sarrissa and Related Armor". American Journal of Archaeology. Archeological Institute of America. 81: 323–339. Campbell, Duncan B.. "How long was the Macedonian sarissa?". Ancient Warfare. Karwansaray Publishers. VIII: 48–52. Photos of Hoplite spear compared to Macedonian sarissa
The Iranian peoples, or the Iranic peoples, are a diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group that comprise the speakers of the Iranian languages. The Proto-Iranians are believed to have emerged as a separate branch of the Indo-Iranians in Central Asia in the mid-2nd millennium BCE. At their peak of expansion in the mid-1st millennium BCE, the territory of the Iranian peoples stretched across the entire Eurasian Steppe from the Great Hungarian Plain in the west to the Ordos Plateau in the east, to the Iranian Plateau in the south; the Western Iranian empires of the south came to dominate much of the ancient world from the 6th century BCE, leaving an important cultural legacy. The ancient Iranian peoples who emerged after the 1st millennium BCE include the Alans, Dahae, Massagetae, Parthians, Sagartians, Sarmatians, Scythians and Cimmerians among other Iranian-speaking peoples of Western Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Eastern Steppe. In the 1st millennium CE, their area of settlement was reduced as a result of Slavic, Germanic and Mongol expansions, many were subjected to Slavicisation and Turkification.
Modern Iranian-speaking peoples include the Baloch, Kurds, Mazanderanis, Pamiris, Persians, the Talysh and Yaghnobis. Their current distribution spreads across the Iranian Plateau, stretching from the Caucasus in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south and from eastern Turkey in the west to western Xinjiang in the east—a region, sometimes called the Iranian Cultural Continent, representing the extent of the Iranian-speakers and the significant influence of the Iranian peoples through the geopolitical reach of Greater Iran; the term Iran derives directly from Middle Persian Parthian Aryān. The Middle Iranian terms ērān and aryān are oblique plural forms of gentilic ēr- and ary-, both deriving from Old Persian ariya-, Avestan airiia- and Proto-Iranian *arya-. There have been many attempts to qualify the verbal root of ar- in Old Iranian arya-; the following are according to 1957 and linguists: Emmanuel Laroche: ara- "to fit". Old Iranian arya- being descended from Proto-Indo-European ar-yo-, meaning " assembler".
Georges Dumézil: ar- "to share". Harold Walter Bailey: ar- "to beget". Émil Benveniste: ar- "to fit". Unlike the Sanskrit ā́rya-, the Old Iranian term has an ethnic meaning. Today, the Old Iranian arya- remains in ethno-linguistic names such as Iran, Alan, Ir, Iron.< In the Iranian languages, the gentilic is attested as a self-identifier included in ancient inscriptions and the literature of Avesta. The earliest epigraphically attested reference to the word arya- occurs in the Bistun Inscription of the 6th century BCE; the inscription of Bistun describes itself to have been composed in Arya. As is the case for all other Old Iranian language usage, the arya of the inscription does not signify anything but Iranian. In royal Old Persian inscriptions, the term arya- appears in three different contexts: As the name of the language of the Old Persian version of the inscription of Darius I in the Bistun Inscription; as the ethnic background of Darius the Great in inscriptions at Rustam Relief and Susa and the ethnic background of Xerxes I in the inscription from Persepolis.
As the definition of the God of Iranians, Ohrmazd, in the Elamite version of the Bistun Inscription. In the Dna and Dse and Xerxes describe themselves as "an Achaemenid, a Persian, son of a Persian, an Aryan, of Aryan stock". Although Darius the Great called his language arya-, modern scholars refer to it as Old Persian because it is the ancestor of the modern Persian language; the trilingual inscription erected by the command of Shapur. The languages used are Parthian, Middle Persian, Greek. In Greek inscription says "ego... tou Arianon ethnous despotes eimi", which translates to "I am the king of the kingdom of the Iranians". In Middle Persian, Shapur says "ērānšahr xwadāy hēm" and in Parthian he says "aryānšahr xwadāy ahēm"; the Avesta uses airiia- as an ethnic name, where it appears in expressions such as airyāfi daiŋˊhāvō, airyō šayanəm, airyanəm vaējō vaŋhuyāfi dāityayāfi. In the late part of the Avesta, one of the mentioned homelands was referred to as Airyan'əm Vaējah which means "expanse of the Iranians".
The homeland varied in its geographic range, the area around Herat and the entire expanse of the Iranian plateau. The Old Persian and Avestan evidence is confirmed by the Greek sources. Herodotus, in his Histories, remarks about the Iranian Medes that "Medes were called anciently by all people Arians". In Armenian sources, the Parthians and Persians are collectively referred to as Iranians. Eudemus of Rhodes refers to "the Magi and all those of Iranian lineage". Diodorus Siculus considers Zoroaster as one of the Arianoi. Strabo, in his Geographica, mentions of the Medes, Persians and Sogdians of the Iranian Plateau and Transoxiana of antiquity: The name of Ariana is further extended to a part of Persia and of Media, as to the Bactrians and Sogd
The lance is a pole weapon designed to be used by a mounted warrior or cavalry soldier. During the periods of classical and medieval warfare, it evolved into being the leading weapon in cavalry charges, was unsuited for throwing or for repeated thrusting, unlike similar weapons of the javelin/pike family used by infantry. Lances were equipped with a vamplate – a small circular plate to prevent the hand sliding up the shaft upon impact. Though best known as a military and sporting weapon carried by European knights, the use of lances was widespread throughout Asia, the Middle East, North Africa wherever suitable mounts were available; as a secondary weapon, lancers of the medieval period bore swords, hammers, or maces for hand-to-hand combat, since the lance was a one-use-per-engagement weapon. The name is derived from the word lancea - the Roman auxiliaries' throwing knife. Compare λόγχη, a Greek term for "spear" or "lance". A lance in the original sense is javelin; the English verb to launch "fling, throw" is derived from the term, as well as the rarer or poetic to lance.
The term from the 17th century came to refer to spears not thrown, used for thrusting by heavy cavalry, in jousting. A thrusting spear, used by infantry is referred to as a pike; the Byzantine cavalry used lances exclusively in mixed lancer and mounted archer formations. The Byzantines used lance both underarm, couched; the best known usage of military lances was that of the full-gallop closed-ranks charge of a group of knights with underarm-couched lances, against lines of infantry, archery regiments, defensive embankments, opposition cavalry. Two variants on the couched lance charge developed, the French method, en haie, with lancers in a double line and the German method, with lancers drawn up in a deeper formation, wedge-shaped, it is believed that this became the dominant European cavalry tactic in the 11th century after the development of the cantled saddle and stirrups, of rowel spurs. Cavalry thus outfitted and deployed had a tremendous collective force in their charge, could shatter most contemporary infantry lines.
Recent evidence has suggested, that the lance charge was effective without the benefit of stirrups. Because of the extreme stopping power of a thrusting spear, it became a popular weapon of infantry in the Late Middle Ages; these led to the rise of the longest type of spears, the pike. This adaptation of the cavalry lance to infantry use was tasked with stopping lance-armed cavalry charges. During the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, these weapons, both mounted and unmounted, were so effective that lancers and pikemen not only became a staple of every Western army, but became sought-after mercenaries. In Europe, a jousting lance was a variation of the knight's lance, modified from its original war design. In jousting, the lance tips would be blunt spread out like a cup or furniture foot, to provide a wider impact surface designed to unseat the opposing rider without spearing him through; the centre of the shaft of such lances could be designed to be hollow, in order for it to break on impact, as a further safeguard against impalement.
They were at least 4m long, had hand guards built into the lance tapering for a considerable portion of the weapon's length. These are the versions that can most be seen at medieval reenactment festivals. In war, lances were much more like stout spears and balanced for one-handed use, with sharpened tips; as a small unit that surrounded a knight when he went into battle during the 14th and 15th centuries, a lance might have consisted of one or two squires, the knight himself, one to three men-at-arms, an archer. Lances were combined under the banner of a higher-ranking nobleman to form companies of knights that would act as an ad-hoc unit; the advent of wheellock technology spelled the end of the heavy knightly lance in Western Europe, with newer types of heavy cavalry such as reiters and cuirassiers spurning the old one-use weapon and supplanting the older gendarme type Medieval cavalry. While many Renaissance captains such as Sir Roger Williams continued to espouse the virtues of the lance, many such as François de la Noue encouraged its abandonment in the face of the pistol's greater armor piercing power and greater general utility.
At the same time the adoption of pike and shot tactic by most infantry forces would neuter much of the power of the lancer's breakneck charge, making them a non-cost effective type of military unit due to their expensive horses in comparison to cuirassiers and reiters, who charging only at a trot could make do with lower quality mounts. After the success of pistol-armed Huguenot heavy horse against their Royalist counterparts during the French Wars of Religion, most Western European powers started rearming their lancers with pistols as an adjunct weapon and as a replacement, with the Spanish retaining the lance the longest. Only the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth with its far greater emphasis on cavalry warfare, large populat
Battle of Carrhae
The Battle of Carrhae was fought in 53 BC between the Roman Republic and the Parthian Empire near the town of Carrhae. The Parthian general Surena decisively defeated a numerically superior Roman invasion force under the command of Marcus Licinius Crassus, it is seen as one of the earliest and most important battles between the Roman and Parthian empires and one of the most crushing defeats in Roman history. Crassus, a member of the First Triumvirate and the wealthiest man in Rome, had been enticed by the prospect of military glory and riches and decided to invade Parthia without the official consent of the Senate. Rejecting an offer from the Armenian King Artavasdes II to allow Crassus to invade Parthia via Armenia, Crassus marched his army directly through the deserts of Mesopotamia, his army clashed with Surena's force near a small town in modern-day Turkey. Despite being outnumbered, Surena's cavalry outmaneuvered the Roman heavy infantry, killing or capturing most of the Roman soldiers.
Crassus himself was killed. His death ended the First Triumvirate; the four-year period of peace between Julius Caesar and Pompey, the remaining two members of the First Triumvirate, after Carrhae until the outbreak of the civil war argues against Crassus as a peacekeeper and supports the views of most Roman historians that friction between Crassus and Pompey had always been a greater cause of tension than friction between Julius Caesar and Pompey. The war in Parthia resulted from political arrangements intended to be mutually beneficial for Marcus Licinius Crassus, Pompeius Magnus, Julius Caesar — the so-called First Triumvirate. In March and April 56 BC, meetings were held at Ravenna and Luca, in Caesar's province of Cisalpine Gaul, to reaffirm the weakening alliance formed four years earlier, it was agreed that the triumvirate would marshal their supporters and resources to secure legislation for prolonging Caesar's Gallic command and to influence the upcoming elections for 55 BC, with the objective of a second joint consulship for Crassus and Pompeius.
The leaders of the triumvirate aimed to expand their faction's power through traditional means: military commands, placing political allies in office, advancing legislation to promote their interests. Pressure in various forms was brought to bear on the elections: money, influence through patronage and friendship, the force of a thousand troopers brought from Gaul by Crassus's son Publius; the faction secured most, though not all, of the other offices sought. Legislation passed by the tribune Trebonius granted extended proconsulships of five years, matching that of Caesar in Gaul, to the two outgoing consuls; the Spanish provinces would go to Pompeius. The notoriously wealthy Marcus Crassus was around sixty-two when he embarked on the Parthian invasion. Greed is regarded by the ancient sources his biographer Plutarch, as his major character fault and his motive for going to war. Historian of Rome Erich Gruen believed that Crassus's purpose was to enrich the public treasury, since personal wealth was not what Crassus himself most lacked.
Most modern historians tend to view insatiable greed, envy of Pompey's military exploits, rivalry as his motivation, since Crassus’s long-faded military reputation had always been inferior to that of Pompeius – and after five years of war in Gaul, to that of Caesar. His major military achievements had been the defeat of Spartacus in 71 BC and his victory at Battle of the Colline Gate for Sulla a decade earlier. Plutarch notes that Caesar wrote to Crassus from Gaul, endorsing the plan to invade Parthia — an indication that he regarded Crassus's military campaign as complementary and not rivalrous to his own. Another factor in Crassus's decision to invade Parthia was the expected ease of the campaign; the Roman legions had crushed the numerically superior armies of other eastern powers such as Pontus and Armenia, Crassus expected Parthia to be an easy target. Cicero, suggests an additional factor: the ambitions of the talented Publius Crassus, who had commanded successful campaigns in Gaul under Caesar.
Upon his return to Rome as a decorated officer, Publius took steps to establish his own political career. Roman sources view the Battle of Carrhae not only as a calamity for Rome and a disgrace for Marcus Crassus, but as a tragedy for cutting short Publius Crassus's promising career; some Romans objected to the war against Parthia. Cicero calls it a war nulla causa, on the grounds; the tribune Ateius Capito put up strenuous opposition, infamously conducted a public ritual of execration as Crassus prepared to depart. Despite protests and dire omens, Marcus Crassus left Rome on November 14, 55 BC. Publius Crassus joined him in Syria during the winter of 54–53 BC, bringing with him the thousand Celtic cavalry troopers from Gaul who remained loyal to their young leader until death. Crassus arrived in Syria in late 55 BC and set about using his immense wealth to raise an army, he assembled a force of seven legions. In addition he had about 4,000 light infantry, 4,000 cavalry, including the 1,000 Gallic cavalry Publius had brought with him.
With the aid of Hellenic settlements in Syria and support of about 6,000 cavalry from Artavasdes, the Armenian king, Crassus marched on Parthia. Artavasdes advised him to take a route through Armenia to avoid the desert and offered him reinforcements of 16,000 cavalry and 30,000 infantry. Crassus refused the offer and decided to take the direct route through Mesopotam
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