Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire, of the Byzantine Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire, until falling to the Ottoman Empire. It was reinaugurated in 324 from ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, after whom it was named, dedicated on 11 May 330; the city was located in what is now the core of modern Istanbul. From the mid-5th century to the early 13th century, Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe; the city was famed for its architectural masterpieces, such as the Greek Orthodox cathedral of Hagia Sophia, which served as the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the sacred Imperial Palace where the Emperors lived, the Galata Tower, the Hippodrome, the Golden Gate of the Land Walls, the opulent aristocratic palaces lining the arcaded avenues and squares. The University of Constantinople was founded in the fifth century and contained numerous artistic and literary treasures before it was sacked in 1204 and 1453, including its vast Imperial Library which contained the remnants of the Library of Alexandria and had over 100,000 volumes of ancient texts.
It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times as the home of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and as the guardian of Christendom's holiest relics such as the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross. Constantinople was famed for its complex defences; the first wall of the city was erected by Constantine I, surrounded the city on both land and sea fronts. In the 5th century, the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius under the child emperor Theodosius II undertook the construction of the Theodosian Walls, which consisted of a double wall lying about 2 kilometres to the west of the first wall and a moat with palisades in front; this formidable complex of defences was one of the most sophisticated of Antiquity. The city was built intentionally to rival Rome, it was claimed that several elevations within its walls matched the'seven hills' of Rome; because it was located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara the land area that needed defensive walls was reduced, this helped it to present an impregnable fortress enclosing magnificent palaces and towers, the result of the prosperity it achieved from being the gateway between two continents and two seas.
Although besieged on numerous occasions by various armies, the defences of Constantinople proved impregnable for nearly nine hundred years. In 1204, the armies of the Fourth Crusade took and devastated the city, its inhabitants lived several decades under Latin misrule. In 1261 the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos liberated the city, after the restoration under the Palaiologos dynasty, enjoyed a partial recovery. With the advent of the Ottoman Empire in 1299, the Byzantine Empire began to lose territories and the city began to lose population. By the early 15th century, the Byzantine Empire was reduced to just Constantinople and its environs, along with Morea in Greece, making it an enclave inside the Ottoman Empire. According to Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, the first known name of a settlement on the site of Constantinople was Lygos, a settlement of Thracian origin founded between the 13th and 11th centuries BC; the site, according to the founding myth of the city, was abandoned by the time Greek settlers from the city-state of Megara founded Byzantium in around 657 BC, across from the town of Chalcedon on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus.
The origins of the name of Byzantion, more known by the Latin Byzantium, are not clear, though some suggest it is of Thraco-Illyrian origin. The founding myth of the city has it told that the settlement was named after the leader of the Megarian colonists, Byzas; the Byzantines of Constantinople themselves would maintain that the city was named in honour of two men and Antes, though this was more just a play on the word Byzantion. The city was renamed Augusta Antonina in the early 3rd century AD by the Emperor Septimius Severus, who razed the city to the ground in 196 for supporting a rival contender in the civil war and had it rebuilt in honour of his son Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, popularly known as Caracalla; the name appears to have been forgotten and abandoned, the city reverted to Byzantium/Byzantion after either the assassination of Caracalla in 217 or, at the latest, the fall of the Severan dynasty in 235. Byzantium took on the name of Kōnstantinoupolis after its refoundation under Roman emperor Constantine I, who transferred the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium in 330 and designated his new capital as Nova Roma'New Rome'.
During this time, the city was called'Second Rome','Eastern Rome', Roma Constantinopolitana. As the city became the sole remaining capital of the Roman Empire after the fall of the West, its wealth and influence grew, the city came to have a multitude of nicknames; as the largest and wealthiest city in Europe during the 4th–13th centuries and a centre of culture and education of the Mediterranean basin, Constantinople came to be known by prestigious titles such as Basileuousa and Megalopol
Kerch is a city of regional significance on the Kerch Peninsula in the east of the Crimea. Population: 147,033. Founded 2,600 years ago as an ancient Greek colony, Kerch is considered to be one of the most ancient cities in Crimea; the city experienced rapid growth starting in the 1920s and was the site of a major battle during World War II. Today, it is one of the largest cities in Crimea and is among the republic's most important industrial and tourist centres. Archeological digs at Mayak village near the city ascertained that the area had been inhabited in 17th–15th centuries BC. Kerch as a city starts its history in 7th century BC, when Greek colonists from Miletus founded a city-state named Panticapaeum on Mount Mithridat near the mouth of the Melek-Chesme river. Panticapaeum subdued nearby cities and by 480 BC became a capital of the Kingdom of Bosporus. During the rule of Mithradates VI Eupator, Panticapaeum for a short period of time became the capital of the much more powerful and extensive Kingdom of Pontus.
The city was located at the intersection of trade routes between Europe. This caused it to grow rapidly; the city's main exports were salted fish. Panticapaeum minted its own coins. According to extant documents the Melek-Chesme river was navigable in Bosporan times, sea galleys were able to enter the river. A large portion of the city's population was ethnically Scythian Sarmatian, as the large royal barrow at Kul-Oba testifies. In the 1st century AD Panticapaeum and the Kingdom of Bosporus suffered from Ostrogoth raids. Myrmekion was founded in the eastern part of 4 km NE of ancient Panticapaeum; the settlement was founded by Ionians in the first half of the 6th c. BC. From the 6th century the city was under the control of the Byzantine Empire. By order of Emperor Justinian I, a citadel named. Bospor was the centre of a bishopric, the diocese of Bosporus and developed under the influence of Greek Christianity. In 576, it withstood a siege by the Göktürks under Bokhan, aided by Anagai, the last khan of the Uturgurs.
In the 7th century, the Turkic Khazars took control of Bospor, the city was named Karcha from Turkic "karşı" meaning'opposite, facing.' The main local government official during Khazar times was the tudun. Christianity was a major religion in Kerch during the period of Khazar rule. Kerch's Church of St. John the Baptist was founded in 717; the "Church of the Apostles" existed during the late 8th and early 9th centuries, according to the "Life of the Apostle Andrew" by Epiphanius of Salamis. Following the fall of Khazaria to Kievan Rus' in the late 10th century, Kerch became the centre of a Khazar successor-state, its ruler, Georgius Tzul, was deposed by a Byzantine-Rus expedition in 1016. From the 10th century, the city was a Slavic settlement named Korchev, which belonged to the Tmutarakan principality. Kerch was a center of trade between Russia', Crimea and the Orient. In the 13th century, the Crimea including Korchev was invaded by Mongols. After Mongols, the city became the Genoese colony of Cerco in 1318 and served as a sea harbour, where townspeople worked at salt-works and fishery.
In 1475, city was passed to the Ottoman Empire. During the Turkish rule Kerch served as a slave-market, it suffered from raids of Zaporizhian Cossacks. In response to strengthening of Russian military forces in Azov area, the Turks built a fortress, named Yenikale, near Kerch on the shore of Kerch Strait; the fortress was completed by 1706. In 1771 the Imperial Russian Army approached Yenikale; the Turks decided to abandon the fortress, though reinforcements from the Ottoman Empire had arrived a few days earlier. By the Peace Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji in 1774, Kerch and Yenikale were ceded to Russia; as a result, the Turkish heritage has been completely wiped out. In 1790 Russian naval forces under the command of admiral Fyodor Ushakov defeated the Turkish fleet at the Battle of Kerch Strait; because of its location, from 1821 Kerch developed into an important fishing port. The state museum of ancient times and a number of educational institutions were opened in the city; the ironwork factory was built in 1846 based on a huge iron ore deposit found on Kerch Peninsula.
During the Crimean War the city was devastated by British forces in 1855. In the late 19th century and cement factories were built, tinned food and tobacco factories were established. By 1900, Kerch was connected to a railroad system, the fairway of Kerch Strait was deepened and widened. At this time, the population had reached 33,000. After suffering a decline during the First World War and the Russian Civil War, the city resumed its growth in the late 1920s, with the expansion of various industries, iron ore and metallurgy in particular, by 1939 its population had reached 104,500. On the Eastern Front of World War II from 1941 to 1945, Kerch was the site of heavy fighting between Red Army and Axis forces. After fierce fighting, the city was taken by the Germans in November 1941. On 31 December 1941 the 302nd Mountain Rifle Division recaptured the city following a naval landing operation at Kamysh Burun, to the south of the city, five days earlier. In 1942 the Germans occupied the city again.
The Red Army killed or taken POW at the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula. On 31 October 1943 another Soviet naval landing operation w
Chersonesus, in medieval Greek contracted to Cherson is an ancient Greek colony founded 2,500 years ago in the southwestern part of the Crimean Peninsula. The colony was established in the 6th century BC by settlers from Heraclea Pontica; the ancient city is located on the shore of the Black Sea at the outskirts of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula, where it is referred to as Khersones. It has been nicknamed the "Ukrainian Pompeii"; the site is now part of the National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos. The name Chersonesos in Greek means "peninsula", aptly describes the site on which the colony was established, it should not be confused with the Tauric Chersonese, the name applied to the whole of the southern Crimea. During much of the classical period Chersonesus was a democracy ruled by a group of elected Archons and a council called the Demiurgoi; as time passed the government grew more oligarchic, with power concentrated in the hands of the archons. A form of oath sworn by all the citizens since the 3rd century BC has survived to the present day.
In 2013, Chersonesus was listed as a World Heritage Site. In the late 2nd century BC Chersonesus became a dependency of the Bosporan Kingdom, it was subject to Rome from the middle of the 1st century BC until the 370s AD, when it was captured by the Huns. It became a Byzantine possession during the Early Middle Ages and withstood a siege by the Göktürks in 581. Byzantine rule was slight: there was a small imperial garrison more for the town's protection than for its control, it was useful to Byzantium in two ways: as an observation point to watch the barbarian tribes, its isolation made it a popular place of exile for those who angered the Roman and Byzantine governments. Among its more famous "inmates" were Pope Clement I and Pope Martin I, the deposed Byzantine Emperor Justinian II. According to Theophanes the Confessor and others, Chersonesus was the residence of a Khazar governor in the late 7th century. Between 705 and 840, the city's affairs were managed by elected officials called babaghuq, meaning "father of the city.
In 833 Emperor Theophilus sent the nobleman Petronas Kamateros, who had overseen the construction of the Khazar fortress of Sarkel, to take direct control over the city and its environs, establishing the theme of Klimata/Cherson. It remained in Byzantine hands until the 980s, when it fell to Kiev. Vladimir the Great agreed to evacuate the fortress only if Basil II's sister Anna Porphyrogeneta would be given him in marriage; the demand caused a scandal in Constantinople. As a pre-condition for the marriage settlement, Vladimir was baptized here in 988, thus paving the way to the Baptism of Kievan Rus'. Thereafter Korsun' was evacuated. Since this campaign is not recorded in Greek sources, historians have suggested that this account refers to the events of the Rus'-Byzantine War and to a different Vladimir. In fact, most valuables looted by the Slavs in Korsun' made their way to Novgorod, where they were preserved in the Cathedral of Holy Wisdom until the 20th century. One of the most interesting items from this "Korsun Treasure" is the copper Korsun Gate captured by the Novgorodians in Korsun' and now part of the St. Sophia Cathedral.
After the Fourth Crusade, Chersonesus became dependent on the Byzantine Empire of Trebizond as the Principality of Theodoro. After the Siege of Trebizond the Principality of Theodoro became independent; the city fell under Genoese control in the early 13th century. In 1299, the town was sacked by the Mongol armies of Nogai Khan's Golden Horde. Chersonesus had been a Roman pre-Great Schism Greek/Orthodox, episcopal see for centuries, elevated early to the rank of archbishopric, since it is mentioned as such in the Notitiae Episcopatuum. In the late 19th century, the grand Russian Orthodox St Vladimir's Cathedral was built on a small hill overlooking the site. In 1333 a Latin Church diocese of Chersonesus was established, but it appears that it had only a bishop, a Dominican called Richard the Englishman. No longer a residential diocese, Chersonesus in Zechia is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular archbishopric, since the early 20th century called Cherson or Chersonesus, since 1933 Chersonesus in Zechia, avoiding confusion with other sees called Chersonesus by specifying it is Crimean.
It is vacant for decades, having had the following incumbents, all of the intermediary rank: Donald Louis Mackintosh Alexis-Armand Charost as Coadjutor Archbishop of Rennes, succeeding as Metropolitan Archbishop of Rennes, created Cardinal-Priest of S. Maria della Vittoria. A. M. (1971.03.03 – 19
Trabzon known as Trebizond, is a city on the Black Sea coast of northeastern Turkey and the capital of Trabzon Province. Trabzon, located on the historical Silk Road, became a melting pot of religions and culture for centuries and a trade gateway to Persia in the southeast and the Caucasus to the northeast; the Venetian and Genoese merchants paid visits to Trebizond during the medieval period and sold silk and woolen fabric. Trabzon formed the basis of several states in its long history and was the capital city of the Empire of Trebizond between 1204 and 1461. During the early modern period, because of the importance of its port, again became a focal point of trade to Persia and the Caucasus; the Turkish name of the city is Trabzon. It is known in English as Trebizond; the first recorded name of the city is Τραπεζοῦς, referencing the table-like central hill between the Zağnos and Kuzgun streams on which it was founded In Latin, Trabzon was called Trapezus, a latinization of its ancient Greek name.
Both in Pontic Greek and Modern Greek, it is called Τραπεζούντα. In Ottoman Turkish and Persian, it is written as طربزون. During Ottoman times, Tara Bozan was used; some western geographers used this name instead of the Latin Trebizond. In Laz it is known as ტამტრა or T'rap'uzani, in Georgian it is ტრაპიზონი and in Armenian it is Տրապիզոն Trapizon; the 19th-century Armenian travelling priest Byjiskian called the city by other, native names, including Hurşidabat and Ozinis. Other versions of the name, which have incidentally been used in English literature as well, include: Trebizonde, Trebisonda, Trapesunta,Trapisonda, Terabesoun, Trabuzan and Tarabossan. Before the city was founded as a Greek colony the area was dominated by Colchian and Chaldian tribes, it is possible. The Hayasa, in conflict with the Central-Anatolian Hittites in the 14th century BCE, are believed to have lived in the area south of Trabzon. Greek authors mentioned the Macrones and the Chalybes as native peoples. One of the dominant Caucasian groups to the east were the Laz, who were part of the monarchy of the Colchis, together with other related Georgian peoples.
According to Greek sources the city was founded in classical antiquity in 756 BCE as Τραπεζοῦς, by Milesian traders from Sinope. It was one of a number of Milesian trading colonies along the shores of the Black Sea. Others included Abydos and Cyzicus in the Dardanelles, nearby Kerasous. Like most Greek colonies, the city was a small enclave of Greek life, not an empire unto its own, in the European sense of the word; as a colony Trapezous paid tribute to Sinope, but early banking activity is suggested occurring in the city in the 4th century BCE, according to a silver drachma coin from Trapezus in the British Museum, London. Cyrus the Great added the city to the Achaemenid Empire, was the first ruler to consolidate the eastern Black Sea region into a single political entity. Trebizond's trade partners included the Mossynoeci; when Xenophon and the Ten Thousand mercenaries were fighting their way out of Persia, the first Greek city they reached was Trebizond. The city and the local Mossynoeci had become estranged from the Mossynoecian capital, to the point of civil war.
Xenophon's force resolved this in the rebels' favor, so in Trebizond's interest. Up until the conquests of Alexander the Great the city remained under the dominion of the Achaemenids. While the Pontus was not directly affected by the war, its cities gained independence as a result of it. Local ruling families continued to claim partial Persian heritage, Persian culture had some lasting influence on the city. Minthrion to the east of the old town were devoted to the Persian-Anatolian Greek god Mithra. In the 2nd century BCE the city with its natural harbours was added to the Kingdom of Pontus by Pharnaces I. Mithridates VI Eupator made it the home port of the Pontic fleet, in his quest to remove the Romans from Anatolia. After the defeat of Mithridates in 66 BCE the city was first handed to the Galatians, but it was soon returned to the grandson of Mithradates, subsequently became part of the new client Kingdom of Pontus; when the kingdom was annexed to the Roman province of Galatia two centuries the fleet passed to new commanders, becoming the Classis Pontica.
The city received the status of civitas libera, extending it judicial autonomy and the right to mint its own coin. Trabzon gained importance for its access to roads leading over the Zigana Pass to the Armenian frontier or the upper Euphrates valley. New roads were constructed from Mesopotamia under the rule of Vespasian. In the next century, the emperor Hadrian commissioned improvements to give the city a more structured harbor; the emperor visited the city in the year 129 as part of his inspection of the eastern border. A mithraeum now serves as a crypt for the church and monastery of Panagia Theoskepastos in nearby Kizlara, east of the citadel and south of the modern harbor. Trebizond was affected by two events over the following centuries: in the civil war between Septimius Severus and Pescennius Niger
Empire of Trebizond
The Empire of Trebizond or the Trapezuntine Empire was a monarchy and one of three successor rump states of the Byzantine Empire that flourished during the 13th through 15th centuries, consisting of the far northeastern corner of Anatolia and the southern Crimea. The empire was formed in 1204 after the Georgian expedition in Chaldia, commanded by Alexios Komnenos a few weeks before the sack of Constantinople. Alexios declared himself Emperor and established himself in Trebizond. Alexios and David Komnenos and last male descendants of deposed Emperor Andronikos I Komnenos, pressed their claims as "Roman Emperors" against Byzantine Emperor Alexios V Doukas; the Byzantine emperors, as well as Byzantine authors, such as George Pachymeres, Nicephorus Gregoras and to some extent Trapezuntines such as John Lazaropoulos and Basilios Bessarion, regarded the emperors of Trebizond as the “princes of the Lazes”, while the possession of these "princes" was called Lazica, in other words, their state was known as the Principality of the Lazes.
Thus from the point of view of the Byzantine writers connected with the Laskaris and with the Palaiologos dynasties, the rulers of Trebizond were not emperors. After the crusaders of the Fourth Crusade overthrew Alexios V and established the Latin Empire, the Empire of Trebizond became one of three Byzantine successor states to claim the imperial throne, alongside the Empire of Nicaea under the Laskaris family and the Despotate of Epirus under a branch of the Angelos family; the ensuing wars would see the Empire of Thessalonica, the imperial government that sprung from Epirus, collapse following conflicts with Nicaea and Bulgaria and the final recapture of Constantinople by the Empire of Nicaea in 1261. Despite the Nicaean reconquest of Constantinople, the Emperors of Trebizond would continue to style themselves as "Roman Emperors" for decades and continued to press their claim on the Imperial throne. Emperor John II of Trebizond gave up the Trapezuntine claim to the Roman imperial title and Constantinople itself 11 years after the Nicaeans recaptured the city, altering his imperial title from "Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans" to "Emperor and Autocrat of all the East and Perateia".
The Trapezuntine monarchy would survive the longest among the Byzantine successor states. The Despotate of Epirus had ceased to contest the Byzantine throne before the Nicaean reconquest and was occupied by the restored Byzantine Empire c. 1340, thereafter becoming a Serbian dependency inherited by Italians falling to the Ottoman Empire in 1479. Whilst the Empire of Nicaea had restored the Byzantine Empire through restoring control of the capital, it ended in 1453 with the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans. Trebizond would last until 1461 when the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II conquered it after a month-long siege and took its ruler and his family into captivity, marking the final end of the Roman imperial tradition initiated by Augustus 1,488 years previously; the Crimean Principality of Theodoro, an offshoot of Trebizond, lasted another 14 years, falling to the Ottomans in 1475. Trebizond had a long history of autonomous rule before it became the center of a small empire in the late middle ages.
Due to its natural harbours, defensible topography and access to silver and copper mines, Trebizond became the pre-eminent Greek colony on the eastern Black Sea shore soon after its founding. Its remoteness from Roman capitals gave local rules the opportunity to advance their own interest. In the centuries before the founding of the empire the city had been under control of the local Gabras family, which - while still remaining part of the Byzantine Empire - minted its own coin; the rulers of Trebizond called themselves Megas Komnenos and – like their counterparts in the other two Byzantine successor states, the Empire of Nicaea and the Despotate of Epirus – claimed supremacy as "Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans." However, after Michael VIII Palaiologos of Nicaea recaptured Constantinople in 1261, the Komnenian use of the style "Emperor" became a sore point. In 1282, John II Komnenos stripped off his imperial regalia before the walls of Constantinople before entering to marry Michael's daughter and accept his legal title of despot.
However, his successors used a version of his title, "Emperor and Autocrat of the entire East, of the Iberians and the Perateia" until the Empire's end in 1461. Geographically, the Empire of Trebizond consisted of the narrow strip along the southern coast of the Black Sea and the western half of the Pontic Alps, along with the Gazarian Perateia, or southern Crimea; the core of the empire was the southern Black Sea coast from the mouth of the Yeşilırmak river, a region known to the Trapezuntines as Limnia as far east as Chorokhi river, a region known as Lazia. Geography defined the southern border of this state: the Pontic Alps served as a barrier first to Seljuk Turks and to Turkoman marauders, whose predations were reduced to a volume that the emperors could cope with; this territory corresponds to an area comprising all or parts of the modern Turkish provinces of Sinop, Ordu, Trabzon, Bayburt, Gümüşhane and coastal parts of Artvin. In the 13th century, some experts believe the empire controlled the Gazarian Perateia, which included Cherson and Kerch on the Crimean peninsula.
David Komnenos, the younger brother of the first Emperor, expanded to the west, occupying firs
Ukraine, sometimes called the Ukraine, is a country in Eastern Europe. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world. Its capital and largest city is Kiev. Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic; the dominant religions in the country are Greek Catholicism. Ukraine is in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km2, making it the largest country within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world; the territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC. During the Middle Ages, the area was a key centre of East Slavic culture, with the powerful state of Kievan Rus' forming the basis of Ukrainian identity. Following its fragmentation in the 13th century, the territory was contested and divided by a variety of powers, including Lithuania, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Russia. A Cossack republic emerged and prospered during the 17th and 18th centuries, but its territory was split between Poland and the Russian Empire, merged into the Russian-dominated Soviet Union in the late 1940s as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
In 1991 Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union in the aftermath of its dissolution at the end of the Cold War. Before its independence, Ukraine was referred to in English as "The Ukraine", but most sources have since moved to drop "the" from the name of Ukraine in all uses. Following its independence, Ukraine declared itself a neutral state. In 2013, after the government of President Viktor Yanukovych had decided to suspend the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement and seek closer economic ties with Russia, a several-months-long wave of demonstrations and protests known as the Euromaidan began, which escalated into the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that led to the overthrow of Yanukovych and the establishment of a new government; these events formed the background for the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014, the War in Donbass in April 2014. On 1 January 2016, Ukraine applied the economic component of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union.
Ukraine is ranks 88th on the Human Development Index. As of 2018, Ukraine has the second lowest GDP per capita in Europe. At US$40, it has the lowest median wealth per adult in the world, it suffers from a high poverty rate and severe corruption. However, because of its extensive fertile farmlands, Ukraine is one of the world's largest grain exporters. Ukraine maintains the second-largest military in Europe after that of Russia; the country is home to a multi-ethnic population, 77.8 percent of whom are Ukrainians, followed by a large Russian minority, as well as Georgians, Belarusians, Crimean Tatars, Jews and Hungarians. Ukraine is a unitary republic under a semi-presidential system with separate powers: legislative and judicial branches; the country is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the GUAM organization, one of the founding states of the Commonwealth of Independent States. There are different hypotheses as to the etymology of the name Ukraine. According to the older widespread hypothesis, it means "borderland", while some more recent linguistic studies claim a different meaning: "homeland" or "region, country"."The Ukraine" used to be the usual form in English, but since the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine, "the Ukraine" has become less common in the English-speaking world, style-guides recommend not using the definite article.
"The Ukraine" now implies disregard for the country's sovereignty, according to U. S. ambassador William Taylor. The Ukrainian position is that the usage of "'The Ukraine' is incorrect both grammatically and politically." Neanderthal settlement in Ukraine is seen in the Molodova archaeological sites which include a mammoth bone dwelling. The territory is considered to be the location for the human domestication of the horse. Modern human settlement in Ukraine and its vicinity dates back to 32,000 BC, with evidence of the Gravettian culture in the Crimean Mountains. By 4,500 BC, the Neolithic Cucuteni–Trypillia culture flourished in wide areas of modern Ukraine including Trypillia and the entire Dnieper-Dniester region. During the Iron Age, the land was inhabited by Cimmerians and Sarmatians. Between 700 BC and 200 BC it was Scythia. Beginning in the sixth century BC, colonies of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and the Byzantine Empire, such as Tyras and Chersonesus, were founded on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea.
These colonies thrived well into the 6th century AD. The Goths stayed in the area but came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s AD. In the 7th century AD, the territory of eastern Ukraine was the centre of Old Great Bulgaria. At the end of the century, the majority of Bulgar tribes migrated in different directions, the Khazars took over much of the land. In the 5th and 6th centuries, the Antes were located in the territory of; the Antes were the ancestors of Ukrainians: White Croats, Polans, Dulebes and Tiverians. Migrations from Ukraine throughout the Balkans established many Southern Slavic nations. Northern migrations, reaching to the Ilmen l
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