The Frankokratia known as Latinokratia and, for the Venetian domains, Venetokratia or Enetokratia, was the period in Greek history after the Fourth Crusade, when a number of French and Italian Crusader states were established on the territory of the dissolved Byzantine Empire. The term derives from the name given by the Orthodox Greeks to the Western European Latin Church Catholics: "Latins". Most Latins had Norman, or Venetian origins; the span of the Frankokratia period differs by region: the political situation proved volatile, as the Frankish states fragmented and changed hands, the Greek successor states re-conquered many areas. With the exception of the Ionian Islands and some isolated forts which remained in Venetian hands until the turn of the 19th century, the final end of the Frankokratia in the Greek lands came with the Ottoman conquest, chiefly in the 14th to 16th centuries, which ushered in the period known as "Tourkokratia"; the Latin Empire, centered in Constantinople and encompassing Thrace and Bithynia, while exercising nominal suzerainty over the other Crusader states.
Its territories were reduced to little more than the capital, captured by the Empire of Nicaea in 1261. Duchy of Philippopolis, fief of the Latin Empire in northern Thrace, until its capture by the Bulgarians. Lemnos formed a fief of the Latin Empire under the Venetian Navigajoso family from 1207 until conquered by the Byzantines in 1278, its rulers bore the title of megadux of the Latin Empire. The Kingdom of Thessalonica, encompassing Thessaly; the brief existence of the Kingdom was continuously troubled by warfare with the Second Bulgarian Empire. The County of Salona, centred at Salona, like Bodonitsa, was formed as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Thessalonica, came under the influence of Achaea, it came under Catalan and Navarrese rule in the 14th century, before being sold to the Knights Hospitaller in 1403. It was conquered by the Ottomans in 1410; the Marquisate of Bodonitsa, like Salona, was created as a vassal state of the Kingdom of Thessalonica, but came under the influence of Achaea.
In 1335, the Venetian Giorgi family took control, ruled until the Ottoman conquest in 1414. The Principality of Achaea, encompassing the Peloponnese peninsula, it emerged as the strongest Crusader state, prospered after the demise of the Latin Empire. Its main rival was the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea, which succeeded in conquering the Principality, it exercised suzerainty over the Lordship of Argos and Nauplia. The Duchy of Athens, with its two capitals Thebes and Athens, encompassing Attica and parts of southern Thessaly. In 1311, the Duchy was conquered by the Catalan Company, in 1388, it passed into the hands of the Florentine Acciaiuoli family, which kept it until the Ottoman conquest in 1456; the Duchy of Naxos or of the Archipelago, founded by the Sanudo family, it encompassed most of the Cyclades. In 1383, it passed under the control of the Crispo family; the Duchy became an Ottoman vassal in 1537, was annexed to the Ottoman Empire in 1579. The Triarchy of Negroponte, encompassing the island of Negroponte a vassal of Thessalonica of Achaea.
It was fragmented into three baronies run each by two barons. This fragmentation enabled Venice to gain influence acting as mediators. By 1390 Venice had established direct control of the entire island, which remained in Venetian hands until 1470, when it was captured by the Ottomans; the County palatine of Cephalonia and Zakynthos. It encompassed the Ionian Islands of Cephalonia, Ithaca, from ca. 1300 Lefkas. Created as a vassal to the Kingdom of Sicily, it was ruled by the Orsini family from 1195 to 1335, after a short interlude of Anjou rule the county passed to the Tocco family in 1357; the county was split between Venice and the Ottomans in 1479. Rhodes became the headquarters of the military monastic order of the Knights Hospitaller of Saint John in 1310, the Knights retained control of the island until ousted by the Ottomans in 1522. Various Genoese domains in the northeastern Aegean: The fiefs of the Gattilusi family, under nominal Byzantine suzerainty, over the island of Lesbos and also the islands of Lemnos and Samothrace, as well as the Thracian town of Ainos.
The Lordship of Chios with the port of Phocaea. In 1304–1330 under the Zaccaria family, after a Byzantine interlude, from 1346 and until the Ottoman conquest in 1566 under the Maona di Chio e di Focea company; the Republic of Venice accumulated several possessions in Greece, which formed part of its Stato da Màr. Some of them survived until the end of the Republic itself in 1797: Crete known as Candia, one of the Republic's most important overseas possessions, despite frequent revolts by the Greek population, it was retained until captured by the Ottomans in the Cretan War. Corfu, was captured by Venice from its Genoese ruler shortly after the Fourth Crusade; the island was soon retaken by the Despota
Tiberius III was Byzantine emperor from 698 to 21 August 705. Although his rule was considered successful in containing the Arab threat to the east, he was overthrown by the former emperor Justinian II and subsequently executed. Tiberius was a Germanic naval officer from the region of Pamphylia and named Apsimar, who rose to the position of droungarios of the Cibyrrhaeotic Theme, he participated in the failed campaign to regain Carthage in 698. As admiral John the Patrician retreated from Carthage to Crete, the fleet rebelled and murdered their commander, chose Apsimaros as his replacement. Changing his name to Tiberius, Apsimaros sailed on Constantinople, suffering from a plague and proceeded to besiege it, his revolution attracted the support of the Green faction, as well as detachments from the field army and the imperial guard, officers loyal to him opened the gates of the city and proclaimed him emperor, after which his troops proceeded to pillage the city. When he was established on the throne, he commanded that the nose of deposed Emperor Leontius be cut off, ordered him to enter the monastery of Psamathion.
Leontios had mutilated his predecessor Justinian II in the same fashion three years earlier. As emperor, Tiberius III made the tactical decision to ignore Africa, where Carthage was now definitively lost. Instead, he appointed his brother Heraclius as monostrategos of the East, who firstly strengthened the land and sea defences of Anatolia before proceeding to attack the Umayyad Caliphate under Abd al-Malik, winning minor victories while raiding into northern Syria in 700 and 701, he proceeded to invade and for a period hold territory in Armenia, while Arab reprisals in 703 and 704 were repelled from Cilicia with heavy Arab losses. Success in the military sphere was accompanied by Tiberius's attempt to strengthen the empire militarily by reorganizing its administration. Tiberius turned his attention to the island of Cyprus, underpopulated since the reign of Justinian II, he sent a delegation to the Caliph at Damascus, asking for the return of many Cypriot prisoners, captured near the Propontis, subsequently returned them to their place of birth.
He strengthened the defence of the island at the same time by increasing the garrison numbers with troops from the Taurus Mountains. He reorganized the Cibyrrhaeotic Theme, repaired the sea walls of Constantinople. Domestically, his only known act of note was the banishment of Philippikos Bardanes, the son of a notable patrician, to the island of Cephalonia. Philippikos, a future emperor, had dreamed that his head was overshadowed by an eagle, which Tiberius took to mean that he was planning to rebel against him. Meanwhile, in 704 Justinian II escaped from exile in Cherson, seeking the aid of the Khazars and leading an army with them to Constantinople. For three days, Justinian tried to convince the citizens of Constantinople to open the gates, but to no avail. In the meantime, his troops had discovered a long abandoned water conduit beneath the city walls, through which Justinian and some of his supporters managed to enter the city, on 21 August 705. Tiberius managed to escape the capital to Sozopolis.
Their soldiers, began deserting them, Tiberius and Heraclius were captured by Justinian's troops. Heraclius and many of his senior officers were hanged from the city walls, while Tiberius and Leontius were paraded in chains through the capital before being presented before Justinian in the Hippodrome of Constantinople. There, before a jeering populace, Tiberius's nose was cut off. Justinian placed his feet on the necks of Tiberius and Leontios in a symbolic gesture of subjugation before they were brought to the Kynegion for their execution by beheading; the exact date of this is unknown: it may have occurred from August 705 to February 706, with the latter date favoured by most modern scholars. Theophanes the Confessor, Chronographia. Bellinger, Alfred Raymond. Catalogue of the Byzantine coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection. Dumbarton Oaks. OCLC 847177622. Bury, J. B.. A History of the Later Roman Empire from Arcadius to Irene, 395 A. D. to 800 A. D. II. MacMillan & Co.
OCLC 168739195. Kazhdan, Alexander, ed.. The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504652-8. Lilie, Ralph-Johannes. Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit Online. Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Nach Vorarbeiten F. Winkelmanns erstellt. Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter. Moore, R. Scott, "Tiberius III", De Imperatoribus Romanis Norwich, John Julius, Byzantium: The Early Centuries, Penguin, ISBN 0-14-011447-5 Ostrogorsky, George. History of the Byzantine State. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Treadgold, Warren T.. A History of the Byzantine State and Society. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-2630-2. Media related to Tiberius III at Wikimedia Commons
Theodosios III or Theodosius III was Byzantine Emperor from 715 to 25 March 717. Theodosius was a financial officer and tax collector in the southern portion of the theme of Opsikion. According to one theory, he was the son of the former Emperor Tiberius III. According to another theory, he was of low extraction; when the thematic troops rebelled against Emperor Anastasius II, Theodosius was chosen as emperor. He did not accept this choice and, according to the chronicler Theophanes the Confessor attempted to hide in the forests near Adramyttium, he was found and was acclaimed emperor in May 715. Theodosius and his troops laid siege to Constantinople. Six months in November, they gained entry to the city. Theodosius showed himself remarkably moderate in his treatment of his predecessor and his supporters. Through the intercession of Patriarch Germanus I of Constantinople, Anastasius II was convinced to abdicate and become a monk in Thessalonica. Little is known of Theodosius' short reign, he faced an Arab invasion deep into Anatolia and the advance of the Arab fleet.
In 716 he concluded a treaty with Tervel of Bulgaria favorable to the Bulgarians in an effort to secure support against the Arab invasion. This policy paid off in 719. In 717, the strategos of the Anatolic Theme, Leo the Isaurian, rebelled against Theodosius' rule in collusion with Artabasdos, the strategos of the Armeniac Theme. Theodosius' son was captured by Leo in Nicomedia, Theodosius chose to resign the throne on 25 March 717, he and his son subsequently entered the clergy. The resignation of Theodosius III ended a string of short-lived and ineffective rulers skipped over in history books. In his History of the Byzantine Empire, Vol. 1, A. A. Vasiliev says only "The state of anarchy which prevailed in the Byzantine Empire from 695 ended in 717 with the ascension of the famous ruler Leo III", disregarding any individual importance in the Emperors of that period. By 729 Theodosius is believed to have become bishop of Ephesus. Modern historians however suspect the bishop was his son. Either way, this bishop was last recorded alive on 24 July 754, taking part in the iconoclastic Council of Hieria.
By his unnamed wife, Theodosius III was the father of at least one son, Theodosius the bishop in question. List of Byzantine emperors Ostrogorsky, George. History of the Byzantine State. Oxford: Basil Blackwell; the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, 1991
Empire of Thessalonica
Empire of Thessalonica is a historiographic term used by some modern scholars to refer to the short-lived Byzantine Greek state centred on the city of Thessalonica between 1224 and 1246 and ruled by the Komnenodoukas dynasty of Epirus. At the time of its establishment, the Empire of Thessalonica, under the capable Theodore Komnenos Doukas, rivaled the Empire of Nicaea and the Second Bulgarian Empire as the strongest state in the region, aspired to capturing Constantinople, putting an end to the Latin Empire, restoring the Byzantine Empire, extinguished in 1204. Thessalonica's ascendancy was brief, ending with the disastrous Battle of Klokotnitsa against Bulgaria in 1230, where Theodore Komnenos Doukas was captured. Reduced to a Bulgarian vassal, Theodore's brother and successor Manuel Komnenos Doukas was unable to prevent the loss of most of his brother's conquests in Macedonia and Thrace, while the original nucleus of the state, broke free under Michael II Komnenos Doukas. Theodore recovered Thessalonica in 1237, installing his son John Komnenos Doukas, after him Demetrios Angelos Doukas, as rulers of the city, while Manuel, with Nicaean support, seized Thessaly.
The rulers of Thessalonica bore the imperial title from 1225/7 until 1242, when they were forced to renounce it and recognize the suzerainty of the rival Empire of Nicaea. The Komnenodoukai continued to rule as Despots of Thessalonica for four more years after that, but in 1246 the city was annexed by Nicaea. After the Fourth Crusade captured Constantinople in April 1204, the Byzantine Empire dissolved and was divided between the Crusader leaders and the Republic of Venice; the Latin Empire was set up in Constantinople itself, while most of northern and eastern mainland Greece went to the Kingdom of Thessalonica under Boniface of Montferrat. At the same time, two major native Byzantine Greek states emerged to challenge the Latins and claim the Byzantine inheritance, the so-called Empire of Nicaea under Theodore I Laskaris in Asia Minor, the so-called Despotate of Epirus in western Greece under Michael I Komnenos Doukas, while a third state, the so-called Empire of Trebizond, established a separate existence on the remote shores of the Pontus.
Michael I Komnenos Doukas soon extended his state into Thessaly, his successor Theodore Komnenos Doukas captured Thessalonica in 1224. The capture of Thessalonica, traditionally the second city of the Byzantine Empire after Constantinople, allowed Theodore to challenge the Nicaean claims on the Byzantine imperial title. With the support of the bishops of his domains, he was crowned emperor at Thessalonica by the Archbishop of Ohrid, Demetrios Chomatenos; the date is unknown, but has been placed either in 1225 or in 1227/8. Having declared his imperial ambitions, Theodore turned his gaze onto Constantinople. Only the Nicaean emperor John III Doukas Vatatzes, the Bulgarian emperor Ivan II Asen were strong enough to challenge him. In a bid to preempt Theodore, the Nicaeans seized Adrianople from the Latins in 1225, but Theodore marched into Thrace and forced the Nicaeans to leave their European possessions to him. Theodore was free to assault Constantinople, but for unknown reasons delayed this attack.
In the meantime, the Nicaeans and Latins had settled their differences, although formally allied with Theodore, Ivan II Asen entered talks for a dynastic alliance between the Latin Empire and Bulgaria. In 1230, Theodore marched against Constantinople, but unexpectedly turned his army north into Bulgaria instead. In the ensuing Battle of Klokotnitsa, Theodore's army was destroyed and he himself taken captive and blinded; this defeat abruptly diminished the power of Thessalonica. A state built upon rapid military expansion and relying on the ability of its ruler, its administration was unable to cope with defeat, its territories in Thrace, as well as most of Macedonia and Albania fell to the Bulgarians, who emerged as the strongest Balkan power. Theodore was succeeded by his brother Manuel Komnenos Doukas, he still controlled the environs of Thessalonica as well as the dynasty's lands in Thessaly and Epirus, but was forced to acknowledge himself Asen's vassal. In order to preserve some freedom of manoeuvre, Manuel turned to his brother's erstwhile rivals in Nicaea, offering to acknowledge the superiority of Vatatzes and the Patriarch of Constantinople, who resided in Nicaea.
Manuel was unable to prevent Michael II Komnenos Doukas, the bastard son of his older half-brother, Michael I, from returning from exile in the aftermath of Klokotnitsa and seizing control of Epirus, where he enjoyed considerable support. In the end Manuel was forced to accept the fait accompli, recognized Michael II as ruler of Epirus under his own suzerainty; as sign of this, he conferred on Michael the title of Despot. From the start, Manuel's suzerainty was rather theoretical, by 1236–37 Michael was acting as an independent ruler, seizing Corfu, issuing charters and concluding treaties in his own name. Manuel's rule lasted until 1237; the latter had been released from captivity and secretly returned to Thessalonica after John II Asen fell in love with and married his daughter Irene. Having been blinded, Theodore could not claim the throne for himself and crowned his son John Komnenos Doukas, but remained the actual power behind the throne and virtual regent. Manuel soon fled to Nicaea, where he pledged loyalty to Vatatzes.
Thus in 1239 Manuel was allowed to sail to Thessaly, where he began assembling an army to march on Thessalonica. After he captured Larissa, Theodore offered him a settlement, whereby he and his son would keep Thessalonica, Manuel would keep Thessaly, while another brother, Constant
Leo III the Isaurian
Leo III the Isaurian known as the Syrian, was Byzantine Emperor from 717 until his death in 741 who founded the Isaurian dynasty. He put an end to the Twenty Years' Anarchy, a period of great instability in the Byzantine Empire between 695 and 717, marked by the rapid succession of several emperors to the throne, he successfully defended the Empire against the invading Umayyads and forbade the veneration of icons. Leo, whose original name was Konon, was born in Germanikeia in the Syrian province of Commagene. Some, including the Byzantine chronicler Theophanes, have claimed that Konon's family had been resettled in Thrace, where he entered the service of Emperor Justinian II, when the latter was advancing on Constantinople with an army of loyalist followers, horsemen provided by Tervel of Bulgaria in 705. After the victory of Justinian II, Konon was dispatched on a diplomatic mission to Alania and Lazica to organize an alliance against the Umayyad Caliphate under Al-Walid I. Konon was appointed commander of the Anatolic theme by Emperor Anastasius II.
On his deposition, Konon joined with his colleague Artabasdus, the stratēgos of the Armeniac theme, in conspiring to overthrow the new Emperor Theodosius III. Artabasdus was betrothed to daughter of Leo as part of the agreement. Leo entered Constantinople on 25 March 717 and forced the abdication of Theodosios III, becoming emperor as Leo III; the new Emperor was forced to attend to the Second Arab siege of Constantinople, which commenced in August of the same year. The Arabs were Umayyad forces sent by Caliph Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik and serving under his brother Maslama ibn Abd al-Malik, they had taken advantage of the civil discord in the Byzantine Empire to bring a force of 80,000 to 150,000 men and a massive fleet to the Bosphorus. Careful preparations, begun three years earlier under Anastasius II, the stubborn resistance put up by Leo wore out the invaders. An important factor in the victory of the Byzantines was their use of Greek fire; the Arab forces fell victim to Bulgarian reinforcements arriving to aid the Byzantines.
Leo was allied with the Bulgarians but the chronicler Theophanes the Confessor was uncertain if they were still serving under Tervel of Bulgaria or his eventual successor Kormesiy of Bulgaria. Unable to continue the siege in the face of the Bulgarian onslaught, the impenetrability of Constantinople's walls, their own exhausted provisions, the Arabs were forced to abandon the siege in August, 718. Sulayman himself had died the previous year and his successor Umar II would not attempt another siege; the siege had lasted 12 months. Having thus preserved the Empire from extinction, Leo proceeded to consolidate its administration, which in the previous years of anarchy had become disorganized. In 718 he suppressed a rebellion in Sicily and in 719 did the same on behalf of the deposed Emperor Anastasios II. Leo secured the Empire's frontiers by inviting Slavic settlers into the depopulated districts and by restoring the army to efficiency, his military efforts were supplemented by his alliances with the Khazars and the Georgians.
Leo undertook a set of civil reforms including the abolition of the system of prepaying taxes which had weighed upon the wealthier proprietors, the elevation of the serfs into a class of free tenants and the remodelling of family, maritime law and criminal law, notably substituting mutilation for the death penalty in many cases. The new measures, which were embodied in a new code called the Ecloga, published in 726, met with some opposition on the part of the nobles and higher clergy; the Emperor undertook some reorganization of the theme structure by creating new themata in the Aegean region. Leo's most striking legislative reforms dealt with religious matters iconoclasm. After an successful attempt to enforce the baptism of all Jews and Montanists in the empire, he issued a series of edicts against the veneration of images; this prohibition of a custom, in use for centuries seems to have been inspired by a genuine desire to improve public morality, received the support of the official aristocracy and a section of the clergy.
A majority of the theologians and all the monks opposed these measures with uncompromising hostility, in the western parts of the Empire the people refused to obey the edict. A revolt which broke out in Greece on religious grounds, was crushed by the imperial fleet in 727. In 730, Patriarch Germanos I of Constantinople resigned rather than subscribe to an iconoclastic decree. Leo had him replaced by Anastasios, thus Leo suppressed the overt opposition of the capital. In the Italian Peninsula, the defiant attitude of Popes Gregory II and Gregory III on behalf of image-veneration led to a fierce quarrel with the Emperor; the former summoned councils in Rome to excommunicate the iconoclasts. The struggle was accompanied by an armed outbreak in the exarchate of Ravenna in 727, which Leo endeavoured to subdue by means of a large fleet, but the destruction of the armament by a storm decided the issue against him.
Medieval Greek known as Byzantine Greek, is the stage of the Greek language between the end of Classical antiquity in the 5th–6th centuries and the end of the Middle Ages, conventionally dated to the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. From the 7th century onwards, Greek was the only language of administration and government in the Byzantine Empire; this stage of language is thus described as Byzantine Greek. The study of the Medieval Greek language and literature is a branch of Byzantine studies, the study of the history and culture of the Byzantine Empire; the beginning of Medieval Greek is dated back to as early as the 4th century, either to 330 AD, when the political centre of the Roman Empire was moved to Constantinople, or to 395 AD, the division of the Empire. However, this approach is rather arbitrary as it is more an assumption of political, as opposed to cultural and linguistic, developments. Indeed, by this time the spoken language pronunciation, had shifted towards modern forms.
The conquests of Alexander the Great, the ensuing Hellenistic period, had caused Greek to spread to peoples throughout Anatolia and the Eastern Mediterranean, altering the spoken language's pronunciation and structure. Medieval Greek is the link between this vernacular, known as Koine Greek, Modern Greek. Though Byzantine Greek literature was still influenced by Attic Greek, it was influenced by vernacular Koine Greek, the language of the New Testament and the liturgical language of the Greek Orthodox Church. Constantine moved to Byzantium in 330; the city, though a major imperial residence like other cities such as Trier and Sirmium, was not a capital until 359. Nonetheless the imperial court resided there and the city was the political centre of the eastern parts of the Roman Empire where Greek was the dominant language. At first, Latin remained the language of the army, it was used for official documents. From the beginning of the 6th century, amendments to the law were written in Greek. Furthermore, parts of the Roman Corpus Iuris Civilis were translated into Greek.
Under the rule of Emperor Heraclius, who assumed the Greek title Basileus in 629, Greek became the official language of the Eastern Roman Empire. This was in spite of the fact that the inhabitants of the empire still considered themselves Rhomaioi until its end in 1453, as they saw their State as the perpetuation of Roman rule. Despite the absence of reliable demographic figures, it has been estimated that less than one third of the inhabitants of the Eastern Roman Empire, around eight million people, were native speakers of Greek; the number of those who were able to communicate in Greek may have been far higher. The native Greek speakers consisted of many of the inhabitants of the southern Balkan Peninsula, south of the Jireček Line, all of the inhabitants of Asia Minor, where the native tongues, except Armenian in the east, had become extinct, replaced by Greek, by the 5th century. In any case, all cities of the Eastern Roman Empire were influenced by the Greek language. In the period between 603 and 619, the southern and eastern parts of the empire were occupied by Persian Sassanids and, after being recaptured by Heraclius in the years 622 to 628, they were conquered by the Arabs in the course of the Muslim conquests a few years later.
Alexandria, a center of Greek culture and language, fell to the Arabs in 642. During the seventh and eighth centuries, Greek was replaced by Arabic as an official language in conquered territories such as Egypt; as more people gained a knowledge of Arabic. Thus, the use of Greek declined early on in Egypt; the invasion of the Slavs into the Balkan peninsula reduced the area where Greek was spoken and Latin. Sicily and parts of Magna Graecia, Asia Minor and more Anatolia, parts of the Crimean Peninsula remained Greek-speaking; the southern Balkans which would henceforth be contested between Byzantium and various Slavic kingdoms or empires. The Greek language spoken by one-third of the population of Sicily at the time of the Norman conquest 1060-90 remained vibrant for more than a century, but died out to a deliberate policy of Latinization in language and religion from the mid-1160s. From the late 11th century onwards, the interior of Anatolia was invaded by Seljuq Turks, who advanced westwards.
With the Ottoman conquests of Constantinople in 1453, the Peloponnese in 1459/1460, the Empire of Trebizond in 1461, Athens in 1465, two centuries the Duchy of Candia in 1669, the Greek language lost its status as a national language until the emergence of modern Greece in the year 1821. Language varieties after 1453 are referred to as Modern Greek; as early as in the Hellenistic period, there was a tendency towards a state of diglossia between the Attic literary language and the developing vernacular Koiné. By late antiquity, the gap had become impossible to ignore. In the Byzantine era, written Greek manifested itself in a whole spectrum of divergent registers, all of which were consciously archaic in comparison with the contemporary spoken vernacular, but in different degrees, they ranged from a moderately archaic style employed for most every-day writing and based on the written Koiné of the Bible and early Christian literature, to a artificial learned style, employed by authors with higher literary ambitions and imitating the model of classical Attic, in continuation of the movement of Atticism
The Byzantine navy was the naval force of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire. Like the empire it served, it was a direct continuation from its Imperial Roman predecessor, but played a far greater role in the defence and survival of the state than its earlier iteration. While the fleets of the unified Roman Empire faced few great naval threats, operating as a policing force vastly inferior in power and prestige to the legions, the sea became vital to the existence of the Byzantine state, which several historians have called a "maritime empire"; the first threat to Roman hegemony in the Mediterranean was posed by the Vandals in the 5th century, but their threat was ended by the wars of Justinian I in the 6th century. The re-establishment of a permanently maintained fleet and the introduction of the dromon galley in the same period marks the point when the Byzantine navy began departing from its late Roman roots and developing its own characteristic identity; this process would be furthered with the onset of the Muslim conquests in the 7th century.
Following the loss of the Levant and Africa, the Mediterranean Sea was transformed from a "Roman lake" into a battleground between Byzantines and Arabs. In this struggle, the Byzantine fleets were critical, not only for the defence of the Empire's far-flung possessions around the Mediterranean basin, but for repelling seaborne attacks against the imperial capital of Constantinople itself. Through the use of the newly invented "Greek fire", the Byzantine navy's best-known and feared secret weapon, Constantinople was saved from several sieges and numerous naval engagements were won for the Byzantines; the defence of the Byzantine coasts and the approaches to Constantinople was borne by the great fleet of the Karabisianoi. Progressively however it was split up into several regional fleets, while a central Imperial Fleet was maintained at Constantinople, guarding the city and forming the core of naval expeditions. By the late 8th century, the Byzantine navy, a well-organized and maintained force, was again the dominant maritime power in the Mediterranean.
The antagonism with the Muslim navies continued with alternating success, but in the 10th century, the Byzantines were able to recover a position of supremacy in the Eastern Mediterranean. During the 11th century, the navy, like the Empire itself, began to decline. Faced with new naval challenges from the West, the Byzantines were forced to rely on the navies of Italian city-states like Venice and Genoa, with disastrous effects on Byzantium's economy and sovereignty. A period of recovery under the Komnenians was followed by another period of decline, which culminated in the disastrous dissolution of the Empire by the Fourth Crusade in 1204. After the Empire was restored in 1261, several emperors of the Palaiologan dynasty tried to revive the navy, but their efforts had only a temporary effect. By the mid-14th century, the Byzantine fleet, which once could put hundreds of warships to sea, was limited to a few dozen at best, control of the Aegean passed definitively to the Italian and Ottoman navies.
The diminished navy, continued to be active until the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottomans in 1453. The Byzantine navy, like the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire itself, was a continuation of the Roman Empire and its institutions. After the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, in the absence of any external threat in the Mediterranean, the Roman navy performed policing and escort duties. Massive sea battles, like those fought in the Punic Wars, no longer occurred, the Roman fleets were composed of small vessels, best suited to their new tasks. By the early 4th century, the permanent Roman fleets had dwindled, so that when the fleets of the rival emperors Constantine the Great and Licinius clashed in 324 AD, they were composed to a great extent of newly built or commandeered ships from the port cities of the Eastern Mediterranean; the civil wars of the 4th and early 5th centuries, did spur a revival of naval activity, with fleets employed to transport armies. Considerable naval forces continued to be employed in the Western Mediterranean throughout the first quarter of the fifth century from North Africa, but Rome's mastery of the Mediterranean was challenged when Africa was overrun by the Vandals over a period of fifteen years.
The new Vandalic Kingdom of Carthage, under the capable king Geiseric launched raids against the coasts of Italy and Greece sacking and plundering Rome in 455. The Vandal raids continued unabated over the next two decades, despite repeated Roman attempts to defeat them; the Western Empire was impotent, its navy having dwindled to nothing, but the eastern emperors could still call upon the resources and naval expertise of the eastern Mediterranean. A first Eastern expedition in 448, went no further than Sicily, in 460, the Vandals attacked and destroyed a Western Roman invasion fleet at Cartagena in Spain. In 468, a huge Eastern expedition was assembled under Basiliscus, reputedly numbering 1,113 ships and 100,000 men, but it failed disastrously. About 600 ships were lost to fire ships, the financial cost of 130,000 pounds of gold and 700 000 pounds of silver nearly bankrupted the Empire; this forced the Romans to sign a peace treaty. After Geiseric's death in 477, the Vandal threat receded; the 6th century marked the rebirth of Roman naval power.
In 508, as antagonism with the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Theodoric flared up, the Emperor Anastasius I is reported to have sent a fleet of 100 warships to raid the coasts of Italy. In 513, the general Vitalian revolted against Anastasius; the rebels assembled a fleet of 200 ships which, despite some initial successes, were dest