Serbia in the Middle Ages
Тhe medieval history of Serbia begins in the 6th century with the Slavic invasion of the Balkans, and lasts until the Ottoman occupation of 1540. Sclaveni raided and settled the western Balkans in the 6th and 7th century, through linguistical studies, it is concluded that the Early South Slavs were made up of a western and eastern branch, of parallel streams, roughly divided in the Timok–Osogovo–Šar line. The DAI drew information on the Serbs from, among others, the first capital was Ras, in Raška. The other Serb-inhabited lands that were mentioned included the countries of Paganija and Travunija and these polities bordered Serbia to the north. The exact borders of the early Serbian state are unclear, the Serbian ruler was titled Prince of the Serbs. The DAI mentions that the Serbian throne is inherited by the son, i. e. the first-born, his descendants succeeded him, between 1043 and 1080, under Mihailo Vojislavljević, and his son, Constantine Bodin, Duklja saw its apogee. Mihailo was given the nominal title King of Slavs by the Pope after having left the Byzantine camp and supported a Slavic uprising in the Balkans, in which his son Bodin played a central part.
Having incorporated the Serbian hinterland and installed vassal rulers there, this maritime principality emerged as the most powerful Serb polity, between 1113 and 1149 Duklja was the centre of Serbian–Byzantine conflict, with members of the Vojislavljević as protégés of either fighting each other for power. The Serbian Grand Principality, known as Rascia, was founded in 1090, when Bodin had died, Rascia became the strongest entity, in which the Serbian realm would be seated, in hands of the Vukanović dynasty. Uroš I, the son of Vukan, ruled Serbia when the Byzantines invaded Duklja, and Rascia would be next in line, Uroš II initially fought the Byzantines, but after a defeat soon gives oaths of servitude to the Emperor. Desa, the brother of Uroš II and an initial Byzantine ally, turned to Hungarian support, but was deposed in 1163, Stefan Nemanja was succeeded by his middle son Stefan, while his first-born son Vukan was given the rule of the Zeta region. Stefan Nemanjas youngest son Rastko became a monk, turning all his efforts to spread religion among his people, since the Catholic Church already had ambitions to spread its influence to the Balkans as well, Stefan took advantage and obtained the royal crown from the Pope in 1217.
In Byzantium, Sava managed to secure autocephaly for the Serbian Church, in the same year Sava issued the first constitution in Serbia, the Zakonopravilo. Thus the medieval Serbian state acquired both forms of independence and religious, the next generation of Serbian rulers, the sons of King Stefan, Stefan Radoslav, Stefan Vladislav and Stefan Uroš I, marked a period of stagnation of the state structure. All three kings were more or less dependent on some of the neighbouring states—Byzantium, Bulgaria or Hungary, the ties with the Hungarians played a decisive role in the fact that Uroš I was succeeded by his son Stefan Dragutin, whose wife was a Hungarian princess. Thus, some of these became part of the Serbian state for the first time. His new state was named Kingdom of Srem, in that time the name Srem was a designation for two territories, Upper Srem and Lower Srem. Kingdom of Srem under the rule of Stefan Dragutin was actually Lower Srem, after Dragutin died, the new ruler of the Kingdom of Srem became his son, king Vladislav II, who ruled this state until 1325
The Pechenegs or Patzinaks were a semi-nomadic Turkic people of the Central Asian steppes speaking the Pecheneg language which belonged to the Oghuz branch of Turkic language family. Three of the clans of the Pechenegs were the Kankalis/Kangli. The Pechenegs ethnonym derived from the Old Turkic word for brother-in-law”, sources written in different languages used similar denominations when referring to the confederation of the Pecheneg tribes. The modern Tatar name for them is Böcänäklär, Anna Komnene and other Byzantine authors referred to the Pechenegs as Patzinakoi or Patzinakitai. In medieval Latin texts, the Pechenegs were referred to as Pizenaci, East Slavic peoples use the terms Pečenegi or Pečenezi, while the Poles mentions them as Pieczyngowie or Piecinigi. The Hungarian word for Pecheneg is besenyő, the Romanian word for Pechenegs is Pecenegi According to Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, three of the eight Pechenegs provinces or clans were known under the name Kangar. He added that they received this denomination because they are more valiant and noble than the rest of the people, however, no Turkic word with the meaning suggested by the emperor has been demonstrated.
Ármin Vámbéry connected the Kangar denomination to the Kirghiz words kangir and kani-kara, Omeljan Pritsak proposed that the name had initially been a composite term deriving from the Tocharian word for stone and the Iranian ethnonym As. If the latter assumption is valid, the ethnonym of the three Kangar tribes suggest that Iranian elements contributed to the formation of the Pecheneg people. Mahmud al-Kashgari, an 11th-century man of letters specialized in Turkic dialects argued that the language spoken by the Pechenegs was a variant of the Cuman and he suggested that foreign influences on the Pechenegs gave rise to phonetical differences between their tongue and the idiom spoken by other Turkic peoples. Anna Komnene likewise stated that the Pechenegs and the Cumans shared a common language, although the Pecheneg language itself died out centuries ago, the names of the Pecheneg provinces recorded by Constantine Porphyrogenitus prove that the Pechenegs spoke a Turkic language. The Huns and Pechenegs are thought to have belonged to the same group of languages as the modern Chuvash language.
Ibn Khordadbeh, Mahmud al-Kashgari, Muhammad al-Idrisi and many other Muslim scholars agreed that the Pechenegs belonged to the Turkic peoples. The Russian Primary Chronicle stated that the Torkmens, Pechenegs and Polovcians descended from the sons of Ishmael. Paul Pelliot was the first to propose that a 7th-century Chinese work and it writes of the Pei-ju, a people settled along the En-chu and A-lan peoples east of Fu-lin. In contrast with this view, Victor Spinei argues that the first certain reference to the Pechenegs can be read in a Tibetan translation of an 8th-century Uyghur text and it narrates a war between two peoples, the Be-ča-nag and the Hor. The Pechenegs inhabited the region along the river Syr Darya at the time when the first records were made of them, the Pechenegs were forced to leave their Central Asian homeland by a coalition of the Oghuz Turks and Kimaks. The Pechenegs westward migration started between the 790s and 850s, but its exact date cannot be determined, the Pechenegs settled in the steppe corridor between the rivers Ural and Volga
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has had a prominent part in world history. The ecumenical patriarchs in ancient times helped in the spread of Christianity, in the Middle Ages they played a major role in the affairs of the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as in the politics of the Orthodox world, and in spreading Christianity among the Slavs. Within the five sees of the Pentarchy, the Ecumenical Patriarch is regarded as the successor of Andrew the Apostle. The current holder of the office is Bartholomew I, the 270th holder of the title, in his role as head of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, he holds the title Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome. The see of Byzantium, whose foundation was ascribed to Andrew the Apostle, was originally a common bishopric. It gained importance when Emperor Constantine elevated Byzantium to a second capital alongside Rome, the sees ecclesiastical status as the second of five Patriarchates were developed by the Ecumenical Councils of Constantinople in 381 and Chalcedon in 451.
The Turkish government recognizes him as the leader of the Greek minority in Turkey. The Patriarch was subject to the authority of the Ottoman Empire after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, according to Turkish law, he is subject to the authority of the state of Turkey and is required to be a citizen of Turkey to be Patriarch. The Patriarch of Constantinople has been dubbed the Ecumenical Patriarch since the 6th century, the monastic communities of Mount Athos are stauropegic and are directly under the jurisdiction of Ecumenical Patriarch, who is the only bishop with jurisdiction thereover. The Ecumenical Patriarch has a role among Orthodox bishops, though it is not without its controversy. He is primus inter pares, as he is senior among all Orthodox bishops and this primacy, expressed in canonical literature as presbeia, grants to the Ecumenical Patriarch the right to preside at pan-Orthodox synods. Additionally, the literature of the Orthodox Church grants to the Ecumenical Patriarch the right to hear appeals in cases of dispute between bishops.
Historically, the Ecumenical Patriarch has heard such appeals and sometimes was invited to intervene in other disputes and difficulties. Even as early as the 4th century, Constantinople was instrumental in the deposition of multiple bishops outside its traditional jurisdiction. This still occurs today, as when in 2006 the patriarchate was invited to assist in declaring the archbishop of the Church of Cyprus incompetent due to his having Alzheimers disease. Additionally, in 2005, the Ecumenical Patriarchate convoked a synod to express the Orthodox worlds confirmation of the deposition of Patriarch Irenaios of Jerusalem. That is, his role is one of promoting and sustaining Church unity. Such a title is acceptable if it refers to this unique role, the five patriarchs of the ancient Pentarchy are to be given seniority of honour, but have no actual power over other bishops other than the power of the synod they are chairing
Hungarians, known as Magyars, are a nation and ethnic group who speak Hungarian and are primarily associated with Hungary. There are around 13. 1–14.7 million Hungarians, of whom 8. 5–9.8 million live in todays Hungary, the Hungarians own ethnonym to denote themselves in the Early Middle Ages is uncertain. The Magyars/Hungarians probably belonged to the Onogur tribal alliance, and it is possible that they became its ethnic majority, in the Early Middle Ages the Hungarians had many names, including Ungherese and Hungarus. The H- prefix is an addition of Medieval Latin, another possible explanation comes from the Old Russian Yugra. It may refer to the Hungarians during a time when they dwelt east of the Ural Mountains along the borders of Europe. The Hungarian people refer to themselves by the demonym Magyar rather than Hungarian, Magyar is Finno-Ugric from the Old Hungarian mogyër. Magyar possibly derived from the name of the most prominent Hungarian tribe, the tribal name Megyer became Magyar in reference to the Hungarian people as a whole.
Magyar may derive from the Hunnic Muageris or Mugel, the Greek cognate of Tourkia was used by the scholar and Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus in his De Administrando Imperio of c. AD950, though in his use, Turks always referred to Magyars, the historical Latin phrase Natio Hungarica had a wider meaning because it once referred to all nobles of the Kingdom of Hungary, regardless of their ethnicity. During the 4th millennium BC, the Uralic-speaking peoples who were living in the central, some dispersed towards the west and northwest and came into contact with Iranian speakers who were spreading northwards. From at least 2000 BC onwards, the Ugrian speakers became distinguished from the rest of the Uralic community, judging by evidence from burial mounds and settlement sites, they interacted with the Indo-Iranian Andronovo culture. In the 4th and 5th centuries AD, the Hungarians moved from the west of the Ural Mountains to the area between the southern Ural Mountains and the Volga River known as Bashkiria and Perm Krai.
In the early 8th century, some of the Hungarians moved to the Don River to an area between the Volga and the Seversky Donets rivers, the descendants of those Hungarians who stayed in Bashkiria remained there as late as 1241. The Hungarians around the Don River were subordinates of the Khazar khaganate and their neighbours were the archaeological Saltov Culture, i. e. Bulgars and the Alans, from whom they learned gardening, elements of cattle breeding and of agriculture. Tradition holds that the Hungarians were organized in a confederacy of seven tribes, the names of the seven tribes were, Jenő, Kér, Keszi, Kürt-Gyarmat, Megyer, Nyék, and Tarján. Around 830, a rebellion broke out in the Khazar khaganate, as a result, three Kabar tribes of the Khazars joined the Hungarians and moved to what the Hungarians call the Etelköz, the territory between the Carpathians and the Dnieper River. The Hungarians faced their first attack by the Pechenegs around 854, the new neighbours of the Hungarians were the Varangians and the eastern Slavs.
In 895/896, under the leadership of Árpád, some Hungarians crossed the Carpathians, the tribe called Magyar was the leading tribe of the Hungarian alliance that conquered the centre of the basin
Nicholas I Mystikos or Nicholas I Mysticus was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from March 901 to February 907 and from May 912 to his death in 925. His feast day in the Orthodox Church is May 16, Nicholas was born in the Italian Peninsula and had become a friend of the Patriarch Photios. He fell into disfavor after Photios dismissal in 886 and retired to a monastery, Emperor Leo VI the Wise retrieved him from the monastery and made him mystikos, a dignity designating either the imperial secretary or a judicial official. On March 1,901, Nicholas was appointed patriarch, however, he fell out with Leo VI over the latters fourth marriage to his mistress Zoe Karbonopsina. He was deposed as patriarch on February 1,907 and replaced by Euthymios, exiled to his own monastery, Nicholas regarded his deposition as unjustified and involved Pope Sergius III in the dispute. About the time of the accession of Leo VIs brother Alexander to the throne in May 912, a protracted struggle with the supporters of Euthymios followed, which did not end until the new Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos promulgated the Tomos of Union in 920.
In the meantime Alexander had died in 913 after provoking a war with Bulgaria, Nicholas Mystikos became the leading member of the seven-man regency for the young emperor, and as such had to face the advance of Simeon I of Bulgaria on Constantinople. This unpopular concession undermined his position, and by March 914, with the support of the magistros John Eladas, Zoe Karbonopsina overthrew Nicholas and she revoked the agreement with Simeon, prompting the renewal of hostilities with Bulgaria. With her main supporter Leo Phokas crushingly defeated by the Bulgarians at the Battle of Acheloos in 917, the Patriarch Nicholas came to be one of the strongest supporters of the new emperor, and took the brunt of renewed negotiations with the Bulgarians until his death in 925. In addition to his numerous letters to various notables and foreign rulers and he was a critical thinker who went as far as to question the authority of Old Testament quotations and the notion that the emperors command was unwritten law.
Nicholas I, Patriarch of Constantinople, greek Text and English Tr. by R. J. H. Jenkins and L. G. Westerink
Edirne served as the third capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1363 to 1453, before Constantinople became the empires fourth and final capital. At present, Edirne is the capital of Edirne Province in Turkish Thrace, the citys estimated population in 2014 was 165,979. The city was founded as Hadrianopolis, named for the Roman Emperor Hadrian and this name is still used in the Modern Greek. The name Adrianople was used in English, until the Turkish adoption of Latin alphabet in 1928 made Edirne the internationally recognized name. The Turkish, Bulgarian, Одрин, Edrêne, Slovene, Одрин and Serbian, Једрене / Jedrene are adapted forms of the name Hadrianopolis or of its Turkish version, see its other names. The area around Edirne has been the site of no fewer than 16 major battles or sieges, military historian John Keegan identifies it as the most contested spot on the globe and attributes this to its geographical location. According to Greek mythology, son of king Agamemnon, built this city as Orestias, at the confluence of the Tonsus and the Ardiscus with the Hebrus.
The city was founded eponymously by the Roman Emperor Hadrian on the site of a previous Thracian settlement known as Uskadama, Uskodama or Uscudama and it was the capital of the Bessi, or of the Odrysians. Hadrian developed it, adorned it with monuments, changed its name to Hadrianopolis after himself, licinius was defeated there by Constantine I in 323, and Emperor Valens was killed by the Goths in 378 during the Battle of Adrianople. In 813, the city was seized by Khan Krum of Bulgaria who moved its inhabitants to the Bulgarian lands towards the north of the Danube. During the existence of the Latin Empire of Constantinople, the Crusaders were decisively defeated by the Bulgarian Emperor Kaloyan in the Battle of Adrianople. Later Theodore Komnenos, Despot of Epirus, took possession of it in 1227, in 1369, the city was conquered by the Ottoman sultan Murad I. The city remained the Ottoman capital for 90 years until 1453, Edirne is famed for its many mosques, domes and palaces from the Ottoman period.
Under Ottoman rule, Edirne was the city of the administrative unit, the eponymous Eyalet of Edirne, and after land reforms in 1867. Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, was born in Edirne, Sultan Mehmed IV left the palace in Constantinople and died in Edirne in 1693. During his exile in the Ottoman Empire, the Swedish king Charles XII stayed in the city during most of 1713, baháulláh, the founder of the Baháí Faith, lived in Edirne from 1863 to 1868. He was exiled there by the Ottoman Empire before being banished further to the Ottoman penal colony in Akka and he referred to Edirne in his writings as the Land of Mystery. Edirne was briefly occupied by imperial Russian troops in 1829 during the Greek War of Independence, the city suffered a fire in 1905
Saint Euphemia, well-spoken, known as the All-praised in the Orthodox Church, is a Christian saint, who was martyred for her faith in 303 AD. According to Christian tradition, this occurred at Chalcedon, according to tradition, Euphemia was arrested for refusing to offer sacrifices to Ares. After suffering various tortures, she died in the arena at Chalcedon from wounds sustained from a bear and her tomb became a site of pilgrimages. She is commemorated on September 16, Euphemias name and year of death are recorded in the 5th century Martyrologium Hieronymianum, the earliest extant list of Christian martyrs. The year,303, was the first year of the Great Persecution under Roman emperor Diocletian, the Fasti vindobonenses, a collection of liturgical documents from the 4th to 6th centuries, says she died on the 16th of October. Other than this, there is no historical information about Euphemia. Egeria, who made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land about 381-384 and wrote an account of her travels, Euphemia became a famous saint and stories about her accumulated, the Golden Legend, a collection of hagiographies from about 1260, includes an account of her martyrdom.
St. Euphemia lived on the cusp of the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, according to tradition, she was the daughter of a senator named Philophronos and his wife Theodosia in Chalcedon, located across the Bosporus from the city of Byzantium. From her youth she was consecrated to virginity, according to Christian legend, the governor of Chalcedon, had made a decree that all of the inhabitants of the city take part in sacrifices to the deity Ares. Euphemia was discovered with forty-nine other Christians hiding in a house and worshipping their God, because of their refusal to sacrifice, they were tortured for a number of days, and handed over to the Emperor for further torture. Euphemia, the youngest among them, was separated from her companions and subjected to particularly harsh torments, including the wheel and she was placed in the arena where lions were sent out to kill her but they refused, instead just licked her wounds. It is believed that she died of wounds from a bear in the arena. Eventually, a cathedral was built in Chalcedon over her reputed grave, the Council of Chalcedon, the Fourth Ecumenical Council of the Christian Church, took place in the city of Chalcedon in the year 451.
Present at the council were 630 representatives from all the local Christian Churches, the meetings were quite contentious, and no decisive consensus could be reached. According to the Synaxarion of Constantinople, a collection of hagiographies, after three days the tomb was opened and the scroll with the Orthodox confession was seen in the right hand of St Euphemia while the scroll of the Monophysites lay at her feet. When the persecution of Diocletian ended, the Christians laid Saint Euphemia’s reputed relics in a golden sarcophagus and her relics attracted crowds of pilgrims for centuries. Around the year 620, in the wake of the conquest of Chalcedon by the Persians under Khosrau I in the year 617, the relics were afterwards taken to the Island of Lemnos, and in 796 they were returned to Constantinople. The majority of her relics are still in the Patriarchal Church of St. George, the primary feast day of Saint Euphemia, celebrated by both Eastern and Western Christians is September 16 in commemoration of her martyrdom
Leo Phokas the Elder
Leo Phokas was an early 10th-century Byzantine general of the noble Phokas clan. As Domestic of the Schools, the Byzantine armys commander-in-chief, he led a campaign against the Bulgarians in 917. After Lekapenos seized control of the Byzantine Empire, Leo led an unsuccessful revolt, Leo was the son of Nikephoros Phokas the Elder, an eminent Byzantine general who had distinguished himself in southern Italy. His brother, was a general, as were Bardass sons Nikephoros. Nikephoros eventually became Emperor in 963–969, little is known about Leos early life. During the late reign of Emperor Leo VI the Wise, he married the sister of Constantine Barbaros, the Emperors powerful parakoimomenos, although personally brave and not without some measure of success against the Arabs in the East, his ability as a general was rather limited. Steven Runciman attributed his rise more to his origin and his familial connection with the parakoimomenos Constantine. During the regency of Empress Zoe in 913–919, Leo is recorded as being again Domestic of the Schools, in 917, he was placed in charge of a large-scale expedition against the Bulgarians.
Left unsupported by both the Pechenegs and the fleet, Phokas suffered a defeat at the hands of Tsar Symeon at the Battle of Acheloos. The imperial army was almost annihilated, and Phokas himself barely escaped, according to Runciman, Zoe herself may have planned to marry the general and solidify her own position. The parakoimomenos Constantine tried to neutralize this threat by disbanding the fleet, with this stroke, Zoe lost all control of the situation, and at Theodores urging, the young Emperor appointed the Patriarch Nicholas Mystikos as regent. The Patriarchs first act was to dismiss Leo Phokas from his post as Domestic, Leo apparently believed that Lekapenos, in view of his lowly origins, could never possibly put forward a credible claim for the imperial throne. A few weeks later, he married his daughter Helena to the young Emperor and assumed the title of basileopator, Leo Phokas was sent a letter, in the Emperors name, in which he was bidden not to react to these events. Eventually, Leo was forced to flee, but was captured and blinded by the Emperors agents in Bithynia.
Following the discovery of a plot by some of his friends a few later, Phokas suffered a final humiliation. Recherches sur les Institutions Byzantines, Tomes I & II, new York and Oxford, Oxford University Press. The Emperor Romanus Lecapenus and His Reign, A Study of Tenth-Century Byzantium, a History of the Byzantine State and Society. Symeon of Bulgaria wins the Battle of Acheloos,917
Helena Lekapene was the Empress consort of Constantine VII. She was a daughter of Romanos I and his wife Theodora, the deaths of Emperor Leo VI the Wise in 912 and his brother and successor Alexander in 913, left the throne of the Byzantine Empire to Constantine VII. Constantine was only seven years old when he assumed the throne, the Empire was placed in the care of regents. Nicholas Mystikos, Patriarch of Constantinople was the regent until March 914. He was displaced by Zoe Karbonopsina, mother of the young emperor, Zoe reigned with the support of influential general Leo Phocas until 919. However, Leo led the Byzantine army into a series of lost battles against Simeon I of Bulgaria in one campaign of the Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars and this strengthened the opposition to the Regent and her favorite general. In 919, a coup détat involving various factions managed to remove Zoe from power, the new effective regent was Romanos Lekapenos, Drungarios of the Byzantine navy. Romanos orchestrated the marriage of Helena to Constantine VII as a way to secure a connection to the legitimate Macedonian dynasty, the work Theophanes Continuatus was a continuation of the chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor by other writers, active during the reign of her husband.
The description of her marriage at the places the event in April or May 919. The groom was still four or five short of his fourteenth birthday. The age of Helena is not recorded but she was of minor age. They would not have children until the 930s, Romanos was proclaimed basileopatōr on the occasion of the marriage. In September,920, Romanos was invested as kaisar, on 17 December 920, Romanos was crowned co-emperor and in effect became the senior of the two associate emperors. Helena was now married to the junior co-ruler and her mother Theodora was crowned Augusta in January 921 and was her senior in palace hierarchy until her death on 20 February 922. Helena became in effect the senior co-empress of the following the death of her mother. Her brother Christopher Lekapenos became co-emperor in 921, prior to his elevation to the throne, Christopher was married to Sophia, daughter of magistros Niketas. Sophia was crowned empress in February 922, in 924, there was a senior Emperor, two junior emperors and two Empresses.
However Romanos crowned two more of his sons as co-emperors, Stephen Lekapenos and Constantine Lekapenos, by 933, Stephen was married to Anna, daughter of Gabalos
Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman/Byzantine Empire, and of the brief Latin, and the Ottoman empires. It was reinaugurated in 324 AD from ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, after whom it was named, Constantinople was famed for its massive and complex defences. The first wall of the city was erected by Constantine I, Constantinople never truly recovered from the devastation of the Fourth Crusade and the decades of misrule by the Latins. The origins of the name of Byzantion, more known by the Latin Byzantium, are not entirely clear. 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 likely just a play on the word Byzantion. During this time, the city was called Second Rome, Eastern Rome, and Roma Constantinopolitana. As the city became the remaining capital of the Roman Empire after the fall of the West, and its wealth and influence grew.
In the language of other peoples, Constantinople was referred to just as reverently, the medieval Vikings, who had contacts with the empire through their expansion in eastern Europe used the Old Norse name Miklagarðr, and Miklagard and Miklagarth. In Arabic, the city was sometimes called Rūmiyyat al-kubra and in Persian as Takht-e Rum, in East and South Slavic languages, including in medieval Russia, Constantinople was referred to as Tsargrad or Carigrad, City of the Caesar, from the Slavonic words tsar and grad. This was presumably a calque on a Greek phrase such as Βασιλέως Πόλις, the modern Turkish name for the city, İstanbul, derives from the Greek phrase eis tin polin, meaning into the city or to the city. In 1928, the Turkish alphabet was changed from Arabic script to Latin script, in time the city came to be known as Istanbul and its variations in most world languages. In Greece today, the city is still called Konstantinoúpolis/Konstantinoúpoli or simply just the City, apart from this, little is known about this initial settlement, except that it was abandoned by the time the Megarian colonists settled the site anew.
A farsighted treaty with the emergent power of Rome in c.150 BC which stipulated tribute in exchange for independent status allowed it to enter Roman rule unscathed. The site lay astride the land route from Europe to Asia and the seaway from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, and had in the Golden Horn an excellent and spacious harbour. He would rebuild Byzantium towards the end of his reign, in which it would be briefly renamed Augusta Antonina, fortifying it with a new city wall in his name, Constantine had altogether more colourful plans. Rome was too far from the frontiers, and hence from the armies and the imperial courts, yet it had been the capital of the state for over a thousand years, and it might have seemed unthinkable to suggest that the capital be moved to a different location. Constantinople was built over 6 years, and consecrated on 11 May 330, Constantine divided the expanded city, like Rome, into 14 regions, and ornamented it with public works worthy of an imperial metropolis
Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos or Porphyrogenitus, the Purple-born, was the fourth Emperor of the Macedonian dynasty of the Byzantine Empire, reigning from 913 to 959. He was the son of the emperor Leo VI and his wife, Zoe Karbonopsina, and the nephew of his predecessor. Constantine VII is best known for his four books, De Administrando Imperio, De Ceremoniis, De Thematibus and his nickname alludes to the Purple Room of the imperial palace, decorated with porphyry, where legitimate children of reigning emperors were normally born. Constantine was born in this room, although his mother Zoe had not been married to Leo at that time, the epithet allowed him to underline his position as the legitimized son, as opposed to all others who claimed the throne during his lifetime. Sons born to a reigning Emperor held precedence in the Eastern Roman line of succession over elder sons not born in the purple, Constantine was born at Constantinople, an illegitimate son born before an uncanonical fourth marriage.
To help legitimize him, his mother gave birth to him in the Purple Room of the palace, hence his nickname Porphyrogennetos. He was symbolically elevated to the throne as a child by his father. In June 913, as his uncle Alexander lay dying, he appointed a regency council for Constantine. Following Alexanders death, the new and shaky regime survived the attempted usurpation of Constantine Doukas, Patriarch Nicholas was presently forced to make peace with Tsar Simeon of Bulgaria, whom he reluctantly recognized as Bulgarian emperor. Because of this concession, Patriarch Nicholas was driven out of the regency by Constantines mother Zoe. She was no more successful with the Bulgarians, who defeated her main supporter, in 919 she was replaced as regent by the admiral Romanos Lekapenos, who married his daughter Helena Lekapene to Constantine. Romanos used his position to advance to the ranks of basileopatōr in May 919, to kaisar in September 920, just short of reaching nominal majority, Constantine was eclipsed by a senior emperor.
Nevertheless, he was an intelligent young man with a large range of interests. Romanos kept and maintained power until 944, when he was deposed by his sons, Romanos spent the last years of his life in exile on the Island of Prote as a monk and died on June 15,948. With the help of his wife, Constantine VII succeeded in removing his brothers-in-law, several months later, Constantine VII crowned his own son Romanos II co-emperor. In 949 Constantine launched a new fleet of 100 ships against the Arab corsairs hiding in Crete, but like his fathers attempt to retake the island in 911, on the Eastern frontier things went better, even if with alternate success. In 949 the Byzantines conquered Germanicea, repeatedly defeated the enemy armies, but in 953 the Hamdanid amir Sayf al-Daula retook Germanicea and entered the imperial territory. An Arab fleet was destroyed by Greek fire in 957
Romanos I Lekapenos
Romanos Lekapenos, born in Lakape between Melitene and Samosata, was the son of an Armenian peasant with the remarkable name of Theophylact the Unbearable. Theophylact, as a soldier, had rescued the Emperor Basil I from the enemy in battle at Tephrike and had been rewarded by a place in the Imperial Guard. Although he did not receive any refined education, Romanos advanced through the ranks of the army during the reign of Emperor Leo VI the Wise, in 911 he was general of the naval theme of Samos and served as admiral of the fleet. In this capacity he was supposed to participate in the Byzantine operations against Bulgaria on the Danube in 917, on 25 March 919, at the head of his fleet, Lekapenos seized the Boukoleon Palace and the reins of government. It is notable that, as he left Constantine untouched, he was called the gentle usurper and his early reign saw several conspiracies to topple him, which led to the successive dismissal of his first paradynasteuontes, John the Rhaiktor and John Mystikos.
From 925 and until the end of his reign, the post was occupied by the chamberlain Theophanes, the first major challenge faced by the new emperor was the war with Bulgaria, which had been re-ignited by the regency of Zoe. Consequently, the first four years of Romanos reign were spent in warfare against Bulgaria, although Simeon generally had the upper hand, he was unable to gain a decisive advantage because of the impregnability of Constantinoples walls. In 924, when Simeon had once again blockaded the capital by land, meeting Simeon in person at Kosmidion, Romanos criticized Simeons disregard for tradition and Orthodox Christian brotherhood and supposedly shamed him into coming to terms and lifting the siege. In reality, this was accomplished by Romanos tacit recognition of Simeon as emperor of Bulgaria, relations were subsequently marred by continued wrangling over titles, but peace had been effectively established. On the death of Simeon in May 927, Bulgarias new emperor, Peter I, made a show of force by invading Byzantine Thrace, in September 927 Peter arrived before Constantinople and married Maria, the daughter of his eldest son and co-emperor Christopher, and thus Romanos granddaughter.
From this point on, Romanos government was free from direct confrontation with Bulgaria. Romanos appointed the brilliant general John Kourkouas commander of the armies in the East. John Kourkouas subdued a rebellion in the theme of Chaldia and intervened in Armenia in 924, from 926 Kourkouas campaigned across the eastern frontier against the Abbasids and their vassals, and won an important victory at Melitene in 934. The capture of this city is considered the first major Byzantine territorial recovery from the Muslims. In 941, while most of the army under Kourkouas was absent in the East, the invaders were defeated at sea, through the use of Greek fire, and again at land, when they landed in Bithynia, by the returning army under Kourkouas. In 944 Romanos concluded a treaty with Prince Igor of Kiev and this crisis having passed, Kourkouas was free to return to the eastern frontier. In 943 Kourkouas invaded northern Mesopotamia and besieged the important city of Edessa in 944, as the price for his withdrawal, Kourkouas obtained one of Byzantiums most prized relics, the mandylion, the holy towel allegedly sent by Jesus Christ to King Abgar V of Edessa.
John Kourkouas, although considered by some of his contemporaries a second Trajan or Belisarius, was dismissed after the fall of the Lekapenoi in 945