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Justinian

Byzantine history goes from the founding of Constantinople as imperial residence on 11 May 330 CE until Tuesday 29 May 1453 CE, when the Ottoman sultan Memhet II conquered the city. Most times the history of the Empire is divided in three periods. The first of these, from 330 till 867 CE, saw the creation […]

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Christianity

In the course of the fourth century, the Roman world became increasingly Christian, and the Byzantine Empire was certainly a Christian state. It was the first empire in the world to be founded not only on worldly power, but also on the autority of the Church. Paganism, however, stayed an important source of inspiration for […]

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Crisis

Despite these favorable conditions, Italian cities like Venice and Amalfi, gradually gained influence and became serious competititors. Trade in the Byzantine world was no longer the monopoly of the Byzantines themselves. Fuel was added to these beginning trade conflicts when the pope and patriarch of Constantinople went separate ways in 1054 CE (the Great Schism). […]

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Macedonian Dynasty

The second period in Byzantine history consists of its apogee. It fell during the Macedonian dynasty (867-1057 CE). After an age of contraction, the empire expanded again and in the end, almost every Christian city in the East was within the empire’s borders. On the other hand, wealthy Egypt and large parts of Syria were […]

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Cultural Life in Byzantium

Since the age of the great historian Edward Gibbon, the Byzantine Empire has a reputation of stagnation, great luxury and corruption. Most surely the emperors in Constantinopel held an eastern court. That means courtlife was ruled by a very formal hierarchy. There were all kinds of political intrigues between factions. However, the image of a […]

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The Byzantine Empire

Byzantine Empire was the continuation of the Roman Empire in the Greek-speaking, eastern part of the Mediterranean. Christian in nature, it was perennially at war with the Muslims, Flourishing during the reign of the Macedonian emperors, its demise was the consequence of attacks by Seljuk Turks, Crusaders, and Ottoman Turks. Byzantium was the name of […]