During the years of his reign, the empire included most of the land surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, as Justinian’s armies conquered part of the former Western Roman Empire, including North Africa. The chief leader, known as the Sultan, was given absolute ...read more, 1. Justinian also reformed and codified Roman law, establishing a Byzantine legal code that would endure for centuries and help shape the modern concept of the state. The fall of Constantinople marked the end of a glorious era for the Byzantine Empire. No one was safe, and no one could be trusted. Add in civil unrest, natural disasters and powerful enemies such as the Arabs, Seljuk Turks, Bulgars, Normans, Slavs, and Ottoman Turks, and you can see why the Byzantine Empire eventually crumbled. to the twentieth century A.D. During the late 10th and early 11th centuries, under the rule of the Macedonian dynasty founded by Michael III’s successor, Basil, the Byzantine Empire enjoyed a golden age. Lasting for more than eight centuries, the Byzantine Empire was one of the largest and most powerful economic, political and military powers in the world. Originally the Eastern Roman Empire, the Byzantines survived the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. Battle of Dyrrhachium(1081) 7. It also benefited greatly from a stronger administrative center and internal political stability, as well as great wealth compared with other states of the early medieval period. The Byzantine Empire became wealthy by being an economic center of the world, connecting Asia and Europe. In addition, the imperial army was stretched too thin, and would struggle in vain to maintain the territory conquered during Justinian’s rule. The Fall of Gallipoli in 1354 saw the Ottoman Turks cross into Europe, while the … Justinian I, who took power in 527 and would rule until his death in 565, was the first great ruler of the Byzantine Empire. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. Greek became the official language of the state, and a flourishing culture of monasticism was centered on Mount Athos in northeastern Greece. During the years of his reign, the empire included most of the land surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, as Justinian’s armies conquered part of the former Western Roman Empire, including North Africa. Battle of Myriokephal… After Western and Byzantine forces recaptured Nicaea in Asia Minor from the Turks, Alexius and his army retreated, drawing accusations of betrayal from the Crusaders. Its history is marked by many important inventions that changed the world, including the concept ...read more, The Silk Road was a network of trade routes connecting China and the Far East with the Middle East and Europe.  As the Empire's military position recovered from the 9th century on, these lands became profitable again, and major provincial magnate families began to appear. In 634, Muslim armies began their assault on the Byzantine Empire by storming into Syria. Battle of Beroia(1122) 10. In terms of religion, the Council of Chalcedon in 451 officially established the division of the Christian world into separate patriarchates, including Rome (where the patriarch would later call himself pope), Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem.  Basil II in particular showed care to check the dynatoi through the imposition of the allelengyon ("mutual guarantee") tax, making them liable to pay the taxes of their poorer neighbours. ... Nikephoros II was born ca. The Byzantine government followed the patterns established in imperial Rome. Byzantine culture would exert a great influence on the Western intellectual tradition, as scholars of the Italian Renaissance sought help from Byzantine scholars in translating Greek pagan and Christian writings. One or the other of these figures supervised a large group of craftspeople skilled in masonry, carpentry, wall-painting, and making mosaics. Feb 18, 2016 - Flavius Belisarius was a Byzantine general who lived during the 6th century AD. https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-middle-east/byzantine-empire. As armies from France, Germany and Italy poured into Byzantium, Alexius tried to force their leaders to swear an oath of loyalty to him in order to guarantee that land regained from the Turks would be restored to his empire. This was a powerful family whose members occupied the Byzantine throne from 1081 to 1185 AD. Many great monuments of the empire would be built under Justinian, including the domed Church of Holy Wisdom, or Hagia Sophia532-37 A.D. Justinian also reformed and codified Roman law, e… Basil had heard a rumor (or started one, depending on your point of view) that the emperor’s right hand man, the then second most-powerful man in the Byzantine Empire, Caesar Bardas, was planning to depose Michael. Justinian I, who took power in 527 and would rule until his death in 565, was the first great ruler of the Byzantine Empire. Even after the Islamic empire absorbed Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem in the seventh century, the Byzantine emperor would remain the spiritual leader of most eastern Christians. Under John’s successors, the empire gained sporadic relief from Ottoman oppression, but the rise of Murad II as sultan in 1421 marked the end of the final respite. One of the most extraordinary aspects of the Byzantine Empire was its longevity: It was the only organized state west of China to survive without interruption from ancient times until the beginning of the modern age. 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