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Introduction

Animated map showing the territorial evolution of the Byzantine Empire (in green).

The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople (modern Istanbul, formerly Byzantium). It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural and military force in Europe."Byzantine Empire" is a term created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire simply as the Roman Empire (Greek: Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων, tr. Basileia Rhōmaiōn; Latin: Imperium Romanum), or Romania (Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans".

Several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empire's Greek East and Latin West diverged. Constantine I (r. 324–337) reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital and legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I (r. 379–395), Christianity became the state religion and other religious practices were proscribed. In the reign of Heraclius (r. 610–641), the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use in place of Latin. Although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, orientated towards Greek rather than Latin culture and characterised by Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

Selected article

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Iconoclasm is the deliberate destruction within a culture of the culture's own religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually for religious or political motives. People who engage in or support iconoclasm are called iconoclasts. Conversely, people who revere or venerate religious images are called iconodules.

In Christianity, iconoclasm has generally been motivated by a literal interpretation of the Ten Commandments, which forbid the making and worshipping of "graven images". The two Byzantine outbreaks of iconoclasm during the 8th and 9th centuries were unusual in that the use of images was the main issue in the dispute, rather than a by-product of wider concerns.

As with other doctrinal issues in the Byzantine period, the controversy was by no means restricted to the clergy, or to arguments from theology. The continuing cultural confrontation with, and military threat from, Islam probably had a bearing on the attitudes of both sides. Iconoclasm seems to have been supported by many from the East of the Empire, and refugees from the provinces taken over by the Muslims. It has been suggested that their strength in the army at the start of the period, and the growing influence of Balkan forces in the army (generally considered to lack strong iconoclast feelings) over the period may have been important factors in both beginning and ending imperial support for iconoclasm.

Selected biography

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Isaac II Angelos or Angelus (Greek: Ισαάκιος Β’ Άγγελος, Isaakios II Angelos) (September 1156 – January 1204) was Byzantine emperor from 1185 to 1195, and again from 1203 to 1204.

His father Andronikos Dukas Angelos, a military leader in Asia Minor (c. 1122 – aft. 1185), married bef. 1155 Euphrosyne Kastamonitissa (c. 1125 – aft. 1195), was a son of Theodora Komnene (b. January 5, 1096/1097), the youngest daughter of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos and Irene Doukaina, by her marriage c. 1120 to Konstantinos Angelos, Admiral of Sicily (c. 1085 – aft. July 1166), son of one Manolis Angelos from Philadelphia. Thus Isaac was a member of the extended imperial clan.

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June 2019

New articles

Aaron (son of Ivan Vladislav)  • Basil Skleros  • John I of Cyprus  • John Kourkouas (9th century)  • Peter the Patrician (9th century)  • Tagaris  • Theodore Kantakouzenos

Greatly expanded/rewritten articles

Abu Hafs Umar al-Iqritishi • George of Amastris • Presian (son of Ivan Vladislav)

May 2019

New articles

Byzantine Church (Petra) • Euphrosyne Kastamonitissa • Sarjun ibn Mansur • Siege of Edessa (544)

Greatly expanded/rewritten articles

Battle of Kapetron

April 2019

New articles

Battle of Constantinople (1241) • Exousiastes • Maria Komnene (daughter of Alexios I) • Podestà of Constantinople • Zuhayr ibn Qays

Greatly expanded/rewritten articles

Demetrios Angelos Doukas

March 2019

New articles

Areobindus (died 546) • Artze • Byzantine–Trapezuntine treaty of 1282 • Demarchos • Eukterion • Eulogios the Persian • Kingdom of the Aures] • Saints Theodore Tyro and Theodore Stratelates Church, Serres • Stephen the Persian

Greatly expanded/rewritten articles

Arzen • Excubitors • Hikanatoi • Łewond • Treaty of Safar

February 2019

New articles

Baktangios • Barasbakourios • Basil the Younger • Battle of Telephis–Ollaria • Byzantine–Georgian treaty of 1022 • Byzantine–Georgian treaty of 1031 • Charpezikion • Crusader attack on Blachernae (1101) • Michael Apokapes • Nina Garsoïan • Rhabdion • Siege of Petra (541) • Siege of Petra (550–551) • Sisauranon • Sophia Eudokia Laskarina • Terentius (comes et dux Armeniae)

January 2019

New articles

Battle of Anglon • Martin (general) • Sa'id ibn Abd al-Malik

December 2018

New articles

Ambazuces • Amantius (praepositus) • Bishopric of Chariopolis • Cécile Morrisson • Glyki • John Drimys • Photice • Panagia Kontariotissa • Siege of Martyropolis (531)

Greatly expanded/rewritten articles

Euroea (Epirus) • Hayrabolu

November 2018

New articles

Basilica of St. Achillios • John Phokas • Panagia Olympiotissa Monastery • Siege of Claudiopolis • Siege of Laodicea • Siege of Panormus • Siege of Sozopolis

October 2018

New articles

Byzantine–Venetian treaty of 1268 • İnecik, Tekirdağ • Panion • Our Lady of Philermos • Rock-cut architecture of Cappadocia • Siege of Aleppo (994–995) • Vahan (Byzantine commander)

Greatly expanded/rewritten articles

Aetolofos, Larissa • Allelengyon • Partitio terrarum imperii Romaniae

September 2018

New articles

Alexios Komnenos (governor of Dyrrhachium) • Amicus of Giovinazzo • Bardas Hikanatos • Battle of Saint George • Centre for Byzantine Research • John Komnenos (parakoimomenos) • John Komnenos (son of Andronikos I) • Joscelin of Molfetta • Paolo Cesaretti • Scriptor Incertus • Sententiae Syriacae • Siege of Dyrrhachium (1107–1108) • Syro-Roman law book

August 2018

New articles

Battle of Horreum Margi • Eusebius of Thessalonica • Gento (Goth) • Guntarith • Iatrosophia • Metropolitanate of Tourkia • Prokathemenos • Triarius

Greatly expanded/rewritten articles

Isaac Komnenos (son of Alexios I) • Isaac Komnenos (son of John II) • John IV of Ohrid • Michael Glykas

July 2018

New articles

De Situ Terrae Sanctae • Manuel Anemas • Manuel Komnenos (kouropalates) • Urbicius (eunuch)

Greatly expanded/rewritten articles

Battle of Petroe • Isaac I Komnenos

June 2018

New articles

Drypia • Habib ibn Maslama al-Fihri • Tower of Apollonia

May 2018

New articles

Constantine Komnenos Angelos • Dioiketes • John Kaloktenes • Megas dioiketes • Mount Galesios • Petzeas • Siege of Thessalonica (676–678)


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Selected image

Istanbul cistern Binbirdirek.jpg

Photo credit:Neuceu

The cistern of Philoxenos in Constantinople

Recognised content

This is a list of articles related to the Byzantine Empire that have been recognized by the Wikipedia community as being of particular quality.

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Featured articles:

Basiliscus  • Battle of Dyrrhachium (1081)  • Battle of Kalavrye  • Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347  • Byzantine Empire  • Byzantine navy  • Chariot racing  • Greece runestones  • Gregory of Nazianzus  • Istanbul  • Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria  • Manuel I Komnenos  • Maximus the Confessor  • Paul Palaiologos Tagaris  • Roman–Persian Wars  • Sack of Amorium  • Siege of Constantinople (674–678)  • Siege of Constantinople (717–718)  • Siege of Thessalonica (1422–1430)  • Simeon I of Bulgaria  • Theodore Komnenos Doukas  • Thomas the Slav  • Treaty of Devol  • Jovan Vladimir

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A-class articles:

Abbasid invasion of Asia Minor (782)  • Abbasid invasion of Asia Minor (806)  • Abu'l-Aswar Shavur ibn Fadl  • Ahmad ibn Tulun  • Al-Mundhir III ibn al-Harith  • Bardanes Tourkos  • Battle of Andrassos  • Battle of Azaz (1030)  • Battle of Lalakaon  • Battle of Petroe  • Battle of Solachon  • Bessas (general)  • Byzantine–Sassanid War of 602–628  • John Kourkouas  • John Troglita  • Junayd of Aydın  • Priscus (general)  • Sviatoslav's invasion of Bulgaria  • Vitalian (general)

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Good articles:

Abdallah al-Battal  • Abu Taghlib  • Adrianos Komnenos  • Alexios Apokaukos  • Alexios Komnenos (governor of Dyrrhachium)  • Alexios Komnenos (protosebastos)  • Alexios Philanthropenos  • Alexios Strategopoulos  • Alexios V Doukas  • Andronikos Doukas Angelos  • Andronikos Komnenos (son of Alexios I)  • Artabanes (general)  • Avar–Byzantine wars  • Bardas  • Basil II  • Baths of Zeuxippus  • Battle of Akroinon  • Battle of Alexandretta  • Battle of Anzen  • Battle of Apamea  • Battle of Arcadiopolis (970)  • Battle of Bathys Ryax  • Battle of Constantinople (922)  • Battle of Kleidion  • Battle of Kopidnadon  • Battle of Krasos  • Battle of Manzikert  • Battle of Mauropotamos  • Battle of Settepozzi  • Battle of the Gates of Trajan  • Battle of the Olive Grove of Koundouros  • Battle of Yarmouk  • Byzantine–Arab Wars  • Byzantine–Bulgarian war of 894–896  • Byzantine Empire under the Komnenos dynasty  • Byzantine Greeks  • Byzantine–Ottoman Wars  • Byzantine–Venetian treaty of 1268  • Chalke  • Chlemoutsi  • Church of St. Polyeuctus  • Constantine V  • Constantine (son of Leo V)  • Constantine Angelos  • Constantine Dalassenos (duke of Antioch)  • Constantine Diogenes  • Constantine Doukas (usurper)  • Constantine Komnenos Angelos  • Constantine Lekapenos  • Constantine the Great  • Cutzinas  • David III of Tao  • Domestic of the Schools  • Droungarios of the Fleet  • Droungarios of the Watch  • Emirate of Crete  • Eustathios Argyros (general under Leo VI)  • Eustathios Daphnomeles  • Eutharic  • Euthymius I of Constantinople  • Gabras  • Geoffrey of Briel  • George Mouzalon  • Germanus (cousin of Justinian I)  • Glarentza  • Gothic War (535–554)  • Gubazes II of Lazica  • Guy Pallavicini  • Harald Hardrada  • Heraclius  • Heraclius (son of Constans II)  • Heraclius the Elder  • Isaac I Komnenos  • Isaac Komnenos (brother of Alexios I)  • Isaac Komnenos (son of Alexios I)  • Isaac Komnenos (son of John II)  • John Doukas (megas doux)  • John Doukas (sebastokrator)  • John I Doukas of Thessaly  • John II Komnenos  • John IV of Ohrid  • John Komnenos (Domestic of the Schools)  • John Komnenos Asen  • John Komnenos the Fat  • John of Brienne  • John Palaiologos (brother of Michael VIII)  • John Tzelepes Komnenos  • Justin (consul 540)  • Justinian I  • Konstantios Doukas  • Law School of Beirut  • Leo II (emperor)  • Leo Tornikios  • Licario  • Mansur ibn Lu'lu'  • Manuel Erotikos Komnenos  • Manuel the Armenian  • Marianos Argyros  • Martino Zaccaria  • Maslama ibn Abd al-Malik  • Maurice (emperor)  • Mauro-Roman Kingdom  • Megas logothetes  • Michael I Komnenos Doukas  • Michael IV the Paphlagonian  • Michael VIII Palaiologos  • Michael Bourtzes  • Michael Dokeianos  • Michael Lachanodrakon  • Momchil  • al-Muktafi  • Muslim conquest of Sicily  • Nikephoros (Caesar)  • Nikephoros Diogenes  • Nikephoros Komnenos  • Nikephoros Komnenos (brother of Alexios I)  • Nikephoros Melissenos  • Nikephoros Phokas Barytrachelos  • Nikephoros Phokas the Elder  • Nikephoros Xiphias  • Orphanotrophos  • Ottoman conquest of Lesbos  • Peter the Patrician  • Protostrator  • Sack of Damietta (853)  • Sa'd al-Dawla  • Salih ibn Mirdas  • Sayf al-Dawla  • Shahrbaraz  • Siege of Berat (1280–1281)  • Siege of Constantinople (860)  • Siege of Damascus (634)  • Siege of Jerusalem (637)  • Siege of Kamacha (766)  • Siege of Nicaea (727)  • Siege of Patras (805 or 807)  • Siege of Shaizar  • Siege of Syracuse (877–878)  • Siege of Tyana  • Solomon (Byzantine general)  • Staurakios (eunuch)  • Stephen Lekapenos  • Stylianos Zaoutzes  • Syrgiannes Palaiologos  • Theodore Synadenos  • Theodosius (son of Maurice)  • Theophylact (son of Michael I)  • Theoktistos  • Treaty of Gallipoli  • Turahan Bey  • Type of Constans  • Tzachas  • Umar al-Aqta  • Uprising of Ivaylo  • Vandalic War  • Walls of Constantinople

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