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Questions tagged [byzantine-empire]

The Byzantine Empire was an Empire in Southern Europe. Originally the Eastern portion of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine empire is typically dated from May 11, 330 AD. until 1453 when the capital of the empire Constantinople fell to Mehmet II of Ottoman Empire.

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How did contemporaries view the Byzantine Empire during the 11th century?

I'm curious about how the Byzantine empire was viewed by contemporaries during the Middle Ages (11th century). By contemporaries, I mean the other powers of the era, such as Western European countries,...
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When did Byzantines become more Greek than Roman?

Towards its end, we know that Byzantine Empire was more or less Greek, while it continued to call itself the Roman Empire (please correct me if it's not so). What was the phase in its history, when ...
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Where was the Battle of Antioch (613 CE) fought?

The Byzantines were severely defeated in this battle by their Sassanid counterparts. But where did this battle take place i.e. what was the precise location of this battle? According to Wikipedia, ...
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Historical documents of Mount Athos

I have heard of a project of cataloging and digitizing of all of Mount Athos documents. Is there a website to find more information about this project, and to follow its progress? I'm having a hard ...
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What is the large blue object on the right in this picture showing Greek fire?

This well-known image showing a Byzantine dromon type ship using Greek fire has a blue object behind or on the ship on the right for which I have not been able to find any explanation: Image source: ...
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Did the Byzantines forget using the caltrops?

Many of the Muslim conquests against the Byzantine empire (both Arab and Turkic) came down to clever use of cavalry. But the Romans had a handy helper against cavalry charges, the caltrop. Did the ...
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Why did the Ottomans rebuild Byzantine gates to a smaller format?

It's very perplexing to me. Here are some examples: https://pages.pomona.edu/~sg064747/travel/images/Turkey/Fortifications/1600-LandWallsArchGate.jpg https://romeonrome.com/files/2013/09/66....
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Did the Eastern Romans also use roman concrete?

When I read about Roman concrete I understand its use was forgotten after the fall of the Roman empire. But what about the Eastern Roman empire, the Byzantine Empire? Did they still make buildings ...
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Was there any other Germanic person who gained an important position in The Byzantine Empire other than Emperor Tiberios III Apsimar?

I have read about Emperor Tiberios III, whose original name was Apsimar/Apsimaros. He was originally a droungarios in the Byzantine Fleet, and later deposed the Emperor Leontios. My question is: Were ...
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Many Questions Regarding the Principality of Theodoros

I think I've made a pretty decent list of Princes of Theodoros. However I'm still not quite sure about alot of them. Here is my list. Demetrios 1340 to 1370 (rough) Basil 1370 (rough) to 1380 (...
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Where is Ivan the Terrible's Library?

During the confusion surrounding the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453, the library of the Byzantine Paleologi Emperors was sent north to Moscow and installed by Ivan III under the ...
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What were the religious effects of the initial Arab conquests in the Byzantine Empire?

I've been reading some articles and books about the early Islamic conquests that started at about 634 CE, mainly in areas that belonged to the Byzantine Empire. Problem is, the majority of works I've ...
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What is the Greek inscription on the Nicaea gate?

I was visiting the historic city of Nicaea (Iznik) in Turkey this August and studied it's history. I noticed the entrance gate at the southern wall of the city which was built by the Romans. The same ...
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In the Lombard period, could not the Byzantine Empire have occupied Rome?

The Italian campaigns were finished in 556. The three chapters schism between the emperor and Pope came to a head. Some popes were dragged to Constantinople. This shows that the Emperor was exerting ...
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How were heavily armored Cataphracts killed?

I've always wondered how an infantry soldier, without a pike (which cavalry wouldn't charge into normally), deliver a fatal blow to a Cataphract? What I know is that Cataphracts were used as heavy ...
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Was Hagia Sophia built over a pagan temple?

According to Britannica's online article on Hagia Sophia: The original church on the site of the Hagia Sophia is said to have been built by Constantine I in 325 on the foundations of a pagan temple. ...
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The Aegean Sea - Why is it called Holy?

Gibbon's Chapter 53 notes the following the possession of Cyprus, Rhodes, and Crete, was accompanied by the fifty islands of the Aegean or Holy Sea I was unfamiliar with the reference to the ...
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In brief, Did Pope Innocent III cause the fall of the Byzantine Empire? [duplicate]

The 4th crusade 1202 - 1204 called for by Pope Innocent III culminated in unpaid crusaders sacking Constantinople and tragically weakening Byzantine territories. Was the failure of this crusade, due ...
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What calendars were used in Eastern Rome?

I was hoping to shed some light on the calendars used in the Eastern Empire. Firstly, this question is related but without answer until now (and by me). It also doesn't encompass the later imperial ...
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Constantine XI Palaiologos

According to Wikipedia, Byzantium Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos and The Empress Helena, acting as regent, appealed to Ottoman Sultan Murad II. Just wondering why they appealed to Ottoman Sultan'...
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Why couldn't Heraclius and Yazdegerd coordinate?

When Muslims had almost reached Aleppo in 635, Heraclius and Yazdegerd (III) sought an alliance and Heraclius married off his [grand?] daughter to Yazdegerd and they both were set to mount a ...
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What happened to Children of Prince Halil of Ottoman Empire?

Inspired from my discussion with MA Goulding on Byzantine-Ottoman blood ties, I am curious about something. Shehzade Halil Orhanoghlu was son of Orhan I of Ottoman Sultanate and Princess Theodora ...
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Why did the term “Byzantine Empire” enter common usage instead of “Eastern Roman Empire” or “Roman Empire”

Why did the term "Byzantine Empire" enter common usage instead of "Eastern Roman Empire" or "Roman Empire"? (or Imperium Graecorum?) Wikipedia says that the term Byzantine wasn't used until 1557, and ...
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What did Nikolas Mystikos call his countrymen in official correspondence?

Inspired from a quote I used in one of my previous answers here, Patriarch Nikolas Mystikos of Constantinople wrote the following letter to Abbasid Caliph al-Muqtadir: Two Sovereignties, That of ...
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Why did the Byzantines not try to recover Syria during the war between Ali and Muawiya?

After the Caliph Othman get killed there was period of instability in the Islamic state for more than five years, and Syria was just taken by Muslims before around twenty years. Why did the ...
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Which regions/dynasties do the flags in this Fresco about Byzantine-Persian war represent?

Piero Della Francesca painted the following Fresco to depict battle between Heraclius of Byzantine Empire and Khosrou II of Persian Empire. Which regions or dynasties do the flags represent? From ...
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What were the personal tax rates in the Byzantine Empire during the 6th and 7th centuries?

What were the tax rates per person in the Byzantine Empire during the 6th and 7th centuries? My findings: wikipedia: Byzantine Economy (has no information regarding the tax rate per person of the ...
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Was the interior of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople ever covered with mosaic icons?

The Church of Hagia Sophia has several prominent surviving icons that have stood the test of time and still exist today. A list of the surviving mosaics and their estimated dating are as follows: ...
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Who was the earliest historian of the Greco-Roman world to write something substantial about China?

I recently came across an article about the Byzantine historian Theophylact Simocattis and learned that he wrote about the reunification of China by Emperor Wen. I also know that Cosmas ...
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Until what time was the Ancient Roman calendar era used?

Until what time was the Ancient Roman calendar era, based on the founding of Rome, used? Or what was the latest historical event that was mentioned in chronicles with an Ab Urbe Condita year?
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Are there primary sources that record the pre-conquest decoration/mosaic of the Hagia Sophia?

Are there primary sources that record what the mosaics looked like in the Hagia Sophia before the Turkish conquest in 1453?
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What were the differences between the Sieges of Constantinople in 678, 717, and 1453, inc. Greek Fire? [closed]

Constantinople repelled the sieges of 678 and 717 with Greek fire. What were the differences between the Byzantine army/navy in 678/717 versus 1453, and how did the Arab army/navy differ from the ...
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Did the exile of the Platonic academy facilitate the foundation of the House of Wisdom?

According to wikipedia: ...The last Scholarch of the Academy was Damascius (d. 540). According to Agathias, its remaining members looked for protection under the rule of Sassanid king Khosrau I in ...
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Was Constantinople the pinnacle of Roman city building? [closed]

As someone born in Constantinople, I have always heard stories and legends about the city. I am curious about the one I really like, whether it has any truth in it, or a total legend? It goes like ...
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Did the Byzantine Empire use Roman numerals?

Wikipedia says about Byzantine emperor Heraclius that he was responsible for "introducing Greek as the Eastern Empire's official language". If so, is it right to assume that Byzantines used Roman ...
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Do any Byzantine maps survive?

Are there any maps still surviving that were made in the Byzantine Empire? There are plenty of maps from Western Europe during this time period, but I haven't heard of any surviving from the eastern ...
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To What Extent Were St. Augustine's Just War Principles Used In The First Crusade?

The question is mostly self-explanatory; however I want to state I have read a few books so I am aware of abuses and also some of the origins of the Crusade. So what I am really asking for is ...
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How late where plumed helmets and muscle cuirasses used by Roman/Byzantine soldiers?

According to the osprey book Byzantine Imperial Guardsmen by Raffaele D’Amato, Byzantine imperial guardsmen where known to have worn muscle cuirasses and also plumed helmets. Its gotten me curious ...
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What exactly were the religious beliefs of Gemistus Plethon?

According to wikipedia: [Gemistus Plethon] was a Greek scholar of Neoplatonic philosophy. He was one of the chief pioneers of the revival of Greek learning in Western Europe. In the dying years of ...
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What disruptions were brought about by Islam that the Arabians saw so many victories?

The Rashidun Caliphate had its inception with the advent of Islam. It was situated amidst two of the most formidable empires of the known world: The Byzantine Empire and The Sassanid Empire. But ...
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Greek Revolution: Where did the Greeks look for descendants of the Byzantine dynasties?

I recall reading in a few books that during the early to mid 19th century, the Greeks where trying to find European nobles who had genealogies linked to the dynasties of the old Byzantine Empire (...
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Why was the Hexamillion wall incapable of preventing invasion?

The Hexamillion wall was created to fortify the only land route into the Peloponnese peninsula ~ but throughout it's history (450-1460 AD) it failed to prevent multiple invasions, acting only as a ...
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Why didn't “Europe” support the Byzantine Empire against the Turks?

Why didn't Catholic Europe support the Byzantine empire against the Turks? Or did they? How? Yes, there were some differences between the Catholic and Orthodox interpretation of christianity but the ...
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Are there any publications in English about the Saltukid dynasty of Erzurum? [closed]

I went to Turkey recently. I stayed in Istanbul and then I went to Erzurum. I noticed that the Historic structures in Erzurum were quite a bit older and different in architectural style (the Saltukids ...
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How were Muslim Turks treated in Byzantine Empire?

While reading about the Palaiologan Renaissance on Wikipedia, I was intrigued to find that a mosque was rebuilt in Constantinople, which was destroyed during the fourth crusade(read about it here). I ...
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How significant was the Fall of Constantinople as an event leading to the Age of Exploration?

I have been hearing that the Fall of Constantinople was the most important event that ultimately led to the Age of Exploration, mainly the discovery of the New World by Columbus and of the sea route ...
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Was it ever claimed by a scholar that the Byzantines intentionally missed the battle of Civitate? [closed]

I have seen a claim to this effect in a popular article but it strikes me as very very odd. So - Was it ever claimed by a scholar that the Byzantines intentionally missed the battle of Civitate? ...
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What caused scientific and cultural decline of East Roman (Byzantine) Empire?

East Roman Empire (later named "Byzantine" by the West) inherited languages and enormous scientific and cultural achievements of Greeks and Romans. And yet hardly anything new came from Byzantine ...
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When were the first mosques established in Constantinople?

In his book The Man of Numbers about Leonardo Pisano (Fibonacci), Keith Devlin quotes a problem from the Liber Abbaci (Devlin's spelling, I know most others spell it Liber Abici) which is titled "A ...
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Was the site of Rome and Constantinople chosen for featuring “seven hills”? [closed]

Both Rome and Constantinople were located on seven so-called hills. Rome was capital of the Roman state, and maintained that status into the imperial era; Constantinople was founded as a new capital. ...