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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4 votes
0 answers
72 views

Who coined the phrase "City of the World's Desire"?

In 1995, the British author Philip Mansel published a book titled Constantinople: City of the World's Desire. The same phrase also appears in the game Europa Universalis IV: one of the Ottomans' ...
user avatar
  • 1,767
1 vote
1 answer
108 views

Where was the Church of SS John and Phocas in Constantinople?

There's a brief line in Marcus Rautman's book, "Daily Life in the Byzantine Empire", in a passage on independent scribes. It refers to a "Theodore" who lived near John-and-Phocas ...
user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

What size are these mosaics of Justinian and Theodora?

How large are the mosaics of Justinian and Theodora in the Basilica of San Vitale? I've looked in plenty of academic papers, and can't seem to find one where their size is quoted - I also do not speak ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
221 views

Did the Byzantine Empire persecute Christian sects?

In popular culture, Hollywood movies, etc. the Roman-Catholic Church is often portrayed as having persecuted Christians that did not agreed with official Church dogma. Think of the Inquisition, ...
user avatar
  • 241
10 votes
2 answers
3k views

What does CONOB mean on ancient Roman coins?

I have stumbled across many depictions of Roman coins with the abbreviation CONOB on it, such as this one. What does it stand for?
user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
410 views

How much did a sword cost in AD 1000 Constantinople?

Qualifications: Obviously, swords vary in quality. Ideally, I would like to know what a standard army issue sword would have cost, if I bought it privately. But I realised we may only be able to ...
user avatar
  • 2,522
1 vote
0 answers
82 views

Is it true that the term "Byzantine" is less present in historians of Protestant tradition? [closed]

Trying to answer the question Why did the term "Byzantine Empire" enter common usage instead of "Eastern Roman Empire" or "Roman Empire", I find a presentation by the ...
user avatar
  • 1,578
1 vote
0 answers
41 views

How large was a Byzantine administrative Bandon?

Wikipedia states that in the Byzantine context a Bandon could denote a cavalry unit of 300, a military unit of 200-400 or an administrative unit. It further claims that originally the military and ...
user avatar
  • 2,522
-3 votes
1 answer
986 views

Is there any historical evidence that Sultan Mehmed II bought the Hagia Sophia? [closed]

Due to current events regarding the status of Hagia Sophia, I have heard from some people, saying that Sultan Mehmed II bought the Hagia Sophia before using it as a mosque. I have searched for proof, ...
user avatar
  • 21
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did the later Byzantine Emperors use regnal numbers?

Regnal numbers are an essentially medieval European invention, and although we today might talk about Ramesses II and Khosrow II, this is not how those rulers referred to themselves. For most of its ...
user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
3k views

Did the Seljuk consider themselves Roman?

I recently learned that the Seljuk state in Anatolia was officially called Sultanate of Rûm, where Rûm means Rome. Does that mean that Seljuks considered themselves to be cultural heirs of Rome? ...
user avatar
  • 699
30 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why did Byzantine champions (consistently) lose duels to Muslim armies' champions?

I studied Byzantine history lately. I am familiar with the tradition of champions from opposing armies to duel before battles in the east. What baffled me is that time and again, the Byzantine ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
262 views

How were cities administered in the early Byzantine Empire?

First of all, I would just like to note that I am not looking for an answer concerning Constantinople, but rather how other cities were governed (e.g. Thessaloniki, Adrianapole, Nicaea, Smyrna, ...
user avatar
  • 153
2 votes
0 answers
141 views

How was Christmas celebrated in early Byzantium?

I haven't been able to find any information regarding Christmas in Eastern Rome from before the tenth century. Literally any information regarding the celebration of Christmas in the fifth and sixth ...
user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
474 views

How was Christian intermarriage with the Muslim Turks viewed by the Byzantines?

While learning about the Battle of Manzikert (1071) I was surprised to hear that the emperor Romanos IV agreed in the aftermath to a political marriage by giving his daughter to be married to Sultan ...
user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
151 views

Was Byzantine land incredibly cheap compared to bread?

I am reading the fascinating THE ECONOMIC HISTORY OF BYZANTIUM, available here. I gather that 1 modios of land was something less than 3000 square metres and for the best land was worth about 1 ...
user avatar
  • 2,522
28 votes
6 answers
8k views

Why is the late Russian Empire associated with Byzantium while having little in common with it?

I have started reading the book A people's tragedy by Orlando Figes about the Russian revolution. I am no historian, however having read a few pages I have a few questions about the repeated ...
user avatar
  • 391
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

What happened to the cross on the dome of Hagia Sophia?

There are some images that show the cross on the dome of Hagia Sophia. For example; Miniature 38 from the Constantine Manasses Chronicle, 14th century: Construction of Hagia Sophia during the reign ...
user avatar
  • 1,294
4 votes
2 answers
557 views

How was the vast Khazar fortress of Sarkel destroyed?

I understood that Sarkel was a vast Khazar hilltop limestone-bricks fortress of the type of a fortified town, located in the present-day Rostov Oblast of Russia, on the left bank of the lower Don ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
548 views

Why didn't the ancients produce purple dye via admixture?

A great deal of prestige is attached to the colour purple - the hue of bishops and emperors alike - and, if you've read a little about the ancient world, you'll probably have heard the story ...
user avatar
  • 1,767
-4 votes
1 answer
209 views

Why didn't the Byzantines develop anti-cavalary tactics?

I noticed that Rome has always fought against equestrian nations and they weren't always successful. Gauls, Parthians, Huns and Turks had many battles with the Romans. I heard that the Romans before ...
user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
4k views

Did Constantine XI will his titles to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain?

This video claims that there was a will of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI in which he left his titles to Ferdinand & Isabella of Spain. The video also claims that Constantine was bribed or ...
user avatar
  • 1,294
22 votes
2 answers
6k views

Did the Byzantines ever attempt to move their capital to Rome?

Why was Constantinople (almost) always the capital of the Byzantines? I understand they did not have Rome under their control until the AD500's, but is there any specific reason why the Byzantines ...
user avatar
  • 2,103
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are there any writings by blinded and/or exiled Byzantine emperors?

Several Byzantine Emperors were deposed and subsequently blinded and/or exiled by their successors. Are there any extant texts authored by any of these deposed emperors?
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is/was the correct pronunciation of Byzantine? [closed]

When I first came across the Byzantine Empire in books I assumed that it was pronounced as it was spelled (i.e. bih-zan-tin or baɪ zən tɪn in IPA). However I have since heard many people, including ...
user avatar
  • 1,346
44 votes
2 answers
7k views

When did the Roman Empire fall according to contemporaries?

The Roman Empire divided itself into two parts, the Eastern Roman Empire headquartered in Constantinople and the Western Roman Empire headquartered in Rome. The city of Rome itself fell in the year ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
156 views

Was there ever a single collection of the Corpus Juris Civilis and has it survived?

Title just about says it. The parts (the Codex, Digesta, Institutiones, and Novellae) of the Corpus Juris Civilis were finished in 529, 533, and 534. So it is possible that by the time one was ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
416 views

What is the earliest historical record of Hungarian words?

Some years ago, I read this comment: On a tangent, a Hungarian friend of mine who is a history teacher once told me that the earliest record of the Hungarian language is not, in fact, the list of ...
user avatar
  • 69
4 votes
1 answer
738 views

Why is this hat identified as the Byzantine Imperial kamelaukion?

Concerning the word kamelaukion/kalemaukion (footnote), we must assume it had several meanings. The common one occurs in Nikephoros Phocas and is head gear for ordinary infantrymen. The second one is ...
user avatar
  • 2,522
6 votes
1 answer
204 views

Where are the agrarian reforms of Basil II codified?

I am interested in Byzantine law, especially under Basil II. Much weight is always attached to his agrarian reforms. I would like to read some of his laws in the original. I guess these reforms were ...
user avatar
  • 2,522
1 vote
1 answer
300 views

Schism of 1054 - what were the positions of Jerusalem, Alexandria and Antioch?

Q1 Given that the validity of the Western legates' act is doubtful since Pope Leo had died and Cerularius' excommunication only applied to individuals, why was the schism allowed to continue to the ...
user avatar
  • 169
4 votes
1 answer
368 views

Military reforms after the battle of Manzikert?

After the battle of Manzikert and during Alexius's reign was there any attempt towards military reform to go back to the theme peasant-soldier system instead of mercenaries? In John Julius Norwich's ...
user avatar
  • 169
12 votes
2 answers
437 views

Was the ancient Pontic city of Athenai (Ἀθῆναι) related to Athens?

The city of Athenai (Ἀθῆναι, modern Pazar, Turkey), in some contexts referred to as Pontic Athens, situated on the Pontic shore about halfway between Trapezus (modern Trabzon, Turkey) and Bathys Limen ...
user avatar
  • 1,277
6 votes
1 answer
359 views

Were there any plans to install a Western Roman Emperor after Belisarius reconquered the west?

Emperor Justinian I sent his general Belisarius to the west in 535 AD to reconquer the lost provinces of the Western Roman Empire after its fall in 476 AD. Did Justinian I have any plans to install a ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
394 views

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,...
user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 3,712
-1 votes
2 answers
2k views

Was Constantinople in Europe or Asia during the Eastern Roman Empire Period?

Was Constantinople in Europe or Asia during the Eastern Roman Empire Period? (not modern) Thanks!
user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

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, ...
user avatar
  • 215
4 votes
1 answer
286 views

How far would the average Silk Road caravan travel during the early reign of Justinian?

So what I am asking is not the total travel distance that the Caravan would travel in a lifetime; instead I am asking how far they would tend to go one-way on a two-way trip and how long that trek ...
user avatar
  • 157
1 vote
1 answer
93 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 133
20 votes
3 answers
3k views

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: ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
579 views

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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
248 views

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....
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
148 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 11
5 votes
1 answer
139 views

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 (rough) ...
user avatar
  • 555
-2 votes
1 answer
249 views

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 ...
user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
397 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,641
1 vote
2 answers
279 views

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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
503 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 3,207