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Questions tagged [byzantine-empire]

The Byzantine Empire was an Empire in Southern and Eastern Europe, West Asia, and North Africa. 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 were cities administered in the Middle Byzantine Empire (641-1081)? [closed]

So I have found something about urban administration of cities in the Roman Republic and the feudal kingdoms. But how were cities administered in the Middle Byzantine Empire? Did they have Imperial ...
Aldarion Telcontar's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

What was the total army strength of the Byzantine empire under Justinian?

I keep looking around on databases like EBSCO and JSTOR and google scholar, but I can't find anything conclusive on the total army strength of the Byzantine empire under Justinian. The Wikipedia ...
Lucien Jaccon's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
300 views

Where was the theater in Byzantium?

As a Hellenistic city, there must have been a theater or maybe even an amphitheater in Byzantium, which would have also been present during the Constantinople era, but never have I seen or heard any ...
buræquete's user avatar
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Did the Romans ever get the idea to pardon Jesus or expunge the conviction when they adopted it as the state religion in 380, Edict of Thessalonica?

Given the premise of Jesus as being an innocent man being wrongfully convicted, wouldn't the very legally minded Romans or other jurists have the idea that the government should delete the conviction ...
R-Obsessive's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
165 views

Have the Arabs ever conquered Kayseri?

Is there any source that describes any battle for Kayseri during the Arab-Byzantine wars especially during Yazid ibn Muawiya's reign? I am certain there was a battle in the vicinity of Kayseri, even ...
λExpression's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
274 views

Did Democritus of Abdera, Thrace accuse the Jews of sacrificing Greeks in their religious rituals?

I was on Wikipedia reading about Blood Libel when I came across the following sentence: The earliest known antecedent is from a man named Democritus (not the philosopher) mentioned in the Suda,[15]......
Curious Layman's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
193 views

Why did the Byzantine military strength decline? [closed]

At the start and peak of the glory of the Byzantine Empire, it had more than 350,000 well-trained soldiers at the time of Justinian I. But the size of the army declined heavily over the period from ...
Ethan Chan's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
109 views

What factor decided which chariot race faction Byzantines supported?

According to this Wikipedia article there were four very passionate factions of chariot race supporters labeled the blues, greens, reds and whites. As a person that has once been a young man that was ...
John Strachan's user avatar
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40 views

How would a wealthy merchant have addressed a Byzantine Quaestor?

If we rely on this site in modern Greek, which in turn is based on the 9th century kletorologion of Philotheos, the quaestor at that time was responsible for judging cases involving wills. Thus, a ...
Ludi's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
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How aware were the latter Greek-speaking Romans (ERE: Byzantines) of the early history of Rome?

To what extent were residents of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire aware of the early history of Rome, its legendary founding, the monarchy, the republic and early empire? Did they have access to ...
Jos's user avatar
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1 answer
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How was the Roman Empire officially referred to by contemporaries throughout the 1st to 6th centuries AD?

I understand that the notion of state in the specified period was different from the modern one and maybe was gradually changing over time. However, I still believe that contemporary sources ...
Eldritch Sandwich's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
651 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' ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
Justin Miller's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
N1ark's user avatar
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1 answer
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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, ...
Dan's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
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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?
The Thin Whistler's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
824 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 ...
Ludi's user avatar
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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 ...
cipricus's user avatar
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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 ...
Ludi's user avatar
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1 answer
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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, ...
Rep's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
chancellorofpaphos's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
4k 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? ...
Ezekiel's user avatar
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29 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 ...
Adrian Sicaru's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
451 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, ...
5ar's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
172 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 ...
Giraffeshavelongnecks's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
690 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 ...
SeligkeitIstInGott's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
199 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 ...
Ludi's user avatar
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27 votes
6 answers
9k 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 ...
Sinusx's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
buræquete's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
672 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
7 votes
1 answer
934 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 ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
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-4 votes
1 answer
235 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 ...
EmperorCinnamon's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
buræquete's user avatar
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22 votes
3 answers
7k 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 ...
Samid's user avatar
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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?
CasparHauser's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
7k 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 ...
Stumbler's user avatar
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43 votes
2 answers
8k 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 ...
Keshav Srinivasan's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
193 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 ...
holomenicus's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
455 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 ...
Marc's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Ludi's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
252 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 ...
Ludi's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
480 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 ...
onepound's user avatar
  • 169
4 votes
1 answer
402 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 ...
onepound's user avatar
  • 169
12 votes
2 answers
496 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 ...
mooncatcher's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
439 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 ...
BJ Dela Cruz's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
440 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,...
Ethan Chan's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
Rohit's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
3k 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, ...
tryingtobeastoic's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
102 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 ...
nyg's 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: ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar