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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126 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 ...
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Did the Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI will his titles to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain?

This video claims that there was a will from Constantine XI in which he was leaving his titles to Ferdinand & Isabella of Spain. Video also claims that Constantine was bribed or paid in some way ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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First mention of Hungarian language

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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!
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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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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 ...
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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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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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Why did the Sassanid and the Eastern Roman Empire fail to make a lasting peace?

The joint history of the Eastern Roman Empire and the Sassanid Empire appears to be dominated by almost constant warfare. My understanding is that this weakened both empires to the point of making the ...
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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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When did Abu Bakr agree to lower taxes for the Arabs living under the rule of Byzantine and Sassanid Empire?

The Wikipedia entry about the Muslim conquest of Persia says: First invasion of Mesopotamia (633) After the Ridda Wars, a tribal chief of north eastern Arabia, Al-Muthanna ibn Haritha, ...
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Why did Béla III of Hungary seized the casket containing the relics of Saint Ivan of Rila?

Béla III was King of Hungary and Croatia between 1172 and 1196, however he had some difficulties getting recognition of his title.1. Saint Ivan of Rila was born app. 876 a.c. He was a contemporary of ...
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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 ...