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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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“Musketeer” beard, mustache and hairdress - where did they originate?

This is a portrait of typical French musketeer, with typical triangle beard, mustache and long wavy hairs. I wonder where this fashion originates from? Is not it the Byzantine Empire where such ...
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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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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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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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Was Constantinople the pinnacle of Roman city building? [closed]

As someone from Istanbul, I have always heard stories and legends about the olden Roman city, when it was Constantinople. I am curious about the one I really like, whether it has any truth in it, or ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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 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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When did the Greeks stop calling themselves “Roman”?

I've been reading a lot about the Byzantine Empire recently, and one of the things I see pointed out over and over again is that "Byzantine" is a term coined by historians, not by the people ...
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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 people die for their religion in the 400s CE (or even now)?

Before the institution of Christianity and the evolution of Buddhism into Mahayana Buddhism, people never felt quite so strongly about religion. Suddenly, people feel ready to die for it and die ...
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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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Who were the successors of the Roman Empire?

I know that the Byzantine Empire was technically the Eastern Roman Empire, but did they carry over actual Roman traditions with them? Also, did the Holy Roman Empire have anything to do with the ...
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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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What were the reasons for the Renaissance / scientific revolution in Europe?

One of the common reasons given for the Renaissance and the subsequent scientific revolution is the rediscovery of classical works by scholars in Europe and the social change that the study of those ...
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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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Why did not the Byzantines attempt to recapture the holy land from the Arabs?

Given the importance of the holy land to the Christians, as well as the importance of many great cities (Alexandria, Damascus and Jerusalem) to the Byzantine empire, why were not there any early ...
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How is the Byzantine(Eastern Roman) different from Western Roman?

At peak time Roman Empire was superpower of the world but It have two Empires at same time. Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine) Western Roman Empire My Question is who was more powerful then other. and ...
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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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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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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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At what point was the Byzantine Empire's decline irreversible?

I've heard various arguments that the Byzantines were dealt the mortal wound at Manzikert in 1071 which allowed the Turks to claim most of Anatolia and set the stage for the later sacking of ...
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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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Why did the Western Roman Empire collapse but not the Eastern Roman Empire?

There were several crises in the “late” Roman Empire. For once, the crisis of the Republic, which resulted in the creation of Principat and later Dominat. This crisis may be related to the fact that ...