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 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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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Is the story “Conquistadors using plans of Constantinople in the new world” factual? [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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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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, raided the ...
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Why did Gibbon call the Aegean Sea 'Holy'?

While listening to Gibbon's 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' I came across the following in Chapter 53: The spacious provinces of Thrace, Macedonia, and Greece, were obedient to their ...
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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? ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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: ...