85 votes

When did the Roman Empire fall according to contemporaries?

Most people at the time did not think the Roman Empire had fallen -- it's only from five hundred or a thousand years later that we can conclude that it did. Both points of view are reasonable. What ...
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  • 5,890
47 votes

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

The Early Middle Ages were not kind to Rome, and the long destructive war to recapture it didn't help things. By the time the dust settled, Rome had practically ceased to exist as a major city, with ...
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  • 110k
47 votes
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Why did Byzantine champions (consistently) lose duels to Muslim armies' champions?

According to this MA thesis, the Byzantine armies had a number of overall advantages, but it does not follow that their commanders were especially skilled at one-to-one combat. Forcing individual ...
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  • 17.5k
43 votes
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Did the Byzantines ever attempt to move their capital to Rome?

No, they did not try to move their capital to Rome, but the Emperor Heraclius at one point--around 620 or so when the war against Persia was going very badly--did consider moving the capital even ...
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  • 4,078
42 votes

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

I'd say that historically, the ideology in Russia meant it preferred to compare itself to Byzantium, probably similarly to the way you can hear the US is compared to Rome. This was, and still ...
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34 votes
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Why did people die for their religion in the 400s CE (or even now)?

Religion is a great cultural differentiator. People have been killing each other for many millenia, with a preference for targeting other people who belong to a distinct "culture", a rather loose term....
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31 votes
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Was Hagia Sophia built over a pagan temple?

Going beyond E.B. or Wikipedia: The official website of the Hagia Sophia Museum (at its former domain, link now dead) stated The first church [at the H.S. site] was constructed by Emperor Konstantios ...
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  • 2,445
28 votes
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What size are these mosaics of Justinian and Theodora?

According to The Met Museum website, the mosaic Emperor Justinian and Members of His Court measures 104 in. by 144 in. or 264.2cm by 365.8cm, which is 8ft 8in by 12ft. The same dimensions are given ...
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27 votes
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Did Constantine XI will his titles to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain?

I did not watch the YouTube video, but based on your description, it seems to be presenting a garbled account of history. Constantine XI did not will his titles way, but his brother Thomas ...
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  • 96.2k
26 votes

When did the Greeks stop calling themselves "Roman"?

The Byzantine empire was a continuation of the older Roman empire in the East but it was gradually transformed into a different political entity. Meaning: The original Roman empire used Latin as an ...
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  • 597
26 votes
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Did the Seljuk consider themselves Roman?

I think the other answer misses some crucial distinctions. Culture The culture of the Seljuks was non-Greco-Roman; the same applies to their language. A good summary of who they were comes from ...
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  • 10.6k
25 votes
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When did the Greeks stop calling themselves "Roman"?

You are right, the name Hellenes means “pagans” in the New Testament, and was consequently abandoned by Greek Christians, who preferred to call themselves “Romans”. The term Hellene was revived by the ...
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  • 9,473
21 votes
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How significant was the Fall of Constantinople as an event leading to the Age of Exploration?

The Fall of Constantinople had a negligible effect on the launching of the Age of Discovery, school textbooks notwithstanding. It was well under way a generation earlier, due to the perfection of the ...
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20 votes

Why did the term "Byzantine Empire" enter common usage instead of "Eastern Roman Empire" or "Roman Empire"

Warren Treadgold, one of the most eminent scholars on the Byzantine Empire puts it simply as follows: Modern historians have called this empire "Byzantine" because it was ruled not from Rome but ...
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  • 3,845
20 votes
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Did the later Byzantine Emperors use regnal numbers?

According to the Wikipedia article on Constantine XI Palaiologos, no. Despite the increase in emperors with the same name during the Middle Ages, such as the several Michaels and Constantines, the ...
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  • 17.5k
19 votes
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How were Muslim Turks treated in Byzantine Empire?

Muslim trader presence certainly existed in the Byzantine Empire. I'd split my answer into three parts: Documented Facts: Quoting from the main source: Muslim presence in the Eastern Roman Empire ...
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  • 8,133
19 votes
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Are there any writings by blinded and/or exiled Byzantine emperors?

John VI Kantakouzenos John VI Kantakouzenos, who reigned from 31 March 1347 to 10 December 1354, is the emperor who comes closest to meeting your criteria. He was deposed by his co-emperor John V ...
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18 votes

Why didn't "Europe" support the Byzantine Empire against the Turks?

There was a certain amount of natural antagonism between the west and the Byzantines. Part of this was religious: They belonged to different sects of Christianity, and thus often viewed each other as ...
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  • 110k
16 votes
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Where did the Greeks look for descendants of the Byzantine dynasties?

They looked in England, but nothing came of it. During the Greek War of Independence, a commission investigated Cornwall, England for descendants of the Palaiologan dynasty. Supposedly, a certain ...
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  • 96.2k
16 votes

What disruptions were brought about by Islam that the Arabians saw so many victories?

The critical factor all these answers leave out: The Black Death. The Plague of Justinian swept through the Byzantine and Sassanid Empires a few generations before Islam. On the Byzantine side, the ...
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15 votes
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How is the Byzantine(Eastern Roman) different from Western Roman?

As @Mark points out, the Empire was too large to be efficiently managed from a single central point in the 4th century: at that time, the complete area consisted of provinciae, full of Roman citizens ...
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15 votes
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Where was the Battle of Antioch (613 CE) fought?

Questions about the historical accuracy of holy texts can get dicey, so I'll try to treat this like any other question. First, I'm not an Islamic scholar, so I'm not going to try and work out whether ...
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  • 53.1k
14 votes

What disruptions were brought about by Islam that the Arabians saw so many victories?

Long lasting wars between Sassanians and Byzantine empire had made cripple armed forces of both of them and made their borders vulnerable. Lakhmids were acting as a buffer state between nomad Arabs ...
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  • 849
14 votes
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What did Nikolas Mystikos call his countrymen in official correspondence?

Just a hint, according to Greek wikipedia entry (which cites this book), the Patriarch wrote Ῥωμαῖοι - Rhōmaîoi in the letter.: Οι δύο δυνάμεις ολόκληρου του σύμπαντος, η δύναμη των Σαρακηνών και ...
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  • 270
13 votes

Why did the Western Roman Empire collapse but not the Eastern Roman Empire?

There are several answers to that question; various authors have favoured one or another, but it is probable that the fall of the Western Roman Empire was due to their combination. From a ...
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13 votes

Why didn't "Europe" support the Byzantine Empire against the Turks?

Please keep in mind that the IVth Crusade mentioned in the first answer has resulted in taking of Constantinople by mostly Venician troops in 1204. This has resulted in a long-lasting civil war ...
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  • 131
12 votes

Why did not the Byzantines attempt to recapture the holy land from the Arabs?

Because they were too busy trying to keep the Arabs from capturing Constantinople (in the 700s) and forcing them out of Anatolia (after that). If they had managed that, I'm sure it would have gotten ...
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  • 11.9k
12 votes

Who were the successors of the Roman Empire?

Case for Italy, the Vatican, or both Italy was the place where the Roman Empire originated and Rome is located. They still speak a language directly descended from Latin. Rome was the most important ...
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  • 31.9k
12 votes
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How were heavily armored Cataphracts killed?

Lighter, Faster Cavalry. The heavier the cavalry, the harder it is to maintain speed and perform sharp maneuvers. At the battle of Turin, Constantine used light cavalry with iron-tipped clubs to ...
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  • 187
12 votes

What is the large blue object on the right in this picture showing Greek fire?

It's probably a representation of the awning or tent that would have covered the Captain's berth at the stern of the vessel. The Wikipedia article on the Galley shows some other representations. This ...
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