List of Byzantine Emperors


August 12, 2022

The following is a list of Emperors of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. This list does not include a number of co-emperors who never had singular or senior status as ruler, nor does it include a number of absorbers or rebels who claim royal titles (as you can find on the Byzantine Absorbs List). The list begins with Constantine I, the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity, who founded Constantinople, and who was also considered by later Byzantine emperors to be a leading figure. His predecessor Diocletian is sometimes considered the first "Byzantine" Emperor in political sense, because he replaced the republican traps in office with an easy autocracy, marking the transition from the Principality to the absolutist Dominance, the usually more oriental and Hellenistic form of monarchy that characterized the Empire. . But it was only under Constantine that the main characteristics of the Byzantine state emerged: a Roman government centered in Constantinople and a culture dominated by the Greek East, with Christianity as the state religion. All Byzantine Emperors considered themselves to be Roman Emperors, the term "Byzantine" was first coined by Western historiography some time later, in the 16th century. Although the Pope of Rome and Germanic leaders in the West recognized the heirs of the Eastern Empire to the Roman legacy after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, on December 25, 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish King Charlemagne as Roman Emperor (which eventually led to the formation of the Holy Roman Empire) due to uneasy relations. with Eastern Orthodoxy, an act despised by the Byzantine people. This happened after the coronation of Empress Irene, who as a woman, was not recognized by the Pope as having the right to the throne. The titles of all the Emperors listed previously by Heraclius were officially Augustus, although various other titles such as Dominus were also used. For official purposes, their names are preceded by Imperator Caesar and followed by Augustus. This was followed by Heraclius, the title which generally became the Greek Basileus (Gr. ), which previously generally meant "king", "sovereign" but is now used instead of 'Imperator. Following the founding of a rival Empire in Western Europe (the Holy Roman Empire), the title Autocrator (Gr. ) was also frequently used. In the later centuries of the Empire, emperors were often referred to by Western Christians as "Emperors of Greece," although they still considered themselves "Roman" Emperors. Towards the end of the Empire, they referred to themselves as "[Name of Emperor] in Christianity, Emperor and Roman Autocracy." For previous emperors, see List of Roman Emperors

Constantinian dynasty (306–363)

Non-dynastic (363–364)

Valentinian dynasty (364–379)

Theodosian dynasty (379–457)

Leonid dynasty (457–518)

Justinian Dynasty (518-602)

Non-dynastic (602–610)

Dynasty of Heraclius (610-711)

Non-dynastic (711–717)

The Isaurian dynasty (717-802)

Nikephoros dynasty (802–813)

Non-dynastic (813–820)

Phrygian or Amorian dynasty (820-867)

Macedonian dynasty (867–1056)

Non-dynastic (1056–1057)

Komnenid dynasty (1057–1059)

Doukid Dynasty (1059–1081)

Komnenid dynasty (1081–1185)

Angelid dynasty (1185–1204)

Laskarid dynasty (Nicene Empire, 1204–1261)

Palaiologos dynasty (restored to Constantinople, 1261–1453)

Palaiologos dynasty (List of heirs in exile)

In 1453 Mehmed II captured Constantinople, and the Byzantine Empire collapsed.