Byzantium

Article

October 18, 2021

Byzantium, also known as the Byzantine Empire or the Eastern Roman Empire, was a continuation of the Roman Empire in the eastern provinces during late antiquity and the Middle Ages, when the capital was Constantinople (today's Istanbul, formerly Byzantium). It survived the collapse and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. e. and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell under the Ottoman Empire in 1453. For most of its existence, the state was the most powerful economic, cultural and military power in Europe. "Byzantium" is a term created after the fall of the state; its inhabitants still used the name Roman Empire (Greek: Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων, Latin: Imperium Romanum) or Romeo (Greek: Ῥωμανία) for their empire, and themselves the Romans. Several significant events from the 4th to the 6th century mark the transitional period during which the Greek East and the Latin West of the Roman Empire split. Constantine I (c. 324-337) reorganized the empire, proclaimed Constantinople the new capital and legalized Christianity. Under Theodosius I (c. 379-395), Christianity became the state religion, and other religious practices were banned. During the reign of Heraclius (c. 610-641), the army and administration of the empire were reorganized, and instead of Latin, the Greek language was adopted for official use. Although the Roman state continued to exist and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome by having its center in Constantinople, which was more oriented towards Greek than Latin culture, and characterized by Orthodox Christianity. During its thousand-year history, Byzantium has experienced numerous ups and downs. Byzantium regained the western part of the empire in the 6th century under the rule of Justinian I and then reached its territorial peak. In the 7th century, the empire defeated the Avars and Sassanid Persia, and soon after, the Muslim Arabs deprived it of most of the Middle Eastern possessions and, at the end of the 7th century, of the North African possessions. During the 8th and 9th centuries, the empire was shaken by external troubles such as the migration of Slavs and Bulgarian invasions, as well as internal ones such as iconoclasm. Under the Macedonian dynasty (867-1056), the empire underwent a complete renewal and at the beginning of the 11th century it was the leading power in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Conflict

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