)Byzantine Empire
330 – 1453 AD

Gavin Mast and Ian Mahoney
Mentor: Liliana

The Byzantine Empire was an empire that started in 330 AD, when Emperor Constantine I moved the capital of the empire to Constantinople, and fell in 1453, when the capital fell to the Ottoman Turks. (Stathakopoulos) The Byzantine Empire (also known as Byzantium or the Eastern Roman Empire) was the remnant of the Roman Empire, whose Western half fell to both infighting and barbarian tribes. (Sherrard, 184) The Byzantine Empire survived however, and continued many of the traditions of the Roman Empire. Because of this, the Byzantine Empire was far more advanced when compared to other medieval cultures. But unlike the Roman Empire, The Byzantine Empire was a Christian empire and the people spoke Greek, not Roman. (Grolier) The Byzantine Empire was a shining, cultural, economic and religious light in a time of Darkness.
ByzantineGreatMap.png
Map of the empire's territory under Justinian I's reign, in c.550 AD, Constantinpole's: 41 degrees 03' 13'' North, 28 degrees 59' 06'' East


The empire was ruled by an Emperor, who held absolute control over the affairs of the government, and was considered a messenger for God. (Grolier) Because of this, the emperors of the empire were figures of key importance, and influenced both directly and indirectly what happened in the empire. Religion also played an important role in the Byzantine empire, whether in daily life or in government affairs. The empire was a powerful force behind the creation and growth of the Eastern Orthodox Church, as it was adopted as its official religion. (Treadgold, 2-4)
Justinian_I.jpg
Emperor Justinian I, who ruled the empire during its height.

The Byzantine Empire's legacy is much larger then many would think. Their influence is most notable in the Balkans and areas surrounding that, including parts of Russia. The Byzantine Empire spread the Cyrillic alphabet and the Eastern Orthodox Church through these areas, where both are still in use today. (Sherrard, 11-14)

Click on the links below to learn more about the rise and fall of the Byzantine Empire
The Rise of the Byzantine Empire: The Early Years
The Decline of the Byzantine Empire: The Later Years




Time-line (Original Work)

330 AD
Constantinople becomes capital
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476
Fall of the Western Roman Empire
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527
Justinian I becomes emperor
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565
Justinian I dies, and Justin II becomes emperor
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610
Heraclius becomes emperor
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867
Basil I becomes emperor, beginning of the Macedonian dynasty
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976
Basil II becomes emperor
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1017
Basil II conquers the Bulgars
1025
Basil II dies and ends the Macedonian dynasty; the beginning of the fall of the empire
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1071
Battle of Manzikert
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1180
Death of emperor Manuel I Komnenos
1185
End of the Komneni dynasty
1203
The Fourth Crusade begins
1204
Constantinople is sacked by crusaders
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1261
Constantinople is recaptured by the empire
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1300
Ottoman Turks begin their conquests
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1453
Constantinople falls to the Ottomans

Citations
1. Stathakopoulos, Dionysios. "The Elusive Eastern Empire." History Today 58 (2008): 38. EBSCO Host. EBSCO. 25 Apr. 2009
<http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=khh&AN=35139807&site=ehost-live>.
2. Jenkins, Romilly J.H. Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier Online. 2009. 25 Apr. 2009
<http://ea.grolier.com/cgi-bin/article?assetid=0069200-00>.
3. Sherrard, Philip. Great Ages of Man: Byzantium. Time-Life Books, 1966.
4. Treadgold, Warren. A Concise History of Byzantium. Palgrave, 2001.