Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire ( Greek Βυζαντινή Αυτοκρατορία, always officially Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων “Empire of the Romans”, contemporary abbreviation Romania / Ῥωμανία), shortened even Byzantium (Greek Βυζάντιο [ν]) or, because of the historical origin, the Eastern Roman Empire, was a Empire in the eastern Mediterranean . It originated in the late antiquity to the division of the kingdom of 395 out of the eastern half of the Roman Empire and ended with the conquest of Constantinople Opel by the Ottomans in the year in 1453. The empire stretched initially to the Arabian Peninsula and to North Africa to the Atlantic, but was since 7 Century largely in Asia Minor and southeastern Europe was limited and the capital of Opel Constantinople (modern Istanbul , which was also called Byzantium) ruled out. The well-known Byzantinist George Ostrogorsky characterized the Byzantine Empire as a mixture of Roman polity, Greek culture and the Christian faith. [1]

Of capital gianduja Byzantine Empire is common only in modern research, but was not used by contemporaries that take on “Byzantines” continue to “Romans” (reproduced in modern research as ” Rhomäer in “) or ( Latin West) of “Greeks” spoke.

In modern research the history of the Byzantine Empire is divided into three phases:

the late antique and early Byzantine period (late 3./frühes 4th century until the mid-7th century), in the Roman Empire as the eastern half of the Roman Empire was clearly marked antique still intact and as great power controlled the entire eastern Mediterranean;
the middle Byzantine period (ca. mid-7th century until 1204/1261), in which the now completely Hellenized empire consolidated by large territorial losses and was again still an important factor of power;
the Late Byzantine period (1204/1261 until the 1453), in which the kingdom shrank to an ever-melting together Rest rich and politically no longer mattered.

In addition to these “traditional” periodization also partly deviating considerations exist, so too is the increasing tendency of recent research, in the narrow sense “Byzantine” history only from the late 6th or 7 Them started century and before even the (late) attributable Roman history the time. [2] However, this is not without controversy. [3]

The history of the Byzantine Empire was characterized by an almost constant defensive battle at the borders against external enemies, which greatly stressed the forces of the Empire. It alternated until the Late Period, when the empire had sufficient resources more phases of expansion (after the great territorial losses in the 7th century, especially the conquest in the 10th and 11th century ones) with periods of retreat from. Inside, it was (especially to the 9th century) repeatedly to different degrees of theological disputes, as well as sporadic civil wars but remained oriented on Roman state structures foundation to the early 13th Century largely intact. Byzantium culturally significant works from the modern literature and art leave. Byzantium had a not unimportant role as mediator in this regard also because of the more preserved ancient heritage. With regard to the Christianization of Eastern Europe , based on the Balkans and Russia, the Byzantine influence was also of great importance.

Definition and history of the concept

The Byzantines – and the Greeks to the 19th Century – considered and called themselves Romans (Ῥωμαῖοι, Rhomaioi, contemporary pronunciation : Romäi), the Greek word (Έλληνες, Hellenes / Ellines) was almost only for the pre-Christian, pagan Greek cultures used and states. By 1400, however, the Byzantines referred to increasingly as Hellenes.

Today’s standard terms and Byzantine Byzantine Empire are of modern origin. Contemporaries spoke always τῶν of the Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων (TON basileia Rhōmaíōn / ton Vasilia Romäon “empire of the Romans”), or Ῥωμαικὴ Αὐτοκρατορία (Rhōmaikḗ Autokratoría / Romaikí Aftokratoría “Roman autocracy, Roman Empire”). After their self-understanding they were not the successor of the Roman Empire – they were the Roman Empire. This also becomes clear by the fact that the terms “Eastern Roman” and ” Western Roman Empire “modern origin, and it is only a kingdom under two emperors gave contemporary view, as long as both parts of the empire existed. Legally, the State was also correct because there had been no incision as in the West and Byzantium in an intact, to the late antiquity lived on reminding state to change and to only gradually Gräzisierung the state under Heraclius led. However, the dominant identity of the Eastern Roman Empire was previously Greek. ancient Greek and since the turn by 600 means Greek , phonetically with today’s Greek almost identical, not only since Heraclius replaced Latin as the official language , but was also the language of the Church , literary language ( culture or language) and language of commerce .

Resulting from these roots, the kingdom was initially influenced by Hellenistic culture, Roman polity and Christian religion . The Eastern Roman and Byzantine Roman Empire lost its ancient character until late in the course of the Arab conquests in the 7th Century. It looked at times its existence as directly and only legitimate, further existing Roman Empire and derive from this a claim to suzerainty over all Christian countries of the Middle Ages on. This claim was indeed at least since about the year 600 no longer enforceable, but was in the theory of the state maintained consistently.
Political History
Late Antiquity: The Eastern Roman Empire
→ Main article: Late Antiquity
Emperor Constantine I the Great

The roots of the Byzantine Empire lie in the Roman Late Antiquity (284-641). The Byzantine Empire did not constitute a foundation, rather it is the to 1453 continues to exist eastern half of the 395 final split Roman Empire , so the direct continuation of the Roman Empire ., the related question of when the Byzantine history begins concretely, is not clearly to answer because different approaches are possible. Traditionally, as the beginning is often the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great viewed. On the one favored this as the first Roman emperor active Christianity ( Constantine change ). Secondly (and most importantly), he created the later capital of the Byzantine Empire: Between 325 and 330 he made ​​the ancient Greek colony of Byzantium generously expand and named it after himself in Constantinople Opel to. The old name “Byzantium” lived on and, in parallel, but in modern times retrospectively extended to the whole kingdom. Previously, Emperor residences had sought that were closer to the threatened frontiers and / or better to defend were as Rome, at the latest after the brief reign of Emperor Maxentius was usually no longer the seat of the emperor, but only non-material capital. However, Konstantin Opel received its own Senate, under Constantine’s son, unlike other residential towns of Constantius II was assimilated to the Roman. More and more, the city developed to the administrative focus of the eastern part of empire. Towards the end of the 4th Century was even the name Nova Roma (New Rome) on, in deliberate contrast to the old capital, but remained the reference point of the imperial ideology. Since the time of Emperor Theodosius I. Constantine Opel was then the permanent residence of the reigning Roman emperor in the East.

After Constantine’s death, there were 337 mostly several Augusti in the empire, which was responsible for the control of certain parts of the empire. Ruled the East Constantius II (337-361), Valens (364-378), and Theodosius I (379-395). After the death of Theodosius, who ruled over the whole Empire 394/395 as the last Emperor briefly in fact, the Roman Empire was 395 again into an eastern and a western half of his two sons, Honorius and Arcadius divided. Such imperial divisions had indeed been there before, but this time it proved to be final: Arcadius, who resided in Constantinople Opel, therefore some researchers considered the first emperor of the Eastern Roman or early Byzantine Empire Still continued to apply all laws in both halves of the empire (they were mostly in. adopted the name of both Emperor), and the Consul of the other part was acknowledged.
The division of the kingdom of 395

In the late 4th Century, the time of starting the so-called Great Migration , the eastern half of the empire was initially target Germanic warrior associations such as the West and the East Goths . In the battle of Adrian Opel the Eastern Roman army suffered a heavy defeat against the 378 (West) Goths, the 382 south of the Danube as Theodosius I foederati were assigned country. Since the beginning of the 5th Century, the external attacks targeted but then increasingly on the military and financially weaker western empire , which sank at the same time in civil wars. [4] Chance to Ostrom had the attacks of the New Persian Sassanidenreichs help thinking of the single peer competitor of Rome , with but 387-502 almost entirely peace prevailed. 410 the city of Rome was sacked by mutinous Visigoth foederati what a significant shock effect on the Romans had, while the eastern half of the empire, except the Balkans , remained largely undisturbed, and especially the inner peace (Pax Augusta) was true all in all. Ostrom sometimes quite trying to stabilize the western empire. Thus, the unsuccessful naval expedition was against the Vandals 467/468 (see vandals campaign largely depends Ostrom). But ultimately the East was too busy with his own defense and consolidation in order to halt the decline of the Western Empire can.

5 For in the later Century the Eastern Empire had to contend with serious problems. Some politically important positions were soldiers, not least Germanic mercenaries dominated (especially in the form of magister militum Aspar ), who were increasingly unpopular. There was a danger that in Ostrom, as was previously done in the West, the emperor and the civil administration would face permanently under the domination of powerful military. Under Emperor Leo I (457-474), therefore they tried to neutralize the predominantly Gothic Aspar’s followers by contrasting it Isaurian , the inhabitants of the mountains southeast of Asia Minor were so kingdom members, played out. Leo also unveiled a new imperial bodyguard, which excubitores who were loyal to the Emperor personally, among them there were many Isaurian. In the form of Zeno of 474 of them could even climb the throne after 471 Aspar was killed. In this way, for the emperors 470-500 gradually to bring the military under control. Because under Emperor Anastasius I could then be driven back with great force efforts has grown to 498 and the influence of the Isaurian. In the latest research (eg, Brian Croke, Mischa Meier ) is of the opinion that the ethnicity of the participants had played a minor role in this power struggle, in fact: it was not about a conflict between “barbarians” and “Romans “but rather went to a struggle between the imperial court and the army leadership, in which the emperor could last prevail. Although the army was still of foreign, often Germanic mercenaries marked, and the influence of the generals on the policy, however, was henceforth limited, and the emperor regained much freedom of action.

Around the same time ended the empire in the West. The powerless last Western Roman Emperor Romulus Augustulus was in 476 by ​​the army commander Odoacer deposed (the last was, however, recognized by Ostrom Emperor Julius Nepos , who in 480 Dalmatia was murdered). The Ostkaiser was henceforth de jure again the sole ruler of the whole empire, although the western areas were virtually lost. Most German kingdoms that now formed on the ruins of the western empire disintegrated, the Eastern Roman Emperor recognized for a long time but at least as their nominal overlord of. Emperor Anastasius I strengthened at the turn of the 6th Century, the financial strength of the kingdom, which benefited the later expansion policy Ostrom.
Mosaic image from the sanctuary of San Vitale in Ravenna, at 544/545. Of the late Roman imperial images belonging to a group display shows the reigning Emperor Justinian and his retinue. [5]

In the 6th Century conquered by Emperor Justinian (527-565), the two Byzantine generals Belisarius and Narses large parts of the western Roman provinces – Italy , North Africa and southern Spain – and put back so that the Roman Empire for a short time almost restored to its former extent. But the war against the kingdoms of the Vandals and Goths in the West and against the mighty Sassanid Empire under Khosrau I in the east, as well as an outbreak of so-called Justinian plague , the whole from 541 Mediterranean world afflicted, consumed much of the substance of the kingdom. [6 ] During the reign of Justinian, the last of the Latin Augustus had the mother tongue, also was Hagia Sophia built for a long time the largest church in Christendom and the last major construction of the ancients . Similarly, it was 534 for the comprehensive and effective powerful codification of Roman law (which later became known as Corpus Juris Civilis ). On the religious and political sector of the emperor could not achieve resounding success despite great efforts. The continuing tensions between Orthodox and Monophysite Christians placed beside the empty state coffers, which left Justinian, a heavy burden for his successor dar. Justinian’s long reign marks an important transition period from late antiquity to the Middle Byzantine State, even if Justinian, “the last Roman Emperor” (G. Ostrogorsky), certainly has a total count yet to antiquity. Under his successors then took the meaning and distribution of the Latin language in the kingdom ever further, and Emperor Maurikios was with the establishment of the Exarchate in Carthage and Ravenna first time the late ancient principle of separation of civil and military powers on, although he in the core area of the Empire still held on to the traditional form of management.
The restoration work of Justinian I.

From the second half of the 6th Century saw an empty treasury and emerging enemies on all fronts the kingdom once again in serious trouble. In the reign of Justinian’s successor, Justin II , who provoked a war with Persia 572 and suffered a nervous breakdown as a result of its defeat and fell into madness, occupied the Lombards starting from 568 large parts of Italy. Meanwhile penetrated the Slavs for about 580 in the Balkans and settled him until the end of the 7th Century mostly. With the violent death of the Emperor Maurikios can close the year 602, the 591 had a favorable peace with the Sassanid and vigorously against the Slavs had taken place, the military crisis escalated. Since 603, the Sassanid Persians obtained under great king Khosrow II temporarily rule over most of the eastern provinces. To 620 they even had Egypt and Syria , and thus the most eastern Roman provinces conquered, and were even before Constantine 626 Opel. Ostrom seemed on the brink of ruin stand, as in the Balkans, the Avars and their Slavic subjects penetrated on imperial territory. These operations were still favored by a civil war between the reigning emperor since 602 Phocas and his rival Heraclius . The latter was able to prevail and bring about the turning point in the war against the Persians after a hard fight in the year 610. In several campaigns since 622 before he entered on Persian territory and struck a 627 end of Sassanid army in the Battle of Nineveh crucial. Persia was now threatened on other fronts, it made peace with Ostrom, admitted the territories occupied since 603 and sank due to internal power struggles soon in chaos. After this huge effort, the forces of the Eastern Roman Empire, however, were exhausted. The senatorial aristocracy, which had been a major carrier of the late antique traditions, had also been weakened by Phocas. [7] The reign over most of the Balkans remained lost.

Heraclius was the victory over the Persians and the salvation of the empire still celebrate consuming. However, the Eastern Roman triumph was short-lived. The military expansion by her new Muslim faith driven Arabs that began in the 630 model-years, had no longer oppose the kingdom after the long and grueling war against Persia much. Heraclius had to experience how just been vacated by the Sassanids East provinces were lost again, this time forever. In the decisive battle of Yarmuk 20 August 636 East Romans were subject to a host of the second Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab , and the whole south-east of the Empire, including Syria, Egypt and Palestine , was lost to 642, to 698 as they were over Africa with Carthage . [8]

By already, Heraclius made ​​Greek, which was already the dominant language in the remaining regions of the empire for the sole official language, he took an important step on the way to the Byzantine Empire of the Middle Ages . Many researchers therefore see only this emperor, who took off the title of Emperor and henceforth officially Basileus called, while the last (Eastern) Roman and the first Byzantine emperor. There is general agreement that the 7th Century as a whole marked a decisive turning point in the history of the empire. [9] At issue is whether you want three centuries before that, including the Roman or already on Byzantine history, by today, this time as Late Antiquity referred to and understood as a transformation era, has the question of the “beginning” of Byzantium but significantly lost its relevance. It is clear that with the Eastern Roman history to Heraclius next Byzantinists many ancient historians deal, but not with the following centuries, the field of work of the Byzantine represent.
The middle Byzantine period
The 7th Century: From Eastern Roman to the Byzantine Empire
The Islamic expansion:

Propagation of the Prophet Muhammad, 622-632
Spread among the four “Rightly Guided Caliphs”, 632-661
Spread under the Umayyads, 661-750

After 636 Ostrom stood at the edge of the abyss. In contrast to his long-time rival, the Sassanid Empire , which went down despite strong opposition 642/651, the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, but at least could successfully defend against a full Islamic conquest. The imperial troops who had previously defended the Near Eastern provinces, but had to to Asia Minor retreat, which was ravaged by Arab raids (raids). During the 7th Century Byzantium lost due to Islamic expansion even temporarily naval supremacy in the eastern Mediterranean (defeat at Phoinix 655) and could also hold Asia Minor only with difficulty, during the Balkan Slavs and Bulgarians limited the empire oppressed and the imperial rule here in a few places . Thus, the East Romans around 700 mainly to Asia Minor, the area around the capital, some areas in Greece and Italy were thrown back.

What lost the kingdom to areas of uniformity, however, it won. The ancient civilization for centuries by the existence of numerous large and small cities – póleis been coined – and this time ended now. Most of the cities were abandoned or shrink to the size of fortified villages, known as castration ., the lost southern and eastern provinces differed significantly from the north and were culturally since 5 Century the majority of the Oriental Orthodox , Monophysite churches of which were with the Greek Orthodox Church of the northern provinces since 451 in the dispute. This conflict was perhaps one of the reasons for the early acceptance of the new Muslim masters in Syria and Egypt (which in more recent research, however, again strongly disputed). The remaining under imperial control of the north of the kingdom came anyway to greater unity and greater combat readiness. However, the price of survival was the permanent loss of two-thirds of the empire and the most tax revenue.
Historical map of the Byzantine Empire from the 6th to 9 Century Droysens’s Historical Hand Atlas, 1886

The traditional late antique structures of state and society were radically changed the situation in many cases no longer appropriate. It is hardly surprising anyway that Byzantium survived the subsequent decades of struggle for survival against a hostile enormous power. An important factor – in addition to repeated inter-Arab disputes and the geographical features of Asia Minor – probably the new system of military provinces, the so-called themes . The subjects were very likely created after the reign of Heraclius (unlike even the older research) to meet the constant attack and decay of urban life outside the capital. Total valid for this phase: trends that were already available for a long time, came to 636 in many areas of government and society to full fruition. At the same time ended many strands of tradition – the late antique phase of the Eastern Roman Empire came to an end, and it was the Byzantine Empire of the Middle Ages. [10]

The period from the mid-7th until the late 8th Century was largely dominated by heavy defensive battles in which the initiative was almost exclusively the enemies of Byzantium. Emperor Constans II moved his residence to 661-668 Sicilian Syracuse , perhaps to secure command of the sea from there against the Arabs, but his followers returned back to the East. In the year 681 had Emperor Constantine IV Pogonatos the newly established Bulgarian Kingdom recognize the Balkans. To 678 there was even a first siege of Constantinople by the Arabs, but by the use of the so-called Greek fire are repulsed that burned even on water could. The kingdom remained in the aftermath of Asia Minor restricted areas were still added to the Balkans and Italy, and to 698 in North Africa. [11]
The 8th and 9 Century defensive struggles and iconoclasm
The subjects in the 650-years

Emperor Justinian II , some went back to the reign of Byzantium, at least on the offensive, was the last monarch of the dynasty herakleischen. In a later often repeated practice Slavic settlers were deported from the Balkans to Asia Minor and settled there. The aim was to strengthen border defense, it came in the aftermath but also repeatedly to desertions , as part of the population of Asia Minor were transferred to the Balkans. 695 Justinian fell victim to a conspiracy, however, was mutilated (it was the nose cut off ) and sent into exile, where he was a princess of the people of the Turkic Khazars married. He finally arrived with Bulgarian support to power again, before he was killed 711.

The most menacing siege of Constantinople by the Arabs was 717-718 instead, only thanks to the skills Emperor Leo III. , the successful fleet operations (the Byzantines re-inserting the Greek Fire), and an extremely harsh winter, which made ​​the Arabs hard to create the capital could hold. 740 the Arabs were at Akroinon decisively defeated by the Byzantines. Although the defensive battles against the Arabs went on, the existence of the Byzantine Empire was no longer seriously threatened by the Arabs. In the Balkans during the Byzantium was in heavy fighting with the Slavs involved, after the collapse of the Avar marched into the Byzantine territories. Large parts of the Balkans were removed from the Byzantine access, but succeeded in the aftermath Greece to recover gradually from the Slavic areas since 7 Century in the Sklaviniai were confiscated. For this, the empire grew, a new enemy in the form of Bulgarians who now successfully aspired to own state-building.
Solidus with the portrait of Leo III. and his son Constantine V

Emperor Leo III. want 726 called Iconoclastic have ignited, which lasted over 110 years and had several flare civil wars. [12] However, the writings of the iconoclastic authors after the victory of Ikonodulen been destroyed, so that the sources of this time almost exclusively were written from the perspective of the victor, and are therefore problematic. Triggered by a volcanic eruption in the Aegean Leo was therefore 726, the icon of Christ on the Chalketor away at the Imperial Palace. In more recent research, this is sometimes doubted, because due to the biased sources is often unclear what steps Leo has done exactly; any subsequent actions are been projected in the time of Leo. As such may not even be entirely clear how sharply defined images Leos hostility has been actually. [13] Leo and his immediate successors but apparently not been supporters of the veneration of icons. Their military successes made it possible for these emperors apparently without much resistance Icons (in the Eastern Church, however, at that time still did not play as large a role as today) to replace Cross representations that could be recognized by all the Byzantines. That the rejection of the veneration of images was inspired by influences from the Islamic world, is often seen very skeptical today. For the iconoclastic emperors were devout Christians, the very reason rejected the icons, because in their opinion, the divine essence could not capture. Also was the cross that should replace the icons, outlawed in the Islamic world. Modern research is also no longer believe that Leo passed a veritable ban on pictures or that it even led to serious unrest, as in the later provide ikonodulen sources. Apparently this first phase of iconoclasm as the second phase in the 9th was not done with the hardness Century. [14]

Leo led inside by several military reforms and was also very successful.So he went to Asia Minor offensive against the Arabs before, and his son Constantine proved to be a capable commander. When his father finally 741 when Constantine Constantine V succeeded to the throne, he struck the rebellion of his brother Artabasdos down. Constantine was an opponent of image-worship and wrote for this purpose even several theological treatises. By the Council of Hieria 754 veneration of images should be formally abolished, but Constantine took few concrete measures and explicitly forbade even vandalism of church facilities. Although militarily the most successful (both against Arabs and against the Bulgarians), Constantine is described in the extant Byzantine sources as a cruel ruler – wrongly and apparently because of his attitude to the icons. [15] For other sources show not only its relative popularity in the population, but also his immense prestige in the army. Domestically, led by Konstantin several reforms and seems to have pursued a more moderate iconoclastic policy. Several political opponents who had to punish the emperor were probably transfigured after the fact to martyrs who were allegedly killed for their friendly image position. Constantine was not a merciless iconoclasts, as was assumed in the earlier research with respect to the ikonodulen reports. [16]

Constantine’s religious political course followed by his son Leo IV , but he had to fend off several coup attempts and died after only five years of rule 780 For his minor son . Constantine VI, whose mother took Irene the regency, however, soon showed that this had no intention of relinquishing power. [17] Constantine was later blinded and died as a result. Irene ran a picture-friendly policies again. Under their rule, the universal claim of the Byzantine Empire witnessed the coronation of Charlemagne serious damage. 802 Irene, who had political acts rather clumsy, was overthrown by bringing the Leo III. reasoned Syrian dynasty (by country of origin Leo III.) ended.

Foreign policy was in the Balkans against Bulgaria for the time being little align. 811 was even a Byzantine army led by Emperor Nicephorus’ I. by the Bulgarenkhagan Krum destroyed, Nikephoros was killed in action. Only Leo V could with Khan Omourtag some contract. Leo V. It was also the 815 again struck an iconoclastic course and so initiated the second phase of iconoclasm. In the 9thand especially in the 10 Century some significant foreign policy successes have been achieved, even if under the amorischen dynasty (from the accession of Michael II 820) Byzantium initially suffered territorial losses ( Crete and Sicily to the Arabs). Under Michael’s son and successor, Theophilus , it finally came to a last flicker of iconoclasm, but which under Michael III. was finally overcome 843 (842-867), the last emperor of the dynasty Amorischen. In Michael’s reign, the adoption of Christianity by the Bulgarians took place – in its eastern form, which the Byzantine culture which flourished more and more, also for defining culture for the Bulgarian Empire was. The photo contest was finally stopped while entering Asia Minor several victories over the Arabs. Fleet expeditions to Crete and even Egypt were made, but were unsuccessful. Byzantium had overcome the phase of the pure defensive fighting it.
The Macedonian dynasty of Byzantium as a major power at the crossroads between Europe and Asia
Topics classification to 950

Michael rose 866 Basil the co-emperor , but the following year was Michael Basil murder, boarded the throne himself, thus paving the Macedonian dynasty . Michael’s memory was severely denigrated – unfairly, as emphasized in recent research. Culturally, however, Byzantium experienced a revival again (so-called Macedonian Renaissance ), such as the time of Constantine VII , of the Romanus I Lakapenos was initially excluded from the government stores. Externally, the kingdom gradually gained ground also: Under Nicephorus II Phocas reconquered Crete was, border security in the East were now largely in the hands of Akriten . Tzimisces John I , like Nicephorus II only as a regent for the sons of Romanos II’s reign, the Byzantine influence extended as far as Syria and briefly even to Palestine , while the Bulgarians were held down. Byzantium appeared again on the way to regional hegemon to be.
The Empire in its zenith of power in the Middle Byzantine period within the limits of the death of the emperor Basil II in 1025 (including “protectorates” [18] )

The kingdom reached under the Macedonian emperors of the 10th and early 11th Century its power peak. Through the marriage consummated in the year 987 the sister of Emperor Basil II the Ruthenian grand duke Vladimir I. the Orthodox faith gradually spread in the area of present-day states Ukraine , Belarus and Russia from. The Russian Church was subordinate to the Patriarch of Constantinople Opel . Basileos II conquered after years of fighting, the First Bulgarian Empire , which earned him the nickname Bulgaroktonos (“Bulgarians Slayer”) brought. In 1018, Bulgaria became a Byzantine province, and also in the East Basil was expansive active. [19]

Nevertheless, the Byzantine Empire went through soon after a period of weakness, which to a large extent by the growth of the landed gentry was caused, which the system issues undermined. One problem was that the standing army by some unreliable mercenary organizations was replaced and had to be replaced (which is 1071 in the Battle of Manzikert to Turkish Seljuks should avenge already bitter). Only with his old enemies, such as the Abbasid Caliphate faced, it could perhaps recover, but at the same time appeared new invaders: the Normans , the south of Italy conquered (the case of Bari, 1071), and the Seljuks, mainly in Egypt were interested but also forays into Asia Minor, the main recruiting ground for the Byzantine army undertook. After the defeat of Emperor Romanus IV in 1071 at Manzikert against Alp Arslan , the Seljuk Sultan , most of Asia Minor was lost, also, among other things, because internal struggles for the throne broke and was built in absence of a common defense against the Seljuk Turks. But the most important province was not lost immediately after the defeat, but the incidence of the Seljuks started only three years later, when the new emperor was not keeping to the agreement, the. Between Romanos VI and the Sultan had been taken. This provided a pretext for the invasion of the Seljuk Turks.
The time of Komnenenkaiser
Emperor Alexios I Komnenos
The Byzantine Empire around 1081, after the Turkish Seljuk conquest of Asia Minor that followed the Byzantine defeat at Manzikert in 1071.

The next century the Byzantine history was the dynasty Alexius I Comnenus , embossed, who arrived in 1081 to power and began the army based on a feudal system restore. There he scored significant progress against the Seljuk Turks and the Balkans also against the Turkic Pechenegs . His call for Western aid brought unwillingly First Crusade out, because instead of mercenaries had asked the Emperor, came independent armies of knights who acted independently of his orders. [20] Alexius demanded that each of the Crusader princes, who with his army to pull through Byzantium imaginary him the fealty should afford. Although this submission was accepted by most of the Crusader princes and made ​​fealty, they forgot the oath against Alexios quite soon.

Furthermore, the designed after the First Crusade, during which it had already come to those tensions become increasingly hostile. For further conflict caused the correspondence between the Fatimid rulers of Egypt and the Byzantine Emperor Alexius. In a letter, the Crusaders to read got himself Emperor Alexios distanced itself from the Latin conquerors of the Holy Land , which was understandable given the traditionally good and strategic relations between the Fatimids and Byzantines, but was also due to the fact that the Byzantines the concept of a ” holy war “was rather strange.

From the 12thCentury the Republic of Venice – paradoxically once to about the 9th Century itself an outpost of Byzantine Culture in the West – a serious threat to the integrity of the empire. The acquired against military support in the fight against the Normans and Seljuk trade privileges tried to withdraw by Manuel arrest of all Venetians. Similarly, the Emperor tried to take action against the other Italian merchants. 1185 many were Latins killed in a pogrom-like massacre. The same year brought the Bulgarians north of the Balkan Mountains, under the leadership of Aseniden and 1186 were the Second Bulgarian Empire building. Nevertheless, Byzantium experienced during this time and a cultural flowering. Under Emperor John II Komnenos (1118-1143), son of Alexios I, and his son Manuel I Komnenos (1143-1180) succeeded to strengthen the Byzantine position in Asia Minor and the Balkans. [21] Manuel I Komnenos had not only with the attacks of the Norman kingdom in southern Italy and the Second Crusade deal (1147-1149), he also pursued an ambitious West policy aimed at territorial gains in Italy and Hungary, while he also came into conflict with Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa . In the East he was able to achieve success against the Seljuks. His attempt to subjugate their empire completely, however, ended in the defeat at Myriokephalon 1176.
The Byzantine Empire at the end of the period Comnenian within the limits of 1,185.

Consequently, the Seljuks (including the realm of also Turkish was their power to the neighboring Muslim empires Danishmends ) in Asia Minor, and also against Byzantium to the Mediterranean coast toward expanding. Andronicus I. , the last Komnenenkaiser , built a short but brutal reign of terror ( 1183-1185), as a result but also the system of government established by Alexios I, which is mainly on the integration of the military aristocracy based, collapsed. So degenerated, the powerful and tightly organized armed forces, with which the Empire under Alexios, John and Manuel was the last time successfully gone on the offensive.

The empire was under the subsequent emperors of the house of Angelos hit by serious internal crises that eventually led that Alexius IV turned to the Crusaders and led her to fight for him and his father to the throne. Than the expected payment forthcoming, disaster struck: Under the influence of Venice conquered and plundered the knights of the Fourth Crusade in 1204 Opel and Constantine founded the short-lived Latin Empire . This resulted in a permanent weakening of the Byzantine power and made ​​sure that the gap between the Orthodox and Greek Catholic Latins further deepened.
The late Byzantine period
The state emblem of the Byzantine Empire under the Palaiologos, the double-headed eagle, the symbol of a claim to world domination of the Christian Roman Emperor. The left head is Rome (Western Roman Empire), the right head stands for Opel Constantinople (Eastern Roman Empire).

After the conquest of Constantinople by the participants of the Fourth Crusade in 1204 created three Byzantine successor states : the Empire of Nicaea , where the Emperor Theodore I Laskaris in exile maintained the Byzantine tradition, the Despotate of Epirus and the Empire of Trebizond , which was already in front of the descendants of the Komnenos the conquest of Constantinople had split off. Theodore I Laskaris and his successor, John III. Dukas Batatzes succeeded to build an economically prosperous polity in western Asia Minor and to stabilize the border with the Seljuks, who were at their defeat by the Mongols in 1243 in decline. Based on this power base was the Laskariden successfully expand into Europe, Thrace and Macedonia and conquer the competitors for the recovery of Constantinople (the kingdom of Epirus, which was severely weakened after a defeat by the Bulgarians in 1230, and the Bulgarian Empire, which also carried a was strongly affected Mongols in 1241) beat out the field.
The frontier of 1270 (including the dependent Despotate Epirus and Thessaly) constituted the largest territorial expansion of the Byzantine Empire after its restoration in 1261 under the Palaiologos dar.

After the short reign of the highly educated Theodoros II Laskaris , the successful commander took over Michael VIII Palaeologus , the regent for the underage John IV Laskaris , he was eventually fade and send her to a convent, and thus founded the new dynasty of the Palaiologos that the Empire should govern until his demise.

Emperor Michael VIII was an alliance of his enemies (Despotate of Epirus, Principality of Achaea , Kingdom of Sicily , Serbia and Bulgaria ) in the Battle of Pelagonia defeat in Macedonia in 1259 and by a lucky chance to recapture Constantinople Opel in 1261 . The empire was thus restored, but large parts of the former Reich territory were not under more control of the national government, because the rulers who had established themselves after the collapse in 1204 in these sub-regions, were not inclined to submit to Constantine Opel. Even Constantine Opel was no longer the glorious metropolis of yore: the population had shrunk considerably, entire neighborhoods had expired, and that the arrival of the emperor were still plenty of traces of the conquest of 1204 to see, but nowhere could see signs of reconstruction. Byzantium was no longer the potent great power, but only a state of no more than regional significance. [22] In addition, the gap between the Byzantines and the Latins had been considerably enlarged. But Michael VIII Palaeologus’ main concern was now the backup of the European acquis and in particular the capital crusade against renewed attempts from the West (especially by Charles I of Anjou , the Staufer replaced in southern Italy); therefore was Michael VIII in 1274 also the inside politically highly controversial Union of Lyons with the Western Church a to prevent the Pope from the support of Crusades. When Charles I of Anjou nevertheless prepared an attack, put the Byzantine diplomacy in 1282 a rebellion in Sicily successfully started, the Sicilian Vespers . In addition, however, neglected the Palaiologues the border defense in the East, what the various Turkish principalities expansion in the Byzantine Asia Minor enabled, that was gradually lost in the 1330s-years of the Reich.
Considerable socio-economic turmoil in Europe by 1347 due to the outbreak of the great plague pandemic, also called “Black Death” called (spreading area in the years 1347-1353).

Thus, while in Asia Minor on the former territory of the Byzantine Empire from the first half of the 14th Century, various sovereign Turkish principalities ( Menteşe , Aydin , Germiyan , Saruhan , Karesi , Teke , Candar , Karaman , Hamid , Eretna and the Ottomans in Bithynia ) as part of the resolution established the Sultanate of Rum Seljuk Turks in 1300, pushed the Palaiologues in a last, powerful offensive against the Roman rule in Greece, and annexed to 1336 across Thessaly and by 1337 the family Orsini dominated Despotate of Epirus. Meanwhile, Emperor saw John V Palaeologus with the dramatic consequences of the great plague pandemic, also known as “Black Death” faced in the years 1347 to 1353, which shook the foundations of the state, also, the empire made ​​several civil wars , the longest (1321 -1328) between Andronikos II Palaiologos and his grandson Andronikos III. Palaeologus . Following this model, also contributed John V Palaeologus and John VI. Cantacuzenus several power struggles ( from 1,341 to 1,347 and 1353-1354) against each other, while both parties sought the help of neighbors (Serbs, Bulgarians, but also Aydın and Ottomans). This allowed the Serbs Empire under Stefan IV Dušan the rise of the dominant power in the Balkans in the years 1331-1355. Thus, the Bulgarians came after the Battle of Kyustendil in 1330 in a dependent relationship with Serbia, Stefan also won to 1348 the hegemony over much of Macedonia, Albania , Despotate of Epirus and Thessaly, under the suzerainty of the emperor stood. With his coronation as Tsar and autocrat of the Serbs Rhomaioi also claimed that the Byzantine Emperor Constantine’s throne and rule over Opel. However, he does not even succeed in the second Byzantine capital Thessaloniki to conquer, and his Großserbisches empire disintegrated after his death in 1355 a conglomerate of more or less independent Serbian principalities (Despotate).

So while the Christian states of the Balkans world was divided and feuding with each other, sat down in 1354, the Ottomans established in Europe and expanded in the Byzantine Thrace, which they conquered in the 1360s-years mostly. A preventive impact of the southern Serbian king Vukasin Mrnjavčević in alliance with the Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Schischman of Veliko Tarnovo against the center of Ottoman rule in Europe, Opel Adrian ended, despite numerical superiority in the defeat at the Maritsa 1371st The victory over the two Slavic Balkan powers the Sultan brought a part Südbulgariens, Macedonia and the Serbian hegemony over large parts of the Balkans. Finally in 1373 he forced the Bulgarian ruler to recognize the supremacy of the Ottoman Empire. This example was followed by the Byzantine Empire to become a small state (including Opel Constantine region, Thessaloniki region, Thessaly, some Aegean islands, Despotate of Morea ) and the Nordserbische kingdom of Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović , also a vassal of the Ottomans was. Several times requested Byzantium to the West for help and even offered for the Church Union , so in 1439 at the Council of Ferrara and Florence , but this failed because of the resistance of the Byzantine population (“Better the Sultan’s turban than the Cardinal’s hat”).
The Byzantine Empire between the Serbian Empire in the West and the Ottoman Empire in the East. The map of the political situation in the Balkans to 1355 illustrates the catastrophic collapse of its territorial base for Byzantium by the complete disappearance of the outer periphery of 1270.

After the battle of Kosovo in 1389 and the defeat of the Western Crusaders in Nicopolis in 1396 the situation of the empire seemed hopeless. It was the crushing defeat of the Ottomans against Tamerlane , who was the Byzantines well-disposed (to besiege in trying Constantine Opel 1402 published Tamerlane negotiator in Sultan Bayezid I. bearings and invited him to the Christian emperor returned his territories he “stole” him I), at Angora in 1402 as a result of battle and the resulting chaos in the Ottoman Empire granted the Greeks a last respite. But the possibility of averting a death blow by the Ottomans, the kingdom had not, so the only way of diplomacy was left by the withdrawal of the necessary territorial base and resources. The loss of territory continued nevertheless, as the European powers were able to agree on a concept for the auxiliary threatened Byzantium. Especially after 1402, they saw it no need was but the once powerful Turkish empire seemingly in a state of inner resolution – through this fatal mistake the unique opportunity was given, the danger of the considerably weakened Ottoman dynasty went out, turn off for all time .

Sultan Murad II , under which the consolidation phase of the Ottoman interregnum came to an end, the expansion policy of his ancestors took on again. After 1422 he unsuccessfully besieged Constantinople Opel had, he sent a plundering expedition against the Despotate of the Morea, the imperial Sekundogenitur in southern Greece. In 1430 he annexed parts of the “Frankish” Epirus dominated by the intake of Janina , while Prince Carlo II Tocco , as its Lehnsnehmer in Arta had come to terms with the “residual” (the dynasty of the Tocco was by the Ottomans in 1480 entirely of today’s Greece – Epirus, Ionian Islands – displaced, making the rule of the “Franks” central Greece, which had existed since 1204, except for a few Venetian fortresses, finally came to an end). In the same year he occupied the Venetian-dominated Thessaloniki since 1423, which the commercial republic of Venice by Andronicus Palaeologus, a son of Emperor Manuel’s acquired since that was in the belief that the city is not able to assert itself against the Turks. Immediately he pulled against the Kingdom of Serbia of Prince George Brankovic , a vassal of the Porte was formally refused because of this, his daughter Mara to give the Sultan for his wife.
The siege of Constantinople by the Turkish Sultan Mehmed II in 1453

In an Ottoman punitive towards the Danube , the Serbian fortress was Smederevo in 1439 and destroyed Belgrade in 1440 unsuccessfully besieged. The Ottoman setback in Belgrade called his Christian opponents to the plan. Under the leadership of Pope Eugene IV , which deals with the union of the churches of Florence of 1439 saw the goal was again scheduled for a crusade against the “infidels.” Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Albania, even the Turkish Karaman Emirate in Anatolia, received an anti-Ottoman alliance, but by the outcome of the Battle of Varna 1444 Władysław , King of Poland, Hungary and Croatia, and the second battle of Field of Blackbirds in 1448 under the Hungarian regent John Hunyadi , finally shattered all hopes of the Christians, the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman annexation of a shock front.

On 29May 1453, after almost two months of siege , the imperial capital fell to Mehmed II , the last Byzantine emperor Constantine XI. died during the fighting around the city.

The 29May still applies today to the Greeks as unlucky because it began the long Turkish foreign rule , during which only the after part of the language acquisition religion as a binding force remained. The start and end dates of the independence of the capital, 395 and 1453 were long considered as a temporal boundaries of the Middle Ages. As a consequence, the remaining states were conquered Byzantine origin: the Despotate of Morea in 1460, the Empire of Trebizond 1461 and the Principality of Theodoro 1475th Only Monemvasia in 1464 turned the protectorate of Venice , which was able to hold the city to 1540 against the Turks. The city provided constitutionally represent what over the centuries remained of the “Roman Empire”.

The Fall of Byzantium was one of the turning points of world history . The Byzantine Empire, which had proved to be one of the longest in the world history was so perished politically, and with him a 2000-year era came to an end. Due to the conquest of the Byzantine Empire and blockade of the Bosphorus and the country lane to Asia by the Ottoman Turks, however, a new era began in the Age of Discovery and the Renaissance [23] initiated.
Demographic conditions

The Byzantine Empire was a polyethnic state , except the Greeks and Armenians , Illyrians and Slavs , and also in the early Byzantine period Syrians and Egyptians included. Most of the areas about which he had covered for centuries Hellenized , so connected to the Greek culture. Here were important centers of Hellenism such as Opel Constantinople, Antioch , Ephesus , Thessalonica and Alexandria , and here also formed the orthodox form of Christianity out.

Athens had an important cultural center, was to prohibit the Emperor Justinian 529 local Neoplatonic school of philosophy. Then shifted the demographics, since the addition to the capital economically and militarily significant areas were the eastern provinces of the empire. As these were lost, played Asia Minor an important role only since the early Middle Ages again the Balkans . As part of Asia Minor in 1071 and 14 Century finally to Turkish invaders fell, the decline of the large-started a regional power, and finally to the small state.
Constitutional, economic and cultural history

The Byzantine Empire had – unlike most of the other kingdoms of the Middle Ages – even after the invasion of the Arabs for a long time a rather tightly organized bureaucracy , whose center was Constantinople Opel. Therefore Ostrogorsky could from a government speak in the modern sense. The empire possessed besides an efficient administrative apparatus also has an organized finance as well as a standing army . No empire west of the Empire China could have as about as large amounts as Byzantium. Numerous trade routes ran through Byzantine territory and Konstantin Opel itself functioned as an important trade center, of which Byzantium greatly benefited, such as the import and export customs (kommerkion). , the economic power and charisma of Byzantium was so great that the golden solidus between the 4th and 11Century, the reserve currency was in the Mediterranean. [24] The emperor in turn ruled de facto almost unrestricted access to Empire (which still felt committed to the concept of universal power) and the Church, and yet in no other state had such a great opportunity for advancement into the aristocracy , where as in Byzantium.
40 Nummi Nummi and 5 of the Emperor Anastasius I

Only Byzantium, the contemporary idea was the cradle of the “true faith” and civilization. In fact, it was cultural level in Byzantium, at least until the High Middle Ages higher than in all other realms of the Middle Ages. It also played a role, the fact that much more was in Byzantium preserved by the ancient heritage than in Western Europe, as well as the standard of education for a long time was higher than in the West.

In many parts little about the “New Rome” is known. Relatively few documents in the file are delivered, and in parts also silent on the Byzantine historiography , which in late antiquity with Prokopios of Caesarea began and in the Middle Ages, Michael Psellos , John Skylitzes , Anna Comnena and Nicetas Choniates some significant representatives decreed (see source overview ). Although standing only “church” sources available for some periods, this may not lead to the assumption, Byzantium was a theocratic state was. The religion was probably often decisive, but the source location is in parts, especially for the period of 7 to 9Century too sparse to get a clear picture. Conversely, the research also has the idea of a Byzantine Caesaropapism , adopted in which the Emperor had almost absolutely ruled over the church.
Cultural continued operation

After the fall of Constantinople in 1453 brought refugees from Byzantium, including many scientists, their scientific and technical knowledge and the ancient writings of the Greek philosophers to the Western European cities and there contributed significantly to the development of the Renaissance in. Longest Byzantine culture was on the then Venetian Crete continued that became known as the so-called “Byzantine Renaissance” in the story. These residues autonomous Hellenistic-Byzantine culture was the conquest of the island by the Ottomans completed 1669th

To date, the Byzantine culture, especially in the works rite of the Eastern Orthodox churches continue. By the Byzantine missionary work spread Orthodox Christianity in many Slavic peoples and is to this day the dominant religion in Eastern Europe and Greece, in parts of South-East Europe and the Caucasus as well as in most Arab Christians. The Byzantine culture and way of thinking has led all Orthodox peoples deep.

The Slavic kingdoms in the Balkans and the Black Sea took next to the Orthodox Church and secular Byzantine customs. Especially Russia , Serbia , the Ukraine and Belarus , but also in some lesser extent Bulgaria should continue the legacy of the Byzantine Empire.

In the 9thCentury came the Rus with Byzantium in contact, thus – to conquer despite recurrent attempts by the Russian Konstantin Opel – developed intense economic and diplomatic relations between the Byzantine Empire and the kingdom of the Kievan Rus, the 988, to convert the Rus to the Orthodox led to believe. In the following centuries were on ostslawischem numerous magnificent churches built by Byzantine model area. Thus Russian architecture and art in addition to (usually later) Scandinavian and Slavic originally mainly Byzantine roots. The same applies in full measure the architecture and art of Ukraine and Belarus.

After the fall of the Byzantine Empire took over the Russian Muscovy in many parts of Byzantine ceremonial . The Patriarch of Moscow soon gained a position, the meaning of the Patriarch of Constantinople Opel similar. As an economically powerful Orthodox nation, Russia looked soon as Third Rome in the footsteps of Constantinople. Ivan III. , ruler of the Grand Duchy of Moscow , married the niece of Constantine XI. , Zoe , and took over the Byzantine double-headed eagle as an emblem. Ivan IV , called ” the Terrible “, was the first Muscovite ruler who finally officially become the Czar was crowned.

But the Ottoman sultans regarded themselves as the legitimate heirs of the Byzantine Empire, although the Seljuk and Ottoman Turks for centuries, ancestral enemies of the Rhomäer were and the Byzantine Empire had finally conquered. Even Sultan Mehmed II described himself as “Kayser-i Rum” (Emperor of Rome) – the sultans thus put themselves deliberately in the continuity of the (Eastern) Roman empire, in order to legitimize themselves. The Ottoman Empire, which developed in the conflict with Byzantium, had in common with this more than just the geographical area. The historian Arnold J. Toynbee described the Ottoman Empire – although very controversial – as a universal state of the “Orthodox Christian social body”. A constitutional continuation not found the Byzantine Empire in it anyway.

The older, western research opinion saw in Byzantium often only a decadent, semi-oriental ” despotism “, such as Edward Gibbon . This picture was taken by John Bagnell Bury , Cyril Mango , Ralph-Johannes Lilie , John Haldon and others have long discarded. It is now increasingly understood that Byzantium as a mediator of cultural values ​​and knowledge of antiquity has made ​​inestimable. There was also the “shield” of Europe for many centuries, first against the Persians and steppe peoples , and later against the Islam . Ironically, this function was the Byzantine Empire after the disastrous sack of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204 no longer perceive.
See also

Portal: Byzantium
List of Byzantine emperors
Offices and titles in the Byzantine empire
Byzantine Art
Byzantine Architecture
Circus parties

Source Overview
See also : Byzantine historiography

The narrative sources represent the backbone of the Byzantine history, especially since only a few acts pieces have survived the fall of Byzantium. For the late antique phase of the kingdom are especially Ammianus Marcellinus (who even wrote Latin), Olympiodorus of Thebes , Priscus , Malchus of Philadelphia , Zosimus and Prokopios of Caesarea to call. At the latter joined Agathias and these Menander Protector on. When was the last work of history from ancient times to the Theophylaktos Simokates written histories are considered. Originated in the Middle Byzantine period until the end of the 9th 8./Anfang Although apparently century historical works ( Traianos Patrikios ), but these have not survived. But they were by the chroniclers Nicephorus and Theophanes used. Theophanes connected to the so-called Theophanes Continuatus on, next came in the 10th Century, the so-called Logothetenchronik and the historical work of Leon Diakonos . And regional chronicles how the Chronicle of Monemvasia are mentioned. In the 11th Century wrote Michael Psellos and John Skylitzes . In the 12thCentury including Anna Comnena and John Kinnamos . For the subsequent period, among other Nicetas Choniates , Akropolites Georgios , Theodoros Skutariotes and Georgios Pachymeres important. Over the last years of the Empire report Laonikos Chalkokondyles , Doukas , Georgios Sphrantzes and Michael Kritobulos .

In addition, a variety of hagiographic works mentioned, as are the various trade journals – such as in medical, administrative ( Philotheos ) or military, as well as the important medium Byzantine lexicon Suda -., seals, coins, and archaeological findings of great importance [25]

John Karayannopulos and Günter White: source study of the history of Byzantium (324-1453). 2 vols, Wiesbaden, Germany in 1982.


With regard to current bibliographic information was mainly due to the Byzantine magazine noted. In addition, see for example the references in the Yearbook of the Austrian Byzantine . A major research institutions in the Byzantine , the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection represents (see also Dumbarton Oaks Papers ). [26]


Alexander Kazhdan (ed.): Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium . 3 volumes, Oxford University Press, New York, 1991, ISBN 0-19-504652-8 .
(Basic lexicon, alternatively LexMA)
Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages (LexMA). 9 vols Munich-Zurich from 1980 to 1998.
(With strong consideration of Byzantium, numerous articles here are from distinguished experts.)
In it the main article: J. Koder, A. Guillou, J. Ferluga, A. Kazhdan, M. Borgolte, R. Hiestand, H. Ehrhardt, G. White: Byzantine Empire. In: Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages (LexMA). Volume 2, Artemis & Winkler, Munich / Zurich 1983, ISBN 3-7608-8902-6 , 1227-1327 Sp.
Prosopography of the middle Byzantine period . First Division (641-867). Published by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, after preliminary Friedhelm Winkelmann created by Ralph-Johannes Lilie, Claudia Ludwig, Thomas Pratsch, Ilse Rochow, Beate Zielke and others, 7 vols (Prolegomena + vols 1-6), Berlin / New York, 1998-2001; . Division Two . Prolegomena + 8 vols Berlin 2009/2013
(prosopografisches important reference work for the period before 641. The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire . )
Alexis GC Savvides, Benjamin Hendrickx (ed.): Prosopographical Encyclopaedic Lexicon of Byzantine History and Civilization (EPLBHC). 1ff Bd. Brepols, Turnhout 2007ff.
(Not yet completed prosopographisches manual.)
Herbert Hunger , Johannes Koder (ed.): Tabula Imperii Byzantini. Vienna 1976 et seq
(Basic historical-geographical representation of the core areas of the Byzantine Empire, divided into various regions so far 11 volumes have been published, seven more are currently being processed.. [27] )


Hans-Georg Beck : The Byzantine millennium. CH Beck, Munich 1994.
(look at the “essence of Byzantium” by depicting various aspects of Byzantine society.)
Falko Daim / Drauschke Jörg (ed.) Byzantium – the Roman Empire in the Middle Ages, Volume 1: world of ideas, the world of things, ISBN 978-3-88467-153-5 , Volume 2, 1, and 2 locations, ISBN 978 -3-88467-154-2 , Volume 3: Peripheral and neighborhood, ISBN 978-3-88467-155-9 (monographs of the Roman-Germanic Central Museum Mainz Volume 84, 1-3), publisher of the Roman-Germanic Central Museum in Mainz in 2010 (four volumes scientific accompanying the exhibition Byzantium. Splendour and Everyday Life ).
Falko Daim / Drauschke Jörg (ed.) Byzantium – Splendour and Everyday Life. Hirmer Verlag, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-7774-2531-3 .
Alain Ducellier (ed.) Byzantium. The kingdom and the city. Campus Verlag, Frankfurt-New York 1990.
(Good read overall presentation, in which not only political history, but also the social and cultural history is taken into account title. Byzance et le monde Orthodox. Paris, 1986.)
Timothy E. Gregory: . A History of Byzantium Malden / Mass. . and Oxford 2005
(Informational Overview plant; meeting specialized knowledge. .)
John Haldon: The Byzantine Empire. Dusseldorf, 2002, ISBN 3-538-07140-3 .
(relative scarce survey work.)
Judith Herrin: Byzantium. The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire . 2007/Princeton London 2008
(Unorthodox, thematically rather than chronologically structured and readable introduction.)
Joan M. Hussey (ed.): The Cambridge Medieval History (The Byzantine Empire). Vol 4 in 2 Teilbde., Cambridge 1966-1967.
(No longer current but still useful and detailed overall presentation.)
Liz James (ed.): A Companion to Byzantium. Blackwell, Oxford etc. 2010.
Elizabeth M. Jeffreys , John Haldon, Robin Cormack (ed.): The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies. Oxford 2008.
(Current specialized academic collection of essays on a variety of different aspects of Byzantium and the related research is often rather very tight, but with good. Bibliography.)
Ralph-Johannes Lilie : Byzantium – The second Rome. Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-88680-693-6 .
(The most comprehensive scientific account of the history of Byzantium in German.)
Ralph-Johannes Lilie: Byzantium. History of the Eastern Roman Empire 326-1453. Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-41885-6 .
(Very short, easy to understand overview presentation)
Ralph-Johannes Lilie: introduction to Byzantine history. including Stuttgart, 2007.
(Excellent, timely introduction, the most important aspects of Byzantine history [albeit slightly] is received.)
Cyril Mango (ed.): The Oxford History of Byzantium. Oxford, 2002, ISBN 0-19-814098-3 .
(Squire, but useful and richly illustrated introduction.)
John J. Norwich : . Byzantium – the rise and fall of an empire Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-549-07156-6 .
(Easy to read popular science Byzanzchronik, but without scientific claim.)
George Ostrogorsky : . history of the Byzantine State Handbook of Classical Studies XII 1.2, 3 Edition.Munich, 1963, ISBN 3-406-01414-3 .
(a long time the valid standard work, but now obsolete in many issues and therefore no longer recommended as a guide, as a special edition without scientific apparatus: Byzantine History 324-1453. Munich 1996, ISBN 3-406-39759-X .)
Peter Schreiner : . Byzantium 3 revised edition.Munich 2008. ( Oldenbourg outline of history , vol 22) ISBN 978-3-486-57750-1 .
(Good and concise introduction to research part, the 3rd edition has been completely revised and expanded..)
Ludwig Wamser (eds.): The World of Byzantium – Eastern Europe’s heritage: glamor, crises and survival of a millenary culture. Bavarian State Archaeological Collection – Museum of Prehistory and Early History in Munich from 22 October 2004 to 3 April 2005 series of the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection 4, Theiss, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-8062-1849-8 .
The New Cambridge Medieval History . Various eds. Vol 1 et seq., Cambridge from 1995 to 2005.
(Various articles in the various volumes, suitable as a first introduction., where also extensive bibliography.)
The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire. ed. by Jonathan Shepard. Cambridge 2008.
Warren Treadgold: . A History of the Byzantine State and Society . Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1997
(. Comprehensive, due to some very controversial and subjective ratings but not unproblematic representation contrary to the title is mainly described the political history.)

Era-specific representations – Late Roman / Early Byzantine Period

Alexander Demandt : Late Antiquity. Handbook of Classical Studies III.6. 2 Edition. CH Beck, Munich, 2007.
John Haldon : Byzantium in the Seventh Century. The Transformation of a Culture. 2 Edition.Cambridge 1997.
(Important study of the “transformation” of the late antique culture in the 7th century.)
James Howard-Johnston : Witnesses to a World Crisis. Historians and Histories of the Middle East in the Seventh Century . Oxford 2010.
Arnold Hugh Martin Jones : The Later Roman Empire 284-602. A Social, Economic and Administrative Survey. 3 vols paginated continuously, Oxford, 1964 (reprinted in two volumes, Baltimore 1986).
(factory default)
John Moorhead: The Roman Empire divided, 400-700. Edinburgh in 2001.

Era-specific representations – Medium Byzantine Period

Michael Angold: The Byzantine Empire, 1025-1204. 2 Edition. London / New York 1997.
Leslie Brubaker, John F. Haldon: Byzantium in the Iconoclast era. c. 680-850. A History. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge etc. 2011, ISBN 978-0-521-43093-7 .
Jean-Claude Cheynet (ed.): Le Monde Byzantin II Byz L’Empire (641-1204). Paris, 2006.
Warren Treadgold: The Byzantine Revival, 780-842. Stanford in 1988.
Mark Whittow: The Making of Byzantium, 600-1025. Berkeley in 1996.

Era-specific representations – Late Byzantine period

Donald M. Nicol : The Last Centuries of Byzantium, 1261-1453. 2 Edition. Cambridge 1993.
David Nicolle , John F. Haldon, Stephen R. Turnbull : The Fall of Constantinople. The Ottoman Conquest of Byzantium . Osprey Publishing, Oxford 2007, ISBN 978-1-84603-200-4 .
Steven Runciman : . conquest of Constantinople Opel Munich 1966 (and reprint), ISBN 3-406-02528-5 .
(The standard work on the subject, although outdated in some detail.)

Special Investigations

Hélène Ahrweiler . L’idéologie Byz politique de l’Empire Paris in 1975.
Hans-Georg Beck : Church and theological literature in the Byzantine Empire. Munich in 1959.
Leslie Brubaker: Inventing Byzantine Iconoclasm . Bristol Classical Press, London, 2012.
(Current Introduction to Byzantine iconoclasm.)
Lynda Garland . Byzantine Empresses Routledge, London-New York, 1999.
John Haldon: Warfare, State and Society in the Byzantine World. , 1999, ISBN 1-85728-495-X .
(Extensive and profound study of the Byzantine military.)
John Haldon: . The Byzantine Wars , 2001, ISBN 0-7524-1795-9 .
(overview of the Byzantine wars.)
John Haldon: . Byzantium at War , 2002, ISBN 1-84176-360-8 .
(Popular Scientific and richly illustrated introduction to the Byzantine military affairs.)
John Haldon (ed.) . A Social History of Byzantium . Blackwell, Oxford etc. 2009
(from several respected researchers explicitly written social history oriented representation, therefore, without consideration of political history.)
Hans Wilhelm Haussig: Cultural History of Byzantium. 2 revised. Edition.Kröner Verlag, Stuttgart in 1966.
(Older, but scientifically solid and very readable.)
Herbert Hunger : The highly profane language literature of the Byzantines. 2 vols, Munich 1978.
Herbert Hunger: reading and writing in Byzantium. The Byzantine book culture. Munich 1989 (introduction to the material aspects of Byzantine literature).
Anthony Kaldellis: Hellenism in Byzantium. Cambridge 2007.
Johannes Koder : The habitat of the Byzantines. Historical and geographical outline of their medieval state in the eastern Mediterranean (Byzantine historian Supplement 1). Reprinted with bibliographical addenda, Vienna 2001 (introduction to the historical geography of the Byzantine Empire).
Henriette Kroll: Animals in the Byzantine Empire. Archaeozoological research overview. monographs RGZM 87 Publisher of the Roman-Germanic Central Museum, Mainz 2010. (Overview of animal husbandry, hunting, fishing, and bird and Molluskennutzung. Were carried out with list of localities for archaeozoological Byzantine studies and list of represented domestic and wild animal species.)
Angeliki E. Laiou , Cécile Morrisson : The Byzantine Economy (Cambridge Medieval Textbooks). Cambridge 2007 (introduction to Byzantine economic history on the latest research).
Laiou Angeliki E. (ed.): The Economic History of Byzantium. 3 volumes, Washington, DC 2002 (standard work on Byzantine economic history; online here ).
Ralph-Johannes Lilie : Byzantium and the Crusades. Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-17-017033-3 .
John Lowden: Early Christian and Byzantine Art London 1997.
The history of Christianity. Religious policy culture. Edited by Jean-Marie Mayeur including Vol 2-6. Special edition, published by Herder, Freiburg 2005 and 2007.
(comprehensive account of the history of Christianity, including the Byzantine and Eastern churches.)
Obolensky, Dimitri : . Byzantium and the Slavs , 1994, ISBN 0-88141-008-X .
(study of Byzantine heritage among the Slav peoples.)
Paul M. Strässle: war and warfare in Byzantium. The wars of Emperor Basil II’s against the Bulgarians (976-1019). Cologne 2006, ISBN 3-412-17405-X ( review of M. Prietzel )
Basil Tatakis, Nicholas J. Moutafakis: . Byzantine philosophy Hackett Pub, Indianapolis / in.. 2003, ISBN 0-87220-563-0 .

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