Portal:Byzantine Empire

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PortalsHistoryByzantine Empire

Introduction

Animated map showing the territorial evolution of the Byzantine Empire (in green).

The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire and Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul, which had been founded as Byzantium). It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe. Both "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire as the Roman Empire (Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, tr. Basileia tôn Rhōmaiōn; Latin: Imperium Romanum), or Romania (Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans."

Several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empire's Greek East and Latin West divided. Constantine I (r. 324–337) reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, and legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I (r. 379–395), Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed. Finally, under the reign of Heraclius (r. 610–641), the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use instead of Latin. Thus, although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, and characterised by Orthodox Christianity.

Selected article

Ayasofya-Innenansicht.jpg

Hagia Sophia (Greek: Ἁγία Σοφία; "Holy Wisdom", Turkish: Ayasofya) is a former patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, now a museum, in Istanbul, Turkey. Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture. It was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years, until the completion of the Medieval Seville Cathedral in 1520.

The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 AD on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, and was in fact the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site (the previous two had both been destroyed by riots). It was designed by two architects, Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles. The Church contained a large collection of holy relics and featured, among other things, a 50 foot (15 m) silver iconostasis. It was the cathedral church of the Patriarch of Constantinople and the religious focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly 1000 years.

Selected biography

Georgius Trapezuntius.jpg

George of Trebizond (13951486), Greek philosopher and scholar, one of the pioneers of the Renaissance, was born on the island of Crete, and derived his surname Trapezuntius from the fact that his ancestors were from Trebizond.

At what period he came to Italy is not certain; according to some accounts he was summoned to Venice about 1430 to act as amanuensis to Francesco Barbaro, who appears to have already made his acquaintance; according to others he did not visit Italy till the time of the Council of Florence (1438-1439).

He learned Latin from Vittorino da Feltre, and made such rapid progress that in three years he was able to teach Latin literature and rhetoric. His reputation as a teacher and a translator of Aristotle was very great, and he was selected as secretary by Pope Nicholas V, an ardent Aristotelian. The needless bitterness of his attacks upon Plato (in the Comparatio Aristotelis et Platonis), which drew forth a powerful response from Johannes Bessarion, and the manifestly hurried and inaccurate character of his translations of Plato, Aristotle and other classical authors, combined to ruin his fame as a scholar, and to endanger his position as a teacher of philosophy. (Pope Pius II was among the critics of George's translations.) The indignation against George on account of his first-named work was so great that he would probably have been compelled to leave Italy had not Alfonso V of Aragon given him protection at the court of Naples.

Did you know...

New articles

August 2018

July 2018

New articles

Manuel Anemas • Manuel Komnenos (kouropalates)

Greatly expanded/rewritten articles

Battle of Petroe • Isaac I Komnenos

June 2018

New articles

Habib ibn Maslama al-Fihri • Tower of Apollonia

May 2018

New articles

Constantine Komnenos Angelos • Dioiketes • John Kaloktenes • Megas dioiketes • Mount Galesios • Petzeas • Siege of Thessalonica (676–678)

April 2018

New articles

Andronikos Komnenos (son of Alexios I) • Battle of Comacchio • Bisantius Guirdeliku • Byzantine Empire under the Amorian dynasty • Church of the Holy Trinity, Athens • Dalle Carceri • Dobrodeia of Kiev • Epi tou stratou • Gregory Pakourianos the Younger • John Plytos • Megas adnoumiastes • Nikephoros Komnenos (brother of Alexios I) • Zerzevan Castle

March 2018

New articles

Argyritzos • Martyrs of Adrianople • Mauro-Roman Kingdom • Neilos Doxapatres • Nikephoros (son of Artabasdos)

Greatly expanded/rewritten articles

Leo Tornikios

February 2018

New articles

Ascholius • Byzantine Empire under the Leonid dynasty • Byzantine Empire under the Theodosian dynasty • Consistorium

January 2018

New articles

Avar–Byzantine wars • Battle of Dibaltum • Develtos • Dryinopolis • Joseph the Confessor • List of Trapezuntine emperors • Siege of Debeltos • Siege of Petra (549) • Symbatios the Armenian

Greatly expanded/rewritten articles

Tiberius (son of Justinian II)

December 2017

New articles

Church of St. Nicholas of the Roof • Dionysus mosaic, Samatya • Memnon of Ephesus • Mongol invasion of the Latin Empire • Panagia Tou Araka • Siege of Nisibis (573) • Stephen of Ephesus

November 2017

New articles

John the Eunuch (Trebizond) • Siege of Babylon Fortress

Greatly expanded/rewritten articles

Leonard of Chios • Ottoman conquest of Lesbos

October 2017

New articles

Battle of İnceğiz • Mihaloğlu Mehmed Bey • Pecheneg Revolt • Qarghuyah • Simon the Athonite

September 2017

New creations

Abu'l-Qasim Ali ibn al-Hasan al-Kalbi • Al-Hasan ibn al-Abbas • Anemas • Anemas (died 971) • Battle of Caltavuturo • Chronicle of Muntaner • Rebellion of Bardas Phokas the Younger • Siege of Rometta • Syrian campaigns of John Tzimiskes • Theodore Vatatzes • Treaty of Gallipoli

Greatly expanded/rewritten articles

Euphemius (Sicily)


External links and resources

Societies of Byzantine studies

  • Association Internationale des Études Byzantines (AIEB) (in English) (in French) (in Greek)
  • Asociación Cultural Hispano-Helénica (in Spanish)
  • Associazione Italiana di Studi Bizantini (AISB) (in Italian)
  • Australasian Association for Byzantine Studies (AABS) (in English)
  • Byzantine Studies Association of North America (BSANA) (in English)
  • Bysantinska Sällskapet - Swedish Byzantine society (in Swedish)
  • Centre d'Histoire et Civilisation de Byzance (in French)
  • Český národní byzantologický komitét (ČNBK) (in Czech)
  • Χριστιανική Αρχαιολογική Εταιρεία (ΧΑΕ) - Christian Archaeological Society (in Greek)
  • Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft zur Förderung Byzantinischer Studien (in German)
  • Ελληνική Επιτροπή Βυζαντινών Σπουδών (in Greek)
  • Österreichische Byzantinische Gesellschaft (in German)
  • Национальный Комитет византинистов Российской Федерации (in Russian)
  • Nordic Byzantine Network (NBN) (in Swedish) (in Norwegian) (in Danish) (in English)
  • The Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies (in English)

Journals of Byzantine studies

  • Византийский Временник Российской Академии Наук (in Russian)
  • Bryn Mawr Classical Review (in English)
  • BYZANTINA. Annual Review of the "Byzantine Research Centre", University of Thessaloniki (in English) (in Greek)
  • BYZANTINA SYMMEIKTA, Institute for Byzantine Research (Greece) (in English) (in Greek)
  • Deltion of the Christian Archaeological Society (Greece) (in English) (in Greek)
  • Dumbarton Oaks Publications (incl. free online e-books) (in English)
  • Ellinika, Society for Macedonian Studies (in Greek)
  • Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies, Duke University (in English)
  • Revue des études byzantines (in French)
  • Zbornik radova Vizantoloskog instituta (in English)(in Serbian)
  • Επετηρίς Εταιρείας Βυζαντινών Σπουδών, Society for Byzantine Studies of Athens (in Greek) (online)
  • Βυζαντιακά, Hellenic Association of Historical Sciences

Byzantine studies and research institutes

  • AHRB Centre for Byzantine Cultural History (in English)
  • Византолошки институт САНУ - Institute for Byzantine Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (in Serbian) (in English)
  • Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC (in English)
  • Ινστιτούτο Βυζαντινών Ερευνών (ΙΒΕ) - Institute of Byzantine Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation, Athens (in Greek) (in English)
  • Institut für Byzantinische Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte, University of Heidelberg (in German)
  • Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik, Münster (in German)
  • Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik, University of Vienna (in German)
  • Institut für Byzanzforschung (IBF), Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna (in German)
  • Κέντρο Βυζαντινών Ερευνών (ΚΒΕ) - Byzantine Research Centre, University of Thessaloniki (in Greek) (in English)
  • The Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research (in English)
  • Εταιρείας Βυζαντινών Σπουδών - Society for Byzantine Studies of Athens (in Greek)

Projects

  • The Amorium Excavations Project (in English) (in Turkish)
  • The Archeology of Constantinople and its Hinterland (in English)
    • Anastasian Wall Project (in English)
    • The Water Supply of Constantinople (in English)
  • The Euchaita/Avkat Project (in English)
  • Inscriptions of Aphrodisias (in English)
  • Tabula Imperii Byzantini (in German)

Bibliography and primary sources

  • Auteurs Grecs, comprehensive list of works by ancient Greek and Byzantine authors in the original and French translation (in Greek)(in French)
  • Bibliography on Byzantine Material Culture and Daily Life, University of Vienna] (in English)
  • Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae (in English) (texts in original Greek and Latin translations)
  • Byzantine Studies Bibliographies, Fordham University (in English)
  • Internet Medieval Sourcebook. Selected Sources: Byzantium, Fordham University (in English)
  • MYRIOBIBLOS, the e-text Library of the Church of Greece (in English) (in Greek)
  • Procopius: Buildings, at Lacus Curtius (in English)
  • Procopius: The Secret History, at Lacus Curtius (in English)
  • John Bagnall Bury: History of the Later Roman Empire (in English)
  • Translated Excerpts from Byzantine Sources: The Imperial Centuries, c. 700-1204, by Paul Stephenson (in English)

On-line manuscript collections

  • Greek Manuscripts at Oxford
  • Greek Manuscripts at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
  • Greek Manuscripts at the Houghton Library, Harvard
  • Codex Sinaiticus
  • Digital Library of the Leimonos Monastery
  • Digital Scriptorium at Berkeley, University of California
  • John Skylitzes - Byzantine History, at Biblioteca Digital Hispanica

Art, museums and exhibitions

  • Byzantium (ca. 330–1453), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (in English)
  • Βυζαντινό και Χριστιανικό Μουσείο - Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens, Greece (in Greek) (in English)
  • Chora Church Museum (in English)
  • Icons and Iconoclasm in Byzantium, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (in English)
  • Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (in English)
  • Μουσείο Βυζανινού Πολιτισμού - Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki, Greece (in Greek) (in English)
  • God's Regents on Earth: A Thousand Years of Byzantine Imperial Seals, from the Dumbarton Oaks Collection (in English)

Prosopography

  • 12 Byzantine Rulers, by Lars Brownworth (audiobooks) (in English)
  • De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and Their Families (in English)
  • Medieval Lands: A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families (in English)
  • Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit (in German) (in English)
  • Prosopography of the Byzantine World (in English)

Other

  • Byzantine Coins (in English)
  • Byzantine Coinage, Chronological Index of Byzantine Rulers (in English)
  • Byzantium 1200 (in English)
  • The Byzantine churches of Istanbul, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (in English)
  • Byzantine Monuments of Attica, Institute of Byzantine Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation (in English) (in Greek)
  • Byzantine Seals Online Catalogue, Dumbarton Oaks Research Institute (in English)
  • Coins of the Byzantine Empire (in English)
  • Digitales Forschungsarchiv Byzanz, University of Vienna (in German) (in English)
  • Ίδρυμα Μείζονος Ελληνισμού - Foundation of the Hellenic World (in English) (in Greek)
    • Hellenic History (in English) (in Greek)
    • Encyclopedia of the Hellenic World: Asia Minor (in English) (in Greek)
    • Encyclopedia of the Hellenic World: Black Sea (in English) (in Greek)
    • Encyclopedia of the Hellenic World: Constantinople (in English) (in Greek)
  • Interactive Map of Constantinople, University of Toronto (in English)
  • Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilization, Harvard University (in English)
  • ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World (in English)
  • PLEIADES: A community-built gazetteer and graph of ancient places (in English)
  • Η Καστροπολιτεία του Μυστρά, Hellenic Ministry of Culture (in Greek)
  • LEVANTIA - Social history of the Levant (in English)
  • Roman and Byzantine Law (in English)
  • Suda On Line: Byzantine Lexicography (in English)

Things to do

Selected image

Byzantinischer Mosaizist um 1000 002.jpg

Photo credit:Vlado

Emperor Constantine the Great presents a representation of the city of Constantinople as tribute to an enthroned Mary and baby Jesus in this church mosaic from the Hagia Sophia, c. 1000

Recognised content

This is a list of articles related to the Byzantine Empire that have been recognized by the Wikipedia community as being of particular quality.

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Featured articles:

Basiliscus  • Battle of Dyrrhachium (1081)  • Battle of Kalavrye  • Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347  • Byzantine Empire  • Byzantine navy  • Chariot racing  • Greece runestones  • Gregory of Nazianzus  • Istanbul  • Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria  • Manuel I Komnenos  • Maximus the Confessor  • Paul Palaiologos Tagaris  • Roman–Persian Wars  • Sack of Amorium  • Siege of Constantinople (674–678)  • Siege of Constantinople (717–718)  • Simeon I of Bulgaria  • Theodore Komnenos Doukas  • Thomas the Slav  • Treaty of Devol  • Jovan Vladimir

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A-class articles:

Abbasid invasion of Asia Minor (782)  • Abbasid invasion of Asia Minor (806)  • Abu'l-Aswar Shavur ibn Fadl  • Ahmad ibn Tulun  • Al-Mundhir III ibn al-Harith  • Bardanes Tourkos  • Battle of Lalakaon  • Battle of Solachon  • Bessas (general)  • Byzantine–Sassanid War of 602–628  • John Kourkouas  • John Troglita  • Junayd of Aydın  • Priscus (general)  • Siege of Thessalonica (1422–1430)  • Sviatoslav's invasion of Bulgaria  • Vitalian (general)

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Good articles:

Abdallah al-Battal  • Abu Taghlib  • Adrianos Komnenos  • Alexios Apokaukos  • Alexios Komnenos (protosebastos)  • Alexios Philanthropenos  • Alexios Strategopoulos  • Andronikos Doukas Angelos  • Andronikos Komnenos (son of Alexios I)  • Artabanes (general)  • Avar–Byzantine wars  • Bardas  • Basil II  • Baths of Zeuxippus  • Battle of Akroinon  • Battle of Alexandretta  • Battle of Andrassos  • Battle of Anzen  • Battle of Apamea  • Battle of Arcadiopolis (970)  • Battle of Azaz (1030)  • Battle of Bathys Ryax  • Battle of Constantinople (922)  • Battle of Kleidion  • Battle of Kopidnadon  • Battle of Krasos  • Battle of Manzikert  • Battle of Mauropotamos  • Battle of Petroe  • Battle of the Gates of Trajan  • Battle of the Olive Grove of Koundouros  • Battle of Yarmouk  • Byzantine–Arab Wars  • Byzantine–Bulgarian war of 894–896  • Byzantine Empire under the Komnenos dynasty  • Byzantine Greeks  • Byzantine–Ottoman Wars  • Chalke  • Chlemoutsi  • Church of St. Polyeuctus  • Constantine Angelos  • Constantine Dalassenos (duke of Antioch)  • Constantine Diogenes  • Constantine Doukas (usurper)  • Constantine Komnenos Angelos  • Constantine Lekapenos  • Constantine the Great  • Cutzinas  • David III of Tao  • Domestic of the Schools  • Droungarios of the Fleet  • Droungarios of the Watch  • Emirate of Crete  • Eustathios Argyros (general under Leo VI)  • Eustathios Daphnomeles  • Eutharic  • Euthymius I of Constantinople  • Gabras  • Geoffrey of Briel  • George Mouzalon  • Germanus (cousin of Justinian I)  • Glarentza  • Gothic War (535–554)  • Gubazes II of Lazica  • Guy Pallavicini  • Harald Hardrada  • Heraclius  • Heraclius (son of Constans II)  • Heraclius the Elder  • Isaac Komnenos (brother of Alexios I)  • John Doukas (megas doux)  • John Doukas (sebastokrator)  • John I Doukas of Thessaly  • John II Komnenos  • John Komnenos (Domestic of the Schools)  • John Komnenos Asen  • John Komnenos the Fat  • John of Brienne  • John Palaiologos (brother of Michael VIII)  • Junayd of Aydın  • Justin (consul 540)  • Justinian I  • Konstantios Doukas  • Law School of Beirut  • Leo II (emperor)  • Leo Tornikios  • Licario  • Mansur ibn Lu'lu'  • Manuel Erotikos Komnenos  • Manuel the Armenian  • Marianos Argyros  • Martino Zaccaria  • Maslama ibn Abd al-Malik  • Maurice (emperor)  • Mauro-Roman Kingdom  • Megas logothetes  • Michael I Komnenos Doukas  • Michael IV the Paphlagonian  • Michael VIII Palaiologos  • Michael Bourtzes  • Michael Dokeianos  • Michael Lachanodrakon  • Momchil  • al-Muktafi  • Muslim conquest of Sicily  • Nikephoros (Caesar)  • Nikephoros Diogenes  • Nikephoros Komnenos  • Nikephoros Komnenos (brother of Alexios I)  • Nikephoros Melissenos  • Nikephoros Phokas Barytrachelos  • Nikephoros Phokas the Elder  • Nikephoros Xiphias  • Orphanotrophos  • Ottoman conquest of Lesbos  • Peter the Patrician  • Protostrator  • Sack of Damietta (853)  • Sa'd al-Dawla  • Salih ibn Mirdas  • Sayf al-Dawla  • Shahrbaraz  • Siege of Berat (1280–1281)  • Siege of Constantinople (860)  • Siege of Damascus (634)  • Siege of Jerusalem (637)  • Siege of Kamacha (766)  • Siege of Nicaea (727)  • Siege of Patras (805 or 807)  • Siege of Syracuse (877–878)  • Siege of Tyana  • Solomon (Byzantine general)  • Staurakios (eunuch)  • Stephen Lekapenos  • Stylianos Zaoutzes  • Syrgiannes Palaiologos  • Theodore Synadenos  • Theodosius (son of Maurice)  • Theoktistos  • Turahan Bey  • Type of Constans  • Tzachas  • Umar al-Aqta  • Uprising of Ivaylo  • Vandalic War  • Walls of Constantinople

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