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Animated map showing the territorial evolution of the Byzantine Empire (in green).
The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or 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 Istanbul, formerly 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."Byzantine Empire" is a term created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire simply as the Roman Empire (Greek: Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων, tr. Basileia 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 diverged. 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 state religion and other religious practices were proscribed. In the reign of Heraclius (r. 610–641), the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use in place of Latin. Although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, orientated towards Greek rather than Latin culture and characterised by Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
Map of Byzantine Constantinople
Constantinople (Greek: Κωνσταντινούπολις, Konstantinoúpolis, or ἡ Πόλις hē Pólis, Latin: Constantinopolis, in formal Ottoman Turkish: قسطنطينيه Kostantiniyye) was the imperial capital (Gr: Βασιλεύουσα, Basileúousa) of the Roman Empire (330–395), the Byzantine/Eastern Roman Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). Strategically located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara at the point where Europe meets Asia, Byzantine Constantinople had been the capital of a Christian empire, successor to ancient Greece and Rome. Throughout the Middle Ages Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.
Theoktistos (Greek: Θεόκτιστος, died November 20, 855), was an influential senior Byzantine official during the reigns of Michael II and his son Theophilos, and regent for the underage Michael III. He is noted for his administrative and political competence, for ending the Iconoclasm (the "Triumph of Orthodoxy"), and for promoting a major renaissance in education within the Empire with the foundation of the University of Magnaura.
Theoktistos was also the uncle of Cyril and Methodius. Following the death of their father, in 843 he invited them to Constantinople to help them in their studies. During the regency, the empress' brother, Bardas, was Theoktistos' primary antagonist. In 855, Michael III came of age at 16, and turned the control of the government over to his uncle Bardas, raising him to the highest rank - that of caesar. It was then that Bardas and Michael decided to eliminate Theoktistos, who was arrested and killed.
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External links and resources
Societies of Byzantine studies
Journals of Byzantine studies
Byzantine studies and research institutes
- AHRB Centre for Byzantine Cultural History ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- Византолошки институт САНУ - Institute for Byzantine Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts ‹See Tfd›(in Serbian) ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, DC ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- Ινστιτούτο Βυζαντινών Ερευνών (ΙΒΕ) - Institute of Byzantine Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation, Athens ‹See Tfd›(in Greek) ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- Institut für Byzantinische Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte, University of Heidelberg ‹See Tfd›(in German)
- Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik, Münster ‹See Tfd›(in German)
- Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik, University of Vienna ‹See Tfd›(in German)
- Institut für Byzanzforschung (IBF), Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna ‹See Tfd›(in German)
- Κέντρο Βυζαντινών Ερευνών (ΚΒΕ) - Byzantine Research Centre, University of Thessaloniki ‹See Tfd›(in Greek) ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- The Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- Εταιρείας Βυζαντινών Σπουδών - Society for Byzantine Studies of Athens ‹See Tfd›(in Greek)
Bibliography and primary sources
On-line manuscript collections
Art, museums and exhibitions
- Byzantine Coins ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- Byzantine Coinage, Chronological Index of Byzantine Rulers ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- Byzantium 1200 ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- The Byzantine churches of Istanbul, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- Byzantine Monuments of Attica, Institute of Byzantine Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation ‹See Tfd›(in English) ‹See Tfd›(in Greek)
- Byzantine Seals Online Catalogue, Dumbarton Oaks Research Institute ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- Coins of the Byzantine Empire ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- Digitales Forschungsarchiv Byzanz, University of Vienna ‹See Tfd›(in German) ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- Ίδρυμα Μείζονος Ελληνισμού - Foundation of the Hellenic World ‹See Tfd›(in English) ‹See Tfd›(in Greek)
- Interactive Map of Constantinople, University of Toronto ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilization, Harvard University ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- PLEIADES: A community-built gazetteer and graph of ancient places ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- Η Καστροπολιτεία του Μυστρά, Hellenic Ministry of Culture ‹See Tfd›(in Greek)
- LEVANTIA - Social history of the Levant ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- Roman and Byzantine Law ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- Suda On Line: Byzantine Lexicography ‹See Tfd›(in English)
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