Byzantine Empires
Byzantine Empire, History

Great Byzantine Empire Eurasia, a historic empire

When did the Byzantine Empire exist?
The Byzantine Empire existed from about 395 AD to 1453 when the Roman Empire split. It became one of the world’s leading civilizations before the  Ottoman attack in the 15th century.

How did the Byzantine Empire get its name?

Modern historians use the term Byzantine Empire to distinguish states from the western part of the Roman Empire. The name comes from the Byzantine colony and transit point of ancient Greece, which was the site of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Residents of the Byzantine Empire would have considered themselves Romanois or Romans.

Where was the Byzantine Empire?

The Byzantine Empire, to its fullest extent,  covered most of the land around the Mediterranean, including modern-day Italy, Greece, Turkey, and parts of North Africa and the Middle East. It peaked in  the 6th century under  Justinian I, but declined significantly in the 11th century after internal conflicts and aggression by outsiders, including the Seljuk Empire and the Normans.

Did the Byzantine Empire practice Christianity?

Citizens of the Byzantine Empire were as strongly identified as Christians as they were identified as Romans. The emperor wanted to unite the empire under one belief, recognized Christianity as the state religion, and gave the church  political and legal power. Under some emperors, pagans were ordered to attend church and be baptized, and Jews and Samaritans were forbidden to receive dowry or inheritance unless  converted.

How was the Byzantine Empire different from the Roman Empire?

The Byzantine Empire is the eastern half of the Roman Empire and  survived more than 1000 years after the collapse of the western half. A series of regional traumas, including plague, war, social turmoil, and the onslaught of Arab and Muslims in the 630s, marked a cultural and institutional shift from the Byzantine Empire to the Byzantine Empire.

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