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BYZANTINES

 

DSC01868The great Byzantine Empire started life as a small Greek colony in the 7th century BC but went on to become the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire as sheer size forced the rulers in Rome to share their power. Eventually Rome itself was overrun by invaders, leaving Byzantium – renamed Constantinople in his own honour by Constantine the Great – as its successor, albeit a far glitizier, more eastern-oriented one.

Frequently harried by armies from the newly invigorated Islamic Middle East, Byzantium held its ground until 1071 when defeat by the Selçuk Turks at Manzikert in what is now eastern Turkey signaled that the tide had turned against it.

In a particularly disconcerting episode in 1204 the Byzantine emperor was actually forced from the throne by the forces of the Fourth Crusade who diverted from their supposed goal of recovering Jerusalem to sack the city, inflicting worse damage on it than the Ottomans when their turn came in 1453. The Latin Occupation continued through until 1261 at which time a scion of the imperial family based in Nicaea (modern İznik) managed to recapture the city.

This achievement was marked by a Byzantine Renaissance in art and architecture, but beneath the glamour the Empire was seriously weakened, its troops no match for Sultan Mehmed II’s concerted assault on it in 1453. A breakaway Byzantine “Empire” continued to hold on in Trebizond (modern Trabzon) on the Black Sea, but it too finally fell to the Conqueror in 1461.

THE BYZANTINE EMPERORS

Arcadius (395-408)

Theodosius II (408-50)

Marcian (450-57)

Leo I (457-74)

Leo II (474)

Zeno (474-75)

Basilicus (475-76)

Zeno restored (476-91)

Anastasius I (491-518)

Justin I (518-27)

Justinian I (527-65) - the Great

Justin II (565-78)

Tiberius I Constantine (578-82)

Maurice (582-602)

Fokas (602-10)

Heraclius (610-41)

Constantine III & Heraclonas (641)

Constans II (641-68)

Constantine IV (668-85)

Justinian II (685-95)

Leontius (695-98)

Tiberius II (698-705)

Justinian II restored (705-11)

Philippicus Bardanes (711-13)

Anastasius II (713-15)

Theodosius III (715-17)

Leo III (717-41)

Constantine V (741-75)

Leo IV (775-80)

Constantine VI (780-97)

Irene (797-802)

Nicephoros I (802-11)

Stauracius (811)

Michael I Rangabe (811-13)

Leo V (813-20)

Michael II (820-29)

Theophilos (829-42)

Michael III (842-67)

Basil I (867-86)

Leo VI (886-912)

Alexander (912-13)

Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (913-59)

Romanos I Lecapenus (919-44)

Romanos II (959-63)

Nicephoros II Fokas (963-69)

John I Tzimiskes (969-76)

Basil II (976-1024) – the Bulgar-slayer

Constantine VIII (1025-28)

Romanos III Argyrus (1028-34)

Michael IV (1034-41)

Michael V (1041-42)

Theodora & Zoe (1042-1042)

Constantine IX Monomachos (1042-55)

Theodora restored (1055-56)

Michael VI (1056-57)

Isaac I Comnenos (1057-59)

Constantine X Ducas (1059-67)

Romanos IV Diogenes (1067-81)

Michael VII Ducas (1071-78)

Nicephoros III Botaneiates (1078-81)

Alexios I Comnenos (1081-1118)

John II Comnenos (1118-43)

Manuel I Comnenos (1143-80)

Alexios II Comnenos (1180-83)

Andronicos I Comnenos (1182-85)

Isaac II Angelos (1185-95)

Alexios III Angelos (1195-1203)

Isaac II Angelos restored & Alexios IV Angelos (1203-04)

Alexios V Ducas (1204)

 

BYZANTINE RESTORATION

Michael VIII Paleologos (1261-82)

Andronicos II Paleologos (1282-1328)

Andronicos III Paleologos (1328-41)

John V Paleologos (1341-91)

John VI Cantacuzenus (1347-54)

Andronicos IV Paleologos (1376-79)

John VII Paleologos (1390)

Manuel II Paleologos (1391-1425)

John VIII Paleologos (1425-48)

Constantine XI Dragases (1449-53)

Read about Turkey's best Byzantine monuments: http://www.todayszaman.com/news-276685-turkeys-10-best-byzantine-monuments.html

Read about İstanbul's most important Byzantine monuments: http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail.action;jsessionid=NaO6bzqsDzzG36yheJRyOcZr?newsId=343231&columnistId=0

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