Friday, November 13, 2020

Byzantium: Eastern Roman Empire

The Byzantine Empire was the successor of the Roman Empire in the East. While the Western Roman Empire fell in 476 AD, the Byzantine Empire in the East lasted another 1,000 years.

The son of the Roman general Constantius Chlorus, Constantine I (“the Great”) is usually held to be the founder of the Byzantine Empire. Constantine was moving the capital of the Roman Empire to the city of Byzantium (the origin of the word “Byzantine”), which he re-founded as the city of Constantinople.

After Constantine, few emperors ruled the entire Roman Empire. It was too big, and under attack from too many directions. The Western Roman Empire crumbled in the fifth century as it was overrun by invading Germanic tribes, while Constantinople became the largest city in the empire and a major commercial center.

With its magnificent palaces, churches, forums filled with sculptures and works of art, universities, and a countless building of great beauty, Constantinople was the cradle of civilization.

In 527, a high-ranking Byzantine nobleman named Justinian succeeded his uncle to the throne of the Eastern Empire. In an effort to regain Rome’s fading glory, Justinian in 533 sent his best general, Belisarius, to recover North Africa from the invading Germanic tribes.

Byzantium was overthrown in the fifteenth century, following the fall of Constantinople the Ottoman Turks on 29 May 1453.
Byzantium: Eastern Roman Empire

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