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Society in the Byzantine Empire
Articleby Mark Cartwright

Society in the Byzantine Empire

The society in the Byzantine Empire (4th-15th century CE) was dominated by the imperial family and the male aristocracy but there were opportunities for social advancement thanks to wars, population movements, imperial gifts of lands and...
Constantinople
Definitionby Donald L. Wasson

Constantinople

Built in the seventh century BCE, the ancient city of Byzantium proved to be a valuable city for both the Greeks and Romans. Because it lay on the European side of the Strait of Bosporus, the Emperor Constantine understood its strategic importance...
The Great Palace of Constantinople
Articleby Mark Cartwright

The Great Palace of Constantinople

The Great Palace of Constantinople was the magnificent residence of Byzantine emperors and their court officials which included a golden throne room with wondrous mechanical devices, reception halls, chapels, treasury, and gardens. In use...
Manuel I Komnenos
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Manuel I Komnenos

Manuel I Komnenos was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 1143 to 1180 CE. Manuel continued the ambitious campaigns of his grandfather Alexios I and father John II to aggressively expand the boundaries of his empire. Manuel turned out to...
Leo III
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Leo III

Leo III was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 717 to 741 CE. He founded the Isaurian dynasty which ruled until 802 CE. The emperor was a talented administrator, and he revamped the empire's political apparatus and legal code. Leo's reign...
Empress Irene
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Empress Irene

Empress Irene was the wife of Leo IV and, on her husband's death, she reigned as regent for her son Constantine VI from 780 to 790 CE. From 797 to 802 CE she ruled as emperor in her own right, the first woman to do so in Byzantine history...
Yongle Emperor
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Yongle Emperor

The Yongle Emperor (aka Chengzu or Yung Lo, r. 1403-1424 CE) was the third ruler of the Chinese Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE). Inheriting a stable state thanks to the work of his father, the Hongwu Emperor (r. 1368-1398 CE), Yongle made lasting...
Leo VI
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Leo VI

Leo VI was emperor of the Byzantine empire from 886-912 CE. He was the second emperor of the Macedonian dynasty and is sometimes known as “Leo the Wise” in reference to his prolific literary output which ranged from orations to...
1204: The Sack of Constantinople
Articleby Mark Cartwright

1204: The Sack of Constantinople

In 1204 CE the unthinkable happened and Constantinople, after nine centuries of withstanding all comers, was brutally sacked. Even more startling was the fact that the perpetrators were not any of the traditional enemies of the Byzantine...
Basil I
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Basil I

Basil I was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 867 to 886 CE and he founded the "Macedonian" dynasty which lasted for over 200 years. Basil was an Armenian from a humble background who had risen to become the second most powerful...