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...
A map illustrating Byzantine Constantinople and the Golden Horn.
The Byzantine Empire, often called the Eastern Roman Empire or simply Byzantium, existed from 330 to 1453. With its capital founded at Constantinople by Constantine I (r. 306-337), the Empire varied in size over the centuries, at one time...
The government of the Byzantine Empire was headed and dominated by the emperor, but there were many other important officials who assisted in operating the finances, judiciary, military, and bureaucracy of a huge territory. Without elections...
The Byzantine Emperor ruled as an absolute monarch in an institution which lasted from the 4th to 15th century CE. Aided by ministers, high-ranking nobility, and key church figures, the emperor (and sometimes empress) was commander-in-chief...
The Hippodrome of Constantinople
The Hippodrome of Constantinople was an arena used for chariot racing throughout the Byzantine period. First built during the reign of Roman emperor Septimius Severus in the early 3rd century CE, the structure was made more grandiose by emperor...
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...
Trade in the Byzantine Empire
Trade and commerce were essential components of the success and expansion of the Byzantine Empire. Trade was carried out by ship over vast distances, although for safety, most sailing vessels were restricted to the better weather conditions...
1453: The Fall of Constantinople
The city of Constantinople (modern Istanbul) was founded by Roman emperor Constantine I in 324 CE and it acted as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantine Empire as it has later become known, for well over 1,000 years. Although...
Empire of Nicaea
The Empire of Nicaea was a successor state to the Byzantine Empire, or rather a Byzantine Empire in exile lasting from 1204 to 1261 CE. The Empire of Nicaea was founded in the aftermath of the sacking of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade...