The mercenary Varangian Guard was an elite Byzantine army corps and the personal bodyguard of emperors beginning with Basil II in c. 988 CE. The Viking unit was famous for the stature of its members and their blood-thirsty conduct in battle...
Michael III, also known as “Michael the Drunkard” by his detractors, was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 842 to 867 CE. Never quite escaping the shadow of his mother Theodora, who ruled as regent in his name until c. 855...
John I Tzimiskes
John I Tzimiskes was Byzantine emperor from 969 to 976 CE. Although he took the throne by murdering his predecessor Nikephoros II Phokas, John was a popular emperor. A skilled general and a competent politician, he is known for expanding...
Market in Constantinople (Artist's Impression)
An artist's depiction of a Near Eastern or Mediterranean marketplace in the Middle Ages, perhaps in the Byzantine Empire or Ottoman Empire. From the game Old World.
Despotate of Epirus
The Despotate of Epirus was one of the successor states of the Byzantine Empire when it disintegrated following the Fourth Crusade's capture of Constantinople in 1204 CE. It was originally the most successful of those successor states, coming...
Trade in the Roman World
Regional, inter-regional and international trade was a common feature of the Roman world. A mix of state control and a free market approach ensured goods produced in one location could be exported far and wide. Cereals, wine and olive oil...
Justinian I reigned as emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 527 to 565 CE. Born around 482 CE in Tauresium, a village in Illyria, his uncle Emperor Justin I was an imperial bodyguard who reached the throne on the death of Anastasius in 518...
Plan of the Hippodrome of Constantinople
A plan showing the layout and location of the Hippodrome of Constantiople, in use from the 3rd to 13th century CE.
The First Crusade (1095-1102) was a military campaign by western European forces to recapture the city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslim control. Conceived by Pope Urban II following an appeal from the Byzantine emperor Alexios I...
Spread of Christianity Map (up to 600 CE)
Map showing the spread of Christianity, showing both strongly Christianized areas before 325 CE and generally Christianized areas until 600 CE. The map also shows major Christian centers and the cities in which Christian councils were held.