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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...
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...
Constantine V
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Constantine V

Constantine V, also known as Constantine the Dung-named by his enemies, was emperor of the Byzantine empire from 741 to 775 CE. He enjoyed military successes in the Middle East and Balkans but his reign is chiefly remembered for his systematic...
Tyrian Purple
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Tyrian Purple

Tyrian purple (aka Royal purple or Imperial purple) is a dye extracted from the murex shellfish which was first produced by the Phoenician city of Tyre in the Bronze Age. Its difficulty of manufacture, striking purple to red colour range...
Isis
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Isis

Isis is an ancient Egyptian goddess who became the most popular and enduring of all the Egyptian deities. Her name comes from the Egyptian Eset, ("the seat") which referred to her stability and also the throne of Egypt as she was considered...
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...
Byzantium
Definitionby Donald L. Wasson

Byzantium

The ancient city of Byzantium was founded by Greek colonists from Megara around 657 BCE. According to the historian Tacitus, it was built on the European side of the Strait of Bosporus on the order of the “god of Delphi” who said...
Chinese Emperor
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Chinese Emperor

The emperors of ancient China had tremendous power and responsibility. Called the 'Son of Heaven', he (and once she) was given a divine right to rule over all people but was expected to promote their best interest and not his own. An absolute...
Theophilos
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Theophilos

Theophilos was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 829 to 842 CE. He was the second ruler of the Amorion dynasty founded by his father Michael II. Popular during his reign and responsible for a lavish rebuilding of Constantinople's palaces...
Mandate of Heaven
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Mandate of Heaven

The Mandate of Heaven (Tianming), also known as Heaven's Mandate, was the divine source of authority and the right to rule of China's early kings and emperors. The ancient god or divine force known as Heaven or Sky had selected this particular...
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