Detail of a contemporary portrait of Justinian I in the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna. The emperor's robe is of Tyrian purple.
Byzantine Empire, 717 CE
A map of the Byzantine empire and its themes and provinces in 717 CE.
Justinian II & Tiberius
A gold coin depicting Byzantine emperor Justinian II (r. 685-95 & 705-11 CE) and his son Tiberius (d. 711 CE).
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...
Eagle, Byzantine Mosaic.
Details from the pastoral compositions in the Great Palace mosaics, Istanbul, Turkey. Period: Early Byzantine, circa: 6th century CE. Place: Constantinople, (Modern Istanbul, Turkey). The Great Palace Mosaic Museum was inaugurated in...
Detail of a 6th Century CE Elephant Mosaic
Detail of a 6th century CE mosaic floor that used to decorate the pavement of the peristyle court of the Palatium Magnum, the Great Palace of Constantinople. The Great Palace Mosaic Museum houses mosaics from the Byzantine period, unearthed...
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...
Zeno was Byzantine emperor from 474 until 491 CE. An ethnic Isaurian, Zeno was repeatedly criticized as an outsider during his reign, which was full of rebellions and attacks by the Ostrogoths. He is best known for his failed attempt to compromise...
Leo V the Armenian
Leo the V the Armenian was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 813 to 820 CE. He was of Armenian descent and the last ruler of the Isaurian dynasty which had been founded by Leo III (r. 717-741 CE). The emperor's reign, after early military...
Romanos I Lekapenos (“the Ignorant”) was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 920 to 944 CE. Of Armenian descent, he was a military commander who usurped the throne to rule as co-emperor with the rightful heir, but still minor...