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Byzantine Empire

Byzantine Empire
Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων
Basileía Rhōmaíōn
Imperium Romanum
c. 330 – 1453

Tremissis with the image of Justinian the Great
(r. 527–565) (see Byzantine insignia)

The Empire at its greatest extent in AD 555 under
Justinian the Great (its vassals in pink)
Capital Constantinople
  • Latin (official until 610)
  • Greek (official after 610)
Religion Christianity(Eastern Orthodox)
(tolerated after the Edict of Milan in 313; state religion after 380)
Government monarchy
Notable emperors
 •  c. 330–337 Constantine I
 •  457–474 Leo I
 •  527–565 Justinian I
 •  610–641 Heraclius
 •  976–1025 Basil II
 •  1081–1118 Alexius I
 •  1259–1282 Michael VIII
 •  1449–1453 Constantine XI
Historical era Late Antiquity to Late Middle Ages
 •  Partition of the Roman Empire 285
 •  Founding of Constantinople 330
 •  Death of Theodosius I 395
 •  Nominal end of the Western Roman Empire 476
 •  Fourth Crusade 1204
 •  Reconquest of Constantinople 1261
 •  Fall of Constantinople 29 May 1453
 •  Fall of Trebizond 15 August 1461
 •  Fall of Principality of Theodoro December 1475
 •  450 AD 2,800,000 km² (1,081,086 sq mi)
 •  555 AD 2,700,000 km² (1,042,476 sq mi)
 •  565 AD est. 26,000,000 
 •  780 AD est. 7,000,000 
 •  1025 AD est. 12,000,000 
Currency Solidus, Hyperpyron and Follis
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Dio coin3.jpg Roman Empire
Ottoman Empire
a. ^ Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων may be transliterated in Latin as Basileia Rhōmaiōn, meaning Roman Empire.
b. ^ Between 1204 and 1261 there was an interregnum when the Empire was divided into the Empire of Nicaea, the Empire of Trebizond and the Despotate of Epirus, which were all contenders for rule of the Empire. The Empire of Nicaea is considered the legitimate continuation of the Byzantine Empire because they managed to re-take Constantinople.
c. ^ See Population of the Byzantine Empire for more detailed figures taken provided by McEvedy and Jones, Atlas of World Population History, 1978, as well as Angeliki E. Laiou, The Economic History of Byzantium, 2002.

Tremissis with the image of Justinian the Great
(r. 527–565) (see Byzantine insignia)

The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in the East during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul, which had been founded as Byzantium). It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe. Both "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire as the Roman Empire (Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, tr. Basileia tôn Rhōmaiōn; Latin: Imperium Romanum), or Romania (Ῥωμανία), and to themselves as "Romans".



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