Imperio Bizantino

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Imperio Bizantino
Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων, Ῥωμανία
Basileia Rhōmaiōn, Rhōmanía
Imperium Romanum, Rumania
"Imperio Romano"
Imperio

. c 330 - 1204
1261 - 1453

Solidus con la imagen de Justiniano II
y Jesucristo

El Imperio en su mayor parte bajo Justiniano I , en 555 dC
Capital Constantinopla
Idiomas
Religión Paganismo romano hasta 380.
Cristianismo Ortodoxo (tolerado después de los Edicto de Milán en el año 313; religión del estado después de 380)
Gobierno Absolutista autocracia
Emperador
- 330-337 Constantino I
- 1449-1453 Constantino XI
Era histórico Late Antiquity - Baja Edad Media
- Partición del Imperio Romano 285
- Fundador de Constantinopla 330
- La muerte de Teodosio I 395
- Final nominal de Imperio de Occidente 476
- Cuarta Cruzada 1204
- Reconquista de Constantinopla 1261
- La caída de Constantinopla 29 de mayo 1453
- Caída de Trebisonda 1461
Población
- 565 est AD 26000000 un
- 780 est AD 7000000
- 1025 est AD 12000000
- 1143 est AD 10000000
- 1282 est AD 5000000
Moneda Solidus , Hyperpyron
una. Ver Población del Imperio Bizantino disponer de cifras más detalladas tomadas proporcionada por McEvedy y Jones, "Atlas de la Historia Mundial de la Población", 1978, así como Angeliki Laiou E., "La historia económica de Bizancio", 2002.

El Imperio Bizantino fue el predominantemente griega continuación habla del Imperio Romano durante la Antigüedad tardía y la Edad Media . Tenía su capital en la ciudad de Constantinopla , también conocida como Bizancio. Inicialmente, la mitad oriental del Imperio Romano (a menudo llamado el Imperio Romano de Oriente en este contexto), que sobrevivió a la quinta siglo fragmentación y el colapso del Imperio Romano de Occidente y continuó prosperando, existiendo por otros mil años hasta que cayó a la otomana Turcos en 1453. Durante la mayor parte de su existencia, el imperio fue la fuerza económica, cultural y militar más poderosa de Europa.

Tanto el "Imperio Bizantino" y "El Imperio Romano de Oriente" son términos historiográficos aplicados en los siglos posteriores, los ciudadanos siguieron refiriéndose a su imperio como el Imperio Romano ( del griego : Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων, tr. Basileia Rhōmaiōn; América : Imperium Romanum), [ 1] y Rumanía (Ῥωμανία). [2]

Varios acontecimientos de la cuarta a sexta siglos marcan el período transitorio durante el cual el imperio romano del este y el oeste divididas . En 285, el emperador Diocleciano (r. 284-305) dividió la administración del Imperio Romano en dos mitades oriental y occidental. [3] Entre el 324 y el 330, Constantino I (r. 306-337) trasladó la capital principal de Roma a Bizancio , más tarde conocida como Constantinopla ("Ciudad de Constantino") y Nova Roma ("Nueva Roma"). [n 1] Bajo Teodosio I (r. 379-395), el cristianismo se convirtió en oficial del Imperio religión del Estado y otros como politeísmo romano eran proscrita . Y, por último, bajo el reinado Heraclio (r. 610-641), militar y administración del Imperio fueron reestructuradas y aprobadas griega para uso oficial en lugar del latín. [5] [2]

Las fronteras del Imperio evolucionado mucho a lo largo de su existencia, ya que fue a través de varios ciclos de caída y recuperación. Durante el reinado de Justiniano I (r. 527-565), el imperio alcanzó su mayor extensión después de reconquistar gran parte de la historia romana occidental del Mediterráneo costa, incluyendo el norte de África, Italia y la propia Roma, que se celebró durante dos siglos más. Durante el reinado de Maurice (r. 582-602), la frontera oriental del Imperio se expandió hacia el norte y se estabilizó. Sin embargo, su asesinato provocó una larga década de guerra en dos con la Persia sasánida que agotó los recursos del Imperio y ha contribuido a importantes pérdidas territoriales durante las guerras árabe-bizantinas del siglo séptimo. Durante el siglo 10 dinastía macedónica , el Imperio experimentado una especie de renacimiento , pero perdió gran parte de Asia Menor al turcos selyúcidas después de 1071.

Los últimos siglos del Imperio estuvieron marcados por el declive continuo en la zona. Se luchó para recuperarse durante el siglo 12, pero se le dio un golpe mortal por la Cuarta Cruzada , cuando Constantinopla fue saqueada y el Imperio se disolvió y se divide en griegos y bizantinos compiten reinos América . A pesar de la eventual recuperación de Constantinopla y el restablecimiento del Imperio en 1261 , Bizancio se mantuvo sólo uno de los muchos pequeños estados rivales de la zona durante los dos últimos siglos de su existencia. Este período volátil conduce a su anexión progresiva por los otomanos durante el siglo 15.

Contenido

[ editar ] Nomenclatura

El primer uso del término "bizantino" para marcar los últimos años del Imperio Romano fue en 1557, cuando el historiador alemán Hieronymus Lobo publicó su obra Corpus Historiae Byzantinæ, una colección de fuentes históricas. El término proviene de "Bizancio", el nombre de la ciudad de Constantinopla antes de que se convirtió en la capital de Constantino. Este nombre antiguo de la ciudad rara vez se puede utilizar a partir de este punto, salvo en contextos históricos o poético. La publicación en 1648 de los bizantinos du Louvre ( Corpus Historiae Scriptorum Byzantinae ), y en 1680 de Du Cange 's Historia Byzantina más popularizado el uso de "bizantina" entre los autores franceses, como Montesquieu . [6] Sin embargo, no fue hasta mediados del siglo 19 que el término entró en uso general en el mundo occidental. En cuanto a la historiografía Inglés, en particular, el primer motivo del "Imperio Bizantino" aparece en 1857 el trabajo de George Finlay (Historia del Imperio Bizantino 716-1057). [7]

El Imperio Bizantino era conocido por sus habitantes como el "Imperio Romano", el "imperio de los romanos" (latín: Imperium Romanum, Imperium Romanorum; griego: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων Basileia Ton Rhōmaiōn, Ἀρχὴ τῶν Ῥωμαίων Arche Ton Rhōmaiōn), "Rumania "(latín: Rumania, Griego: Ῥωμανία Rhōmania), [n 2] la "República Romana" (en latín: Res Publica Romana; griego: Πολιτεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων Politeia Ton Rhōmaiōn), Graikia (griego: Γραικία), y también como Rhōmais ( griego:. Ῥωμαΐς) [10]

Aunque el Imperio Bizantino tenía un carácter multiétnico durante la mayor parte de su historia [11] y preservado romano-helenístico tradiciones, [12] que se identificó por sus contemporáneos occidentales y del norte, con su cada vez más predominante elemento griego . [13] El uso ocasional del término "imperio de los griegos" (latín: Imperium Graecorum) en Occidente para referirse al Imperio Romano de Oriente y del emperador bizantino como Imperator Graecorum (emperador de los griegos) [14] también se utilizaron para separarla de la prestigio del Imperio Romano en los nuevos reinos de Occidente. [15]

La autoridad del emperador bizantino como el legítimo emperador romano, fue impugnada por la coronación de Carlomagno como Imperator Augusto por el Papa León III en el año 800. Necesidad de apoyo de Carlomagno en su lucha contra sus enemigos en Roma, Leo utiliza la falta de un ocupante del varón del trono del imperio romano a la hora de afirmar que estaba vacante y que por lo tanto podría coronar a un nuevo Emperador. [16] Cuando los Papas o los gobernantes de Occidente hizo uso del nombre romano para referirse a los emperadores romanos de Oriente, por lo general prefieren el término Romaniae Imperator lugar de Imperator Romanorum, un título que sólo se aplicaban a Carlomagno y sus sucesores. [n 3 ]

No existía tal distinción en el mundo persa, islámicos, y eslavos, donde el Imperio se vio más directa como la continuación del Imperio Romano. En el mundo islámico se conoce sobre todo como روم ( Rum ). [18]

[ editar ] Historia

[ editar ] Historia temprana

El bautismo de Constantino pintado por Raphael alumnos 's (1520-1524, fresco , Ciudad del Vaticano, Palacio Apostólico ). Eusebio de Cesarea registros que (como era común entre los conversos del cristianismo primitivo ) Constantino retrasado recibir el bautismo hasta poco antes de su muerte. [ 19]

El ejército romano tuvo éxito en la conquista de muchos territorios que cubren toda la región del Mediterráneo y las regiones costeras en el suroeste de Europa y norte de África. Estos territorios fueron el hogar de muchos grupos culturales diferentes, que van desde lo primitivo a altamente sofisticado. En términos generales, las provincias del este del Mediterráneo eran más urbanizada que la occidental, que previamente se han unido bajo el imperio de Macedonia y helenizado por la influencia de la cultura griega. [20]

El oeste también sufrió en mayor medida de la inestabilidad del siglo tercero dC. Esta distinción entre Oriente helenizado establecido y el más joven Latinised West persistió y se convirtió cada vez más importante en los siglos posteriores, lo que lleva a un distanciamiento progresivo de los dos mundos. [20]

[ editar ] Divisiones del Imperio Romano

Con el fin de mantener el control y mejorar la administración, diversos planes para dividir la obra del emperador romano compartiéndolo entre los individuos fueron juzgados entre 285 y 324, 337 a 350, 364 a 392, y de nuevo entre 395 y 480. Aunque las subdivisiones administrativas variadas, por lo general, implicaba una división del trabajo entre el Este y el Oeste. Cada división es una forma de compartir el poder (o incluso el trabajo compartido), para el imperium final no era divisible y por lo tanto sigue siendo el imperio legalmente un estado, aunque los co-emperadores a menudo veían como rivales o enemigos en lugar de socios.

En 293, Diocleciano creó un nuevo sistema administrativo (la tetrarquía ), con el fin de garantizar la seguridad en todas las regiones en peligro de extinción de su Imperio. Se asoció con un co-emperador ( Augusto ), y cada co-emperador adoptó entonces un joven colega le dio el título de César , a participar en su gobierno y, finalmente, tener éxito el socio principal. La tetrarquía colapsó, sin embargo, en el año 313, y unos años más tarde Constantino I reúne las dos divisiones administrativas del Imperio como único Augusto. [21]

[ edit ] recentralización

En el año 330, Constantino trasladó la sede del imperio de Constantinopla , fundada por él como una segunda Roma en el sitio de Bizancio, una ciudad bien situada a horcajadas de las rutas comerciales entre Oriente y Occidente. Constantino introdujo cambios importantes en las instituciones militares, monetarios, civiles y religiosas del Imperio. En cuanto a su política económica, en particular, ha sido acusado por algunos estudiosos de la "fiscalidad imprudente", pero el oro solidus introdujo convirtió en una moneda estable que transformó la economía y el desarrollo promovido. [22]

Bajo Constantino, el cristianismo no se convirtió en la religión exclusiva del Estado, pero disfrutó de la preferencia imperial, porque el emperador lo apoyó con privilegios generosos . Constantino estableció el principio de que los emperadores no pudieron resolver las cuestiones de la doctrina por sí mismos, sino que debe llamar a su lugar concilios generales para tal fin. Su convocatoria, tanto del Sínodo de Arles y el Primer Concilio de Nicea indicaron su interés por la unidad de la Iglesia, y mostró su pretensión de ser la cabeza. [23]

El Imperio Romano durante el reinado de Leo I (este) y Mayoriano (oeste) en el 460 AD. El dominio romano en el oeste iba a durar menos de dos décadas más, mientras que el territorio de este permanecería estática hasta las reconquistas de Justiniano I.

En el año 395, Teodosio I legó a la oficina imperial junto a sus hijos: Arcadio en Oriente y Honorio en Occidente, una vez más, dividiendo la administración imperial. En los siglos tercero y cuarto, la parte oriental del imperio se libró en gran medida las dificultades de la West-debido en parte a una cultura urbana más consolidados y mayores recursos financieros, que le permitieron aplacar invasores con homenaje y pagar mercenarios extranjeros. Este éxito permitió a Teodosio II para centrarse en la codificación del derecho romano y el posterior fortalecimiento de las murallas de Constantinopla , que salió de la ciudad impermeable a la mayoría de los ataques hasta 1204. [24]

Para defenderse de los hunos , Teodosio tuvo que pagar un enorme tributo anual a Attila . Su sucesor, Marciano , se negó a seguir pagando el tributo, pero Attila ya había desviado su atención hacia el Oeste . Después de su muerte en el año 453, el imperio huno se derrumbó, y muchos de los hunos restantes eran a menudo contratados como mercenarios por Constantinopla. [25]

[ editar ] La pérdida del Imperio Romano de Occidente

Después de la caída de Atila, el Imperio del Este disfrutó de un período de paz, mientras que el Imperio de Occidente se deterioró en la continuación de la migración y la expansión de las naciones germánicas (el final es generalmente fechado en el año 476, cuando el general romano germánico Odoacro depuso al emperador occidental titular Rómulo Augusto [ 26] ). En el año 480 el emperador Zenón abolió la división del Imperio haciéndose único emperador. Odoacro, ahora rey de Italia, era nominalmente subordinado de Zeno, pero actuó con total autonomía, con el tiempo el apoyo de una rebelión contra el Emperador. [27]

Zeno negoció con los invasores ostrogodos , que se habían asentado en Moesia , convenciendo al rey godo Teodorico para partir hacia Italia, como magister militum per Italiam ("comandante en jefe para Italia"), con el objetivo de deponer a Odoacro. Instando a Teodorico en la conquista de Italia, Zeno librar al Imperio de Oriente de un subordinado rebelde (Odoacro) y se trasladó a otros (Teodorico) más lejos del corazón del Imperio. Después de la derrota de Odoacro en el 493, Teodorico gobernó Italia por su cuenta, aunque nunca fue reconocido por los emperadores orientales como "rey" (rex). [27]

En 491, Anastasio I , un oficial civil, edad, de origen romano, se convirtió en emperador, pero no fue hasta el 497 en que las fuerzas del nuevo emperador tomó efectivamente la medida de la resistencia Isaurian . [28] Anastasio reveló a sí mismo como un reformador enérgico y un hábil administrador. Perfeccionó sistema de acuñación de Constantino I estableciendo definitivamente el peso del cobre Follis , la moneda utilizada en la mayoría de las transacciones cotidianas. [29] Él también reformó el sistema fiscal y abolió definitivamente la chrysargyron impuestos. La Tesorería del Estado contenía la enorme suma de 320.000 libras (145.150 kilogramos) de oro cuando Anastasio murió en 518. [30]

[ edit ] reconquista de las provincias occidentales

Justiniano I representado en uno de los famosos mosaicos de la Basílica de San Vitale , Ravenna .

Justiniano I , el hijo de un ilirio campesina, ya puede haber ejercido un control efectivo durante el reinado de su tío Justino I (518-527). [31] Él asumió el trono en el año 527, y supervisó un período de recuperación de los antiguos territorios . En 532, el intento de asegurar su frontera oriental, firmó un tratado de paz con Cosroes I de Persia aceptar pagar un gran tributo anual a los sasánidas . En el mismo año, sobrevivió a una rebelión en Constantinopla (los disturbios de Nika ), que consolidó su poder, pero terminó con la muerte de una reportado 30.000 a 35.000 manifestantes en sus órdenes. [32]

En 529, una comisión de diez hombres, presidido por Juan de Capadocia revisó el derecho romano y creó una nueva codificación de las leyes y los extractos de los juristas. En 534, el Código fue actualizado y, junto con los enactements promulgadas por Justiniano después de 534 , se formó el sistema legal utilizado para la mayor parte del resto de la época bizantina. [33]

Las conquistas occidentales comenzaron en el año 533, como Justiniano envió a su general Belisario para recuperar la antigua provincia de África de los vándalos que habían estado bajo control desde el 429 con su capital en Cartago. [34] Su éxito llegó con sorprendente facilidad, pero no fue 548 hasta que las principales tribus locales fueron sometidos. [35] En Ostrogothic Italia , la muerte de Teodorico, su sobrino y heredero Atalarico , y su hija Amalasunta había dejado a su asesino, Teodato (r. 534-536), en el trono a pesar de su autoridad debilitada. [36]

En 535, una pequeña expedición bizantina de Sicilia se reunió con el éxito fácil, pero los godos pronto endureció su resistencia, y la victoria no llegó hasta 540, cuando Belisario capturó Ravena , después de los asedios de éxito de Nápoles y Roma. [36] En 535-536 , Teodato envió el Papa Agapito I a Constantinopla para solicitar el retiro de las fuerzas bizantinas de Sicilia, Dalmacia e Italia. Aunque Agapito fracasó en su misión de firmar una paz con Justiniano, logró que el monofisita Antimo I Patriarca de Constantinopla denunciado, a pesar de la emperatriz Teodora apoyo y protección 's. [37]

Los ostrogodos pronto se reunieron bajo el mando del rey Totila y capturaron a Roma en el año 546. Belisario, que había sido enviado de vuelta a Italia en 544, fue finalmente recordó a Constantinopla en 549. [38] La llegada de los eunucos armenio Narsés en Italia (finales de 551) con un ejército de unos 35.000 hombres marcó otro cambio en la fortuna góticas. Totila fue derrotado en la batalla de Taginae y su sucesor, Teia , fue derrotado en la batalla de Mons Lactarius (octubre de 552). A pesar de la continua resistencia de algunas guarniciones góticas y dos invasiones posteriores de los francos y alamanes , la guerra de la península italiana llegó a su fin. [39] En 551, Atanagildo , un noble de la visigoda Hispania , buscó la ayuda de Justiniano en una rebelión contra el rey y el emperador envió a un grupo bajo Liberio , un comandante militar exitosa. El Imperio se aferró a una pequeña parte de la Península Ibérica costa hasta el reinado de Heraclio. [40]

El Imperio Romano de Oriente en el año 600 dC, durante el reinado del emperador Mauricio.

En el este, las guerras romano-persas continuaron hasta el 561, cuando los enviados de Justiniano y Cosroes acordaron una paz de 50 años. [41] Por las victorias mediados de 550s, Justiniano había ganado en la mayoría de los teatros de operaciones, con la notable excepción de los Balcanes , que fueron objeto de reiteradas incursiones de los eslavos y los gépidos . Tribus de serbios y croatas después fueron reasentados en los Balcanes del noroeste, durante el reinado de Heraclio. [42] Justiniano llamó a Belisario de su retiro y derrotó a la nueva amenaza huno. El fortalecimiento de la flota del Danubio hizo que los Kutrigur hunos a retirarse y se acordó un tratado que permite el paso seguro al otro lado del Danubio. [43]

Durante el siglo sexto, el tradicional cultura greco-romana era todavía influyente en el imperio oriental con representantes destacados como el filósofo naturalista John Philoponus . Sin embargo, la filosofía y la cultura cristiana eran dominantes y comenzaron a sustituir la cultura antigua. Los himnos escritos por los Romanos el Melodista marcaron el desarrollo de la Divina Liturgia , mientras que los arquitectos y constructores trabajaron para completar la nueva Iglesia de la Santa Sabiduría , Hagia Sophia , el cual fue diseñado para reemplazar una antigua iglesia destruida durante la revuelta de Nika. La iglesia de Santa Sofía se encuentra hoy en día como uno de los principales monumentos de la historia de la arquitectura bizantina. [44] Durante los siglos sexto y séptimo, el Imperio fue golpeado por una serie de epidemias , que devastó gran medida a la población y ha contribuido a un deterioro económico importante y una debilitamiento del Imperio. [45]

Después de Justiniano murió en el año 565, su sucesor, Justin II se negó a pagar la gran homenaje a los persas. Mientras tanto, los germanos lombardos invadieron Italia, a finales del siglo sólo un tercio de Italia estaba en manos bizantinas. El sucesor de Justin, Tiberio II , eligiendo entre sus enemigos, otorgó subsidios a los ávaros al tomar una acción militar contra los persas. Aunque Tiberio general Maurice , condujo una campaña eficaz en la frontera oriental, las subvenciones no pudieron contener a los ávaros. Ellos capturaron la fortaleza de los Balcanes de Sirmio en 582, mientras que los eslavos comenzaron a hacer incursiones a través del Danubio. [46]

Maurice, quien por su parte logró Tiberio, intervino en una guerra civil persa, colocó la legítima Cosroes II en el trono y se casó con su hija. Tratado de Maurice con su nuevo hermano-en-ley amplió los territorios del Imperio de Oriente y permitió que el emperador enérgico para centrarse en los Balcanes. En 602, una serie de exitosos bizantinos campañas había empujado a los ávaros y eslavos al otro lado del Danubio. [46]

[ editar ] La disminución de las fronteras

[ editar ] Dinastía heracliana

El Imperio Bizantino en 650 - de este año perdió todas sus provincias del sur, excepto el Exarcado de África .

Después del asesinato de Maurice de Focas , Khosrau utiliza el pretexto de reconquistar la provincia romana de Mesopotamia . [47] Focas, un gobernante impopular invariablemente descrito en las fuentes bizantinas como un "tirano", fue el blanco de una serie de parcelas Senado dirigidas. Finalmente, fue depuesto en 610 por Heraclio, que navegó a Constantinopla desde Cartago con un icono colocada en la proa de su barco. [48]

Después de la ascensión de Heraclio, el avance sasánida empujó profundamente en Asia Menor, que ocupa Damasco y Jerusalén, y la eliminación de la Vera Cruz a Ctesifonte . [49] un El contraataque lanzado por Heraclio tomó el carácter de una guerra santa, y acheiropoietos imagen de Cristo se realizó como un estándar militar [50] (de manera similar, cuando Constantinopla fue salvado de un asedio Avar en el año 626, la victoria fue atribuida a los iconos de la Virgen que se llevaron en procesión por el patriarca Sergio sobre los muros de la ciudad) . [51]

La principal fuerza sasánida fue destruido en Nínive en el 627 y en el 629 Heraclio restauró la Vera Cruz a Jerusalén en una ceremonia majestuosa. [52] La guerra había agotado tanto los bizantinos y sasánidas, sin embargo, y los dejó muy vulnerable a las fuerzas musulmanas que surgió en los años siguientes. [53] Los bizantinos sufrieron una aplastante derrota por los árabes en la batalla de Yarmuk en el 636, mientras que Ctesifonte cayó en el año 634. [54]

[ editar ] Asedio de Constantinopla (674-678)

Los árabes, ahora firmemente en el control de Siria y el Levante , envió grupos de ataque frecuentes profundamente en Asia Menor y en 674-678 sitió Constantinopla en sí. La flota árabe fue finalmente rechazado a través del uso del fuego griego , y unos treinta años de tregua se firmó entre el Imperio y el califato omeya . [55] Sin embargo, la Anatolia redadas continuaron sin cesar, y aceleró la desaparición de la cultura urbana clásica, con los habitantes de muchas ciudades ya sea refortifying áreas mucho más pequeñas dentro de las antiguas murallas de la ciudad, o la reubicación del todo a las fortalezas cercanas. [56] Constantinopla cayó considerablemente en tamaño, de 500.000 habitantes a sólo 40,000-70,000, y al igual que otros centros urbanos, En parte ruralised. La ciudad también perdió los envíos de granos libres en 618, después de que Egipto se redujo primero a los persas y después a los árabes, y la distribución de trigo pública cesó. [57]

El vacío dejado por la desaparición de las viejas instituciones cívicas semiautónomas fue ocupado por el tema del sistema, lo que supuso la división de Asia Menor en "provincias" ocupados por ejércitos distintos que asumió la autoridad civil y respondidas directamente a la administración imperial. Este sistema puede haber tenido su origen en ciertas medidas ad hoc adoptadas por Heraclio, pero en el transcurso del siglo séptimo se convirtió en un nuevo sistema de gobierno imperial. [58] La reestructuración cultural e institucional masiva del Imperio como consecuencia de la pérdida de territorio en el siglo séptimo se ha dicho para haber causado una ruptura decisiva en el este de romanidad del Mediterráneo y que el Estado bizantino posteriormente se entiende mejor como otro Estado sucesor en lugar de una continuación real del Imperio Romano. [59]

El fuego griego fue usado por primera vez por la Armada bizantina durante las Guerras bizantino-árabes (de los Skylitzes Madrid , Biblioteca Nacional de España , Madrid).

La retirada de un gran número de tropas de los Balcanes para luchar contra los persas y luego los árabes en el este abrió la puerta para la expansión hacia el sur gradual de los pueblos eslavos en la península, y, como en Asia Menor, en muchas ciudades se redujo a pequeños asentamientos fortificados . [60] En la década de 670, los búlgaros fueron empujados al sur del Danubio por la llegada de los jázaros . En 680, las fuerzas bizantinas enviados para dispersar a estos nuevos asentamientos fueron derrotados. [61]

En 681, Constantino IV firmó un tratado con el khan búlgaro Asparukh y el nuevo Estado búlgaro asume la soberanía sobre varias tribus eslavas que tenían anteriormente, al menos en nombre, reconoció el dominio bizantino. [61] En 687-688, el último Heraclio emperador Justiniano II , dirigió una expedición contra los eslavos y búlgaros, y logró avances significativos, aunque el hecho de que tenía que luchar su camino desde Tracia a Macedonia demuestra el grado en el que el poder bizantino en los Balcanes al norte había disminuido. [62 ]

Justiniano II trató de romper el poder de la aristocracia urbana a través de los impuestos excesivos y el nombramiento de "intrusos" en puestos administrativos. Fue expulsado del poder en 695, y se refugió en primer lugar con los jázaros y luego con los búlgaros. En 705, regresó a Constantinopla con los ejércitos del búlgaro Khan Tervel , retomó el trono, e instituyó un régimen de terror contra sus enemigos. Con su derrota final en el año 711, con el apoyo una vez más por la aristocracia urbana, la dinastía de Heraclio llegó a su fin. [63]

[ editar ] Dinastía Isaurian a la ascensión de Basilio I

El Imperio Bizantino en la adhesión de León III, c. 717. Zona rayada indica la tierra allanada por los árabes.

León III el Isaurian volvió al asalto musulmán en el año 718 y se dirigió a la tarea de reorganizar y consolidar los temas de Asia Menor. Su sucesor, Constantino V , ganó victorias notables en el norte de Siria y minó completamente la fuerza de Bulgaria. [64]

Aprovechando la debilidad del Imperio después de la rebelión de Thomas el eslavo en los primeros 820s, los árabes resurgido y capturaron Creta . También atacaron con éxito Sicilia, pero en general, 863 Petronas ganaron una gran victoria contra Umar al-Aqtac , el emir de Melitene . Bajo el liderazgo del emperador Krum , la amenaza búlgara también reapareció, pero en 815 a 816 el hijo de Krum, Omurtag , firmó un tratado de paz con Leo V . [65]

[ edit ] controversia religiosa sobre iconoclastia

Los siglos octavo y noveno también fueron dominados por la controversia y la división religiosa sobre la iconoclasia . iconos fueron prohibidos por León y Constantino, que lleva a revueltas por iconódulos (partidarios de los iconos) en todo el imperio. Después de los esfuerzos de la emperatriz Irene , el Concilio de Nicea en el año 787 se reunieron y afirmaron que los iconos pueden ser venerado, pero no adorado. Irene se dice que ha tratado de negociar un matrimonio entre ella y Carlomagno, pero, según Teófanes el Confesor , el plan fue frustrado por Aetios, uno de sus favoritos. [66]

A principios del siglo noveno, Leo V reintrodujo la política de iconoclasia, pero en el año 843 la emperatriz Teodora restauró la veneración de los iconos con la ayuda del Patriarca Metodio . [67] iconoclasia jugó un papel en el ulterior enajenación del Este del Oeste, que empeoró durante el llamado cisma de Focio , cuando el Papa Nicolás I desafió a la elevación de Focio al patriarcado. [68]

[ edit ] dinastía macedónica y el resurgimiento (867-1025)

El Imperio Bizantino c. 867.

La adhesión de Basilio I al trono en el 867 marca el comienzo de la dinastía macedónica , que gobernarían durante los próximos dos siglos y medio. Esta dinastía incluye algunos de los emperadores más capaces de la historia de Bizancio, y el período es uno de resurgimiento y renacimiento. El Imperio se trasladó de la defensa contra los enemigos externos de la reconquista de los territorios anteriormente perdidos. [69]

Además de la reafirmación del poder militar bizantina y la autoridad política, el período de la dinastía macedónica se caracteriza por un renacimiento cultural en ámbitos como la filosofía y las artes. Hubo un esfuerzo consciente para recuperar el esplendor de la época antes de los eslavos y posteriores invasiones árabes , y la era macedonio ha sido apodada la "Edad de Oro" de Bizancio. [69] Aunque el Imperio fue significativamente menor que durante el reinado de Justiniano , que había recuperado su resistencia significativa, ya que los territorios restantes fueron menos dispersas geográficamente y más política, económica y culturalmente integrados.

[ editar ] Las guerras contra los árabes

The general Leo Phokas defeats the Arabs at Andrassos in 960, from the Madrid Skylitzes .

In the early years of Basil I's reign, the Arab raids on the coasts of Dalmatia were successfully repelled, and the region once again came under secure Byzantine control. This enabled Byzantine missionaries to penetrate to the interior and convert the Serbs and the principalities of modern-day Herzegovina and Montenegro to Orthodox Christianity. [ 70 ] The attempt to retake Malta however ended disastrously when the local population sided with the Arabs and massacred the Byzantine garrison. [ 71 ]

By contrast, the Byzantine position in Southern Italy was gradually consolidated so that by 873 Bari had once again come under Byzantine rule, [ 70 ] and most of Southern Italy would remain in the Empire for the next 200 years. [ 71 ] On the more important eastern front, the Empire rebuilt its defences and went on the offensive. The Paulicians were defeated and their capital of Tephrike (Divrigi) taken, while the offensive against the Abbasid Caliphate began with the recapture of Samosata . [ 70 ]

The military successes of the 10th century were coupled with a major cultural revival, the so-called Macedonian Renaissance . Miniature from the Paris Psalter , an example of Hellenistic-influenced art.

Under Michael's son and successor, Leo VI the Wise , the gains in the east against the now weak Abbasid Caliphate continued. However, Sicily was lost to the Arabs in 902 and in 904 Thessaloniki , the Empire's second city, was sacked by an Arab fleet. The weakness of the Empire in the naval sphere was quickly rectified, so that a few years later a Byzantine fleet had re-occupied Cyprus , lost in the 7th century, and also stormed Laodicea in Syria. Despite this revenge, the Byzantines were still unable to strike a decisive blow against the Muslims, who inflicted a crushing defeat on the imperial forces when they attempted to regain Crete in 911. [ 72 ]

The death of the Bulgarian tsar Simeon I in 927 severely weakened the Bulgarians, allowing the Byzantines to concentrate on the eastern front. [ 73 ] Melitene was permanently recaptured in 934, and in 943 the famous general John Kourkouas continued the offensive in Mesopotamia with some noteworthy victories, which culminated in the reconquest of Edessa . The latter was especially celebrated for the return to Constantinople of the venerated Mandylion , a relic with the purported portrait of Christ on it. [ 74 ]

The soldier-emperors Nikephoros II Phokas (reigned 963–969) and John I Tzimiskes (969–976) expanded the empire well into Syria, defeating the emirs of north-west Iraq . The great city of Aleppo was taken by Nikephoros in 962 and in 963 the Arabs were decisively expelled from Crete. The recapture of Crete put an end to Arab raids in the Aegean, allowing mainland Greece to flourish once again. Cyprus was permanently retaken in 965, and in 969 Nikephoros' career culminated in the recapture of Antioch , which he incorporated as a province of the Empire. [ 75 ]

Nikephoros' successor John Tzimiskes recaptured Damascus, Beirut , Acre , Sidon , Caesarea and Tiberias , putting Byzantine armies within striking distance of Jerusalem, although the Muslim power centres in Iraq and Egypt were left untouched. [ 76 ] After much campaigning in the north, the last Arab threat to Byzantium, the rich province of Sicily, was targeted by Basil II in 1025, who died before his expedition could be completed. Nevertheless by the time of Basil II's death, the Empire stretched from the straits of Messina to the Euphrates , and from the Danube to Syria. [ 77 ]

[ edit ] Wars against the Bulgarian Empire

Emperor Basil II (r. 976–1025).

The traditional struggle with the See of Rome continued through the Macedonian period, spurred by the question of religious supremacy over the newly Christianised state of Bulgaria. [ 69 ] Ending 80 years of peace between the two states, the powerful Bulgarian tsar Simeon I invaded in 894, but was pushed back by the Byzantines, who used their fleet to sail up the Black Sea to attack the Bulgarian rear, and also called on the help of the Hungarians . [ 78 ] The Byzantines were defeated at the Battle of Boulgarophygon (896), and agreed to pay annual subsidies to the Bulgarians. [ 72 ]

Leo the Wise died in 912, and hostilities soon resumed with Simeon marching to Constantinople at the head of a large army. [ 79 ] Though the walls of the city were impregnable, the Byzantine administration was in disarray and Simeon was invited into the city where he was granted the crown of basileus (emperor) of Bulgaria and had the young emperor Constantine VII marry one of his daughters. When a revolt in Constantinople halted his dynastic project, he again invaded Thrace and conquered Adrianople . [ 80 ] The Empire was now faced with the problem of having a powerful Christian state within a few days' marching distance from Constantinople, [ 69 ] as well as with having to fight on two fronts. [ 72 ]

A great imperial expedition under Leo Phocas and Romanos I Lekapenos ended again with a crushing Byzantine defeat at the Battle of Achelous (917), and the following year the Bulgarians were free to ravage Northern Greece. Adrianople was plundered once again in 923 and in 924 a Bulgarian army laid siege to Constantinople. But Simeon died suddenly in 927 and Bulgarian power collapsed with him. Bulgaria and Byzantium entered a long period of peaceful relations, and the Empire was now free to concentrate on the eastern front against the Muslims. [ 81 ] In 968, Bulgaria was overrun by the Rus' under Sviatoslav I of Kiev , but three years later, John I Tzimiskes defeated the Rus' and re-incorporated Eastern Bulgaria into the Byzantine Empire. [ 82 ]

The extent of the Empire under Basil II .

Bulgarian resistance revived under the rule of the Cometopuli dynasty , but the new emperor Basil II (r. 976–1025) made the submission of the Bulgarians his primary goal. [ 83 ] Basil's first expedition against Bulgaria, however, resulted in a humiliating defeat at the Gates of Trajan . For the next few years, the emperor would be preoccupied with internal revolts in Anatolia, while the Bulgarians expanded their realm in the Balkans. The war dragged on for nearly twenty years. The Byzantine victories of Spercheios and Skopje decisively weakened the Bulgarian army, and in annual campaigns, Basil methodically reduced the Bulgarian strongholds. [ 83 ]

At the Battle of Kleidion in 1014 the Bulgarians were annihilated: their army was captured, and it is said that 99 out of every 100 men were blinded, with the remaining hundredth man left with one eye so as to lead his compatriots home. When Tsar Samuil saw the broken remains of his once gallant army, he died of shock. By 1018, the last Bulgarian strongholds had surrendered, and the country became part of the Empire. [ 83 ] This victory restored the Danube frontier, which had not been held since the days of the emperor Heraclius. [ 77 ]

[ edit ] Relations with the Kievan Russians

Rus' under the walls of Constantinople (860).

Between 850 and 1100, the Empire developed a mixed relationship with the new state of the Kievan Rus' , which had emerged to the north across the Black Sea. [ 84 ] This relationship would have long-lasting repercussions in the history of the East Slavs , and the Empire quickly became the main trading and cultural partner for Kiev. The Rus' launched their first attack against Constantinople in 860 , and pillaged the suburbs of the city. [ 85 ]

In 941, they appeared on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus, but this time they were crushed, an indication of the improvements in the Byzantine military position after 907, when only diplomacy had been able to push back the invaders . Basil II could not ignore the emerging Rus' power, and, following the example of his predecessors, he used religion as a means for the achievement of political purposes. [ 85 ]

Rus'–Byzantine relations became closer following the marriage of the Anna Porphyrogenita to Vladimir the Great in 988, and the subsequent Christianisation of the Rus' . [ 84 ] Byzantine priests, architects and artists were invited to work on numerous cathedrals and churches around Rus', expanding Byzantine cultural influence even further, while numerous Rus' served in the Byzantine army as mercenaries, most notably as the famous Varangian Guard . [ 84 ]

However, even after the Christianisation of the Rus', relations were not always friendly. The most serious conflict between the two powers was the war of 968–971 in Bulgaria, but several Rus' raiding expeditions against the Byzantine cities of the Black Sea coast and Constantinople itself are also recorded. Although most were repulsed, they were often followed by treaties that were generally favourable to the Rus', such as the one concluded at the end of the war of 1043 , during which the Rus' gave an indication of their ambitions to compete with the Byzantines as an independent power. [ 86 ]

[ edit ] Apex

Constantinople became the largest and wealthiest city in Europe from the 6th through the 12th century.

By 1025, the date of Basil II's death, the Byzantine Empire then stretched from Armenia in the east to Calabria in Southern Italy in the west. [ 77 ] Many successes had been achieved, ranging from the conquest of Bulgaria, to the annexation of parts of Georgia and Armenia, and the reconquest of Crete, Cyprus, and the important city of Antioch. These were not temporary tactical gains, but long-term reconquests. [ 70 ]

Leo VI achieved the complete codification of the whole of Byzantine law in Greek. This monumental work of 60 volumes became the foundation of all subsequent Byzantine law and is still studied today. [ 87 ] Leo also reformed the administration of the Empire, redrawing the borders of the administrative subdivisions (the Themata , or "Themes") and tidying up the system of ranks and privileges, as well as regulating the behaviour of Constantinople's various trade guilds. Leo's reform did much to reduce the previous fragmentation of the Empire, which henceforth had one center of power, Constantinople. [ 88 ] However, the increasing military success of the Empire greatly enriched and empowered the provincial nobility with respect to the peasantry, who were essentially reduced to a state of serfdom. [ 89 ]

Mural of Saints Cyril and Methodius , 19th century, Troyan Monastery , Bulgaria.

Under the Macedonian emperors, the city of Constantinople flourished, becoming the largest and wealthiest city in Europe, with a population of approximately 400,000 in the 9th and 10th centuries. [ 90 ] During this period, the Byzantine Empire employed a strong civil service staffed by competent aristocrats that oversaw the collection of taxes, domestic administration, and foreign policy. The Macedonian emperors also increased the Empire's wealth by fostering trade with Western Europe, particularly through the sale of silk and metalwork. [ 91 ]

[ edit ] Split between Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism (1054)

The Macedonian period also included events of momentous religious significance. The conversion of the Bulgarians, Serbs and Rus' to Orthodox Christianity permanently changed the religious map of Europe and still resonates today. Cyril and Methodius , two Byzantine Greek brothers from Thessaloniki, contributed significantly to the Christianisation of the Slavs and in the process devised the Glagolitic alphabet , ancestor to the Cyrillic script . [ 92 ]

In 1054, relations between the Eastern and Western traditions within the Christian Church reached a terminal crisis, known as the Great Schism. Although there was a formal declaration of institutional separation, on 16 July, when three papal legates entered the Hagia Sophia during Divine Liturgy on a Saturday afternoon and placed a bull of excommunication on the altar, [ 93 ] the so-called Great Schism was actually the culmination of centuries of gradual separation. [ 94 ]

[ edit ] Crisis and fragmentation

The Empire soon fell into a period of difficulties, caused to a large extent by the undermining of the theme system and the neglect of the military. Nikephoros II Phokas (reigned 963–969), John Tzimiskes and Basil II changed the military divisions ( τάγματα , tagmata ) from a rapid response, primarily defensive, citizen army into a professional, campaigning army increasingly manned by mercenaries. Mercenaries , however, were expensive and as the threat of invasion receded in the 10th century, so did the need for maintaining large garrisons and expensive fortifications. [ 95 ]

Basil II left a burgeoning treasury upon his death, but neglected to plan for his succession. None of his immediate successors had any particular military or political skill and the administration of the Empire increasingly fell into the hands of the civil service. Efforts to revive the Byzantine economy only resulted in inflation and a debased gold coinage. The army was now seen as both an unnecessary expense and a political threat. Therefore, native troops were cashiered and replaced by foreign mercenaries on specific contract. [ 96 ]

The seizure of Edessa in Syria (1031) by the Byzantines led by George Maniakes , and the Arabic counterattack.

At the same time, the Empire was faced with new enemies. Provinces in southern Italy faced the Normans , who arrived in Italy at the beginning of the 11th century. During a period of strife between Constantinople and Rome that ended in the East-West Schism of 1054, the Normans began to advance, slowly but steadily, into Byzantine Italy. [ 97 ] Reggio , the capital of the tagma of Calabria, was captured in 1060 by Robert Guiscard , followed by Otranto in 1068. Bari, the main Byzantine stronghold in Apulia, was besieged in August 1068 and fell in April 1071 . [ 98 ] The Byzantines also lost their influence over the Dalmatian coastal cities to Peter Krešimir IV of Croatia (r. 1058–1074/1075) in 1069. [ 99 ]

It was in Asia Minor, however, that the greatest disaster would take place. The Seljuq Turks made their first explorations across the Byzantine frontier into Armenia in 1065 and in 1067. The emergency lent weight to the military aristocracy in Anatolia who, in 1068, secured the election of one of their own, Romanos IV Diogenes , as emperor. In the summer of 1071, Romanos undertook a massive eastern campaign to draw the Seljuks into a general engagement with the Byzantine army. [ 96 ]

At Manzikert , Romanos not only suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Sultan Alp Arslan , but was also captured. Alp Arslan treated him with respect, and imposed no harsh terms on the Byzantines. [ 96 ] In Constantinople, a coup took place in favour of Michael Doukas , who soon faced the opposition of Nikephoros Bryennios and Nikephoros III Botaneiates . By 1081, the Seljuks expanded their rule over virtually the entire Anatolian plateau from Armenia in the east to Bithynia in the west and founded their capital at Nicaea , just 90 km from Constantinople. [ 100 ]

[ edit ] Komnenian dynasty and the crusaders

Alexios I , founder of the Komnenos dynasty .

The period from about 1081 to about 1185 is often known as the Komnenian or Comnenian period, after the Komnenos dynasty . Together, the five Komnenian emperors (Alexios I, John II, Manuel I, Alexios II and Andronikos I) ruled for 104 years, presiding over a sustained, though ultimately incomplete, restoration of the military, territorial, economic and political position of the Byzantine Empire. [ 101 ] Though the Seljuk Turks occupied the Empire's heartland in Anatolia, it was against Western powers that most Byzantine military efforts were directed, particularly the Normans. [ 101 ]

The Empire under the Komnenoi played a key role in the history of the Crusades in the Holy Land, which Alexios I had helped bring about, while also exerting enormous cultural and political influence in Europe, the Near East, and the lands around the Mediterranean Sea under John and Manuel. Contact between Byzantium and the "Latin" West, including the Crusader states, increased significantly during the Komnenian period. Venetian and other Italian traders became resident in Constantinople and the empire in large numbers (there were an estimated 60,000 Latins in Constantinople alone, out of a population of three to four hundred thousand), and their presence together with the numerous Latin mercenaries who were employed by Manuel helped to spread Byzantine technology, art, literature and culture throughout the Latin West, while also leading to a flow of Western ideas and customs into the Empire. [ 102 ]

In terms of prosperity and cultural life, the Komnenian period was one of the peaks in Byzantine history, [ 103 ] and Constantinople remained the leading city of the Christian world in terms of size, wealth, and culture. [ 104 ] There was a renewed interest in classical Greek philosophy, as well as an increase in literary output in vernacular Greek. [ 105 ] Byzantine art and literature held a pre-eminent place in Europe, and the cultural impact of Byzantine art on the west during this period was enormous and of long lasting significance. [ 106 ]

[ edit ] Alexios I and the First Crusade

After Manzikert, a partial recovery (referred to as the Komnenian restoration) was made possible by the efforts of the Komnenian dynasty. [ 107 ] The first emperor of this dynasty was Isaac I (1057–1059) and the second Alexios I. At the very outset of his reign, Alexios faced a formidable attack by the Normans under Robert Guiscard and his son Bohemund of Taranto , who captured Dyrrhachium and Corfu , and laid siege to Larissa in Thessaly . Robert Guiscard's death in 1085 temporarily eased the Norman problem. The following year, the Seljuq sultan died, and the sultanate was split by internal rivalries. By his own efforts, Alexios defeated the Pechenegs ; they were caught by surprise and annihilated at the Battle of Levounion on 28 April 1091. [ 108 ]

The Byzantine Empire and the Sultanate of Rûm before the First Crusade .

Having achieved stability in the West, Alexios could turn his attention to the severe economic difficulties and the disintegration of the Empire's traditional defences. [ 109 ] However, he still did not have enough manpower to recover the lost territories in Asia Minor and to advance against the Seljuks. At the Council of Piacenza in 1095, Alexios' envoys spoke to Pope Urban II about the suffering of the Christians of the East, and underscored that without help from the West they would continue to suffer under Muslim rule. [ 110 ]

Urban saw Alexios' request as a dual opportunity to cement Western Europe and reunite the Eastern Orthodox Churches with the Roman Catholic Church under his rule. [ 110 ] On 27 November 1095, Pope Urban II called together the Council of Clermont , and urged all those present to take up arms under the sign of the Cross and launch an armed pilgrimage to recover Jerusalem and the East from the Muslims. The response in Western Europe was overwhelming. [ 108 ]

Alexios had anticipated help in the form of mercenary forces from the West, but was totally unprepared for the immense and undisciplined force that soon arrived in Byzantine territory. It was no comfort to Alexios to learn that four of the eight leaders of the main body of the Crusade were Normans, among them Bohemund. Since the crusade had to pass through Constantinople, however, the Emperor had some control over it. He required its leaders to swear to restore to the empire any towns or territories they might conquer from the Turks on their way to the Holy Land. In return, he gave them guides and a military escort. [ 111 ]

Alexios was able to recover a number of important cities and islands, and in fact much of western Asia Minor. Nevertheless, the crusaders believed their oaths were invalidated when Alexios did not help them during the siege of Antioch (he had in fact set out on the road to Antioch, but had been persuaded to turn back by Stephen of Blois , who assured him that all was lost and that the expedition had already failed). [ 112 ] Bohemund, who had set himself up as Prince of Antioch , briefly went to war with the Byzantines, but agreed to become Alexios' vassal under the Treaty of Devol in 1108, which marked the end of Norman threat during Alexios' reign. [ 113 ]

[ edit ] John II, Manuel I and the Second Crusade

Medieval manuscript depicting the Capture of Jerusalem during the First Crusade.

Alexios's son John II Komnenos succeeded him in 1118, and ruled until 1143. John was a pious and dedicated Emperor who was determined to undo the damage his empire had suffered at the Battle of Manzikert, half a century earlier. [ 114 ] Famed for his piety and his remarkably mild and just reign, John was an exceptional example of a moral ruler, at a time when cruelty was the norm. [ 115 ] For this reason, he has been called the Byzantine Marcus Aurelius .

In the course of his twenty-five year reign, John made alliances with the Holy Roman Empire in the West, decisively defeated the Pechenegs at the Battle of Beroia , [ 116 ] and personally led numerous campaigns against the Turks in Asia Minor. John's campaigns fundamentally changed the balance of power in the East, forcing the Turks onto the defensive and restoring to the Byzantines many towns, fortresses and cities right across the peninsula. [ 117 ] He also thwarted Hungarian, and Serbian threats during the 1120s, and in 1130 allied himself with the German emperor Lothair III against the Norman king Roger II of Sicily . [ 118 ]

In the later part of his reign, John focused his activities on the East. He defeated the Danishmend emirate of Melitene , and reconquered all of Cilicia , while forcing Raymond of Poitiers , Prince of Antioch, to recognise Byzantine suzerainty. In an effort to demonstrate the Emperor's role as the leader of the Christian world, John marched into the Holy Land at the head of the combined forces of the Empire and the Crusader states ; yet despite the great vigour with which he pressed the campaign, John's hopes were disappointed by the treachery of his Crusader allies. [ 119 ] In 1142, John returned to press his claims to Antioch, but he died in the spring of 1143 following a hunting accident. Raymond was emboldened to invade Cilicia, but he was defeated and forced to go to Constantinople to beg mercy from the new Emperor. [ 120 ]

The Byzantine Empire in orange, c. 1180, at the end of the Komnenian period .

John's chosen heir was his fourth son, Manuel I Komnenos , who campaigned aggressively against his neighbours both in the west and in the east. In Palestine, he allied himself with the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and sent a large fleet to participate in a combined invasion of Fatimid Egypt . Manuel reinforced his position as overlord of the Crusader states, with his hegemony over Antioch and Jerusalem secured by agreement with Raynald , Prince of Antioch, and Amalric , King of Jerusalem respectively. [ 121 ]

In an effort to restore Byzantine control over the ports of southern Italy, he sent an expedition to Italy in 1155, but disputes within the coalition led to the eventual failure of the campaign. Despite this military setback, Manuel's armies successfully invaded the Kingdom of Hungary in 1167, defeating the Hungarians at the Battle of Sirmium . By 1168, nearly the whole of the eastern Adriatic coast lay in Manuel's hands. [ 122 ] Manuel made several alliances with the Pope and Western Christian kingdoms, and successfully handled the passage of the Second Crusade through his empire. [ 123 ]

In the east, Manuel suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Myriokephalon , in 1176, against the Turks. Yet the losses were quickly made good, and in the following year Manuel's forces inflicted a defeat upon a force of "picked Turks". [ 124 ] The Byzantine commander John Vatatzes, who destroyed the Turkish invaders at the Battle of Hyelion and Leimocheir , not only brought troops from the capital but also was able to gather an army along the way; a sign that the Byzantine army remained strong and that the defensive program of western Asia Minor was still successful. [ 125 ]

[ edit ] 12th-century Renaissance

'The Lamentation of Christ' (1164), a fresco from the church of Saint Panteleimon in Nerezi near Skopje. It is considered a superb example of 12th century Komnenian art.

John and Manuel pursued active military policies, and both deployed considerable resources on sieges and on city defences; aggressive fortification policies were at the heart of their imperial military policies. [ 126 ] Despite the defeat at Myriokephalon, the policies of Alexios, John and Manuel resulted in vast territorial gains, increased frontier stability in Asia Minor, and secured the stabilisation of the Empire's European frontiers. From circa 1081 to circa 1180, the Komnenian army assured the Empire's security, enabling Byzantine civilisation to flourish. [ 127 ]

This allowed the Western provinces to achieve an economic revival that continued until the close of the century. It has been argued that Byzantium under the Komnenian rule was more prosperous than at any time since the Persian invasions of the 7th century. During the 12th century, population levels rose and extensive tracts of new agricultural land were brought into production. Archaeological evidence from both Europe and Asia Minor shows a considerable increase in the size of urban settlements, together with a notable upsurge in new towns. Trade was also flourishing; the Venetians, the Genoese and others opened up the ports of the Aegean to commerce, shipping goods from the Crusader kingdoms of Outremer and Fatimid Egypt to the west and trading with the Empire via Constantinople. [ 128 ]

In artistic terms, there was a revival in mosaic , and regional schools of architecture began producing many distinctive styles that drew on a range of cultural influences. [ 129 ] During the 12th century, the Byzantines provided their model of early humanism as a renaissance of interest in classical authors. In Eustathius of Thessalonica , Byzantine humanism found its most characteristic expression. [ 130 ] In philosophy, there was resurgence of classical learning not seen since the 7th century, characterised by a significant increase in the publication of commentaries on classical works. [ 105 ] In addition, it is during the Komnenian period that there occurs the first transmission of classical Greek knowledge towards the West. [ 106 ]

[ edit ] Decline and disintegration

[ edit ] Dynasty of the Angeloi

Manuel's death on 24 September 1180 left his 11-year-old son Alexios II Komnenos on the throne. Alexios was highly incompetent at the office, but it was his mother, Maria of Antioch , and her Frankish background that made his regency unpopular. [ 131 ] Eventually, Andronikos I Komnenos , a grandson of Alexios I, launched a revolt against his younger relative and managed to overthrow him in a violent coup d'état . [ 132 ]

Utilizing his good looks and his immense popularity with the army, he marched on to Constantinople in August 1182, and incited a massacre of the Latins . [ 132 ] After eliminating his potential rivals, he had himself crowned as co-emperor in September 1183. He eliminated Alexios II, and took his 12-year-old wife Agnes of France for himself. [ 132 ]

Iconium was won by the Third Crusade.

Andronikos began his reign well; in particular, the measures he took to reform the government of the Empire have been praised by historians. According to George Ostrogorsky , Andronikos was determined to root out corruption: Under his rule, the sale of offices ceased; selection was based on merit, rather than favouritism; officials were paid an adequate salary so as to reduce the temptation of bribery. In the provinces, Andronikos's reforms produced a speedy and marked improvement. [ 133 ]

The aristocrats were infuriated against him, and to make matters worse, Andronikos seems to have become increasingly unbalanced; executions and violence became increasingly common, and his reign turned into a reign of terror. [ 134 ] Andronikos seemed almost to seek the extermination of the aristocracy as a whole. The struggle against the aristocracy turned into wholesale slaughter, while the Emperor resorted to ever more ruthless measures to shore up his regime. [ 133 ]

Despite his military background, Andronikos failed to deal with Isaac Komnenos , Béla III of Hungary (r. 1172–1196) who reincorporated Croatian territories into Hungary, and Stephen Nemanja of Serbia (r. 1166–1196) who declared his independence from the Byzantine Empire. Yet, none of these troubles would compare to William II of Sicily 's (r. 1166–1189) invasion force of 300 ships and 80,000 men, arriving in 1185. [ 135 ] Andronikos mobilised a small fleet of 100 ships to defend the capital but other than that he was indifferent to the populace. He was finally overthrown when Isaac Angelos , surviving an imperial assassination attempt, seized power with the aid of the people and had Andronikos killed. [ 136 ]

The reign of Isaac II, and, still more, that of his brother Alexios III , saw the collapse of what remained of the centralised machinery of Byzantine government and defence. Although, the Normans were driven out of Greece, in 1186 the Vlachs and Bulgars began a rebellion that led to the formation of the Second Bulgarian Empire . The internal policy of the Angeloi was characterised by the squandering of the public treasure, and fiscal maladministration. Imperial authority was severely weakened, and the growing power vacuum at the center of the Empire encouraged fragmentation. There is evidence that some Komnenian heirs had set up a semi-independent state in Trebizond before 1204. [ 137 ] According to Alexander Vasiliev , "the dynasty of the Angeloi, Greek in its origin, ... accelerated the ruin of the Empire, already weakened without and disunited within." [ 138 ]

[ edit ] Fourth Crusade

The Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople , by Eugène Delacroix (1840).

In 1198, Pope Innocent III broached the subject of a new crusade through legates and encyclical letters . [ 139 ] The stated intent of the crusade was to conquer Egypt , now the centre of Muslim power in the Levant . The crusader army that arrived at Venice in the summer of 1202 was somewhat smaller than had been anticipated, and there were not sufficient funds to pay the Venetians, whose fleet was hired by the crusaders to take them to Egypt. Venetian policy under the ageing and blind but still ambitious Doge Enrico Dandolo was potentially at variance with that of the Pope and the crusaders, because Venice was closely related commercially with Egypt. [ 140 ]

The crusaders accepted the suggestion that in lieu of payment they assist the Venetians in the capture of the (Christian) port of Zara in Dalmatia (vassal city of Venice, which had rebelled and placed itself under Hungary's protection in 1186). [ 141 ] The city fell in November 1202 after a brief siege . [ 142 ] Innocent, who was informed of the plan but his veto disregarded, was reluctant to jeopardise the Crusade, and gave conditional absolution to the crusaders—not, however, to the Venetians. [ 140 ]

Map to show the partition of the empire following the Fourth Crusade , c. 1204.

After the death of Theobald III, Count of Champagne , the leadership of the Crusade passed to Boniface of Montferrat , a friend of the Hohenstaufen Philip of Swabia . Both Boniface and Philip had married into the Byzantine Imperial family. In fact, Philip's brother-in-law, Alexios Angelos , son of the deposed and blinded Emperor Isaac II Angelos, had appeared in Europe seeking aid and had made contacts with the crusaders. [ 143 ]

Alexios offered to reunite the Byzantine church with Rome, pay the crusaders 200,000 silver marks, join the crusade and provide all the supplies they needed to get to Egypt. [ 143 ] Innocent was aware of a plan to divert the Crusade to Constantinople and forbade any attack on the city, but the papal letter arrived after the fleets had left Zara.

[ edit ] Crusader sack of Constantinople (1204)

The crusaders arrived at the city in the summer of 1203 and quickly attacked, started a major fire that damaged large parts of the city, and seized control of it (first of two times). Alexios III fled from the capital, and Alexios Angelos was elevated to the throne as Alexios IV along with his blind father Isaac. However, Alexios IV and Isaac II were unable to keep their promises and were deposed by Alexios V. Eventually, the crusaders took the city a second time on 13 April 1204 and Constantinople was subjected to pillage and massacre by the rank and file for three days. [ 144 ]

Many priceless icons, relics, and other objects later turned up in Western Europe, a large number in Venice. According to Choniates, a prostitute was even set up on the Patriarchal throne. [ 144 ] When Innocent III heard of the conduct of his crusaders, he castigated them in no uncertain terms. But the situation was beyond his control, especially after his legate, on his own initiative, had absolved the crusaders from their vow to proceed to the Holy Land. [ 140 ]

When order had been restored, the crusaders and the Venetians proceeded to implement their agreement; Baldwin of Flanders was elected Emperor and the Venetian Thomas Morosini chosen as Patriarch. The lands divided up among the leaders included most of the former Byzantine possessions, however resistance would continue through the Byzantine remnants of the Nicaea , Trebizond , and Epirus . [ 140 ]

[ editar ] Caída

[ edit ] Empire in exile

After the sack of Constantinople in 1204 by Latin crusaders, two Byzantine successor states were established: the Empire of Nicaea, and the Despotate of Epirus. A third one, the Empire of Trebizond was created a few weeks before the sack of Constantinople by Alexios I of Trebizond . Of these three successor states, Epirus and Nicaea stood the best chance of reclaiming Constantinople. The Nicaean Empire struggled, however, to survive the next few decades, and by the mid-13th century it lost much of southern Anatolia. [ 145 ]

The weakening of the Sultanate of Rûm following the Mongol Invasion in 1242–43 allowed many beyliks and ghazis to set up their own principalities in Anatolia, weakening the Byzantine hold on Asia Minor. [ 146 ] In time, one of the Beys, Osman I , created an empire that would eventually conquer Constantinople. However, the Mongol Invasion also gave Nicaea a temporary respite from Seljuk attacks allowing it to concentrate on the Latin Empire only north of its position.

[ edit ] Reconquest of Constantinople

The Byzantine Empire c. 1263.

The Empire of Nicaea, founded by the Laskarid dynasty , managed to reclaim Constantinople from the Latins in 1261 and defeat Epirus. This led to a short-lived revival of Byzantine fortunes under Michael VIII Palaiologos , but the war-ravaged Empire was ill-equipped to deal with the enemies that now surrounded it. To maintain his campaigns against the Latins, Michael pulled troops from Asia Minor, and levied crippling taxes on the peasantry, causing much resentment. [ 147 ] Massive construction projects were completed in Constantinople to repair the damages of the Fourth Crusade, but none of these initiatives was of any comfort to the farmers in Asia Minor, suffering raids from Muslim ghazis.

Rather than holding on to his possessions in Asia Minor, Michael chose to expand the Empire, gaining only short-term success. To avoid another sacking of the capital by the Latins, he forced the Church to submit to Rome, again a temporary solution for which the peasantry hated Michael and Constantinople. [ 148 ] The efforts of Andronikos II and later his grandson Andronikos III marked Byzantium's last genuine attempts in restoring the glory of the Empire. However, the use of mercenaries by Andronikos II would often backfire, with the Catalan Company ravaging the countryside and increasing resentment towards Constantinople. [ 149 ]

[ edit ] Rise of the Ottomans and fall of Constantinople

The siege of Constantinople in 1453 according to a 15th-century French miniature.

Things went worse for Byzantium during the civil wars that followed after Andronikos III died. A six-year long civil war devastated the empire, allowing the Serbian ruler Stefan IV Dushan (r. 1331–1346) to overrun most of the Empire's remaining territory and establish a short-lived " Serbian Empire ". In 1354, an earthquake at Gallipoli devastated the fort, allowing the Ottomans (who were hired as mercenaries during the civil war by John VI Kantakouzenos ) to establish themselves in Europe. [ 150 ] By the time the Byzantine civil wars had ended, the Ottomans had defeated the Serbians and subjugated them as vassals. Following the Battle of Kosovo , much of the Balkans became dominated by the Ottomans. [ 151 ]

The Eastern Mediterranean just before the fall of Constantinople.

The Byzantine emperors appealed to the West for help, but the Pope would only consider sending aid in return for a reunion of the Eastern Orthodox Church with the See of Rome. Church unity was considered, and occasionally accomplished by imperial decree, but the Orthodox citizenry and clergy intensely resented the authority of Rome and the Latin Rite . [ 152 ] Some Western troops arrived to bolster the Christian defence of Constantinople, but most Western rulers, distracted by their own affairs, did nothing as the Ottomans picked apart the remaining Byzantine territories. [ 153 ]

Constantinople by this stage was underpopulated and dilapidated. The population of the city had collapsed so severely that it was now little more than a cluster of villages separated by fields. On 2 April 1453, Sultan Mehmed 's army of some 80,000 men and large numbers of irregulars laid siege to the city. [ 154 ]

Despite a desperate last-ditch defence of the city by the massively outnumbered Christian forces (c. 7,000 men, 2,000 of whom were foreign), [ 153 ] Constantinople finally fell to the Ottomans after a two-month siege on 29 May 1453. The last Byzantine Emperor, Constantine XI Palaiologos , was last seen casting off his imperial regalia and throwing himself into hand-to-hand combat after the walls of the city were taken. [ 155 ]

[ edit ] Political aftermath

By the time of the fall of Constantinople, the only remaining territory of the Byzantine Empire was the Despotate of the Morea ( Peloponnese ), which was ruled by brothers of the last Emperor, Thomas Palaiologos and Demetrios Palaiologos . The Despotate continued on as an independent state by paying an annual tribute to the Ottomans. Incompetent rule, failure to pay the annual tribute and a revolt against the Ottomans finally led to Mehmed II's invasion of Morea in May 1460. Demetrios asked the Ottomans to invade and drive Thomas out. Thomas fled. The Ottomans moved through the Morea and conquered virtually the entire Despotate by the summer. Demetrios thought the Morea would be restored to him to rule, but it was incorporated into the Ottoman fold.

A few holdouts remained for a time. The island of Monemvasia refused to surrender and it was first ruled for a short time by a Catalan corsair. When the population drove him out they obtained the consent of Thomas to place themselves under the Pope's protection before the end of 1460. The Mani Peninsula , on the Morea's south end, resisted under a loose coalition of the local clans and then that area came under Venice's rule. The very last holdout was Salmeniko , in the Morea's northwest. Graitzas Palaiologos was the military commander there, stationed at Salmeniko Castle . While the town eventually surrendered, Graitzas and his garrison and some town residents held out in the castle until July 1461, when they escaped and reached Venetian territory. [ 156 ]

The Empire of Trebizond, which had split away from the Byzantine Empire just weeks before Constantinople was taken by the Crusaders in 1204, became the last remnant and last de facto successor state to the Byzantine Empire. Efforts by the Emperor David to recruit European powers for an anti-Ottoman crusade provoked war between the Ottomans and Trebizond in the summer of 1461. After a month long siege, David surrendered the city of Trebizond on 14 August 1461. With the fall of Trebizond, the last remnant of the Roman Empire was extinguished.

The nephew of the last Emperor, Constantine XI, Andreas Palaiologos claimed to have inherited the title of Byzantine Emperor . He lived in the Morea until its fall in 1460, then escaped to Rome where he lived under the protection of the Papal States for the remainder of his life. Since the office of emperor had never been technically hereditary, Andreas' claim would have been without merit under Byzantine law. However, the Empire had vanished, and Western states generally followed the Roman church sanctioned principles of hereditary sovereignty. Seeking a life in the west, Andreas styled himself Imperator Constantinopolitanus ("Emperor of Constantinople"), and sold his succession rights to both Charles VIII of France and the Catholic Monarchs . However, no one ever invoked the title after Andreas's death.

Mehmed II and his successors continued to consider themselves heirs to the Roman Empire until the demise of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century. They considered that they had simply shifted its religious basis as Constantine had done before. Meanwhile, the Danubian Principalities (whose rulers also considered themselves the heirs of the Eastern Roman Emperors [ 157 ] ) harboured Orthodox refugees, including some Byzantine nobles.

At his death, the role of the emperor as a patron of Eastern Orthodoxy was claimed by Ivan III , Grand duke of Muscovy . He had married Andreas' sister, Sophia Paleologue , whose grandson, Ivan IV , would become the first Tsar of Russia ( tsar , or czar , meaning caesar , is a term traditionally applied by Slavs to the Byzantine Emperors). Their successors supported the idea that Moscow was the proper heir to Rome and Constantinople. The idea of the Russian Empire as the successive Third Rome was kept alive until its demise with the Russian Revolution . [ 158 ]

[ editar ] Cultura

[ editar ] Economía

The Byzantine economy was among the most advanced in Europe and the Mediterranean for many centuries. Europe, in particular, was unable to match Byzantine economic strength until late in the Middle Ages . Constantinople was a prime hub in a trading network that at various times extended across nearly all of Eurasia and North Africa , in particular being the primary western terminus of the famous Silk Road . Until the first half of the 6th century and in sharp contrast with the decaying West, Byzantine economy was flourishing and resilient. [ 159 ]

The Plague of Justinian and the Arab conquests would represent a substantial reversal of fortunes contributing to a period of stagnation and decline . Isaurian reforms and, in particular, Constantine V 's repopulation, public works and tax measures, marked the beginning of a revival that continued until 1204, despite territorial contraction. [ 160 ] From the 10th century until the end of the 12th, the Byzantine Empire projected an image of luxury and travellers were impressed by the wealth accumulated in the capital. [ 161 ]

The Fourth Crusade resulted in the disruption of Byzantine manufacturing and the commercial dominance of the Western Europeans in the eastern Mediterranean , events that amounted to an economic catastrophe for the Empire. [ 161 ] The Palaiologoi tried to revive the economy, but the late Byzantine state would not gain full control of either the foreign or domestic economic forces. Gradually, it also lost its influence on the modalities of trade and the price mechanisms, and its control over the outflow of precious metals and, according to some scholars, even over the minting of coins. [ 162 ]

One of the economic foundations of Byzantium was trade, fostered by the maritime character of the Empire. Textiles must have been by far the most important item of export; silks were certainly imported into Egypt, and appeared also in Bulgaria, and the West. [ 163 ] The state strictly controlled both the internal and the international trade, and retained the monopoly of issuing coinage , maintaining a durable and flexible monetary system adaptable to trade needs. [ 164 ]

The government exercised formal control over interest rates, and set the parameters for the activity of the guilds and corporations, in which it had a special interest. The emperor and his officials intervened at times of crisis to ensure the provisioning of the capital, and to keep down the price of cereals. Finally, the government often collected part of the surplus through taxation, and put it back into circulation, through redistribution in the form of salaries to state officials, or in the form of investment in public works. [ 164 ]

[ edit ] Science, medicine, law

The frontispiece of the Vienna Dioscurides , which shows a set of seven famous physicians.

The writings of Classical antiquity never ceased to be cultivated in Byzantium. Therefore, Byzantine science was in every period closely connected with ancient philosophy , and metaphysics . [ 165 ] Although at various times the Byzantines made magnificent achievements in the application of the sciences (notably in the construction of the Hagia Sophia ), after the 6th century Byzantine scholars made few novel contributions to science in terms of developing new theories or extending the ideas of classical authors. [ 166 ]

Scholarship particularly lagged during the dark years of plague and the Arab conquests, but then during the so-called Byzantine Renaissance at the end of the first millennium Byzantine scholars re-asserted themselves becoming experts in the scientific developments of the Arabs and Persians, particularly in astronomy and mathematics . [ 167 ] The Byzantines are also credited with several technological advancements , particularly in architecture (eg the pendentive dome) and warfare technology (eg Greek fire ).

In the final century of the Empire, Byzantine grammarians were those principally responsible for carrying, in person and in writing, ancient Greek grammatical and literary studies to early Renaissance Italy . [ 168 ] During this period, astronomy and other mathematical sciences were taught in Trebizond; medicine attracted the interest of almost all scholars. [ 169 ]

In the field of law, Justinian I 's reforms had a clear effect on the evolution of jurisprudence , and Leo III's Ecloga influenced the formation of legal institutions in the Slavic world. [ 170 ] In the 10th century, Leo VI the Wise achieved the complete codification of the whole of Byzantine law in Greek, which became the foundation of all subsequent Byzantine law, generating interest to the present day. [ 87 ]

[ editar ] Religión

As a symbol and expression of the universal prestige of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Justinian built the Church of the Holy Wisdom of God, Hagia Sophia, which was completed in the short period of four and a half years (532–537).

The survival of the Empire in the East assured an active role of the Emperor in the affairs of the Church. The Byzantine state inherited from pagan times the administrative, and financial routine of administering religious affairs, and this routine was applied to the Christian Church . Following the pattern set by Eusebius of Caesarea , the Byzantines viewed the Emperor as a representative or messenger of Christ , responsible particularly for the propagation of Christianity among pagans, and for the "externals" of the religion, such as administration and finances. As Cyril Mango points out, the Byzantine political thinking can be summarised in the motto "One God, one empire, one religion". [ 171 ]

The imperial role in the affairs of the Church never developed into a fixed, legally defined system. [ 172 ] With the decline of Rome, and internal dissension in the other Eastern Patriarchates, the Church of Constantinople became, between the 6th and 11th centuries, the richest and most influential center of Christendom . [ 173 ] Even when the Empire was reduced to only a shadow of its former self, the Church continued to exercise significant influence both inside and outside of the imperial frontiers. As George Ostrogorsky points out:

The Patriarchate of Constantinople remained the center of the Orthodox world, with subordinate metropolitan sees and archbishoprics in the territory of Asia Minor and the Balkans, now lost to Byzantium, as well as in Caucasus , Russia and Lithuania . The Church remained the most stable element in the Byzantine Empire. [ 174 ]

The official state Christian doctrine was determined by the first seven ecumenical councils , and it was then the emperor's duty to impose it to his subjects. An imperial decree of 388, which was later incorporated into the Codex Justinianus , orders the population of the Empire "to assume the name of Catholic Christians", and regards all those who will not abide by the law as "mad and foolish persons"; as followers of "heretical dogmas". [ 175 ]

Despite imperial decrees and the stringent stance of the state church itself, which came to be known as the Eastern Orthodox Church or Eastern Christianity , the latter never represented all Christians in Byzantium. Mango believes that, in the early stages of the Empire, the "mad and foolish persons", those labelled " heretics " by the state church, were the majority of the population. [ 176 ] Besides the pagans , who existed until the end of the 6th century, and the Jews , there were many followers – sometimes even emperors – of various Christian doctrines, such as Nestorianism , Monophysitism , Arianism , and Paulicianism , whose teachings were in some opposition to the main theological doctrine, as determined by the Ecumenical Councils. [ 177 ]

Another division among Christians occurred, when Leo III ordered the destruction of icons throughout the Empire. This led to a significant religious crisis , which ended in mid-9th century with the restoration of icons. During the same period, a new wave of pagans emerged in the Balkans, originating mainly from Slavic people. These were gradually Christianised , and by Byzantium's late stages, Eastern Orthodoxy represented most Christians and, in general, most people in what remained of the Empire. [ 178 ]

Jews were a significant minority in the Byzantine state throughout its history, and, according to Roman law, they constituted a legally recognised religious group. In the early Byzantine period they were generally tolerated, but then periods of tensions and persecutions ensued. In any case, after the Arab conquests, the majority of Jews found themselves outside the Empire; those left inside the Byzantine borders apparently lived in relative peace from the 10th century onwards. [ 179 ]

[ edit ] Art and literature

Miniatures of the 6th-century Rabula Gospel display the more abstract and symbolic nature of Byzantine art.

Byzantine art is almost entirely concerned with religious expression and, more specifically, with the impersonal translation of carefully controlled church theology into artistic terms. Byzantine forms were spread by trade and conquest to Italy and Sicily, where they persisted in modified form through the 12th century, and became formative influences on Italian Renaissance art. By means of the expansion of the Eastern Orthodox church, Byzantine forms spread to centres in Russia, Greece, Serbia and some others. [ 180 ] Influences from Byzantine architecture, particularly in religious buildings, can be found in diverse regions from Egypt and Arabia to Russia and Romania.

In Byzantine literature, therefore, four different cultural elements must be reckoned with: the Greek , the Christian, the Roman , and the Oriental. Byzantine literature is often classified in five groups: historians and annalists, encyclopaedists (Patriarch Photios, Michael Psellus , and Michael Choniates are regarded as the greatest encyclopaedists of Byzantium) and essayists, and writers of secular poetry (The only genuine heroic epic of the Byzantines is the Digenis Acritas ). The remaining two groups include the new literary species: ecclesiastical and theological literature, and popular poetry. [ 181 ]

Of the approximately two to three thousand volumes of Byzantine literature that survive, only three hundred and thirty consist of secular poetry, history, science and pseudo-science. [ 181 ] While the most flourishing period of the secular literature of Byzantium runs from the 9th to the 12th century, its religious literature ( sermons , liturgical books and poetry, theology, devotional treatises etc.) developed much earlier with Romanos the Melodist being its most prominent representative. [ 182 ]

[ edit ] Government and bureaucracy

In the Byzantine state, the emperor became the sole and absolute ruler, and his power was regarded as having divine origin. [ 183 ] The Senate ceased to have real political and legislative authority but remained as an honorary council with titular members. By the end of the 8th century, a civil administration focused on the court was formed as part of a large-scale consolidation of power in the capital (the rise to pre-eminence of the position of sakellarios is related to this change). [ 184 ] The most important administrative reform, which probably started in the mid-7th century, was the creation of themes , where civil and military administration was exercised by one person, the strategos . [ 185 ]

Map of Byzantine Empire showing the themes in circa 650
The themes , c. 650
Map of Byzantine Empire showing the themes in circa 950
The themes , c. 950

Despite the occasionally derogatory use of the terms "Byzantine" and " Byzantinism ", the Byzantine bureaucracy had a distinct ability for reconstituting itself in accordance with the Empire's situation. The elaborate system of titulature and precedence, which gave the court prestige and influence, makes the imperial administration look like an ordered bureaucracy to modern observers. Officials were arranged in strict order around the emperor, and depended upon the imperial will for their ranks. There were also actual administrative jobs, but authority could be vested in individuals rather than offices. [ 186 ]

In the 8th and 9th centuries, civil service constituted the clearest path to aristocratic status, but, starting in the 9th century, the civil aristocracy was rivalled by an aristocracy of nobility. According to some studies of Byzantine government, 11th-century politics were dominated by competition between the civil and the military aristocracy. During this period, Alexios I undertook important administrative reforms, including the creation of new courtly dignities and offices. [ 187 ]

[ edit ] Diplomacia

The embassy of John the Grammarian in 829, between the emperor Theophilos and the Abbasid caliph Al-Ma'mun .

After the fall of Rome, the key challenge to the Empire was to maintain a set of relations between itself and its neighbours. When these nations set about forging formal political institutions, they often modelled themselves on Constantinople. Byzantine diplomacy soon managed to draw its neighbours into a network of international and inter-state relations. [ 188 ] This network revolved around treaty making, and included the welcoming of the new ruler into the family of kings, and the assimilation of Byzantine social attitudes, values and institutions. [ 189 ] Whereas classical writers are fond of making ethical and legal distinctions between peace and war, Byzantines regarded diplomacy as a form of war by other means. For example, a Bulgarian threat could be countered by providing money to the Kievan Rus' . [ 190 ]

Diplomacy in the era was understood to have an intelligence-gathering function on top of its pure political function. The Bureau of Barbarians in Constantinople handled matters of protocol and record keeping for any issues related to the " barbarians ", and thus had, perhaps, a basic intelligence function itself. [ 191 ] John B. Bury believed that the office exercised supervision over all foreigners visiting Constantinople, and that they were under the supervision of the Logothetes tou dromou . [ 192 ] While on the surface a protocol office – its main duty was to ensure foreign envoys were properly cared for and received sufficient state funds for their maintenance, and it kept all the official translators – it probably had a security function as well. [ 193 ]

Byzantines availed themselves of a number of diplomatic practices. For example, embassies to the capital would often stay on for years. A member of other royal houses would routinely be requested to stay on in Constantinople, not only as a potential hostage, but also as a useful pawn in case political conditions where he came from changed. Another key practice was to overwhelm visitors by sumptuous displays. [ 188 ] According to Dimitri Obolensky , the preservation of the ancient civilisation in Europe was due to the skill and resourcefulness of Byzantine diplomacy, which remains one of Byzantium's lasting contributions to the history of Europe. [ 194 ]

[ editar ] Idioma

Left: The Mudil Psalter, the oldest complete psalter in the Coptic language ( Coptic Museum , Egypt, Coptic Cairo ).

Right: The Joshua Roll , a 10th-century illuminated Greek manuscript probably made in Constantinople ( Vatican Library , Rome).

The original language of the government of the Empire, which owed its origins to Rome, had been Latin, and this continued as its official language until the 7th century when it was effectively changed to Greek by Heraclius. Scholarly Latin would rapidly fall into disuse among the educated classes although the language would continue to be at least a ceremonial part of the Empire's culture for some time. [ 195 ] Additionally, Vulgar Latin remained a minority language in the Empire, and among the Thraco-Roman populations it gave birth to the Proto-Romanian language . [ 196 ]

Likewise, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea , another neo-Latin vernacular developed, which would later give rise to the Dalmatian language . In the Western Mediterranean provinces temporarily acquired under the reign of emperor Justinian I, Latin (eventually evolving into the various western Romance languages ) continued to be used both as a spoken language and the language of scholarship. [ 197 ]

Apart from the Imperial court, administration and military, the primary language used in the eastern Roman provinces even before the decline of the Western Empire had always been Greek, having been spoken in the region for centuries before Latin. [ 198 ] Indeed early on in the life of the Roman Empire, Greek had become the common language in the Christian Church, the language of scholarship and the arts, and, to a large degree, the lingua franca for trade between provinces and with other nations. [ 199 ] The language itself for a time gained a dual nature with the primary spoken language, the constantly developing vernacular Koine (eventually evolving into demotic Greek ), existing alongside an older literary language with Koine eventually evolving into the standard dialect. [ 200 ]

Many other languages existed in the multi-ethnic Empire as well, and some of these were given limited official status in their provinces at various times. Notably, by the beginning of the Middle Ages, Syriac and Aramaic had become more widely used by the educated classes in the far eastern provinces. [ 201 ] Similarly Coptic , Armenian , and Georgian became significant among the educated in their provinces, [ 202 ] and later foreign contacts made the Slavonic , Vlach , and Arabic languages important in the Empire and its sphere of influence. [ 203 ]

Aside from these, since Constantinople was a prime trading center in the Mediterranean region and beyond, virtually every known language of the Middle Ages was spoken in the Empire at some time, even Chinese . [ 204 ] As the Empire entered its final decline, the Empire's citizens became more culturally homogeneous and the Greek language became integral to their identity and religion. [ 205 ]

[ editar ] Legado

King David in robes of a Byzantine emperor. Miniature from the Paris Psalter .

Byzantium has been often identified with absolutism, orthodox spirituality, orientalism and exoticism, while the terms "Byzantine" and "Byzantinism" have been used as bywords for decadence, complex bureaucracy, and repression. In the countries of Central and Southeast Europe that exited the Eastern Bloc in late 80s and early 90s, the assessment of Byzantine civilisation and its legacy was strongly negative due to their connection with an alleged "Eastern authoritarianism and autocracy." Both Eastern and Western European authors have often perceived Byzantium as a body of religious, political, and philosophical ideas contrary to those of the West. Even in 19th-century Greece , the focus was mainly on the classical past, while Byzantine tradition had been associated with negative connotations. [ 206 ]

This traditional approach towards Byzantium has been partially or wholly disputed and revised by modern studies, which focus on the positive aspects of Byzantine culture and legacy. Averil Cameron regards as undeniable the Byzantine contribution to the formation of the medieval Europe, and both Cameron and Obolensky recognise the major role of Byzantium in shaping Orthodoxy, which in turn occupies a central position in the history and societies of Greece, Bulgaria, Russia, Serbia and other countries. [ 207 ] The Byzantines also preserved and copied classical manuscripts, and they are thus regarded as transmitters of the classical knowledge, as important contributors to the modern European civilisation, and as precursors of both the Renaissance humanism and the Slav Orthodox culture. [ 208 ]

As the only stable long-term state in Europe during the Middle Ages, Byzantium isolated Western Europe from newly emerging forces to the East. Constantly under attack, it distanced Western Europe from Persians, Arabs, Seljuk Turks, and for a time, the Ottomans. From a different perspective, since the 7th century, the evolution and constant reshaping of the Byzantine state were directly related to the respective progress of Islam. [ 208 ]

Following the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, Sultan Mehmed II took the title " Kaysar-i-Rûm " (the Turkish equivalent of Caesar of Rome), since he was determined to make the Ottoman Empire the heir of the Eastern Roman Empire. [ 209 ] According to Cameron, regarding themselves as "heirs" of Byzantium, the Ottomans preserved important aspects of its tradition, which in turn facilitated an "Orthodox revival" during the post-communist period of the Eastern European states. [ 208 ]

[ editar ] Véase también

[ edit ] Anotaciones

  1. ^ The first instance of the designation "New Rome" in an official document is found in the canons of the First Council of Constantinople (381), where it is used to justify the claim that the patriarchal seat of Constantinople is second only to that of Rome. [ 4 ]
  2. ^ "Romania" was a popular name of the empire used mainly unofficially, which meant "land of the Romans". [ 8 ] After 1081, it occasionally appears in official Byzantine documents as well. In 1204, the leaders of the Fourth Crusade gave the name Romania to the newly founded Latin Empire. [ 9 ] The term does not refer to modern Romania .
  3. ^ In a Latin chronicle of 1190 ( Continuatio Cremifanensis ), Isaac Angelos is referred as "Imperator Romaniae" and Frederick Barbarossa as "Imperator Romanorum". However, some years earlier, in 1169, a Genoese envoy named Amico de Murta, in his oath taken in Constantinople on behalf of the Genoese, had referred to Manuel Komnenos as "Imperator Romanorum". After 1204, the terms "Imperium Romaniae" and "Imperator Romaniae" were used by the Westerners to describe the Latin Empire and its emperors respectively. [ 17 ]

[ editar ] Notas

  1. ^ Kazhdan & Epstein 1985 , p. 1.
  2. ^ a b Millar 2006 , pp. 2, 15; James 2010 , p. 5; Freeman 1999 , pp. 431, 435–437, 459–462; Baynes & Moss 1948 , p. xx; Ostrogorsky 1969 , p. 27; Kaldellis 2007 , pp. 2–3; Kazhdan & Constable 1982 , p. 12; Norwich 1998 , p. 383.
  3. ^ Treadgold 1997 , p. 847.
  4. ^ Benz 1963 , p. 176.
  5. ^ Ostrogorsky 1969 , pp. 105–107, 109; Norwich 1998 , p. 97; Haywood 2001 , pp. 2.17, 3.06, 3.15.
  6. ^ Fox, What, If Anything, Is a Byzantine? ; Rosser 2011 , p. 1
  7. ^ Rosser 2011 , p. 2.
  8. ^ Fossier & Sondheimer 1997 , p. 104.
  9. ^ Wolff 1948 , pp. 5–7, 33–34.
  10. ^ Cinnamus 1976 , p. 240; Theodore the Studite , Epistulae , 145, line 19 ("ἡ ταπεινὴ Γραικία"), and 458, line 28 ("ἐν Ἀρμενίᾳ καὶ Γραικίᾳ").
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[ editar ] Otras lecturas

  • Ahrweiler, Hélène; Aymard, Maurice (2000). Les Européens . Paris: Hermann. ISBN 2-7056-6409-2 .  
  • Angelov, Dimiter (2007). Imperial Ideology and Political Thought in Byzantium (1204–1330) . Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-85703-1 .  
  • Haldon, John (2001). The Byzantine Wars: Battles and Campaigns of the Byzantine Era . Stroud, Gloucestershire: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-1795-9 .  
  • Hussey, JM (1966). The Cambridge Medieval History. Vol. IV: The Byzantine Empire . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  
  • Runciman, Steven (1966). Byzantine Civilisation . London: Edward Arnold (publisher) Limited. ISBN 1-56619-574-8 .  
  • Runciman, Steven (1990) [1929]. The Emperor Romanus Lecapenus and his Reign . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-06164-4 .  
  • Toynbee, Arnold Joseph (1972). Constantine Porphyrogenitus and His World . Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-215253-X .  

[ editar ] Enlaces externos

[ edit ] Byzantine studies, resources and bibliography

[ editar ] Varios