History of the Byzantine Empire

  • 330

    Founding of Byzantine

    Roman Emperor Constintine founds city of Constantinople on the site of the Greek city, Byzantium. In 330, Constantine made Constantinople the new capital of the Roman Empire, increasing access to the Middle East and North Africa for the Empire.
  • Period: 330 to Dec 31, 1453

    History of Byzantine Empire

  • 527

    Emperor Justinian

    Emperor Justantine I led the Byzantine Empire form 527 untill 565. During his reign, the empire regained lost Roman territory, and restablished some Roman laws in what was called "Justinian's Code".
  • Period: 533 to 545

    Campaign of General Belisarius

    During the rule of Justinian, the emperor decided to reclaim lost Roman lands. Using his brillant general, Belisarius, Justinian was able to reclaim lands in North Africa, Italy, and part of the Iberian peninsula.
  • 537

    Hagia Sophia Completed

    Arguably the greatest thing Emperor Justinian did during his reign was to rebuild the Hagia Sophia. The church, whose name translates to "Holy Wisdom" was an architectural masterpiece, expanding on the Roman domed structure.
  • Period: Feb 20, 600 to Feb 20, 700

    Islamic Conquests

    The Muslim caliph, Abu Bakr, sent troops into Palestine, a city under Byzantine protection, in 634. The caiph died soon after, but his successor, Umar ibn-al-Khattab started his rule by laying siege to the city of Damascus. In time though, after much of the Byzantine Empire had been lost, Mu'awiyah, the then govenor of Syria, signed a truce with Byzantine to avenge his brother's death, and to become the next caliph.
  • Feb 20, 1025

    Emperor Basil II military conquests

    Emperor Basil the second conquered areas east of the Byzantine Empire. He captured the cities of Armenia, and held off Muslim invaders.
  • Feb 20, 1054

    Great Schism

    Starting in 1054, there was a major division in the Church. It was split between those who were Orthodox, meaning they followed the Bible to the letter, and the Catholics, who were larger belivers in the whole "Son of God" thing. The Catholics were based in Rome, while the Orthodox Christians were based in Byzantine. This split was the eventual cause of the Fourth Crusade.
  • Feb 20, 1095

    Emperor Alexios I and Pope Urban II

    After the Great Schism, relations between the Roman Catholic Chruch and Byzantine improved during the reigns of Emperor Alexios the First, and Pope Urban the Second. The Pope reinstated Alexios to the Church, and the Emperor asked for the Christian knight's help along the Eastern Front of the Empire.
  • Feb 20, 1204

    Forth Crusade

    During an attempt by the Catholic Chruch to recover the holy land of Jerusalem from the Muslims, the Crusaders instead attacked and sacked the city of Constantinople, furthering the split between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. This event started the final downfall of the Byzantine Empire.
  • May 29, 1453

    End of Byzantine

    In 1453, the Ottoman Turks, led by Sultan Mehmed II, captured the city of Constantinople, signaling the end of Byzantine and Roman Empires. However, several artists and philosophers escaped the city before it was sacked and fled to Europe, signaling the start of the Renaissance.