Byzantine Empire

Mosaic from Hagia Sofia depicting Constantine I with a representation of the city of Constantinople

Though the beginnings of the Byzantine Empire are unclear, its demise is not. The history of the Eastern Roman Empire, from its foundation in 324 to its conquest in 1453, is one of war, plague, architectural triumphs and fear of God's wrath.

An embattled emperor offered guidance to his successors in the shape of a ‘mirror for princes’.

The king’s property: a slave  market, by Yahya ibn Al-Wasiti  from Al Maqamat, ‘The Meetings’,  by Al-Hariri, 13th-century Iraq. Ms Ar 5847 f.105  © Bibliothèque Nationale/Bridgeman Images.

The changing shape of the slave trade in the medieval Mediterranean.

Theophilus makes a proclamation, the Scylitzes Chronicle, 11th century.

The Byzantine Empire's ban on the veneration of icons died with its last iconoclast emperor on January 20th, 842.

 More details The Rus under the walls of Tsargrad. Detail from a medieval Russian icon.

Russian hooligans at a football match might be a relative novelty, but there is nothing new under the sun.

The Byzantine emperor died in Constantinople on 14 November 565.

Sicilian Vespers (1846), by Francesco Hayez

In drawing parallels with international events of the 1980s and 1990s, Michael Antonucci’s article from 1993 neglected the ideology that underpinned Byzantine diplomacy.

Liz James celebrates the Eastern Empire’s artistic heritage and its pivotal role in shaping Europe and the Islamic world of the Middle Ages.

The Renaissance in Italy, writes Alan Haynes, was enhanced by the arrival of scholars from Byzantium towards the end of the fourteenth century.

Depiction of Greek fire in the Madrid Skylitzes

Towards the end of the twelfth century, writes Jim Bradbury, Greek Fire, which the Byzantines had long used, was first employed in Western Europe.