What happened to the Imperial Byzantine Family after the collapse of the empire?

What happened to the Imperial Byzantine Family after the collapse of the empire?


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After the collapse of the Byzantine Empire, what happened to the Imperial Byzantine family? Did they later establish other smaller kingdoms? Do any European Royal family trace their ancestry to them (Especially in eastern Europe). Is there anyone in this time who holds the claim to throne of the empire (as in the case of many dissolved monarchies)?


Byzantine Empire was not formally a hereditary monarchy. There was no law which regulated inheritance in Byzantine Empire.

Nevertheless the offsprings of the imperial family sold the right to claim the throne to Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, Spanish monarchs. This was inherited by Charles V, Holy Roman emperor. Yet he never styled himself a Byzantine or Constantinopolian emperor. Being a Roman Emperor was a part of his title though after he was crowned Roman Emperor by the Pope (he was the last man to receive this title ever).


In addition to Anixx's answer, check out Andreas Palaiologos - the oldest newphew of Constantine (the last emperor). Looks like he sold his "rights" to the Byzantine throne twice, both to France and Spain. And his younger brother sold them to… gasp… the Ottomans. Well, they had to get some money for high living.

Which brings us to another aspect: Mehmed II claimed that he actually was the new Roman Emperor, or Kayser-i Rum as he called it, by right of conquest. (He did have a point there). I know that Suleiman the Magnificent called himself so as well (in a letter to Charles V) but wikipedia, linked to in "claimed" above, a ssertsthat later sultans dropped the title.


see my several answers to this question "Greek Revolution- where did the greeks look for descendants of the byzantine dynasty?"

Greek Revolution: Where did the Greeks look for descendants of the Byzantine dynasties?


A short answer is that the male line descendants died out in a few generations as far as is known, but several Palaiologos princesses married into other families and their descendants lasted after the last known male lineage descendants of the Palaiologos dynasty.

Some of the female line descndnts exist today. Thus going by male preference primogeniture the rightful heir of the Palaiologos dynasty is probably Luigi Serra, 11th Duke of Cassano.

http://historum.com/european-history/121359-heirs-byzantine-empire.html1


yes, the head of the Imperial House lives in Moscow. He is H.I.H Prince Vladimir Gorshkov-Cantacuzene. check the website www.royal-byzantium.com

Regards


5 Reasons Why The Byzantine Empire Finally Collapsed

In a previous article, I looked at the reasons why the Byzantine Empire lasted so long. In this piece, I will analyze the events that led to its ultimate downfall. As was the case with the Western Roman Empire, its Eastern equivalent was faced with an array of foreign enemies. However, it was arguably its internal issues that led to its demise.

Emperors like Justinian I tried to expand the empire but throughout its history, a host of problems arose and contributed to its downfall. No single issue caused the end of the Byzantine Empire. It was made great by its economy, military, unity, and ability to take advantage of the moments of weakness of rivals and neighbors. Over time, its economic and military might waned and along with it, the empire&rsquos capacity to seize an opportunity. Add in civil unrest, natural disasters and powerful enemies such as the Arabs, Seljuk Turks, Bulgars, Normans, Slavs, and Ottoman Turks, and you can see why the Byzantine Empire eventually crumbled.

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Contents

The most significant events generally agreed by historians to have played a role in the decline of the Byzantine empire are summarised below:

  • The Battle of Manzikert in 1071, which saw emperor Romanos IV Diogenes captured by the army of Seljuk Sultan Alp Arslan. The defeat led to a Byzantine civil war lasting ten years, in which eight different revolts took place. The damage was increased by the use of Turkish mercenaries by the various factions, which in some cases led to Turkish occupation of entire cities and regions. A notable example is the revolt of Nikephoros Melissenos in 1080, in which the towns he had occupied and garrisoned with Turkish soldiers in Ionia, Phrygia, Galatia, and Bithynia remained in their hands even after the revolt ended, including Nicaea, which for a time became the capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum.
  • The Battle of Myriokephalon in 1176, in which an army led by emperor Manuel I Komnenos attempted to capture the Turkish capital at Konya, but was ambushed in a narrow mountain pass and defeated by the army of Turkish Sultan Kilij Arslan II. The battle is generally considered significant both because it put an end to Byzantine plans to recover central Anatolia, and because of the psychological effect it had both on the emperor himself, and the empire's international reputation. In the years after Manuel's death in 1180, the Seljuks built on their victory by expanding their control at the expense of the Byzantines, while Manuel's teenage successor Alexios II was overthrown in a coup.
  • The Sack of Constantinople in 1204 saw the empire partitioned between the Republic of Venice and a Crusader army led by Boniface I, Marquess of Montferrat. A new Latin Empire was established, led by Baldwin I, Latin Emperor. Although Byzantine successor states emerged in Nicaea, Trebizond and Epirus, and went on to reclaim the capital in 1261, many historians cite the loss of the capital as a fatal blow to the Byzantine Empire.
  • The Byzantine civil wars of the 14th century, including the Byzantine civil war of 1321–1328 and the Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347, which completely destroyed what little strength the empire had left. The Fall of Gallipoli in 1354 saw the Ottoman Turks cross into Europe, while the empire was powerless to stop them. This event has been seen by modern historians such as Donald M. Nicol to be the point of no return for the Byzantine Empire, after which its fall was virtually inevitable.

Civil wars Edit

Probably the most important single cause of Byzantium's collapse was its recurrent debilitating civil wars. Three of the worst periods of civil war and internal infighting took place during Byzantium's decline. Each time, these civil wars coincided with a catastrophic reduction in Byzantine power and influence, which was never fully reversed before the next collapse.

The period from 1071 to 1081 saw eight revolts:

  • 1072: Uprising of Georgi Voiteh
  • 1073–1074: Revolt of Roussel de Bailleul proclaims Caesar John Doukas Emperor.
  • 1077–1078: Revolt and successful usurpation by Nikephoros III Botaneiates.
  • 1077–1078: Revolt of Nikephoros Bryennios the Elder against Michael VII Doukas and Nikephoros III, defeated at the Battle of Kalavrye.
  • 1078: Revolt of Philaretos Brachamios against Michael VII Doukas.
  • 1078: Revolt of Nikephoros Basilakes against Nikephoros III.
  • 1080–1081: Revolt of Nikephoros Melissenos against Nikephoros III.
  • 1081: Revolt and successful usurpation by Alexios I Komnenos.

This was followed by a period of secure dynastic rule by the Komnenos dynasty, under Alexios I (1081-1118), John II Komnenos (1118-43) and Manuel I Komnenos (1143-1180). Cumulatively, these three emperors were able to partially restore the empire's fortunes, but they never were able to fully undo the damage caused by the instability at the end of the 11th century, nor return the empire's frontiers to those of 1071.

The second period of civil war and collapse took place after Manuel's death in 1180. Manuel's son Alexios II Komnenos was overthrown in 1183 by Andronikos I Komnenos, whose reign of terror destabilised the empire internally and led to his overthrow and death in Constantinople in 1185. The Angelos dynasty which ruled Byzantium from 1185 to 1204 has been considered one of the most unsuccessful and ineffectual administrations in the empire's history. During this period, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia broke away from the empire, further land was lost to the Seljuk Turks. In 1203, the imprisoned former emperor Alexios IV Angelos escaped jail and fled to the west, where he promised the leaders of the Fourth Crusade generous payment if they would help him regain the throne. These promises later proved to be impossible to keep in the event, the dynastic squabbling between the weak and ineffectual members of the Angelid dynasty brought about the Sack of Constantinople Constantinople was burned, pillaged and destroyed, thousands of its citizens were killed, many of the surviving inhabitants fled, and much of the city became a depopulated ruin. The damage to Byzantium was incalculable many historians point to this moment as a fatal blow in the empire's history. Although the empire was reformed in 1261 by the recapture of the city by forces from the Empire of Nicaea, the damage was never reversed and the empire never returned to anywhere near its former territorial extent, wealth and military power.

The third period of civil war took place in the 14th century. Two separate periods of civil war, again making extensive use of Turkish, Serbian and even Catalan troops, often operating independently under their own commanders, and often raiding and destroying Byzantine lands in the process, ruined the domestic economy and left the state virtually powerless and overrun by its enemies. Conflicts between Andronikos II and Andronikos III, and then later between John VI Kantakouzenos and John V Palaiologos, marked the final ruin of Byzantium. The Byzantine civil war of 1321–1328 allowed the Turks to make notable gains in Anatolia and set up their capital in Bursa 100 kilometers from Constantinople the Byzantine's capital. The civil war of 1341–1347 saw exploitation of the Byzantine Empire by the Serbs, whose ruler took advantage of the chaos to proclaim himself emperor of the Serbs and Greeks. The Serbian king Stefan Uroš IV Dušan made significant territorial gains in Byzantine Macedonia in 1345 and conquered large swathes of Thessaly and Epirus in 1348. [1] In order to secure his authority during the civil war, Kantakouzenos hired Turkish mercenaries. Although these mercenaries were of some use, in 1352 they seized Gallipoli from the Byzantines. [2] By 1354, the empire's territory consisted of Constantinople and Thrace, the city of Thessaloniki, and some territory in the Morea.

Fall of the theme system Edit

The disintegration of the Byzantine Empire's traditional military system, the 'theme' system, played a role in its decline. Under this arrangement, which was in its heyday from circa 650 to 1025, the empire was divided into several regions which contributed locally raised troops to the imperial armies. The system provided an effective means of cheaply mobilizing large numbers of men, and the result was a comparatively large and powerful force – the army of the theme of Thrakesion alone had provided about 9,600 men in the period 902–936, for example. But from the 11th century onwards, the theme system was allowed to decay. This played a major role in the loss of Anatolia to the Turks at the end of that century.

In the 12th century, the Komnenian dynasty re-established an effective military force. Manuel I Komnenos, for example, was able to muster an army of over 40,000 men. However, the theme system was never replaced by a viable long-term alternative, and the result was an empire that depended more than ever before on the strengths of each individual emperor or dynasty. The collapse of imperial power and authority after 1185 revealed the inadequacy of this approach. After the deposition of Andronikos I Komnenos in 1185, the dynasty of the Angeloi oversaw a period of military decline. From 1185 onwards, Byzantine emperors found it increasingly difficult to muster and pay for sufficient military forces, while the failure of their efforts to sustain their empire exposed the limitations of the entire Byzantine military system, dependent as it was on competent personal direction from the emperor.

Despite the restoration under the Palaiologoi, Byzantium was never again a great power on the scale of the past. By the 13th century, the imperial army numbered a mere 6,000 men. As one of the main institutional strengths of the Byzantine state, the demise of the theme system left the empire lacking in underlying structural strengths.

Increasing reliance on mercenaries Edit

As far back as the invasion of Africa by Belisarius, foreign soldiers were used in war. [3] While foreign military intervention was not an all together new occurrence, [4] the reliance on it, and its ability to damage political, social, and economic institutions were dramatically increased in the 11th, 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries. The 11th century saw increasing tensions between Courtly, and Military factions. [5] [6] Until the mid 11th century the empire had long been under the control of the Military Factions with leaders such as Basil II, and John I Tzimiskes, [7] however the crisis of Basil II's succession led to increasing uncertainty in the future of politics. [5] The army demanded Constantine VIII's daughters ascend to the throne by virtue of their relation to Basil II, leading to a number of marriages, and increasing power for the Courtly faction. [5] This culminated after the failed Battle of Manzikert. As civil wars broke out, and tensions between courtly, and military factions reached a zenith, the demand for soldiers led to the hiring of Turkish mercenaries. [8] These mercenaries aided in the Byzantine loss of Anatolia by drawing more Turkish soldiers into the interior of the empire, and by giving the Turks an increasing presence in Byzantine politics. These interventions also led to further destabilization of the political system. [8] [9]

Reliance on foreign military intervention, and sponsorship for political motives, continued even during the Komnenoi Restoration, Alexius I used Turkish mercenaries in the civil wars he participated in with Nikephoros III Botaneiates. [9] In 1204, Alexios IV Angelos relied on Latin soldiers to claim the throne of Byzantium, leading to the sack of Constantinople, and the creation of the successor states.

Loss of control over revenue Edit

Economic concessions to the Italian Republics of Venice and Genoa weakened the empire's control over its own finances, especially from the ascension of Michael VIII Palaiologos in the 13th century onward. At this time it was common for emperors to seek sponsorship from Venice, Genoa, and the Turks. This led to a series of disastrous trade deals with the Italian states drying up one of the empire's final sources of revenue. [10] This further led to competition between Venice, and Genoa to get emperors on the throne who supported their respective trade agenda to the detriment of the other, adding another level of instability to the Byzantine political process. [10]

By the time of the Byzantine–Genoese War (1348–49), only thirteen percent of custom dues passing through the Bosporus strait were going to the Empire. The remaining 87 percent was collected by the Genoese from their colony of Galata. [11] Genoa collected 200,000 hyperpyra from annual custom revenues from Galata, while Constantinople collected a mere 30,000. [12] The loss of control over its own revenue sources drastically weakened the Byzantine empire, hastening its decline. At the same time, the system of Pronoia (land grants in exchange for military service), became increasingly corrupt and dysfunctional by the later empire, and by the 14th century many of the empire's nobles were not paying any tax, nor were they serving in the empire's armies. This further undermined the financial basis of the state, and placed further reliance on unreliable mercenaries, which only hasted the empire's demise.

The failed Union of the Churches Edit

Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos signed a union with the Catholic church in the 13th century in the hope of staving off western attack, but the policy was unsuccessful. The empire's western enemies soon resumed attacking the empire, while the social divisions the deeply unpopular union created inside the empire were damaging to Byzantine society. The controversy over church union failed to provide the empire with any lasting benefit, while the prisons were soon full of dissenters and Orthodox clergy. This undermined the legitimacy of the Palaiologos dynasty and further facilitated social divisions, which were ultimately to play a role in the loss of Anatolia to the Ottoman Turks.

Byzantine envoys presented themselves at the Second Council of Lyons 24 June 1274. On the fourth session of the Council the formal act of union was performed, [13] however with Pope Gregory's death (January, 1276), the hoped for gains did not materialise. [14]

While the union was opposed at all levels of society, it was especially opposed by the greater populace, led by the monks and the adherents of the deposed Patriarch Arsenios, known as the Arsenites. One of the chief anti-unionist leaders was Michael's own sister Eulogia (aka Irene), who fled to the court of her daughter Maria Palaiologina Kantakouzene, Tsarina of the Bulgars, from where she intrigued unsuccessfully against Michael. More serious was the opposition of the sons of Michael of Epirus, Nikephoros I Komnenos Doukas and his half-brother John the Bastard: they posed as the defenders of Orthodoxy and gave support to the anti-unionists fleeing Constantinople. Michael at first responded with comparative leniency, hoping to win the anti-unionists through persuasion, but eventually the virulence of the protests led him to resort to force. Many anti-unionists were blinded or exiled. Two prominent monks, Meletios and Ignatios, were punished: the first had his tongue cut out, the second was blinded. Even imperial officials were harshly treated, and the death penalty was decreed even for simply reading or possessing pamphlets directed against the Emperor. [15] "From the intensity of these disorders, tantamount almost to civil wars," concludes Geanakoplos, "it might appear that too great a price had been paid for the sake of union." [16]

The religious situation only worsened for Michael. The Arsenite party found widespread support amongst the discontented in the Anatolian provinces, and Michael responded there with similar viciousness: according to Vryonis, "These elements were either removed from the armies or else, alienated, they deserted to the Turks". [17] Another attempt to clear the encroaching Turkmen from the Meaender valley in 1278 found limited success, but Antioch on the Maeander was irretrievably lost as were Tralles and Nyssa four years later. [18]

On 1 May 1277, John the Bastard convoked a synod at Neopatras that anathematized the Emperor, Patriarch, and Pope as heretics. [19] In response, a synod was convoked at the Hagia Sophia on 16 July where both Nikephoros and John were anathematized in return. John called a final synod at Neopatras in December 1277, where an anti-unionist council of eight bishops, a few abbots, and one hundred monks, again anathematized the Emperor, Patriarch, and Pope. [20]

Crusaders Edit

Though the Crusades assisted Byzantium in driving back some of the Turks, they went far beyond the military assistance envisaged by Alexios I. Instead of following the strategic necessities of the war against the Turks, the Crusaders were focussed on the quest of re-conquering Jerusalem, and instead of returning territory to Byzantium, the Crusaders established their own principalities, becoming a territorial rival to Byzantine interests in their own right.

This was true already during the Third Crusade, which induced emperor Isaac II Angelos to make a secret alliance with Saladin to impede the progress of Frederick Barbarossa, but open conflict between Crusaders and Byzantium erupted in the Fourth Crusade, resulting in the Sack of Constantinople in 1204. Constantinople was now itself a Crusader state, known as the Latin Empire in historiography, but from the Greek perspective as Frankokratia or "rule of the Franks". Vestiges of imperial power were preserved in minor principalities, the Nicaean Empire, Trebizond and Epirus. Much of the Nicaean Emperors' efforts now went into combating the Latins, and even after Constantinople was returned to Greek rule under the Palaiologoi in 1261, the Empire exerted much of its efforts into defeating its Latin neighbours, contributing to the eventual failure of the Crusades by 1291.

Rise of the Seljuks and Ottomans Edit

No emperor after the Komnenian period was in a position to expel the Turks from Asia Minor, while the preoccupation of the Nicaean emperors with the attempt to recover Constantinople meant that resources were diverted away from Asia Minor and towards the west. The result was a weakening of the Byzantine defenses in the region, which, when combined with insufficient resources and incompetent leadership, led to the complete loss of all the empire's Asian territory to the Turks by 1338.

The disintegration of the Seljuk Turks led to the rise of the Ottoman Turks. Their first important leader was Osman I Bey, who attracted Ghazi warriors and carved out a domain in north-western Asia Minor. [21] Attempts by the Byzantine Emperors to drive back the Ottomans were unsuccessful, and ceased in 1329 with the Battle of Pelekanon. Following a number of civil disputes in the Byzantine Empire, the Ottomans subjugated the Byzantines as vassals in the late 14th century and attempts to relieve this vassal status culminated in the Fall of Constantinople in 1453.


Economic and social policies

The empire’s economy had prospered in a spotty fashion. Certain provinces, or parts of provinces such as northern Italy, flourished commercially as well as agriculturally. Constantinople, in particular, influenced urban growth and the exploitation of agricultural frontiers. Balkan towns along the roads leading to the great city prospered, while others not so favoured languished and even disappeared. Untilled land in the hilly regions of northern Syria fell under the plow to supply foodstuffs for the masses of Constantinople. As the 4th century progressed, not only did Constantine’s solidus remain indeed solid gold, but evidence drawn from a wide range of sources suggests that gold in any form was far more abundant than it had been for at least two centuries. It may be that new sources of supply for the precious metal had been discovered: those perhaps were in spoils plundered from pagan temples or perhaps were from mines newly exploited in western Africa and newly available to the lands of the empire, thanks to the appearance of camel-driving nomads who transported the gold across the Sahara to the Mediterranean coastline of North Africa.

The extreme social mobility noted in the late 3rd and early 4th centuries seems less characteristic of the second half of the latter century. Certainly the emperors continued their efforts to bind men collectively to their socially necessary tasks, but the repetition of laws tying the colonus to his estate, the navicularius to his ship, and the curialis to his municipal senate suggests that those edicts had little effect. Indeed, it would be a mistake to conclude from such legislation that Roman society was universally and uniformly organized in castes determined in response to imperial orders. There was always a distinction between what an emperor wanted and what he could obtain, and, as the foregoing survey has suggested, there were distinctions between the provinces as well.

Even before the end of the first quarter of the 5th century, those provincial differences were visible, and in no small degree they help to explain the survival of imperial government and Greco-Roman civilization in the East while both eventually perished in the West. Throughout the Eastern provinces, population levels seem to have remained higher, and the emperors in Constantinople never had to search (at least until the 6th century) for men to fill the ranks of their armies. As might be expected in those eastern lands in which urban civilization was several centuries old, cities persisted and, with them, a merchant class and a monetary economy. Eastern merchants, known in the sources as Syrians, assumed the carrying trade between East and West, often establishing colonies in the beleaguered cities of the latter region.

Most important, the emperor in the East never lost access to, or control over, his sources of manpower and money. An older and probably more-wealthy senatorial class, or aristocracy, in the West consolidated its great estates and assumed a form of protection or patronage over the labouring rural classes, depriving the state of desperately needed military and financial services. The senatorial class in the East seems to have been of more-recent origin, its beginnings to be found among those favourites or parvenus who had followed Constantine to his new capital. By the early 5th century, their wealth seems to have been, individually, much less than the resources at the disposal of their Western counterparts their estates were far more scattered and their rural dependents less numerous. They were thus less able to challenge the imperial will and less able to interpose themselves between the state on the one hand and its potential soldiers or taxpayers on the other.


7 Intrigue

Today, the word &ldquoByzantine&rdquo can refer to an atmosphere of confusion and intrigue, and that was certainly true of the court in Constantinople. There, eunuchs and courtiers jockeyed for influence and emperors ruled through powerful favorites.

In one ninth-century example, the eunuch Staurakios helped Empress Irene overthrow and blind her own son. Staurakios himself was soon forced from power by the eunuch Aetios, who schemed to make his brother emperor. But Aetios failed to guard against the finance minister Nikephoros, who orchestrated a coup and reigned as emperor until the Bulgarians converted his skull into a drinking cup.

This atmosphere of intrigue lasted until Constantinople fell. Even as the Ottomans massed outside the walls, Grand Duke Loukas Notaras was reportedly scheming to secure lucrative court positions for his sons.


What would have happened to the Byzantine Empire without the 4th crusade

Been wondering this for a while as a potential Alternate History thought, and was curious if anyone could offer some further thought into it?

No 4th Crusade, no crippling the great old empire. What happens to it? I doubt it would stay at the size at the time, but as the empire that came back several times, that doesn't mean irrevocable decline.

I sort of imagine it eventually comes to look and feel more like a 'Megalia Idea/Greater Greece' with it covering the Aegean and Black coasts of what we'd call Turkey and modern Greece, but that is honestly my simple guess. I don't see them holding on to what we'd call Bulgaria forever, but the core Greek areas might be easier to hold and maintain and regain as necessary.

Coviekiller5

HistoryMinor

Eliar

To be honest the Byzantine Empire at the time was in a very deep crisis and shedding territory like mad.

Bulgaria was already independent again, the Army a mess of ambitious officers leading understaffed formations, Emperors that lasted less than a year, the economy and trade in the hands of Venice, the navy non existent and the list goes on.

The Empire had faced many a crisis before, some just as bad as this but had gotten over them diminished in many ways.

The Empire in 1204 did not have the reserves, moral or military the reverse the decline.

In a sense Konstantinople had become a malignant tumor that devoured everything the Empire had and gave back nothing.

It is not a coincidence that the Fall led to the creation of a few very powerful and vital succesor states that managed to beat the Franks, Turks, Bulgarians and various other comers multiple times but started to decline again immediately after they took Konstantinople again.

Constantinople was a worthy capital for a far reaching continental spanning Empire. It was a fatal sink for the weak and divided later Byzantine state(s)

Edit: Konstantinople in 1203 was still one of the richest cities in the world. But that wealth was gathering dust in the various vaults of the nobility and the church. The Empire overall was poor and getting poorer. In short it was too soft and tempting a target,.

Lord Invictus

As I understand it, the situation was complex as the empire didn't lack for some positive signs, but the leadership at the time-the Angeleloi were horrifically incompetent.

I think the Byzantines decline was largely irreversible barring a Justinian level great emperor after Manzikert, manuel kommenos, a few of the Palaiologi were capable, but the empire didn't have a truly great emperor for centuries at that point.

Also at that point, the domination of the Italians, was nearly intractable, and the Turks had overwhelmed Anatolia-to be sure after the collapse of the Seljuq empire, and the fragmentation of the region the byzantines had some breathing space.

If everything turned out well-could the empire have held on as a rump state in Greece, the fringes of Anatolia, and some outliers in the Balkans? Probably, as the region was a politically complex one, maybe the Mongols would have been their saving grace.

Skyzeta

Friendly Oppressor

Others have touched on a lot of it, but the biggest is the wider geopolitical trends. Their just isn't much in the cards.

As I understand it, the situation was complex as the empire didn't lack for some positive signs, but the leadership at the time-the Angeleloi were horrifically incompetent.

I think the Byzantines decline was largely irreversible barring a Justinian level great emperor after Manzikert, manuel kommenos, a few of the Palaiologi were capable, but the empire didn't have a truly great emperor for centuries at that point.

Also at that point, the domination of the Italians, was nearly intractable, and the Turks had overwhelmed Anatolia-to be sure after the collapse of the Seljuq empire, and the fragmentation of the region the byzantines had some breathing space.

If everything turned out well-could the empire have held on as a rump state in Greece, the fringes of Anatolia, and some outliers in the Balkans? Probably, as the region was a politically complex one, maybe the Mongols would have been their saving grace.

Lord Invictus

Others have touched on a lot of it, but the biggest is the wider geopolitical trends. Their just isn't much in the cards.

I had the same thought. Either the Mongols or maybe (If they manage to live that long which is a pretty big if) to take the pressure off. But the Mongols are a double-edged sword on a good day and the Russians are a long way away.

Timur gave the byzantines about fifty years. The Mongols may have smashed the Latins and Muslim polities as well as ravaging the Balkans, thus giving the empire at least a century of time to recuperate(or at least a few generations), of course the byzantines would have needed to have handled diplomacy with the mongols effectively, and avoided both their attention and wrath.

The issue may have been that the empire's internal problems would not have allowed it to make use of this external breathing room.

The same and reverse applied before-wherein the empire's internal strengths were ground down/simply could not overcome external enemies.

The byzantine empire had loads of problems, external and internal, and recovering from crises and setbacks often relied on the stars aligning-capable emperors and favorable geopolitical circumstances-this was the case during Justinian's time, Basil, the Macedonian dynasty, Kommenos, etc.

The problem was the dice was sooner or later going to roll against them, and they would not be able to overcome or endure a bad roll as they had in the past.

Kevin Vacit

Cute Zombie

The Russians wouldn't magically go 'Oh, you're the eastern Roman Empire! Yeah, we're not actually interested in having a mediterranean harbour in our possession. '

If the eastern Roman Empire replaces the Ottomans, the Russians fight a stupid number of wars with the eastern Roman Empire instead.

Every neighbour the eastern Roman Empire had wanted to eat them. And quite a few not-neighbours as well, as the fourth crusade showed. The Serbs, Magyars, Bulgars, Turks and Arabs all wanted a piece of the cake, and the only time when they didn't pound on the doors was when the Empire was lucky enough to have subjugated some of them - but they always came free again.

For the eastern Roman Empire to persist, its number of enemies needs to decline drastically. The Balkans need to remain under its control. The Bulgar-, Magyar and Slavic (original Bulgars were turkic slavised later) migrations need to be stopped at the Danube.

If this succeeds, a shared border with the Holy Roman Empire, with the two of them being large enough and with centres of power sufficiently distant that logistics dictate wars being mere border scuffles rather than fights for survival, keep the Eastern Roman Empire's back reasonably safe, and it can concentrate sufficient force where it needs it. The eastern Roman Empire no longer needs miracle Emperors just to hold things together, and is no longer under threat of elimination if a meh Emperor takes charge or theological arguments result in a civil war or two.

Unfortunately, even if Justinian hadn't spent a fortune on trying to get the mediterranean under control. the demographic hits taken in the 6th and 7th century make accomplishing this absurdly difficult.

HistoryMinor

The Russians wouldn't magically go 'Oh, you're the eastern Roman Empire! Yeah, we're not actually interested in having a mediterranean harbour in our possession. '

If the eastern Roman Empire replaces the Ottomans, the Russians fight a stupid number of wars with the eastern Roman Empire instead.

Every neighbour the eastern Roman Empire had wanted to eat them. And quite a few not-neighbours as well, as the fourth crusade showed. The Serbs, Magyars, Bulgars, Turks and Arabs all wanted a piece of the cake, and the only time when they didn't pound on the doors was when the Empire was lucky enough to have subjugated some of them - but they always came free again.

For the eastern Roman Empire to persist, its number of enemies needs to decline drastically. The Balkans need to remain under its control. The Bulgar-, Magyar and Slavic (original Bulgars were turkic slavised later) migrations need to be stopped at the Danube.

If this succeeds, a shared border with the Holy Roman Empire, with the two of them being large enough and with centres of power sufficiently distant that logistics dictate wars being mere border scuffles rather than fights for survival, keep the Eastern Roman Empire's back reasonably safe, and it can concentrate sufficient force where it needs it. The eastern Roman Empire no longer needs miracle Emperors just to hold things together, and is no longer under threat of elimination if a meh Emperor takes charge or theological arguments result in a civil war or two.

Unfortunately, even if Justinian hadn't spent a fortune on trying to get the mediterranean under control. the demographic hits taken in the 6th and 7th century make accomplishing this absurdly difficult.

Rubberanvil

Hentai Undivided

Kevin Vacit

Cute Zombie

Given the tendency of dynastic marriages to result in war from dynastic claims a little later (Nine Years' war immediately springs to mind, when the marriage of a German electors' daughter into the French royal family led to the French burning down her homeland because they felt they now had a claim to it).

PurpleLegion

Remember 1453

Given the tendency of dynastic marriages to result in war from dynastic claims a little later (Nine Years' war immediately springs to mind, when the marriage of a German electors' daughter into the French royal family led to the French burning down her homeland because they felt they now had a claim to it).

It was general standard practice for Byzantine Royals to marry off extra princesses to neighbors they had good relations with was it not? More often than not these marriages fostered good relations for at least a couple of generations otherwise diplomatic marriages as they existed in your view make no sense. Neighbors they did that to off the top of my head was the Kiev Principality, and the various nomadic groups that came near and eventually settled by the Empire, somwhat similar to how the various chinese dynasties married off extra royals to establish, maintain, and foster good relationships between their various tributaries and vassals, I distinctly remember the Tang dynasty using it the most, or at least being more memorable.

It is in my honest opinion that I believe the Byzantines to not be so stupid as to marry their only heir off to another power they can’t trust especially if said heir was a woman. Further more when no suitable direct heir, the closest relative is found, a several times removed cousin or uncle, even then a suitable ruler is found through the various noble houses if all else fails. The catastrophic civil wars stemming from when there isn’t a dominant house but rather several houses of similar power, then having each house having the self-destructive short-sighted ambition to become emperor resulting in those houses rallying various parts of the military and engage in infighting.

On top of all of this, your own perspective is incredibly pessimistic and defeatists. You basically state that all royal marriages between different nationstates will lead to a succession war, it is inevitable and will cause large amounts of destruction. I’m unable to look up the example you’ve provided as I’m typing this in a very small timeframe, but there are so many more cases where diplomatic marriages work out than not work out, where it strengthens and bonds relations between nations, creating alliances between each other to further protect themselves. This is the case especially with the Byzantines, yes there have been cases where succession wars begin due to one mishap or another, one ambitious relative thinking he or she has a better claim. But more often that not marriages that are between nations for the Byzantines have worked out for the better for them, examples being the various emirs, tribes, and pretty much any number of neighboring polities, the Byzantines usually are capable of forming ties with them unless they prove to be an entity that’s entirely hostile.

It is when the Byzantines are on the decline, and the die that usually rolled favorably on them decided to turn the other cheek that we see the Byzantines greatest flaws come to the surface, while events that they’d be able to handle become unmitigated disasters.

I believe that you sell the historically usually competent Byzantine diplomacy short.

Note, when I talk of Byzantine diplomacy, it is between them and other nations, not internally.


What happened to Greece after the fall of the Byzantines?

And to a lesser extent the Balkans aren't heard from much after Classical times.

They are definitely "heard from" if you look at their own sources or at Byzantine/Slavic/Ottoman sources. They are more heard from than most of Europe, actually.

First of all, you should keep in mind that by the 10th century, Byzantine historians reported that no one spoke Greek in Greece since the Slavs and Bulgarians and other groups had repeatedly overrun the peninsula.

If by the fall of the Byzantines, you mean the fall to the 4th crusade, I could go into detail on that. I personally believe that the Byzantine empire died on that day, and the Ottomans merely pushed them over the edge.

However, if you mean the Ottoman Conquest of Constantinople, then life went on as it did before. The Ottomans utilized existing Byzantine administrative hierarchies and utilized the Ecumenical Patriarch to handle law/order and taxes for the most part. Many Greeks converted to Islam but most did not. Some Turkish tribes emigrated to parts of Greece and the Balkans and particular populations converted en masse -- but this was a long term phenomenon that was by no means happening left and right in the 1400s or 1500s.

Tourkokratia (or Turkish Rule) has traditionally been depicted as a time of great darkness for the Greek nation but this is a 19th/20th century perspective. In reality, Ottoman rule brought stability to many regions of Greece and immigrants (Jews, Turks) brought new-found wealth to a land that had been ravaged by constant war. The law did favor muslims over christians, but judging by the standards of the time, it was surprisingly "fair".

The old Byzantine landed nobility and aristocracy had survived under the Norman/Latin rule but was wiped out by the Ottomans. They weren't necessarily killed, but were forced to give up their land and go into obscurity. Instead of doling out the land to random nobles to rule in the name of the sultan, the Empire appointed Greek/Christian bureaucrats to oversee towns/villages/cities/provinces/viyalets and allowed for purchase and sale of land by regular citizens, there was a Ottoman governor at the state level (responsible for all of Greece) but he was usually a Greek or Albanian convert to begin with. The Byzantine bureaucracy in Constantinople became well-utilized by the Ottomans and "phanariots" (people from Phanar (Fener), a district of Constantinople/Istanbul) were appointed to rule the districts and provinces, and often became governors as well. There had always been a conflict in the late Byzantine empire between "men of the sword" -- aristocratic military families-- and "men of the pen" -- bureaucrats residing in the imperial city, and the Ottomans essentially destroyed the aristocratic military families and greatly empowered the Phanariot bureaucrats.

The life and work of Michael Critobulus is very interesting in providing a very personal and specific example as to what happened to Greece and the Byzantines immediately after the conquest. Critobulus was a high ranking historian and member of the imperial Byzantine court and after the conquest, began working for the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II. He depicts Mehmet II as a great leader who brought peace and stability to Greece and to Christendom. He thought that the Ottoman conquest was a divinely ordained event and that the fact that the Ottomans raised the Ecumenical Patriarch to a more powerful role was proof of this. Of course, its good to keep in mind that he "worked" for the sultan and thus wrote good things about him. Nonetheless, we have no reason to doubt his resolve and dedication to the sultan given that he could have gone to Italy or lived on his estates without kissing ass. In particular, Critobulus was made governor of the islands surrounding Imbros and went above and beyond to ensure that the islands were handed over to the Ottomans. Cribobulus's account of the post-conquest Constantinople and Greece is the most detailed history we have at our hands. He depicts the Ottomans as re-populating and re-building a land that had been destroyed by corrupt Byzantine politicking and civil wars and ravaged by the Italians and Western Europeans. Apparently, the Ottomans let the people not pay taxes for a few years while things were rebuilt and paid particular attention to infrastructure (bridges, walls, water, irrigation) that had been neglected under the Latins and late Byzantines.

By the 1500s, and particularly after Bayezid II sent the Ottoman Fleet to Spain to rescue the Jewish and Morisco population, Greece's economy catapulted. Salonika (formerly Thessalonica) became one of the world's richest cities until the 19th century.

Jannisaries were levied from the Christian Greek population but it was more common to take Slavs. This was a practice by which every few years or so, the brightest and most able young boys in a village or city would be forcibly taken to the Ottoman court, converted to Islam, given perhaps the best education in the world at the time, and trained to be master-ninja fighters and or genius diplomats/bureaucrats. Of course, this was often traumatic but these boys rose to become the highest-ranked officials of the empire and often inter-married with the Ottoman family (almost all Grand Viziers were jannisaries) and often lavished their families and home towns with monuments and wealth.

To clear up some confusion:

The Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the "Roman Empire", the "Empire of the Romans" (Latin: Imperium Romanum, Imperium Romanorum Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων Basileia tōn Rhōmaiōn, Ἀρχὴ τῶν Ῥωμαίων Archē tōn Rhōmaiōn), "Romania" (Latin: Romania Greek: Ῥωμανία Rhōmania),[n 2] the "Roman Republic" (Latin: Res Publica Romana Greek: Πολιτεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων Politeia tōn Rhōmaiōn), Graikia (Greek: Γραικία), and also as Rhōmais (Greek: Ῥωμαΐς).

You might notice that they called themselves "Romans" -- IN GREEK -- [Ῥωμαίων]. This is because they knew they were speaking the language Greek but they called themselves and their language Roman, irregardless.

A Greek speaker in the Ottoman Empire or in the Byzantine Empire would have been EXTREMELY INSULTED and INCREDIBLY CONFUSED if you called him a Greek.


The republic to 1960

Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca, who had led the coup, became provisional president of the military-led government with the support of the nascent middle class and the prosperous coffee planters. He established a republic, separated the powers of church and state, and on February 24, 1891, promulgated a new constitution that combined elements of presidential, federal, democratic, and republican forms of government. The new states of the republic exercised more power than had the empire’s provinces.

Congress elected Fonseca president later that year, but he proved unable to govern under the new constitution. When he attempted to dissolve the dissenting Congress and rule by decree, the public raised such an outcry that he was forced to resign. Floriano Peixoto, the equally militaristic vice president, ascended to office on November 23, defeated several monarchist and military revolts, and restored a measure of tranquillity and order to the nation.


The Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars

The Byzantine Empire had a long and tumultuous relationship with the Bulgar Empire to its north.

Learning Objectives

Distinguish between the different threats that the Byzantines faced around the turn of the millennium

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • The Bulgarian Empire was founded in the 5th century and continued to expand and clash with the Byzantine Empire for centuries.
  • During a period of peace, in 864 the Bulgar Empire converted to Christianity and adopted many Byzantine cultural practices.
  • 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.
  • In 971, John I Tzimiskes, the Byzantine emperor, subjugated much of the weakening Bulgarian Empire.
  • In 1185, however, Bulgarians Theodore Peter and Ivan Asen started a revolt, and the weakening Byzantine Empire, facing internal dynastic troubles of its own, was unable to prevent the revolt from being successful.
  • In 1396, Bulgaria fell to the Ottoman Turks, and in 1453, Constantinople was captured. Since both became part of the Ottoman Empire, this was the end of the long series of Bulgarian-Byzantine Wars.

Key Terms

  • lingua franca: A language or dialect systematically used to make communication possible between people who do not share a native language or dialect.
  • Bulgarian: A South Slavic ethnic group who are native to Bulgaria and neighbouring regions.

The Bulgarian Empire

The First Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state that existed in southeastern Europe between the 7th and 11th centuries CE. It was founded circa 681, when Bulgar tribes led by Asparukh moved to the northeastern Balkans. There they secured Byzantine recognition of their right to settle south of the Danube, by defeating—possibly with the help of local South Slavic tribes—the Byzantine army led by Constantine IV. At the height of its power, Bulgaria spread from the Danube Bend to the Black Sea, and from the Dnieper River to the Adriatic Sea.

As the state solidified its position in the Balkans, it entered into a centuries-long interaction, sometimes friendly and sometimes hostile, with the Byzantine Empire. Bulgaria emerged as Byzantium ‘s chief antagonist to its north, resulting in several wars. The two powers also enjoyed periods of peace and alliance, most notably during the Second Arab siege of Constantinople, where the Bulgarian army broke the siege and destroyed the Arab army, thus preventing an Arab invasion of southeastern Europe. Byzantium had a strong cultural influence on Bulgaria, which also led to the eventual adoption of Christianity in 864.

After the adoption of Christianity, Bulgaria became the cultural center of Slavic Europe. Its leading cultural position was further consolidated with the invention of the Glagolitic and Early Cyrillic alphabets shortly after in the capital of Preslav, and literature produced in Old Bulgarian soon began spreading north. Old Bulgarian became the lingua franca of much of eastern Europe and it came to be known as Old Church Slavonic. In 927, the fully independent Bulgarian Patriarchate was officially recognized.

The Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars

The Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars were a series of conflicts fought between the Byzantines and Bulgarians, which began when the Bulgars first settled in the Balkan peninsula in the 5th century, and intensified with the expansion of the Bulgarian Empire to the southwest after 680 CE. The Byzantines and Bulgarians continued to clash over the next century with variable success, until the Bulgarians, led by Krum, inflicted a series of crushing defeats on the Byzantines. After Krum died in 814, his son, Omurtag, negotiated a thirty-year peace treaty. The traditional struggle with the See of Rome continued through the Macedonian period, spurred by the question of religious supremacy over the newly Christianized state of Bulgaria. 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, enlisting the support of the Hungarians. The Byzantines were defeated at the Battle of Boulgarophygon in 896, however, and agreed to pay annual subsidies to the Bulgarians.

In 971 John I Tzimiskes, the Byzantine emperor, subjugated much of the weakening Bulgarian Empire, as it faced wars with Russians, Pechenegs, Magyars and Croatians, and by defeating Boris II and capturing Preslav, the Bulgarian capital. Byzantine Emperor Basil II completely conquered Bulgaria in 1018, as a result of the 1014 Battle of Kleidion. There were rebellions against Byzantine rule from 1040 to 1041, and in the 1070s and the 1080s, but these failed. In 1185, however, Theodore Peter and Ivan Asen started a revolt, and the weakening Byzantine Empire, facing internal dynastic troubles of its own, was unable to prevent the revolt from being successful.

The rebellion failed to immediately capture Bulgaria’s historic capital, Preslav, but established a new capital city at Tărnovo, presumably the center of the revolt. In 1186, the rebels suffered a defeat, but Isaac II Angelos failed to exploit his victory and returned to Constantinople. With the help of the chiefly Cuman population north of the Danube, Peter and Asen recovered their positions and raided into Thrace. When Isaac II Angelos penetrated into Moesia again in 1187, he failed to capture either Tărnovo or Loveč, and he signed a treaty effectively recognizing the Second Bulgarian Empire, but neither side had any intention of keeping the peace.

Fighting continued until 1396, when Bulgaria fell to the Ottoman Turks, and 1453, when Constantinople was captured. Since both became part of the Ottoman Empire, this was the end of the long series of Bulgarian-Byzantine Wars.

Bulgarians Fighting the Byzantines: A Byzantine painting depicting Bulgarians slaughtering Byzantines, who can be seen with halos on their head.


Ottoman Rule

While the early decades of an Ottoman Empire-ruled Constantinople were marked by the transformation of churches into mosques, Mehmed II spared the church of the Holy Apostles and allowed a diverse population to remain.

Following the conqueror, the most prominent ruler of the Ottomans was Suleyman the Magnificent (who ruled from 1520 to 1566). Along with developing a series of public works, Suleyman transformed the judicial system, championed the arts and continued to expand the empire.

In the 19th century, the declining Ottoman state underwent major changes with the implementation of the Tanzimat Reforms, which guaranteed property rights and outlawed execution without a trial.


Watch the video: The Fall of Rome and Why it Didnt Happen. The Life u0026 Times of Emperor Zeno