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Byzantium

History

This city on the Bosphorus was founded as a colony by the Greek city of Megara around 660 BC, at an important strategic site at the entrance to the Black Sea. It became part of the Roman empire.

Despite native resistance, usurpations of Imperial power and civil war, the Roman Empire continued to expand to such an extent that it became necessary to divide it for governmental purposes. Diocletian (accession 284) shared power with a joint Augustus and two subordinate Caesars. By this time, the centre of power was shifting to the east. Constantine established a new, Christian capital at Byzantium (renamed Constantinople in AD 330) and in practice the Empire broke into an eastern and western half with outlying provinces being conquered by barbarian invaders who also conquered the Western Empire 476. Emperor Justinian (527-65) temporarily recovered Italy, North Africa and parts of Spain but during the C7th and 8th, Syria, Egypt and North Africa were lost to the Muslims who besieged Constantinople in 673-7 and 718, but the Christian Byzantines retained Anatolia.

The Eastern Empire retained Roman institutions and Latin as an official language for two centuries until Greek took over. Latin, however, remained the language of the Church and science and many modern European legal systems are based on Roman law. Society was a mix of Greek, Roman and traders from other nations. Names of Roman citizens remained largely the same but a greater amount of 'borrowings' and nicknames came into use. Those of the early Byzantine Christian saints are still popular in the Catholic church, especially as Confirmation names, and can be found in various forms in most European countries.

The Iconoclastic controversy led to conflict between the emperors and the papacy and the Greek Orthodox Church broke with Rome in 1054. The Byzantine Empire reached the height of its prosperity under the Macedonian dynasty (867-1056). The Bulgars, who had been a formidable threat, were defeated after a long struggle by Basil II ('the Bulgar-slayer') in 1018 but the Empire declined after his death due problems between internal factions. In 1071-3, the Seljuk Turks conquered most of Anatolia and in 1204, the Fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople and created a new Latin (West European) Empire under Baldwin of Flanders. The Greeks recaptured it in 1261 and restored the Byzantine Empire but it was never as strong and the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453 and founded the Ottoman Empire. The name of the city was later changed to Istanbul.

Byzantine Names

Latin - Male

Ablabius Abundanitus Agnellus Ammonianus Anicius Armenius
Armentarius Auxitius Avienus Beatus Bonifatius Callinicus
Carinus Castinus Cerularius Constantianus Constantinianus Constantinus
Dalmatius Decentius Domianus Domnicus Domninus Donus
Dulcitius Florentinus Florentius Florian Florus Francio
Fructosus Fulgentius Gallienus Germanus Gratian Honoratus
Honorius Ianuarius Innocentius Iovinus Iovivus Lactanius
Latinius Leontius Macedonius Magnentius Marcian Martinianus
Martyrius Maurentius Maurianus Mauricius Maurinus Maurus
Maxentius Maximianus Maximin Maximinus Mercurius Mundus
Nepotian Nonnosus Nonnus Opilio Palladius Paternus
Patricius Paulus Pegarius Petronas Praesentinus Praetextatus
Principius Priscian Probus Regino Sebastianus Tribonianus
Tribunas Urbicus Venantius Venerandus Vetranis Viator
Victorinus Vigilius Virus Vitalianus Vitalius Volusian

Latin - Female

Adeodata Adula Agnella Argentea Armentaria Augustina
Aureliana Campana Candida Catella Cervella Cesarea
Clementina Columba Consolantia Constantia Constantina Dominica
Domnica Domnola Germana Gordia Gordiana Gregoria
Honorata Honoria Ianuaria Italica Iustina Labinia
Leontia Masticana Maximina Minervina Minicea Palatina
Patricia Paula Paulina Petronella Placidia Placidina
Pompeiana Praeiecta Proba Probina Proseria Rustica
Rusticana Salvianella Sergia Sidonia Tetradia Vesta
Vigilantia Vigilia Vitula Viviana    

Greek and Biblical - Male

Abramius Acindynus Agapetus Alyattes Amirrutzes Ampelius
Anastasius Anatolicus Anatolius Andronicus Anthemius Anthimus
Arcadius Armatus Arsaphius Arsenius Asbadus Asterius
Babylas Bacauda Baduaruis Basiliakos Batzas Beppolenus
Boethius Bryennius Butlilinus Calopodius Cantacuzenes Carellus
Charegiselus Chilbudius Christoboulus Christophorus Chroniates Colluthus
Comentas Comentiolus Cometas Comitas Comitiolus Corippus
Cosmas Cresconius Cyricus Cyril Damasus Damianus
Danielus Deuterius Didymus Diosconis Domentziolus Domnitziolus
Dorotheus Droserius Dulcissinuis Dynamius Ennodius Epiphanius
Eudaemon Eudoxius Eulalius Eulampius Eulogius Eupatarius
Euphemius Euphratas Euphronius Eusebius Eustathius Eustochius
Eustratius Euthalius Eutolmius Eutychianus Eutychius Formosos
Gabrielius Genethlius Gennadius Georgius Gerontius Glycerius
Godilas Gregoras Hannibalianus Helladius Heraclius Hermongenes
Himerius Hydatius Iacobus Ignatius Ionnacius Ionnes
Iordanes Ioseph Iosephius Iosephus Irenaeus Isaaces
Isaacius Isidorus Laskaris Lecapenus Marthanes Maruthus
Megas Megistus Meletius Melminius Menas Methodius
Michaelius Moschus Musonius Nazares Nicephorus Nicetas
Nicetius Nichomachus Olybrius Olympius Origen Pachymeres
Palamas Pamphilus Pancratius Pantagathus Pardus Parthenius
Paschalis Pastor Pelagius Perigenes Philagrius Philaretus
Philippicus Phillippus Philoxenus Phoebammon Photinus Plutinus
Potamius Rogatus Sarapammon Satabus Scholasticus Senuthius
Simocatta Sittas Smaragdus Speciosus Stauracius Stilicho
Strategius Syagricus Syagrius Symeon Symeonius Tarchaniotes
Theocharistus Theoctistus Theodoracius Theodore Theodoretus Theodoricus
Theodorus Theodulus Theogenius Theon Theopemptus Theophilius
Theophilus Theophylact Theophylactus Theotimus Trasaric Trasaricus
Tzimisas Tzittas Vaanes Varazes Vasacius Zemarchus
Zeno Zenobius Ziper Zoilus    

 Greek and Biblical - Female
Aetheria Alexandria Anna Antipatra Anzoy Appa
Arabia Athanasia Basilia Basilina Basina Baudegundis
Bobila Bore Byzantia Charito Comito Cyra
Damiane Destasia Didyma Domentzia Epiphania Erchantrudis
Eudocia Eudoxia Eugenia Euphemia Euphrasia Eusebia
Evantia Gabrielia Georgia Gundesvinda Helena Herena
Hesychia Ionna Ionnia Ionnina Leocadia Macedonia
Marozia Megaris Megethia Nereida Nicasia Nonna
Pasara Passara Pateria Pericleia Syagria Theocharista
Theodora Theodoracis Theodosia Theognosia Veneranda  

 Byzantine Emperors

Name

Reign

Full Name

Family

Spouse

Arcadius 395-408   Son of Theodosius the Great  
Theodosius II 408-50   Son of Arcadius Eudoxia
Marcian 450-7      
Leo I 457-74      
Leo II 474   Grandson of Leo II Son of Zeno + Ariadne  
Zeno 474-491   Father of Leo II Ariadne, dau Leo I
Anastasius 491-518      
Glycerinus        
Justin I 518-27      
Justinian I 527-65 Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Justinianus Nephew of Justin Theodora
Justin II -578   Nephew of Justinian II Sophia, neice of Theodora
         
Maurice -602      
Phocas 602-10      
Heraclius 610-41      
Constantine III -641      
Constans II 641-88   son of Constantine III  
Constantine IV c 673      
Justinian II 685-695 dep      
Leontius 695   deposed Justinian II  
Tiberius II 697/8   deposed Leontius  
Justinian II restored 704/5-11     Theodora (a Khazar)
Philippicus (Bardan) 711-3   killed Justinian II  
Anastasius II 713-6      
Theodosius II 716-7 abd      
Leo III the Isaurian 717-      
Constantine V Copronymus 720-75 co-emp      
Leo IV 775-   son of Constantine V Irene
Constantine VI 780-97dep   son of Leo IV + Irene  
Irene 797   deposed Constantine VI  
Nicephorus I 802-11      
Michael I Rangabe 811-13      
Leo V the Armenian 813-20      
Michael II 820-9      
Theophilus 829-42   son of Michael II Theodora
Michael III 842-67      

 Macedonian Dynasty

Name

Reign

Family

Spouse

Basil I the Macedonian 867-86 deposed Michael III  
Leo VI 886-912 son of Basil I  
Alexander 912-3 brother of Leo VI  
Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus 913-59 son of Leo VI  

Romanus I Lecapenus

920-44

   
Romanus II ?      
Nicephorus II Phocas 963-9    
John Tzimisces 969-76    
Basil II Bulgaroctonus 976-1025 son of Romanus II  
Constantine VIII 976-1028 son of Romanus II  
Romanus III 1028-34 Zoe, daughter of Constantine VIII
Michael IV the Paphlagonian 1034-41   Zoe, daughter of Constantine VIII
Michael V 1041-2 nephew of Michael IV  
Theodora + Zoe 1042   daughters of Constantine VIII
Constantine IX Monomachus 1042-55   Zoe, daughter of Constantine VIII
Theodora 1055-6 last Macedonian daughter of Constatine VIII
Michael VI the Aged 1056-7abd    

 Comnenus Dynasty

Name

Reign

Family

Spouse

Isaac I Comnenus 1057-9 abd    
Constantine X Ducas 1059-67   Eudocia Macrembolitissa
Eudocia 1067-8 wife of Constantine X  
Romanus IV Diogenes 1068-71   Eudocia Macrembolitissa
Michael VII 1071-8 son of Constantine X  
Nicephorus III Botaneiates 1078-81    
Alexius I Comnenus 1081-1118 father of Anna Comnena  
John II 1118-43 son of Alexius I  
Manuel I 1143-80   Mary of Antioch
Alexius II 1180-2 son of Manuel I Mary as regent
Andronicus I Comnenus 1182-5 nephew of John II  
Isaac II Angelus 1185-95-1204 brother of Alexius I  
Alexius III 1195-1203 brother of Isaac II  
Alexius IV Angelus 1203-4 s Alexius III  
Nicholas Canabus 1204    
Alexius V Ducas Murtzuphlas 1204 dep    
Constantine XI Lascaris 1204 dep    
Theodore I Lascaris 1204-22 brother of Constantine XI  
John III Ducas Vatatzes 1222-54    
Theodore II Lascaris 1254-8 son of John III  
John IV Lascaris 1258-61 dep aged 8 son of Theodore II  
Michael VIII Palaeologus 1261-82 deposed John IV  
Andronicus II 1282-1328 abd son of Michael VIII  
Andronicus III 1325-41 grandson of Andronicus I  
John V 1341-7 1354-91 son of Andronicus II  
John Cantacuzenus 1341-54    
       
Manuel II 1391-1425 Const only    
John VIII 1425-48 son of Manuel II  
Constantine XI Palaeologus Dragases 1448-53 brother of John VIII

Last Emperor

 

 Crusader Constantinople

Name

Reign

Family

Spouse

Baldwin I 1204-5 Hainault + Flanders  
Baldwin II 1228-73 nephew of Baldwin I  

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