Byzantine Empire



330 AD

Constantine founds the new capital of the Roman Empire on the existing site of the ancient Greek city Byzantium: Byzantium was renamed Constantinople and it would become the capital of the Byzantine Empire.

Roman Empire divides

395 AD

The Roman Empire divides in half, with the Eastern Roman Empire based in Constantinople and the Western Roman Empire based in Rome/Ravenna.

Western Empire Falls

476 AD

The Western Empire Falls: The Eastern Empire survives and now is labelled as the Byzantine Empire.

Justinian's reign begins

526 AD

Justinian's reign begins. He reconquers parts of the fallen Western Empire (Africa and Italy, Spain). He codifies the Previous Roman Laws into one document. Constantinople is the most glorious city in europe, with 500,000 inhabitants. The Hagia Sofia is constructed. Justinian is the last emperor to use the title "Caesar".

Lombard's invasion

586 AD

Lombards invade Italy, eventually taking Northern Italy from the Byzantines.


610 AD

Heraclius becomes emperor. Temporary possession of Mesopotamia. The theme system is installed. The Empire's language changes to Greek. Eventual Lost of Syria, Palestine, and Egypt to Muslims.

Muslims attack

693 AD

Muslims attack Constantinople.

Emperor Leo III

726 AD

Emperor Leo III bans the use of Icons.


800 AD

Charlemagne, king of the Franks, is crowned "Emperor of the Romans" by Pope Leo III in Rome. For the first time in 300 years, there is an emperor of the "East" and an emperor of the "West".

Icons restored

843 AD

The use of Icons is restored.

Prince Igor attack Constantinople

941 AD

Prince Igor of Kiev attacks Bithynia and later attacks Constantinople: The Byzantines destroys the Russian fleet.

Basil II

976 AD

Basil II becomes Emperor.

Basil II reconquers

995 AD

Basil II reconquers Syria from the Muslims.

Basil II reconquers

996 AD

Basil II reconquers Greece from Bulgars.

Basil II destroys the Bulgar army

1014 AD

Basil II destroys the Bulgar army, earning the epithet Bulgaroktonos ("Bulgar Slayer").

The Great Schism

1054 AD

The Great Schism: The Latin Roman Church and the Greek Orthodox Church excommunicate each other.

Loss of Italy

1055 AD

Loss of southern Italy to the Normans.

Defeat at Manzikert

1071 AD

Defeat at Manzikert to the Seljuk Turks. Permanent loss of most of Asia Minor.

Loss of Syria

1075 AD

Loss of Syria to Muslims.

Byzantine defeat

1087 AD

Byzantines defeated in Thrace.

First Crusade

1095 AD

Alexius appeals to Urban II at Council of Piacenza for help against the Turks. The First Crusade is proclaimed at Council of Clermont.

Crusaders arrive at Constantinople

1096 AD

Crusaders arrive at Constantinople. The Crusaders are successful, but eventually withdraw from cooperation with the Byzantines.

Byzantine army defeated

1179 AD

Byzantine Army defeated by the Sultanate of Rum at Myriokephalon. Hopes of regaining Asia Minor are lost.

Fourth Crusade

1202 AD

Fourth Crusade is assembled at Venice.

Fourth Crusade captures Constantinople

1204 AD

Fourth Crusade captures Constantinople. The Latin Empire of Constantinople is formed as well as many Byzantine successor states. The capture of Constantinople in 1204 was a blow from which the Byzantines never fully recovered.

Successor of Nicaea

1261 AD

The successor state of Nicaea recaptures Constantinople and restores the Byzantine Empire.

Fall of Constantinople

1453 AD

Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans. End of the Byzantine Empire.