Foundation and Early Eastern Roman Empire   Justinian Dynasty (518 - 602)   Phocas (r.602-610)

Heraclian Dynasty ( 610 - 711 )   Isaurian Dynasty ( 717 - 866 )

  Macedonian Dynasty (867-1081)    Comneni Dynasty (1081-1204)

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The Macedonian Dynasty (867-1081)


Painting of Basil II, the Bulgar slayer, who stands over his enemies while Gabriel places a crown on his head.copied from an 11th century manuscript.Through the marriage of his sister to Vladimer in 989 the Orthodox faith spread to Russia.


Video of Basil II


By the time Basil II was crowned at age two, the Macedonian Dynasty had led the Byzantine Empire to seemingly endless military victories and unprecedented heights of glory. However it was not the emperors who had accomplished so much, but their powerful generals. In fact Basil's dynasty seemed to be in danger of becoming purely ceremonial or disappearing completely. The young emperor, dominated completely by his regents, seemed unlikely to change things. There was no trace of the heroic about him, no charisma or sparkling personality, and yet he was to emerge as the greatest emperor of his dynasty- bending the army, the empire, and foreign princes alike to the force of his will. Join Lars Brownworth as he looks at the reign of Basil II, the last great conqueror Byzantium ever produced.

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.Basil reformed the finances of the state and supplemented Justinian's law codes and tried to settle the ecclesiastical disputes between the eastern and western churches .A temporary settlement was reached in 898.In the tenth century the Russians advanced into Bulgaria. John Zimisces, led a campaign against the Russians in the mid tenth century, driving the Russians beyond the Danube.Under Basil II (976-1025) friendly relations were established with the Russians,who accepted the eastern Orthodox church of Byzantium. The Macedonian line ended after the second of Basil's daughters died unmarried and were followed by weak rulers. There was a fresh Moslem invasion led by the Seljuk Turks who annihilated the army of Romanus IV at Manzikert. Most of Asia Minor was lost and military power of the Byzantines seriously weakened. The Seljuks probably would have taken Constantinople except for the appearance of the Mongols who in turn delivered a serious defeat to the Seljuks, making them a vassal state. Mongol rule was to last only a generation. The Seljuks were not to revive, one of their emirates would rise to do so, the Ottoman Turks. At the same time,Normans from southern Italy were threatening attack from the west.


Map of the Byzantine empire and Turks, 1265 and 1355



The Battle of Manzikert


Battle of Manzikert  1071



Isaurian Dynasty ( 717 - 866 )


Comneni Dynasty (1081-1204)