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)

     Fall of the Byzantine Empire   Byzantine Military   The Hippodrome   Administration   Religion

   Byzantine Art  Byzantine Empire Maps   Glossary   Time Line   Byzantine Empire Links

Byzantine Empire TimeLine









Constantine r.306-337 AD


312 AD


Battle of the Milvian Bridge



Council of Nicea

Jesus, the Son, declared equal to the Father, one with the Father, and of the same substance



Constantine founds Nova Roma

 Constantine makes Byzantium into his capital(Nova Roma), which is renamed "Constantinople" (The City of Constantine), sometime after Constantine's death in 337. It would remain the capital of the Byzantine Empire, with a half-century exception, for over a thousand years.


Sons of Constantine co-rulers of empire

Constantine II


Constantius II

Constantine II became emperor jointly with his brothers Constantius II and Constans



Constantine II killed battling Constans



Constans killed by general Magnentius, Constantius II sole ruler


Julian the Apostate


Last of the Constantinian dynasty, last pagan ruler of the empire




Christianity reestablished


Valentinian I

Emperor of the West


Emperor of the East




Death of Valentinian I


Theodosius I

( Theodosius the Great )


Battle of Adrianople, Valens killed by Gothic rebels,  Theodosius appointed as co-augustus for the East by Emperor Gratian, son of Valentinian I. Theodosius I last Roman emperor to reign over both the Eastern and Western Roman Empire. After his death, the two parts split permanently



"Catholic  Christianity" declared the only legitimate imperial religion, ending state support for the traditional Roman religion



Gratian assassinated by rebel general




Roman Emperor of Eastern half of Roman Empire



Theodosius II



Emperor Theodosian builds  Walls of Constantinople,walls not breached till 1204



Theodosius founds University of Constantinople founded



Codex Theodosianus a more formalized system of Law



Roman Africa falls to Vandals



Vandal sack of Rome




death of Theodosius, his sister Pulcheria marries general Marcian, making him emperor

  Marcian ends tribute to Attila the Hun


453 Attila the Hun dies



Leo I




Leo II







Struggle with Basiliscus, the brother of the wife of Leo I prevents Zeno from intervening in the fall of the Western Roman Empire,

476 Romulus Augustus, last western Roman emperor deposed by Odoacer


Anastasius I




Justin I


Soldier who rose through the ranks, founder of the Justinian Dynasty. Adopted Flavius Petrus Sabbatius (Justinian) as his son, who rules as co-ruler in last years of reign due to Justin's poor health


525 Justinian marries Theodora


Justinian I





Begins work on Corpus Juris Civilis law code



Nika riots, 2nd Hagia Sophia built by Theodosius II burned down, Justian orders building of new Hagia Sophia, inaugurated on 537



conquest of North Africa by Belisarius



Most of Italy reconquered



Plague of Justinian killing up to a quarter of the human population of the eastern Mediterranean



Theodora dies



conquests in Spain apogee of Byzantine expansion




550s silk worms smuggled to Byz

565-574 Justin II,retires due to insanity

570s Lombards take most of Italy

574-582 Tiberius II Constantine

582-602 Maurice,victories against Persians,Avars and Slavs, writes Strategicon

 Phocas ( r 602 - 610 ) Phocas leads mutiny against and kills  Maurice,time of brutal repression

608  The Exarch of Africa and his son, both named Heraclius, began a revolt against Phocas,kills Phocas in 610

The Heraclian Dynasty ( 610 - 711 )

610-642 Heraclius

Empre attacked on many fronts

625 Avar siege of Constaninople fails

627 Persians defeated at Ninevah,sue for peace

632 Muhammad dies

Latin abandoned for Greek in court documents

641-668  Constans II

642 Byzantines completely withdraw from Egypt

656 civil war between the future Sunni and Shi'a factions

660 Constans kills younger bro, moves Syracuse,visits Rome.Rumored to be planning to move capital to Syracuse and killed.

668-685 Constantine IV

687 Arab siege of Constaninople repulsed by Greek fire

685-695  705-711 Justinian II

680s Slavs in Balkans subdued

695 Arabs conquer Armenia

Thematic organization of the Empire

695  Justinian deposed,nose cut off and exiled by Leontius, strategus of Hellas

695-698 Leontios

697 Carthage falls to Arabs

705 Justinian regains throne, tyranical rule leads to revolt and execution, last of the Heraclian Dynasty

711-713 Philippikos,blinded after army mutiny

713-715 Anastasios II,overthrown after army mutiny

715-717 Theodosios III

717 the strategos of the Anatolic Theme, Leo the Isaurian (the future Leo III of the Isaurian dynasty), rebelled against Theodosius' rule, Theodosius resigns

 Isaurian Dynasty

( 717 - 802)

Isaurian dynasty (717-802)

Nikephoros' dynasty


Non-dynastic (813-820)

Phrygian dynasty



717-741 Leo III

717-718 Second Arab siege of Constantinople thwarted

Empire revived with military and admin reforms

740 Ummayad Caliphate defeated at Akroinon, Arab forces expelled from Asia Minor

750 End of Umayyad Caliphate,rise of Abbasid Caliphate

New field army divisions called tagmata created

Byzantines go on offensive against new Caliphate

726 edicts against the worship of images, start of Iconoclasm to deal with abuses

727 Religious revolt in Greece put down-Exarchate of Ravenna rebells from the empire

741-775 Constantine V

civil war of rival emperors

Constantine  an even more fervent iconoclast than his father

775-780 Leo IV,upon his death his wife Irene made guardian of their son Constantine VI

797-802 Empress Irene Imperial regent.

Restoration of the Orthodox veneration of icons

787 Constantine turns 16, gains power in 790, Irene allowed to be Empress

Constantine blinds rivals,divorced wife,losses support.

797 Irene blinds son Constantine who dies of wounds

802 Irene was exiled to Lesbos

Nikephoros' Dynasty (802-813)

802-811 Nikephoros I

811 Nikephoros defeated and killed by the king of Bulgaria,who is said to have made a drinking cup of his skull.

811-844 Michael I Rangabe

Charlemagne returns Venice to Byz in return for recognition as Holy Roman Emperor

813-820 Leo V

Phrygian dynasty (820-867)

820-829 Michael II

819-842 Theophilos

830 Theodora wins bride show

842-855 Theodora regent 842-855

842-867 Michael III

860 Rus attack on Constaniople

842-867 Michael III

863 Saints Cyril and Methodios introduce Slanonic writing system to Moravia

Michael III's courtier and chamberlain Basil the Macedonian gains influence

867 Basil was crowned co-emperor, Basil assassinates Michael III and becomes emperor


The Macedonian Dynasty



842-867 Basil I the Macedonian

Macedonian Renaissance renewed interest in classical scholarship

886-912 Leo VI the Wise

last Byzantine city in Sicily taken by Arabs

908-959 Constantine VII

959-963 Romanos II

961 Crete retaken from Arabs

963-969 Nicephorus II Phocas

960s Byz armies retake Mesopotamia,Syria and  Cyprus. Otto I of the Holy Roman Empire declares himself the Western Roman Emperor,drives Byz forces to the coast of Italy

969 Young and brilliant Gen. John I Tzimiskes conspires with with Nikephoros' wife Theophano to kill Nicephorus.Patriarch Polyeuktos forces John to punish Theophano with exile

969-976 John I Tzimiskes

970 Kievan Rus driven from Bulgaria

972 Byz invasion of  Upper Mesopotamia

975 Byz conquests in Syria

976-1025 Basil II the Bulgar-slayer

civil war

989 Basil agrees to let sister Anna marry Vladimir I of Kiev, Christianization of the Kievan Rus. Rus soldiers given to Basil become emperor's Varangian Guard

990s Much of Syria added to the empire

1000s conquest of much of the Bulgarian Empire,after the Battle of Kleidion 15,000 Bulgarian prisoners taken,99 out of 100 prisoners blinded, causing Bulgarian Emperor Samuel to have a stroke and die.Byz Emp extends to  Danubian frontier for the first time in 400 years

1016 Byz defeat Khazars and occupy southern Crimea. Later Armenia and southern Italy retaken.

1025-1026 Constantine VIII, dies with no male heir, empire passes to his daughter, Zoe.and her husband Romanos Argyros

1028-1034 Romanos Argyros, his death possibly caused by Zoe and her lover Michael

1034-1042 Michael IV, adopted son of Zoe, exiles Zoe and her sister Theodora. Zoe's popular support forces her recall from exile, Zoe and Theodora have Michael blinded and castrated.

Co emperors Empress Zoe 1042-1050

Constantine IX Monomachos 1042-1055 Constantine marries Zoe 1042

1046 first contact with Seljuk Turks in battle in Armenia

1054 final seperation of Orthodox and Catholic Churches

1055-56 Empress Theodora, becomes empress at 70, last of the Macedonian dynasty.

1056-57 Michael VI Bringas

Chosen by the empress Theodora as her successor shortly before her death,forced to abdicate and retire by Isaac I Komnenos, founder of the Komnenos dynasty.

The Comneni Dynasty (1081-1204)- Crusader sack of 1204 and the Fall of the Byzantine Empire


1057-1059 Isaac I Komnenos, economic reforms of empire, abdicated due to illness


1059-1067 Constantine X Doukas, weakened army in favor of church and nobility.Army trys to assassinate him in 1061

1068-1071 Romanos IV Diogenes, marries wife of last emperor

1071 Byz city of Bari in Italy surrenders to Normans

1071 Battle of  Manazkert one of the most decisive defeats in Byzantine history. Son of  Constantine X Doukas, betrays Romanos in battle,captured by Seljuk sultan Alp Arslan .rleased on ransom. Romanos losses civil war with sons of Constantine X Doukas and blinded.

1071-78 Michael VII Doukas

Armies sent to recover western Asia Minor defeated

Devaluation of the currency

Michael resigns after army revolt

1078-81 Nikephoros III Botaneiates,retires to monastery

1081-1118 Alexios I Komnenos Alexios was able to halt the Byzantine decline and begin the recovery known as the "Komnenian restoration". His appeals to Western Europe for help against the Turks were also the catalyst that triggered the Crusades. Daughter Anna Komnene wrote history of reign

1091 Seljuk Pecheng siege of Constantinople defeated

1095 Byz ambassadors sent to  Pope Urban who urges crusade. Alexios only wished mercenaries and heavy cavalry,unprepared for large numbers that ravaged the Balkans on the way to the Holy Land,. The first disorganized group of Crusaders defeated by Turks in 1096.

Second Crusade Crusaders take Nicaea in 1097

1118-1143 John II Komnenos

Famed for his piety and his remarkably mild and just reign.made alliances with the Holy Roman Empire in the west, decisively defeated the Pechenegs in the Balkans, and personally led numerous campaigns against the Turks in Asia Minor.,putting th Turks on the defensive. Appointees chosen on merit rather than family connections.Accidently killed while hunting.

1143-1180 Manuel I Komnenos

1146 Seljuk capital of Konya besieged but not taken

1176 Byz defeat by Seljuks at Battle of Myriokephalon

1180-83 Alexios II Komnenos

1182 Massacre of the Latins in Constantinople,est 60,000 resentment against Italian merchants

1183-85 Andronikos I Komnenos Limits power of nobles,grows paranoid and violent,many executions. King William of the Norman Sicilians pillages Thessalonica. revolt against,Andronikos killed by mob. Last of the Komnenos dynasty.

1185    A successful rebellion is organized in Bulgaria and other lands are lost in the Balkans.


1204    Constantinople is conquered by Crusaders, attempting to establish a Latin Empire.


1261    Constantinople is reconquered by the Patriarch of Constantinople sponsored Emperor of Nicaea, Michael VIII Palaiologos, re-establishing Greek rule of a terminally diminished empire.


1453    The Ottoman Turks conquer Constantinople, and with the death of Constantine XI Palaiologos, the last de facto emperor of the Byzantine Empire, the Byzantine Empire comes to an end.