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  • Roman Empire
    3rd Century

    Crisis of the Third Century

    Roman Empire
    3rd Century

    The Roman army succeeded in conquering many territories covering the Mediterranean region and coastal regions in southwestern Europe and North Africa. These territories were home to many different cultural groups, both urban populations, and rural populations. The West also suffered more heavily from the instability of the 3rd century. This distinction between the established Hellenised East and the younger Latinised West persisted and became increasingly important in later centuries, leading to a gradual estrangement of the two worlds.




  • Roman Empire
    293

    The Tetrarchy systems

    Roman Empire
    293

    An early instance of the partition of the Empire into East and West occurred in 293 when Emperor Diocletian created a new administrative system (the tetrarchy), to guarantee security in all endangered regions of his Empire. He associated himself with a co-emperor (Augustus), and each co-emperor then adopted a young colleague given the title of Caesar, to share in their rule and eventually to succeed the senior partner. Each tetrarch was in charge of a part of the Empire.




  • Rome, Roman Empire
    313

    Sole Augustus

    Rome, Roman Empire
    313

    The tetrarchy collapsed, however, in 313 and a few years later Constantine I reunited the two administrative divisions of the Empire as sole Augustus.




  • Nicaea, Roman Empire (Present-Day İznik, Turkey)
    325

    First Council of Nicaea

    Nicaea, Roman Empire (Present-Day İznik, Turkey)
    325

    Constantine established the principle that emperors could not settle questions of doctrine on their own but should instead summon general ecclesiastical councils for that purpose. His convening of both the Synod of Arles and the First Council of Nicaea indicated his interest in the unity of the Church and showcased his claim to be its head.




  • Constantinople, Roman Empire
    330

    Constantine moved the seat of the Empire to Constantinople

    Constantinople, Roman Empire
    330

    In 330, Constantine moved the seat of the Empire to Constantinople, which he founded as a second Rome on the site of Byzantium, a city strategically located on the trade routes between Europe and Asia and between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.




  • Constantinople, Roman Empire
    361

    Julian the Apostate

    Constantinople, Roman Empire
    361

    The rise of Christianity was briefly interrupted by the accession of the emperor Julian in 361, who made a determined effort to restore polytheism throughout the empire and was thus dubbed "Julian the Apostate" by the Church.




  • (Present-Day in Iraq)
    363

    Julian was killed

    (Present-Day in Iraq)
    363

    However, this was reversed when Julian was killed in battle in 363.


  • Constantinople, Roman Empire
    379

    Theodosius I "Last Emperor to rule both the Eastern and Western halves of the Empire"

    Constantinople, Roman Empire
    379

    Theodosius I (379–395) was the last Emperor to rule both the Eastern and Western halves of the Empire.


  • Roman Empire
    391

    Series of edicts essentially banning pagan religion

    Roman Empire
    391

    In 391 and 392, Theodosius issued a series of edicts essentially banning pagan religion. Pagan festivals and sacrifices were banned, as was access to all pagan temples and places of worship.


  • Roman Empire
    393

    The last Olympic Games

    Roman Empire
    393

    The last Olympic Games are believed to have been held in 393.


  • Roman Empire
    395

    Empire division

    Roman Empire
    395

    In 395, Theodosius I bequeathed the imperial office jointly to his sons: Arcadius in the East and Honorius in the West, once again dividing Imperial administration.


  • Byzantine Empire
    Mar, 429

    Codex Theodosianus

    Byzantine Empire
    Mar, 429

    This success allowed Theodosius II to focus on codifying Roman law with the Codex Theodosianus.


  • Byzantine Empire
    5th Century

    Fortification of the walls of Constantinople

    Byzantine Empire
    5th Century

    Theodosius II focused on fortification of the walls of Constantinople, which left the city impervious to most attacks until 1204. Large portions of the Theodosian Walls are preserved to the present day.


  • Eastern Europe (most commonly known in Hungary)
    453

    Attila's death

    Eastern Europe (most commonly known in Hungary)
    453

    To fend off the Huns, Theodosius had to pay an enormous annual tribute to Attila. His successor, Marcian, refused to continue to pay the tribute, but Attila had already diverted his attention to the Western Roman Empire. After Attila's death in 453, the Hun Empire collapsed, and many of the remaining Huns were often hired as mercenaries by Constantinople.


  • Western Roman Empire
    476

    West's end

    Western Roman Empire
    476

    After the fall of Attila, the Eastern Empire enjoyed a period of peace, while the Western Empire continued to deteriorate due to the expanding migration and invasions of the barbarians, most prominently the Germanic nations. The West's end is usually dated 476 when the East Germanic Roman foederati general Odoacer deposed the Western Emperor Romulus Augustulus, a year after the latter usurped the position from Julius Nepos.


  • Byzantine Empire
    480

    Zeno became the sole claimant to Emperor of the empire

    Byzantine Empire
    480

    In 480 with the death of Julius Nepos, Eastern Emperor Zeno became the sole claimant to Emperor of the empire. Odoacer, now the ruler of Italy, was nominally Zeno's subordinate but acted with complete autonomy, eventually providing support to a rebellion against the Emperor.


  • Byzantine Empire
    491

    Anastasius I

    Byzantine Empire
    491

    In 491, Anastasius I, an aged civil officer of Roman origin, became Emperor, but it was not until 497 that the forces of the new emperor effectively took the measure of Isaurian resistance. Anastasius revealed himself as an energetic reformer and an able administrator. He introduced a new coinage system of the copper follis, the coin used in most everyday transactions. He also reformed the tax system and permanently abolished the chrysargyron tax.


  • Rome, Italy
    493

    Good Idea

    Rome, Italy
    493

    Zeno negotiated with the invading Ostrogoths, who had settled in Moesia, convincing the Gothic king Theodoric to depart for Italy as magister militum per Italiam ("commander in chief for Italy") to depose Odoacer. After Odoacer's defeat in 493, Theodoric ruled Italy de facto, although he was never recognized by the eastern emperors as "king" (rex).


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    518

    Anastasius died

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    518

    The State Treasury contained the enormous sum of 320,000 lb (150,000 kg) of gold when Anastasius died in 518.


  • Byzantine Empire
    518

    Justin I

    Byzantine Empire
    518

    The Justinian dynasty was founded by Justin I, who though illiterate, rose through the ranks of the military to become Emperor in 518.


  • Byzantine Empire
    527

    Justinian I

    Byzantine Empire
    527

    Justin I was succeeded by his nephew Justinian I in 527, who may already have exerted effective control during Justin's reign. One of the most important figures of late antiquity and possibly the last Roman emperor to speak Latin as a first language, Justinian's rule constitutes a distinct epoch, marked by the ambitious but only partly realized renovatio imperii, or "restoration of the Empire". His wife Theodora was particularly influential.


  • Byzantine Empire
    529

    Justinian Code

    Byzantine Empire
    529

    In 529, Justinian appointed a ten-man commission chaired by John the Cappadocian to revise Roman law and create a new codification of laws and jurists' extracts, known as the "Corpus Juris Civilis", or the Justinian Code.


  • Byzantine Empire
    529

    Justinian closed down the Neoplatonic Academy in 529

    Byzantine Empire
    529

    Although polytheism had been suppressed by the state since at least the time of Constantine in the 4th century, traditional Greco-Roman culture was still influential in the Eastern empire in the 6th century. Hellenistic philosophy began to be gradually amalgamated into newer Christian philosophy. Philosophers such as John Philoponus drew on Neoplatonic ideas in addition to Christian thought and empiricism. Because of the active paganism of its professors, Justinian closed down the Neoplatonic Academy in 529. Other schools continued in Constantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria, which were the centers of Justinian's empire.


  • (Present-Day in Iraq and Iran)
    532

    Peace treaty with Khosrau I of Persia

    (Present-Day in Iraq and Iran)
    532

    In 532, attempting to secure his eastern frontier, Justinian signed a peace treaty with Khosrau I of Persia, agreeing to pay a large annual tribute to the Sassanids.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    532

    Justinian survived a revolt in Constantinople

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    532

    Justinian survived a revolt in Constantinople (the Nika riots), which solidified his power but ended with the deaths of a reported 30,000 to 35,000 rioters on his orders.


  • Byzantine Empire
    533

    Justinian sent his general Belisarius to reclaim the former province of Africa

    Byzantine Empire
    533

    The western conquests began in 533, as Justinian sent his general Belisarius to reclaim the former province of Africa from the Vandals, who had been in control since 429 with their capital at Carthage Their success came with surprising ease, but it was not until 548 that the major local tribes were subdued.


  • Byzantine Empire
    534

    Corpus was updated

    Byzantine Empire
    534

    In 534, the Corpus was updated and, along with the enactments promulgated by Justinian after 534, formed the system of law used for most of the rest of the Byzantine era. The Corpus forms the basis of civil law of many modern states. The Corpus forms the basis of civil law of many modern states.


  • Sicily
    535

    Byzantine expedition to Sicily met with easy success

    Sicily
    535

    In 535, a small Byzantine expedition to Sicily met with easy success, but the Goths soon stiffened their resistance.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    536

    Theodahad sent Pope Agapetus I to Constantinople to request the removal of Byzantine forces from Italy

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    536

    In 535–536, Theodahad sent Pope Agapetus I to Constantinople to request the removal of Byzantine forces from Sicily, Dalmatia, and Italy. Although Agapetus failed in his mission to sign a peace with Justinian, he succeeded in having the Monophysite Patriarch Anthimus I of Constantinople denounced, despite Empress Theodora's support and protection.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    537

    Hagia Sophia

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    537

    Hagia Sophia built in 537, during the reign of Justinian.


  • Rome
    538

    Rome is captured

    Rome
    538

    Victory did not come until 538, when Belisarius captured Ravenna, after successful sieges of Naples and Rome.


  • Rome
    546

    Ostrogoths captured Rome

    Rome
    546

    The Ostrogoths captured Rome in 546.


  • Balkans
    550s

    Balkans operations

    Balkans
    550s

    By the mid-550s, Justinian had won victories in most theatres of operation, with the notable exception of the Balkans, which were subjected to repeated incursions from the Slavs and the Gepids. Tribes of Serbs and Croats were later resettled in the northwestern Balkans, during the reign of Heraclius. Justinian called Belisarius out of retirement and defeated the new Hunnish threat. The strengthening of the Danube fleet caused the Kutrigur Huns to withdraw and they agreed to a treaty that allowed safe passage back across the Danube.


  • Spain
    551

    Athanagild sought Justinian's help in a rebellion against the king

    Spain
    551

    In 551, Athanagild, a noble from Visigothic Hispania, sought Justinian's help in a rebellion against the king, and the emperor dispatched a force under Liberius, a successful military commander. The empire held on to a small slice of the Iberian Peninsula coast until the reign of Heraclius.


  • Gualdo Tadino, Italy
    551

    Battle of Taginae

    Gualdo Tadino, Italy
    551

    The arrival of the Armenian eunuch Narses in Italy (late 551) with an army of 35,000 men marked another shift in Gothic fortunes. Totila of the Ostrogoths was defeated at the Battle of Taginae.


  • Campania, Italy
    Oct, 552

    Battle of Mons Lactarius

    Campania, Italy
    Oct, 552

    Totila's successor, Teia, was defeated at the Battle of Mons Lactarius (October 552).


  • Byzantine Empire
    562

    Justinian and Khosrau agreed on a 50-year peace

    Byzantine Empire
    562

    In the east, the Roman–Persian Wars continued until 562 when the envoys of Justinian and Khosrau agreed on a 50-year peace.


  • Byzantine Empire
    Nov, 565

    Justin II

    Byzantine Empire
    Nov, 565

    After Justinian died in 565, his successor, Justin II, refused to pay the large tribute to the Persians. Meanwhile, the Germanic Lombards invaded Italy; by the end of the century, only a third of Italy was in Byzantine hands.


  • Sirmium
    582

    Avars captured the Balkan fortress of Sirmium

    Sirmium
    582

    Justin's successor, Tiberius II, choosing between his enemies, awarded subsidies to the Avars while taking military action against the Persians. Although Tiberius' general, Maurice, led an effective campaign on the eastern frontier, subsidies failed to restrain the Avars. They captured the Balkan fortress of Sirmium in 582, while the Slavs began to make inroads across the Danube.


  • (Present-Day in Iraq and Iran)
    590s

    Territories of the Empire to the East

    (Present-Day in Iraq and Iran)
    590s

    Maurice, who meanwhile succeeded Tiberius, intervened in a Persian civil war, placed the legitimate Khosrau II back on the throne, and married his daughter to him. Maurice's treaty with his new brother-in-law enlarged the territories of the Empire to the East and allowed the energetic Emperor to focus on the Balkans.


  • Balkan Peninsula
    602

    Successful Byzantine campaigns against Avars and Slavs

    Balkan Peninsula
    602

    By 602, a series of successful Byzantine campaigns had pushed the Avars and Slavs back across the Danube.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    Saturday Nov 27, 602

    Maurice and his family were murdered

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    Saturday Nov 27, 602

    Maurice's refusal to ransom several thousand captives taken by the Avars, and his order to the troops to winter in the Danube, caused his popularity to plummet. A revolt broke out under an officer named Phocas, who marched the troops back to Constantinople; Maurice and his family were murdered while trying to escape.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    Friday Oct 5, 610

    Phocas was deposed

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    Friday Oct 5, 610

    After Maurice's murder by Phocas, Khosrau used the pretext to reconquer the Roman province of Mesopotamia. Phocas, an unpopular ruler invariably described in Byzantine sources as a "tyrant", was the target of a number of Senate-led plots. He was eventually deposed in 610 by Heraclius, who sailed to Constantinople from Carthage with an icon affixed to the prow of his ship.


  • Present-Day in Baghdad
    614

    True Cross removed to Ctesiphon

    Present-Day in Baghdad
    614

    Following the accession of Heraclius, the Sassanid advance pushed deep into the Levant, occupying Damascus and Jerusalem and removing the True Cross to Ctesiphon.


  • Egypt
    618

    Sasanian conquest of Egypt

    Egypt
    618

    The city also lost the free grain shipments in 618, after Egypt fell first to the Persians and then to the Arabs, and public wheat distribution ceased.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    626

    Siege of Constantinople

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    626

    The counter-attack launched by Heraclius took on the character of a holy war, and an acheiropoietos image of Christ was carried as a military standard (similarly, when Constantinople was saved from a combined Avar–Sassanid–Slavic siege in 626, the victory was attributed to the icons of the Virgin that were led in procession by Patriarch Sergius about the walls of the city). In this very siege of Constantinople of the year 626, amidst the climactic Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, the combined Avar, Sassanid, and Slavic forces unsuccessfully besieged the Byzantine capital between June and July. After this, the Sassanid army was forced to withdraw to Anatolia. The loss came just after news had reached them of yet another Byzantine victory, where Heraclius's brother Theodore scored well against the Persian general Shahin. Following this, Heraclius led an invasion into Sassanid Mesopotamia once again.


  • Nineveh, Sassanid Empire
    627

    Sassanid force was destroyed

    Nineveh, Sassanid Empire
    627

    The main Sassanid force was destroyed at Nineveh in 627.


  • Jerusalem
    629

    Heraclius restored the True Cross

    Jerusalem
    629

    In 629, Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem in a majestic ceremony.


  • Syria
    636

    Battle of Yarmouk

    Syria
    636

    The Byzantines suffered a crushing defeat by the Arabs at the Battle of Yarmouk in 636.


  • Egypt
    639

    Muslim conquest of Egypt

    Egypt
    639

    The Muslim conquest of Egypt by the Arabs took place between 639 and 646 AD and was overseen by the Rashidun Caliphate. It ended the centuries-long period of Roman/Byzantine reign (beginning in 30 BC) over Egypt.


  • The Balkans
    670s

    Bulgars were pushed south of the Danube

    The Balkans
    670s

    In the 670s, the Bulgars were pushed south of the Danube by the arrival of the Khazars.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    678

    First Arab Siege of Constantinople

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    678

    The Arabs, now firmly in control of Syria and the Levant, sent frequent raiding parties deep into Asia Minor, and in 674–678 laid siege to Constantinople itself. The Arab fleet was finally repulsed through the use of Greek fire, and a thirty-years' truce was signed between the Empire and the Umayyad Caliphate. However, the Anatolian raids continued unabated, and accelerated the demise of classical urban culture, with the inhabitants of many cities either refortifying much smaller areas within the old city walls or relocating entirely to nearby fortresses.


  • The Balkans
    680

    Byzantine forces sent to disperse these new settlements were defeated

    The Balkans
    680

    In 680, Byzantine forces sent to disperse these new settlements were defeated.


  • Byzantine Empire
    681

    Constantine IV signed a treaty with the Bulgar khan Asparukh

    Byzantine Empire
    681

    In 681, Constantine IV signed a treaty with the Bulgar khan Asparukh, and the new Bulgarian state assumed sovereignty over several Slavic tribes that had previously, at least in name, recognized Byzantine rule.


  • Bulgaria and The Balkans
    688

    Expedition against the Slavs and Bulgarians

    Bulgaria and The Balkans
    688

    In 687–688, the final Heraclian emperor, Justinian II, led an expedition against the Slavs and Bulgarians, and made significant gains, although the fact that he had to fight his way from Thrace to Macedonia demonstrates the degree to which Byzantine power in the north Balkans had declined.


  • Byzantine Empire
    695

    Justinian II was driven from power

    Byzantine Empire
    695

    Justinian II attempted to break the power of the urban aristocracy through severe taxation and the appointment of "outsiders" to administrative posts. He was driven from power in 695, and took shelter first with the Khazars and then with the Bulgarians.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    705

    Justinian II returned to Constantinople

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    705

    In 705, Justinian II returned to Constantinople with the armies of the Bulgarian khan Tervel, retook the throne, and instituted a reign of terror against his enemies.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    711

    Justinian II's final overthrow

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    711

    With his final overthrow in 711, supported once more by the urban aristocracy, the Heraclian dynasty came to an end.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    718

    Umayyad Caliphate launched the siege of Constantinople

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    718

    In 717 the Umayyad Caliphate launched the siege of Constantinople (717–718) which lasted for one year. However, the combination of Leo III the Isaurian's military genius, the Byzantines' use of Greek Fire, cold winter in 717–718, and Byzantine diplomacy with the Khan Tervel of Bulgaria resulted in a Byzantine victory.


  • Byzantine Empire
    730

    Icons revolts

    Byzantine Empire
    730

    The 8th and early 9th centuries were also dominated by controversy and religious division over Iconoclasm, which was the main political issue in the Empire for over a century. Icons (here meaning all forms of religious imagery) were banned by Leo and Constantine V from around 730, leading to revolts by iconodules (supporters of icons) throughout the empire.


  • Byzantine Empire
    740

    Battle of Akroinon

    Byzantine Empire
    740

    In 740 a major Byzantine victory took place at the Battle of Akroinon where the Byzantines destroyed the Umayyad army once again.


  • Cyprus
    746

    Battle of Keramaia

    Cyprus
    746

    Leo III the Isaurian's son and successor, Constantine V, won noteworthy victories in northern Syria and also thoroughly undermined Bulgarian strength. In 746, profiting from the unstable conditions in the Umayyad Caliphate, which was falling apart under Marwan II, Constantine V invaded Syria and captured Germanikeia, and the Battle of Keramaia resulted in a major Byzantine naval victory over the Umayyad fleet. Coupled with military defeats on other fronts of the Caliphate and internal instability, Umayyad expansion came to an end.


  • Nicaea, Byzantine Empire
    787

    Second Council of Nicaea

    Nicaea, Byzantine Empire
    787

    After the efforts of empress Irene, the Second Council of Nicaea met in 787 and affirmed that icons could be venerated but not worshipped.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    815

    Treaty of 815

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    815

    Under the leadership of emperor Krum, the Bulgarian threat also re-emerged, but in 815–816 Krum's son, Omurtag, signed a peace treaty with Leo V.


  • Amorium, Asia Minor, Byzantine Empire
    Aug, 838

    Sack of Amorium

    Amorium, Asia Minor, Byzantine Empire
    Aug, 838

    In the 830s Abbasid Caliphate started military excursions culminating with a victory in the Sack of Amorium.


  • Byzantine Empire
    843

    Empress Theodora restored the veneration of icons

    Byzantine Empire
    843

    In the early 9th century, Leo V reintroduced the policy of iconoclasm, but in 843 Empress Theodora restored the veneration of icons with the help of Patriarch Methodios. Iconoclasm played a part in the further alienation of East from West, which worsened during the so-called Photian schism when Pope Nicholas I challenged the elevation of Photios to the patriarchate.


  • Damietta, Egypt
    Saturday May 24, 853

    Sack of Damietta

    Damietta, Egypt
    Saturday May 24, 853

    The Byzantines then counter-attacked and sacked Damietta in Egypt.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    860

    Rus' launched their first attack against Constantinople

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    860

    The Rus' launched their first attack against Constantinople in 860, pillaging the suburbs of the city.


  • Byzantine Empire
    863

    Battle of Lalakaon

    Byzantine Empire
    863

    Taking advantage of the Empire's weakness after the Revolt of Thomas the Slav in the early 820s, the Arabs re-emerged and captured Crete. They also successfully attacked Sicily but in 863 general Petronas gained a decisive victory at the Battle of Lalakaon against Umar al-Aqta, the emir of Melitene (Malatya).


  • Byzantine Empire
    867

    Beginning of the Macedonian dynasty

    Byzantine Empire
    867

    The accession of Basil I to the throne in 867 marks the beginning of the Macedonian dynasty, which ruled for 150 years.


  • Dubrovnik, Dalmatia
    868

    Siege of Ragusa (866–868)

    Dubrovnik, Dalmatia
    868

    In the early years of Basil I's reign, Arab raids on the coasts of Dalmatia and the siege of Ragusa (866–868) were defeated and the region once again came under secure Byzantine control.


  • Bari, Italy
    873

    Bari was once again under Byzantine rule

    Bari, Italy
    873

    By contrast, the Byzantine position in Southern Italy was gradually consolidated; by 873 Bari was once again under Byzantine rule and most of Southern Italy remained in the Empire for the next 200 years.


  • Asia Minor, Byzantine Empire
    878

    Battle of Bathys Ryax

    Asia Minor, Byzantine Empire
    878

    On the more important eastern front, the Empire rebuilt its defenses and went on the offensive. The Paulicians were defeated at the Battle of Bathys Ryax and their capital of Tephrike (Divrigi) taken.


  • Samsat, Asia Minor, Byzantine Empire
    880s

    Recapture of Samosata

    Samsat, Asia Minor, Byzantine Empire
    880s

    While the offensive against the Abbasid Caliphate began with the recapture of Samosata.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    Friday Aug 30, 886

    Leo VI the Wise

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    Friday Aug 30, 886

    Under Basil's son and successor, Leo VI the Wise, the wars in the east against the enfeebled Abbasid Caliphate continued.


  • Byzantine Empire
    894

    Simeon I invade pushed back by the Byzantines

    Byzantine Empire
    894

    Ending eighty 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.


  • Boulgarophygon, Thrace
    896

    Battle of Boulgarophygon

    Boulgarophygon, Thrace
    896

    The Byzantines were defeated at the Battle of Boulgarophygon in 896, however, and agreed to pay annual subsidies to the Bulgarians.


  • Sicily
    902

    Sicily was lost to the Arabs

    Sicily
    902

    Sicily was lost to the Arabs in 902.


  • Thessaloniki
    904

    Empire's second city was sacked by an Arab fleet

    Thessaloniki
    904

    In 904 Thessaloniki, the Empire's second city was sacked by an Arab fleet.


  • Crete
    911

    Defeat in Crete

    Crete
    911

    The naval weakness of the Empire was rectified. Despite this revenge, the Byzantines were still unable to strike a decisive blow against the Muslims, who inflicted a crushing defeat on the imperial forces when they attempted to regain Crete in 911.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    Wednesday May 11, 912

    Death of Leo the Wise

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    Wednesday May 11, 912

    Leo the Wise died in 912, and hostilities soon resumed as Simeon marched to Constantinople at the head of a large army. Although the walls of the city were impregnable, the Byzantine administration was in disarray and Simeon was invited into the city, where he was granted the crown of basileus (emperor) of Bulgaria and had the young emperor Constantine VII marry one of his daughters. When a revolt in Constantinople halted his dynastic project, he again invaded Thrace and conquered Adrianople.


  • Achelous river near Anchialus (Present-Day in Pomorie)
    Friday Aug 20, 917

    Battle of Achelous

    Achelous river near Anchialus (Present-Day in Pomorie)
    Friday Aug 20, 917

    A great imperial expedition under Leo Phocas and Romanos I Lekapenos ended with another crushing Byzantine defeat at the Battle of Achelous in 917, and the following year the Bulgarians were free to ravage northern Greece.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    924

    Bulgarian army laid siege to Constantinople

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    924

    Adrianople was plundered again in 923, and a Bulgarian army laid siege to Constantinople in 924.


  • Preslav, Bulgaria
    Tuesday May 27, 927

    Death of Simeon I

    Preslav, Bulgaria
    Tuesday May 27, 927

    The death of the Bulgarian tsar Simeon I in 927 severely weakened the Bulgarians, allowing the Byzantines to concentrate on the eastern front.


  • Malatya
    934

    Melitene was permanently recaptured

    Malatya
    934

    Melitene was permanently recaptured in 934.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    941

    Rus'–Byzantine War (941)

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    941

    In 941, they appeared on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus, but this time they were crushed, an indication of the improvements in the Byzantine military position after 907, when only diplomacy had been able to push back the invaders. The outcome was the Rus'–Byzantine Treaty of 945.


  • Edessa
    943

    Reconquest of Edessa

    Edessa
    943

    In 943 the famous general John Kourkouas continued the offensive in Mesopotamia with some noteworthy victories, culminating in the reconquest of Edessa. Kourkouas was especially celebrated for returning to Constantinople the venerated Mandylion, a relic purportedly imprinted with a portrait of Jesus.


  • Crete, Greece
    961

    Siege of Chandax

    Crete, Greece
    961

    The recapture of Crete in the siege of Chandax put an end to Arab raids in the Aegean, allowing mainland Greece to flourish again.


  • Aleppo, Syria
    962

    Nikephoros took Aleppo

    Aleppo, Syria
    962

    Nikephoros II Phokas took the great city of Aleppo in 962.


  • Bulgaria
    971

    John I Tzimiskes defeated the Rus

    Bulgaria
    971

    In 968, Bulgaria was overrun by the Rus' under Sviatoslav I of Kiev, but three years later, John I Tzimiskes defeated the Rus' and re-incorporated Eastern Bulgaria into the Byzantine Empire.


  • Syria
    970s

    John I Tzimiskes recaptured Damascus, Beirut, Acre, Sidon, Caesarea, and Tiberias

    Syria
    970s

    John I Tzimiskes recaptured Damascus, Beirut, Acre, Sidon, Caesarea, and Tiberias, putting Byzantine armies within striking distance of Jerusalem, although the Muslim power centers in Iraq and Egypt were left untouched.


  • Gate of Trajan pass, Bulgaria
    Thursday Aug 17, 986

    Battle of the Gates of Trajan

    Gate of Trajan pass, Bulgaria
    Thursday Aug 17, 986

    Bulgarian resistance revived under the rule of the Cometopuli dynasty, but the new Emperor Basil II (r. 976–1025) made the submission of the Bulgarians his primary goal. Basil's first expedition against Bulgaria, however, resulted in a defeat at the Gates of Trajan. For the next few years, the emperor was preoccupied with internal revolts in Anatolia, while the Bulgarians expanded their realm in the Balkans.


  • Kiev
    988

    Marriage of Anna Porphyrogeneta to Vladimir the Great

    Kiev
    988

    Rus'–Byzantine relations became closer following the marriage of Anna Porphyrogeneta to Vladimir the Great in 988, and the subsequent Christianisation of the Rus'.


  • Bulgaria
    Friday Jul 29, 1014

    Battle of Kleidion

    Bulgaria
    Friday Jul 29, 1014

    At the Battle of Kleidion in 1014 the Bulgarians were annihilated: their army was captured, and it is said that 99 out of every 100 men were blinded, with the hundredth man left with one eye so he could lead his compatriots home. When Tsar Samuil saw the broken remains of his once formidable army, he died of shock.


  • Bulgaria
    1018

    Bulgaria became part of the Empire

    Bulgaria
    1018

    When Tsar Samuil saw the broken remains of his once formidable army, he died of shock. By 1018, the last Bulgarian strongholds had surrendered, and the country became part of the Empire.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    1025

    Death of Basil II

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    1025

    After much campaigning in the north, the last Arab threat to Byzantium, the rich province of Sicily, was targeted in 1025 by Basil II, who died before the expedition could be completed. By that time the Empire stretched from the straits of Messina to the Euphrates and from the Danube to Syria.


  • Byzantine Empire
    1043

    Rus'–Byzantine War (1043)

    Byzantine Empire
    1043

    Even after the Christianisation of the Rus', however, relations were not always friendly. The most serious conflict between the two powers was the war of 968–971 in Bulgaria, but several Rus' raiding expeditions against the Byzantine cities of the Black Sea coast and Constantinople itself are also recorded. Although most were repulsed, they were often followed by treaties that were generally favorable to the Rus', such as the one concluded at the end of the war of 1043, during which the Rus' indicated their ambitions to compete with the Byzantines as an independent power.


  • Armenia
    1045

    Basil's successors also annexed Bagratid Armenia

    Armenia
    1045

    Between 1021 and 1022, following years of tensions, Basil II led a series of victorious campaigns against the Kingdom of Georgia, resulting in the annexation of several Georgian provinces to the Empire. Basil's successors also annexed Bagratid Armenia in 1045.


  • Byzantine Empire
    1053

    Constantine IX disbanded the "Iberian Army"

    Byzantine Empire
    1053

    About 1053, Constantine IX disbanded what the historian John Skylitzes calls the "Iberian Army", which consisted of 50,000 men, and it was turned into a contemporary Drungary of the Watch. Two other knowledgeable contemporaries, the former officials Michael Attaleiates and Kekaumenos, agree with Skylitzes that by demobilizing these soldiers Constantine did catastrophic harm to the Empire's eastern defenses.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    Sunday Jul 16, 1054

    Eastern and Western traditions of the Chalcedonian Christian Church reached a terminal crisis

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    Sunday Jul 16, 1054

    In 1054, relations between the Eastern and Western traditions of the Chalcedonian Christian Church reached a terminal crisis, known as the East-West Schism. Although there was a formal declaration of institutional separation, on 16 July, when three papal legates entered the Hagia Sophia during Divine Liturgy on a Saturday afternoon and placed a bull of excommunication on the altar, the so-called Great Schism was actually the culmination of centuries of gradual separation.


  • Reggio Calabria
    1060

    Reggio was captured

    Reggio Calabria
    1060

    At the same time, Byzantium was faced with new enemies. Its provinces in southern Italy were threatened by the Normans, who arrived in Italy at the beginning of the 11th century. During a period of strife between Constantinople and Rome culminating in the East-West Schism of 1054, the Normans began to advance, slowly but steadily, into Byzantine Italy. Reggio, the capital of the tagma of Calabria, was captured in 1060 by Robert Guiscard, followed by Otranto in 1068. Bari, the main Byzantine stronghold in Apulia, was besieged in August 1068 and fell in April 1071.


  • Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    1068

    Romanos Diogenes

    Constantinople, Byzantine Empire
    1068

    The emergency lent weight to the military aristocracy in Anatolia, who in 1068 secured the election of one of their own, Romanos Diogenes, as emperor.


  • (Present-Day Malazgirt, Turkey)
    1071

    Battle of Manzikert

    (Present-Day Malazgirt, Turkey)
    1071

    Importantly, both Georgia and Armenia were significantly weakened by the Byzantine administration's policy of heavy taxation and abolishing the levy. The weakening of Georgia and Armenia played a significant role in the Byzantine defeat from Seljuks at Manzikert. In the summer of 1071, Romanos undertook a massive eastern campaign to draw the Seljuks into a general engagement with the Byzantine army. At the Battle of Manzikert, Romanos suffered a surprise defeat by Sultan Alp Arslan, and was captured.


  • Nicaea (Present-Day Iznik, Bursa, Turkey)
    1081

    Seljuks' Capital

    Nicaea (Present-Day Iznik, Bursa, Turkey)
    1081

    By 1081, the Seljuks had expanded their rule over virtually the entire Anatolian plateau from Armenia in the east to Bithynia in the west, and they had founded their capital at Nicaea, just 90 kilometers (56 miles) from Constantinople.


  • Durrës
    1081

    Battle of Dyrrhachium (1081)

    Durrës
    1081

    After Manzikert, a partial recovery (referred to as the Komnenian restoration) was made possible by the Komnenian