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Byzantine Empire

The Blood Prophesy of the Byzantine Emperors

During his reign, Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos was transfixed with a prophecy that foretold the survival of his dynasty depended on adherence to the acronym "AIMA." AIMA is also the Greek word for "blood". Anxious for the survival of...

Greek Fire: The Weapon That Protected the Byzantine Empire

Greek fire was a mysterious incendiary weapon that helped the mighty Byzantine Empire survive and ensure its vast sovereignty for centuries

Digenes Akritas, Hero of the Byzantine Borderlands

Digenes Akritas (Διγενής Ακρίτας) is one of the only surviving epic poems from the Byzantine/Eastern Roman Empire. It tells the story of the titular character, Basileios, dubbed Digenes Akritas, meaning "two-blood border lord." The epic poem is part of the...

Hagia Sophia: The Center of Greek Orthodox Faith Through the Ages

The Hagia Sophia remains the symbolic center of Greek Orthodoxy, even centuries after its fall to the Ottomans and its conversion to a mosque.

How Did the Byzantines (Eastern Romans) Celebrate Christmas?

In the fourth century AD, the Romans abandoned the Classical pagan pantheon for Christianity. This meant swapping Saturnalia festivities for Christmas celebrations. From these early beginnings, the surviving Byzantine Empire would inherit and modify its own Christmas traditions. As the...

Athens Tower of the Winds is World’s Oldest Meteorological Station

The Tower of the Winds in Athens is the oldest meteorological station in the world, and one of the most important ancient monuments in Greece

Byzantine Army: The World’s Most Formidable Multi-Ethnic Force

The Byzantine Army was among the most powerful and effective military forces in the world from the 7th to the 12th centuries. Starting to operate around 395 AD, the army of Byzantium was a continuation of the mighty East Roman...

Buried Treasure of 44 Byzantine Gold Coins Found in Israel

Archaeologists in Israel have discovered a treasure of 44 Byzantine gold coins and other valuables hidden in a wall at the Hermon Stream (Banias) Nature Reserve. Weighing about 170 grams, the coins from the hoard were minted by the Byzantine...

The Legend of the Last Byzantine Emperor, Constantine Palaiologos

In 1453, the Ottomans seized Constantinople, ending the Byzantine Empire and the life of its last emperor, Constantine Palaiologos.

The Biggest Basilica Cistern of Constantinople Re-opens

The biggest Byzantine Basilica Cistern in Constantinople opens its doors once again after five years of renovation. For a long time, it was an unknown construction to the Ottoman residents of the city. By Dimosthenis Vasiloudis The Basilica Cistern is one...