Political-Historical Survey, <i>c.</i> 250–518

Geoffrey Greatrex

in The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199252466
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Political-Historical Survey, c. 250–518

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The Byzantine Empire gradually emerged as a powerful independent state during c.250-518. The precise moment of the foundation of this state could not be ascertained. When Constantine I established the new city of Constantinople in 330, he ruled the entire Roman Empire, East and West. The empire was partitioned among his sons upon his death, only to be reunited again for a short period in 350 and 392 before being partitioned for the last time in 395 between the sons of Theodosios I. After the western Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was overthrown in 476 with no successor, the eastern Roman Empire began to evolve its own institutions, rituals, and style of government. This article outlines the political history of Byzantium c.250-518, starting with the eastern Roman Empire before the reign of Constantine before proceeding with the dynasty of Constantine I (306-63); the rise to power of Jovian, Valentinian, and Valens (363-78); the dynasty of Theodosios (379-450); and the reigns of various emperors from Marcian to Anastasios (450-518).

Keywords: Byzantine Empire; Roman Empire; Constantine I; political history; Byzantium; Jovian; Valentinian; Valens; Theodosios; Anastasios

Article.  7639 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical History ; Historical Archaeology

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