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Byzantime Empire

The Byzantine Empire or Byzantium (Greek: Βασιλεία των Ρωμαίων) is the term conventionally used since the 19th century to describe the Greek-speaking Roman Empire of the Middle Ages, centered around its capital of Constantinople. The Empire is also known as the Eastern Roman Empire, although this name is more commonly used when referring to the time before the fall of the Western Roman Empire. During much of its history it was known to many of its Western contemporaries as the Empire of the Greeks because of the dominance of Greek language, culture and population.[1] To its inhabitants, the Empire was simply the Roman Empire and its emperors continued the unbroken succession of Roman emperors. In the Islamic world it was known primarily as روم‎ (Rūm).

There is no consensus on exactly when the Byzantine period began. Many consider the Roman Emperor Constantine I (reigned 306–337) to be the first Byzantine Emperor. He founded Constantinople as a "New Rome" in 330 and moved the capital from Rome.

Some date the beginnings of the Empire to the reign of Theodosius I (379–395) and Christianity's official supplanting of the pagan Roman religion, or following his death in 395, when the political division between East and West became permanent. Others place it yet later in 476, when Romulus Augustulus, traditionally considered the last western Emperor, was deposed, thus leaving sole imperial authority with the emperor in the Greek East. Others point to the reorganization of the empire in the time of Heraclius (ca. 620) when Latin titles and usages were officially replaced with Greek versions.[2]

In any case, the changeover was gradual and by 330, when Constantine inaugurated his new capital, the process of Hellenization and increasing Christianization was already under way.

The Empire is generally considered to have ended after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, although Greek rule continued over areas of the Empire's territory for several more years, until the fall of Mystras in 1460 and Trebizond in 1461
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