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Despotate of the Morea
Definition by Michael Goodyear

Despotate of the Morea

The Despotate of the Morea was a semi-autonomous appanage of the later Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines retook part of the Peloponnese in Southern Greece in 1262 CE, but the Morea was only officially governed by semi-autonomous despots of...
Byzantine Art
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Byzantine Art

Byzantine art (4th - 15th century CE) is generally characterised by a move away from the naturalism of the Classical tradition towards the more abstract and universal, there is a definite preference for two-dimensional representations, and...
Nikephoros II Phokas
Definition by Michael Goodyear

Nikephoros II Phokas

Nikephoros II Phokas was Byzantine emperor from 963 to 969 CE. Known as “White Death of the Saracens,” Nikephoros was a fearsome commander who conquered Crete, Cilicia, and much of Syria. While he is known as a great military...
Alexios I Komnenos
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Alexios I Komnenos

Alexios I Komnenos (Alexius Comnenus) was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 1081 to 1118 CE. Regarded as one of the great Byzantine rulers, Alexios defeated the Normans, the Pechenegs, and, with the help of the First Crusaders, the Seljuks...
Fourth Crusade
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Fourth Crusade

The Fourth Crusade (1202-1204 CE) was called by Pope Innocent III (r. 1198-1216 CE) to retake Jerusalem from its current Muslim overlords. However, in a bizarre combination of cock-ups, financial constraints, and Venetian trading ambitions...
Duchy of Athens
Definition by Michael Goodyear

Duchy of Athens

The Duchy of Athens was a Latin or Frankish state in Greece that existed from 1205 to 1458 CE. It was created in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204 CE) and would be ruled for the majority of its history by the Burgundian de la...
Thessaly and the Duchy of Neopatras
Definition by Michael Goodyear

Thessaly and the Duchy of Neopatras

Thessaly was an independent state in medieval Greece from 1267 or 1268 to 1394 CE, first as the Greek-ruled Thessaly and later as the Catalan and Latin-ruled Duchy of Neopatras. Under its sebastokrators, Thessaly was a thorn in the side of...
Empress Theodora
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Empress Theodora

Theodora reigned as empress of the Byzantine Empire alongside her husband, Emperor Justinian I, from 527 CE until her death in 548 CE. Rising from a humble background and overcoming the prejudices of her somewhat disreputable early career...
Mehmed II
Definition by Zain Khokhar

Mehmed II

Mehmed II (1432-1481 CE), also known as Mehmed the Conqueror, was the seventh and among the greatest sultans of the Ottoman Empire. His conquests consolidated Ottoman rule in Anatolia and the Balkans, and he most famously triumphed in conquering...
Emperor Zeno
Definition by Michael Goodyear

Emperor Zeno

Zeno was Byzantine emperor from 474 until 491 CE. An ethnic Isaurian, Zeno was repeatedly criticized as an outsider during his reign, which was full of rebellions and attacks by the Ostrogoths. He is best known for his failed attempt to compromise...