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Justinian's Plague (541-542 CE)
Article by John Horgan

Justinian's Plague (541-542 CE)

During the reign of the emperor Justinian I (527-565 CE), one of the worst outbreaks of the plague took place, claiming the lives of millions of people. The plague arrived in Constantinople in 542 CE, almost a year after the disease...
Women in the Byzantine Empire
Article by Mark Cartwright

Women in the Byzantine Empire

Women in the Byzantine Empire (4th to 15th century CE) were, amongst the upper classes, largely expected to supervise the family home and raise children while those who had to work for a living did so in most of the industries of the period...
Odoacer
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Odoacer

Odoacer (433-493 CE, reigned 476-493 CE) also known as Odovacar, Flavius Odoacer, and Flavius Odovacer, was the first king of Italy. His reign marked the end of the Roman Empire; he deposed the last emperor, Romulus Augustulus, on 4 September...
Totila
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Totila

Totila (birth name, Baduila-Badua r. 541-552 CE) was the last great king of the Ostrogoths in Italy. He was the nephew of the Gothic king Ildibad who was succeeded by Eraric the Rugian (d. 541 CE). The Goths of Italy felt that Eraric was...
Michael II
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Michael II

Michael II the Amorion, also known as Michael “the Stammerer”, was emperor of the Byzantine Empire between 820 and 829 CE. He founded the short-lived Amorion dynasty, named after his hometown in Phrygia, which would last until...
Empress Irene
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Empress Irene

Empress Irene was the wife of Leo IV and, on her husband’s death, she reigned as regent for her son Constantine VI from 780 to 790 CE. From 797 to 802 CE she ruled as emperor in her own right, the first woman to do so in Byzantine history...
Basil I
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Basil I

Basil I was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 867 to 886 CE and he founded the "Macedonian" dynasty which lasted for over 200 years. Basil was an Armenian from a humble background who had risen to become the second most powerful...
Michael III
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Michael III

Michael III, also known as “Michael the Drunkard” by his detractors, was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 842 to 867 CE. Never quite escaping the shadow of his mother Theodora, who ruled as regent in his name until c. 855...
Leo I
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Leo I

Leo I was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 457 to 474 CE. He was also known as “Leo the Butcher” (Makelles) for the assassination of his patron and rival Aspar. Although his reign was lacklustre and included a serious defeat...
Constans II
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Constans II

Constans II (aka Konstans II) was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 641 to 668 CE. Sometimes known as Constans Pogonatos (“the Bearded”), he came to the throne by a series of unlikely events and his empire was immediately challenged...