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Isaac I Komnenos
Definition by Michael Goodyear

Isaac I Komnenos

Isaac I Komnenos was the Byzantine emperor from 1057 to 1059 CE. Although his reign was brief, he was known for being a capable and militarily astute general and emperor. As the first emperor to lead troops himself in battle in over 30 years...
The Crusades: Causes & Goals
Article by Mark Cartwright

The Crusades: Causes & Goals

The Crusades were a series of military campaigns organised by Christian powers in order to retake Jerusalem and the Holy Land back from Muslim control. There would be eight officially sanctioned crusades between 1095 CE and 1270 CE and many...
Procopius on the Plague of Justinian: Text & Commentary
Article by Joshua J. Mark

Procopius on the Plague of Justinian: Text & Commentary

The Plague of Justinian (541-542 CE and onwards) is the first fully documented case of bubonic plague in history. It is named for the emperor of the Byzantine Empire at the time, Justinian I (r. 527-565 CE) and recorded by his court historian...
Attila the Hun
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Attila the Hun

Attila the Hun (r. 434-453 CE) was the leader of the ancient nomadic people known as the Huns and ruler of the Hunnic Empire, which he established. His name means "Little Father" and, according to some historians, may not have...
Ottoman Empire
Definition by Syed Muhammad Khan

Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Sultanate (1299-1922 CE as an empire; 1922-1924 CE as caliphate only), also referred to as the Ottoman Empire, written in Turkish as Osmanlı Devleti, was a Turkic imperial state that was conceived by and named after Osman (l...
Constantius II
Definition by Craig Morley

Constantius II

Constantius II ruled the Roman Empire between 337-361 CE. He was the second son of Constantine the Great and Fausta. Constantius was a devout follower of Arianism Christianity. Ruling for 24 years, he was the longest reigning son of Constantine...
Avars
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Avars

The Avars were a confederation of heterogeneous (diverse or varied) people consisting of Rouran, Hephthalites, and Turkic-Oghuric races who migrated to the region of the Pontic Grass Steppe (an area corresponding to modern-day Ukraine, Russia...
Vandals
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Vandals

The Vandals were a Germanic tribe who are first mentioned in Roman history in the Natural History of Pliny the Elder (77 CE). The Roman historian Tacitus also mentions them in his Germania (c. 98 CE), though he also refers to them as the...
Varangian Guard
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Varangian Guard

The mercenary Varangian Guard was an elite Byzantine army corps and the personal bodyguard of emperors beginning with Basil II in c. 988 CE. The Viking unit was famous for the stature of its members and their blood-thirsty conduct in battle...
Michael Psellos
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Michael Psellos

Michael Psellos (1018 - c. 1082 CE) was a Byzantine historian, writer, and intellectual. Michael acted as courtier and advisor to several Byzantine emperors, and he was the tutor of Michael VII. Writing between 1042 and 1078 CE, his texts...