Byzantine Empire
Continent: Europe, Asia, Africa
Capital: Constantinople
National Language: Late Latin
Koine Greek (395–610)
Medieval Greek (610–1453)
Government: Republican monarchy
Absolute monarchy
Status in OTL: Inactive

The Byzantine Empire or Eastern Roman Empire (known to its inhabitants as the Roman Empire) was the continuation of the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages, centered on its capital of Constantinople, and ruled by Emperors in direct succession to the Roman Emperors. The Empire preserved Roman legal traditions, but embraced substantial Hellenization, i.e. Greek custom. The term "Byzantine Empire" postdates the Empire itself, and was popularized by historians during the 16th-19th centuries.

The Empire itself existed for roughly a thousand years; there was no precise "founding" date, but rather a series of decisions made by the Roman Empire that saw the Byzantine Empire eventually split off and grow into its own entity. The Empire finally fell in the 15th century to the Ottoman Empire, with Constantinople surrendering in 1453.

Army ranks[]

The Byzantine army made use of Greek terms.

  • Strategos=general
  • Hypostrategos=lieutenant general
  • Merarch=division general or major-general
  • Moirarch=colonel
  • Tagmata=captain
  • Tourmarch=a commander of a tourma or fortress town.

Byzantine Empire in Agent of Byzantium[]

By the early 14th century, the Eastern Roman Empire had retained Asia Minor, the Balkans, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and North Africa. In addition, it had recovered parts of Ispania‎ from the Visigoths, Italia from the Lombards and most of the southern coast of France from the Franks. Clashes continued to occur at the frontiers against "barbarians" such as the nomadic Jurchen tribes north of the Danube and the Franco-Saxons of Western Europe. The Kingdom of Angleland, the Franks' unfriendly neighbor on the opposite side, was on occasion an uncertain ally for the Byzantines.

However, its main rival remained Persia to the east, an empire roughly as strong and one of the three great powers, along with China, of the known world. Byzantium and Persia clashed, sometimes openly, but mostly maneuvered quietly to gain an advantage over the other.

Byzantine Empire in "The Emperor's Return"[]

The Byzantine Empire came to an end when its capital Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire on 29 May 1453. The city, which was renamed Istanbul, remained in Muslim hands until it was captured by the forces of Greece and the Soviet Union on 10 June 2003.

Byzantine Empire in "The Fake Pandemic"[]

As a consequence of Martinus Paduei's efforts to prevent the "dark ages", Justinian's plans to reclaim Ostrogothic Italy for the Roman Empire were thwarted. Not only did Martinus inexplicably predict the Romans' plan of attack, but, adding insult to injury, Martinus even secured the services of Belisarius, Justinian's most talented general.[1]

Still, Martinus was canny enough to realize how powerful the Romans remained. He convinced Justinian to drive on the Arabian Peninsula and take Mecca to prevent the eventual rise of Muhammad.[2] Further, he was able to convince the Roman quaestor Tribonian to take steps to prevent the spread of the plague before it arrived in 541. Only Martinus and Tribonian believed in what they'd accomplished.[3]

Byzantine Empire in "Farmers' Law"[]

Under Constantine V, the Byzantine Empire had a harsh policy of Iconoclasm, silently resisted by communities such as Abrostola in the Anatolic Theme. For these reason, the Abrostolans were determined to handle crime in their community on their own, rather than attract unwanted attention from any Imperial official.[4]

Byzantine Empire in "Islands in the Sea"[]

Following the successful siege of Constantinople by the Umayyad Caliphate under Suleiman ibn Abd al-Malik in 717, the Byzantine Empire fell rapidly to Muslim invasions. Consequently, Islam spread into Europe nearly unopposed.

Byzantine Empire in "Suffer a Sorceress"[]

Very few historians of the Byzantine Empire are aware of the role which witchcraft played in its dynastic successions.

Byzantine Empire in Thessalonica[]

In 597, the Roman Empire was under threat from the barbarian Avars. When the enemy recruited powerful supernatural forces to advance their cause, the Christian Romans summoned countering forces with unlikely help from the ancient Greek past.

Byzantine Empire in Through Darkest Europe[]

The Byzantine Empire was conquered and absorbed by the Seljuk Empire, late in the Middle Ages.[5]

Byzantine Empire in "Two Thieves"[]

Apparently, everyone who lived and died on Earth was mysteriously resurrected on an alien planet defined by a large river. A population of resurrectees from the Byzantine Empire founded the kingdom of New Constantinople along one section of this river.

Byzantine Empire in Worldwar[]

In the 1960s, the University of Tours had a historian who specialized in the Byzantine Empire. Monique Dutourd found this field uselessly arcane.[6]


  1. See, Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp, generally.
  2. Lest Darkness Fall & Timeless Tales Written in Tribute (second edition),pgs. 382, loc. 4995.
  3. Ibid. pgs. 376-417, loc. 4911-5490.
  4. See, e.g., Atlantis and Other Places, pgs. 217-221, HC.
  5. Through Darkest Europe, pg. 25, HC.
  6. Aftershocks, p. 413, HC.