Fronteira entre os Impérios Romanos Ocidental e Oriental

Fronteira entre os Impérios Romanos Ocidental e Oriental

Após a crise do século III, o Império Romano foi subdividido várias vezes, terminando com sua divisão em partes ocidentais e orientais. Embora operado por administrações separadas do que eu sei sobre o assunto, parece que pelo menos ideologicamente essas duas partes foram consideradas como subdivisões de um único império até o final do cargo imperial ocidental.

Isso levanta a questão - o que estava acontecendo nas fronteiras entre as diferentes subdivisões do Império Romano? Alguém viajando entre duas partes teria mais dificuldades e teria que pagar tarifas extras em comparação com a viagem dentro de uma parte? Como isso se compara à fronteira externa?

Exemplos de fontes específicas seriam muito apreciados.


A fronteira externa do Império Romano tendia a ser marcada mais ou menos com vários sistemas de defesa e recursos naturais como os rios Reno e Danúbio na Europa.

Os recursos de defesa incluíam estradas militares mais ou menos ao longo da fronteira, fortes, postos de guarda, postos alfandegários em passagens de fronteira, paliçadas, diques de terra e paredes de pedra. Assim, muitas vezes era muito fácil saber quando você estava entrando ou saindo do Império Romano como um todo.

Com a conquista da Itália, as vias preparadas foram estendidas de Roma e seus arredores a municípios periféricos, às vezes cobrindo estradas anteriores. Construir a viae era uma responsabilidade militar e, portanto, estava sob a jurisdição de um cônsul. O processo tinha um nome militar, viam munire, como se a via fosse uma fortificação. Os municípios, porém, eram responsáveis ​​por suas próprias estradas, que os romanos chamavam de viae vicinales. A beleza e a grandeza das estradas podem nos fazer acreditar que qualquer cidadão romano poderia usá-las gratuitamente, mas não foi o caso. As portagens abundavam, especialmente nas pontes. Freqüentemente, eles eram recolhidos no portão da cidade. Os custos de frete ficaram ainda mais pesados ​​com os impostos de importação e exportação. Essas eram apenas as taxas de uso das estradas. Os custos dos serviços na viagem aumentaram a partir daí.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_roads1

Para combater as atividades de ladrões e salteadores de estrada, a maioria das estradas romanas era patrulhada por destacamentos especiais de tropas do exército imperial conhecidas como “stationarii” e “beneficiários”. Esses soldados guarneciam postos policiais e torres de vigia em áreas de alto tráfego e remotas para ajudar a orientar viajantes vulneráveis, transmitir mensagens e ficar de olho em escravos fugitivos. Eles também dobraram como cobradores de pedágio. Como as rodovias modernas, as estradas romanas nem sempre eram gratuitas e as tropas costumavam esperar para cobrar taxas ou impostos sobre as mercadorias sempre que a rota chegava a uma ponte, passagem na montanha ou fronteira provincial.

http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/8-ways-roads-helped-rome-rule-the-ancient-world2

Os romanos também costumavam cobrar impostos estaduais e provinciais ou municipais. Já nos tempos romanos, os direitos aduaneiros constituíam uma parte significativa das receitas públicas para o tesouro do estado. Em certos pontos de comunicação nas províncias, havia estações alfandegárias (stationes) onde eram cobrados os direitos das mercadorias que passavam por esses pontos. O valor dos direitos foi de 2,5% (quadrogesimo) do valor das mercadorias importadas. A arrecadação de direitos aduaneiros também se escoava, a princípio concedida inclusive a agricultores oriundos da população domiciliada, e mais tarde, a partir de meados do século II, a arrecadação de tributos passou a ser cobrada por funcionários que em nosso território se chamavam publicum portarii Illyrici et ripae Thraciae.

Costumes internos no Império Romano 1

Portanto, se às vezes fossem cobrados direitos alfandegários internos e pedágios para usar as estradas, os viajantes podiam perguntar ou ser informados em que província, dioceses ou prefeituras estavam e a que lado do império pertenciam. Escritórios do governo e edifícios públicos - possivelmente incluindo postos de cobrança de pedágio - geralmente tinham retratos do imperador ou imperadores. E possivelmente o imperador oriental sempre foi mais proeminente no império oriental e vice-versa.

Pelos mapas que vi, a fronteira entre os impérios oriental e ocidental na África ficava na Líbia moderna, entre Sirte e Benghazi, e provavelmente perto de Bin Jawad, As Sidr ou Ras Lanuf. A província da Tripolitânia teria ficado no império ocidental, e Cyrenica - a província da Líbia Superior - no império oriental. Não sei quão visível era a fronteira entre o leste e o oeste na África.

Na Europa, a fronteira entre as partes oriental e ocidental do império era muito mais longa. No sul, a província da Dalmácia ficava na parte ocidental e a província de Praevalitana na parte oriental. Ao norte, a Dalmácia ficava na parte ocidental do império e Moesia I na parte oriental. Parte da Província de Panônia II no oeste ficava ao norte de parte da Moesia I.

O rio Sava era a fronteira entre a Panônia II no norte e a Moésia I no sul. O rio Drina que ziguezagueia para o norte para se juntar ao rio Sava era parcialmente a fronteira entre Dalmácia e Moesia I. Hoje faz parte da fronteira entre a Bósnia e a Herzegovna e a Sérvia. A fronteira ficava aproximadamente ao norte e ao sul de algum lugar no rio Drina até o mar Adriadic em algum lugar perto de Budva. A maior parte do Montenegro moderno ficava a leste da fronteira.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalmatia_(Roman_province)#/media/File:Ancient_balkans_4thcentury.png">1

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Montenegro#/media/File:Montenegro_Map.png">2

Grande parte da fronteira da Europa era feita por rios. Cruzar essas seções dos rios Save e Drina significava cruzar de uma metade do império para a outra. E os viajantes provavelmente tinham que pagar pedágios e às vezes tarifas sobre suas mercadorias ao cruzar a fronteira.

E, pelo que eu sei, seriam todas as formalidades envolvidas.


Fronteiras do Império Romano

Mapa de todos os territórios outrora ocupados pelo Império Romano. As terras em ciano e magenta representam aquelas cuja conquista é duvidosa. Evidências arqueológicas mostram, entretanto, que a área de Dortmund na Alemanha fazia parte do Império no início do primeiro século DC. Linhas amarelas são limas.

As fronteiras do Império Romano, que flutuaram ao longo da história do império, eram uma combinação de fronteiras naturais (principalmente os rios Reno e Danúbio) e fortificações feitas pelo homem que separavam as terras do império dos países "bárbaros" além.


O surgimento do conflito

Em 15 de maio de 392, na cidade gaulesa de Vienne, morreu o imperador do Império Romano Ocidental Valentiniano II. Segundo uma versão, ele cometeu suicídio e, na outra versão mais difundida, foi morto pelo comandante de sua guarda, Arbogast. O trono do Império Romano Ocidental ficou vago por 3 meses. Sob a ordem estabelecida, o imperador do Império Romano do Oriente, Teodósio tornou-se o sucessor legítimo de Valentiniano, tendo autoridade para nomear um novo imperador co-governante no Ocidente. No entanto, em 22 de agosto de 392, o secretário Eugênio foi proclamado imperador sem a aprovação de Teodósio.

Dado o forte exército sob o comando de Arbogast, o amigo de Eugenius, a guerra civil entre os Impérios Romanos Oriental e Ocidental parecia inevitável. Fator não menos significativo foi a política religiosa seguida por Eugênio, que, ao contrário do cristão Teodósio, contribuiu para o renascimento do paganismo na Itália.


Da Fundação de Roma à Queda do Império

Este mapa faz parte de uma série de 6 mapas animados que mostram a história de Roma e seu Império.

Roma era uma pequena cidade italiana que cresceu em importância até dominar toda a área mediterrânea. A cidade foi governada primeiro como uma monarquia, depois como uma república e, finalmente, convertida em um império.

Até 509 AC, Roma era governada por reis. Depois do lendário fundador, Rômulo, seus governantes eram da tribo dos sabinos, seguidos dos etruscos. O último rei de Roma foi Tarquinius Superbus.

Na República, a cidade era governada por um senado, controlado pelos patrícios e dois cônsules, eleitos por um ano.

Roma gradualmente estendeu seu território conquistando seus vizinhos, os etruscos, os latinos e os samnitas. Em seguida, ocupou as regiões do sul da península, onde os gregos haviam fundado um grande número de colônias.

Durante as Guerras Púnicas, Roma lutou contra Cartago e gradualmente ganhou controle sobre seus territórios no Mediterrâneo ocidental. A cidade de Cartago foi capturada e totalmente destruída em 146 aC.

No oeste, Roma invadiu o sul da Gália e ocupou uma grande área da atual Espanha.

A leste, invadiu a Macedônia e a Grécia e ocupou o Reino de Pérgamo.

Como resultado, Roma controlava a maior parte da costa norte do Mediterrâneo.

Durante o primeiro século aC, houve grandes levantes na Itália, enquanto as campanhas de conquista posicionaram os generais romanos para acumular poder militar e político.

O mais famoso desses generais foi Júlio César. Após sua vitória sobre os gauleses, ele foi designado & ldquoditador vitalício & rdquo antes de ser assassinado em 44 aC. Seu filho adotivo, Otaviano, fundou o Império Romano e adotou o nome de Augusto. Seu longo reinado trouxe uma paz prolongada às fronteiras de Roma. Em termos de política externa, Augusto manteve os planos romanos de conquista militar, mas, após uma série de derrotas na Alemanha, decidiu estabelecer as fronteiras do Império ao longo dos rios Reno, Danúbio e Eufrates.

O império continuou a estender suas fronteiras durante o primeiro século DC conquistando a Grã-Bretanha, a Trácia, a Capadócia e a Mauretânia.

As últimas grandes guerras de conquista foram travadas pelo Imperador Trajano no início do século II, contra os Dácios ao norte do Danúbio, depois contra os Partas na Armênia e na Mesopotâmia. No entanto, o controle do exército romano dessas regiões remotas era difícil de sustentar, e havia chegado o momento de consolidar as fronteiras do Império. Em meados do século III, o Império foi mais uma vez ameaçado por crises políticas internas, enquanto suas fronteiras estavam sendo atacado por tribos bárbaras. Em várias ocasiões, os francos, godos e alamanos penetraram fundo no território do Império.

A partir do final deste século III, os imperadores Diocleciano e Constantino I conseguiram restabelecer as fronteiras e introduziram reformas profundas no estado romano. Constantino fundou uma nova capital, que chamou de Constantinopla.

Durante o reinado de Teodósio I, houve maior pressão sobre as fronteiras externas do Império, e o imperador autorizou os visigodos a se estabelecerem nos territórios romanos ao sul do Danúbio.

Após a morte de Teodósio, em 395, o império foi dividido entre seus dois filhos, confirmando a divisão entre o Império Romano do Oriente e o Império Romano do Ocidente.

No início do século 5, a situação militar no Império Romano Ocidental estava piorando.

- Em 406, várias tribos germânicas, os vândalos, suevos e alanos, cruzaram o Reno, devastaram a Gália e invadiram a Espanha.

- Em 410, os visigodos invadiram a Itália e saquearam Roma. Dois anos depois, eles se estabeleceram na Aquitânia e na Espanha.

- Em 429, os vândalos viajaram para o Norte da África e, dez anos depois, tomaram Cartago.

O último imperador, Romulus Augustulus, foi deposto por Odoacro, um chefe alemão, em 476. O evento marcou o fim do Império Romano Ocidental.

O Império Romano do Oriente permaneceu no local até 1453. Era conhecido como Império Bizantino, devido ao nome original de sua capital Bizâncio.


Forças, movimento, implantação

A armadura e as armas de um soldado romano do final do século III

Um dia antes da batalha decisiva, Fritigern, o líder dos godos, enviou um enviado diplomático ao imperador, oferecendo uma paz em troca de um pedaço de terra. Como esperado, o imperador Valente recusou a oferta.

Na noite seguinte, em 9 de agosto de 378, Valente deixou a cidade de Adrianópolis, pois foi informado de que os godos haviam construído um acampamento a cerca de 13 quilômetros da cidade. Deixando a cidade apenas escassamente protegida, o imperador romano foi até o local do exército rebelde gótico, confiante de que os esmagaria com facilidade. Valens liderou um exército de 40.000 homens, veteranos de guerra fortes e experientes.

No exército de Valente & # 8217, provavelmente havia divisões trácias, bem como o Primeiro e o Segundo Exércitos Imperiais de Constantinopla, que foram enviados para a fronteira persa em 376 e para o oeste em 377. No total, o Imperador Valente tinha sete legiões sob seu comando e vários auxiliares imperiais a cavalaria era composta por arqueiros a cavalo e os guardas imperiais. Também é possível que o imperador tenha procurado ajuda em algumas províncias e tenha recebido os batalhões corpo a corpo de Lanciarii e Mattiarii. Além disso, ele tinha batavos, mas por pouco tempo, porque eles fugiriam da batalha logo no início. Além disso, havia uma divisão ibérica de unidades montadas e arqueiros, liderada pelo príncipe Bacurius, o ibérico.

Havia dois exércitos góticos, os Thervings & # 8211 liderados por Fritigern & # 8211 e os Greutungs, sob o comando de Alatheus e Saphrax. Os exércitos góticos eram compostos por unidades de infantaria e cavalaria, onde a cavalaria era provavelmente a porção maior. Principalmente, os historiadores concordam que os godos superaram severamente as forças romanas. A ignorância de Valens sobre esse fato foi uma das principais razões para o resultado da batalha.

Depois de uma marcha de sete horas por terreno difícil, o exército romano enfrentaria os godos exaustos. Em algum momento da tarde, as legiões romanas chegaram ao acampamento Goths & # 8217, cansadas, desordenadas e infelizes. Os godos, que haviam montado acampamento no topo de uma colina, esperavam atrás de um círculo de carroças, junto com suas famílias.


Mapa, história, fatos do Império Bizantino

Antes de nos aprofundarmos no história do Império Bizantino, vamos voltar um pouco e falar sobre os últimos anos do Império Romano em breve. Portanto, podemos ter uma imagem mais clara de como o Império Romano do Oriente, também conhecido como Império Bizantino, foi fundado. À medida que descobrimos o fatos sobre o Império Bizantino em 18 títulos, também faremos uso de mapas.

1. Fundação de Constantinopla

O Império Romano tinha medo de lutar contra os bárbaros (tribos germânicas e godos) no oeste e os persas no leste. Esses problemas fizeram com que Roma perdesse seu significado, pois os imperadores queriam estar mais perto dos locais críticos tanto no leste quanto no oeste. Portanto, eles começaram a procurar outra capital.

O primeiro imperador que quis mover o centro do império para o leste foi Diocleciano. Ele residiu em Nicomedia (Izmit) durante seus primeiros anos como imperador. No entanto, foi Constantino, o Grande, quem mudou a capital do império permanentemente.

Constantino construiu uma nova cidade junto ao Bósforo em 330 e deu-lhe o nome de Constantinopla. A nova capital foi fundada em Bizâncio, uma colônia grega. O Imperador viu a posição vantajosa da nova capital durante a Batalha de Crisópolis, a última batalha da Tetrarquia.

o Fundação de Constantinopla não foi uma decisão arbitrária, foi baseada em razões políticas e financeiras. O fato de Istambul ser uma península tornava quase impossível para os bárbaros atacá-la. Assim, seria uma capital protegida dos ataques bárbaros.

Constantinopla também estava localizada na interseção de antigas rotas comerciais. Foi um dos portos centrais nas rotas tradicionais de seda e especiarias. Por essa razão, tinha um futuro brilhante no comércio do Mediterrâneo Oriental.

2. A Divisão do Império Romano

Após a morte do Imperador Teodósio em 395, o império foi dividido em dois entre seus dois filhos. Honório se tornou o imperador do Império Romano Ocidental, enquanto Arcadius assumiu o controle do Império Romano Oriental.

Arcadius foi o primeiro imperador da Roma Oriental, que chamamos de Império Bizantino na história moderna. No entanto, devido à fundação de Constantinopla, esse título é frequentemente atribuído ao Imperador Constantino.

o divisão do Império Romano pavimentou o caminho para o colapso da Roma Ocidental no longo prazo. Quando a Roma Ocidental entrou em colapso em 476, a Roma Oriental estava prosperando tanto financeira quanto politicamente. Principalmente porque o Oriente não foi tão afetado pelas invasões bárbaras quanto o Ocidente e ainda mantinha a herança política e cultural que recebeu da civilização grega antiga.

Devido à alta tributação das terras cultivadas no Império Romano do Oriente, os fazendeiros se refugiaram em poderosos proprietários de terras. Eventualmente, isso levou a algum tipo de feudalismo na região.

3. Fatos sobre o Império Bizantino

Agora vamos falar sobre alguns fatos sobre o Império Bizantino. O nome & # 8220Byzantine & # 8221 é um termo cunhado por historiadores modernos. Enquanto o povo bizantino se via como romano, os governantes eram conhecidos como imperadores romanos. Eles consideravam Júlio César, Augusto e Constantino como seus ancestrais.

Depois que os otomanos capturaram Constantinopla (1453), os cidadãos de origem bizantina foram chamados de & # 8220Rum & # 8221. Isso significa romano em turco. Na verdade, Mehmed II, o primeiro sultão otomano em Istambul, usou o título de imperador romano em alguns éditos.

Tudo isso era natural e tinha bases legais, já que Constantinopla foi a única herdeira da Roma Antiga após a queda da Roma Ocidental. Até que Carlos Magno foi proclamado Sacro Imperador Romano pelo Papa, os imperadores bizantinos reivindicaram o legado de Roma no Ocidente.

Vemos que o termo & # 8220Byzantine & # 8221 foi usado em fontes ocidentais após o século XVI. Bizâncio era o nome de Istambul quando foi fundada como uma antiga cidade grega no século 7 aC. O termo bizantino foi usado para separar a Roma antiga da Roma medieval, que se tornou helenizada.

4. Monumentos Bizantinos em Istambul

Quando Constantinopla foi fundada em 330, um hipódromo como Circus Maximus em Roma foi construída. O único lugar onde o povo e o imperador se reuniam era o Hipódromo para assistir às corridas de bigas. Havia duas equipes, os Blues e os Verdes, competindo para vencer várias competições.

Os Blues simbolizavam os ricos de Istambul e residiam em áreas onde viviam aristocratas e senadores. Os verdes, por outro lado, eram geralmente formados por mercadores, marinheiros e artesãos. Portanto, os verdes representariam a parte democrática do público.

Dessa forma, o Hipódromo também era o único lugar e método para as massas serem ouvidas pelos governantes. A Igreja estava em colaboração com os governantes desde o século 4 e se tornou seu apoiador natural e aliado para manter o status quo.

A capital romana Constantinopla foi decorada com monumentos magníficos. Por exemplo, o Obelisco de Teodósio no centro do Hipódromo foi trazido para Constantinopla do Egito Antigo. Este obelisco é o monumento mais antigo de Istambul hoje.

O grande palácio onde os imperadores residiam, o Fórum de Constantino, a maior praça da cidade e a maior igreja da cidade, a Igreja dos Santos Apóstolos foram os monumentos mais importantes de Constantinopla na época romana.

Ainda é possível ver alguns desses Monumentos bizantinos em Istambul. Entre eles estão igrejas, ruínas de palácios, colunas e paredes.

5. Ataques bárbaros e divisões religiosas

O Império Romano do Oriente teve que lidar com ataques bárbaros a partir do século V em diante. Godos, vândalos e hunos foram os maiores inimigos do Império Romano neste século.

Em 440, Hun Khan Atilla saqueou todos os estados dos Bálcãs e chegou até a Trácia e foi por isso que Bizâncio não foi rápido o suficiente para ajudar o Império Romano Ocidental que estava à beira do colapso. No final, o Império Romano Ocidental caiu em 476 por causa da invasão dos Godos.

Este século também testemunhou o surgimento de uma seita chamada Monofisismo. Esta seita é mais sobre teologia e interpretou a existência de Jesus Cristo de forma diferente. Os imperadores bizantinos derramam muito sangue para evitar que essa seita se espalhe. No entanto, eles falharam, e essa separação religiosa causou grandes problemas em Bizâncio no longo prazo.

Divisões religiosas pode até ser observado em corridas de carruagem. Apoiados pelos aristocratas, os Blues representavam o Cristianismo Ortodoxo, enquanto os Verdes consistiam na minoria Monofisita.

6. Mapa do Império Bizantino sob Justiniano

Justiniano I foi sem dúvida o imperador mais famoso do Império Bizantino. O imperador Justiniano I queria ter os mesmos dias gloriosos que o Império Romano na Idade Antiga. Portanto, ele lançou vastas campanhas militares. Essas campanhas foram bem-sucedidas graças a Belisário, Narses e Mundus, os generais habilidosos de Justiniano I. Você pode ver claramente os frutos dessas conquistas militares no Mapa do Império Bizantino sob Justiniano regra acima.

O Império Bizantino herdou a herança cultural da Grécia Antiga. Durante a ascensão do Império Bizantino, todas as cidades que possuíam essa herança (Atenas, Alexandria, Antioquia e Istambul) estavam dentro das fronteiras do império.

A filosofia da Grécia Antiga e a ciência se misturaram com a engenharia, a lei e a ordem militar do Império Romano. Esta fórmula mágica funcionou como uma força motriz secular para o Império Bizantino.

7. Nika Revolt e Codex Justinian

Embora Justiniano I fosse o imperador bizantino mais bem-sucedido, vários acontecimentos adversos aconteceram durante seu reinado. Por exemplo, longas guerras com os godos pelo domínio da Itália prejudicaram gravemente o Império Bizantino. Além disso, as políticas de Justiniano levaram a uma sangrenta Nika Revolt em 532.

Os edifícios mais importantes foram incendiados durante esta revolta, mas foi destruída por um famoso general chamado Belisarius. Ele encurralou 30.000 rebeldes no Hipódromo e os massacrou violentamente. Deve-se notar que foi a Imperatriz Teodora quem convenceu o desesperado Justiniano a enfrentar os rebeldes.

No entanto, esse desastre também desencadeou uma das conquistas arquitetônicas mais importantes do mundo. Uma estrutura magnífica como a de Hagia Sophia foi construída no lugar da destruída Grande Igreja.

Justiniano deveu a maior parte de sua fama a Codex Justinian, uma compilação das leis romanas. Este trabalho lançou as bases do código civil de hoje.

O Império Bizantino enfrentou perdas imensas depois de Justiniano I. As fronteiras do império que Justiniano deixou eram tão grandes que era impossível controlá-las a longo prazo. Além disso, a peste bubônica em Justiniano nos últimos anos havia cortado a população do império pela metade.

8. A propagação do Islã

Grandes guerras foram travadas entre o Império Bizantino e os vizinhos persas no início dos anos 600. No início, os persas marcharam até o coração da Anatólia. No entanto, o imperador Heráclio se tornou o salvador do império no último minuto. Ele expulsou os persas da Anatólia e saqueou Ctesiphon, a lendária capital do Império Sassânida.

O imperador Heráclio foi um dos imperadores mais azarados da história do Império Bizantino. Embora os primeiros anos de seu reinado tenham sido repletos de vitórias gloriosas, ele perdeu metade das terras do império antes de sua morte. Mas como a maré mudou tão rapidamente?

Enquanto o Império Bizantino e Persa lutava com o martelo e a pinça, uma aliança sem precedentes estava sendo construída. Um exército islâmico foi formado após a disseminação do Islã por Maomé e este exército altamente motivado iniciou uma série de conquistas.

A gravidade da situação não foi percebida até que o exército islâmico primeiro atacou as terras bizantinas. Quando todo o exército bizantino que deveria suprimir os ataques foi exterminado, percebeu-se que o exército islâmico era uma ameaça séria. Contudo, a propagação do Islã já havia começado e o equilíbrio de poder no Mediterrâneo Oriental mudaria completamente.

9. Guerras Árabes-Bizantinas

o Guerras bizantino-árabes foi uma maratona que duraria 400 anos, e a primeira batalha começou em 636. A batalha conhecida como Batalha de Yarmouk durou 6 dias e foi uma vitória esmagadora para os árabes. O maior infortúnio do Império Bizantino foi que Khalid ibn al-Walid liderou o exército islâmico.

Khalid foi um dos maiores comandantes da história do Islã e cercou o exército bizantino com táticas inteligentes e destruiu metade dele. Como o Império Bizantino sofreu grandes perdas devido a longas guerras com os persas, isso provou ser um resultado catastrófico irrecuperável para eles.

O imperador Herklius pensava que ele havia iniciado um longo período de prosperidade após derrotar os persas. No entanto, suas expectativas se mostraram vazias. Mesmo antes de sua morte, as cidades mais importantes do Império Bizantino, nomeadamente Alexandria, Jerusalém e Damasco, foram perdidas.

Os dois arquiinimigos do Império Romano, que eram os persas na frente oriental e os hunos na frente ocidental, tornaram-se história e novos poderes os substituíram. A partir daí, os maiores inimigos do Império Bizantino foram os exércitos islâmicos no leste e os búlgaros que se estabeleceram na Trácia, no oeste.

10. Iconoclastia Bizantina

A luta entre os árabes e o Império Bizantino durou anos e um grande número de cidades importantes foram perdidas durante a era do califado Rashidun (os quatro primeiros califas). No entanto, o perigo aumentou depois que Muawiyah I (governador de Damasco) assumiu o controle. O califado omíada, fundado por Muawiyah, tornou-se tão poderoso que atingiu os portões de Constantinopla.

Neste período de declínio do Império Bizantino, o imperador Leão III ascendeu ao trono. Ele foi o primeiro membro da dinastia Isauriana. Ele cresceu em um ambiente desafiador com dificuldades e isso provavelmente contribuiu para seu desenvolvimento como soldado. Ele acreditava que as organizações religiosas e especialmente os mosteiros enriqueciam demais e estavam envenenando o público.

Portanto, ele iniciou um período conhecido como Iconoclastina Bizantina. Os ícones, mosaicos e afrescos que contribuíram para o poder da igreja foram destruídos. Ele não queria que a igreja influenciasse o público por meio desses itens. Além disso, ele confiscou as propriedades dos mosteiros e foram transferidas para o tesouro do estado.

Homens isolados em mosteiros estavam isentos do serviço militar antes de Leão III. No entanto, o imperador fez reformas militares e mudou essa prática. Após longas tentativas, Leão III e seus sucessores conseguiram colocar o império de volta nos trilhos. No entanto, a iconoclastia interrompeu a arte no Império Bizantino, que era totalmente baseada na religião.

11. Mapa do Império Bizantino sob Basílio II

Quando a dinastia macedônia assumiu o poder, o Império Bizantino estava se recuperando. Os imperadores macedônios aceleraram o processo de capacitação e restauraram as figuras religiosas. Portanto, os famosos ícones, mosaicos e afrescos do Império Bizantino voltaram a ser produzidos.

Nesta época, as ameaças geopolíticas diminuíram. Portanto, um período de prosperidade foi possível como no início da história do Império Bizantino. Durante o reinado do imperador Basílio II, o império atingiu suas fronteiras mais amplas antes de seu colapso. Você pode ver as conquistas desse período na imagem chamada Mapa do Império Bizantino sob Basílio II acima de.

Basil II, também conhecido como o Bulgar Slayer, invadiu os campos de batalha e foi considerado o imperador bizantino de maior sucesso na frente de batalha. No entanto, ele repetiu o mesmo erro que muitos governantes poderosos. Como ele não queria ninguém ao seu redor que pudesse ofuscar sua autoridade, o império não tinha ninguém para substituí-lo após a morte de Basílio II e # 8217.

12. O Grande Cisma

Após a morte de Basílio II, os burocratas que se casaram com uma mulher da dinastia macedônia tornaram-se imperadores. Esses burocratas não sabiam muito sobre questões militares e cortaram o orçamento do exército para manter o controle do império. Assim, eles neutralizaram generais poderosos do exército.

No entanto, essa luta pelo poder levou à decadência do exército. Quando o poder do exército bizantino estava no auge sob o reinado de Basílio II & # 8217, ele ficou destituído em muito pouco tempo. E as derrotas que se seguiram desmoralizaram o império.

Nesses momentos delicados, eclodiu uma briga entre os dois líderes do mundo cristão. O Papa em Roma e o Patriarca em Constantinopla excomungaram-se mutuamente, o que confirmou a separação das Igrejas Ocidental e Oriental.

Devido a essa divisão conhecida como Grande Esquizma, católicos e ortodoxos se separaram irreversivelmente daquele ponto em diante. O grande esquizma em 1054 pavimentou o caminho para o Saque de Constantinopla, que mencionarei a seguir.

Você pode ver como os cristãos católicos e ortodoxos foram separados do mapa acima. O conflito entre os cultos latinos e gregos existiu ao longo da história do Império Bizantino. No entanto, The Great Schism causou danos irreversíveis na cristandade. A separação que começou em 1054 e durou até 1950 mostra a gravidade do conflito.

13. Bizâncio e o Império Seljuk

Nos anos em que as catástrofes se seguiram, um novo e mortal inimigo apareceu. Os seljúcidas que migraram da Ásia Central estabeleceram-se em Isfahan, na Pérsia, e construíram o Império Seljúcida. O Império Bizantino e Seljuk tornaram-se vizinhos.

Os sultões do Império Seljuk, que assumiram o controle das cidades sagradas e proclamaram “a espada do Islã” pelo califa abássida, alcançaram um poder enorme. E Romano IV Diógenes subiu ao trono sob tal circunstância. Romano IV era um imperador de origem militar e ele queria limpar os destroços que os imperadores criaram da burocracia criada e colocar o império de volta em pé.

Romano IV era impulsivo e ousado e não era favorito na capital. As famílias estabelecidas em Constantinopla estavam cavando sua cova. No início, ele teve sucesso no campo de batalha e influenciou as pessoas. No entanto, sua campanha na Anatólia Oriental seria seu fim.

14. A Batalha de Manzikert

Romano IV queria derrotar o governante seljúcida Alp Arslan e proteger as fronteiras orientais do império. No entanto, o serviço de inteligência de Bizâncio não poderia contribuir para este plano do imperador.

Quando ele partiu para capturar Manzikert, uma importante fortaleza, ele pensou que o sultão estava em Damasco. Portanto, em resposta à possibilidade de um ataque por Alp Arslan, metade de seu exército foi estacionado no sul.

Quando ele alcançou Manzikert com metade de suas forças, ele se viu na frente de Alp Arslan e do exército seljúcida, que era composto principalmente de cavalaria. Os bizantinos ainda eram superiores, mas alguns dos oficiais do exército eram abertamente hostis ao imperador.

Uma ala do exército bizantino entrou em colapso durante a batalha de Manzikert. Os soldados entraram em pânico e começaram a fugir. Se o general Andronikos Doukas, a retaguarda, interviesse, ele poderia reunir o exército. No entanto, ele optou por se retirar do campo de batalha.

Percebendo a situação, os seljúcidas prenderam a infantaria bizantina com movimento de pinça. Apesar de todos os esforços da Guarda Varangiana, o imperador foi feito prisioneiro.

A família Doukas, que traiu o imperador, assumiu o trono. However, their overthrow of Romanos at the cost of losing a war brought the empire to the brink of collapse. The Seljuks, who broke the Byzantine defense, conquered Anatolia.

15. The Sack of Constantinople

The Byzantine Empire was on the verge of collapse. The empire faced its heaviest losses in its history one after another. The Turks’ fast march to Anatolia alerted European countries and a series of Crusades began by the Pope’s order.

A big number of crusaders were able to march to Jerusalem. Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos took advantage of the situation and took Eastern Anatolia back from the Seljuk Empire.

However, the 2nd and 3rd crusades were unsuccessful. Saladin and the Islamic rulers neutralized the Crusaders and took Jerusalem back. The Pope wanted Jerusalem badly, so he ordered the 4th Crusade.

There was a Venetian Doge named Enrico Dandolo commanding the 4th Crusade. He was covetous and full of hate towards the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines and the Republic of Venice under his command were in rivalry for a long time due to the trade in the Eastern Mediterranean . Moreover, the Byzantine Empire was the heart of Orthodox Christianity while Enrico Dandolo was a devout Catholic.

Enrico Dandolo didn’t miss the chance and seized Constantinople by taking advantage of the fights for the throne. Back then, Istanbul was the most beautiful city in the world. However, it was wrecked after the Sack of Constantinople.

16. The Decline of the Byzantine Empire

The Sack of Constantinople lasted for 57 years (1204-1261) and it led the decline of the Byzantine Empire. The imperial capital, Constantinople, never survived the effects of this occupation. The emperors who took the capital back from the crusaders found a ruined city in 1261. The empire was bankrupt and it was impossible to fix the broken monuments.

The Byzantine Empire was able to stay alive for 200 years under these conditions. The Seljuk Empire fell and the Sultanate of Rum was founded instead. Despite clashes from time to time, both states continued to exist.

17. Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire

When the Sultanate of Rum Empire fell apart, various Turkish chiefdoms emerged. Anatolia was filled with chiefdoms of different sizes. However, one of them stood out thanks to successful strategic moves.

The Ottomans’ policy of expansion into the West caused land loss in the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines lost important cities such as Nicaea, Bursa and Adrianople respectively. These cities were of utmost importance and this can be inferred from the fact that the Ottoman Empire declared Bursa as capital first and Adrianople later.

The inevitable end was near. The Byzantine Empire was losing the Northwest Anatolia piece by piece to the Ottomans and it was stuck in the Historical Peninsula of Istanbul. You can see the map of the Byzantine Empire just before the fall of Constantinople above. The remaining Byzantine lands were so small that it is not even clearly visible in the image.

Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire were now fighting for Constantinople. Bayezid I and Murad II tried to conquer Istanbul but they failed. The Battle of Ankara (1402) and the Crusades in the Balkans (1444) interrupted the siege of Constantinople. In addition, the Venetians and Genoese, the Italian trade colonies, were breaking the blockade every time.

18. The Fall of Constantinople

When Mehmed II, the seventh Ottoman sultan, ascended the throne, he built a great fortress on the Bosphorus. He had learned from his father’s failure and wanted to block the Venetian and Genoese aid from the Black Sea.

The desperate emperor had to seek help from the Pope. Upon his request, Emperor John VIII Paleologos was invited to a council held in Florence. Orthodox and Catholic clergy who came together could not find a common way. Thus the meeting was inconclusive.

When the last emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos ascended the throne, the situation was hopeless. Because while the emperor and patriarch were hoping for help from the west, the people opposed it. The memories of the Sack of Constantinople of 1204 were still fresh and no one wanted Latins.

Military support from the west remained very limited. The Genoese commander Giovanni Giustiniani and his troops fought to the death, but the defenders were few in number. On the other hand, the Ottomans had both a strong artillery and a large elite infantry group called the Janissaries.

After weeks of siege, on May 29, 1453, the fall of Constantinople took place. This event, which was the end of Byzantine history, was a new beginning for the Ottoman Empire. They immediately declared Istanbul the capital. Thus, Constantinople became the capital of a powerful empire again.


Could the (western) Roman Empire have survived?

True but not the real problem as the WRE's resources, in wealth and manpower c 400 CE in theory should've enabled it to deal with the challenges it faced, just like Rome did with the same or less resources in earlier centuries.

Lol, the WRE had plenty to worry about. Long before the division of 395 created it, barbarians had targeted Italy and Gaul. In fact, in the fifth century at least, the Easy had it easier. The Persian front was relatively quiet, and while the Huns caused a lot of damage in the 440s, this was, after all, fortuitously limited to the balkans. In sharp contrast the WRE was not only invaded by numerous groups it was their ultimate target i.e. the place where they settled permanently, at the expense of the WRE from Britain to Africa.

John7755 يوحنا

That is certainly not true. Those are civilizations, not necessarily empires and certainly not regimes that lasted those time lengths. The Achaemenid's where certainly the Persian Empire, however, its successor, Parthia cannot really be called Persian in the same sense as the Achaemenids and only somewhat resembled them. Further, the Parthians had a very different culture coming from the vast Sogdian and Parthian steppes which later would be called Khursan, which is distinctive from Fars which is Iran or the land from which Achaemenids and Sassanids arose.

The Sassanids also greatly differed from the Achaemenids such as the use of Persian as the official language as opposed to Aramaic and the reaffirmation of Zoroastrian puritanism. Never did the Byzantine Empire or Classical Rome have a change in governing to the point that Latin or Greek were replaced as administrative languages.

The Chinese Empires were certainly not a continuos strain of the same state and they changed widely. This sort of reasoning would claim that Umayyad and Abbasid were the same empire, the Arab. Which would is slightly laughable to me, considering the vast differences in the two the same is present in Chinese civilization and in Persia except there was a large period in between where the empire wasn't Persian.

Avalon

Starman

Galba Otho Vitelius

I skimmed through this. The discussion is good, but I think I can make three points that haven't come up here or on other threads:

1. The Western Roman Empire had some advantages over the Eastern half. It had as larger or a larger population, the Western army usually performed better than the Eastern army in most of the fourth century wars, it didn't have to deal with the Sassanians and to a much lesser extent with the Huns/ Avars (the Huns were usually allies), and it had much fewer problems with religious factionalism. It may have even got hit less hard by the various plagues of the period as well.

2. With Han China, you got the opposite pattern, "barbarian" kingdoms in the northern part, which had a longer history of civilization and was more urbanized, and a continuing Chines government with legal continuity to the later Qin in the more recently civilized south.

3. Both Rome and Byzantium heavily dependent in having at least competent Emperors/ top senior leadership, something that was true of all ancient/ medieval states with the partial exception of the East Asian states. Really the one time they had good leadership at the top and foundered anyway was in the seventh century, when they really did get hit by a ton of problems at once. A series of bad/ mediocre Emperors always were followed by declines, though if the empire was in good shape at the beginning of the period, there could be a lag of several decades before everything fell apart. And "mediocre to bad" is a fair characterization of Western Roman senior leadership. In the East, the leadership was mediocre-to-good, at least competent, and improved as the century went on.

Trajen777

Pempelune

Magnum

A Most Sovereign Lady

Calvin1417

I skimmed through this. The discussion is good, but I think I can make three points that haven't come up here or on other threads:

1. The Western Roman Empire had some advantages over the Eastern half. It had as larger or a larger population, the Western army usually performed better than the Eastern army in most of the fourth century wars, it didn't have to deal with the Sassanians and to a much lesser extent with the Huns/ Avars (the Huns were usually allies), and it had much fewer problems with religious factionalism. It may have even got hit less hard by the various plagues of the period as well.

2. With Han China, you got the opposite pattern, "barbarian" kingdoms in the northern part, which had a longer history of civilization and was more urbanized, and a continuing Chines government with legal continuity to the later Qin in the more recently civilized south.

3. Both Rome and Byzantium heavily dependent in having at least competent Emperors/ top senior leadership, something that was true of all ancient/ medieval states with the partial exception of the East Asian states. Really the one time they had good leadership at the top and foundered anyway was in the seventh century, when they really did get hit by a ton of problems at once. A series of bad/ mediocre Emperors always were followed by declines, though if the empire was in good shape at the beginning of the period, there could be a lag of several decades before everything fell apart. And "mediocre to bad" is a fair characterization of Western Roman senior leadership. In the East, the leadership was mediocre-to-good, at least competent, and improved as the century went on.

Galba Otho Vitelius

"Wait the west population was as large or possibly larger then the east?"

My source is McEvedy's atlases, and so should be taken with a grain of salt. I wish I had another source. However, there was much more arable land in the West.

The East had more cities, but the West almost certainly had more serfs.

Darthfanta

"Wait the west population was as large or possibly larger then the east?"

My source is McEvedy's atlases, and so should be taken with a grain of salt. I wish I had another source. However, there was much more arable land in the West.

The East had more cities, but the West almost certainly had more serfs.

John7755 يوحنا

SlyDessertFox

There were structural problems with the Western Roman Empire, but they were not insurmountable. A large reason they fell when they did was simply bad luck. A series of unfortunate events striking at the worst possible times in quick succession of one another, culminating in the loss of North Africa and the failure to retake it. Otherwise, a few things are key. If Spain and North Africa can be kept invader free, Western roman finances will be in far better shape than they were in the 5th century. Maintaining the Prefecture of Illyricum (given over to Theodosius by Gratian) would provide a prime recruiting ground free from the control of landowners in the Senate in Rome, who proved heavily resistant to providing desperately needed troops. A bonus would be avoiding the disastrous civil wars with Theodosius that weakened the empire's forces merely a decade before they faced pressure along the Rhine frontier.

Do that, and the WRE should be in good shape to survive the 5th century. From there, you can make them survive as long as you wish.

Starman

Bad luck may have played a role in the failure to retake Africa c 441, as the Huns forced the ERE to shift troops back east. But the territorial losses stemmed from loss of support for the Empire. Citizens wouldn't serve anymore and barbarians often couldn't be trusted.

They couldn't be kept invader free without adequate forces which seemed lacking especially after c 408 CE.

I dunnoo. Illyricum was a great recruiting ground in the third century, but starting in the fourth, unwillingness to serve compelled a reliance on barbarian recruits.

The frigidus 394 wasn't the real problem, not any more than the civil war of 351 precluded Julian's big invasion of the East (other examples can be cited). Stilicho had an effective force down to about 406.

SlyDessertFox

They couldn't be kept invader free without adequate forces which seemed lacking especially after c 408 CE.

In large part thanks to the losses in the civil wars.

That stilicho was willing to stake open war with the east to retake Illyricum suggests how vital he believed it was to replenishing WRE forces.

He really didn't. Stilicho maintained a central field army in northern Italy that was perpetually undermanned. He couldn't fight Radagaisus, instead having to trap him and enroll his forces in his army. He had to strip forces from the Rhine frontier to bolster the field army, which fatally weakened the frontier right before the Rhine crossing of 406-407. Western Roman losses in the two civil wars were devastating. To quote Ian Hughes "the losses suffered during the three battles of Siscia, Poetovia, and Frigidus were greater than those suffered by the Eastern Empire at Adrianople." On its own, that's hard to quickly recover from, especially when you consider Stilicho was constantly strapped for cash due to feuds with the Senate.

Starman

LSCatilina

Not entierly : generally speaking, it's the fact Roman Empire had to face severals threats virtually everywhere, critically on two critical fronts : Danube was the soft underbelly of Rome in Europe (much more than Rhine, which could pass, at times, as fairly peaceful or rather not that much of an existential threat), and Persia was undergoing a clear and aggressive revival.

The theoritical order of battle of Romania in the early Vth can point this quite well : Romans still relied in the IVth onwards to Roman (in the large sense, including Romanized laeti for instance) rised units, the limitanei, to guard on the borders, and it seems to have formed the bulk of everyday military management on borders (mixing military frontieer and military police roles). With time, it was concentrated more and more along Danube, mostly because most of raiding and invading threat came from there (historically and contemporarily) and that Illyricum was depleted enough from human and fiscal resources to not provide enough support for itself.

It eventually means that the mix of inner garrisons and mobile army in provinces had to be suppleted by Barbarians : federates, but as much laeti or Romanized Barbarian units whom leaders could easily become roman generals (as the aformentioned stream of Frankish magister militii in the IVth)

The systematisation of federated treaties wasn't made along Roman convenience as well : Barbarians leaders and eventually units wanted to be integrated into Roman militia, willy-nilly.
At some point in the late IVth, it became a basic revendication and negociation basis, clearly more favourable to Barbarians teken as political ensembles than it was before.

Not that foedi alone were the main reason for the imperial fall, tough : these could have been better handled and managed (as the relative loyalty of Frankish federates in Toxandria can hint) but it would have been "just" a major annoyance without the whole multi-factorial crisis. But what began as a convenient manpower supply became an hinderance when circumstances really pressured Roman military capacities.

The non-ending military emergencies or necessities of the Vth really maintained and aggravated a strain that appeared in the IIIrd : Aetius, when it came to fight Huns didn't even could use Gallic comitenses (that were used along the Danubian border) and had to jury-rigg his army from various federated peoples (proof that Rome could still impose some form of hegemony over them even then, if not without huge concessions).

The problem isn't, as you seen yet too often, that Romans "loose their will to fight" or other whatnot, but that in face of lack of manpower (Roman military manpower never was that huge to begin with, safe in some particular conditions such as in the IInd century BCE) and important miitary pressure in Danube and Persia (mostly but not limited to), provincial armies had to be concentrated and they had to find someone to fill the gaps left (or in the case of Britain, shrugging about it).


Serving The Empire

Roman conscripts trying on uniforms for the first time. At the completion of two years service, these civilians would become citizens.


Western Roman Empire: Overwhelmed by Immigrants

The late afternoon of August 9, 378 A.D. was brutally hot in the fields around Adrianople in southeastern Europe. Today a prosperous Turkish city (Edirne) near the Greek and Bulgarian borders, Adrianople on that day almost 1,700 years ago was the site of one of the greatest and most decisive battles in all of human history, a conflict that ran its course quickly in the hot, parched countryside, and left tens of thousands of men — most of them the flower of the Eastern Roman imperial military, including the Roman emperor himself — dead on the field, while the comparatively small army of Goths and Alans rode triumphantly over the terrain, giving no quarter to the wounded and dying, slaying officer and foot soldier alike. By late day, the field belonged to the carrion fowl and blowflies, already commencing their grim work among the heaps of corpses.

On that occasion, known to history as the Battle of Adrianople, which is usually considered to be the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire, tens of thousands of Romans and their allies were hewn down, crippling the once-invincible Roman military and guaranteeing the supremacy of the Goths in the eastern portions of the empire ever after. Within a generation, the Goths, emboldened and battle-hardened, would arrive at the gates of the Eternal City itself, and become the first foreign power in eight centuries to sack Rome.

And all of it began because of an immigration crisis.

Charitable Notions

By the middle of the fourth century A.D., German tribes were settled all along the northern frontiers of the Roman Empire, from the Rhine to the Danube. Over the centuries, the Germans had proven Rome’s most resolute rivals. The Cimbrian War during the late second century B.C. was enormously costly for Rome, although they eventually repulsed the Germanic and Celtic hosts that threatened to overrun Italy. Julius Caesar himself, after subduing Gaul, contented himself with crossing the Rhine into German territories and launching a few military attacks, before retreating back into Gaul. In 9 A.D., the first great military disaster to befall imperial Rome took place at Teutoburg Forest, where a German chieftain with Roman military training named Arminius led a rout of Roman forces that resulted in the annihilation of three legions under Varus. In the centuries that followed, Rome never ceased to press on the Germans in Western and Central Europe, sometimes pushing forward the frontiers of the empire, sometimes withdrawing. The Germans showed little inclination to adopt Roman ways, preferring the virtues of rustic simplicity combined with a knack for ferocity in combat that kept the disciplined Roman legions from imposing their will.

To the east, in what is now the Ukraine and western Russia, lived another German people, the Goths. We do not know the exact limits of their dominion, nor whether, in remoter antiquity, they had come from further east, perhaps from the steppes and deserts of central Asia. But by the mid-fourth century A.D., they were settled on the fringes of the Eastern Roman Empire, enjoying a more or less settled existence. Unlike other barbarian tribes settled on the Roman frontier, many if not most of them had converted to Christianity, although of the Arian, not the Catholic, strain.

Unfortunately for the Romans, events thousands of miles beyond the limits of their dominion many years before had set in motion forces that would upset the more-or-less peaceful status quo in the east. From somewhere out of the fastnesses of the far eastern steppes — probably in what is now northwestern China or west-central Asia — a people had issued forth who came to be known to the Romans as the Huns. These were possibly related to the Hsiung-Nu, a confederation of eastern nomads who, as late as the first century A.D., controlled a vast swath of territory to the north of China and the Himalayas, extending perhaps as far west as the Trans­oxiana region of central Asia. Whether the Huns and Hsiung-Nu were synonymous is still hotly debated by scholars, but in one of those periodic accidents of which the history of the Central Asian steppe peoples is replete, something happened to stir up the Huns and prompt them to begin migrating west.

As with the Scythians before them and the Mongols after, the Huns were a people hardened by the demands of nomadic life in the empty Asian wilderness. They lived on horseback and had no permanent settlements, using their wagons as mobile communities. They enjoyed battle and plunder, and as with other equestrian nomads in the era before firearms, enjoyed a distinct advantage over the armies of mostly infantry that tried to stand against them. Accordingly, their westward advance met little resistance. Rumors of their cruelty and military strength went before them, and before long, after overrunning the territory of the Alans to the east, the Huns crossed the Don to the north of the Sea of Azov on the northeastern arm of the Black Sea, and entered the territory of the Goths.

A group of Goths known as Thuringians, after being overwhelmed by the Huns in several military engagements, took advantage of a lull in the Huns’ advance to flee west to the border of the Danube River, beyond which lay the Roman province of Thrace. Their leader, Alavivus, petitioned the Eastern Roman emperor, Valens, for permission to cross the river and settle in Thrace, promising to be faithful subjects. For the moment, they were safe from the Huns’ depredations, since the invaders were too busy looting the Goths’ former settlements eastward to bother pursuing the Gothic host, but there was little doubt they would eventually reach the Danube themselves and fall upon the tens of thousands of Goths encamped there.

Valens, who was worried at rumors of the approaching Huns, allowed the Thuringian Goths to cross the broad Danube and settle on Roman territory in hopes of enlisting them in defense of the empire. This act of emergency amnesty was disruptive enough, but as soon as the Thuringians had crossed the river, they began ranging far and wide over Thracian territory, foraging for food and sometimes plundering local settlements. Moreover, word of Roman amnesty soon spread, and a second Gothic host, the Gruthungians, soon appeared on the far shore of the Danube demanding the same right to immigrate. This time Valens, already aware that he had made a mistake in allowing the Thuringian host into Roman territory, turned down their petition. But the Gruthungians, not to be denied, constructed a floating bridge in secret and crossed the Danube anyway.

Broken Borders and Battles

These events took place in 376 A.D., and marked the first time that the Roman Empire had effectively lost control of her borders from that time on, the eastern frontier was ineffectually guarded, allowing a stream of violent, undesirable invaders to enter the empire unimpeded from the east.

In the meantime, the Gothic host in Thrace was making more and more of a nuisance of itself. For one thing, Roman authorities proved unable or unwilling to feed them properly, and rumors that they were being provisioned with dog meat kindled resentment among the Goths.

The first major conflict occurred at the city of Marcianopolis, where the Roman general Lupicinus, trying to reestablish order, invited the two Gothic leaders, Alavivus and Fritigern, to a banquet to parlay. However, the locals, resentful of the Goths encamped near their city, soon started a conflict that led to the killing of a number of Roman soldiers and pillaging by the Goths. Lupicinus, in a show of good faith, allowed both Alavivus and Fritigern to leave, but, in the words of historian Ammianus, who may have witnessed many of these events, the seeds of war had been irrevocably sown:

The whole nation of the Thuringians became suddenly inflamed with a desire for war and among many preparations which seemed to betoken danger, the standards of war were raised according to custom, and the trumpets poured forth sounds of evil omen while the predatory bands collected in troops, plundering and burning villages, and throwing everything that came in their way into alarm by their fearful devastations.

For the next two years, the war between the Goths and Romans raged unabated, with thousands slain and no clear victor. By early 378, however, the Eastern emperor, Valens, dissatisfied with the failure of his commanders to bring the unruly Gothic immigrants under control, decided to take over management of the war in person. According to Ammianus, he was motivated in part by a desire to match the successes of his counterpart Gratian, the Western Roman Emperor, who had recently defeated the Alemanni, a Germanic tribe in Western Europe who had invaded Pannonia in central Europe. Although the Roman Empire had been formally partitioned for almost 100 years, the Eastern and Western emperors still had a strong alliance. Valens petitioned Gratian to come to his aid in suppressing the Goths, and departed Antioch for Constantinople, the Eastern capital. As soon as he reached Constantinople in May, he authorized one of his top generals, Sebastianus, to re-order and gather existing Roman forces in Thrace. In the course of this buildup, Sebastianus managed to defeat several small detachments of Goths, giving Valens confidence that Roman victory was at hand. In early August, Sebastianus’ force met up with Valens’ army at the city of Adrianople, and fortified themselves in readiness for battle.

At this juncture, Gratian’s eastward march was halted by a battle with a fierce army of Alans, who forced him to withdraw westward to Pannonia. As a result, Valens was now faced with a fateful choice: wait for Gratian’s arrival, or hazard a battle himself with the Gothic host, led by Fritigern, now encamped nearby.

According to Ammianus’ account, Valens — ignoring the counsel of his generals — chose the latter course, emboldened by reports that his own forces greatly outnumbered the Goths, who were said to field a mere 10,000 men. He was probably also hoping to upstage Gratian. Whatever the reasons, the impatience of Valens was to cost the Roman Empire dearly.

On August 8, Fritigern sent an emissary to Valens proposing terms for peace, which included the cession of Roman territory to the Goths. Not surprisingly, Valens rejected this bold proposal from a man who only two years earlier had relied on the goodwill of the Roman sovereign to save him and his people from the marauding Huns. Besides, Valens, who apparently had at least 20,000 men at his command, was confident of an easy victory over a disorganized and fickle foe.

On the morning of August 9, he marched forth with his army from Adrianople to confront the Gothic forces encamped about eight miles north of the city. Unbeknownst to Valens, a large Gothic cavalry at least several thousand strong was off raiding, and Fritigern expected them back as reinforcements.

The weather was very hot, and by the time they had completed their seven-hour march under the pitiless sun, the Romans were wilting. The Goths, in the meantime, had been biding their time, content to let the heat wear down their enemies. To add difficulty to the Romans’ advance, the Goths fired all the fields between them and the city, depriving the Romans of food and forcing them to march across fields of charred stubble. When the exhausted and dehydrated Roman forces arrived to confront the Goths, they found that the latter had encamped on a hill, circling their wagons to protect their families and provisions.

The Gothic cavalry had still not arrived, so the wily Fritigern began frivolous negotiations to gain more time. His first embassy was rejected by Valens, who demanded he send men of higher rank. His generals, aware of the toll that heat and exhaustion had taken, encouraged negotiations, while Fritigern, aware of the Roman reputation for disciplined valor, was reluctant to unleash his forces until the cavalry arrived.

As it turned out, the Battle of Adrianople began at a time of neither side’s choosing, when a group of Roman soldiers escorting one of Valens’ top generals, Ricimer — who was attempting to parlay with the Goths — launched an impetuous attack on Gothic lines.

The Goths counterattacked and drove Ricimer’s force back. At that moment, the long-awaited Gothic cavalry, led by Gothic generals Saphrax and Alatheus, returned, and fell upon the Roman forces.

The Romans, already in disarray after the repulse of their first impetuous assault, found themselves crowded tightly together at the base of the hill, surrounded by Gothic cavalry and under attack from Gothic infantry above them. In the heat and confusion, the battle quickly turned into a rout. The Romans, encumbered by heavy and suffocatingly hot armor, soon abandoned the field en masse, fleeing for their lives with the victorious Goths in hot pursuit. Roman foot soldiers and officers alike were hewn down by the thousands, and the emperor Valens himself got separated from his personal guard in the chaos.

The slaughter lasted for hours. By nightfall, barely one-third of the Roman army had escaped with their lives. Amid the fallen were 35 tribunes, countless captains, and many other illustrious military leaders, including Sebastianus. Somewhere among the heaps of corpses, anonymous and despoiled, the Emperor Valens lay, stripped of all imperial dignity and probably unrecognized by the victorious Goths. Although various stories circulated about how he met his end, his body was never recovered nor given a state burial.

Not since the Battle of Cannae, when Hannibal had wiped out the flower of the republican Roman army, had Rome suffered such a catastrophic military defeat. Some military setbacks over the centuries — Teutoburg Forest, Arausio, and Carrhae, for example — may have been more costly in terms of lives lost, but none had so decimated Roman military leadership.

Although the Battle of Adrianople did not yet guarantee the supremacy of the Goths nor the final collapse of Rome, it ensured that Rome would never again be the mistress of the known world. The Goths would yet commit many depredations, culminating in the sack of Rome under the leadership of Alaric in 410 A.D. — before becoming allies with the Romans against a common and far more terrible foe, the Huns, whom they had first invaded the empire to escape. At the truly apocalyptic Battle of Chalons in 451 A.D., Goths and Romans fought side by side in a last-ditch effort to save the West from Attila’s host. But even with the Gothic alliance, the best a prostrate Rome could manage was a standoff costing hundreds of thousands of lives. The end of the Western Empire came swiftly after that within 15 years of the end of the Western Roman Empire, a Gothic monarch, Theoderic the Great, ruled the entire Italian peninsula and much of central Europe (the so-called Ostrogothic Kingdom). Further west, much of the Iberian Peninsula — formerly Roman Hispania and Lusitania — was ruled by the Visigoths or western Goths. In a single century, the descendants of a ragtag immigrant host had become the masters of much of Rome’s former territory in Western Europe.

Similarities and Differences

At such a distance in time, it is easy to judge the shortsightedness of Valens and the Roman authorities. Probably the Huns would have wreaked havoc on Rome no matter what happened to the Goths, but there is little question that the Gothic wars crippled Rome’s ability to defend herself when the Huns — a far worse threat — made their inevitable appearance on Rome’s borders and proceeded to lay waste to much of the remaining civilized portions of the empire. It is also curious that, notwithstanding the fact that most of the existential threats faced by late Rome came from the east, it was the Western Empire that ultimately succumbed. The Eastern Empire, centered on impregnable Constantinople, morphed into the Greek-speaking Byzantine state that lasted another thousand years, claiming for her own the mantle of imperial Rome until her demise at the hands of the Ottoman Turks in the mid-1400s.

In many respects, the original wave of Gothic immigration, both legal and illegal, differs from modern immigration crises faced by the United States and the European Union. For one thing, the Goths were fleeing a clear and present danger that threatened not only them but their Roman hosts as well. For another, the Goths entered Thrace already organized militarily, not as helpless supplicants.

In spite of the tendency of historians to ascribe blame for the Gothic War on Roman incompetence, the fact remains that the Goths showed callous disrespect for their Roman hosts, commencing their pillaging almost immediately. They displayed no inclination to honor their promises to be subject to Roman laws nor to submit to Roman military authority. They showed no gratitude to Roman authorities for taking them in in their hour of need. Instead of allying themselves with the Romans against a common enemy, they took advantage of the weakness of their hosts to seize land and property. A significant number of them entered Roman territory without permission.

While it is extremely doubtful that the millions of illegal immigrants in the United States and Europe pose anything like the existential threat posed by the Goths to the Romans, there are parallels. Some modern immigrant populations — especially those made up of refugees displaced by war or social upheaval, like the current wave of immigrants overwhelming the EU — arrive in foreign lands more bent on survival than on submitting to orderly, legal assimilation. Under such circumstances, governments typically struggle to provide adequate food and shelter, leading to resentment and unrest. These in turn often harden the attitudes of the local populace and their governments toward the newcomers. In the heat of such crises, it can be extraordinarily difficult for governments — and citizenries — to act with prudence and restraint. Because of property rights and scarcity of resources, the noble notion of the brotherhood of man does not translate unconditionally to a right of absolutely unfettered movement but it should enjoin Christian charity, constrained by enlightened self-interest, toward hard-pressed refugee populations.

Seldom is the occasion when, as with Valens and the Romans, there are no good choices for solving an immigration crisis.

Graphic at top: Migrating Goths cross a river en route to safety within Roman borders

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History of Byzantine Empire and Constantinople

Rise of Byzantine Empire under Justinian’s Rule

Imperador Justinian became the greatest emperor who ruled the Byzantine Empire. Justinian, a great statesman, was known for his hard work. Under Justinian, great conquests were made and magnificent structures were built. The generals Belisarius, Mundus e Narses conquered in the name of Justinian.

Justinian’s greatest goal was to take back Roma, the eternal capital of the empire. Without the Italian peninsula, it was impossible to claim rights over the Império Romano‘s legacy. Justinian, expanded the Eastern Roman Empire’s borders into Middle East, Northern Africa e Europa Ocidental.

Today Justinian is known for Constantinople’s greatest building, Hagia Sophia. Finished in 537, it reigned as the largest and greatest church of Christendom for a thousand years.

Justinian is also famous for creating Codex Justinianus, which is the codification of Roman law. He left a vast but ready-to-collapse empire to his successors.

Byzantine Empire Map

Byzantine Empire Under Attack

After the death of Justinian, Arabs, Slavs e Turks attacked the Byzantine borders. Emperor Heraclius managed to secure borders temporarily, but it did not last long. In a short time, many important cities such as Antioch, Jerusalém e Alexandria were lost.

In the 11th century, the Seljuk Turks migrated from Central Asia and built a powerful empire in Persia. The Turks, having a strong land army, posed a great danger to the eastern borders of Byzantium. A war between the Seljuk Turks and the Byzantines had become inevitable.

The Seljuks won a great victory in the Battle of Manzikert and swiftly advanced into Anatolia. The fact that Muslim forces were so close to Europa triggered the Papa to take urgent measures.

Byzantine Empire and Seljuk Turks

Sack of Constantinople by Crusaders

Following the Pope’s order, the Crusader armies of Europe marched through Constantinople in the 12th and 13th centuries. They battled with the Seljuk Turks and overran them. Byzantines took back majority of the Anatolia from Turks until they lost it to another Turkish kingdom: Seljuk Sultanate of Rum.

The crusaders continued to attack the East for several centuries. However, when it came to the Quarta Cruzada, they attacked Constantinople, the heart of Orthodox Christianity. Latin invasion lasted from 1204 para 1261 and it was finally repelled by a Byzantine prince.

Yet, the Byzantines e a Eastern Church never forgot these terrible events. Some even claimed “Better Turkish turban than Latin Miter” before the fall of Constantinople.

It should be emphasized that the Eastern and Western Churches have never been able to establish healthy communication for centuries. it was only in the Década de 1950 that the leaders of the two churches came together.

Latin Armies in Constantinople

Fall of Constantinople and The Byzantine Empire

By the late 13th century, Império Bizantino’s power was much reduced in Anatolia. The Byzantine army had never really recovered and strengthened after Latin invasion. Turkish warlords on its eastern borders around Nicaea became serious threats.

One of these Turkish principalities, established by a chieftain named Osman Ghazi (aka Othman), grew into the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman Turks conquered the imperial capital of Constantinople in 1453 and proclaimed it their capital. Constantinople once again became the capital of a rising empire.

Byzantine Empire History Tour in Istanbul

If you are interested to see the Byzantine heritage in Istanbul, consider joining the history tours by Serhat Engul. Please check Private Tour of Byzantine Istanbul website for more information.

History of Byzantine Empire and Constantinople by Serhat Engul

About Serhat Engül

Hello explorer of Istanbul! This is Serhat Engul. I am a licensed TOUR GUIDE IN ISTANBUL. I offer PRIVATE HALF DAY TOUR which includes a visit to the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern and the Spice Bazaar. This is a fantastic option to see some of the ICONIC LANDMARKS in the whole of Istanbul and you’ll receive plenty of background information on each location to enlighten you. You may see the details of this tour on the HOMEPAGE of the blog. I wish you a wonderful trip!