byzantine empire


noun

  1. the Eastern Roman Empire after the fall of the Western Empire in a.d. 476. Capital: Constantinople.

noun

  1. the continuation of the Roman Empire in the East, esp after the deposition of the last emperor in Rome (476 ad). It was finally extinguished by the fall of Constantinople, its capital, in 1453See also Eastern Roman Empire

An empire, centered at Constantinople, that began as the eastern portion of the Roman Empire; it included parts of Europe and western Asia. As the western Roman Empire declined, the Byzantine Empire grew in importance, and it remained an important power in Europe until the eleventh century. The Byzantine Empire was conquered by Turkish forces in the fifteenth century.

The Byzantine emperor was an absolute ruler (see absolute monarchy), and the laws and customs associated with his empire were strict and complex. His rule was supported by the Christian Church in the region, which later became the independent Eastern Orthodox Church.

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