in this article, we will talk about that why did the Byzantine Empire Collapse? the Roman Empire consisted of large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe North Africa and West Asia the Roman Empire experienced difficulties in internal and external affairs and then was divided into a Western Roman Empire and an Eastern Roman Empire Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 ad when it sent the Imperial insignia to Constantinople.
the West collapsed the Byzantine Empire also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages when its capital city was Constantinople formerly called Byzantium the East survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years.
the empire crumbled and became more and more weak and small over decades until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 the borders of the Empire varied through many cycles of declined and recovery in its first centuries the East Romans started a huge reconquest expanding westward the reign of Justinian the first 527 – 565 was marked as its peak the Byzantines showed their power in their attempt to conquer former Roman territories.
the Empire reached its greatest extent after reconquering much of the historically Roman western Mediterranean coast including North Africa and parts of Spain Italy and Rome itself which it held for two more centuries the Empire was flourishing under the rule of Justinian the first when a terrible plague in 540 wiped out a large proportion of its population it impacted the army and weakened it to a point where Justinian had to accept a humiliating peace treaty with the Persians.
the Byzantines ultimately subdued the Persians but both empires were weakened by a 25 year war the first major blow happened for them in the 7th century when a new power and movement emerged in 632 after Prophet Muhammad’s death the whole Arab peninsula was a powerful state and its reign was succeeded by Abu Bakr the first caliph with an undisputed control over the realm due to some raids in the region.
the Byzantines sent a major expedition into southern Palestine which was defeated by the Arab forces under command of Khalid ib’n Alwaleed at the Battle of anodyne in 634 Muslim Arabs fought both the Sassanid Persia and the Byzantine Empire and defeated them in a series of battles the Arabs destroyed the Persian Empire and almost took Constantinople on a couple of occasions the Byzantines held firm but lost territories.
such as Palestine and Egypt the latter was of extreme importance since the egyptian province provided the empire with a vast proportion of its goods human manpower and natural resources after the Arab invasion there was a period of stability in the eighth century but the nobles started to become a problem the nobility focused on the farmlands of the free peasantry which were worth a lot more during times of peace.
the government depended on the peasants for taxes and soldiers but the noble caused problems by trying to take this land this caused problems with the population which represented in fact the base of the Empire the government sought to help the farmers basel ii in particular did all he could but the power of the nobles was too strong after basel ii died with no male heirs in 1025.
the issue of greedy governors was to cost the empire dearly his nieces married a series of men and elevated them to powerful positions at this time governors were able to rule almost independently of the government as they controlled the military forces of their themes and collected taxes this led to corruption and to an unsatisfied population the nobles imposed high taxes on farmers.
the internal problems have arisen the short-sighted action of the governors also resulted in the decline of the free peasantry and along with it the strength of the theme system as it no longer supplied men to the army in the numbers it did previously the state increased the taxes on peasants because it needed to pay for foreign mercenaries and this vicious cycle significantly weakened the Empire as it got to the point.
where it could no longer afford a navy and to guard its big coastal borders all of the above resulted in the weakened military which ensured the Empire entered a permanent downward spiral probably the most important single cause of byzantium collapse was it’s recurrent debilitating civil wars and revolts three of the worst periods of civil war and internal infighting took place during Byzantium decline each time these civil wars coincided with a catastrophic reduction in Byzantine power and influence.
which was never really fully reversed before the next collapse the period from 1071 to 1081 that saw 8/2 revolts in the early Middle Ages the Byzantine Empire boasted superior military nology to Western Europe and possessed an enormous standing army by the standards of the time as it was an incredibly wealthy empire it could afford to hire mercenaries in times of need in the later stages of the empire its enemies had caught up regarding technology and the Byzantine army dwindled in size the theme system was the Empire’s primary method of army recruitment.
the Empire was divided into several regions also known as themes each theme provided the Imperial armies with a certain number of soldiers it was a cheap and efficient method of building an army and allowed the Empire to create an enormous force in comparison to its enemies their system fell apart in the wake of man’s occurred a dramatic collapse since the Empire had a force superior to all its enemies in 1025.
under Basel ii there was a brief revival under the communion dynasty in the 12th century when men weld the first cam Nino’s could call upon a standing army of approximately 40,000 by the 13th century the Imperial Army numbered a mere six thousand men as one of the main institutional strengths of the Byzantine state the demise of the theme system left the empire lacking in underlying structural strengths the angelos dynasty which ruled Byzantium from 1185 to 1204 has been considered one of the most unsuccessful and ineffectual administrations.
in the Empire’s history during this period Bulgaria Serbia and Hungary broke away from the Empire further land was lost to the Seljuk Turks in 12 of the imprisoned former Emperor Alexios the fourth Angelo’s escaped jail and fled to the west where he promised the leaders of the Fourth Crusade generous payment if they would help him regain the throne these promises later proved to be impossible to keep in the event the dynastic squabbling between the weakened ineffectual members of the Angela dynasty brought about the sack of Constantinople.
Constantinople was burned pillaged and destroyed thousands of its citizens were killed many of the surviving inhabitants fled and much of the city became a depopulated ruin the damage to Byzantium was incalculable many historians point to this moment as a fatal blow to the Empire’s history Constantinople was now itself a crusader state known as the Latin Empire although after that Constantinople was returned to Greek rule under the paleo logos in 1261 the Byzantine civil war of 13 21 to 1328 allowed the Turks to make notable gains in Anatolia and set up their capital in Bursa 100 kilometers from Constantinople.
the Byzantines capital the civil war of 1341 – 1347 saw exploitation of the byzantine empire by the serbs whose ruler took advantage of the chaos to proclaim himself emperor of the Serbs and Greeks no Emperor after the communion period was in a position to expel the Turks from Asia Minor the weakness of the Byzantine defenses in the region which when combined with insufficient resources and incompetent leadership led to the complete loss of all of the empires Asia territory to the Turks by 13:38.
the disintegration of the Seljuk Turks led to the rise of the Ottoman dynasty their first important leader was ausmin Bey who attracted Ghazi warriors and carved out a domain in northwestern Asia Minor the dynasty expanded more and more some attempts by the Byzantine emperors to drive back the ottomans were unsuccessful following a number of civil disputes in the Byzantine Empire the ottomans subjugated the Byzantines as vassals in the late 14th century and attempts to relieve this vassal state culminated in the fall of Constantinople emperor constantine xi and the 8,000 men defending.
the city fought bravely against overwhelming odds but on may 29 1453 Constantinople finally fell no single issue caused the end of the Byzantine Empire it was made great by its economy military unity and the ability to take advantage of the moments of weakness of rivals and neighbors over time its economic and military might disappeared due to external and internal factors the internal struggles led to huge civil unrest which led to instable leaving the Empire.
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