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Byzantine

Relief representing a two-headed eagle on the sphinx located at the right of the Sphinx Gate, Alaca Höyük, Turkey.

How a Two Headed Bird of Prey Ruled Ancient Mesopotamia and Hatti

Several infamous empires of the early modern period and current modern periods bore curious insignia. The Byzantine, Austrian, and Russian Empires all adopted the symbol of a mythical creature, a...
‘Invincible’ a modern depiction of a battle between Rus and Khazars.

The Khazars: A Forgotten Medieval Empire that Ruled the Northern Caucasus

"The Khazar people were an unusual phenomenon for Medieval times. Surrounded by savage and nomadic tribes, they had all the advantages of the developed countries: structured government, vast and...
The keep of Kolossi Castle.

The Incredible History of Kolossi Castle - Won By Richard the Lionheart, Home to the Knights Templar, and Birthplace of the King of Wines

Kolossi Castle is a medieval castle located on the island of Cyprus. The original castle was built during the 13 th century, not long after the island was conquered by the Crusaders. Although Kolossi...
Portrait of Ivan IV, the first tsar of Russia, by Viktor Vasnetsov.

Ivan the Terrible: How Did He Become the First Tsar of Russia?

The Tsar of Russia was the title used by the ruler of the Tsardom of Russia, a state that existed from 1547 to 1721. The Tsardom of Russia was preceded by the Grand Principality of Moscow, and was...
The rare hoard, which includes Christian coins, has been linked to "one of the most dramatic events in the history of Caesarea."

Rare Gold ‘Christian Coins’ Shed Light on the Story of a Crusader Massacre in Ancient Caesarea

Many archaeological finds cannot be linked to one particular dramatic event. However, the recent discovery of a hoard of coins can be linked to one very significant event in the era of the Crusades,...
Komnenian Dynasty mosaic in the Hagia Sofia, Istanbul, Turkey. The Virgin Mary and baby Jesus are flanked by John II Komnenos and his wife, Irene of Hungary.

The Komnenian Dynasty: The Byzantine Royal Family that Kept Coming Back

The Komnenos (also spelled as Comnenus) family was a medieval noble family from Paphlagonia, Anatolia, in modern day Turkey. During the 11th century, the Komnenian Dynasty was founded. This dynasty...
The Fall of Constantinople

The Fall of Constantinople: Relentless Ottoman Fire Power Finally Pulverizes the Last Vestiges of the Roman Empire

Constantinople stood against sieges and attacks for many centuries, until finally new technology—the big cannons of the Ottoman Empire—brought down the Byzantine Empire’s capital. The fall of...
A miniature depicting the defeat of the Georgian king George I ("Georgios of Abasgia") by the Byzantine emperor Basil II. Skylitzes Matritensis, fol. 195v.

Byzantine Basil II: He Took an Icon of the Virgin into Battle Then Gouged Out the Eyes of Foes

The horrors and mass slaughters that many monarchs around the world perpetrated in ancient and more modern times may be eclipsed by the Byzantines, including Byzantine Emperor Basil II, known as...
The Hagia Sophia, an iconic work of architecture that housed many iconic works of art.

How Byzantine Art and Architecture Captivated the Known World

The rich, beautiful art and opulent architecture of the Byzantine Empire glorified Jesus, the saints, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the emperors. Byzantine art motifs, the mosaics, paintings, and...
Heraclius is depicted beheading Choroses, the Persian king as Cherubim angels look on.

Wild Success and Deplorable Failure: The Cursed Reign of Heraclius, Byzantine Emperor

The reign of Heraclius, the Byzantine emperor from 610 to 641, reads like a series of disasters that continued to be visited on his heirs. In between the disasters he had some successes, but he and...
St. Mark, Apse conch, Church of Panagia Kanakaria, Lythragkomi, Cyprus

Professional Art Detective Tracked Clues to Find Stolen Cypriot Mosaic

A ‘stolen art’ investigator, known in his field as “the Indiana Jones of the art world,” has successfully tracked down a precious sixth century mosaic that was stolen from Cyprus almost 50 years ago...
Mosaic - Empress Theodora and Retinue, San Vitale in Ravenna.

Theodora: How a Poverty Stricken Prostitute Became an Empress

The history of Theodora is a classic rags to riches tale, as she is thought to have started life in the lowest class of Byzantine society but became one of the most powerful women in civilization’s...
The face of Christ with proposed reconstruction.

A Rare Byzantine Painting of Jesus’ Face Has Been Uncovered in Israel

Archaeologists in Israel have discovered a painting of the face of Jesus Christ from the Byzantine period. The find is exciting experts, who believe that the discovery can help us to understand Early...
A 16th century fresco depicting the Council of Nicaea.

The Council of Nicaea: Pagan Emperor Constantine Used Christianity to Unify Church and State

The Council of Nicaea (also known as the First Council of Nicaea) was the first ecumenical council of the Christian Church. This council, which was convened in 325 AD, was assembled by the Roman...
“Taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, 15th July 1099” (1847) by Émile Signol / Giraudon / The Bridgeman Art Library. The Crusaders were mostly successful in the First Crusade.

The First Crusade: Christian and Muslim Bloodshed as Peasants, Princes, and Turks Clash in the Holy Land

The First Crusade (1095-1099 AD) was a military campaign launched by Christendom in an attempt to retake Jerusalem from the Muslims to make the holy site safe once more for Christian pilgrims. The...
Top of Statue of Saints Cyril and Methodius

Cyril and Methodius - Spiritual Fathers of Slavic Civilization

In many ways, Eastern Europe owes its cultural and religious shape to the two missionary brothers, Saint Cyril (827-869 AD) and Saint Methodius (826-884 AD). These two brothers were sent as...

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