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European Kingdoms

Eastern Mediterranean


Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire
Dynasty of the Angeli (AD 1185-1204)

In AD 395, the Roman empire finally split permanently, creating formal Eastern Roman and Western Roman empires, acknowledging what had existed in practise for many years.

Eastern Roman Emperor Basil II in iconography

(Information by Peter Kessler, and from External Link: History of the Byzantine Empire (Live Science).)

1185 - 1195

Isaac II Angelus

First successor to the Comnenian dynasty. Dethroned.

1185 - 1186

The Asen brothers, Ivan and Teodor, have requested that the new emperor, Isaac II Angelus, grants them an estate in the mountains of the theme of Paristrion. His refusal and humiliation of them prompts them to declare a rebellion and grab the land by force. They claim the title of tsar and continuation from the (First) Bulgarian empire.

The emperor immediately has them defeated and routed in battle. They seek refuge with the Cumans in April 1186, returning that autumn with Cuman troops. Paristrion is captured and turned into the new Bulgarian state. Regular raiding into Eastern Roman territories naturally follows.


Having long been a territory within the Eastern Roman empire, recent Roman fragmentation now allows the formation of the principality of Arbanon within modern Albanian borders. This is sometimes claimed as the first Albanian state.

1191 - 1192

Fresh from freeing his sister from the clutches of Tancred on Sicily, King Richard of England arrives on Cyprus to free his intended bride from the clutches of Isaac Komnenos, the breakaway Eastern Roman governor.

The ship carrying Princess Berengaria of Navarre had been forced to put in during a storm, on its way to join Richard's forces in the Third Crusade. Isaac has already seized and plundered two wrecked crusader ships, but this time he has picked the wrong adversary.

Richard storms and takes Limassol, marries Berengaria in the chapel of St George, and proceeds to conquer the entire island with the help of Guy de Lusignan shortly after the latter's arrival on the island from Jerusalem.

1195 - 1203

Alexius III

1203 - 1204

Isaac II


1203 - 1204

Alexius IV


Alexius V Ducas Murtzuphius


The capture of Constantinople is the Fourth Crusade's 'success', and Latin emperors are established in the city. The Eastern Romans withdraw to Nicæa in Anatolia, but rival claimants also established holdings in Trebizond, Epirus, and Thessalonica so that, at one point, there are four claimants to the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) throne, as well as the Bulgar and Serb states which also claim dominance over it.

Close allies of Constantinople through intermarriage and trade, including Alania and the Rus, are badly affected by this disaster, but it does no harm to Ottoman efforts to advance through conquest into Roman territory.

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