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European Kingdoms

Eastern Mediterranean


Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire
Phrygian / Amorian Dynasty (AD 820-867)

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).)

820 - 829

Michael II the Stammerer

First successor to Non-Dynastic rulers.

826 - 828

Tourmarches Euphemius, commander of the Eastern Roman fleet of Sicily, forces a nun to marry him. Michael II orders Sicily's strategos, Constantine, to seize Euphemius and remove his nose in punishment. Given no choice, Euphemius revolts, killing Constantine and occupying Syracuse in the process. Subsequently he is driven off the island and takes refuge with Emir Ziyadat Allah I in Tunis. He and the emir launch an invasion of Sicily in the following year. The Aghlabids win the first battle, and a large Roman force sent from Palermo which is assisted by a fleet from Venice under the personal command of the doge, Giustiniano Partecipazio, is subsequently defeated. Sicily is in the hands of the Arabs as part of the Islamic empire. This loss virtually ends Roman domination of the Western Mediterranean, and one of its remaining possessions, Sardinia, is left isolated.

829 - 842

Theophilus I

832 - 833

Abbasid Caliph Ma'mun follows up on a recent minor success against the Eastern Roman empire by capturing the strategically important fortress of Loulon. A large army is collected together with the intent of conquering Anatolia piecemeal. The caliph's general, al-Abbas ibn al-Ma'mun, wali of Syria, marches into Roman territory on 25 May 833, creating a military base at Tyana. The caliph's main force follows in July, just as the caliph himself becomes ill and dies unexpectedly. The invasion is abandoned.

839 - 842

Various Slavic tribes have recently been united into a single confederation under Vlastimir, the knez of Serbia.  Emperor Theophilus I has granted them independence (a tacit recognition of a fact which he is unable to change), in return for which he receives an acknowledgement of nominal overlordship for his lifetime.

Worried about the creation of a new Slav state on his south-western border, Bulgarian Khan Presian invades. The Serbs, though, know their terrain. Vlastimir expels Presian with the latter making no territorial gains and suffering heavy losses. The death of Emperor Theophilus signals the end of the war.

842 - 867

Michael III

Drunkard & gambler. Murdered by Basil I.

856 or 860

In the fourteenth year of Michael's reign (although this produces at least two different dates), Constantinople is attacked by a new enemy - the Rus. The attack comes as a complete surprise to the Eastern Romans, but it is a clear sign that a new power in Eastern Europe is flexing its muscles. The Russian Primary Chronicle states that the Romans are only saved because the weather turns against the Rus fleet and scatters it. The attack has been ascribed to Askold and Dir of Kyiv but without any firm foundation.


[Theophilus II]


The Phrygian emperors are replaced by Emperor Basil I, heralding the commencement of the successful Macedonian dynasty.

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