Banner photo by Velissarios Voutsas

Chronology of the Byzantine Empire

313-1453 AD

313 Emperor Constantine I grants freedom of religion, ending persecution of Christians

330 Dedication of Constantinople (Istanbul) as the new capital of the Roman Empire

380 Emperor Theodosius I declares Christianity the official religion of the empire

395 Empire divided into two separate halves, East and West

410 Alaric the Visigoth sacks Rome

429–431 Vandals conquer North Africa

452 Attila the Hun invades Italy

455 Vandals sack Rome

476 Ostrogoths depose the last Roman emperor in the West

527–565 Reign of Justinian I; builds church of Hagia Sophia; codifies Roman law; reconquers North Africa, Sicily, and Italy Byzantine Empire, c. 400 Byzantium during reign of Justinian Byzantium, c. 800 Byzantium, c. 1050 Byzantium, c. 1270

568 Lombards, a Germanic tribe, invade Italy

c. 570 Birth of Muhammad, prophet of Islam

614 Persians capture Jerusalem

627 Emperor Heraclius defeats Persians at Nineveh

634–638 Arab conquest of Syria

640 Arab conquest of Egypt

754 Emperor Constantine V bans the making of religious images (Iconoclasm)

762 Founding of Baghdad by Abbasid caliphal-Mansur

800 Pope Leo III crowns Charlemagne Holy Roman emperor in Rome

843 Veneration of religious images is restored, ending Iconoclasm

867–1056 Macedonian dynasty

988 The medieval Slavic state of the Kievan (or Kyivan) Rus’ adopts Christianity as the official religion during the reign of Prince Vladimir (r. 980-1015)

1054 Great Schism between Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches

1071 Battle of Manzikert; Seljuk Turks defeat the Byzantines in Asia Minor

1081–1185 Komnenian dynasty

1096–1099 First Crusade; Jerusalem is captured from the Seljuk Turks

1187 Saladin, sultan of Egypt and Syria, retakes Jerusalem

1204–1261 Latin Empire of Constantinople

1204 Fourth Crusade; crusaders sack and occupy Constantinople, partition empire

1261 Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos reclaims the Byzantine throne

1329 Asia Minor falls to the Ottoman Turks

1453 Constantinople falls to Ottoman sultan Mehmed II