Author: Victoria

Michael VIII – Founder of the Last Byzantine Dynasty

Michael VIII (1261-1282) was Byzantine emperor, an ambitious and unscrupulous usurper, he founded Byzantium’s last dynasty. Belonging to one of the most powerful Byzantine aristocratic families, Michael rose to prominence under the Lascarid rulers, who had built, in the Empire of Nicaea, the chief of the Greek successor states after the Fourth Crusade captured Constantinople. The Lascarids’ ultimate goal of restoring Byzantine government in Constantinople had eluded them up to the accession (1258) of the last of the family, John IV, a boy of 8. A restless and untrustworthy noble, Michael had several times outraged John IV’s father and...

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25 Interesting Facts About the Byzantine Emperors

The Byzantine Emperors ruled for a thousand years during the darkest days of Western Europe, but much of their history remains below the radar of popular awareness. Here are a few interesting facts about the emperors. Leo I (457-474) sometimes sounded like a flower child: “May it happen in my time that the pay of the soldiers is handed over to the teachers,” he is said to have uttered. Constantius II (337-361) was known for exceptionally elegant manners. Ammianus remarked that the Emperor never spat in public. The characteristic baubles pendilia which hung from the Emperors’ crowns began with Marcian (450-457)....

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10 Things You May Not Know About The Byzantine Empire

The Byzantine Empire was the remainder of the Roman Empire during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. Here are some things you may not know about the Byzantine Empire. Byzantium was an ancient Greek city founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 657 BC. The city was rebuilt as the new capital of the Byzantine Empire by Emperor Constantine I in 330 AD and renamed Constantinople in his honor. The Byzantines loved sweets and desserts more than anything. The Byzantines loved to eat rice pudding served with honey and cinnamon.  Byzantion is said to be named after Byzas, the leader...

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What Did Peasants do for Entertainment in the Middle Ages?

Most villages had a gathering place at the center of town.  People often came here to play games, to drink, to work on chores, or tell stories.  Some played games such as skittles, which is like modern bowling.  Occasionally, actors might come to town and put on plays and dramas.  People also met here to enjoy holidays.  They celebrated more holidays than we do today.  Most Christian church holidays were celebrated with elaborate rituals and feasts where peasants got to each much better food than they usually ate.  This food was provided by the Church and the nobility. Drinking was...

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How do the Castles in Game of Thrones Compare to Real life European Castles?

There are European castles from long periods of time and they do not look alike at in the medieval period. Most of the castles were fortresses, thick-walled behemoths, usually without luxuries such as plastered walls and finely attired spires and roofing patterns. The most beautiful European castles are from the baroque times the 1600’s and 1700′ s, while later periods would erect truly sumptuous buildings in the middle of large cities that in nothing resemble what most people think as a castle. These are bigger than what you see in Game of Thrones, but have no fortress character at...

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