List of Byzantine Emperors

related topics
{son, year, death}
{church, century, christian}
{language, word, form}
{woman, child, man}
{country, population, people}
{area, part, region}

This is a list of the emperors of the polity called the Byzantine Empire by modern historians. This list does not include numerous co-emperors who never attained sole or senior status as rulers.

This list begins with Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman emperor reigning from Constantinople, who was regarded by the later Byzantine emperors as the model ruler. Diocletian before him is sometimes considered the first "Byzantine" emperor in a political sense, as he replaced the republican trappings of the office with a straightforward autocracy, marking the transition from the Principate to the absolutist Dominate, a more typically oriental and Hellenistic form of monarchy that would characterize the Byzantine Empire. It was under Constantine however that the major characteristics of the Byzantine state emerged: a Roman polity centered at Constantinople and culturally dominated by the Greek East, with Christianity as the state religion.

All Byzantine Emperors regarded themselves as Roman Emperors,[1] the term "Byzantine" being coined firstly by Western historiography much later, in the 16th century. Although the barbarian West recognized the Eastern Empire's claim to the Roman legacy for several centuries, on 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned King of Franks Charlemagne as the Roman Emperor (which eventually led to the formation of the Holy Roman Empire) due to uneasy relations with the Orthodox East, an act which was much resented by the Byzantines. This happened after the coronation of Empress Irene, who, as a woman, was not recognised by the Pope of Rome to have a right to the throne.

The title of all Emperors listed preceding Heraclius was officially Augustus, although various other titles such as Dominus were used as well. For official purposes, their names were preceded by Imperator Caesar and followed by Augustus. Following Heraclius, the title commonly became the Greek Basileus (Gr. Βασιλεύς), which had formerly meant generally "king", "sovereign" but now was used in place of 'Imperator. Following the establishment of a rival Empire in Western Europe (the Holy Roman Empire), the title Autokrator (Gr. Αυτοκράτωρ) was also increasingly used. Foreign kings were now titled by the neologism Regas (Gr. Ρήγας, from the Lat. Rex) or by another generic term Archon (Gr. Άρχων, "ruler"). In the later centuries of the Empire, the emperor could be often referred to by Western Christians as the "Emperor of the Greeks," though they still considered themselves "Roman" Emperors. Towards the end of the Empire, they referred to themselves as "[Emperor's name] in Christ, true Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans."


Full article ▸

related documents
Pope Clement XIII
Rosamund Clifford
Pope Gregory VI
Saint Casimir
Karl Friedrich Bahrdt
Pope Adrian VI
George Abbot (archbishop)
Pope Innocent VIII
John V of Portugal
Odo of Bayeux
Daniel Chodowiecki
Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia
Edward the Martyr
Guillaume Apollinaire
Cicely Mary Barker
Robert Barclay
John V Palaiologos
Maurice Utrillo
George, Duke of Saxony
Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun
Catherine of Siena
Anastasius I (emperor)
Nicephorus Gregoras
Jakob Abbadie
Cloistered rule
Olga of Kiev
Empress Kōken
Pope Benedict IX