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Edward Gibbon The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Selective Summary and Notes by Michael McGoodwin, prepared 1997

If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world, during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus. The vast extent of the Roman empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of virtue and wisdom. The armies were restrained by the firm but gentle hand of four successive emperors, whose characters and authority commanded involuntary respect. The forms of the civil administration were carefully preserved by Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the Antonines, who delighted in the image of liberty, and were pleased with considering themselves as the accountable ministers of the laws. Such princes deserved the honor of restoring the republic, had the Romans of their days been capable of enjoying a rational freedom.
[Gibbon Decline and Fall ...]

: This summary has been prepared from the Penguin Classics edition Vol. I - III copyright 1994 edited David Womersley.  Notes have been extracted from that version as have quotations.

Overall Impression: This is a great work of unsurpassed English prose and astounding erudition.  I only wish I could read Latin to understand the footnotes better.

Notes from the Penguin edition:  EG Lived 1737-1796, toured Italy in 1764. Decline and Fall was written in 6 volumes beginning in 1773: Vol. I (1776), Vol. II (1781), Vol. III (1781), Vol. IV (1788), Vol. V (1788), and Vol. VI (1788) [the Penguin edition is divided into 3 books of 2 volumes each]. Sources were virtually all classical writings and Montesquieu, Hume, and Voltaire, etc. He is a philosophic historian but primacy is on history. His central historical problems were (1) the nature of civil society (e.g., the civic humanism propounded by Machiavelli), (2) the nature and impact of barbarism, and (3) the role of religion. His politics favored hereditary monarchy and hegemonic oligarchy. He was not an atheist but judged organized religions unfavorably in their failure to bring about human happiness and their central role in bringing about the decline of Rome's empire. DF primarily covers the period from the reign of the Antonines beginning in 138 to the fall of Constantinople in 1453, a period of 1315 years, but looks back on earlier emperors of Rome and forward to recent history of Rome.  [All quotes to follow are from the Penguin version.]

Gibbon on Christianity

[Gibbon's no-holds-barred views on Christianity have always been controversial, and are briefly summarized here]

The causes of the growth of Christianity are (1) the zeal and obstinacy of the Jews, (e.g., demonization of paganism) relative to the weakness of and skepticism of the populace about polytheism, (2) doctrines of the immorality of the soul and millennial apocalypse, (3) teaching of miraculous powers, (4) virtues of the first Christians (appeal to the poor and simple), and (5) Christians were very active in the government of their church, which became very organized. Causes of their persecutions included: their rebellions, atrocities committed by the Jews, refusal to pay taxes, intolerance of pagan religions; rejection of worldly knowledge, pleasure, and art; fear of their secret meetings and imagined debaucheries; popular resentment; deliberate provocations to martyrdom by the Christians, and their refusal to participate in public activity and civic government. ".The Christians, in the course of their intestine dissensions, have inflicted far more severities on each other, than they had experienced from the zeal of infidels."

The monastic life began with the Ascetics: the Hermits, Monks, and Anachorets (anchorites). St. Antony in Egypt afforded the first example 305. Other notables were Athanasius, Hilarion, Martin, and Simeon Stylites. Social isolation, insanity, visions, miracles, etc. were features. The conversion of the Barbarians to Christianity in part by these monks is one of Christianity's great triumphs.

The disputes about the Trinity (e.g., homoousian vs. homoiousian) are followed by disputes about the Incarnation of Christ. Historic sects included Ebionites & Nazarenes, Docetes, Marcionites, Manichaeans (named after Manes, who tried to reconcile Zoroaster and Christ), and Gnostics. New theories by Cerinthus of Asia, Apollinaris. Cyril of Alexandria attacks Nestorius of Constantinople (his followers were called Nestorians). Council of Ephesus 431 condemns Nestorius, he is exiled and persecuted. The heresy of two natures of Christ is condemned in Council of Ephesus 449. Council of Chalcedon 451 determined that Christ was one person but had two natures. First religious war fought over Christian tenets 514. Monothelite controversy 629. The spread of Christianity in the Orient: Nestorians (Persia, Tartary, India, China, Vietnam), Monophysites > Jacobites (named after James Baradaeus), Monothelites > Maronites (named after Maron of Antioch in Syria), the Armenians, and the Copts (Egyptians), Abyssinians, etc.

Images and symbolic worship: Primitive Christians were repelled by use of images. Symbolic worship began with the veneration of the cross and relics, later Saints. Leo the II opposed images. Synod of Constantinople 754 banned all images of Christ except the Eucharist, leading to riots. Constantine V restored the worship of images...

Paulicians in Armenia and Pontus; Constantine Sylvanus persecuted. Their revolt 845 - 880. They are transplanted to Thrace, later Italy and France, in opposition to the Catholic church. Persecuted in Albigeois (near Toulouse) 1200, providing the roots of the Protestant revolt.

Dispute over the Procession of the Holy Ghost- e.g.., the word "filioque" (from the son [as well as from the Father]) added to Nicene Creed by the Catholics and opposed by the Greeks. Also dispute over celibacy. Final schism between Catholics and the Greeks arises 1054 when Pope's legates excommunicate the patriarch of Constantinople Michael Cerularius. The enmity is nourished during the first three Crusades.

Rulers, Nations, and Associated Events

Emperor, Ruler,  and/or Nation Dates Notable Events and Comments
Augustus (Octavianus) 30 BC - 14 AD Octavianus. Decided to moderate any further expansionism of the Republican conquests, established the optimal defensible boundaries of the Empire (incl. the Rhine and the Euphrates).
Tiberius 14-37 (First of the Julian Claudian Dynasty)
Caligula 37-41  
Claudius 41-54  
Nero 54-68 Blames the fire in Rome on Christians (Galileans) and transient persecutions occur 64.
4 Emperors 68-9 Galba, Vitellius, Otho, Vespasian
Vespasian 69-79 (Flavian Dynasty)
Titus 79-81 Son of Vespasian
Domitian 81-96 Titus' brother. A few Christians persecuted.
Nerva 96-98 ("Adopted" Emperors)
Trajan 98-117 Conquest of Dacia (~Romania) and Parthia (NE Iran, later relinquished). Edicts partially protect Christians
Hadrian 117-38  
Antoninus Pius 138-61 (First of The "Antonines"). Gibbon's Golden Age of the Antonines extends 96-180 ("the period of history of the world, during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous"). Empire consisted of Spain (Lusitania, Baetica, and Tarraconensis), Gaul (Aquitania, Narbonensis, Lugdunensis, Belgica, Germania Superior and Inferior, Alps), Britannia Superior and Inferior (to the Antonine Wall), Italy, and Illyricum S of the Danube (Rhaetica, Noricum, Pannonia, Dalmatia, Dacia, Maesia= Moesia, Thrace, Macedonia, and Greece (Achaea, Epirus), Anatolian Peninsula (Asia Minor, Lycia & Pamphylia, Galatia, Cappadocia, Bithynia & Pontus, Cilicia), Syria, Phoenicia, Palestine, Egypt, and Africa (Mauretania tingitana, Mauretania Caeariensis; Numidia, Africa). Jews restored to toleration.
Marcus Aurelius
161-80 Wife Faustina. Revolt of Germans and Sarmatians. Despised the Christians.
Commodus 180-92 Son of Marcus, monstrous vices. Acted like a gladiator (The "Roman Hercules").
5 Emperors 193 Pertinax (murdered by praetorian guards); Didius Julianus, Julianus, Pescennius Niger, Clodius Albinus, Septimus Severus. Civil war.
Septimus Severus 193-211 (First of The Severi). Wife Julia. Christians tolerated.
Caracalla 211-17 Septimus' son, brother of Geta (both murdered)
Elagabalus 218-22 Elected by the troops; profligate and effeminate luxury (murdered by the guards)
Alexander Severus 222-35 Cousin of Elagabalus. A happy time. Murdered. Favorable to Christians.
Maximin(us) of Thrace 235-8 ("Soldier" emperors). Murdered. Contenders Balbinus and Maximus slain. Christians persecuted.
Gordian III 238-44 Murdered. [German confederacy of the Franks formed about 240; love of liberty.]
Philip 244-9 Slain in battle with Decius. By now the vigor of the empire had declined from a long series of oppressions, the discipline of the legions was corrupted.
Persians 226-310 EG recounts former rule of the Assyrians, followed by Medes and Babylonians, then Persians, then Macedonians and house of Seleucis, then Parthians (Scythians). Artaxerxes restores the Persian monarchy (the Sassanids 226) from Parthia. Zoroasterism, power of the Magi. Wars against the Romans 230. Subsequent kings: ., Narses, Hormouz, Sapor 310
Decius 249-51 Slain in Gothic war: Goths invade Danube region 250 (their first appearance in recorded history, prob. of Scandinavian origin, migrated to Prussia, divided into Ostrogoths (Eastern), Visigoths, and Gepidae; closely related to the Vandals). Christians persecuted.
Gallus 251-3 Purchases peace with Goths. Civil war. Slain, transient reign of Aemilianus
Valerian (in E) 253-60 Wins civil war against Aemilianus. Calamity and confusion due to foreign invaders (Franks, Alemanni (incl. Suevi), Goths, Persians). Captured by Persians under Sapor 260 and died in captivity.
Gallienus (in W) 260-8 Valerian's son. Allies with Alemanni. Numerous usurpations. Indifferent to problems of the empire. Slain. Christians tolerated.
Claudius II 268-70 Repels Gothic invasion of empire. Executes rebel Aureolus. Dies of pestilence.
Aurelian 270-5 Ends Gothic wars, recovered Gaul, Pain and Britain. Rigid disciplinarian. Relinquished Dacia to the Goths and Vandals. Defeated Alemanni. Defeats Syrian queen Zenobia and rebel Firmus in Egypt. "No general had more nobly deserved a triumph". Cruel. Slain by conspirators
Multiple emperors 275-84 Tacitus (repels Alani, may have been killed by soldiers), Probus (276-82; delivers Gaul from Germanic invaders, builds wall and frontier garrisons from Rhine to Danube, slain by his troops), Carus (282), Carinus (284-285; elaborate spectacles in Rome amphitheater, slain by his soldiers), Numerian (probably slain by soldiers)
Diocletian 284-305 Intro. Of Tetrarchy 292: Emperors Diocletian [Thrace, Egypt, Asia] & Maximian [Italy and Africa] + Caesars Galerius [Illyria] & Constantius (I?) Chlorus [Gaul. Spain, & Britain] (he restored Britain to the Empire). Persian wars. Milan is residence for Western emperor. Rome is neglected. Diocletian abdicates along with Maximinian in 305. New Platonists incl. Plotinus flourish. Christians tolerated 18 years until 303, then edicts of persecution, demolition of churches.
Multiple emperors 305-37 Civil wars. Galerius, Constantius Chlorus, Severus, Maximinus Daia, Constantine, Maxentius, Licinius. Gothic war. Some Christian martyrs.
Constantine the Great 324-37 Empire reunited under Constantine the Great 324 (son of Helena & Constantius Chlorus.) Founds new capital at Constantinople, dedicated 330 or 334, perhaps in part to defend against the Barbarians from the Danube to the Tanais (Don) rivers. Adopts stately affectations of the Asian courts. Weakening of military. Executes his son Crispus and wife Fausta. Gothic war 331 (led by Araric, in Maesia, defeated). Sarmatians allowed to settle in Pannonia, Thrace, and Macedonia. His gradual adoption of Christianity. Edict of Milan restores religious and civil rights of Christians. He favors a religion emphasizing passive and unresisting obedience. He exhorts his subjects to be Christian 324, establishes Christianity as the state religion. Crucifixion abolished. Adoption of the cross or Laburnum ("By this sign thou shalt conquer"), perhaps after a dream or celestial vision. Baptism as death approaches. Council of Nice 325 in Bithynia on doctrine of the Trinity adopts "homoousian" concept (consubstantialty of father and son) in Nicene creed. Persecutions begin of Heretics, Montanists, Novatians, Marcionites, Valentinians, Manichaeans, and adherents of Paul of Samosata. Donatists in Africa. Arius and Arianism (favored homoiousian = of similar but not like substance) persecuted.
Multiple emperors 337-61 Contention of the sons of Constantine the Great: (1) Constantine (slain), (2) Constans (murdered), (3) Constantius (II) (becomes sole emperor; wife Eusebia?, his chamberlain Eusebius, reign of eunuchs 353, favors Arians, persecutes Catholics, Athanasius Primate of Egypt vigorously defends homoousian and is persecuted and exiled ). Other contenders: Magnentius (suicide) and Vetranio. Persian war 337-360. Civil war. Sarmatian and Quadian wars 357, 358, 359. Sapor invades Mesopotamia 359. Germans invade Gaul. Sallust's heroic campaigns in Gaul 356-7. Julian in battle of Strasburgh subdues the Alemanni and after the Franks 358. Council of Sardica 346 reveals first symptoms of schism and discord between Greek and Latin churches. Donatist revolt 345 . Gallus and Julian were sons of ?Julius Constantius (brother or nephew of Constantine the Great) and spared from assassins. Gallus made Caesar 351 and marries Constantina but executed by Constantius II 354. Julian exiled to Athens 355 to save his life.
Julian the "Apostate" 361-3 "Nephew" of Constantine the Great, son of ?Julius Constantius (Constantine the Great's brother or nephew), "cousin" of Constantius II. Marries Helena, short-lived, lives chaste life afterwards. A pagan, renounced Christianity, restored pagan temples etc. Reforms the palace, drastically reducing the luxury- shaggy beard, unbathed. Emphasizes religious toleration initially. Granted Jewish favors, tries to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem. Suppresses Christian teaching, then persecutes them. Massacre of Christians at Alexandria incl. St. George. Invades Assyria and Mesopotamia 363, killed there by the Persians.
Jovian 363-4 Ignominious peace with the Persians and retreat. Restores Christianity
Valentian I (W=Western Empire) 364-75 Non-Greek speaking, not related to Constantine. He effects the final division of the East and West empires (he takes the West: Illyricum, Gaul, Italy, Britain, Africa). Atrocities. Frequent executions. Religious toleration, restrains clerical avarice. Foreign wars in Germany (Alemanni, Burgundians, Saxons), Britain (Scots, Picts), Africa, the East, and the Danube (Hermanric King of the Ostrogoths, Gothic war 366, Quadi, Sarmatians 374). Wife Justina succeeds Severa. He dies of burst blood vessel.
Valens (E=Eastern Empire) 364-78 Made Augustus by his brother Valentinian I, received the East: Lower Danube to Persia. Atrocities. An Arian, he persecutes the Catholics. "the disastrous period of the fall of the Roman Empire, which may be justly dated from the reign of Valens". The Huns threaten the empire and propel the Goths and the Vandals ahead of themselves. The Visigoths led by Fritigern appeal to Valens for protection 376, and he allows 1 million to cross the Danube and to keep their arms- they are subsequently exploited. The Ostrogoths are denied entry and invade. Gothic war 377-8. Goths unite with Huns and Alani against RE. Valens slain at battle of Hadrianople (in Thrace) 378, Romans defeated, 2/3 of army destroyed. Gothic children slain 378. Roman provinces ravaged 379.
Gratian (W) 375-83 Son of Valentinian I and Severa. Alemanni defeated by Gratian 378. Religious intolerance. Dresses like a Scythian. Assassinated by Maximus' men.
Scythians (Tartars or Tatars) and Huns 376-433 Pastoral nomadic peoples occupying the Asian steppes (Scythia or Tartary, extending from mouth of Danube to Sea of Japan), society depended on horses. Tatars were in the vanguard of the Mogul invasions. Huns comprised the White Huns of Sogdiana and the Volga Huns; their conquest of the Alani c. 372, victory over Hermanric and the Ostrogoths. They spread from the Volga to the Danube. Attila's uncle Roas or Rugilas had encamped in what is now Hungary and was friends with Aetius (in reign of Valentinian III), who abandoned Pannonia to them.
Theodosius I the Great (E) 379--95 Chosen by Gratian. His father led campaigns in Britain and Africa was executed at Carthage. He HQ's in Thessalonica and warred against the barbarians: "his consummate skill would deserve the applause of every military leader". Fritigern dies and Barbarians fragment. Athanaric concludes a treaty with RE. Ostrogoths defeated 386. Goths allowed semi-independence in Thrace and Asia and submit to Theodosius. T. defends Valentinian II against Maximus' attack. Dacia and Macedonia added to East empire from the West. Benefactor of the Catholics in suppressing the Arian heresy (centered in Constantinople) by edict and abolishing worship of idols and final ruin of Paganism with its prohibition 390. Worship of saints and relics established as a substitute for paganism. Inquisitors established. Gregory Nazianzen as Archbishop leads Catholic church in Constantinople against Arianism. T. Baptized in the true faith of the Trinity Council of Constantinople 381 affirms the equal deity of the Holy Ghost. Bishop Priscillian of Avila executed. Gratian's widow Justina was persecuted by anti-Arian bishop Ambrose of Milan 385. Returned to Constantinople after defeat of Maximus. Defeats usurper Eugenius and Arbogastes 394.
Maximus (usurper in W: Britain, Gaul) 383-8 Revolts in Britain 383, gets Gaul and Spain. Slain by Theodosius' soldiers at Aquileia 388 after he invades Italy, using Huns, Alanis, and Goths as troops.
Valentinian II (W) and Eugenius 383-95 Son of Valentinian I and Justina; half-brother of Gratian. Made Augustus at 4 y/o 375 on death of father. His mother seeks refuge for them from Maximus with Theodosius. Resumed throne of Italy. Assassinated 392 by the Frank named Arbogastes. Usurper Eugenius assumes purple 392-4 but is slain by Theodosius' soldiers and Arbogastes kills himself.
Arcadius (E) 395-408 Final end of Roman imperial unity. Son of Theodosius the Great. Gets Thrace, Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, and from the Lower Danube to Persia and Aethiopia plus Dacia and Macedonia. Called Emperor of the Romans despite geography. Dominated by Theodosius' prefect Rufinus, later by the eunuch Eutropius. Marries Eudoxia/Eudocia. Harsh laws. Alaric the Goth conquers Greece 396, is made master general of E. Illyricum and King of the Visigoths (see Honorius). Archbishop John Chrysostom opposed by Empress Eudocia, expelled.
Honorius (W) 395-423 Final end of Roman imperial unity. Son of Theodosius the Great, brother of Arcadius. Gets Italy, Africa, Gaul, Spain, and Britain, plus Noricum, Pannonia, and Dalmatia. Stilicho assumes military command of W empire, defeats Rufinus, suppresses Gildo in African War 398. Honorius marries Stilicho's daughter but slumbers away his life a captive in the palace. Alaric invades Italy 400. Goths defeated by Stilicho at Pollentia 403. Honorius moves capital to Ravenna 404. North Germans (Vandals, Suevi, Alani, Burgundians) and Goths, under Radagaisus, begin southward emigration 405, invade Italy 406-- army defeated by Stilicho 406. Germans invade Gaul, desolated. British army revolts 407, usurper "Constantine" made emperor of Spain, Gaul, Britain (later defeated and executed by General Constantius 411). Stilicho disgraced & executed 408. Poet Claudina flourishes. Alaric places Rome under siege 408 (first real threat since Hannibal 211 BC), plague, another siege 409 Rome is abandoned to the Barbarians and Attalus is made its emperor. Rome again besieged and sacked by Goths 410 under Alaric, then ravages Italy. Alaric dies 410. Treaty with Adolphus the Goth and Honorius. Adolphus invades Gaul 412. Adolphus marries Placidia 414, daughter of Theodosius the Great and brother of Honorius. Revolt of Heraclian in Africa against Honorius 413. Revolts in Spain and Gaul 409-413. Invasion of Spain by Suevi and Vandals 409. Adolphus assassinated 415, Wallia becomes king. Wallia fixes residence in Thoulouse, succeeded by Theodoric I the Great 419, son of Alaric (not Theodoric the Ostrogoth). The Franks in Gaul are led by the Merovingian kings beginning with Clodian 420-451. Placidia persecuted, later marries general Constantius; expelled by Honorius and goes to Constantinople. By 420, the Burgundians, Franks, and Goths obtain permanent grants in Gaul. Revolt of Britain 409 leads to its independence (40 years, until Saxon invasion). H. Dies 423 of dropsy.
Goths 395-19 Alaric rules Goths 395-410. Possesses Italy 408 - 410 (see Honorius). Adolphus, Singeric, Wallia. Ulphilas is "apostle" to the Goths 360, effecting their conversion. Goths, Vandals, Burgundians, etc. were converted by 400. Clergy became mediators.
Valentinian III (W) 425-55 Assumes purple after defeat of usurper John 423-5. Cousin of Theodosius II, son of Placidia, the last emperor descended from Theodosius. Administration dominated by his mother Placidia during his minority 425-450. Marries Eudoxia, daughter of Theodosius II and Athenais (Eudoxia). W Illyricum (Noricum, Dalmatia, and Pannonia) goes from the West to the East. Unity of the two empires is dissolved entirely, all laws apply only to one or the other. His general Aetius plots to discredit general Boniface. Boniface revolts in Africa and allies with Vandals under Gonderic followed by Genseric, who arrives in Africa in 429. The schismatic Donatists facilitate Genseric's conquest of Africa. Boniface repents too late 430. Africa pillaged. St. Augustine dies in the siege 430 at Hippo. Boniface defeated and killed 432. Carthage defeated 439. Aetius abandons Pannonia to his allies, the Huns led by Rugilas. Attila reigns 433-453 after Rugilas dies. He united Scythia and Germany (incl. Thuringia, Scandinavia, Volga area, etc.). The Ostrogoths and Gepidae allied with him, forming an army of c. 500,000. Attila invades Gaul 451. Aetius & the Visigoth Theodoric the Great ally against the Huns. Battle of Chalons 451, Theodoric I killed, Attila defeated, Torismond made king of Visigoths. Theodoric II kills his brother Torismond and succeeds him 453-466 as king of the Visigoths. Attila invades Italy 452, dies of burst blood vessel 453, the Huns fade back to lesser Scythia and are overwhelmed by more barbarians, the Avars (White Huns or Geougen). Placidia dies 450. Aetius murdered by Val. 454. Valentinian III ravishes the wife of Maximus; Maximus kills him 455.
Theodosius II The Younger (E) 408-50 Grandson of Theodosius I the Great, son of Arcadius (or Count John?) and Eudoxia. Succeeds parents Arcadius and Eudoxia. Insignificant. Dominated by Anthemimus his minister and his sister Pulcheria. Marries Athenai(s) (renamed Eudocia), daughter of philosopher Leontius. Eudocia goes on a pilgrimage to Holy Land to gather relics; dies in disgrace. Persian war 422. Armenia divided between Persians and Romans 431. Attila invades Persia 430-440 and attack the E empire 441, ravishing Europe form Euxine to Adriatic Sea, incl. Thrace and Macedonia. Many are led off to captivity. The West does not help. Humiliating treaty made 446 with numerous concessions. Attila's capital is in upper Hungary
Marcian (E) 450-7 Rules in with Pulcheria, his celibate wife. Many churches built.
Multiple Emperors (W) 455-61 Maximus (455) violates widowed empress Eudoxia, but she seeks help from Genseric the Vandal. He is slain by rocks in the street. Rome is sacked by the Genseric and the Vandals 455. Avitus emperor 455 then deposed. Theodoric II conquers Suevi in Spain 456. , Marjorian emperor 457 "a great and heroic character, such as sometimes arise in a degenerate age." He invades Africa but his fleet is destroyed 457.
Multiple Emperors(W) 461-76 Ricimer de facto head (despite titular emperor Severus) 461-7. Italy defends itself against Vandal pirates. Visigoths make conquests in Spain and Gaul 462-72. Italy divides into two hostile kingdoms under Ricimer (in Milan) and Anthemius. Anthemius 467-72. Failed expedition against Genseric and the Vandals in Africa 468. Rome sacked 472 by Ricimer and Anthemius killed. Olybrius 472. Ricimer dies 472. Julian Nepos 472 (assassinated), then Glycerius, then Romulus Augustulus 476 [end of Western Roman Empire when he resigns to Odoacer the barbarian].
Leo the Great (E) 457-74 Of Thrace
Odoacer (King of Italy, Dalmatia) 476-93 Initially became king (patrician) of Italy. He continued the laws of the emperors. Followed the Arian heresy. Acquired Dalmatia. He was of the tribe of Scyrri, allied to the Huns. Eventually suppressed by Theodoric.
Vandals 429-534 Genseric takes over Africa, Hunneric (his son) 477, Gundamund 484, Thrasimond 496, Hilderic 523-30, Gelimer 530-34
Huns c. 433-534 Rugilas, Attila (433-53), Ardaric (Gepidae, 453)
Visogoths 419-. Theodoric I the Great 419-451, then Torismond 451, then Theodoric II 453, Euric 466. Euric reigned King of Gaul 476-485.
Merovingian (Frankish) Kings 420-. Clodian 420. Clovis, son of Childeric, King of the Franks 481-511. He defeats the Alemanni. Converted to Christianity (Catholicism) 496. Marries Clotilda. Defeats Burgundians (under Gundobald) 500, 532 (under Sigismond). War with the Goths 507, Clovis' victory over Goths at battle of Poitiers, conquest of Aquitaine. Becomes Roman consul 510. Final establishment of French monarchy in Gaul 536.
Misc. Kingdoms c. 400-600 Britons (native Celts): Vortimer, Vortigern, Vortimer, Arthur (defends Silures and Britons against the Angles of the North and Saxons of the West). Some fugitive Britons settled in Armorica (Brittany, in France). Britons extirpated by Saxons in Anderida. Retreated to Wales and Armorica.. Saxons: Conquered Britain. Initially invited in by Vortigern 449. Hengist, Horsa. Bede documents the invasion of the Saxons. Visigoths in Spain: Leovigild, Hermenegild, Recared 586 (first Catholic king in Spain) Lombards: Converted to Catholicism by Pope Gregory the Great 600.
Zeno (E) 474-91 An Isaurian, grandson of Leo the Great.
Theodoric the Ostrogoth (King of Italy) 490-526 Ostrogoths (Eastern Goths) regained independence in region of Vienna under Walamir, Theodemir, and Widimir. Repelled Huns. Theodemir's son is Theodoric the Ostrogoth, succeeded to the throne of the Amali after father's death.. Theodoric the Ostrogoth invades Italy 489 with the blessing of Zeno, defeating Odoacer 493, Theodoric becomes King of Italy 493-526. Reestablishes free communication with the Visigoths in Gaul and Spain- the Gothic sovereignty was established from Sicily to the Danube, from Belgrade to the Atlantic. He visits Rome 500 and enacts edicts to preserve Rome's antiquities. His court was in Ravenna, subsequently in Verona. An Arian, he tolerated Catholicism initially, later persecuted them and the Jews. Murdered senators Boethius and Symmachus. His grandsons received Spain (Amalaric) and Italy (Athalaric)
Anastasius (E) 491-518  
Justin I (E) 518-27 Uncle of Justinian, a Dacian peasant, illiterate.
Justinian (E) 527-65 Born in Bulgaria (Dacia) 482. Wife Theodora, an actress and prostitute, shared the throne, had spies, accumulated wealth, persecuted enemies. A new law revised the ancient law against marrying an actress. The factions of the circus: greens, blues (and whites and reds) led to bloody riots, fires, and insurrections. Justinian favored the blues. Theodora's courage helps him to suppress the sedition of 532. His avarice. New cathedral of St. Sophia (previously destroyed by fire) dedicated c. 563, still standing today. Suppressed the School of Athens and the spirit of philosophical enquiry. Ended the succession of consuls, by which years were reckoned. Unprofitable war against Persia 502-5. Reclaims Africa 533-4 from the Vandals under Gelimer by the hero Belisarius, who had served in Persia. Moors are conquered 535. Belisarius also wins Sicily and Naples for the Eastern empire from the Italian Goths under King Theodatus and subsequently King Vitiges 536-540. Rome is won from the Goths, then besieged 537. Italy invaded by the Franks 538-9 under Theodebert, Milan destroyed. Belisarius wins Ravenna 539, Vitiges captured. Belisarius' wife Antonina was born of a prostitute and companion to Theodora. Her adulteries with Theodosius. She persecutes and has her son Photius killed . Nushirvan (Chosroes) invades Syria 540, defended against by Belisarius. Colchian war 549-556. Ethiopians ally with Justinian 533. Goths in Italy revolt 540. Belisarius fails to regain Italy, Rome taken by Goths under Totila 549. The eunuch Narses conquers the Goths in Rome. Franks and Alemanni invade Italy 553, defeated by Narses 554, who becomes Exarch. Invasion of Bulgarians repelled by Belisarius 559, who dies in disgrace in 565. Disasters: comets of 531, 539, earthquakes 526, 551, bubonic plague appears in Egypt 542 and spreads widely. "The triple scourge of war, pestilence, and famine afflicted the subjects of Justinian, and his reign is disgraced by a visible decrease of the human species." His jurisprudence codified in the Code, Pandects, and Institutes. The Novels and the Edicts. The Greek language displaces Latin in the East (except in government), though they are still called "Romans"..
Amalasontha (Italy) 526-34 Regent of Italy
Theodatus (Ostrogoth - Italy) 534-6  
Persia 531-628 Nushirvan (Chosroes I) conquers Yemen 570. Then his son, Hormouz (Hormisdas) 579-590 (deposed). His son Chosroes II 591-628.
Multiple (E) 565-602 Justin II 565-578 (nephew of Justinian, impaired), Then Tiberius ("Constantine") 578-82, then Maurice 582-602. Maurice allies with Chosroes II. Maurice's war against the Avars (led by Baian) 595-602. Maurice and his entire family executed after a revolt 602, Phocas becomes emperor 602-610. Pope Gregory the Great Roman pontiff (of Gregorian chants) 590-604, sends mission to Britain.
Lombards 566-73 "Long-beards" from Scandinavia. Mentioned in Elbe area in time of Augustus and Trajan. Entered Noricum and Pannonia with consent of Justinian. Under Alboin and allied with the Avars, defeat the Gepidae 566 taking Rosamund daughter of Cunimund as his captured wife), Avars (under Baian) occupy Walachia, Moldavia, Transylvania, and parts of Hungary. Alboin conquers Italy 568-70 against Narses, makes Pavia his capital, is slain by his wife's conspirators 573. Clepho made king 573. Autharis 584-590, battles the Franks led by Childebert, great grandson of Clovis.
Bulgarians and Sclavonians c. 640-1017 Bulgarians and Sclavonians (Balts and Slavs). First kingdom 640-1017. Simeon king 888-927. Besieged Constantinople. In plains of Russia, Lithuania, and Poland.
Turks and Hungarians c. 550-1000 Turks: defeat Geougen, displace the Avars (Ogors), send embassy to Constantinople 558, who allies with them. Magyar = Hungarians, also called Turks, first appear in Europe c. 884. Khazars. Related to Finns and Laplanders. Horsemen, brutal. First established in Pannonia (Hungary). Invade Germany 900 (defeated by Henry the Fowler 934 and Otho the Great 955), later Italy. Mixed with Scythians and Sclavonians.
Persia 628-51 Chosroes II murdered by his son Siroes 628, ending the Sassanides lineage. Then Yezdegerd - 651 (slain by Turks)
Multiple (E) 602-1203 Phocas 602-610, illiterate, a "monster", massacre of Maurice, his sons, his wife (empress Constantina), and his daughters executed. Chosroes II conquers Syria 611, Palestine 614, Egypt 616, Asia Minor 616. Early life of Mahomet (Mohammed) in Arabia 569-609. Phocas murdered 610. Then Heraclius emperor (610-642). His expeditions against the Persians 622-6. Avars and Persians repulsed from siege of Constantinople 626 after Heraclius allies with the Turks (Chozars). His wife Eudocia, then Martina. Mahomet's Hegira 622 and holy wars against Jews and infidels, conquers Mecca and Arabia 629-32, invades Palestine 629-30, dies 632. Constantine III 641 (son of Heraclius, Bulgarians invade across Danube, dies possibly of poisoning by his step-mother Martina), Constans II 641-668 (son of Constantine III; expelled after assassination of his brother Theodosius), Constantine IV Pogonatus 668-685 (son of Constans II, first siege of Constantinople by Arabs 668-75) , Justinian II (son of Constantine IV, very cruel) 685-695, 705-711 (exiled 695-705 under rule of usurpers Leontius and later Apsimar; assassinated 711); Phillipicus 711; Anastasius II 713; Theodosius III 716-718; Leo III the Isaurian (and Iconoclast) (718-41; opposed worship of images and thus opposed by Pope Gregory II; Italy revolts and regains its freedom; repels the 2nd siege of Constantinople by the Arabs 718), Constantine V Copronymus 741-75 (son of Leo III; a butcher, persecuted the Catholics), Leo IV 775-780 (his son) his wife Irene; punished the sons of Copronymus by another wife; Constantine VI (son of Leo IV and the Athenian Irene) + mother Irene co-rule 780 until his maturity (she restores the images to worship, codified in the second Nicene council 787), then he attempts to banish her to Sicily, she arranges to have him attacked and blinded! She rules 792-802; final separation of Popes from the Greek empire. Deposed by Nicephorus I 802 (loses parts of Asia Minor and Cyprus to Arab Harun al Rashid). His son Stauracius 811. Michael I Rhangabe 811, Leo V the Armenian 813, murdered; Michael II the Stammerer 820 (loses Crete to the Arabs 823); Theophilus the Unfortunate and wife Theodora 829 (numerous wars with the Saracens=Arabs), Michael III 842 (his son, depraved, plundered the treasury, mocked the religion, murdered by Basil); Basil I the Macedonian 867 (revised the jurisprudence; revival of Greek learning [also under Leo VI and C. VII], loses Sicily to the Arabs); his son Leo VI 886, his son Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus 911 (along with regents Romanus I Lecapenus 919, Christopher, Stephen, Constantine VIII); Constantine VII attains rule 945, wife Helena; he is poisoned by Romanus II's wife Theophano; his son Romanus II junior 959 (poisoned by Theophano also), Nicephorus II Phocas (fought the Saracens, restores Crete, murdered) 963, John Zimisces of Armenia 969 (along with Nicephorus restores Cilicia, Antioch in Syria from Arabs; poisoned), Basil II 976 (son of Nicephorus II), Constantine IX 1025 (Basil II's brother), Romanus III Argyrus 1028 (married to and murdered by Zoe, daughter of Constantine IX), Michael IV the Paphlagonian 1034, Michael V Calaphates (exiles Zoe) 1041, Zoe + Theodora (also daughter of Constantine IX) 1042, Constantine X Monomachus (also marries Zoe but has concubine Sclerena)1042, Theodora again 1054, Michael VI Stratioticus 1026, Isaac I Comnenus, (son of Manuel; brother of John) 1057, Constantine XI Ducas with wife Eudocia 1057, Eudocia administers 1067; Romanus III Diogenes 1067-71 (married Eudocia, captured by the Turks 1071); corule of Constantine XI's sons Michael VII Parapinaces, Andonicus I, and Constantine XII 1071, Nicephorus III Botaniates 1078 (he allies with the Turks against his rival), Alexius I Comnenus 1081 (son of John, confronts the Turks, the Normans , the Crusaders, etc.); John the Handsome [Calo-Johannes] 1118 (son of Alexius I and Irene; brother of Anna and Isaac the Sebastocrater; introduced many reforms incl. abolition of death penalty; fights the Turks); Manuel 1143 (son of John the Handsome; perpetual warfare against Turks, Christians including Normans, and hordes beyond Danube, great courage in war, incest with niece Theodora); Alexius II 1180 (son of Manuel), Andronicus I Comneneus 1183 (son of Isaac the Sebastocrater; concubine Eudocia, romantic adventures, last of the Comnenian line); Isaac II Angelus 1185 (tyrannical vices); Alexius Angelus (1195-1203) (usurped throne from his brother Isaac, adopted Comnenus name; Isaac's son Alexius plots with the 4th Crusaders to restore Isaac to the throne)
Mohammed (Mahomet) and the Arab 569-1076 Early life of Mahomet (Mohammed) in Arabia 569-609. Mahomet's Hegira 622 and holy wars against Jews and infidels, conquers Mecca and Arabia 629-32, invades Palestine 629-30, dies 632. Invades Syria 632, conquest of Jerusalem 637 under Omar, Antioch 638. Invasion of Egypt 638, succeeds c. 640. Conquest of Persia 637-51. Invasion of Africa 647, final conquest 698-709. Ali 655-660, Abubeker, Omar, Othman later. Shiites vs. Sonnites. Islamic civil war. Moawiyah 661-680 (of the family of Ommiyah [Ommiades]). Conquest of Transoxiana 710. Spain entered 710 aided by Jewish collaborators. Abbasides 746 (descendants of Abbas) assume power 746, fall of power of Ommiades 750. Abbasides establish Bagdad as Imperial seat of power, lasting 500 years (762-1258). Emphasis on learning among Arabs. Fatimite caliphs of Egypt assume domination 969-1076 Egypt and then Syria. Hakem destroys the church of the resurrection in Jerusalem 1009.
Italy 728-1017 Italy revolts from Leo III and regains its freedom 728. Attacked by Lombards under Liutprand and then Astolphus 730-752. Charles Martel's son Pepin (King of France, a Carolingian or Carlovingian supplanting the Merovingian succession) becomes the champion of the Roman catholic church. Lombardy conquered by Charlemagne (King of France), son of Pepin 774, who rules over Rome as Patrician. Popes begin to sanctify the kingships and acquire temporal power as well as extensive holdings. See Holy Roman Empire below. Italy is the site of numerous battles between the Greeks, the Saracens, and the Normans 840 - 1017.
France, Franks, & the West 719-888 Charles Martel 719-741 (defeats Arab invasion of France 732 decisively); Pepin c. 741-768; Charlemagne (Charles I) 768- (crowned emperor of Western empire by Pope Leo III 800-814, encourages learning, rules over France, Spain, Italy, Germany, & Hungary); Lewis the Pious 814-40; Lothaire I (France Italy 840-56) (Pope Leo IV repels an Arab invasion of Rome); Lewis II (Italy 856-75); Charles the Fat (875-888) (insane, empire collapses and divides).
Normans c. 1038-1204 Originally Scandinavian pirates, granted land (Normandy) in France and became the vassals of the Franks. Gain power in Sicily 1038 and S. Italy (Calabria and Apulia) 1043. Pope Leo IX leads expedition against Normans and is defeated 1053 by Richard of Aversa and Robert Guiscard (one of several sons of Tancred, dies 1085); Humphrey. conquers Naples. Sicily conquered by Count Roger 1060-1090. Robert invades Eastern empire 1081, defeats Alexius I Comnenus at Durazzo (Albania) 1081. Rome attacked and burned 1084 by Saracens of Sicily under Roger. Roger invades Greece 1084. Roger's son Roger becomes count and later King Roger of Sicily. His conquests in Africa. Invades Greece 1146. Repulsed by Manuel 1148, 1149, makes peace with him 1156. Final war with Greeks and Normans 1185. William I the Bad of Sicily 1154-1166.. Emperor Henry VI conquers S. Italy and Sicily 1194. Normans fade as a distinct race 1204.
Germany, & the Western Empire (Holy Roman Empire) c. 934-1378 Henry the Fowler (King of Germany, Otho's father, victory over Hungarians 934); Otho I (HRE 936-73, restores and appropriates the Western empire 962: i.e., Germany, parts of Gaul, Burgundy and Arles, Denmark and Poland, and Italy. The emperor controlled the election of the Popes and tyrannized them. Corruption of the papacy); Alberic (leads revolt against Germany in Rome: 932-c. 952); Frederic I Barbarossa (HRE 1152-90); Frederic II (HRE 1198-1250; Barbarossa's grandson); . , Charles IV (HRE 1347-78);
Russians c. 865-988 First identified in 9th Century; related to Swedes and Normans. Attack Constantinople 865, 904, 941, 1043. Swatoslaus defeated by John Zimisces 970-73. Russia converted to Christianity with baptism of Olga 955 and Wolodomir 988. .
Seljuk Turks c. 997-c. 1299 Mahmud the Gaznevide 997-1028 reigns in eastern Persia under, defeated 1038 by Seljuk Turks. Togrul Bek, grandson of Seljuk (who had adopted Islam), rules Persia 1038-63 and Iraq, . Invade Roman empire 1050. Arp Arslan 1063-1072 (nephew of Togrul), conquered Armenia and Georgia, attacks and captures emperor Romanus Diogenes 1071. Malek Shah (Arp's son) reign 1072-92. Asia Minor conquered 1074-1084 under Soliman, establishing Islam there and suppressing Christianity. After Arp's death, the Seljuk realm is divided. Pilgrimages to holy land increase, stimulated first by Arabs and later the Turks. Jerusalem conquered 1076-96 with massacre. Christians are abused.
The Crusades 1095-1291 I. First Crusade: Peter the Hermit makes pilgrimage to Jerusalem, appeals unsuccessfully to patriarch in Constantinople, and then appeals to Pope Urban II (who had been incited to take action by his predecessor Gregory VII). He tries to unite the Western powers in this cause at Synod of Placentia and Council of Clermont 1095. Factors motivating the crusade: Mahometans were trying to extirpate all other religions, a claim on the Holy Land, participants received absolution from all sins by joining the crusade, prospect of glory and riches and women, escape from masters, peer pressure, chivalric ideals. First crusade departs 1096 under holy men Peter, Walter the Pennyless, and monk Godescal, and "second order" princes: Godfrey of Bouillon, Hugh of Vermandois, Robert of Normandy, (son of William the Conqueror) etc., Raymond of Thoulouse, Bohemond and Tancred of Tarentum. Thousands of Jews massacred at Verdun, Treves, etc. Much destruction in Hungary and Bulgaria. Alexius Comnenus warily gets them past Constantinople. Alexius assists in taking Nice. 300,000 crusaders slain by Soliman near Nice, the Turkish capital. Antioch won 1098. Prodigal consumption of resources is followed by famine. The Holy Lance is "found" and revives the spirits. Jerusalem conquered 1099, massacre of Moslems and Jews. Godfrey elected king of Palestine. Egyptian sultan defeated at Ascalon 1099. Kingdom of Latins in Jerusalem last 1099-1187, with the only Moslem cities in Syria remaining being Hems, Aleppo, Hamah, and Damascus. Alexius succeeds in driving the Turks from Rhodes, Chios, parts of Asia Minor but is stigmatized by the Franks. II. Second Crusade: Led by emperor Conrad III and French king Louis VII 1147. Hugh the Great, Stephen of Chartres, etc. during reign of Manuel Comnenus, who was not helpful. Not very productive. III. Third Crusade: Led on land by emperor Frederic I Barbarossa 1189 during reign of Isaac Angelus. Money raised by "Saladine tenth" (tithe). Frederic dies in Cilicia . Saladin (a Kurd) had reconquered Jerusalem 1187 from the Franks. Siege of Acre (Ptolemais) near Mount Carmel 1189 succeeds assisted by Richard I Plantagenet "Couer de Lion" of England and Philip Augustus of France, severe loss of life. Treaty made with Saladin 1192, making Jerusalem an open city. Conrad of Montferrat, who defended Tyre, is slain at Tyre possibly by Richard's assassins. Saladin dies 1193. IV. Fourth Crusade: 1203 Urged by Pope Innocent III (he was also the originator of the Inquisition) and the illiterate priest Fulk of Neuilly. Problem of schism between Latin and Greek churches. Latins Christians in Constantinople were massacred and enslaved 1183. Leaders of crusade included Matthew of Montmorency, Simon of Montfort, Jeffrey of Villehardouin, Baldwin and Henry of Flanders, Boniface of Montferrat. The French ally with the Venetians (under Henry Dandolo) and agree to aid in their own needs. They fight Christians to conquer Zara (in Yugoslavia). Alexius, son of Isaac, solicits alliance with the Crusaders to help him regain the Greek throne from his uncle Alexius Angelus (who reigned 1195-1203 after deposing Alexius' father Isaac Angelus, who reigned in Constantinople 1185-1195) in exchange for ending the schism. Diverted to Constantinople 1203. Siege and conquest of Constantinople 1203, Isaac restored and Alexius Angelus escapes. The Flemish pilgrims start a fire in a mosque which spreads. Isaac and his son Alexius are assassinated by the usurper Alexius Mourzoufle 1204. A second siege begins, more fires, revenge by the local Latins, rape and pillage, statues destroyed, desecration, relics plundered, extensive Greek writings destroyed. Latin emperors take over. Greek empire is divided between Latin emperors and Venetians. V. Fifth Crusade: 1218 again urged by Pope Innocent III. Diverts to Egypt. VI. Sixth Crusade: 1248-54 King Louis IX of France. Takes Damietta (mouth of Nile in Egypt) 1249 with great losses and is captured and ransomed, then wastes four years at Acre unable to go to Jerusalem. VII. Seventh Crusade: 1270 again led by King Louis IX of France, provoked by the loss of Antioch (1268). Diverts to Africa and dies in Tunis. Acre and the Holy Land are finally lost 1291 to the Mamalukes of Egypt.
Latin Emperors of the East 1204-1261 Baldwin of Flanders (1204-1205) (war with Bulgarians under Calo-John 1205, Baldwin captured); Henry (1206-1216) Baldwin's brother; Peter of Courtenay (1217); Robert (1221-28); John of Brienne 1228-1237, Baldwin II (1237-1261).
Mongols and Tartars/Tatars and Tamerlane c. 1206-1405 Zingis (Genghis="Most great", originally Temugin) Khan unites the pastoral nomadic peoples (Moguls [after Mogul Khan of Hindostan] and Tartars/Tatars [after Tatar Khan, his brother]) of the highlands between China, Siberia, and the Caspian Sea area (Scythia) 1206-1227. A horde = 30-40,000 families. He invades China 1210 and Transoxiana and Persia 1218-1224. His successors conquer N. China 1234 (under Kublai=Cublai) and the Southern Song 1279 (under Kublai), Persia 1258 (under Hulagu=Holagou), sacking Bagdad , Aleppo, and Damascus- defeated Anatolia and Armenia 1272. Conquered Russia (incl. Moscow and Kiew), Turkestan, Poland, and Hungary 1235-45 under Genghis' son Octai=Ogodei, Siberia 1242. Caracorum=Karakorum (in Mongolia) became the royal residence. Holagou fights the Seljuk Turks in Bagdad and Syria, sparing the Byzantines. Declined in Persia c. 1304 allowing the rise to dominance of the Ottoman Turks. Faded from history c. 1367. Tamerlane (Timour), from Zagatai region and Samarcand (in Transoxiana=Uzbekistan), conquered Getes etc. 1361-70, Zagatai 1370, Persia 1380-93, Turkestan 1370-83, Kipzak and Russia1390-96, Hindostan 1398-99, Christians of Georgia 1400, and then Syria 1400 against Bajazet. Sacks Aleppo 1400, resisted in Damascus by Mamalukes of Egypt and burns it to the ground, defeats Bagdad 1401, Invades Anatolia and conquers 1402, defeats and captures Bajazet at Angora 1402. Does not acquire sea power. Receives tribute from Turks and from the Greek emperor. Timour reigns in Samarcand 1404-5. Dies while invading China 1405.
Ottoman Turks c. 1299-1453 Founded by Othman=Athman 1299-1326, Turks from the Oxus region. Declares holy war (gazi) against infidels and invades Nicomedia 1299. Prusa=Bursa (NW Turkey) conquered by his son Orchan (reigns 1326-60) and displace the Seljukians. Conquers Bithynia 1326-1339 (defeating Andronicus the younger). Anatolia is divided among Turkish emirs. The captivity of the seven churches of Revelation was consummated: Ephesus, Laodicea, Thyatira, Sardis, Pergamus, Smyrna, Philadelphia. Sea fleet pillages sea-coast of Europe. Order of St. John defends Rhodes. Orchan marries daughter of Cantacuzenus, Theodora. Soliman, son of Orchan, accompanies 10,000 Turks at the invitation of Cantacuzenus in civil wars in Romania and they end up peopling the Chersonesus, Thrace, and Gallipoli. After deaths of Soliman and Orchan, Orchan's brother Amurath I conquers Thrace and Romania 1360-89, fights the Sclavonians, Bulgarians, Servians, Bosnians, and Albanians, and converts them to his allies. The young men of Europe are pressed in service as his elite new soldiers ("Janizaries"). His son Bajazet I Ilderim reigns 1389-1403 enlarged conquests from Euphrates to Danube, incl. Moldavia, Greece, and Hungary (wins the battle of Nicopolis 1396). Captures French princes de Coucy (who dies in prison) and John of Nevers (ransomed at great cost), and beheading other captives who refused to convert. Bajazet I captured by Tamerlane and dies 1403. Son Mousa succeeds him. After Tamerlane leaves Anatolia, the sons of Bajazet (Mustapha, Mousa, Isa, Soliman, and Mahomet) engage in civil wars 1403-21. Mahomet I is final victor and reigns 1413-21 and reunites Ottoman empire in Turkey and Romania. His son Amurath II reigns 1421-51. Places Constantinople under siege 1422 for two months. Ladislaus king of Poland wars with Turks 1444, slain at Battle of Warna 1444 along with 10,000 Christians. John Huniades of Hungary defends Belgrade from Turks under Mahomet II, dies 1456. Scanderbeg of Albania fights off Turks for 23 years until 1467. Mahomet II, son of Amurath II, reigns 1451-81, builds fortress on Bosphorus 1452, gets great cannon, starts siege of Constantinople 4/6/1453, general assault and final conquest May 29, 1453. The Genoese abandon the Greeks, the emperor Constantine Palaeologus dies heroically, the city is overrun and pillaged, many inhabitants sold into slavery, St. Sophia converted, 120,000 manuscripts destroyed (Many had already gone to Italy), .
Greek Emperors of the East 1204-1453 Greek Emperors of the East: Remnants of the Greek empire persisted at Nice under Theodore Lascaris 1204-1222 and John Ducas Vataces 1222-1255, Theodore Lascaris II 1255-1259. John Lascaris 1259-1266. Michael Palaeologus (1261-1282) recovers Constantinople from the Latins 1261, blinds and banishes John Lascaris; is excommunicated by patriarch Arsenius who is deposed; recovers several islands from Latins; foments revolts in Sicily and Athens. Andronicus the Elder (1272-1328) noteworthy for disputes of the Greek church, invasion of the Catalans, and the rise of the Ottoman power; civil wars between factions loyal to elder and younger; abdicates; Andronicus the Younger (1328-1341), civil war with father, marches unsuccessfully against the Ottoman Turks led by Orchan; embassy to Pope Benedict XII 1339 fails; John Palaeologus (1341-1355 with John Cantacuzenus as regent (and then usurper 1347-1355, embassy to Pope Clement VI 1348 fails ), son of Anne of Savoy, civil war 1341-47, John Palaeologus reigns 1355-1391 (pursuit of lust), more Ottoman inroads into Europe; war with Genoese at Pera or Galata 1348; their victory over Greeks and Venetians 1352, treaty with Pope Innocent VI 1355 fails as does visit to Pope Urban V 1369; Manuel (1391-1425) John Palaeologus's son; Constantinople threatened by Bajazet 1395-1402, receives help from the king of France 1400, J.P and/or Manuel deposed for 2 years by J.P.'s blinded son Andronicus and Sauzes son of Amurath (The Ottoman Turk), used possible alliance with the Latins as an insincere threat to the Ottomans; John Palaeologus II (1425-1448) son of Manuel, negotiated with the Latin church 1438-9 for reunion agreed to at Synod of Florence 1448, which was short-lived and was widely disavowed; the revival of Greek learning in Italy under Barlaam 1339, Petrarch 1339-74, Boccace=Boccaccio c. 1360, Leo Pilatus 1360-3, later Manuel Chrysolaras 1390-1415; Constantine Palaeologus emperor 1448-1453, also a son of Manuel, final defeat of Constantinople by Mahomet II. Subsequent capitulations by his brothers Demetrius (in Morea 1460) and Thomas and the Comnenian remnants in Trebizond (Black Sea) 1461. Pope Nicholas V is distressed at loss of Constantinople.
Rome and the Papacy c. 800-1590 The death of a pope often led to controversy and war, until right of cardinals to elect them is established by Alexander III 1179. The successors of Charlemagne and the Othos derived their legitimacy and titles from the popes 800-1100. It was incorrectly believed that Constantine had invested the popes with dominion over Rome. Gregory VII, who founded the papal monarchy, was virtuous and austere; but was eventually driven from Rome . But increasing income from pilgrims nourished the church and led to corruption and abuse, and Romans began to disdain the Pontiffs. Paschal II 1089-1118, civil war. Gelasius II 1118-9 attacked by Baron Cencio Frangipani. Lucius II 1144-5 and Lucius III 1181-5 were also attacked by Romans. Arnold of Brescia 1140 advocates that Christ's kingdom is not of this world, urges the Romans to restore the republic 1144-54 by rebelling against the church, leading to his execution under Adrian IV. The Senate is restored 1144. Magistrate and former senator Brancaleone restores order 1252-58 but is imprisoned. Emperor Conrad II is succeeded by Frederic I Barbarossa. 1155. Gregory X 1274 established how to elect the pope expeditiously by confining the cardinals in a conclave. In 1328, the pope of Avignon John 23 was deposed and a new law passed that the bishop (pope) should not absent from Rome more than 3 months per year, but this was ignored. Popes often fled the dangers of Rome to France and to Anagni, Perugia, and Viterbo. Boniface VIII 1294-1303 (who instituted the lucrative jubilee or holy year, helping to offset the income formerly received from plenary indulgences during the crusades) is killed. Clement V moves the papacy first to Poitou, then Gascogny, then to Avignon 1309 (lasting 70- years). Jubilees came with increasing frequency, the second under Clement VI in 1350. The rivalry of the Ursini (Guelphs, who espoused the church) and the Colonna (Ghibelines, who espoused the empire) distracted the ecclesiastical state and led to much desolation. Petrarch revives the spirit if the Augustan age in his Latin works, is crowned poet laureate 1341. Nichlolas Rienzi Gabrini governs Rome 1347 as tribune, tries to reform Rome, arresting members of the Colonnas and Ursinis, tries to unite Italy as a federative republic, is knighted 1247, degenerates into vice, is hated and feared by the nobles, is excommunicated 1347 and exiled (Count Pepin restores the aristocracy), is imprisoned at Avignon 1351, restored as Roman senator 1354 under Innocent VI, assassinated 1354. Petrach implores papacy to return to Rome, attempted by Urban V 1367-70 and finally accomplished by Gregory XI 1377, dies 1378, followed by the great schism of the West lasting 40 years (1378-1418): Bari of Naples elected as the tyrannical Urban VI 1378 in Rome, but Robert of Geneva elected subsequently as a competing pope Clement VII 1378 in Avignon leading to revolt in Rome. Savoy, Sicily, Cyprus, Arragon, Castille, Navarre, and Scotland ally with Clement VII in Avignon (and his successor Benedict XIII) while Rome, most of Italy, Germany, Portugal, the Low Countries, and England and the Northern countries ally with Clement VII (and his successors Boniface IX, Innocent VII, and Gregory XII) in Rome. Council of Pisa 1409 attempted to depose the two popes and elected a third, Alexander V, but Council of Constance 1414-18 ended with election of Otho Colonna as the sole pope of a reunited church, Martin V 1418. He initiated the coining of money. He was followed by Eugenius IV 1431 (during whose reign the Romans usurped temporal power in Rome, suppressed after 5 months) and Nicholas V 1447 (the last pope to crown an emperor, Frederic III of Austria). An uprising against the church was led in Rome by Stephen Porcaro 1453, leading to his execution. The popes acquire absolute dominion over Rome by 1500. Sixtus V 1585-90 exterminated the outlaws and bandits, formed a naval and military force, further stabilizing the church's power. The decay and ruin of Rome is attributable to (1) the effect of floods and fires, (2) attacks of the barbarians and the Christians, (3) use and abuse (recycling) of materials, (4) domestic quarrels of the Romans (e.g., the Guelphs and Ghibelines) who built fortified houses and towers.