Byzantine Empire

Collins
World English Dictionary
Byzantine Empire
 
n
See also Eastern Roman Empire the continuation of the Roman Empire in the East, esp after the deposition of the last emperor in Rome (476 ad). It was finally extinguished by the fall of Constantinople, its capital, in 1453

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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
Byzantine Empire [(biz-uhn-teen, biz-uhn-teyen, bizan-tin)]

An empire, centered at Constantinople, that began as the eastern portion of the Roman Empire; it included parts of Europe and western Asia. As the western Roman Empire declined, the Byzantine Empire grew in importance, and it remained an important power in Europe until the eleventh century. The Byzantine Empire was conquered by Turkish forces in the fifteenth century.

The Byzantine emperor was an absolute ruler (see absolute monarchy), and the laws and customs associated with his empire were strict and complex. His rule was supported by the Christian Church in the region, which later became the independent Eastern Orthodox Church.

Note: The word byzantine is often applied to a group of intricately connected and rigidly applied regulations or traditions, or to a complex bureaucracy that insists on formal requirements.
Note: Constantinople is called Istanbul today.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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