The Roman Empire loses Syria to the Arabs (7th century AD)

In this article we will shortly look at the situation in Syria during the 7th century AD and the fatal decisions of the Roman leadership that led to her loss. Continue reading “The Roman Empire loses Syria to the Arabs (7th century AD)”

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‘Stratiotika ktemata’ (military landholdings) – The Novel of Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas

Throughout its long history, the Byzantine Empire, with its monetary economy, was normally able to pay its soldiers cash wages when they were on campaign. However, the government did not normally pay for their equipment, or look after them when they were not on active service. It was therefore up to them to support themselves on a regular basis from the rural economy. Continue reading “‘Stratiotika ktemata’ (military landholdings) – The Novel of Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas”

The Normans in the Armeniakon

Although foreigners had served in the empire’s armed forces since the fourth century, they had ceased from the seventh century to constitute large, permanent units of a distinct ethnic character. Whether or not Basil II was conscious of reverting to late antique practice, his formation of a tagma of Rus soldiers marked a departure from imperial policy of the past three hundred years. The ethnic balance of the Byzantine army was not immediately affected, and Basil’s precedent was not followed until the middle of the century. Continue reading “The Normans in the Armeniakon”

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