In a previous article, ns looked in ~ the reasons why byzantine Empire lasted for this reason long. In this piece, I will analyze the events that brought about its ultimate downfall. As was the situation with the Western roman Empire, the Eastern identical was faced with range of international enemies. However, it was arguably that is internal issues that caused its demise.

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Emperors like Justinian ns tried to expand the empire yet throughout that history, a host of difficulties arose and also contributed to its downfall. No solitary issue brought about the end of the byzantine Empire. It was made good by that economy, military, unity, and ability to take benefit of the moments of weak of rivals and also neighbors. End time, the economic and also military might waned and together with it, the empire’s volume to grab an opportunity. Include in civil unrest, natural catastrophes and powerful enemies such together the Arabs, Seljuk Turks, Bulgars, Normans, Slavs, and also Ottoman Turks, and also you can see why the byzantine Empire at some point crumbled.


1 – The battle of Manzikert (1071)

This is maybe the most decisive fight in Byzantine background and the eye of numerous historians; it significant the start of the finish for the empire. Through 1070, the Seljuk Turks had replaced the Arabs together the main Muslim threat. However, castle were one of the several opponents the Byzantines had to cope with in the 11th century. The Bulgars and the norman would have kept the Eastern roman Empire’s hands complete by themselves, yet the added threat that the Seljuk Turks to be seemingly too much to handle.

The Turks were former nomads who had converted to Islam and also began a brand-new era of occupations in the name of their religion. If the norman were invading Italy, the Turks collection their sights on Asia Minor. The oriental Emperor, Romanos IV Diogenes, carried an army to avoid them and also faced the Turks close to Manzikert on august 26, 1071. The fight was a finish disaster because that the Byzantines together their leader was captured and thousands of males were killed including almost all of the renowned Varangian Guard when the Emperor was additionally captured. They additionally learned the harsh lesson the mercenaries to be unreliable as in between 20,000 and also 35,000 men deserted.

As well together severely weakening the oriental army, victory at Manzikert permitted the Turks to take it Anatolia. That was considered the heartland that the realm as it to be the house of the bulk of its farmers and soldiers. The ‘Theme’ system, which supplied the realm with most of the men, was destroyed, which intended the Byzantines had to watch west for aid, with devastating consequences.

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However, Manzikert alone was not responsible because that the decrease of the oriental Empire. During the 12th century, lot of Anatolia was recovered under the Komnenian Restoration, yet the recovery was brought to a crashing halt in ~ the fight of Myriokephalon in 1176. The Byzantines were ambushed through the Seljuk Turks and also suffered hefty casualties. It to be the last initiative to recuperate the inner of Anatolia, and also in strategic terms, Myriokephalon was nearly as vital as Manzikert.