Byzantine Empire Macedonian dynasty
1057 Jan 1


İstanbul, Turkey
  • During this period, the Byzantine state reached its greatest extent since the Muslim conquests. The empire also expanded during this period, conquering Crete, Cyprus, and most of Syria.
  • The Macedonian Dynasty saw the Byzantine Renaissance, a time of increased interest in classical scholarship and the assimilation of classical motifs into Christian artwork. The ban on painting religious figures and idols was lifted and the era produced classical representations and mosaics depicting them.
  • However, the Macedonian Dynasty also saw increasing dissatisfaction and competition for land among nobles in the theme system, which weakened the authority of the emperors and led to instability. Throughout this period there was great competition among nobles for land in the theme system. Since such governors could collect taxes and control the military forces of their themes, they became independent of the emperors and acted independently, weakening the authority of the emperors. They tended to increase taxes on small farmers in order to enrich themselves, thereby causing massive dissatisfaction.
  • The Macedonian period also included events of momentous religious significance. The conversion of the Bulgarians, Serbs, and Rus’ to Orthodox Christianity permanently changed the religious map of Europe, and still impacts demographics today. Cyril and Methodius, two Byzantine Greek brothers, contributed significantly to the Christianization of the Slavs, and in the process devised the Glagolitic alphabet, ancestor to the Cyrillic script.