Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 06 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The geography of Byzantium shaped its history by defining its strategic possibilities and challenges, setting limits to the resources that the empire and its inhabitants could draw upon and exploit, and imposing restrictions on the movement of goods and people. The Roman Empire of the sixth century—Byzantium before the rise of Islam—annexed varying territories in the central and western Mediterranean, essentially forming the eastern half of the Roman Empire of the fourth and fifth centuries. Its core territories lay in the east and consisted of the Balkan peninsula, Anatolia, the western Transcaucasus, the Levant, northern Mesopotamia, and Egypt. Long before the empire ended in 1453, it had lost most of these territories, but even in its last two centuries this remained the wider geographical context in which Byzantium continued to exist. Rather than being a Mediterranean empire, Byzantium existed in the Mediterranean.

Keywords: geography, Byzantium, Roman Empire, Mediterranean, Balkan peninsula, Anatolia, Transcaucasus, Levant, Mesopotamia, Egypt

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.