Once part of Roman Empire.
Flourished from an eastern Mediterranean base after Rome declined.
Continued some of Rome's heritage, but also developed its own form of civilization.
Spread cultural/political influence to the Balkans and Southern Russia.
It survived for almost 1000 years.
Recruited men from the Middle East by granting heritable land in return for military service.
Major urban center.
Attacked and conquered by Crusaders during the Western Crusade of 1204, which led to it being temporarily established as a western kingdom.
Breaking of icons.
Religious controversy of the 8th century.
Byzantine emperors attempted and failed to suppress icon veneration.