A Brief History of the Macedonian Dynasty

The Macedonian Dynasty was a family including some so-called interlopers that ruled the Byzantine Empire from 867 to 1056. During this family’s reign, this Byzantine state obtained its greatest reach and expanse reaching all the way to criminal defense lawyer Odessa. It had two periods. The first from 867 to 1025 and the second from 1025 to 1056. This dynasty proved to be the second-longest in all of Byzantine history and is known for having a military, religious and artistic influence that went well into the Middle Ages and impacted the world.

About The Emperors

During the dynasty, no Roman or Greek rulers were in power which was unusual considering that the Byzantine Empire split from the Roman Empire. It started with Basil the First who was born in Macedonia (hence Macedonian dynasty). There were 16 emperors and empresses during its time because Basil’s bloodline, his children and grandchildren, rose to power after him. His son took the throne after he died in a hunting accident. Leo VI was just 20 went he took power and he ruled for 26 years. While his reign was long, it was nothing compared to Constantine the VII who ruled for 46 years until 959 or Basil the II who ruled for 49 years until 1025. Empress Theodora ruled for two terms including one where she ruled with her sister Zoe. When Zoe’s husband died, she obtained full reign until she died in 1056. Sadly, the dynasty ended due to Theodora having never produced any heirs. However, the entire dynasty was infiltrated at times by people who were not related to the family. The Dynasty was not impervious to allowing common-folk to marry within the family after a law passed during the rule of Justinian which made it permissible.

Cultural Flourishes

According to Wikipedia, paintings of the times related to church matters and sculpture, though rare, was done primarily with ivory. This time is also dubbed the Macedonia Renaissance because of the amount of education and learning taking place. The ban on religious iconography was lifted resulting in some works of art such as the mosaic Virgin and Child in Hagia Sophia which can still be seen today.

Although many advances were made in law, in the military, and in art, it is believed this Dynasty was a major influence in the fall of the Byzantine Empire 400 years after its end because cities expanded and affluence spread throughout the country with “a new found security” which made them vulnerable to collapsing.