The Byzantine Empire
) was the Eastern Roman Empire
during the periods of Late Antiquity
and the Middle Ages
, centred on the capital of Constantinople
. Known simply as the "Roman Empire" (Greek
: Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων
, Basileia Rhōmaiōn
) or Romania
) to its inhabitants and neighbours, it was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State
and maintained Roman state traditions. Byzantium is today distinguished from ancient Rome
proper insofar as it was oriented towards Greek culture
, characterised by Christianity rather than Roman paganism
and was predominantly Greek
-speaking rather than Latin
The Byzantine Empire existed for more than a thousand years, from its genesis in the 4th century to 1453. During most of its existence, it remained one of the most powerful economic, cultural, and military forces in Europe, despite setbacks and territorial losses, especially during the Arab–Byzantine wars. The Empire recovered during the Macedonian dynasty, rising again to become a preeminent power in the Eastern Mediterranean by the late 10th century, rivalling the Fatimid Caliphate.
After 1071, however, much of Asia Minor, the Empire's heartland, was lost to the Seljuq Turks. The Komnenian restoration regained some ground and briefly reestablished dominance in the 12th century, but following the death of Emperor Andronikos I Komnenos (r. 1183–85) and the end of the Komnenos dynasty in the late 12th century the Empire declined again. The Empire received a mortal blow in 1204 from the Fourth Crusade, when it was dissolved and divided into competing Byzantine Greek and Latin realms.
Successive civil wars in the 14th century further sapped the Empire's strength, and most of its remaining territories were lost in the Byzantine–Ottoman Wars, which culminated in the Fall of Constantinople and the conquest of remaining territories by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century.
Sir Raphael "Roy" Welensky
(20 January 1907 – 5 December 1991) was a Northern Rhodesian
politician and the second and last prime minister
of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
. Born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia
) to parents of Jewish
ancestry, he moved to Northern Rhodesia, became involved with the trade unions, and entered the colonial legislative council in 1938. There, he campaigned for the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Rhodesia (the latter under white self-government, the former under the colonial office). Although unsuccessful, he succeeded in the formation of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, a state within the British Empire
that sought to retain predominant power for the white minority while moving in a progressive political direction, in contrast to apartheid South Africa
Becoming Prime Minister of the Federation in 1957, Welensky opposed British moves towards native African rule, and used force to suppress politically motivated violence in the territories. After the advent of African rule in two of the Federation's three territories (Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, now Zambia and Malawi respectively), it collapsed in 1963. Welensky retired to Salisbury, where he re-entered politics and attempted to stop Rhodesia (formerly Southern Rhodesia) from unilaterally declaring itself independent. With the end of white rule in 1979, and the independence of Rhodesia as Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe in 1980, Welensky moved to England, where he died in 1991.