Byzantium – The Eastern Roman Empire
The city’s status as residence of the Eastern Roman Emperor made it into the premier city in all of the Eastern Roman colonies in the Balkans, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus, Egypt, and part of present day Libya. A good indication of the degree to which the Eastern Empire was not made up for the greatest part of original Romans, can be seen in the official languages of the Byzantines: Greek, Coptic, Syriac and Armenian, with only a very few mainly Christian priests actually speaking Latin.
Due to the immense symbolism of Rome, Eastern Roman emperors made two attempts to recapture the west, once ironically using Romanized Germans. This use of Germanic tribes such as the Goths and eventually even Vikings (in the Varangian Guard in Constantinople) was the major reason why the Eastern Empire lasted as long as it did.
Surrounded by huge walls, defenses erected by the Romans at the height of their power, and defended by armies of Germanic mercenaries, Constantinople ended up surviving as a city virtually besieged for the greater part of its life, its territories eventually restricted to the direct area of the city.
In the west, Germanic tribes were once again on the offensive, and soon after Justinian’s death, had recaptured most of the territory which had been retaken under the Eastern Roman emperor. What must have seemed like an endless wave of warlike Germans swept down from the north, sweeping masses of mixed race Roman remnants into the south of the country, helping to create the distinctive “olive” south of Italy visible to this day.
Islam threatens Constantinople
The first waves of non-White Islamic armies came sweeping up out of the Saudi Arabian peninsula, fired up by a new powerful religion which urged its supporters to convert the “kafirs”—or non-Muslim infidels—by force if necessary, through the “Jihad” or Holy War. The Eastern Empire soon began losing its eastern most territories before the Islamic armies, most being impossible to defend with the limited resources available to Constantinople. This non-White racial invasion would be the spark for the Second Great Race War—the Crusades…
Despite this victory, the writing was on the wall for the Eastern Empire—a rapidly growing mixed race population, a small White minority, threatened from the west by the Slavs, and from the east by the Turks and Persians—there seemed to be no way out. Between 634 AD and 642 AD, the Islamic armies invaded Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Egypt, finally besieging the city of Constantinople itself three times, in 670 AD, 717 and in 718. After this year, the Islamic armies launched new invasions virtually every year.
The result was the start of one of the longest running race wars in history, between the Whites in Western Europe on the one hand and the mixed race Arabic/Black armies of Islam on the other hand. The battlefield raged around Constantinople—that city’s Christian status in the face of Islam led generations of White Christians in Europe to physically prop up the city, artificially prolonging its life-span by centuries.
This race war was fought under the guise of a religious battle to be known as the Crusades, and would last 275 years, from 1095 to 1270 AD. (The full story and impact of the Crusades is reviewed in a following chapter).
Crusader race war ultimately fails
Although Byzantium initially benefited from the Crusades, recovering some land in Asia Minor, the Crusader race war ended ultimately in defeat for the Whites, and by 1354 AD, the Turks had occupied much of the Balkans, cutting off Constantinople from the West. The city finally fell to the Muslim armies in 1453 AD—the date which formally marks the end of the Eastern Roman Empire. Once again, like the Western Roman Empire, the Eastern Roman Empire was, by the time of its fall, Roman in name only.