The period from  843 to 1261 was an important on efor the byzantine Empire. At the  outset the empire began a gradual recovery from the seventh century Arab conquests in the east teh the destructive invasion of the  germanic  tribes  in the  West,  and the  incursions of numerous slavic tribes in Balkans  from the middle of the ninth to the  early eleventh  century, byzantine armies and fleets expanded the imperial boundaries North to the danube, east  to syrina and to caucasus and South to grete thus  removing a vast  are of land and sea from Muslim slavic  or armenian control. Byzantine  diplomacy and  political influence expanded into  an ever widening area  beyond these territories  to kiev, Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo  and Rome as did  the  various cultural  forms created  by this  powerful civilization. Consequently the byzantine empire knew a period of prestige and cultural eminence  parallel  to the earlier period of Justinian the great  527-65 by  the late eleventh  century, however the  political  and economic  fortunes of  byzantium had undergone profound reversals  as the Selcuk Turkish  in the east the  Balkan slavs  in the  North Italian commercial cities and the  crusades in the West  subjected the  empire  to ever  increasing military  attacks, commercial penetration and demographic alteretion.

The  history  of these  developments  as fascinating as it is complex  involving  as the dose so many different worlds  poeples and cultures . This  brief  introduction concentrates on the  internal  structure  of the byzantine  civilization  its external Dynamics  and history  and the diffusion of its  culture  to other lands and civilizations.

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