The Byzantine navy comprised the naval forces of the Byzantine Empire.
Like the empire it served, it developed directly from its earlier
imperial Roman counterpart, but in comparison with its precursor played
a far greater role in the defense and survival of the state. While the
fleets of the Roman Empire faced few great naval threats, operating as
a policing force and vastly inferior in power and prestige to the
legions, the sea was vital to the very existence of Byzantium, which
several historians have called a "maritime empire". The
re-establishment of a permanently maintained fleet in the 6th century
and the introduction of the dromon galley in the same period also marks
the point where the Byzantine navy began departing from its late Roman
roots. This process would be furthered with the onset of the Muslim
conquests in the 7th century. Following the loss of the Levant and
later Africa, the Mediterranean Sea was transformed from a "Roman lake"
into a battleground between Byzantines and Arabs. Through the use of
the newly invented "Greek fire", the Byzantine navy's best-known and
feared secret weapon, Constantinople was saved from several sieges and
numerous naval engagements were won for the Byzantines. The antagonism
with the Muslim navies continued with alternating success. Faced with
new naval challenges from the West, the Byzantines were increasingly
forced to rely on the navies of Italian city-states like Venice and
Genoa. The diminished navy, however, continued to be active until the
fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottomans in 1453.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Alexander the Great of Macedon defeated Darius III of Persia at the
Battle of Gaugamela, and was subsequently crowned "King of Asia" in a
ceremony in Arbela.
At the urging of preservationist John Muir and writer Robert Underwood
Johnson, the United States Congress established Yosemite National Park
Chinese Civil War: Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong
proclaimed the establishment of the People's Republic of China.
Tōkaidō Shinkansen, the first Shinkansen line of high-speed railways in
A coup d'état in Indonesia by the self-proclaimed Thirtieth of
September Movement was crushed by forces of General Suharto and sparked
an anti-Communist purge.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (of a mouth) Gaping, as with wonder, expectation, or eager
2. Open wide
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as
it is black.