A Terracotta Figure of Aphrodite, circa 1st Century B.C., A TERRACOTTA FIGURE OF APHRODITE
The Eastern Roman Empire's evolution from the ancient Roman Empireis sometimes dated from Emperor Constantine I's transfer of the capital from Nicomedia (in Anatolia) to Byzantium on the Bosphorus, which became Constantinople (alternatively "New Rome"). By the 7th century, increased eastern cultural influences, reforms by EmperorHeraclius, and the adoption of Greek as the official language, distinguished the later Roman character from its ancient character.
During its thousand-year existence the Empire remained one of the most powerful economic, cultural, and military forces in Europe, despite setbacks and territorial losses, especially during the Roman–Persianand Byzantine–Arab Wars. After the Komnenian restoration briefly re-established dominance in the 12th century, the Empire slipped into a long decline, with the Byzantine–Ottoman Wars culminating in the Fall of Constantinople and its remaining territories to the Muslim Ottoman Turks in the 15th century.
MOSAIC FRAGMENT WITH GAZELLE AND BIRD, SYRIA