Byzantium’s Empire: Theme System

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Besides other political and social changes within the empire, the main impact on Byzantium’s empire being strengthened was the imperial province, also known as the “Theme System”. This system gave a general responsibility of military defence and civil administration. They took direct orders from the imperial government, which decreased decentralization of power and authority. The military built up the “free peasant” rank, which strengthen the economy. “The theme system enabled Byzantine forces to mobilize quickly and resist further Islamic advances and also undergirded the political order and social organization of the empire from the eighteenth throughout the twelfth century (Bentley, 192).”

After the seventeenth century, there was a huge emergence of the Islamic people. They were conquering...”the Sasanid empire and overran Byzantine Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and North Africa...even subjected Constantinople to prolonged siege (in 674-678 and again in 717-718) (Bentley, 192)”.This kind of power posed a serious threat to the Byzantium empire. Byzantinum built their military forces and enhanced their military technology. One of the main and most influential changes within their military was the use of a weapon known as “Greek Fire”. Greek Fire was basically a bomb made up of sulphur, lime, and petroleum. They used this powerful battle tactic on enemy fleets, ground forces, and even for naval battle. The Greek Fire was known for floating over water, which posed a serious hazard for enemies. Because the fire was so difficult to extinguish, it cost many lives of troops during battle. This defence strategy allowed Byzantium to regain power over Anatolia, Greece, and Balkan and in result, reconquered Syria from the Muslims, regained the Balkan empire, and won the battle of Kleidion.
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