Faction Overview Byzantines in Rise of Chivalry Byzantines in Renovatio Europam
The Byzantines have the power of Architecture.

Faction Type: Orthodox
National Bonuses:

  • 25% Higher Commerce Cap
  • Recieve Double Income from Taxation
  • Forts and Tower +3 Range
  • Receive Free Fishing Boat with each New Dock
  • Create Ships 33% Faster
  • Archers receive free upgrades
  • Receive free archers whenever you build a new Barracks,
    • One at start,
    • Two with [2],
    • Three at [3]
  • Outposts created 33% faster
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Unique Units:


Available Unique Buildings:

  • Eunuch's Court (unit production building)
  • Bastion (defensive building)
  • Chapterhouse (unit production building)
  • Magistracy (unit production building)
  • Grand Cathedral (wonder)
  • Abbey (wonder)
  • Hagia Sofia (wonder)

Available Unique Techs:

  • Imperial Mandate

Suggestions and spoilersEdit

  • Strengths: Extremely strong defensive capabilities, legendary Dark Age military
  • Weaknesses: No Imperial Era units or chivalric order units means that Imperial Era games are difficult to win. Unless wonders are included in the equation.

Located at the centre of the old world, Byzantium carries over its old Roman heritage even as it inspires new influences while at the same time, receiving others. Because of its strategic location between Europe and the Middle East, Byzantium receives doubled taxation gains from all taxable activities. At the same time, its Roman knack ensures Byzantine towers and forts as some of the most well-built among other factions, which when coupled with its abilities as an Orthodox nation, can make them nearly invulnerable in the Imperial Era. It is almost impossible to take down a Byzantine castle in the Imperial Era using cogs - the far reach of a Byzantine castle with all upgrades means that cogs are hopeless outranged — if the naphta vessels do not reach them first.

In the seas, Byzantium is queen, very much like the original Byzantium of old. Once a player reaches the Castle Age, they have the chance to stop using fire rafts, and start using naphta vessels — naval units with very mediocre range, but a fearsome flame attack that makes short work of other ships and units and buildings too close to the shore. The ability to build ships at a faster rate than others means that Byzantium will remain fairly powerful for a while, until the Imperial Era when other factions like the Asians, Venice, or Portugal obtain more destructive weapons to scourge the seas. Byzantium gets a tougher heavy cavalry line, with increased hitpoints and armour stats, making them somewhat more useful when attacking other cavalry or rushing down infantry. Your own infantry are also not neglected, however: as with the cavalry, the infantry all have some added hitpoints and armour, making them sturdier and better at holding lines. This is especially so in Dark Age games, but over time, the Byzantine Army slowly becomes more hopelessly backward, although the range of their Kontaratoi spearmen should help them survive for a while. Lastly, if all else should fail, the Byzantine player can rely on enhanced militia buildings and static defences — access to the Imperial Mandate technology like the Asians means that Byzantium has access to bastions, which are an upgrade of the Imperial-Era keep, as well as chapterhouses and magistracies, which replace peasants' communes and town watch guild buildings and cannot be taken over by the enemy if the city is taken, so they allow you to conduct a "poison-pill" strategy by producing militia (if resources are still sufficient) to harass your opponents, until they or the buildings are destroyed. This option might be a useful one as an enemy will then have to be wary how to proceed when attacking your cities.

With units bearing highly defensive abilities, and a knack for harvesting benefits from trading and maritime expansion, Byzantium is thus a very flexible faction, suited for receiving enemy rushes. Boat and land wars can be easily broken off using your unique units, while enhanced late-game defences and added wealth from taxation mean that a Byzantine game will often revolve around defence.

Faction summaryEdit

  • Defensive civ that relies heavily on its superior fortifications and naval units.
  • Mix-&-Match — having fast-training mercenaries means that you will always have an answer to your opponent's threats. As mercenaries are only half as effective or so as their mainstream counterparts, balance is the key. Either it's lots of cheap archers and warriors, and powerful cavalry, or it's light cavalry and siege units with heavy infantry in the lead.
  • Castle Crush — The Byzantine game alternates between defence and offence: build up your Dark Age economy as well as you can, in order to support the many Castle Age units that the Byzantines are famed for.
  • The Smell of Victory — Although the Cheirosiphon is a very strong unit, it is still vulnerable to fire ships. Screen this unit with your own light ships at all costs. In fact, a Byzantine navy can be built merely around these ships and some light ships, like Dromonds and Barques alone, although it will prevail little against the heavier Portuguese and Venetian navies. However, these factions do not get into full swing until the Imperial Era...
  • Poison-Pill strategy — in late Imperial games, you can train militia in your cities even as they get absorbed, making occupation of your cities a nasty prospect for any potential hostile takeovers.
  • Bank Book and Cheque — Do not neglect your taxation dues, trade and universities: you need wealth and knowledge to create your unique cavalry units and (much later) gunpowder weapons.

Settlements: Byzantium; Thessaloniki; Mystras; Monemvasia; Corinth; Famagosta; Smyrna; Limassol; Heraklion; Alexandria; Sofia; Thebes; Athens; Varna; Athens; Ohrid; Apollonia; Angora; Epidamnos; Piraeus; Patras; Megara; Santorini; Chios; Potidea; Chalcedonia; Kyrenia; Lindos; Ialysos; Samos; Melos; Paros; Demetrias; Mantinea; Kerkira; Nicosia; Durazzo; Paphos; Chalcis

Leaders: Basil, Michael the Stammerer, Heraclius, Alexius Comnenus, Theodora, Justinian, Isaac of Cyprus, Constantine, Julian, John the Fair, John Axouch, Manuel the Great

Best age(s): Dark and Castle


Conquering all territories to form back the ancient Roman Empire as Byzantium creates a little message stating that the Roman Empire has been restored. This also changes the name of the Byzantines to Romans.

A list of all the territories to conquer to restore Rome can be found here. To obtain this achievement, you need to capture a whopping 61 territories out of the 200-odd which comprise the Old World in Rise of Kings.


The Byzantine empire was formed from the Eastern Roman Empire, when the Roman emperor Constantine moved the seat of Roman rule from Rome to the ancient Greek city of Byzantium (which quickly became known as Constantinople, now known as Istanbul in present-day Turkey)
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, while the western part of the Roman Empire was completely overrun by Germanic barbarians. Separated from the rest of Europe, yet located at the very crossroads of both Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the Byzantines would continue to rule an empire, develop a unique culture of their own and remain a local power until Byzantium and the entire Greek peninsula were lost to Muslim invaders in the 15th century.

Dark Ages of RomeEdit

In the 4th century, Emperor Constantine the Great (306–337), after seizing the title and position of Augustus of the Western Roman Empire, made Christianity a licit religion with the Edict of Milan in 313CE. This official toleration of the Christian religion was the turning point in the history of Christianity and of the development of the Empire. Constantine became the Emperor of the whole Roman Empire, ushering in the first lasting imperial dynasty in roughly 100 years. He called the Council of Nicaea in 325, the first Ecumenical Council of the Christian Church, starting a long tradition of Roman Emperors calling and endorsing Church councils. Through this endorsement of Christianity, Constantine ensured the importance of the religion for the remainer of the empire (Emperor Theodosius in AD 380 made Christianity the only imperial religion, making the link between the Roman Empire and the Church official).

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It was also at this time that the Empire became divided into the Eastern and Western Roman Empire and so five years later, Constantine, wishing to move his imperial capital away from the pagan past of Old Rome (and, of course, the barbarian incursions to the north) founded his new capital at the ancient Greek city of Byzantium, which he renamed Nova Roma. This new capital became known as Constantinopolis (Constantinople in English), that is to say, "the city of Constantine." This relocation, along with the focus on the newly endorsed religion of Christianity at Nicaea, cemented the importance of the eastern section of the Empire perminently. The western part of the empire would persist for roughly another century and a half, but it would never regain prominance again within the Empire itself. The west would be ruled by a line of titular emperors and military viceroys based in Milan. Later, the emperor Theodosius the Great (379–395) officially divided the Empire into two independant states, which inevitably lead to the downfall of the Western Empire from constant barbarian assault. By the beginning of the 6th century, with the capital and most of the land holdings of the Empire now in the Greek-speaking east, the formerly pagan Italo-Roman Empire became culturally and geographically a Christian Graeco-Roman Empire. This Hellenisation caused later western historians to give the name "Byzantine" to the empire. Officially and popularly, however, the empire was Roman,
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with its inhabitants called Romans (or in Greek, "Romaioi"), until the collapse and eventual extinction of the Byzantines in 1461.

Justinian dynastyEdit

Justinian I (527–565) pushed for the reconquest of territory lost during the Empire's disintegration in the west. The general Belisarius, under the orders of his emperor, managed to reincorporate much of the territory around the Mediterranean coast in North Africa, Italy and Spain. The conquests the Empire made under Justinian, however, drained much of the Empire's fortunes causing it to be ill-equipped to retain its territory under the threat of foreign invasion. This, in conjunction with the constant wars with Persia, set the empire up for failure in regard to repelling Slavic invasions in the the 6th century and Islamic Arab invasions in the 7th century. Between the death of Emperor Heraclius in 641 until the rise of the Macedonian Emperors in 867, the Byzantine Empire was reduced to barely more than Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) and parts of the Italian peninsula.

The other major accomplishments of Justinian were his institution of administrative and legal reforms that would become the cornerstone of jurisprudence in Europe and his reconstruction of the great church Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, which would remain the largest Christian church for a millenium.

Macedonian dynastyEdit

In 867, the so-called Macedonian dynasty took the throne of the Byzantine Empire. They managed to again retake much of their lost territory and drove Muslim pirates from the Aegean sea, allowing Byzantine trade to resume unimpeded. This period saw a period of economic growth and a cultural renaissance. The Byzantines also began to spread Christianity to the Bulgarians, Serbs and then the Russians. After the Macedonian dynasty the Byzantines again began to decline.

The Coming of the Turks and ManzikertEdit

From the East the Turks defeated the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert, a blow that saw almost the whole of the Byzantine military force wiped out in just a few weeks. The empire would hold out a little longer and even recover some power under the so-called Comnenian reforms, but the damage was done. From the west, European powers began to make incursions into Greece, culminating in the sack of Constantinople by the marauding armies of the 4th Crusade in 1204. Little by little, the Byzantine Empire was stripped away until only Constantinople held out. The final blow came in 1453 when the Ottoman Turks, under Mehmed the Conqueror, took the city and the title of "Caesar" after a lengthy siege. Once more, Constantinople would be the center of a great Mediterranean empire again, but this time renamed Istanbul when the Turks moved their capital west from Konya to the city. By now only Morea, a small state in southern Greece, remained in Byzantine hands but its fate was soon sealed. Ruled by members of the Palaeologoi, its despot David tried to incite the Catholics to launch a crusade but instead invited the wrath of the Turks, and so in 1461, the Turks marched into the Pelopennesus, effectively exterminating the Byzantine Empire once and for all.