Map of the Byzantine Empire 780 AD

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By 780 the situation along Byzantium's eastern frontier had stabilised, and the Empire's "dark age" was drawing to a close. Byzantium was now transformed from the sprawling mediterranean empire of late antiquity into a relatively compact medieval state with its most important lands, in terms of agricultural production, tax-base, and military manpower, in Asia Minor.

However reduced in territorial extent, Byzantium has proved its tenacity and ability to adapt and survive under severe pressure from east, west and north. The next two and a half centuries will see an amazing recovery in the Empire's fortunes, based upon the administrative and military structures put in place during its long battle for survival.

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