Theodora, detail of a Byzantine mosaic in the Basilica of Saint Vitale, Ravenna.
The Eastern Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantine Empire, came after the fall of Rome in 476 by Germanic barbarians.
The last of the Roman emperors in the west, Romulus was overthrown by the Germanic leader Odoacer in 476 and became the first Barbarian to rule in Rome. “Barbarians” stayed in Rome until 1453 when the Ottoman Turks invaded Constantinople, and initiated their advance towards central Europe.
Justinian and Theodora, San Vitale, Ravenna
Byzantine mosaic: empress Theodora and a train of court ladies.
The Empire was composed of the current countries: Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Bulgaria, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Libya, San Marino, Tunisia, Malta and parts of Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Algeria and Ukraine.
Map of the Mediterranean World in 530.