The Byzantine Empire
The city of Constantinople lay at the heart of a powerful empire known as Byzantium. In 395 A.D., Rome split into two separate empires in order to make it easier to rule its massive territory.
The western empire kept the name of Rome, while the eastern empire took the name of Byzantium. By 500 A.D., Rome had fallen into decline and was soon conquered. The Byzantine Empire, on the other hand, would endure for another 1,000 years.
From 500 to 1200 A.D., the Byzantines would be the wealthiest nation in Europe and western Asia. Their standard of living would be higher than that of other nations in Europe, and they would lead much of the world in art, science, and building.