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Empire rankByzantium
Primary culture
Greek (Byzantine)

Capital province
Constantinople (151)

Feudal MonarchyGovernment monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
EasternEastern technology group
Byzantine ideas
Traditions.png Traditions:
−10% Advisor costs
+3 Tolerance of the true faith

Mercenary maintenance.png Regulation of Mercenaries

−25% Mercenary maintenance

National manpower modifier.png Repopulation of the Countryside

+10% National manpower modifier
+5% Goods produced modifier

National tax modifier.png State Administrative Reform

+10% National tax modifier

Stability cost modifier.png Delegated Power

−10% Stability cost modifier

Trade power.png Byzantine Merchant Class

+10% Global trade power

Discipline.png The New Imperial Army

+5% Discipline

Missionary strength.png Restore the Ecumenical Patriarch

+3% Missionary Strength

Idea bonus.png Ambitions:

+1 Yearly prestige

Byzantium is what remains of the once great Eastern Roman Empire (itself the last remnant of the once mighty Roman Empire). Starting with only three provinces in Southern Greece and Athens as a vassal it begins the game under the shadow of the Ottomans. Luckily it starts with the fabled city of Constantinople, one of the largest and richest in the known world. Any player daring enough to try this doomed nation must act quickly to secure alliances before the ever-expanding Turks turn towards it.


Main articles: Byzantine missions, Purple Phoenix missions

Byzantium's missions are focused around reconquering the former territories of the Empire (including Italy), as well as a special mission to restore the Orthodox Pentarchy by converting all five major Christian cities to the Orthodox faith, upon which the Papal Controller mechanics for Catholics will be permanently disabled.


Main article: Purple Phoenix events (only with Purple Phoenix DLC)

Byzantine events revolve around the reconquest of key cities and regions in the empire. There are also some events about the influence that the court had over the emperor.


Byzantium can be restored by Orthodox countries with Greek or Pontic primary culture.

Execute decision.pngRestore the Byzantine Empire

The glorious Byzantine Empire is gone, but as long as there are Greeks in Constantinople, there is hope of resurrection. We can take its place in spirit, but we cannot take its name unless we prove worthy...

Potential Requirements

This country:

Byzantium does not exist.
If this country is AI-controlled then:


This country:

  • is not a subject nation.
  • is not a nomad nation.
  • is not at war.
  • owns the following provinces:
    • Constantinople (151), Edirne (149), Epirus (144), Morea (145), Athens (146), Thessaly (147), Macedonia (148), Achaea (1773), Kocaeli (316), Hüdavendigar (317), Sugla (318), Kastoria (1853) and Biga (2296).


This country:

  • changes to Flag of Byzantium Byzantium.
  • becomes an Empire rank empire.
  • moves its Capital.png capital to Constantinople (151) and gains a core on it.
  • gets the event ‘New Traditions & Ambitions’, if it is not a custom nation.
  • removes all its provinces from the HRE, if it is a member but not an elector of the HRE.
  • gains a permanent claim on all non-core provinces of:
  • gains Prestige.png10 prestige.
  • gets the modifier “Increased Centralization” for 20 years with the following effects:
    • Autonomy.png −0.05 monthly autonomy change,
    • National unrest.png +1 national unrest.

2 random provinces of Byzantium with Greek culture gain Tax Base Icon.png1 base tax.


Execute decision.pngReestablish the Theme System

We have recovered from the brink of destruction and now there are those that are calling for the reestablishment of the old imperial administrative division of the Theme.

Potential Requirements
  • Is Flag of Byzantium Byzantium
  • Does not have the modifier "The Theme System"
  • If is AI controlled, has at least 3 provinces
  • Owns:
Constantinople, Edirne, Kocaeli, Hüdavendigar, Sugla, Mentese, Kütahya, Konya, Karaman, Kastamonu, Ankara, Sinop, Sivas, Trebizond, Adana, Amasya, Hamid, Biga, Saruhan, Tekke, Bolu, Bozok, Kayseri, Içel, Canik and Plovdiv

  • Change name to 26 provinces
  • Edirne:
    • Changes province name to Adrianople
    • Changes province capital name to Adrianople
  • Kocaeli:
    • Changes province name to Optimatoi
    • Changes province capital name to Nikomedeia
  • Hüdavendigar:
    • Changes province name to Opsikion
    • Changes province capital name to Prussa
  • Sugla:
    • Changes province name to Smyrna
    • Changes province capital name to Smyrna
  • Mentese:
    • Changes province name to Mylasa
    • Changes province capital name to Mougla
  • Kütahya:
    • Changes province name to Kotyaion
    • Changes province capital name to Kotyaion
  • Konya:
    • Changes province name to Ikonion
    • Changes province capital name to Iconion
  • Karaman:
    • Changes province name to Laranda
    • Changes province capital name to Laranda
  • Kastamonu:
    • Changes province name to Paphlagonia
    • Changes province capital name to Timonio
  • Ankara:
    • Changes province name to Galatia
    • Changes province capital name to Ancyra
  • Sinop:
    • Changes province name to Sinope
    • Changes province capital name to Sinop
  • Sivas:
    • Changes province name to Sebasteia
    • Changes province capital name to Sebasteia
  • Trebizond:
    • Changes province name to Trebizond
    • Changes province capital name to Trapezous
  • Adana:
    • Changes province name to Cilicia
    • Changes province capital name to Atana
  • Amasya:
    • Changes province name to Armeniakon
    • Changes province capital name to Amasea
  • Hamid:
    • Changes province name to Anatolikon
    • Changes province capital name to Polydorion
  • Constantinople:
    • Changes province name to Constantinople
    • Changes province capital name to Constantinople
  • Biga:
    • Changes province name to Abydos
    • Changes province capital name to Pigai
  • Saruhan:
    • Changes province name to Thrakesion
    • Changes province capital name to Magnesia
  • Tekke:
    • Changes province name to Attalia
    • Changes province capital name to Attalia
  • Bolu:
    • Changes province name to Boukellarion
    • Changes province capital name to Klaudiopol
  • Bozok:
    • Changes province name to Cappadocia
    • Changes province capital name to Tavium
  • Kayseri:
    • Changes province name to Charsianon
    • Changes province capital name to Cesarea
  • Içel:
    • Changes province name to Seleucia
    • Changes province capital name to Kermarage
  • Canik:
    • Changes province name to Chaldia
    • Changes province capital name to Amissos
  • Plovdiv:
    • Changes province name to Philippopolis
    • Changes province capital name to Philippopolis
  • If does not have the global flag Constantinople Restored:
    • Add +4 Tax Base Icon.png base tax in Constantinople
    • Add +4 Production.png base production in Constantinople
    • Add +3 Local manpower modifier.png local manpower in Constantinople
    • Sets the global flag Constantinople Restored
  • Gets the modifier "The Theme System" for the rest of the campaign:
    • +25% National manpower modifier.png global manpower modifier

Execute decision.pngTriumph for Greece

With the reconquest of Greece complete we can honor the victorious soldiers and generals with a triumphal march through the capital, a tradition that dates back to the earliest days of Rome. While defunct for many years, our phoenix-like rebirth seems like an apt time to restart it.

Potential Requirements Allow
  • Own all provinces in Morea and Northern Greece

  • Add 10 Prestige.png Prestige
  • Add 25 Army tradition.png Army tradition

Execute decision.pngTriumph for the Balkans

With the reconquest of the Balkans complete we can honor the victorious soldiers and generals with another triumphal march through the capital, a capital that is now secured from European threats.

Potential Requirements
  • Has Purple Phoenix DLC
  • Is Flag of Byzantium Byzantium
  • Own at least one province in Balkans
  • has not enacted this decision before.
  • Owns Silistria, Burgas, Edirne, Tarnovo, Sofia, Macedonia, Monastir, Albania, Zeta, Ragusa and Dalmatia

  • Add 20 Prestige.png Prestige
  • Add 25 Army tradition.png Army tradition

Execute decision.pngTriumph for the Asia minor coast

Now that the Asia minor coast is secure, the capital is safe from eastward threats. The army deserves to march in triumph through the streets, and our generals must be commended.

Potential Requirements Allow
  • Own all provinces in Eastern Aegean, Aydin and Hüdavendigar Area

  • Add 10 Prestige.png Prestige
  • Add 25 Army tradition.png Army tradition

Execute decision.pngTriumph for Anatolia

The soldiers and generals that have secured Anatolia once again surely deserve the highest of honors!

Potential Requirements
  • Has Purple Phoenix DLC
  • Is Flag of Byzantium Byzantium
  • Own at least one province in Anatolia
  • has not enacted this decision before.

  • Add 20 Prestige.png Prestige
  • Add 25 Army tradition.png Army tradition

Execute decision.pngTriumph for Italy

Our generals have now exceeded even the great Belisarius by returning the whole of Italy to Imperial control, and so they must be awarded the grandest triumph the Empire has ever seen!

Potential Requirements
  • Has Purple Phoenix DLC
  • Is Flag of Byzantium Byzantium
  • Own at least one province in Italy
  • has not enacted this decision before.
  • Own all provinces in Italy

  • Add 35 Prestige.png Prestige
  • Add 25 Army tradition.png Army tradition


Byzantium starts in a precarious situation: surrounded by the Ottomans, they must secure strong allies before their mighty neighbor attacks and destroys them.


As Byzantium is hopelessly outmatched by the Ottomans in the beginning, their only hope for survival is finding a strong ally in time before the Ottomans strike. It is advisable to set Byzantium's attitude towards the Ottomans to "threatened" to give their enemies more reasons to ally the player. The player should also have a Statesman advisor providing +1 diplomatic reputation to boost the relations enough for Poland (or Hungary) to accept the player's royal marriage proposal and later alliance. If such an advisor is not available, the player can either fire existing advisors until one appears (possibly taking loans in the process), or restart the game until the stars align.

The common choices for allies for Byzantium are Poland and Hungary. Ideally, they'll both have the Ottomans rivaled, and won't rival each other; this takes some luck, however, so be prepared to settle with non-ideal starts or reset the game a lot.

Poland offers more armies than Hungary, and if they take the Personal Union option with Lithuania, together with the vassal-swarm Mazovia and Moldavia generate. However, Poland is definitely not in a rush to help the Byzantines - they will be spending the first few years of the game attempting to expand toward the Teutonic Order's lands, and if declared on while they are still fighting, they won't offer much help. This is especially tricky if Hungary allied the Teutonic Order and decided to defend them, causing allies to exhaust themselves. Furthermore, Poland does not have a reliable starting general, making them lose most equal-numbers battles to the Turks' two-star general Hadim Sehabeddin.

Hungary, on the other hand, has less armies than Poland, but are closer and more often threatened by the Turks, making them normally an easier ally. They are also not going to get involved with any major early wars due to being in an Interregnum and soon a Regency (unless, of course, they decide to save the Teutonic Order from Poland). In addition, their general Janos Hunyadi's high skill can prove a big hassle for the Ottoman armies. In short, Hungary is low risk, low reward; Poland is high risk, high reward.

Austria, the Mamluks and Aragon might also rival the Turks and become a viable ally, but Austria is hard to sway due to border distance, the Mamluks won't provide Poland's numbers nor Hungary's general, and Aragon can really only send ships - rarely men.

Other minors around the player, such as Wallachia, Serbia, Bosnia, Albania, Trebizond, Theodoro and the Turkish minors in Anatolia are good cannon fodder - the extra few thousand armies can change the battle. Albania, especially, has the general Skanderbeg's 5/5/5/0 pips that make a major difference in combat. Some of these are also good options for vassalization later due to same religion. However, note that it's not always ideal to ally them - Wallachia may rival Hungary, Serbia often rivals Byzantium, Bosnia is further away and always allies Serbia, Albania tends to be attacked extremely early (first half of 1445), and Trebizond/Theodoro might pull the player to war against the large Crimea and Qara Qoyunlu hordes.

The time before the war can also be used to fabricate claims on the Ottomans or improving relations with Athens to speed up the integration process later on. Byzantium does not have much income or force limit in the beginning, but building the army up to the force limit may provide a little edge in the inevitable war.

Early expansion outside of the Ottomans is also very difficult as the Ottomans often warn Byzantium. Venice and Genoa can be fabricated upon for their Greek islands. In some cases, Venice will take Albania which can be taken with support of Hungary, and provide a bridge to Serbia. Alternatively, supporting rebels in the Greek provinces might cause separatism, particularly in Negroponte (Venice's island next to Athens) and Chios (Genoa's islands connected to Anatolia) - this will cause the provinces to defect to Byzantium.

The First War[edit]

Getting attacked by the Turks is not hard - send them an insult and claim their land through the diplomatic feedback. Then constantly harass them by embargoes and fabricating on Asia Minor and Bulgaria. Eventually they'll get angry enough to attack, causing allies to join in immediately, turning them into an easy prey. If they decide to take too long, at some point the allies will join a call to war (if playing with Cossacks, once again, 10 favors is all that's needed - should take a couple decades, so be patient). Keeping army maintenance low can help the economy thrive, but if the Turkish armies are visible in the border, raise it back. In case the Purple Phoenix DLC is enabled, expect gain a couple extra monarch points along this period; use them to get a good general.

It is important to capture as much territory as possible in the first war, mark Byzantium's interest in that territory before the war begins, though avoid setting common provinces of vital interests - Poland might want Silistria, and Hungary, Vidin. Byzantium has many cores in mainland Greece, particularly Edirne, Kastoria, Selanik, Thessaly, Yanya. Rushing Edirne whenever possible during the battles is key, for not only it's more valuable than most other provinces, it also is the Ottomans' land bridge to the Balkans, capital and most important fort. Taking it will increase warscore, and create a safe bubble in the Balkans to stackwipe Ottoman armies. Defending Edirne and Constantinople is also easy due to the large strait crossing penalty.

Should the war be a success, Edirne is the priority - then, after it, the core Greek provinces splitting Constantinople from Morea, based on development. If everything goes well and somehow the strait was crossed, taking Kocaeli and it's fort is a great idea, for it's a fort and buffer to Constantinople and the strait (and, with Purple Phoenix, a couple bonuses from the Nikomedia Reclaimed Event will pop up). However, it will be hard to cross the strait without a massive navy of galleys. If there's some Warscore left, Albania is well-developed, should they have already annexed it, Burgas is a decent extra buffer for Constantinople, and Silistra's development is nice too - worth noting that, if the Turks do not own the Greek and Bulgarian coastlines nor Albania, they'll be completely locked out of their Balkan territory, making them super vulnerable against anyone, especially rebels.

During the war, the player should observe closely their ally's attitude, and rather end the war a little early than risk fighting the Ottomans alone. Oftentimes the Mamluks lay a claim on ottoman border and coastal territories, or Karaman and Candar set out on a reconquest against the now-weakened Turks by the war. Sometimes, even Qara Qoyunlu might jump in for the free land. The player should keep their army out of harm's way, unless it is possible to turn a battle with the few men the player has.

If the Ottomans declare war before the player has secured an alliance, their ally is too weak due to being in another war, their ally peaces out too early, or the Ottomans end up winning the war, it is best to restart the game. Byzantium on its own is no match for the Ottoman army.

Next Steps[edit]

Assuming the player won the first war and gained a good amount of territory, they should be able to fabricate claims on Albania, Serbia and possibly Ragusa. Afterwards, Bosnia, Hungary and even Venice may be valid expansion targets, depending on how the political situation in the area evolves. It is advisable at this point to expand into the Balkans as quickly as possible without triggering a coalition, while waiting for the truce with the Ottomans to end. All these wars are best fought without Poland-Lithuania (or Austria), as this ally will most likely be needed for the second war against the Ottomans. The player should also seek more allies, such as Venice or Austria (Hungary will likely become hostile due to the player's expansion in the Balkans).

The player may also consider expanding in to the Black Sea - notably Theodoro, Georgia, Circassia and possibly Crimea - if alliances and navy strengths allow, and if claims or trade conflicts can be fabricated.

It is worthwhile watching the situation of the Ottomans while waiting for the truce to end, while fabricating as many claims as possible - after their initial defeat, they may be attacked by other powers in the region, and potentially even broken. If they are very weak, it is best to attack as soon as the truce is up - otherwise, it may be worthwhile to wait until they are bogged down in another war against a sizeable foe, ideally against the Mamluks, Muscovy (through an alliance with Crimea) or Qara Qoyunlu, before attacking together with the player's ally (or allies). It is important to make sure that the player's allies are not only willing to join the war, but are also at reasonable military strength, and not distracted in other wars.

The goal of the second war should be to break the Ottomans completely (if that was not achieved during or after the first war). This can be achieved by breaking their alliances, dragging the war on until the war exhaustion is so high that nationalist rebels start to appear, other enemies attack them, and splitting their territory further by taking the right provinces.

The player's first idea group should likely be either Religious (for the Deus Vult CB and to enable conversion of Muslim territory), Humanist (for the heathen tolerance and religious unity) or Administrative (for the -25% coring cost and mercenary cost reduction).

Mid Game[edit]

After securing both the Balkans and Anatolia, the player has a variety of expansion opportunities. The player may conquer the Italian region for their rich provinces. Northern Italy leaving the Holy Roman Empire will likely make such conquest much easier. Conquering Rome is also one of the requirements for restoring the Pentarchy - and as long as the player stays Orthodox, they will not incur a relationship penalty for owning it. In order to allow Westernization by decision, the player may also conquer Vienna or Prague, while taking care not to take on too much aggressive expansion. Otherwise, it is best to westernize early or not at all. On the other hand, with the Ottomans broken, Byzantium can now truly restore the Roman Empire by conquering the remainder of Anatolia and the Middle East, and even the Maghreb. The Black Sea is also rife with expansion opportunities, and Crimea, Georgia and Circassia should pose little challenge militarily.

Venice will likely turn hostile at some point, so it is best to conquer their provinces early. This will also allow the player to control the Venice trade end node. Controlling Constantinople, Ragusa and Venice will increase the player's trade income significantly. Naples, if they become independent, have a relatively weak dynasty, and the player may be able to form a Personal union with them. They can also be a useful ally in the player's wars in the Mediterranean in the meantime.

Finally, the player may convert to catholic (see Rebel conversion) and become Holy Roman Emperor, or wait until religious peace and become an Orthodox emperor. A colonial play is also possible, once the Italian region is secured and the right ideas are unlocked. For this, it may be best to conquer either Maghreb or Iberian territory early.

While expanding, it is important to note that the player's initial allies will be less willing to join the player's wars the further away from Europe they expand. It may be difficult to find allies among the Sunni nations, but Muscovy may make a useful ally for expanding North East, as long as they do not rival the player, and as long as the player is able to ally them (which may be difficult if they rival Poland).

It is also important to pay attention to the decisions and missions. The player reaps a significant army tradition reward that can be triggered by decision (the "Triumph for ____" decisions) once the player conquers certain regions (Greece, Anatolian coast, Balkans, Asia Minor, Italy), and there are a number of missions on old Byzantine holdings (see also Purple Phoenix missions).

The second and third Idea groups the player chooses will largely depend on play style and luck. If they have the military points to spare, a military idea group (Quantity, Offensive, Quality or Defensive) is advisable. Influence ideas (for quicker vassal annexation and reduced AE) or Diplomatic Ideas (for extra diplomat and improved relations) as well as Exploration ideas are certainly possible. The player may also choose Humanist (if they have not chosen Religious)


Basileus icon
As Byzantium, restore the Roman Empire.
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