he people who we know today as the Byzantines called ■
themselves Romans, spoke Greek, and lived in modern-day Turkey. (The name Byzantine came from the founder of the empire's capital, a Greek man named Byzas, who may have existed only in legend.) While the areas that were once ruled by the Roman Empire fell into disorder as conflicting tribes fought for control of their territory, the Byzantines maintained a legacy of learning and a civilization inherited from the Greeks and Romans for more than a thousand years. In the meantime they developed extensive trading relationships with the Middle East and the Orient, including India and China. From 476 C.E. until the collapse of the empire in 1453 C.E., the Byzantine Empire was the most powerful and developed civilization in the Western world.
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