Macedonian dynasty

The Macedonian dynasty (Greek: Μακεδονική Δυναστεία) ruled the Byzantine Empire from 867 to 1056, following the Amorian dynasty. During this period, the Byzantine state reached its greatest extent since the Muslim conquests, and the Macedonian Renaissance in letters and arts began. The dynasty was named after its founder, Basil I the Macedonian who came from the Theme of Macedonia, which, at the time, was part of Thrace.

Claims have been made for the dynasty's founder being of Armenian,[1][2] Slavic,[3][4] or indeed "Armeno-Slavonic"[5] descent. Hence, the dynasty is also referred to as the Armenian Dynasty by some scholars, such as George Bournoutian[6] and Mack Chahin.[7] Zachary Chitwood suggests the term Macedonian dynasty is "something of a misnomer" because of Basil I's Armenian origin.[8]

The author of the only dedicated biography of Basil I in English has concluded that it is impossible to be certain what the ethnic origins of the emperor were, though Basil was definitely reliant on the support of Armenians in prominent positions within the Byzantine Empire.[9]