With the collapse of its western half, the Roman Empire was restricted to Eastern Europe. However, the ideal of a single, united empire encompassing the Mediterranean Basin continued to inspire. The Emperor Justinian attempted to re-conquer many of the lands that had been lost to the Germanic tribes. The empire was further challenged by migrations of Slavic peoples and by the expansion of Islam. The confrontation between the Byzantine Empire and various Islamic societies dominated the history of this period.
Text copyright 2003 by David W. Koeller. All rights reserved.