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Empire rankByzantium
Primary culture
Greek (Byzantine)

Capital province
Constantinople (151)

Feudal Nobility Government monarchy.png

State religion

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

Mercenary maintenance.png Regulation of Mercenaries

−15% 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 Ambition:

+1 Yearly prestige
Shield Byzantium.png
With the Flag of Roman Empire Roman Empire now a distant memory, countless Empires have dared to take the mantle as the true successors to Rome, but the Byzantines remain adamant that they hold the only legitimate claim to that ancient Empire. In 1171, the rivalry between Byzantium and Flag of Venice Venice reached a boiling point as the nations’ hostilities towards each other erupted into violent conflict.

In April 1204, guided by the vengeful spirit of the Venetians, the members of the Fourth Crusade defied the command of Pope Innocent III and turned their violence towards the Byzantine Empire which had promised them safe passage. The Crusaders ravaged the city of Constantinople two times over, reducing the once glorious city to little more than ash and rubble, and reducing the Empire to little more still. Although the House of Palaiolgos was able to restore much of what was lost, countless successor states such as the Theme of Flag of Epirus Epirus and Flag of Naxos Naxos have managed to evade reintegration with the Empire. The chaos created by the fall of the Byzantine Empire has given rise to the Flag of Ottomans Ottoman Turks who now situate themselves on the Byzantine border with the ambition to claim Constantinople, the City of World’s Desire, for themselves.

In 1444, Byzantium finds itself surrounded by heretics and heathens on all sides; with many of their old subjects now bending the knee to the Venetian Doge who sparked the end of their empire, and many others now firmly under the control of the Ottomans. Powers in both the West and East believe that the age of Byzantium is long since over, but Basilius Ioannes VIII Palaiolgos remains confident that the Purple Phoenix shall rise once again and reclaim not just Byzantium, but the Roman Empire itself!

Byzantium is what remains of the Eastern Roman Empire, and along with Flag of Trebizond Trebizond and Flag of Theodoro Theodoro, the last remnants of the once mighty Flag of Roman Empire Roman Empire. Starting with only Constantinople and three provinces in Southern Greece, as well as Flag of Athens Athens as a vassal, its rebirth begins under the shadow of the Flag of Ottomans Ottomans. It starts with the fabled city of Constantinople, once one of the largest and richest metropolises in the world, and as they reconquer the long-lost cities of the Empire, the capital will swell to even greater richness and value too, capable of rivaling its old prosperity.


Main article: Byzantine missions

Byzantium's missions are focused around reconquering the former territories of the Empire (including Italy and thus Rome), as well as a special mission to restore the Orthodox Pentarchy by converting all five major Christian cities (Constantinople, Antioch, Rome, Jerusalem, and Alexandria) to the Orthodox faith, which, upon completion, disables the Curia mechanics.


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

Byzantine events revolve around the reconquest of key cities and regions in the empire. Others focus on the influence the Byzantine court had over the emperor, which can significantly boost or reduce Byzantium's monarch points.


Byzantium can be restored by Orthodox countries with Greek or Pontic primary culture and by Flag of Montferrat Montferrat if they have Palaiologos dynasty and have completed all of their national ideas.


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

Flag of Byzantium Byzantium and Flag of Greece Greece do not exist.
The country:

If the country is AI-controlled then:


The country:

  • is not a subject nation other than a tributary state.
  • 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 Karasi (2296).


If Constantinople (151) is part of the HRE, but its owner is not a member then:

  • the province is removed from the HRE.
  • the Holy Roman Emperor:
    • gets the opinion modifier “Removed provinces from the Empire” towards the owner, worth Opinion.png−50 opinion with a yearly decay of 1.
    • loses Imperial authority.png1 imperial authority.

Constantinople (151):

  • becomes the new capital of the owner country.
  • becomes a core province of the country.

The country:

  • changes to Flag of Byzantium Byzantium.
  • gets new missions.
  • becomes an Empire rank empire.
  • gains a permanent claim on all non-core provinces of:
    • The Anatolia region, except the areas of: Erzurum and Kurdistan and except the provinces of: Euboea (3003) and Lesbos (4700).
    • Corfu (142), Vlorë (143), Epirus (144), Morea (145), Athens (146), Thessaly (147), Macedonia (148), Edirne (149), Nikopol (150), Silistria (159), Crete (163), Caffa (285), Trebizond (330), Burgas (1764), Sofia (1765), Achaea (1773), Kastoria (1853), Theodoro (2410), Plovdiv (2750), Ayntab (4298) provinces
  • 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.
  • If Byzantium:
  • 2 random provinces of Byzantium with Greek culture gain Tax Base Icon.png1 base tax.
  • If the Hagia Sophia has been turned into a mosque[1], this effect is undone and it is shown as a church again[2].
All orange provinces must be owned and cored. After formation permanent claims on all provinces in yellow are gained.


The following decisions are part of the Purple Phoenix DLC.[3]

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

The Purple Phoenix DLC is enabled.
The country:

If the country is AI-controlled then it:


Flag of Byzantium Byzantium owns all provinces of Morea and Northern Greece areas.


Flag of Byzantium Byzantium:

  • gains Prestige.png10 prestige.
  • gains Army tradition.png25 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

The Purple Phoenix DLC is enabled.
The country:

  • is Flag of Byzantium Byzantium.
  • own at least 1 province of the Balkans region.
  • has not enacted this decision before.

If the country is AI-controlled then it:


Flag of Byzantium Byzantium owns all provinces in following areas:

  • Dalmatia
  • Rascia
  • Albania
  • Macedonia
  • Silistria
  • Bulgaria
  • Thrace


Flag of Byzantium Byzantium:

  • gains Prestige.png20 prestige.
  • gains Army tradition.png25 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

The Purple Phoenix DLC is enabled.
The country:

If the country is AI-controlled then it:


Flag of Byzantium Byzantium owns all provinces of Aydin and Hüdavendigar.


Flag of Byzantium Byzantium:

  • gains Prestige.png10 prestige.
  • gains Army tradition.png25 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

The Purple Phoenix DLC is enabled.
The country:

  • is Flag of Byzantium Byzantium.
  • owns at least 1 province of Anatolia region.
  • has not enacted this decision before.

If the country is AI-controlled then it:


Flag of Byzantium Byzantium owns all provinces of Anatolia region.


Flag of Byzantium Byzantium:

  • gains Prestige.png20 prestige.
  • gains Army tradition.png25 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

The Purple Phoenix DLC is enabled.
The country:

If the country is AI-controlled then it:


Flag of Byzantium Byzantium owns all provinces of Italy (region).


Flag of Byzantium Byzantium:

  • gains Prestige.png35 prestige.
  • gains Army tradition.png25 army tradition.


Strategy The below is one of many player suggested strategies for Byzantium. Bear in mind, due to the dynamic nature of the game, it may unfold differently for other players.

Claiming Epirus back[edit]

To the north of you there is two province Crusader state of Epirus, and it has one of your cores, Arta. It's beneficial to attack it as soon as possible, especially if you can do this before they have an ally.

Preparing for war with the Ottomans[edit]

In the beginning of the game, you need to acquire the right amount of allies that will make the Ottomans attack you, but will allow you to beat them in battle if you are careful enough. A useful strategy is to have an ally to the west of the Ottomans and to the east of the Ottomans. Serbia will often start as friendly, so ally them first while keeping an eye out for which rivals they have chosen. Getting Albania should be a priority because of their 3-star general, but they have a tendency to rival Serbia. Next, ally Wallachia, Herzegovina, Bosnia - practically any who is willing to ally you in the west. In the east, gauge whether the Karamans want to ally you - though since you are weak and of another faith this might be tricky. Instead ally Trebizond as they have a level 3 fort that will be time-consuming for the Ottomans to siege down. Circassia or Imereti are also options which can divert the Ottomans' troops from Greece to Anatolia. Creating a royal wedding with Imereti can be beneficial, as their leader has no successor in the beginning and you will have a chance to get a PU junior partner in the early game. Unfortunately, they are not that useful when battling the Ottomans. It is unlikely that any strong powers will want to ally you, improving relations with them can therefor be a waste of time - instead focus on getting many smaller allies. As such, going over your diplomatic relation limit should not be a concern in the early game. Your network of somewhat small powers should be able to slightly outnumber the Ottomans. Next to being diplomatically active, push your military strength, and give your king a generalship, if he doesn't have any useful skills. Your successor is better than your king, and will allow you to develop faster in later phases. Pull your forces to Athens and set up a spy network in the Ottoman capital and wait for the Ottomans to attack you, as soon as you have acquired 3 allies positioned in the east and west. An option for the first idea group is defensive ideas, as it will give you benefits early on in the many wars you will go through, and later will reduce fort maintenance, but you should pay attention to staying up to date, and preferably a bit a head to time in military tech. Taking Defensive ideas is therefor debatable.

War against the Ottomans[edit]

As soon as the Ottomans declare war, move your troops towards the closest of your western allies, which will allow them to attach to your army. Make sure that allies can attach themselves to your main force. The Ottomans will be focused on occupying Constantinople, and will be reluctant to abandon the siege. This might allow you to pick the battles against their second army. Be careful not to go into unnecessary battles with the Ottomans as they have strong morale, higher tactics and discipline. If allowed they can, and will stack wipe most smaller stacks - it is therefor crucial to combine your forces with your allies. If at all possible, keep them from taking over Constantinople, the level 3 fort should be manned at all times and should hold out for quite some time, which might allow you to take over other forts. The fort in Gallipoli and Opitamoi will prevent you from moving into Anatolia, but that is not of any concern as the Greek part is what you should focus on. If all works well, you'll have lots of territory occupied in the west, most importantly their capital and a war score of 20-40 %. This would be the moment to bargain for peace with the Ottomans and retake some of your cores. Taking their capital is often expensive, and not particularly important as having it in Edirne allows you to easily occupy it in future wars. The most important province is Gallipoli which controls the strait crossing. With it under your control you can blockade the straits to keep the Ottomans out of Europe. You can take the other provinces as you please. While it is tempting to draw out the war, this should be avoided, it is difficult to spur revolts in the Ottomans, and you run the risk of your allies creating white peace. When you are at this level, your navy should be stronger than the Ottoman navy, and you will easily beat them step by step. During the course of time the Ottomans will also be weakened by war with their neighboring Nations especially with the Mamluks who are poised to strike after the initial buffer states has been cleared.

Between the Ottoman wars[edit]

Keep an eye out for Serbia, Venice, Moldavia, and Hungary. After the first Ottoman war you should have retaken Epirus, allowing you to generate a claim on their mainland. If you are lucky, Venice will try to attack Serbia to take Zeta as well. If Serbia isn't your ally, attack them as well and vassalise them as soon as their war with Venice has stopped. If they are your ally, you should be able to beat the Venetians with Bosnia and Serbia as your ally in the war. This will allow you to gain some land of the Venetians or vassalise Serbia. If you are really lucky, Moldavia will be allied with Serbia in the war against Serbia. You can easily beat them with the Wallachian forces and take two of their provinces neighbouring Wallachia. This will be important in the future. As your goal should be a vassalisation of Wallachia. There will come a moment where they will break their alliance with you and attack you to get some of the formerly Moldavian land. Use this war to vassalise them. By that time, you should be strong enough to get Hungary as a new ally, make sure you annex Athens in the meantime, and that you still have an ally in the east of the Ottomans. When Karaman is gone, Georgia will usually do the trick. You shouldn't care about having one diplomatic relationship too much.

Continuous strategy[edit]

It will take several wars to cut down the Ottomans and the first two should be defensive as it allows you to call in all your allies. While doing so, keep an eye on Poland and Lithuania who might form the Commonwealth and also on Hungary who, if they stay independent, can be a deadly threat to you as you expands Northwards. If either prepares for war against any of your allies, immediately break that alliance as you will often be their only ally and you cannot afford a costly war that mostly can't be won. Keeping the Ottomans as a makeshift buffer in the upper parts of Bulgaria can for a time shield you from their aggressions. However, the Commonwealth can through missions get permanent claims on Bulgaria which can make it tricky to keep them at bay. Muscovy will soon emerge as a nation that is quite fond of you and willing to ally itself with you which can keep your northern enemies at bay.

Venice too can prove a threat. You should be able to beat them on the land, but be mindful of their navy which is much stronger than yours. After you've secured most, if not all of Greece and Bulgaria you can expand pretty much towards any direction and the hardest part of surviving the Ottomans is finished. Your next mission should be to finish off the Ottomans, preferably before the Mamluks takes too much of their lands. The Mamluks can sometimes be allied, and it can be beneficial to do so if either of the before-mentioned western powers are aggressive towards you. Otherwise, complete the missions which will grant you continuous permanent claims throughout Anatolia and the Levant. You should at this point be a strong power and maybe even a great power and you can look towards Southern Italy from here.

Alternative strategy: Albania Calls for Aid[edit]

This one requires some luck, as it relies on the Ottomans declaring war on Albania before Byzantium.

Albania starts out guaranteed by Venice, ensuring that the inevitable war with the Ottomans will turn into a war between the two powers. Improve relations with the Albanians, but do not ally with them yet, as this may deter the Ottomans from declaring war on Albania. Once the Ottomans try to conquer Albania, ally with them (they will be more willing to do this than before, but improving relations makes it easier) and begin sieging down Ottoman provinces on the Balkans. The Ottoman navy is close to the Venetian in size, but not large enough to beat a combined Venetian, Naxiote, Albanian, Athenian, and Byzantine fleet. Navy supremacy must be attained in order to ensure that the war goes well and to beat the Ottomans in the future. Station some of the Byzantine navy (mostly galleys) to control the Hellespont and Bosporus, while sending a token force to patrol the Adriatic.

From there, build up the Byzantine army and navy, ensuring that the Ottomans never can attain naval supremacy. Ally with other powers with large enough navies and armies capable of helping you against the Ottomans, such as the Mamluks. When possible, declare war on the Ottomans for the Balkan claims while their army is in Anatolia. With a larger Byzantine navy, the Ottomans cannot cross to Europe to fight or retake lost territory, meaning that Byzantium and its allies are free to take pieces of the Balkans at their leisure. When possible, do not engage the Ottoman army in a fight. Their army is massive and exceptional (particularly with Janissaries), and any engagement with them can only cost Byzantium manpower and warscore. Eventually, Byzantium will be big enough to ally with the Mamluks in order to crush the Ottomans from both sides, and this can be used to reclaim territory on either side of the Sea of Marmara. Keep relations high with allies for as long as possible, and eventually, the Ottomans will be whittled down to the point where you can easily take them one-on-one.

(Note: Allying with Karaman is risky, as they will sometimes get drawn into a war with a country guaranteed by the Mamluks and thus draw Byzantium into a war it cannot possibly win. The Mamluk fleet will try to blockade Constantinople and will ensure that naval supremacy cannot be attained in the war with the Ottomans. Check the Anatolian diplomatic situation carefully before picking allies, lest you be drawn into wars you don't want to fight and/or cannot win.)


Basileus icon
As Byzantium, restore the Roman Empire.
Country guides

Central African technology group Central African.png Kuba.png KubaMutapa.png Mutapa
East African technology group East African.png Ethiopia.png EthiopiaMogadishu.png Mogadishu
Muslim technology group Muslim.png The Mamluks.png MamluksMorocco.png MoroccoTlemcen.png TlemcenTunis.png Tunis
West African technology group West African.png Air.png AirMali.png Mali

Eastern technology group Eastern.png Jerusalem.png Jerusalem Kharabakh.png Kharabakh
Muslim technology group Muslim.png Afghanistan.png Afghanistan Ajam.png Ajam Arabia.png Arabia Ardabil.png Ardabil Hisn Kayfa.png Hisn Kayfa Hormuz.png Hormuz Oman.png Oman Mushasha.png Mushasha Timurids.png Timurids Qara Qoyunlu.png Qara Qoyunlu
Indian technology group Indian.png Assam.png Assam Bahmanis.png Bahmanis Bengal.png Bengal Orissa.png Orissa
Chinese technology group Chinese.png Bali.png Bali Brunei.png Brunei Dai Viet.png Dai Viet Japan.png Japan Khmer.png Khmer Korea.png Korea Majapahit.png Majapahit Malaya.png Malaya Pagarruyung.png Pagarruyung Pasai.png Pasai Sunda.png Sunda
Nomadic technology group Nomadic.png Jianzhou.png Jianzhou Uzbek.png Uzbek Mongolia.png Mongolia

Western technology group Western.png United States.png United States
Mesoamerican technology group Mesoamerican.png Maya.png Maya
North American technology group North American.png Caddo.png Caddo Cherokee.png Cherokee Iroquois.png Iroquois

Andean technology group Andean.png Chachapoya.png Chachapoya Cusco.png Cusco Muisca.png Muisca
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  1. the global flag ‘hagia_sophia_now_mosque’ is set. This flag is set by the events Convert Hagia Sophia into a Mosque and Convert Hagia Sophia into a Mosque or if the scenario starts after 1459.1.1.
  2. the ambient object hagia_sophia is shown instead of hagia_sophia_minarets
  3. The script code of these events can be found in /Europa Universalis IV/decisions/Purple_Phoenix_decisions.txt.