'''Byzantium''' was an ancient Greek city on the European side of the Bosporus, the strait that separates Europe from Asia. The city became the capital of the Roman Empire under Constantine I in the second decade of the fourth century. Following his death in 337, the name of the city was changed to Constantinople in his honor.
During the Roman civil war in the last decade of the second century AD, Byzantium suffered serious damage that included the razing of its walls. The city was rebuilt by emperor Septimius Severus and soon regained its prosperity. In 324, the Roman emperor of the West, [[Constantine the Great|Constantine I]], defeated emperor Licinus of the East near Byzantium. Now as the sole emperor of the Roman empire, and attracted by the city, Constantine soon moved his capital to the Byzantium.
Under Orthodox Christian tradition, Byzantium was evangelized by the Apostle Andrew and subsequently became the [[see]] of a [[bishop]] subordinate to the Bishop of Heraclea along with a number of other suffragan sees. With the establishment of Byzantium as Constantine's new capital, a move that was recognized at the [[First Ecumenical Council]] at [[Nicea]] as the New Rome (Nova Roma), the bishop of the city gained greater prerogatives as the emperor's bishop. The city became known as Constantinople after Constantine's death, and the seat of the Bishop of Constantinople, later the [[List of Patriarchs of Constantinople|Patriarchs of Constantinople]]. With the ascension in rank of the Patriarch of Constantinople, the Bishop of Heraclea became the senior subordinate with the privilege of handing the [[crosier]] a newly elected Patriarch of Constantinople.
*[http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761561462/Byzantium.html Encarta: Byzantium]