The first period of the Macedonian dynasty (867-1025) is generally described as a period of prosperity.
After a series of long drawn-out wars, Byzantium extended into further into Asia Minor, northern Syria and Mesopotamia, western Armenia and Georgia, while on its northern border it extended as far as the Danube. While religious missions and the conversion of the Hungarians and the Russ, progressed and new diplomatic contacts with western Europe were established, the Byzantine Empire became an ecumenical state glorified throughout all the known world. Despite difficulties and problems in foreign policy, important achievements were noted in economic and social life, as well as a vibrant intellectual and artistic activity known as the Macedonian Renaissance.
The codification of law played an important role in the organization of the state as well as in its economic stability, since almost all the emperors of this period took steps against the large-scale property ownership and favoured the base of the Byzantine state, namely smallholders and soldiers.
In addition, there seems to have been a systematic move to record Byzantium's cultural heritage, a process led by the intellectual emperors of the age.
This tendency towards stabilization and organization, which was characteristic of the Macedonians, in contrast to the chaotic transitional period from 610 to 867, led the period to be described as the 'imperial centuries' (A. Kazhdan) while its intellectual life was called 'encyclopaedic' (P. Lemerle).