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Baioulos: the head of the Venetian colony in Constantinople during the period of the Palaiologoi and at the same time the Venetian ambassador to the imperial court.
Baldwin II: The last Latin emperor of Constantinople (1228-1261). When Alexios Strategopoulos recovered Constantinople for the Byzantines in 1261, Baldwin escaped to Italy, where he began to plan the recapture of Constantinople. However, he died some years later without achieving his objective.
Baldwin of Flanders: The first Latin emperor of Constantinople (1204-1205/6). After his defeat by the forces of the Bulgarian sovereign Kalojan in Thrace, in April 1205, he was taken prisoner and died in prison in 1205/6.
Bardanes George (2nd half of 12th century - ca.1240): Church official from Athens, and a student of Michael Choniates whom he served as hypomnematographos and chartophylax. He was in favour of the independence of the Church of Epiros and as metropolitan of Kerkyra (Corfu) he contributed considerably to the schism between that church and the Patriarchate of Nicaea.
Barberini diptych: Ivory diptych of the 6th century preserved in the Louvre Museum. In the centre is represented a mounted emperor believed by certain scholars to be Justinian.
Barlaam of Calabria (ca. 1290-1348): Scholar and theologian from Seminara of Calabria (South Italy). He became a monk, and moved to Constantinople in 1330, where he was the most prominent spokesman of the anti-hesychasts and the first to accuse the movement of heresy. He was condemned in 1341 and his writings were burnt. He returned to the West and converted to Catholicism. His writings include anti-Palamite works, 21 anti-Latin treatises, and works on astronomy, more particularly on solar eclipses and the astrolabe.
Basil I son of Dimitrij Donskoj: Grand duke of Moscow and Vladimir (1389-1425).
Basilica: a type of church building in the shape of an oblong hall with a semicircular arch on its eastern side, which is usually divided into three parts by two series of colonnades.
Battle of Pelagonia: Battle in the valley of Pelagonia, near Kastoria, in 1259, in which the forces of the Empire of Nicaea, led by Michael VIII Palaiologos, won a decisive victory against the army of Michael of Epiros in 1259. This victory enabled Michael to recover Constantinople.
Bayezid I (the "lightning bolt"): Ottoman sultan (1389-1402), the son and successor of Murad I. He was one of the most famous sultans of the early Ottoman empire and a shrewd political leader.
Bessarion, Cardinal (ca. 1399/1400-1472): Expatriate Greek humanist, scholar and theologian who lived in Italy. He studied in Constantinople and Mistra with John Chortasmenos and Plethon. As metropolitan of Nicaea he attended the Council of Ferrara-Florence as leader of the pro-Unionists. He later converted to Catholicism, was made a cardinal (1439-72) and spent the rest of his career in Italy. He was a scholar of note, who wrote many works (theological treatises, enkomia and orations). In Rome he headed an Academy that produced new and more accurate translations of the works of ancient Greek writers. He donated to Venice his personal manuscripts, which constituted the nucleus of the Marcian Library. In the mid-15th century he took a moderate stand in the debate between the Aristotelians and Platonists.
Bilateral icon: icon with images on both its sides.
Blemmydes, Nikephoros (1197-1269): Teacher and writer in the Empire of Nicaea. He was a member of a wealthy family and pursued general and medical studies. He held the offices of anagnostes, deacon, and logothetes and taught many students, including George Akropolites and Theodore II Laskaris. He travelled much in search for books and also wrote epitomes of logic and physics.
Blind arcades: small shallow recesses in outer walls.
Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus (ca.480-524): Latin neoplatonic philosopher and writer of philosophical, poetical and theological works, as well as of translations of Plato and Aristotle.
Boibod: word of Slavic origin, meaning mainly "warrior" or "army general".
Boniface of Montferrat: Leader of the Fourth Crusade. After the fall of Constantinople in 1204 he received Thessalonike as a kingdom until 1207, when he was killed in a Bulgarian conspiracy.
Boucicaut, Jean Le Meingre (ca. 1370-1421): French field marshal who took part in the unsuccessful Hungarian Crusade against the Turks, which ended with the battle of Nikopolis in 1396.
Brickwork patterns: various decorative patterns in the exterior masonry of Byzantine churches.
Bryennios, Joseph (1350-ca.1430): Monk, writer and teacher.He spent 20 years as a missionary in Venetian-occupied Crete and participated as an official spokesman in discussions in Constantinople regarding Union of the Churches. He wrote many theological treatises and corresponded with John Chortasmenos, Nicholas Kabasilas, Demetrios Kydones and the emperor Manuel II.
Bulgars - Bulgarian state: A pastoral people originally living in Central Asia. In their westward movement, some Bulgar tribes, led by Asparuch, established the Bulgarian empire in 681 in the northern Balkans. They intermarried with the Slavs of the area and became one people, known as Bulgarians.