Byzantine Empire



Eastern Orthodoxy
Creative, Spiritual
Alternate Leader of:


Byzantium led by Theodora is a civilization available in vanilla Civilization 5. It requires the Gods and Kings expansion pack.

Using Byzantium (Justinian I) gives Theodora a new unique building and revises her unique ability.



Existing for more than 1,000 years, the Byzantine Empire, centered in the legendary city of Constantinople, was initially formed as the eastern seat of power for the mighty Roman Empire which was split into Eastern and Western. Located on the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, Constantinople easily became the world's trading center and the primary trade hub in the region. Due to its strategic location, and as the center of Orthodox Christianity, Constantinople flourish despite the internal conflicts that led to the decline of Rome in the west. Inspired by number of memorable rulers, the Byzantine Empire was also a source of great cultural growth along the eastern Mediterranean, its affluence allowing for grand displays of art, architecture, science, religion, and music. The Byzantine Empire's official language was first the Latin and later changed to Greek, which was the lingua franca in Eastern Mediterranean.


Theodora, wife of Justinian I and Empress of the Byzantine Empire, ruled one of history's preeminent empires during the 1st millennium AD. Known today as the most influential woman of the Byzantine Empire, Emperor Justinian named Theodora co-ruler of the empire, trusting in her wise counsel to guide his reign. Rising from humble beginnings, Theodora would become known throughout the empire - and history - as a tactful, trusted advisor to her emperor. She would be so crucial to the progress of the empire that some think it was Theodora, not Emperor Justinian, who truly guided the people of Byzantium during her lifetime.

Dawn of Man

All hail the most magnificent and magnanimous Empress Theodora, beloved of Byzantium and of Rome! From the lowly ranks of actress and courtesan you became the most powerful woman in the Roman Empire, consort to Justinian I. Starting in the late 520's AD, you joined your husband in a series of important spiritual and legal reforms, creating many laws which elevated the status of and promoted equal treatment of women in the empire. You also aided in the restoration and construction of many aqueducts, bridges and churches across Constantinople, culminating in the creation of the Hagia Sophia, one of the most splendid architectural wonders of the world.

Beautiful Empress, Byzantium is in need of your wisdom and strength - her people are lost without your light to lead them. The Byzantine Empire may have fallen once, but its spirit is still intact waiting to be reborn anew. Can you return Byzantium to the heights of glory it once enjoyed? Can you create a civilization to stand the test of time?

Introduction: Oh! A miracle in front of my eyes (something like that maybe). What is the name of (maybe) the good stranger? I am Theodora, friend of Byzantium. (Ω μων οπίων θαύμα! Ποιον όνομα επί μοι σε ο καλός ξένος; Είμαι η Θεοδόρα, η φίλη του Βυζαντίου.)

Defeat: I hope you knew that to act (and you acted) like that. Just know that in this world nobody will aid a traitor. (Ελπίζω σε οίδεσθες αυτό και ό έδρασας. Γνώθι σε μόνον ετούτο τον κόσμο μηδείς οφελήσει προδότην.)

Unique Attributes

Byzantium (Theodora)

Art by Firaxis

Patriarchate of Constantinople

When founding a Religion Religion, may choose one additional Belief.


Art by Firaxis

Dromon (Trireme)
  • Has a ranged attack
  • +50% Strength Combat Strength vs Naval units
  • -20% Strength Combat Strength (8 vs 10)

Art by Firaxis

Cataphract (Horseman)
  • +25% Strength Combat Strength (15 vs 12)
  • May use defensive terrain
  • -1 Moves Movement (3 vs 4)

Byzantium (Theodora)

Art by Firaxis

Patriarchate of Constantinople

When founding a Religion Religion, may choose one additional Belief. Receive a free Great Prophet at Theology.


Art by Firaxis

Dromon (Trireme)
  • Has a ranged attack
  • +50% Strength Combat Strength vs Naval units
  • -20% Strength Combat Strength (8 vs 10)

Art by Janboruta

Stoudion (Garden)
  • Missionaries purchased in this city begin with +1 Moves Movement and have no Sight penalty
  • +2 FaithIcon Faith

City List
  1. Constantinople
  2. Adrianople
  3. Nicaea
  4. Antioch
  5. Varna
  6. Ohrid
  7. Nicomedia
  8. Trebizond
  9. Cherson
  10. Sardica
  11. Ani
  12. Dyrrachium
  13. Edessa
  14. Chalcedon
  15. Naissus
  16. Bari
  17. Iconium
  18. Prilep
  19. Samosata
  20. Kars
  21. Nicopolis
  22. Theodosiopolis
  23. Tyana
  24. Gaza
  25. Kerkyra
  26. Phoenice
  27. Selymbria
  28. Sillyon
  29. Chrysopolis
  30. Vodena
  31. Caesarea Maritima
  32. Traianoupoli
  33. Constantia
  34. Athens
  35. Patra
  36. Korinthos
Spy List
  • Basil
  • Nikophoros
  • Demetrios
  • Philippos
  • Theophylaktos
  • Simonis
  • Zoe
  • Ioanno
  • Xene
  • Euphrosyne




Peace Theme War Theme

Mod Support

Events and Decisions

Establish the Succession Laws of Porphyrogennetos

Henceforth, all those born to the reigning Basileus shall be given the title "Porphyrogennetos" - "Born in the Purple". They shall be given precedence in the matter of succession.


  • Player must be Byzantium
  • Must have completed at least 1 Social Policy tree
  • May only be enacted during a  Golden Age
  • May only be enacted in the Classical or Medieval Era
  • May only be enacted once per game


  • 400 Gold Gold


  • Magistrates Magistrates

When Byzantium (Alexios I Komnenos) is installed, the Establish the Succession Laws of Porphyrogennetos decision is replaced with the Renovate the Capital decision.

Renovate the Capital

Our capital city has yet more potential to become the greatest city in the world. Let us transform our humble capital from its drab state into one of great splendour.


  • Player must be Byzantium
  • May only be enacted from the beginning of the Medieval Era
  • May only be enacted once per game


  • 800 Gold Gold


  • The Palace yields +15% Tourism Tourism
  • +2 CultureIcon Culture from Stoudions

Raise the Theodosian Wall

The Theodosian Walls were built during the reign of Emperor Theodosius II in the early 5th century, but they still remain some of the most formidable fortifications built by human hands.


  • Player must be Byzantium
  • Must have researched Masonry
  • May only be enacted once per game


  • Magistrates Magistrate
  • 150% the Gold Gold Cost of purchasing Walls in the Capital


  • The Theodosian Walls are built in the Capital
Theodosian Walls
  • +3 Strength Defense
  • Provides free Walls in the city it is built in
  • +1 FaithIcon Faith from Walls

Exploration Continued Expanded

Colony List
  1. Deuspoli

Unique Cultural Influence

"Our people are now spending their days playing backgammon and making mosaics. I worry the rest of the world will also succumb to the influence of your culture."

Vanilla Civilizations
Gods and Kings
Brave New World

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