Byzantine Empire? This term wasn't even used until 100 years after the Empire itself fell. The Byzantine Empire is the Eastern half of the Roman Empire. When Rome "fell", the Byzantines thrived. The Byzantines pose a unique problem in AP World History: The peak of Byzantine Civilization achieved under Justinian was reached in the late 500s. Hence, it does not fit well into the model of Post-Classical applied by the AP. Regardless, the Byzantines are a major empire in the Post Classical Era (although it is in a constant state of decline throughout the period).