On one hand, they have the most powerful early game naval vessel: the Dromon.This is the only ranged naval vessel in the Ancient and Classical Era, and gives the Byzantines a great advantage against both Barbarians and the navy of any other civilization early in the game.
It was deployed in the Balkans, Italy, Hungary, Russia, Anatolia, Syria, the Holy Land and Egypt.
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The state lay defenseless before internal and external threats, as the Byzantine army had been reduced to a shadow of its former self.
During the 11th century, decades of peace and neglect had reduced the old thematic forces, and the military and political anarchy following the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 had destroyed the professional tagmata, the core of the Byzantine army.