At its largest extent, the Byzantine Empire included North Africa, the southern Iberian Peninsula, the Italian Peninsula, the Balkan Peninsula, Anatolia, Egypt and the Levant. The Empire's center was the city of Constantinople.
In the sixth century A.D., under Justinian, the Empire grew to its greatest geographical extent, controlling not only its traditional lands, but also those of the former Western Roman Empire. However, with the swift rise of Islam in the seventh century, the Empire lost all of its North African and Middle Eastern lands. By the year 1000, it had regained some lost territory but faced decline in the face of pressures from the west and the east, eventually controlling only the capital and some surrounding lands. In 1453, the Turks conquered Constantinople, finally vanquishing the Byzantine Empire.