Why didn't the Byzantines ever attempt to expand into the northern Black Sea territories (other than southern Crimea)?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,125
SoCal
#1
Why didn't the Byzantines ever attempt to expand into the northern Black Sea territories other than southern Crimea? I mean, even at the peak of their second millennium power in the early 11th century, the territories that bordered the northern part of the Black Sea--again, with the exception of southern Crimea--never actually ended up under Byzantine rule:



So, the territories that are now Romania (other than Dobruja), Bessarabia, Ukraine, the Kuban, and Georgia never actually ended up under Byzantine rule. Why exactly was this the case? Specifically, why didn't the Byzantines ever try making the entire Black Sea a Byzantine lake?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,125
SoCal
#2
What I also find interesting is that, at different points in history, the Byzantines and Russians controlled almost the entire Black Sea coast (albeit certainly not at the same time) but almost never each other's territory:



As you can see on the map above, Russia controlled a lot of Black Sea coastline (largely northern Black Sea coastline), but almost none of this coastline was ever actually under Byzantine rule in the past. Meanwhile, almost none of the coastline that actually was under Byzantine rule in the past ever actually ended up in Russian hands.
 
Apr 2017
1,404
U.S.A.
#3
The Russian steppe would be indefensible. From the beginning of the byzantine empire till near the end it was constantly being overrun by new and more powerful nomadic peoples. Its also flat open land, poor for defense. Georgia was an ally so no point attacking them, Romania was blocked by Bulgaria. Russia and the Byzantines were totally different countries, no reason they had to control each others territory.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,125
SoCal
#4
The Russian steppe would be indefensible. From the beginning of the byzantine empire till near the end it was constantly being overrun by new and more powerful nomadic peoples. Its also flat open land, poor for defense. Georgia was an ally so no point attacking them, Romania was blocked by Bulgaria. Russia and the Byzantines were totally different countries, no reason they had to control each others territory.
The Byzantines actually did control Bulgaria between the 1010s or so and the 1180s, though.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,125
SoCal
#7
In context, that's roughly the same about of time that the US has controlled Alta California, southern Oregon Country, and New Mexico. Surely you're not suggesting that 170 years isn't enough time to accomplish an awful lot of things?
 

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