Centralized gov. of the 9th c. dissolved in the 10th. Western europe: carolingian kings ceased to control land and men. In byzantium- the primacy of the emperor was never effectively challenged. Islamic world: new dynastic groups established themselves as regional rulers. 1025- empire shadowed the danube and touched euphrates. Constantinople emperors radiated power of the imperial court. Centralized model of the state was challenged by powerful men in the countryside. Palace of constantinople expanded, redecorated, and fortified under constantine"s successors. More than a symbolic emplacement of imperial power. Servants, slaves, and grooms, top courtiers, learned clergymen, cousins, siblings, and hangers-on of the emperor and empress lived within. Others were on call at every hour. Mainly male preserve but did have women"s quarters. Zoe (d. 1050) daughter of constantine viii had the right to rule but people were happier when she married. Grand chamberlain : michael psellus (1018-1092: new school of phil.