The following is a list of usurpers in the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire, from the start of the reign of Arcadius in 395 to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
The following is a listing of Byzantine emperors who rose to the throne due to their own initiative through a revolt or coup d'état.
Unsuccessful usurpers in the 5th and 6th centuries
List of would-be emperors eventually defeated by the ruling sovereign, listed by reign. The noted date is the attempted usurpation.
- Marcian (479) – Leo I's son–in–law, who resented the accession of Zeno. Captured the imperial palace but was in turn captured. Spent the rest of his life imprisoned in a fortress in Isauria.
- Leontius (484–488) – An Isaurian commander who was called on to put down the rebel Illus but declared himself emperor instead. He died after a four-year siege of the fortress of Papurius.
- Longinus (491–492) – Brother of the Emperor Zeno, he launched a rebellion to enforce his claim to the throne but was defeated and fled to Egypt where he died.
- Areobindus (512) – Proclaimed emperor during a riot at Constantinople, but refused to accept the nomination.
- Julianus ben Sabar (529–531) – Leader of a Samaritan revolt, proclaimed "King of Israel". Managed to control the entire Samaria before being defeated.
- Hypatius (532) – A nephew of Anastasius I who was acclaimed emperor during the Nika riots.
- Stotzas (536–545) – A Byzantine soldier who was elected the leader of rebel troops in the recently conquered Vandal Kingdom of Africa. Aiming to establish a new kingdom, he was defeated on a number of occasions before finally being defeated and mortally wounded in 545.
- John Cottistis (537) – Usurper in Mesopotamia, he was an infantry soldier who was acclaimed emperor by his troops, but was killed after four days by imperial forces at Dara.