Byzantine \BIZ-uhn-teen\ , adjective;
1. Complex or intricate
2. Characterized by elaborate scheming and intrigue, especially for the gaining of political power or favor
3. Of or pertaining to Byzantium
4. Of or pertaining to the Byzantine Empire
5. Noting or pertaining to the architecture of the Byzantine Empire and to architecture influenced by or imitating it.
This word technically comes from Latin byzantinus and originally was just a style of art. Later it started to take on meanings related to the Byzantine Empire and the royal court of Constantinople. The Byzantine Empire was named for Byzantium, which was an ancient Greek city founded by colonists from Megara in 667BCE. Byzantium, which was later known as Constantinople and Istanbul, was named after King Byzas who decided where to settle the city after consulting the oracle of Apollo at Delphi.
Today's word and the first definition were both taken from Dictionary.com's 'Word of the Day' for Sunday, January 9
Etymologies come from the Oxford English Dictionary and/or Etymonline.com