The outstanding importance of Macedonia in the age of Byzantium arose from the strategic position it occupied between the area around the Danube and the more southern region of the Balkans, on the one hand, Constantinople and the Adriatic Sea, on the other. Its importance was even greater after the conquest of the eastern Byzantine provinces by the Arabs, despite Slavic and Bulgarian incursions, which impeded movement over land routes.
Among a number of other towns and cities, Thessalonike, situated at an intersection of routes, was naturally suited to be an administrative, economic, religious, and cultural centre.
After the end of the Frankish occupation, Macedonia became the territorial centre of the Late Byzantine Empire and developed into a cultural centre whose influence was felt throughout the Balkan Peninsula. However, the destruction and pillaging that occurred as the Turks advanced westwards at the end of the 14th century limited Byzantine sovereignty to small areas of the whole region. The capture of Thessalonike by Murad II in 1430 saw the transformation of Macedonia into an Ottoman possession.