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Old November 2nd, 2016, 06:54 PM   #41
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What basileus means at this time is debated
According to Vasiliev, the term had been in use, for centuries, in the east, especially Egypt. Supposedly, Heraclius assumed the title in 629, after vanquishing the Persians. Previously, this title was said to have been reserved for the king of Persia, as well as the king of Abyssinia.

He notes that Bury wrote, "So long as there was a great independent Basileus outside the Roman Empire, the emperors refrained from adopting a title which would be shared by another monarch. But as soon as that monarch was reduced to the condition of a dependent vassal and there was no longer a concurrence, the Emperor signified the events by assuming officially the title which had for several centuries applied to him unofficially."
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Old November 2nd, 2016, 07:02 PM   #42

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Originally Posted by Obey Bayezid View Post
According to Vasiliev, the term had been in use, for centuries, in the east, especially Egypt. Supposedly, Heraclius assumed the title in 629, after vanquishing the Persians. Previously, this title was said to have been reserved for the king of Persia, as well as the king of Abyssinia.

He notes that Bury wrote, "So long as there was a great independent Basileus outside the Roman Empire, the emperors refrained from adopting a title which would be shared by another monarch. But as soon as that monarch was reduced to the condition of a dependent vassal and there was no longer a concurrence, the Emperor signified the events by assuming officially the title which had for several centuries applied to him unofficially."
And while I don't think either of these views can be dismissed, more recent work has appeared:

E. Chrysos, “The Title Βασιλευσ in Early Byzantine International Relations,” DOP 32 (1978): 29-75.

I. Shahid, “Heraclius, πιστος εν Χριστω Βασιλευς,” DOP 34/35 (1980/1981): 225-237.

C. Zuckerman, “On the Titles and Office of the Byzantine Basileus,” Travaux et Mmoires 16 (2010): 865-890.
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Old November 2nd, 2016, 07:32 PM   #43
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Thanks, Kirialax. Have you considered posting a recommended reading list? I think you should.
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Old November 7th, 2016, 05:38 PM   #44
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SufiMystic sounds like a troll - or either he is a brainwashed into Wahhabi puritanism (as modern muslims are typically indoctrinated into today. In that case it's hard to blame him/her because so often people are spoon fed the 'truth' as they want to hear it). But its rather tragic because that puritanical form of Islam is essentially what underminded the scientific & cultural advance that took place in the caliphate. Yet the puritanical form of Islam continually idealises the "golden age of islam" yet it was precisely that strict dogmatic style of theocracy that doomed the middle-east into a thousand years of stagnation.

Islam has always struggled with the relationship between politics, the religion and the individual and has a much more rigid structure then any other religion.

I understand this myself coming from a very protestant religious teaching myself during highschool and it is not easy learning to view the world outside of a rigid construct.


But back to the state of the East Romans under Heraclius. Interesting others have noted the religious persecutions and disputes being over-exaggerated.

I would expect that high taxation was perhaps the real blow to morale across the Empire. From Anastatius to the coronation of Justinian the regime enjoyed a period of tax cuts and treasury surpluses. That gave the economy a lot of vitality and encouraged commerce.

I still think the disasters that happened in the latter 5th, 6th and 7th centuries are sown in the excessive foreign affairs of Justinian.

Expanding the Empire into Italy was just too great a strain, especially with a strongly resurgent Persian Empire in the East and the Avars pressuring the Balkans.

For instance browse in this article and compare the two pictures showing the borders of the Empire in 460 compared to 555.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Empire

The Empires borders had more-or-less doubled in size and even without the movement of barbarians and the effects of the plague that put things in a precarious position - The Western Empire collapsed because it ultimately couldn't maintain an economy that could pay for the defense of its borders. The East was more prosperous and could stand on its own. But then it tried to finance the restoration the Western state using its own treasury reserves - a risky decision considering the distance from Constantinople and that the Frankish kingdom was alarmed by the rapid expansion of the Empire.

Even Anastatius he had been unable to fully consolidate the Balkans; realistically that should have been Justinian's main priority - the region had been devastated by the Huns and other raids and really needed a good period of consolidation, with proper fortified cities and castles built along the Danube.

I do wonder what would have happened if Justinian and Theodora had of been capable of producing children. Perhaps Justinian could have married a child to a child of the Visigothic king and essentially had the roman senate crown a new Western Emperor with a mix of Germanic and East Roman identity. Perhaps in a parallel universe such a diplomatic marriage could have resolved the tensions between the Gothic Kingdom and the East Romans - give each side a 50% stake in the future of Italy.

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Old November 7th, 2016, 07:15 PM   #45
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Interesting others have noted the religious persecutions and disputes being over-exaggerated.
Well, not exactly if we consider Haldon's work. He mentions the treatment of the Jews, under Heraclius, Heraclius' reign apparently marks the start of a period where there were forced baptisms and increased religious polemics against them.

It's probably not a case of the absence of religious persecutions but of some contemporary scholars (and Haldon is one) that argue that the eastern provinces were not lost due to religious persecutions.
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Old November 8th, 2016, 02:39 AM   #46
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Well, not exactly if we consider Haldon's work. He mentions the treatment of the Jews, under Heraclius, Heraclius' reign apparently marks the start of a period where there were forced baptisms and increased religious polemics against them.

It's probably not a case of the absence of religious persecutions but of some contemporary scholars (and Haldon is one) that argue that the eastern provinces were not lost due to religious persecutions.
Well I hope this doesn't get taken the wrong way, but the Jews had the misfortune of picking the wrong side on many occasions, and that didn't exactly endear them to the enemies they made, when they were resubjugated. As they sided with the Persians (could you really blame them though?) its hard to see how the Byzantine government would have much trust of them.

They did actively revolt and start killing christians - being the official religion of the Empire that wasn't something that would endear them to the emperor in Constantinople. The Jews trusted that the Sasanians would have beaten the Romans and allowed them to create a new Israel state.
I suppose one can see from the Jewish perspective that the collapse of the Roman Empire was divine judgement and they seized the opportunity - ultimately they overplayed their hand. Perhaps if they'd stood neutral they might have been able to renegotiate with the Byzantines for more freedoms. Didn't they have the same opportunity when the Romans besieged Jerusalem, supposedly Josephus pleaded to the Jews to make a deal with the Romans but....

Apparently Jews have been exiled out of various countries 109 times since the 4th century - I don't really know the background for this, but something tells me the Jews weren't good at public relations or making friends.

Last edited by Redaxe; November 8th, 2016 at 02:45 AM.
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Old November 8th, 2016, 07:21 AM   #47
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Well I hope this doesn't get taken the wrong way
No. I think everything's fine. I just wanted to add for completeness, but in the process, I forgot to mention the issues that the imperial government also had with groups such as the Paulicians.


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Perhaps Justinian could have married a child to a child of the Visigothic king and essentially had the roman senate crown a new Western Emperor with a mix of Germanic and East Roman identity.
We know that Julius Nepos, the last emperor that was recognized by Zeno, was murdered. Does anyone know if he had descendants? Perhaps, they could have emerged as contenders?
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Old November 9th, 2016, 04:45 AM   #48
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We know that Julius Nepos, the last emperor that was recognized by Zeno, was murdered. Does anyone know if he had descendants? Perhaps, they could have emerged as contenders?
I'm not sure about that but the last chance for perhaps a true latin Roman Empire died with Maurice. Apparently he planned to split the Empire up to his children - much like Diocletians tetrarchy - I guess this would replace the exarchate.

One of his sons would rule from Rome and presumably start a new dynasty. It was an idea, and it may have come to pass had the insurrection led by Phocas not occured. Maurice had succeeded diplomatically where I don't think any Roman ever had gone before. He actually supported the new Persian King Khosrau 2 and possibly 'adopted' him.

That may have actually led to the warming of relations between the two powers who probably came to a mutual agreement that centuries of fighting had been pointless - trade & mutual co-operation was far more beneficial for both Empires than mutual destruction.

Maybe I'm going too far here but a part of me likes to think that the 2 superpowers could work together for once.

Either way the peace in the East that Maurice brought enabled him to end the tributes the Romans were paying to Persia (that lifted an immense financial burden) and he was able to move legions to the Balkans which he was well on the way to consolidating. Assuming he succeeded at the Danube he would have moved armies to Italy next and consolidated the Exarchate at Rome and Ravenna and probably subdued the Lombards. So Justinians legacy wasn't yet dead.

It's another one of those big 'what-if' questions - really Maurice seemed to be a brilliant emperor until he lost the support of the army - which really he should have seen coming considering their poor morale.
At the same time he needed the army more than ever to restore the borders of the empire and ending the tributes to Persia alone had guaranteed that the finances of the state would improve - it just needed patience, but he pushed the army just too far.
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Old November 9th, 2016, 07:36 PM   #49
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I'm not sure about that
About what? That Julius was the last Western emperor that the East recognized?
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Old November 9th, 2016, 11:28 PM   #50
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About what? That Julius was the last Western emperor that the East recognized?
Nevermind - I meant I'm not familiar with Julius and his claim as Western Emperor so I can't comment on that.
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