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Medieval and Byzantine History Medieval and Byzantine History Forum - Period of History between classical antiquity and modern times, roughly the 5th through 16th Centuries


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Old December 8th, 2017, 12:42 PM   #31

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Originally Posted by JeanDukeofAlecon View Post
I'd also like to point out that the Nicaean empire was actually significantly larger and more populous than Pergamon ever was, even at the date of its creation.
Pergamon:

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Nicaea (orange) :

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Old December 8th, 2017, 08:28 PM   #32
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It is correct to call them Byzantines!

The term Eastern Roman Empire did not make any sense after a certain time or period, which can be thought to be after 476 AD with the fall of the Western Roman empire which was nonexistent any more.

The Roman empire could be considered that it was continuing in its Eastern part at least as its governing elite was concerned.
A big transformation was taking place though in its character as a whole even in its governing elite, because the majority of its population from the very beginning was of Greek (Hellenized) extraction, to the point where by the last quarter of the 6th century even its governing elite could not be considered associated with the ancient Roman empire, even they spoke as their first language by now GREEK.
I would put the cut off point at 578 AD the time of emperor Tiberius II (578-582), and most certainly by the time of Maurice (Maurikios) 582-602.
Of course Heraclius 610-641 had to make the Greek language official, because it had become an anachronism to cling any more to Latin, even though the transformation had already taken place before his time.

The empire was transformed into the Greek empire of the middle ages, and justifiably later historians called it the Byzantine empire, in order to show the inherent difference with the ancient Roman regime, to avoid any confusion in the minds of later generations.

What we got now days is that people probably for prestigious reasons or complexes involved, are trying to make belief that the Byzantine (Greek) empire was still the ancient Roman empire even though its language, its culture, its religion etc., were completely different from the original Roman empire or its actual descendants, which IMHO can only be considered the modern Italians, even though they had a mixture involved.

There were also other people who tried to assume this title,....... that they continued as being the actual Romans in modern times like the Germans, the Russians and even the Turks, but in reality they were only fooling themselves.
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Old December 8th, 2017, 08:34 PM   #33

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It is correct to call them Byzantines!

The term Eastern Roman Empire did not make any sense after a certain time or period, which can be thought to be after 476 AD with the fall of the Western Roman empire which was nonexistent any more.

The Roman empire could be considered that it was continuing in its Eastern part at least as its governing elite was concerned.
A big transformation was taking place though in its character as a whole even in its governing elite, because the majority of its population from the very beginning was of Greek (Hellenized) extraction, to the point where by the last quarter of the 6th century even its governing elite could not be considered associated with the ancient Roman empire, even they spoke as their first language by now GREEK.
I would put the cut off point at 578 AD the time of emperor Tiberius II (578-582), and most certainly by the time of Maurice (Maurikios) 582-602.
Of course Heraclius 610-641 had to make the Greek language official, because it had become an anachronism to cling any more to Latin, even though the transformation had already taken place by his time.

The empire was transformed into the Greek empire of the middle ages, and justifiably later historians called it the Byzantine empire, in order to show the inherent difference with the ancient Roman regime, to avoid any confusion in the minds of later generations.

What we got now days is that people probably for prestigious reasons or complexes involved, are trying to make belief that the Byzantine (Greek) empire was still the ancient Roman empire even though its language, its culture, its religion etc., were completely different from the original Roman empire or its actual descendants, which IMHO can only be considered the modern Italians, even though they had a mixture involved.

There were also other people who tried to assume this title,....... that they continued as being the actual Romans in modern times like the Germans, the Russians and even the Turks, but in reality they were only fooling themselves.
1. Greek had always been the most common language in the Roman Empire, and was also required in Roman education. That argument is completely irrelevant.

2. The Roman Empire of the 2nd Century AD was dramatically different than the Roman Empire of Augustus. Let alone the Roman Empire of the Dominate. Again, this argument is also invalid. All states evolve. Just because modern Britain is culturally different from the former British Empire doesn't mean we consider them separate entities.

3. The Greek Identity didn't even exist until the 1800's so you could hardly call it a Greek Empire. The entire campaign for Greek independence was also a war to wipe out the Roman identity by arguing Rome failed and that Roman cooperation with the Ottomans helped the suppression of the Greek people.

4. All the other peoples who tried to assume the title were not direct continuations of the central Roman state government. The Roman state government existed continuously from 509-1204 without interruption and discontinuously after 1204. I would argue that the Roman Empire truly fell in 1204 with the dismantling of the central state, but I usually accept the 1453 date.
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Old December 8th, 2017, 09:02 PM   #34

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Originally Posted by Apollon View Post
It is correct to call them Byzantines!

The term Eastern Roman Empire did not make any sense after a certain time or period, which can be thought to be after 476 AD with the fall of the Western Roman empire which was nonexistent any more.

The Roman empire could be considered that it was continuing in its Eastern part at least as its governing elite was concerned.
A big transformation was taking place though in its character as a whole even in its governing elite, because the majority of its population from the very beginning was of Greek (Hellenized) extraction, to the point where by the last quarter of the 6th century even its governing elite could not be considered associated with the ancient Roman empire, even they spoke as their first language by now GREEK.
I would put the cut off point at 578 AD the time of emperor Tiberius II (578-582), and most certainly by the time of Maurice (Maurikios) 582-602.
Of course Heraclius 610-641 had to make the Greek language official, because it had become an anachronism to cling any more to Latin, even though the transformation had already taken place before his time.

The empire was transformed into the Greek empire of the middle ages, and justifiably later historians called it the Byzantine empire, in order to show the inherent difference with the ancient Roman regime, to avoid any confusion in the minds of later generations.

What we got now days is that people probably for prestigious reasons or complexes involved, are trying to make belief that the Byzantine (Greek) empire was still the ancient Roman empire even though its language, its culture, its religion etc., were completely different from the original Roman empire or its actual descendants, which IMHO can only be considered the modern Italians, even though they had a mixture involved.

There were also other people who tried to assume this title,....... that they continued as being the actual Romans in modern times like the Germans, the Russians and even the Turks, but in reality they were only fooling themselves.
None of these things really make a case for calling them Byzantines. If anything, you're making a better argument for calling them Greeks.
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Old December 8th, 2017, 09:50 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Flavius Aetius View Post
1. Greek had always been the most common language in the Roman Empire, and was also required in Roman education. That argument is completely irrelevant.
Greek had been the most common language ONLY in the eastern part of the old Roman empire.
In places like Iberia, Gaul, Britain, the Germanic tribes and even in the western parts of North Africa it was practically nonexistent.
Therefore your argument is wrong to begin with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flavius Aetius View Post
2. The Roman Empire of the 2nd Century AD was dramatically different than the Roman Empire of Augustus. Let alone the Roman Empire of the Dominate. Again, this argument is also invalid. All states evolve. Just because modern Britain is culturally different from the former British Empire doesn't mean we consider them separate entities.
The Byzantine empire was also dramatically different in the 7th century at the time of Heraclius, or that of 8th century of Leo III the Isaurian, from that of the 9th century with the Macedonian dynasty of Basil II, let alone from the Comnenian dynasty of the 12th century. Your argument doesn't prove anything, and again it's invalid.
By this kind of logic you might consider ourselves as English rather than Americans!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flavius Aetius View Post
3. The Greek Identity didn't even exist until the 1800's so you could hardly call it a Greek Empire. The entire campaign for Greek independence was also a war to wipe out the Roman identity by arguing Rome failed and that Roman cooperation with the Ottomans helped the suppression of the Greek people.
Apparently it could be that you are not familiar that the Greek identity existed long before the Homeric period (800 BC) in ancient Greece, not to mention the time of the Trojan war (1200 BC). Or maybe we should talk about the Classical period of Socrates and Plato or Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic period and his descendants, with the Seleucid Empire, the Ptolemaic Kingdom, the Kingdom of Pergamum, and that of Ancient Antigonid Kingdom of Macedonia.
Shall we go on? or is that enough?
It is out of this Hellenistic period as the basis from the ancient Greek civilization that the Byzantine empire was created!
I'm appalled that you would even mention such a preposterous thing that the Greek Identity did not exist before the 1800's!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flavius Aetius View Post
4. All the other peoples who tried to assume the title were not direct continuations of the central Roman state government. The Roman state government existed continuously from 509-1204 without interruption and discontinuously after 1204. I would argue that the Roman Empire truly fell in 1204 with the dismantling of the central state, but I usually accept the 1453 date.
Being a continuation of circumstances for someone even though of different extraction, does not automatically make you the same!
Again your argument is false because it's based on wrong assumptions to begin with!

Last edited by Apollon; December 8th, 2017 at 10:32 PM.
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Old December 8th, 2017, 10:28 PM   #36
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None of these things really make a case for calling them Byzantines. If anything, you're making a better argument for calling them Greeks.
The term Byzantine it was a term used by later historians due to the ancient Greek city of Byzantium built in 667 BC.

The Greeks have been called by different names in different times in history by different people.
They have been called originally Danaoi (plural) during the Homeric times, later on as Ionians, Dorians, or even Aeolians.
The Eastern peoples called them Unans, because the first Greeks they came in contact with were the Ionians of Greece.
The Western people called them Greeks from some ancient colonial city in the Italian peninsula with a similar name.
None of these names is really the actual name.

The actual name is Hellene(s) for Greek(s), and the country Hellas........, for Greece as it is used mostly in the West.

Using Byzantine to differentiate from the ancient Roman empire, I don't think it presents any problem and it is also acceptable.
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Old December 8th, 2017, 11:08 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Apollon View Post
Greek had been the most common language ONLY in the eastern part of the old Roman empire.
In places like Iberia, Gaul, Britain, the Germanic tribes and even in the western parts of North Africa it was practically nonexistent.
Therefore your argument is wrong to begin with.



The Byzantine empire was also dramatically different in the 7th century at the time of Heraclius, or that of 8th century of Leo III the Isaurian, from that of the 9th century with the Macedonian dynasty of Basil II, let alone from the Comnenian dynasty of the 12th century. Your argument doesn't prove anything, and again it's invalid.
By this kind of logic you might consider ourselves as English rather than Americans!



Apparently it could be that you are not familiar that the Greek identity existed long before the Homeric period (800 BC) in ancient Greece, not to mention the time of the Trojan war (1200 BC). Or maybe we should talk about the Classical period of Socrates and Plato or Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic period and his descendants, with the Seleucid Empire, the Ptolemaic Kingdom, the Kingdom of Pergamum, and that of Ancient Antigonid Kingdom of Macedonia.
Shall we go on? or is that enough?
It is out of this Hellenistic period as the basis from the ancient Greek civilization that the Byzantine empire was created!
I'm appalled that you would even mention such a preposterous thing that the Greek Identity did not exist before the 1800's!!!



Being a continuation of circumstances for someone even though of different extraction, does not automatically make you the same!
Again your argument is false because it's based on wrong assumptions to begin with!
1)By the end the Eastern part of the Roman Empire was the most populated part. Lot of places you're citing are the frontier of the empire and you're not saying any other language like Latin was spoken more than Greece.

2)But Americans don't consider themselves the successors to the British Empire. We also are not the legal successor to the British Empire nor an evolution of such. We were a colony that declared independence. Your logic might have temporarily applied to the Brazilians and the Portuguese when the royals fled there.

3)Got to agree with you here, a Greek identity existed long before the 1800s. I think he's really not counting classical period stuff though and is just talking about the period in question in which the identity was(largely don't want to speak with certainty on this matter) Roman even though the language was Greek as Greeks had been Roman citizens for centuries and centuries by the time in question and the children being born wouldn't know the difference especially once the region of Greece became dominant within Rome.

4)Yes it does. What is your argument for saying they weren't the same?
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Old December 8th, 2017, 11:10 PM   #38

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Greek had been the most common language ONLY in the eastern part of the old Roman empire.
In places like Iberia, Gaul, Britain, the Germanic tribes and even in the western parts of North Africa it was practically nonexistent.
Therefore your argument is wrong to begin with.
And the Eastern part of the Empire remained while the West fell. The people of the Eastern Roman Empire spoke Greek both in 100 AD and in 700 AD, so why is their state Roman in the first instance, but suddenly not Roman in the second. It is literally the same state, with an unbroken list of rulers.


Quote:
The Byzantine empire was also dramatically different in the 7th century at the time of Heraclius, or that of 8th century of Leo III the Isaurian, from that of the 9th century with the Macedonian dynasty of Basil II, let alone from the Comnenian dynasty of the 12th century. Your argument doesn't prove anything, and again it's invalid.
By this kind of logic you might consider ourselves as English rather than Americans!
Yes, states evolve and change over time. The USA of the 19th century was drastically different from the modern USA. Are they different countries?


Quote:
Apparently it could be that you are not familiar that the Greek identity existed long before the Homeric period (800 BC) in ancient Greece, not to mention the time of the Trojan war (1200 BC). Or maybe we should talk about the Classical period of Socrates and Plato or Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic period and his descendants, with the Seleucid Empire, the Ptolemaic Kingdom, the Kingdom of Pergamum, and that of Ancient Antigonid Kingdom of Macedonia.
Shall we go on? or is that enough?
It is out of this Hellenistic period as the basis from the ancient Greek civilization that the Byzantine empire was created!
I'm appalled that you would even mention such a preposterous thing that the Greek Identity did not exist before the 1800's!!!
True indeed, but take into account that the Byzantines really only started considering themselves Greeks in the middle-to-late Byzantine period, and never officially switched. Greek meant Pagan.



Quote:
Being a continuation of circumstances for someone even though of different extraction, does not automatically make you the same!
Again your argument is false because it's based on wrong assumptions to begin with!
If a state changes some elements of itself, it still remains the same state, just with some things different. By this logic, did Persia stopped being Persia by adopting Islam? And btw. Christianity was the element that shows that the Byzantines were in fact Romans. Christianity was a Roman religion, it was adopted and protected by Roman emperors, in fact Greece was one of the last strongholds of Paganism, with some like the Maniots remaining at least partially pagan until the time of Basil I.
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Old December 9th, 2017, 12:55 AM   #39
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And the Eastern part of the Empire remained while the West fell. The people of the Eastern Roman Empire spoke Greek both in 100 AD and in 700 AD, so why is their state Roman in the first instance, but suddenly not Roman in the second. It is literally the same state, with an unbroken list of rulers.
Your argument does not take into consideration the different character in the Western part of the empire which was primarily Roman due to its superiority to the other peoples involved in that area, as compared to that of the Eastern part being primarily due to its preponderance Greek.
Trying to compare 100 AD to 700 AD or even to 1,100 AD, because in all those times Greek was the primary language and therefore nothing really had changed, fails to take into consideration the earth shaking events that had taken place in the meantime, like the fall of the western part of the Roman empire at the beginning, the different culture always in existence in the east, or even the religious practices in it later on, culminating eventually with the schism.
Therefore the comparison on this basis is not really sustainable!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Yes, states evolve and change over time. The USA of the 19th century was drastically different from the modern USA. Are they different countries?
Of course not!
Neither was the Byzantine empire the same as the Roman empire at the time of August or before that, due to its different culture, language or religion as it vs to its Latin character in the West.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
True indeed, but take into account that the Byzantines really only started considering themselves Greeks in the middle-to-late Byzantine period, and never officially switched. Greek meant Pagan.
The Byzantines always knew their original background; even though at times they might had called themselves as Romioi for prestigious reasons, as other people also wrongly tried to do in later years like the Germans, Russians, Turks etc.
Paganism really existed mostly at the time when the so called ERE had still the upper hand; besides being Christian or Pagan did not exclude you also from being Greek.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maki View Post
If a state changes some elements of itself, it still remains the same state, just with some things different. By this logic, did Persia stopped being Persia by adopting Islam? And btw. Christianity was the element that shows that the Byzantines were in fact Romans. Christianity was a Roman religion, it was adopted and protected by Roman emperors, in fact Greece was one of the last strongholds of Paganism, with some like the Maniots remaining at least partially pagan until the time of Basil I.
If a state keeps some elements or institutions of a previous one it does not necessarily makes it the same as the previous original one.
A case in point is the USA; a lot of countries around the world imitate or use institutions or elements invented by the US, it does not make them though USA!
On what basis one can assume because Christianity was an element in the Byzantine empire, that makes them also Romans?
What about the Iberians and the Gauls and the Germans and the Britons who adopted Christianity........, were also Romans?
BTW paganism was persecuted by the Christians in order to eliminate it, it had nothing to do with the overwhelming majority of the Byzantines not to be considered being Greeks.

One cannot generalize from the exception for the rule!

Last edited by Apollon; December 9th, 2017 at 12:57 AM.
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Old December 9th, 2017, 01:31 AM   #40
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1)By the end the Eastern part of the Roman Empire was the most populated part. Lot of places you're citing are the frontier of the empire and you're not saying any other language like Latin was spoken more than Greece.

2)But Americans don't consider themselves the successors to the British Empire. We also are not the legal successor to the British Empire nor an evolution of such. We were a colony that declared independence. Your logic might have temporarily applied to the Brazilians and the Portuguese when the royals fled there.

3)Got to agree with you here, a Greek identity existed long before the 1800s. I think he's really not counting classical period stuff though and is just talking about the period in question in which the identity was(largely don't want to speak with certainty on this matter) Roman even though the language was Greek as Greeks had been Roman citizens for centuries and centuries by the time in question and the children being born wouldn't know the difference especially once the region of Greece became dominant within Rome.

4)Yes it does. What is your argument for saying they weren't the same?
1) I'm not quite sure what you are trying to say.
What I'm saying however is that in the Eastern part of the Roman empire Greek was the predominant language, while in the Western part Latin was the case, without of course thinking that other languages were not existence which were not though as widespread.

2) Not however the way some people rationalize the analogy between the two!

3) I think he actually insinuated that Greek Identity was nonexistent prior to 1800's.

Being a Roman citizen and having presumably the same rights as actual Roman citizens, while people within the empire still spoke their own language as that might be Greek or Egyptian, a kind of German, Gaulish, Briton, or whatever the case might be, does not conscientiously make you actual Roman, other than the fact that your civil rights would hopefully be observed.

4) Look again at my answer on the previous post where I clearly stated that:

"Being a continuation of circumstances for someone even though of different extraction, does not automatically make you the same!"
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