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Old December 9th, 2017, 10:01 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Apollon View Post
I will answer only on #4 since we seem to agree on the other ones.
I said on that one:

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

The meaning behind it was, that the Greeks found themselves responsible to continue the existing ERE (Eastern Roman Empire) due to their predominant existence in the area population wise, and also culturally wise.
That however did not necessarily meant that they became suddenly actual Romans or that they shed their Hellenized background.

We should also keep in mind that the real genuine Romans of Latin extraction that moved originally to Constantinople in 330 AD were not all that many, and their real numbers kept dwindling with the passing of time; and although at the beginning they had with their elite the governing of the state, in a period of about 250 years even the governance had fallen in the hands of the existing Hellenized Greeks who represented the majority from the very beginning, descendants from the Hellenistic period.
The Romans were a thing of the past, a new ballgame was in town.
We just fundamentally disagree on what a state is. You seem to be more in line with the idea that the heritage of the people make the state, rather than the institutions and legal continuity. What a state is does not change along with the composition of people and that is where I think our main disagreement is. This might be American bias but our country wouldn't be the same as 1776 by that criteria as only a small percentage of the country are descendants of people from that era the same way only a small percentage of the Greeks were Latins from the Italian peninsula.

Also while there was a Greek identity in eras prior no doubt(before Roman conquest), I'm going to reject that there was a separate one from Roman in this period we're discussing now(not saying there was no Greek identity only saying it wouldn't be separate from the Roman as well). Think about it we're in the 6th,7th or 8th century, you're born in Greece, everyone around you calls themselves Roman, you're using Roman institutions and traditions but you live in Greece, everyone around you speaks Greek and you have Greek ancestors going back to the Republic days who were all under Roman control. How will that person see Roman and Greek identity as different? Remember Greece had been under Roman control since the Republican period so wouldn't this be enough time for a separate Greek identity from that of the Romans to vanish?
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Old December 9th, 2017, 11:14 PM   #52

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Apparently you are talking of the time when the Romans were trying to take over mainland Greece before Rome became an empire with emperors and it was still presumably a republic.
Greeks hated the fact that the Romans were interfering in their political affairs wether they were in the Achaean League or the Aetolian League, never mind the Macedonian Kingdom which wanted nothing to do with them and they fought them repeatedly, but certainly they respected each other's traditions and cultures but only just up to that point.
No, I am talking about a period when Greece already was a Roman province. I never said Greece never resisted the Romans, I mentioned their initial struggle, but it's a fact that after Greece finally became the part of Rome, and especially after Augustus stabilized the country, Greece never attempted to secede from Rome.

Quote:
Nationalism in the modern sense may not have existed back then, but ethnicity however was very much alive, apparent, and prominent.
The Greeks never accepted for themselves the Roman identity under any circumstances, and neither was Christianity spread to Greece from Rome, it had come to Greece through Saint Paul, read his epistles and his teachings for Philippi, Thessalonica, Athens, Ephesus, Corinth etc.
And how many Greeks joined Christanity then? Until Constantine took it under his protection, Christianity was nothing more than a fringe religion from the Middle East, the Christians were 10% of the population of the Roman Empire at most. Yes, it's not minor, but it's definitely not something great. Paganism was still very much dominant.


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Are you saying that the Greeks spoke their own language but thought themselves as being genuine Roman?
Yes, evidence clearly points to that.

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Their religion was Greek Orthodox, differing from Roman Catholicism but still thinking of themselves as Roman?
Once again, yes. They considered themselves genuine Romans, and thus their church was a genuine Roman church. Read the official title of the Ecumenical Patriarch, try finding anything related to Greece in it. You won't. But you will find New Rome. Also read how the Turks call Greeks living in Turkey. I'll tell you: Rumlar. Plus, the Church wasn't divided until the 11th century.

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Their culture distinctly Greek differing substantially from Latin, but still thinking of themselves as actual Romans?
How is their culture distinctly Greek? Apart from language, their culture was much more similar to the Roman culture. I've already provided examples for that. Byzantine Empire was totally different from ancient Greece, with a different set of customs (no Olympic Games, no city-states, etc), new religion, even Greek philosophy was considered potentially dangerous, and Michael Psellos was accused of forsaking Christ in favor of Plato by a future Patriarch.

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Assuming a name for tradition's reasons or prestigious purposes does not make you also automatically so!
Other people had also tried the same thing and not only failed, but it became eventually a joke.
Perhaps it doesn't make you so, but the Byzantines certainly thought differently. Plus, they were closer to Romans than to Greeks in everything but language until the late Byzantine period where we see a revival of Greek identity, but even then it wasn't officially sanctioned by the state. In his last speech in 1453, Constantine XI calls his subjects "descendants of ancient Greece and ROME".


Quote:
If that's the case and Australians didn't become British with the same language and similar culture,, how would the Byzantines be thought as Romans with a different language and culture and also a differentiated religion.
You said language, culture and religion are the most important elements for determining ethnicity. Well, the Byzantines had the same religion and culture as the Romans, until the 7th century, they even had the same language.

Quote:
Your analogy has to do with a completely different comparison, same as that with the US, and under different circumstances and situations; you cannot draw compared parallelism between the two in order to reach an intelligent conclusion.
Why not? Is the US of the 18th century the same as the US of today? No. Is the Roman Empire of the 2nd century the same as the Roman Empire/Byzantium of 11th centuy? No. But we still consider the US in 1776 the same country as the modern US, we didn't invent a new name to describe it.

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True!
Not only in culture but in religion too, but not as far as the language is concerned!
Fine.

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Same thing with the Romans; a lot of other people imitated the Roman culture and also their religion, but their language Latin is only closest more than any other language to modern Italian, and Italians are actually the ones that can claim actual descendantcy to the ancient Romans, even though there has been intermixture in the meantime.


Quote:
Christianity was not introduced to Greece by the Romans; it was introduced by the Apostles of Jesus Christ and in particular Saint Paul.
I have already covered this, but Christianity, after it became an official religion, became a tool for the Roman state to use to spread its influence, bind barbarian soldiers closer to the Empire, it became a symbol of Romanness and civilization. Christanity was clearly a Roman religion, the fact that it was started by someone else is true, but it spread under the protection and sponsorship of Rome. If it wasn't for the Roman Empire and its sponsorship of Christianity, the religion would possibly die out, but it would never grow to become the dominant world religion.


Quote:
The Byzantines did not hate to be called Greeks, they always knew they were of Hellenic extraction as that may be referring to the Homeric period, the classical period or the succeeding Hellenistic period coming down through the centuries.
Sorry, but even after I had provided you with sources, both primary and secondary, you still refuse to see it. This discussion has turned into a repetition of same arguments over and over agian.

Quote:
They also knew however that continuing through the centuries from the old Roman empire with a new Identity characterized by its Hellenization, had more right referring to the old Roman regime that any other, which right was tried to be stolen away from them in a tricky way.
BTW, why the pope in his letter referred to them as Greeks and not as being actual Romans?
maybe he knew something more than people now days, which they refuse to accept as being the reality!
Um...no. The Pope referred to the Byzantines as Greeks because the Western Church was allied with the Holy Roman Emperor and wanted to proclaim him the true Roman emperor. The emperor in Constantinople was a problem, so they denied his position and started calling him a Greek emperor.

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So was the Byzantine empire in the 7th century under Heraclius from that of the 10th under Basil II.
No, it wasn't. Neither was the Roman Empire of Augustus and the Empire of Aurelian.

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Their religion Christianity was not a Roman religion to begin with as I also told you before, in fact Christianity was persecuted relentlessly by some of the Roman emperors.
Their culture also differed substantially in many ways from that of the Romans.
Lastly but not least, we don't need to talk about the language which was completely different.
Already covered this, won't repeat.



Quote:
Well since you are from Srpska and presumably you consider yourself a Serbian, how would you have liked to be called a Bosnian denying your actual background? unless you are not........., in which case something else plays along these lines.
How would a Byzantine like to be called a Greek, a name that symbolized heathenism, paganism, something abhorrent to the Christians, a name used by the Western schismatics to deny the orthodoxy and legitimacy of his own state?

Quote:
By the time you are referring above, it had become quite apparent that the Byzantines were not really Romans but in reality Greeks, which was a common secret among all the people long before that!
Sure, you just won't be able to find anything like that in the sources.
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Old December 10th, 2017, 12:04 AM   #53
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Here is where our disagreements may exist from the way you perceive this thing, and the way I think reality was in existence at that time and the particular area under discussion:

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
We just fundamentally disagree on what a state is. You seem to be more in line with the idea that the heritage of the people make the state, rather than the institutions and legal continuity.
Yes I am, because that was the case at the time and it still continues to be today in most countries around the world.

If you take as an example countries like the US where we both live, and which is a country formed by immigrants and try to compare it for this case, people here do not have as strong ethnic or heritage identity because they come from all over the world.
In our case in the US you are right institutions and legal continuity play a much bigger role and are of paramount importance. That wasn't the case though back in those days.
How do you think the Roman or the Ottoman empire became so big?
by providing good institutions to all their subjects?
when they start thinking like that and since they started doing because they didn't have an alternative any more......, they fell apart.

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
What a state is does not change along with the composition of people and that is where I think our main disagreement is.
You cannot generalize that this is for all cases true!

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
This might be American bias but our country wouldn't be the same as 1776 by that criteria as only a small percentage of the country are descendants of people from that era
It sure is American bias since the people don't know any different;
and yes the country is not the same as it was perceived back in 1776, where the majority was basically of English extraction while today they fall behind even from people of German extraction, not to mention the Hispanics who are coming up fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
the same way only a small percentage of the Greeks were Latins from the Italian peninsula.
That was true, but we are talking of Greeks concentrating mainly in the Asia Minor primarily, and secondary the Balkan peninsula and the Middle East.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Also while there was a Greek identity in eras prior no doubt(before Roman conquest), I'm going to reject that there was a separate one from Roman in this period we're discussing now
Which period exactly you are referring to?

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
(not saying there was no Greek identity only saying it wouldn't be separate from the Roman as well).
Well, if we assume there was a Greek identity in existence at the time you are talking about, then we would have to conclude that it stood separate from the Roman, or else it wouldn't exist to begin with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Think about it we're in the 6th,7th or 8th century, you're born in Greece, everyone around you calls themselves Roman,
It does not follow that if I lived in Greece in the 6th, 7th or 8th century, and I am of Greek extraction, and speak Greek, that I would call myself necessarily a genuine Roman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
you're using Roman institutions and traditions but you live in Greece, everyone around you speaks Greek and you have Greek ancestors going back to the Republic days who were all under Roman control.
Even using traditional Roman institutions in the Byzantine empire, living in Greece, and speaking only Greek, and knowing that my ancestors fought the occupation by the Romans during their republic years, I would certainly feel there is some difference there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
How will that person see Roman and Greek identity as different?
Due to their heritage!

Think of the riots that broke out in Constantinople during the time of emperor Andronicus Komnenos, as a reaction to the Latins who were assumed to be the genuine descendants of the Romans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Remember Greece had been under Roman control since the Republican period so wouldn't this be enough time for a separate Greek identity from that of the Romans to vanish?
It looks that it didn't, taking into consideration and in light what I mentioned to you immediately above.

Why would they attack them if they thought they were one and the same, as both being considered actual Romans, and not something different indeed?
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Old December 10th, 2017, 01:03 AM   #54

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Mah ... there is a simple point: after the end of the Empire of Rome [the Western Roman Empire] if in the East they felt to be so Greek, there was no reason not to change the name of the Empire into Greek Empire.

The curious aspect about this is that in the West, in Medieval time, they called the Roman Empire "Imperium Graecorum" [in the East they kept on calling their own Empire Imperium Romanum, Res Publica Romanorum and, btw, until 610CE the official language remained the Latin, then they adopted Greek] since in the West they considered the Holy Roman Empire the real heir of the Roman Empire, not the Eastern Roman Empire [which they considered a Greek Empire].

In good substance before of the Crusades, Westerns saw a Greek Empire where Eastern Romans kept on having the Roman Empire.



P.S. I would go back to conventions.

As I've already said, the basic reasoning to call the Eastern Empire "Byzantine" was that the city of reference was no more Rome, but the old "Byzantium". That was the Empire of Byzantium.

But, as I've mentioned above, Westerns in Medieval age, called it Greek Empire. That was a different convention, I guess based on two considerations:

in the East they talked Greek which had become the official language;
in the West there was the Holy Roman Empire and there was a clear political strategy in erasing the Roman identity and heritage of the "Greek Empire" [if the Emperor is still in the East ... the Pope cannot crown Emperors and imagine Kings ... better to have the Roman Emperor in the West].

Last edited by AlpinLuke; December 10th, 2017 at 01:09 AM.
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Old December 10th, 2017, 02:07 AM   #55

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Probably it's useful to summarize:

this thread is about a historical convention.

The term "Byzantine" appeared in 18th century and the Enlightenment substantially invented it following a reasoning similar to the one I have posted above [making reference to a city, not to a state, to a people ...].

Before of the 18th century, it's all probable that in the West they kept on call the Eastern Empire "Greek Empire", while in the East, the Ottomans weren't so interested in the problem ... [before of them, the Romans of the East called their Empire "Roman Empire"].

Anyway, note that the Sultan acquire the title of "qaysar-ı Rum" [Caesar of the Romans].

In other words we are discussing how we should call something which is no more and that has left a documentation about it was called by its own inhabitants.

The matter is similar to the case of "Gaul", since Gaul was a name given by a foreign people [Romans] to a land in Europe. Gauls didn't call their land "Gaul". But this Roman habit has become a general convention. We use the term "Gaul" without wondering how real Gauls called themselves and their lands.

We do the same with the term "Byzantine".

So that ...

to use the term Byzantine is correct as for convention, it's not historically accurate as for what happened in reality while the Roman Empire in the East still existed.
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Old December 10th, 2017, 02:17 AM   #56
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Can't we simply refer to the Medieval Roman Empire as "Greco-Roman"? Just saying.
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Old December 10th, 2017, 02:43 AM   #57
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No, I am talking about a period when Greece already was a Roman province. I never said Greece never resisted the Romans, I mentioned their initial struggle, but it's a fact that after Greece finally became the part of Rome, and especially after Augustus stabilized the country, Greece never attempted to secede from Rome.
I already answered you on that!
They never had the power to do something like that; the same as all the other peoples within the Roman empire.

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Originally Posted by Maki View Post
And how many Greeks joined Christanity then? Until Constantine took it under his protection, Christianity was nothing more than a fringe religion from the Middle East, the Christians were 10% of the population of the Roman Empire at most. Yes, it's not minor, but it's definitely not something great. Paganism was still very much dominant.
No census was ever taken on that; therefore you can only have your personal guess about it!

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Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Yes, evidence clearly points to that.
Do you have any proof for your assumption?

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Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Once again, yes. They considered themselves genuine Romans, and thus their church was a genuine Roman church. Read the official title of the Ecumenical Patriarch, try finding anything related to Greece in it. You won't. But you will find New Rome. Also read how the Turks call Greeks living in Turkey. I'll tell you: Rumlar. Plus, the Church wasn't divided until the 11th century.
No, they did not consider themselves as genuine Romans, at least not in the way you probably perceive of this!

Hellenism was not centered in Greece at that time, the center was actually in Asia Minor, but it was also extended in the Middle East; therefore if the Ecumenical Patriarch did not specifically mentioned the region of present day Greece it's really of no primary significance, and what if the Turks called them Rumblar (although I heard a different term)? what does it prove? Nothing really!
Here you even had the case that even the Seljuk Turks call themselves Roman.
What of it?

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Originally Posted by Maki View Post
How is their culture distinctly Greek? Apart from language, their culture was much more similar to the Roman culture. I've already provided examples for that. Byzantine Empire was totally different from ancient Greece, with a different set of customs (no Olympic Games, no city-states, etc), new religion, even Greek philosophy was considered potentially dangerous, and Michael Psellos was accused of forsaking Christ in favor of Plato by a future Patriarch.
A lot of cultures may be different, that however does not make them the same.
In this case we are talking about distinct differences, because the Byzantine culture had strong Eastern influences, which were not present in the case with the Roman counterpart.

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Originally Posted by Maki View Post
Perhaps it doesn't make you so, but the Byzantines certainly thought differently. Plus, they were closer to Romans than to Greeks in everything but language until the late Byzantine period where we see a revival of Greek identity, but even then it wasn't officially sanctioned by the state. In his last speech in 1453, Constantine XI calls his subjects "descendants of ancient Greece and ROME".
How do you know how exactly the Byzantines felt?
I could make a much better assumption about that because I am with the same psyche, as opposed to someone who is not of the same background.
Constantine XI made the mention of Rome, besides their Byzantine descendancy from ANCIENT GREECE, because he felt there was a certain affinity towards the Romans through the centuries.

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Originally Posted by Maki View Post
You said language, culture and religion are the most important elements for determining ethnicity. Well, the Byzantines had the same religion and culture as the Romans, until the 7th century, they even had the same language.
The religion may had been the same up to that point or even later, but the culture and the language was quite different from the very beginning for the majority of the ingenious people, except for the ruling elite for the first 2,5 centuries, which eventually even that changed after they had been integrated with the rest of the society.

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Why not? Is the US of the 18th century the same as the US of today? No. Is the Roman Empire of the 2nd century the same as the Roman Empire/Byzantium of 11th centuy? No. But we still consider the US in 1776 the same country as the modern US, we didn't invent a new name to describe it.
Neither was the Byzantine empire the same in the 7th century or the 11th or the 15th; especially taking into consideration the transformation that had taking place of changing its character from that of being originally Roman/Latin to that of being Byzantine/Greek.

Again your parallelism is irrelevant to try to compare the case of US to that of the Byzantine empire. Completely different situation and different circumstances!

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Fine.
We agree somewhere.

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Originally Posted by Maki View Post
I have already covered this, but Christianity, after it became an official religion, became a tool for the Roman state to use to spread its influence, bind barbarian soldiers closer to the Empire, it became a symbol of Romanness and civilization. Christanity was clearly a Roman religion, the fact that it was started by someone else is true, but it spread under the protection and sponsorship of Rome. If it wasn't for the Roman Empire and its sponsorship of Christianity, the religion would possibly die out, but it would never grow to become the dominant world religion.
It became official, protected and sponsored after the founding and during the time of the Byzantine empire.
Before that it was persecuted with thousand of deaths suffered in the previous Roman empire!

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Um...no. The Pope referred to the Byzantines as Greeks because the Western Church was allied with the Holy Roman Emperor and wanted to proclaim him the true Roman emperor. The emperor in Constantinople was a problem, so they denied his position and started calling him a Greek emperor.
Well, if the Pope wanted to proclaim the supposed Holy Roman emperor as a true Roman emperor, for political reasons and personal self interests, it was a fallacy to begin with because he was actually dealing with an ethnic German, not in any way connected to the previous genuine Roman emperors of the Roman empire.
However out of this affair the true came out of the Pope's mouth, recognizing that the Byzantines were actually Greeks and not really Romans, as they were perceived in the old Roman empire.
QED!

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No, it wasn't. Neither was the Roman Empire of Augustus and the Empire of Aurelian.
Well I explained that to you already in a previous post with the parallelism involved from my part in the case between Heraclius and Basil II within the Byzantine empire.

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Already covered this, won't repeat.
So have I!

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Originally Posted by Maki View Post
How would a Byzantine like to be called a Greek, a name that symbolized heathenism, paganism, something abhorrent to the Christians, a name used by the Western schismatics to deny the orthodoxy and legitimacy of his own state?
Don't assume too much, because the Greeks were the first Christians who adopted Christianity, and therefore a heretic, or a schismatic or even abhorrents may be characteristics for the supposed accusers, in which case you could find yourself in the receiving end for this matter.
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Old December 10th, 2017, 02:58 AM   #58

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Can't we simply refer to the Medieval Roman Empire as "Greco-Roman"? Just saying.
Why not? We would introduce a different convention based more on cultural considerations.

What I'm saying here is that in historiography conventions are not that rare. Think to "Ancient Egypt". It seems that it was the ancient version of modern Egypt ... well, no it wasn't and its name wasn't Egypt. We've got clues about references to KmT [literally "black land"] or a definition like "The Two Lands", but Egypt is a quite later definition and probably Greeks misunderstood the name of a temple as a name referred to a people [hwt-k3-pth which indicated the house of Ptah]. But no one gets crazy about this.

In the case of the Byzantine Empire, it's clear that historiography has acted to avoid confusion, since that empire was still defined "Roman", but without a very useful adjective to differentiate it.

I imagine that if the Holy Roman Empire missed that "Holy" during the Enlightenment someone would have suggested a solution related to the city capital of Charlemagne ... Aachen [in Latin "Aquisgranum"].

So there was a reason. Anyway the historical reality that it was the Roman Empire is documented.

P.S. During the Enlightenment, to give a name by convention to an eventual not "Holy" Roman Empire, would have been curious ... the Empire still existed!

Last edited by AlpinLuke; December 10th, 2017 at 03:04 AM.
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Old December 10th, 2017, 03:04 AM   #59
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As I've already said, the basic reasoning to call the Eastern Empire "Byzantine" was that the city of reference was no more Rome, but the old "Byzantium". That was the Empire of Byzantium.
Basically it was a name invented for convenience sake by later historians, in order to denote the inherent difference between the ancient Roman Latin based empire, and the new one Greek based Byzantine empire.

PS: Due to the fact that in one day I'll be leaving to go to my Byzantine roots overseas, I won't be able to answer any more comments, besides enough have been answered already.
Merry Christmas everybody!
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Old December 10th, 2017, 03:17 AM   #60

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Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
What I'm saying here is that in historiography conventions are not that rare. Think to "Ancient Egypt". It seems that it was the ancient version of modern Egypt ... well, no it wasn't and its name wasn't Egypt. We've got clues about references to KmT [literally "black land"] or a definition like "The Two Lands", but Egypt is a quite later definition and probably Greeks misunderstood the name of a temple as a name referred to a people [hwt-k3-pth which indicated the house of Ptah]. But no one gets crazy about this.
It's true that a lot of things are misnamed in history, especially when we are talking about ancient and medieval times, I mean Persia was never the official of either the Achaemenid or the Sassanid empires (and I think Iran eventually protested the use of the name Persia in the 20th century), but there is a difference between those cases and the Byzantine case. The misnaming of other places was never used for political purposes to invalidate the legitimacy of the state. The Westerners deliberately chose not to call Byzantines Romans in an attempt to diminish their legitimacy so that the Popes can choose new emperors in the West. Even the name Byzantine comes from the West and it is merely the latest chapter in a long line of attempts by the Catholic West to eliminate any Romanness from Byzantium. I think it was Hieronymus Wolf who introduced the term, and he probably didn't have any political reasons to do so (the ERE was already dead), but it is still a continuation of a policy sponsored by the HRE and by the Popes since the time of Charlemagne. With the Great Schism, the Latin Massacre and the 4th Crusade, things only escalated, although curiously these events coincide with a general revival of Greek identity in the ERE.
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