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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 April 11th, 2018, 08:37 PM   #1
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Unhappy do you think there should be more coverage about Byzantium.


(sorry in advance if my grammar is bad, I'm 14). I just finished HBO's Rome and I thought it was amazing, So I decided to search for shows, and movies about Byzantium, but there is no coverage about it. I remember how last year in 7th grade I learned nothing about them. Do any of you think it is unjust how Byzantium is so underrated? I mean they were almost as big as the west, and they had the Hagia Sophia, a building that can withstand some of the worst earthquakes ever. So why do the Byzantines get ignored in history as if they never existed?
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Old April 11th, 2018, 11:20 PM   #2

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Originally Posted by SPQRforLife View Post
(sorry in advance if my grammar is bad, I'm 14). I just finished HBO's Rome and I thought it was amazing, So I decided to search for shows, and movies about Byzantium, but there is no coverage about it. I remember how last year in 7th grade I learned nothing about them. Do any of you think it is unjust how Byzantium is so underrated? I mean they were almost as big as the west, and they had the Hagia Sophia, a building that can withstand some of the worst earthquakes ever. So why do the Byzantines get ignored in history as if they never existed?
They are not ignored and they are still The Roman Empire, in 1453 CE, western scholars began calling it the “Byzantine Empire” to mark its distinction from the west, Latin-speaking europe and justify imperial titles in the west.
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Old April 12th, 2018, 12:50 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by SPQRforLife View Post
(sorry in advance if my grammar is bad, I'm 14). I just finished HBO's Rome and I thought it was amazing, So I decided to search for shows, and movies about Byzantium, but there is no coverage about it. I remember how last year in 7th grade I learned nothing about them. Do any of you think it is unjust how Byzantium is so underrated? I mean they were almost as big as the west, and they had the Hagia Sophia, a building that can withstand some of the worst earthquakes ever. So why do the Byzantines get ignored in history as if they never existed?
I mean how underrated can they be if they are important enough to have an entire section on this site partially named after them, "Medieval and Byzantine history"? They are the only empire that has such an honor.

But yeah Byzantines do not get ignored, if they were ignored there wouldn't have been nearly so many attempts to capture Constantinople. Was even a thread on here last week debating whether Constantinople should be considered the overall capital of world history.

But yeah US history curriculum is pretty horrible and there's a massive amount of important civilizations and crucial events that get ignored or are a brief footnote. Among people who talk about history, the empire is certainly not underrated. But any period where they were almost as big as the West, Byzantium was the Roman Empire and the title really only serves it's purpose as a distinguishing name IMO once the empire was reduced to Greece, Constantinople and parts of Asia Minor.

Also if we are using history documentary's as a metric to determine something being underrated and overrated almost everyone except the Nazi's and maybe the Greeks and British are underrated.

Last edited by Emperor of Wurttemburg 43; April 12th, 2018 at 12:59 AM.
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Old April 12th, 2018, 01:15 AM   #4

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They are not ignored and they are still The Roman Empire, in 1453 CE, western scholars began calling it the “Byzantine Empire” to mark its distinction from the west, Latin-speaking europe and justify imperial titles in the west.
That distinction was made from the 9th century onward, when Western writers started referring to the emperor at Constantinople as the "emperor of the Greeks".
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Old April 12th, 2018, 01:31 AM   #5

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The poster is absolutely right. Whilst it is well debated on here - specialist site - to the nth degree, in general life and media you hardly hear anything at all - ever. How many Hollywood films are there around Byzantium as against cowboys and indians.? Whilst that is obviously down to a certain introversion, Rome and Greece to name but 2 are well-represented, albeit with dubious attachment to accepted facts.

Partly it's because the further away something is the more out of mind. Also the area is of course, now basically islamic and for centuries the Ottoman Empire was largely an 'enemy'. Doesn't matter to me but I think it affects the whole media psyche, if you know what mean?

Can't see a movie about it pulling in the crowds to be honest.
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Old April 12th, 2018, 01:43 AM   #6

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I think I've seen one Italian movie from the 60s and one Russian from the 80s that featured the Byzantines, but in both cases they were portrayed as enemies, arrogant and cunning but weak when it came to fighting, if I remember well. Pretty much the traditional picture.
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Old April 12th, 2018, 06:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Emperor of Wurttemburg 43 View Post
I mean how underrated can they be if they are important enough to have an entire section on this site partially named after them, "Medieval and Byzantine history"? They are the only empire that has such an honor.

But yeah Byzantines do not get ignored, if they were ignored there wouldn't have been nearly so many attempts to capture Constantinople. Was even a thread on here last week debating whether Constantinople should be considered the overall capital of world history.

But yeah US history curriculum is pretty horrible and there's a massive amount of important civilizations and crucial events that get ignored or are a brief footnote. Among people who talk about history, the empire is certainly not underrated. But any period where they were almost as big as the West, Byzantium was the Roman Empire and the title really only serves it's purpose as a distinguishing name IMO once the empire was reduced to Greece, Constantinople, and parts of Asia Minor.

Also if we are using history documentary's as a metric to determine something being underrated and overrated almost everyone except the Nazi's and maybe the Greeks and British are underrated.
Yeah they do not get ignored on this website, but they do get ignored from the general populous, and yes they were Roman. However, you have to dig a lot deeper to learn about the Byzantium period. This is a quote from you: if they were ignored there wouldn't have been nearly so many attempts to capture Constantinople? Of course, they were not ignored in there time and were a major part of the crusades, but people generally ignore them now. Listen, all I am asking is if Byzantium should get more coverage in more movies, and tv shows so regular people who pretty much only know about the western Romans can learn more about the east.
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Old April 12th, 2018, 08:11 AM   #8
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They are not ignored and they are still The Roman Empire, in 1453 CE, western scholars began calling it the “Byzantine Empire” to mark its distinction from the west, Latin-speaking europe and justify imperial titles in the west.
He's correct, there never was a Byzantium it was Eastern Rome. There is plenty of information out there about it. By fate of chance I have one of the most common Greek last names that starts with Rum. Rum means Rome in Turkish at least. How can it be forgotten about when it is one of the most common surnames in Greece? It was not forgotten about not even under the Ottoman occupation.

Last edited by orestes; April 12th, 2018 at 08:15 AM.
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Old April 12th, 2018, 08:49 AM   #9

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Some elderly Greeks still seem to refer to themselves as Romyós on occasion (from Roméos, Roman).
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Old April 12th, 2018, 04:25 PM   #10
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last thing and then this thread is dead, I apologize for posting in European history instead of medieval and Byzantine history. I just joined recently and did not know there was a part dedicated to Byzantium.

Last edited by SPQRforLife; April 12th, 2018 at 04:57 PM.
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