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Old March 22nd, 2014, 09:22 AM   #1

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History of Byzantium Podcast

I do not know if this has been posted or discussed here before, but there is a interesting podcast being produced chronicling the history of the Empire from 476 until its fall in 1453.

Each podcast is typically around 20 to 25 minutes. I haven't listened to all of them, but the narrator tells the history with much passion and detail. I started listening from his podcast dealing with the reign of Maurice up until the start of the final Sassanid-Roman war in the 7th century. He has not updated the podcast in awhile, but he mentioned he needs a lot of time to chronicle the Byzantine counteroffensive and eventual victory over the Persians.

I highly recommend his podcast to any lover of Roman/Byzantine history.

The History of Byzantium | A podcast telling the story of the Roman Empire from 476 AD to 1453
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Old March 22nd, 2014, 04:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kretan182 View Post
I do not know if this has been posted or discussed here before, but there is a interesting podcast being produced chronicling the history of the Empire from 476 until its fall in 1453.

Each podcast is typically around 20 to 25 minutes. I haven't listened to all of them, but the narrator tells the history with much passion and detail. I started listening from his podcast dealing with the reign of Maurice up until the start of the final Sassanid-Roman war in the 7th century. He has not updated the podcast in awhile, but he mentioned he needs a lot of time to chronicle the Byzantine counteroffensive and eventual victory over the Persians.

I highly recommend his podcast to any lover of Roman/Byzantine history.

The History of Byzantium | A podcast telling the story of the Roman Empire from 476 AD to 1453
thank you for posting this.


About : Episode 41 – Who is a Byzantine?
Here to historum have preserved some original sources which explain the relations of terms Greek/Roman-Romaios/Hellenic, and the greek character of the civilization of Roman/Byzantine empire, as also the terms 'greek', roman/'romeos/ and 'hellenic'.


so see at Byzantium goes west

Refer of Roman citizens as 'Greeks'.

The refer to a letter of ,[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khosrau_II]Khosrau II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] to [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heraclius]Heraclius - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] from the history of Pseudo-Sebeos > the refer to Greeks in 7th century, describes the Greek identity of Roman empire's citizens.

In the 34th year of king Khosrov he wrote a letter to Heraclius as follows: ....'Khosrov, honoured among the gods, lord and king of all the earth, and offspring of the great Aramazd, to Heraclius our senseless and insignificant servant. You have not wished to submit yourself to us, but you call yourself lord and king. My treasure which is with you, you spend; my servants you defraud; and having collected an army of brigands, you give me no rest. So did I not destroy the Greeks? But you claim to trust in your God. Why did he not save Caesarea and Jerusalem and the great Alexandria from my hands?....'

then see Roman heritage of Byzantine

Indeed the people of the empire are called as Romans to the Roman/Byzantine sources.

To arab and the western sources refer to all people as Greeks.
But also the names Rum/Romania exist to arab/muslim and western sources.


The Arab historian and geographer Ali al-Masudi (10th century) Al-Masudi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . Referring to the Roman period Lekapinus and policy towards the Jews characterizes the Empire as "the homeland of the Greeks" and the emperor 'king of the Greeks. "

we have Greek name for the people of Roman empire, and Roman / Roum for the state, as i have preserved.
and as you asked i preserve the original sourse [i use the french translation of the arab text as i found more accurate]:

Prairies d'or, Arabic edition and French translation of Muruj al-dhahab by Barbier de Meynard and Pavet de Courteille, Paris 1861-77
LES PRAIRIES D'OR volume 2 , download Les prairies d'or : Masudi, d. 956? : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive
CHAPITRE WII , page 59, 60

..........Ceux-ci possèdent, sur la frontière de leurs ennemis, une grande ville grecque, nommée Walcndar, très-bien peuplée cl d'un accès diilicile, grâce à sa position entre les montagnes et la nier...............

.........They have, on the border of their enemies, a great Greek city, named Walcndar,which has a great population (garrison), and is protected by the sea on one side, and by mountains on the other...............

............La garnison grecque de Walendar, profitant de l'occasion, envahit leurs établissements laissés déserts, traîna beaucoup de femmes en captivité et enleva de nombreux troupeaux...............

............The Greeks of Walender took advantage of it, invaded their country whilst they were disunited, dragged many women captive , and plundered their property..............

.............Romanus, qui règne aujourd'hui, en 332, sur les Grecs, instruit de ce qui se passait, envoya au secours de ses sujets douze mille cavaliers convertis au christianisme, armés de lances à la mode arabe, auxquels il adjoignit cinquante mille hommes du pays de Roum................

.............Romanus, who reigns today, in 332, the Greeks, informed of what was happening, sent to the aid of his subjects converted at twelve thousand horsemen Christianity, with spears in the Arab fashion, which he joined with fifty thousand men of the country of Roum..............

also there more refference to Greeks , searching the text.


Benjamin of Tudela (1130 – 1173) [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_of_Tudela]Benjamin of Tudela - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] (The Travels of Benjamin) also reffered to Greek

download the Plain Text UTF-8 ebook from The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela by 12th cent. of Tudela Benjamin - Project Gutenberg

page 20
In Constantinople is the church of Santa Sophia, and the seat of the Pope of the Greeks, since the Greeks do not obey the Pope of Rome

page 22
The Greek inhabitants are very rich in gold and precious stones

as also you can find more refferences to Greeks , searching the text.


i will further reffer also ibn battuda in first half of 14th century [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Battuta]Ibn Battuta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] refference:

......Ladhiq is a most important town, with seven cathedral mosques. In it are manufactured matchless cotton fabrics with gold embroidered edges, which have a very long life on account of the excellence of the cotton and of the spinning. Most of the_workers are Greek women, for there are many Greeks here who are subject to the Muslims and pay a poll tax to the sultan. The definitinetive mark of the Greeks are their hats, red or white; their women wear capacious turbans.............
...........We went on through the town of Tim, which is in the territories of this sultan, to Aya Suluq [Ephesus], a large and ancient town venerated by the Greeks. It possesses a large church built of finely hewn stones, each measuring ten or more cubits in length. The cathedral mosque, which was formerly a church greatly venerated by the Greeks, is one of the most beautiful in the world. I bought a Greek slave girl here for forty dinars..........
........Kaynuk is a small town inhabited by infidel [Christian] Greeks under Muslim protection..........
........Outside the town there are eleven villages inhabited by Greek infidels. The cathedral mosque at Sanub [Sinope] is a most beautiful building .....
........The amir Baydara with five thousand troops travelled with her, and her own troops numbered about five hundred horsemen, two hundred of whom were her attendant slaves and Greeks, and the remainder Turks. She had with her also about two hundred maidens, most of whom were Greeks, and about four hundred carts and about two thousand draught and riding horses, as well as three hundred oxen and two hundred camels. She had also ten Greek youths and the same number of Indians, whose leader-in-chief was called Sunbul the Indian; the leader of the Greeks was a man of conspicuous bravery called Michael .........
.....The Greeks had heard that this khatun hospitality-gift, was returning to her country, and there came to this fortress [at the Byzantine border] to meet her the Greek Kifali [Greek kephale, meaning chief] Nicolas, with a large army and a large accompanied by the princesses and nurses from the palace of her father, the king of Constantinople.....................
......... I entered a monastery with the Greek whom the king had given me as a guide. ..............

But also from Roman/'byzantine' sources:

The term 'Greeks' is also refer by Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus at 10 th century, see :

'' . . . Νικηφόρος τὰ τῶν Ῥωμαίων σκῆπτρα ἐκράτει, καὶ οὗτοι ἐν τῷ θέματι ὄντες Πελοποννήσου ἀπόστασιν ἐννοήσαντες, πρῶτον μὲν τὰς τῶν γειτόνων οἰκίας τῶν Γραικῶν ἐξεπόρθουν καὶ εἰς ἁρπαγὴν ἐτίθεντο, ἔπειτα δὲ καὶ κατὰ τῶν οἰκητόρων τῆς τῶν Πατρῶν ὁρμήσαντες πόλεως, τὰ πρὸ τοῦ τείχους πεδία κατέστρεφόν τε καὶ ταύτην ἐπολιόρκουν, μεθ' ἑαυτῶν ἔχοντες καὶ Ἀφρικοὺς Σαρακηνούς....''
download : De administrando imperio, of Constantinus Porphyrogenitus , and search to page 52 of the pdf.

'' . . . When Nikephoros the scepters 'holds' (when [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikephoros_I"]Nikephoros I[/ame] became emperor), and these (Slavs) were been to the Theme of Peloponnese (the) distance (between them and the emperor =the long distance) knowing (by them, so), first the neighbor houses of the Greeks, siezed and looted , afterwards also against the inhabitans of the city of Patra rush, the pre-wall fields destroyed (=the outside of the walls of Patra) and that (=the city of Patra) sieze, havind (those Slavs) with them (as allies) and Saracens from Africa....''


After 12th century the term Hellenes also refer to all people of the empire.

And as i have preserved some important cases also existed before 13th cent :

The non christian Lacones/Tsakones, named Hellenes,(> refer from Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus), which participate to the Roman army, as marines, as special specific guard of castles , to the navy as crews and masters of warships, etc
Authority and responsibility of Katepanos/Doux?
Pagan remnants in the East around 867?
This gives a picture that Hellenes [until 13th century] as a term, is used to describe specific non christian group.
That does not mean necessary that are not admissible from the empire.
But at the same text refer from Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, described that : those Laconian Hellenes ''... having descent from the oldest Romans..''
That means that term Hellenes [as a term until 13th century], contained to the term Romans.
Romans term propably gives the citizenship, even if Lacones were relatives with ancient Romans via Sabbini.
After 12th century, both 2 terms are used for members of the Roman state.


The state named Roman Empire / Romaiki autokratoria or another name is used from 4th century up to today [in greek language] is Romania (=state of Romans/Romei).
to the 13th century letter of Roman emperor Vatatzes to Pope, as i preserved it before, refer :
''Ioannes Dukas , under Christ God faith vasileus and emperor of Romans .....
The founders of my reign, seed families of Dukas and Komninos, not to mention others, originating from Hellenic (=Greek) genera...... ". Byzantine culture?

at the same time Nikephoros Blemmydes (1197-1272) [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikephoros_Blemmydes"]Nikephoros Blemmydes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] preserved in his texts the Roman empire as ''Hellenic state'' "ελληνίδα επικράτειαν"

emperor Theodore II Lascaris (1221/1222 – 1258) [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_II_Laskaris"]Theodore II Laskaris - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] called the Roman state as Hellas (Greece) and argued that "employ language to the Hellenic (Greek) overlies race."«ἁπάσων τῶν γλωσσῶν τὸ ἑλληνικὸν ὑπέρκειται γένος»
Considered nationals of the descendants of the ancient Greeks, and briefly wrote "Hellenic christian glory never turned off " «Ελλήνων χριστωνυμούμενον κλέος ου σβέννυται»

Theodore Metochites (1270–1332) [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Metochites"]Theodore Metochites - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] writes "... to us, who have the same origin and same language with them [the Hellenes (Greeks)] and we are their successors" (ημίν οι και του γένους εσμέν και της γλώσσης αυτοίς [τοις Έλλησι] κοινωνοί και διάδοχοι "

Gennadius Scholarius (c. 1400 – c. 1473), [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gennadius_Scholarius]Gennadius Scholarius - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] in his writings refers to "homeland Hellas(Greece)" («ἡ πατρὶς ἡμῶν Ἑλλὰς») and the Constantinople's Hellenes («πάντων τῶν ἐν τῷ κλίματι τῷδε Ἑλλήνων»), considers Constantinople "unique and common homeland of the current Hellenic (Greek) nation" ( «πατρίδος τῷ νῦν ἑλληνικῷ γένει μιᾶς τε καὶ κοινῆς») and elsewhere refers to "Greeks" to refer to the same nation. But even before the fall "to" paramythitikon " text to last emperor Constantine Palaiologos who delivered in 1450 and later wrote" sleep on the "mother of Helen treats the names" Romeo " «Ρωμαίος» (Roman) and" Hellene " «Έλλην» (Greek) rather indifferent («…καὶ ὅσοι τῶν Ρωμαίων ἢ τῶν Ἑλλήνων τοῦ πράγματος ὕστερον συναισθήσονται….» και «…οὕτω δὲ ὠφελιμωτάτη τῷ κοινῷ τῶν Ἑλλήνων καὶ χωρὶς ἑκάστῳ ἐντυγχανόντων γεγενημένη»). With the importance of national Hellene (Greek) himself "writing in 1449 or 1450 in King John IV of Trebizond ', that the radiation of the principle virtues and graces of the" genus comprising all the Hellenes(Greeks)

ROMAN EMPERORS still use the titles imperator, augustus until the last (1453) when refferd in latin language.

now let's see how they see their background : chronicler Goorgios Pahymeres compares [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexios_Philanthropenos]Alexios Philanthropenos - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] victories with those of Scipio (africanus), Crassus , Julius Caesar , Themistocles etc> those belongs to a common roman-greek pantheon.

Last Roman emperor Constantinos Palaiologos [imperator ac moderator Romeorum /vasileus (=king) and autocrator(=imperator) of Romei/Βασιλεύς και αυτοκράτωρ Ρωμαίων]to one of his last speech at 1453, call his faith soldiers 'descendants of Greeks and Romans' and he add that Constantinople is the "Refuge for Christians, the hope and joy of All Hellenes(=Greeks) ...''

So : before 13th century the terms : Roman - Greeks
after 13th century the terms : Roman - Hellenes - Greeks, are used.

So the context of terms is between: Roman - Greek - Hellenes to all sources.
Roman means the citizenship, the rest Greek - Hellenes give more specific the civilization's character, that's the reason that used also from Arab and western sources.

The state is called Roman empire or Romania, the citizens are called Romans, though the hellenic/greek influence character starts from the first imperial years.

Culturally and linguistically are active participants of the greek civilisation and the greek roman tradition.

And the main love in their culture is greek. even the elites of ancient Rome on past knew and spoken Greek [to all imperial period, from start, and even before].
The Roman empire has from initial times the greek/hellenistic character in civilization except the language.
Initial language was the latin, but to most places in the eastern geographical part of Roman empire spoken mainly the common greek.
So there is a transformation but that started from far past : the elites of the first years of Roman empire in Rome learned and spoke Greek.

Julius Caesar last words he said while they were killing him was in Greek.
[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius"]Claudius[/ame] (Roman Emperor from 41 to 54) tried to limit the use of Greek, and on occasion revoked the citizenship of those who lacked Latin, but even in the Senate he drew on his own bilingualism in communicating with Greek-speaking ambassadors.
Suetonius [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suetonius]Suetonius - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] quotes him as referring to "our two languages," and the employment of two imperial secretaries, one for Greek and one Latin, dates to his reign. [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Empire]Roman Empire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
After Heraclius the greek is de jure official language, the Roman empire becomes officially a more hellenized=greek empire.

All emperor actions, when were at war, have this target: to have an as possible less loss in human lives, and all their target is to have an as possible participation in good standard of living, as much as possible and depending of conditions, many in government revenue, so there be a great and fairly as possible tax and army base of many.

And all emperors had a Greek cultural conscious, no matter the descent, they defend greek culture civilization in which the single citizen is very important, to their economy, army, society.

The Greek form Romaioi/"Romei" remained attached to the Greek-speaking Christian population of the Eastern part of Roman Empire and is still used by Greeks in addition to their common appellation. Byzantine culture?
The Edict of Caracalla (officially the Constitutio Antoniniana (Latin: "Constitution [or Edict] of Antoninus") was an edict issued in 212, by the Roman Emperor Caracalla which law declared that all free men in the Roman Empire were to be given full Roman citizenship and all free women in Empire were given the same rights as Roman women were.

Even around 1480 a Roman state made from Romans/Byzantines greek speaking was ready to be, by making a new capital [as they made Nicaia/(Iznik) after 1204) to the area of Sienna in center north Italy, see the last part of my first post of the web page, with the story of Anna Notara , Post byzantine troops under the byzantine claimants. - Historum - History Forums


in roman empire anyone roman citizen who was speaking greek [after Heraclius] and was orthodox christian [from Theodosius and after, and mainly from Justignian] could be emperor, no matter if he was Illirian descend[like Justignian] , or Armenian descend[like Leo V "the Armenian" or like Ioannes Tzimisces] or have turkish descend [Leo IV "the Khazar"] etc

Romans/romei are the citizens of a multi ethnic greek speaking and christian [mainly from Justignian years*] culture Roman empire in which Hellenes/Greeks have major significant role described from the sources very clearly and specific.

Any greek speaking orthodox christian (with some exceptions ) faith to the Roman emperor and the Roman empire, serbian or bulgar or armenian or turk or italian or arab or goth etc can be Roman citizen if he lived to the empires territory, also named Roman/romios and belonged to Roman/romeiki society, though most of them decided to have independent view, action, state and religious view, sooner or later, though some stayed faith to the empire till the end. there is no nationality origin that is bothered for be a high officer.
(for example Takitios was a great general of propably turkish descent serving Alexios Comnenus Tatikios as also many of the Asan bulgarian family, as also many others of different origin served and command the Roman imperial army [as also there foreigner mercenaries but here the reffer is to the central imperial Roman army])

But also muslims could take high axioms and even been leaders of the army special forces, see my second part of this post Byzantine Empire - Your Thoughts - Page 9 - Historum - History Forums

The great benefit, in my opinion, of Roman empire (of the greek speaking world) was the fact that anyone under specific conditions could succeed to learn, to study , to earn money via commercial actions, to serve to the army or to be even an emperor no matter if he was not a rich one member of the aristocracy to any of those activities., no matter if he has Turk or Arab or Bulgarian or Illyrian or Frank or Goth or Greek etc etc descend.
There was no rayas as it happened to muslim countries, there was no serfs as those of Latin West, there were free people, not belonging to noone local ruler, having only tax obligations to the state but heretics are not wellcome.(this has to do with the safety of the empire, the economy, the political power and the faith to the emperor and less a relegius reaction, as also in many times the reaction against heretics was strong).
the wars of Roman empire (of the greek speaking world) have a recaptured area target.


The Romios of today , no matter if he has Albanian, Vlach, Tsakonian , Creta, Cyprian, Pontic, Capadokian etc etc descent is compatible and meets the cultural roots in continuity, as a identification of them, from the original local inhabitans who had saved the original identity of themselves, as in many dialects of them saved the ancient forms of words of their initial local languages/dialects as also of their dances, cooking of food, local dresses etc but most that they are part of a civilisation, that of Roman/Byzantine empire's.
And the same one also if you read my older posts feeling the post 1204 Romans/Byzantines.

In my opinion, Romans empire's form under the conditions and characteristics that specified, with Greek language and civilization, is a political phenomenon that give lesser tentions and peace, and a role to anyone participate.


The state is based to Roman people not to dynasty (even if those existed) or anything else. And the Romei=Romans/Byzantines decided and remade their state, as also this re happened in later days, in other conditions and reasons, at 1821, even if at the end , the country took the geographical name of the older Roman/Byzantine theme of Hellas, and a modern nationalism of state(?) grew, emphasized the connections mainly with ancient Greece.
the new Greek/Hellenic state gave priority to an exclusive lover of greek antiquity in a monotonous presentation and ancient context of national identity of the inhabitants.
This artificial is directly opposed to Romiosini / Romei identity and ideological framework of the Greeks, is a constructed by an imported nationalism who is unneeded and against the truth and the best interests of the Greeks. Unfortunately the political class imposed this and the results is worthy irony and absurdity. Antics of belonging to obscure political class proves that university education that have taken does not developed its inteligence. please see my post about

I have preserved on past, a funny little story, for a student at school around 1880> he knows from his family, his social life etc that he is a Romios=Roman he speaks romeika=greek , so at the history lesson, the teacher told to the students about the period that ancient Romans attacked/occupied to Hellas(Greece) at 146 BC, so then the student asked the teacher: did the Romans were with us or against? that confusion made the imported [on purpose> in my opinion] nationalism, to a land that even before of the revolution of 1821 anyone, want to be called Greek (or Romios indiscriminately ) Roman heritage of Byzantine


There is a wiki about [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_the_Greeks]Names of the Greeks - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] though some explanations, under my opinion, are not explained detailed and exactly, anyway.


Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by ANAX; March 22nd, 2014 at 04:56 PM.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 07:06 PM   #3

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