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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 February 7th, 2016, 07:14 PM   #21
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There were though a couple of Byzantines that are worth to be mentioned and who made the difference.
No doubt.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 07:24 PM   #22
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i don't really understand most of what you said other than that i should read ptohodromus. i personally like the byzantines and admire them. but then again, I'm a byzantophile and thats my own opinion
Simply put, the Byzantine Empire was the birth of nowdays Greece's mentality of "I dance and I write you in balls what you say, even though you educate my illiterate self about law of gravity." and "I use hypersynthetic words to "own" you. By distracting you so." Ptochodromus used extremely long, nonexistent and hyper-synthetic so-called "words" like "παχουλομουλαράτος" which translates to "fat-donkeyed". Doesn't sound smart now, does it?

The affix "skylado-" refers to a musical subculture of Greece's in 80's that had to do which basically sounds like dog-barking that anyone who admired it said that everyone who didn't like it is ξενέρωτος meaning "without vitality, without feeling, boring and so" a "cold-ass" and "not Greek". A bitter cold person...because it didn't like that abomination of music...smh.

Leave it... I was random to the topic. I just messed around. Forget I wrote anything. However if you want I can translate to you any text of Byzantines anytime.
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Old February 7th, 2016, 10:28 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Incognitus Umbra View Post
Simply put, the Byzantine Empire was the birth of nowdays Greece's mentality of "I dance and I write you in balls what you say, even though you educate my illiterate self about law of gravity." and "I use hypersynthetic words to "own" you. By distracting you so." Ptochodromus used extremely long, nonexistent and hyper-synthetic so-called "words" like "παχουλομουλαράτος" which translates to "fat-donkeyed". Doesn't sound smart now, does it?

The affix "skylado-" refers to a musical subculture of Greece's in 80's that had to do which basically sounds like dog-barking that anyone who admired it said that everyone who didn't like it is ξενέρωτος meaning "without vitality, without feeling, boring and so" a "cold-ass" and "not Greek". A bitter cold person...because it didn't like that abomination of music...smh.

Leave it... I was random to the topic. I just messed around. Forget I wrote anything. However if you want I can translate to you any text of Byzantines anytime.
I think i'm understanding you now - in simple terms it's a case of 'lets make everything as unnecessarily complicated as possible'?
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Old February 8th, 2016, 01:35 AM   #24
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The textbook talked about "Mongols threatened Venice", but their later invasions of Poland and Hungary were repelled soundly.
I suspect that the text book is referring to the fact that after the Battle of Mohi, the Mongols did continue on to ravage Croatia (then part of the Kingdom of Hungary), which is not too far from Venice. But they didn't get all the way to Venice, as far as I know.

Here's a map: http://m.cdn.blog.hu/ma/maghon/image..._of_Europe.jpg

Last edited by Whyte; February 8th, 2016 at 01:40 AM.
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Old February 15th, 2016, 08:46 PM   #25

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Byzantines after losing interior of Anatolia do not seem to have had a less militant population to draw from which provides relatively cheaper soldiers and large urban centers are actually quite expensive to protect vs a population that is partly its own protection.

Raising, training, equipping, and maintaining professional soldiers is expensive already- doing so from a population where the most capable men had many competing professional possibilities that offer relatively high wages is even more expensive. Under strong Emperors the problems of taxation are less (because strong Emperors can intimidate the powerful land owners as well the security and regular government payments promote trade in a relatively insecure world) but Byzantines had quite often problems with succession as well the byzantine administration that was bloated in Constantinople had very few levers to press its authority without support of a strongman whose interests aligned so the lack of a strong Emperor was perpetuated as each successive Emperor had larger and larger crises to deal with using less resources.

Basically it seems the administration was top heavy for its relative efficiency though I think that is difficult to prove at the present moment I've recently been reading a comparison of the state offices and rates of pay of between Venice and Constantinople regulating commerce. Constantinople despite having far fewer exports appears to have nearly 2x the numbers of officials involved in moving a cargo into Constantinople as Venice in accepting a similar value (here I'm not sure if it is a fair comparison as I don't know if Constantinople tended to import more bulk commodities vs Venice specializing in more valuable but far less bulking luxuries).
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Old February 16th, 2016, 01:46 AM   #26

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Ichon above just reminded me of something.


The "source" of the Byzantine military.

After some reforms, the spine of the military were "free peasant soldiers", who were living in threatened areas, and provided military service in need free of charge.
This was a nice force, only loyal to the emperor. Unfortunately, they were quite defenseless against big landowner barons, who mopped them up in the end (when the economic circumstances of these small holdings were dire, they had to sell their services to barons).

When this force disappeared, the emperors still had a few sources for military: mercenaries, "allied barbarians" and the forces of big landowners.

Hiring mercenaries is fine, until one has the money to pay them, which was not the case after Genoa and Venice took over trade...

Hiring "allied barbarians" is fine, worked most of the time too (like bulgars and slavs settled in Anatolia, Pechenegs in "Wallachia". Hungary had cuman and pecheneg "auxiliary nations"), but there are cases when the specific barbarians are not so dumb. The ottomans, according to the emperors, and most monarchs in the balkans were just "a new turcoman tribe, which is the same as all others, and will disappear as the others did".



I would like to mention again, that armies of 20-40k is not really small. Major battles were fought with 5-10k troops. It was very rare that a monarch could supply an army bigger then 20000 for an extended campaign period.
(hungarian battles - in the feudal period - involve 10-15k troops usually, very rarely 20-25k, even though the "maximum amount of soldiers" is more then double of that)

Last edited by shikaka; February 16th, 2016 at 01:49 AM.
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Old April 5th, 2016, 07:56 PM   #27
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"the Eastern Roman empire stopped relying on barbarians like the Germans to man their troops after the Battle of Adrianople"

According to Bury, the Byzantines had a contingent of Huns in their campaign to reconquer North Africa. So, this is around 150 years after Adrianople.

Yes, the Byzantines were quite concerned with the German question. They bought time by replacing them with Isaurians.
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Old April 6th, 2016, 04:10 AM   #28

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Originally Posted by shikaka View Post
Hiring mercenaries is fine, until one has the money to pay them, which was not the case after Genoa and Venice took over trade...
What evidence do you have that they couldn't pay for mercenaries? I can't think of any grievances brought against the Komnenoi for failing to pay their soldiers.
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Old April 6th, 2016, 04:25 AM   #29

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I love the way we can debate little snapshots of a thousand-year empire. Not.

Well that's 1100 out of the way, 847 next?
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Old April 6th, 2016, 04:42 AM   #30

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I love the way we can debate little snapshots of a thousand-year empire. Not.

Well that's 1100 out of the way, 847 next?
But john, if we actually studied Byzantium beyond reading the same three crappy books (I suspect you know what I'm referring to...) we might actually come to appreciate the complexity of a millennium-long civilization instead of using it as a means to project pre-conceived notions.
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