Heirs of the "Byzantine" Empire?


Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
And what happened in 212 CE? The Edict of Caracalla or Constitutio Antoniniana. Which is famous for decreeing that all free men in the Roman Empire were now Roman citizens. If all of the Latins could and did become Roman citizens, why couldn't all the Samnites and Oscans and members of other Italic tribes become Romans? If all of the members of Italic tribes could and did become Romans, why couldn't all of the Etruscans and Gauls and Greeks in Italy become Romans? If all of the Latins, Samnites, Oscans, Etruscans, Gauls and Greeks, etc. in Italy could become Romans, why couldn't all the Gauls, Greeks, Syrians, Egyptians, Carthaginians, Spanish, Britons, and Germans, etc. outside of Italy in the Roman Empire become Romans?

All the Gauls, Greeks, Syrians, Egyptians, Carthaginians, Spanish, Britons, and Germans, etc. outside of Italy in the Roman Empire did become Romans. According to the laws of the Roman Empire after 212 CE, you are legally obligated to consider all Gauls, Greeks, Syrians, Egyptians, Carthaginians, Spanish, Britons, and Germans, etc., etc. in the Roman empire to be Romans.

In 797 CE, all the former Roman provinces in the west were considered to be still legally part of the Roman Empire, their kings hereditary governors. In 797, Emperor Constantine VII was deposed and blinded by his mother Irene, who then ruled the Roman Empire. Many persons believed that a woman could not legally rule the Roman Empire and that therefore the imperial position was legally vacant at the moment. Charlemagne, the mighty King of the Franks and of the Lombards, had himself crowned emperor on Christmas Day 800. Irene was deposed in 802 by NiKephoros, who became Emperor Nikephoros I.

And I think it would be reasonable to judge that after Irene was deposed in 802 Nikephoros I had about maybe 90 percent of the right to be considered the successor of Constantine VII and Charlemagne had about 10 percent of the right to be considered the successor of Constantine VII.
So you're saying that because someone made a claim that the eastern Roman throne was vacant at a brief point and an east Frankish king used that moment to claim the title, his state thus becomes Roman?

As for the inhabitants of the early medieval west, being Roman was a bit more complicated than having received citizenship centuries earlier from a state that no longer had much sway in the west. As Jean pointed out, there's a reason the inhabitants of what we now call Emilia-Romagna in Italy were called Romans: they called themselves that and were subjects of the empire in the east, and the name stuck.

Eirene did not blind Constantine VII, who lived a century later.
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Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
I put together my own tree over the past several years, which likely has mistakes. But anyway, one line goes back to a daughter of one of those Byzantine emperors of the Macedonian Dynasty. She was married off to Vladimir-the-Great of Kievan Rus. It was to be his last wife and apparently caused him to become a Christian. He is also known as Saint Vladimir. They had a daughter who married a Jarl of Orkney, who was in Kiev as an exile. The jarl and his new wife returned to the Orkneys. A descendant line led to the Bruce line in Scotland and a second sibling line to England. George Washington is connected to that second line. And I seem to be a direct descendant of that Byzantine emperor via all the above lineage. But who knows if this is accurate. I also have a line going back to those kings of early northern Spain (Castile-Leon, etc.). And so forth and so on. I wonder if, whether, and how that Macedonian Dynasty of Byzantium is connected to Alexander-the-Great and Cleopatra (Ptolemy)?
There were several alleged lines of descent from Emperors of the Macedonian dynasty. Descent from Vladimir I is widespread and proven. Descent from a specific wife of Vladimir I is controversial and uncertain. Vladimir had two sons and one daughter with descendants that can be traced to today. But those three children were not supposed to be children of the Byzantine Princess Anna. See here: https://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/RUSSIA, Rurik.htm#VladimirIdied1015

As a general rule, If someone can trace their descent in the Medieval Lands website from a medieval person down to a renaissance or modern era person that they can trace their ancestry to, the links in the Medieval Lands site are probably correct. So if Medieval Lands includes all of the medieval links in your line of descent from Vladimir I, that line is probably correct. But not certainly correct, of course. But who were the mothers of those children of Vladimir whose descendants can be traced to the present? That is a bit of a mystery.

You can take a little comfort in the Wikipedia article on Yaroslav the Wise:

The early years of Yaroslav's life are mostly unknown. He was one of the numerous sons of Vladimir the Great, presumably his second by Rogneda of Polotsk,[3] although his actual age (as stated in the Primary Chronicle and corroborated by the examination of his skeleton in the 1930s) would place him among the youngest children of Vladimir. It has been suggested that he was a child begotten out of wedlock after Vladimir's divorce from Rogneda and marriage to Anna Porphyrogenita, or even that he was a child of Anna Porphyrogenita herself.
Yaroslav the Wise - Wikipedia

Asking if the Macedonian dynasty of the eastern Roman Empire was descended from the Royal dynasty of the Kingdom of Macedonia over a millennia earlier seems a little pointless. What is there to connect the two dynasties except for originating from the same region along time apart?.
Apr 2010
evergreen state, USA
Thanks for the feedback. In my fanciful tree, I have the daughter of Yaroslav ( and granddaughter of Vladimir) , Anna Yaroslavna 1036-1075, as being married to Henry I Capet of France. So that means a lot of present day people are connected to Vladimir I after all. I will have a look at that interesting website.