- Dec 2009
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?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.
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.