Most interesting Roman/Byzantine dynasty (up to two votes)

Which Roman/Byzantine dynasty do you find the most interesting (up to two votes)?

  • The Leonid Dynasty (457 - 518)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The Justinian Dynasty (518 - 602)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The Isaurian Dynasty (717 - 802)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The Nikephorian and Amorian Dynasties (802 - 867)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The Doukid Dynasty (1059 - 1081)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The Laskarid Dynasty (1204 - 1261)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    30
Sep 2012
3,877
Bulgaria
#21
Short story about imperial beards. The beard was a signifier for maturity during Heraclean dynasty, later during the early Isaurian emperors beard became a signifier of rank instead, meaning the junior emperors on this time period coins were shown without beard no matter their age and the senior emperors are bearded. During the reign of Constantine VI, mature beardless face was adopted to represent the imperial youth and this continued till the end of the ERE.
 
#22
Short story about imperial beards. The beard was a signifier for maturity during Heraclean dynasty, later during the early Isaurian emperors beard became a signifier of rank instead, meaning the junior emperors on this time period coins were shown without beard no matter their age and the senior emperors are bearded. During the reign of Constantine VI, mature beardless face was adopted to represent the imperial youth and this continued till the end of the ERE.
Incidentally, the famous sculptural group of the Tetrarchs in Venice also uses the presence/absence of facial hair to distinguish between the Augusti and the Caesars.
 

Kirialax

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
4,852
Blachernai
#25
I have a question.The two Constantines of Heraclean dynasty, the Old and the New (the father Constans II and the son Constantine IV) were called Pogonatos / the Bearded, but often is mentioned that Constantine IV is incorrectly called Pogonatos, by confusion with his father. Anyone knows the source of this confusion? Constantine IV wasnt Pogonatos? Thanks in advance!
Only Constans II was pogonatos. Later Byzantine sources confused the two, as Constans' regnal name was properly Constantine. The study of this is Brooks, E.W. “Who was Constantine Pogonatus?” Byzantinische Zeitschrift 17, no. 2 (1908): 460–62.
 
Sep 2012
3,877
Bulgaria
#26
Only Constans II was pogonatos. Later Byzantine sources confused the two, as Constans' regnal name was properly Constantine. The study of this is Brooks, E.W. “Who was Constantine Pogonatus?” Byzantinische Zeitschrift 17, no. 2 (1908): 460–62.
Thanks again. What i read very shortly Constantine IV was known as Pogonatos by Leo Grammaticоs, Joannes Zonaras and George Kedrenos, but it was unknown to Theophanes the Confessor and St. Nikephoros and this tells a lot. The story goes that after Sicilian expedition he came back with the newly-grown beard, so this was the reason for his Pogonatos. Heraclean emperors are represented with the beards on the coins so this was nothing unusual for this time period. Again of all of these, his father had a remarkable beard and this is the reason why he was known as Pogonatos / the Bearded.
 
#27
Well, unsurprisingly the Julio-Claudians are the most favoured so far (and by far) with 10 votes, but the enthusiasm for Byzantium on this forum has allowed the Macedonian Dynasty to be the runner-up with 5 votes. Third place is a tie between the Antonines (unsurprisingly) and another favourite for Byzantinists, the Komnenids, both with 4 votes. Coming in at 3 votes are the Flavians, the Third-Century Crisis emperors (which I'm happy to see), and the Heraclians. The Severans, Tetrarchs, Constantinians, Theodosians, last emperors of the West, and Palaiologans managed to secure a vote. The Tetrarchs was my doing, of course. I'm a bit surprised that the Constantinians have so far only secured one vote, considering the significance of Constantine to history, and the enthusiasm that Julian often generates. Maybe @Kookaburra Jack will throw a vote in that direction. On 0 votes are the Valentinians, Leonids, Justinians, Isaurians, Nikephorians/Amorians, Doukids, and Laskarids. I can't say this really surprises me, except in the case of the Justinian dynasty.
 
May 2011
2,940
Rural Australia
#28
Thanks for the heads up on the poll DiocletianIsBetterThanYou

Yes I voted for - The Constantinian Dynasty (293/306 - 363) and The Valentinian Dynasty (364 - 392). Had three votes been OK I would have added the Theodosian Dynasty (379 - 457).

The fascination with this epoch is that it covers the Christian revolution of the 4th century - which carried with it a new historiography. That is the invention and popularisation of "Ecclesiastical History" or the histories written by Christian church identities, who in many cases were patronised by the Emperor. This form of history writing diverges from the writing of classical history.



"In no other history does precedent mean so much as ecclesiastical history.
The very continuity of the institution of the church throughout the centuries
makes it inevitable that anything which happened in the church's past should
be relevant to its present. Furthermore - and this is most essential - in the
Church conformity with the origins is evidence of truth. This doctrine may be
interpretted differently in the various denominations; but it is never absent
in any of them. A Church that consciously breaks with its original principles
and its original institutions is inconceivable. The Church knows a return to
the principles, not a break with the principles."


p.136
"The corpus mysticum of the Ecclesia universalis".


p.137
"What is unmistakably apparent in ecclesiatical historians
is the care for their documentation."


"The very importance of precedent and tradition in ecclesiastical history
compelled the ecclesiastical historians to quote documentary evidence to
an extent which is seldom to be found in political historians."



p.138
"We have defined some of the essential elements of ecclesiastical historiography:

1) the continuous interrelation of dogma and facts;
2) the transcendental significance attributed to the period of origins;
3) the emphasis on factual evidence;
4) the ever present problem of relating events of local churches to the
mystical body of the universal church."

  • The Classical Foundations of Modern Historiography
    Arnaldo Momigliano

    Sather Classical Lectures (1961-62)
    Volume Fifty-Four
    University of California Press, 1990
 
#29
Thanks for the heads up on the poll DiocletianIsBetterThanYou

Yes I voted for - The Constantinian Dynasty (293/306 - 363) and The Valentinian Dynasty (364 - 392). Had three votes been OK I would have added the Theodosian Dynasty (379 - 457).

The fascination with this epoch is that it covers the Christian revolution of the 4th century - which carried with it a new historiography. That is the invention and popularisation of "Ecclesiastical History" or the histories written by Christian church identities, who in many cases were patronised by the Emperor. This form of history writing diverges from the writing of classical history.

"In no other history does precedent mean so much as ecclesiastical history.​
The very continuity of the institution of the church throughout the centuries​
makes it inevitable that anything which happened in the church's past should​
be relevant to its present. Furthermore - and this is most essential - in the​
Church conformity with the origins is evidence of truth. This doctrine may be​
interpretted differently in the various denominations; but it is never absent​
in any of them. A Church that consciously breaks with its original principles​
and its original institutions is inconceivable. The Church knows a return to​
the principles, not a break with the principles."​
p.136​
"The corpus mysticum of the Ecclesia universalis".​
p.137​
"What is unmistakably apparent in ecclesiatical historians​
is the care for their documentation."​
"The very importance of precedent and tradition in ecclesiastical history​
compelled the ecclesiastical historians to quote documentary evidence to​
an extent which is seldom to be found in political historians."​
p.138​
"We have defined some of the essential elements of ecclesiastical historiography:​
1) the continuous interrelation of dogma and facts;​
2) the transcendental significance attributed to the period of origins;​
3) the emphasis on factual evidence;​
4) the ever present problem of relating events of local churches to the​
mystical body of the universal church."​
  • The Classical Foundations of Modern Historiography
    Arnaldo Momigliano

    Sather Classical Lectures (1961-62)
    Volume Fifty-Four
    University of California Press, 1990
Why did you vote for the Valentinians ahead of the Theodosians?
 
May 2011
2,940
Rural Australia
#30
Why did you vote for the Valentinians ahead of the Theodosians?
Only because in focussing on the Christian revolution the Valentinians precede the Theodosians. I like to study contiguous time periods. If I had to jump to Theodosius I then we'd miss important characters such as Pontifex Maximus Damasus, and his star pupil Jerome.

I must admit that the dynasties themselves do not interest me as much as what roles the dynasties, and various identities within, played in the Christianisation of the Roman Empire. The elites of this epoch were the commissioning agents for the great "Bones and Relic Industry" that continued for well over 1,000 years. And in fact the turnstiles are still turning.
 

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