Talk:Byzantine Empire

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The name of the capital city[edit]

After wading through this talk page I hesitate to even suggest this, but I found it odd that the modern name of the capital city is not mentioned anywhere. I have no interest in whatever political dispute is involved, I was just curious where the seat of the empire was located, that is, how I could find it on a modern map. Kendall-K1 (talk) 20:32, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

First, good point, it should be there (and now is). Second, why not have "edited boldly" (WP advice), yourself? Third, clicking on Constantinople instantly tells you how to find it on a modern map. Jmacwiki (talk) 05:15, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Wrong. The purpose of this map was to figure out where the remnants of the Roman Empire was. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Grasshopper321 (talkcontribs) 20:49, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

I propose this sentence read: "Its capital city was Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul), originally known as Byzantium." And I'm not "editing boldly" because touching the first paragraph of this article is like lighting a fuse. ;) Laszlo Panaflex (talk) 17:39, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Wasn't something equivalent proposed a few weeks ago and rejected, because the name modern, post-Byzantine name Istanbul wasn't deemed important enough to include in the opening paragraph? As has been pointed out before, simply clicking on Constantinople will inform you this city is modern Istanbul. I don't have any objections to editing boldly, but it shouldn't be contrary to an established consensus, don't you think? Michael! (talk) 20:18, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
I made a proposal and no objection was raised, so I made the change. It sets forth all three names concisely and trims the wordiness of the prior version. Previous discussions of the intro imagine a blank slate reader encountering the page, and establishing where the empire was in current terms without having to seek further seems useful. Also, the 'Ancient-Name (modern-day Current-Name)' construct is common usage on ancient and medieval pages. If there's a consensus otherwise, fine, but no objection has been raised in several days, so that doesn't seem so bold. Laszlo Panaflex (talk) 21:46, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, I'm not at all opposed to it (in fact, I've proposed to change the second sentence to "It had its capital in Constantinople (ancient Byzantium, modern Istanbul)." before, at 10:52, 12 April 2013 (UTC), which was then rejected), but it seems odd that "(modern-day Istanbul)" is added on May 4, the day after "modern Istanbul" was removed on May 3. Nevertheless, I don't think it's important enough to start an edit war or any other conflict about. Michael! (talk) 10:46, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Michael's points including that Istanbul can be linked through Constantinople. I think that the current formulation is an anachronism but I did not want to start an edit-war. By the way I had not seen Lazlo's original reply to the OP of this section so I did not have the time to object when Lazlo made the reversion. Δρ.Κ. λόγοςπράξις 15:15, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

My grand proposal 2! Part 2! The true successor to the Byzantine Empire![edit]

The following is one of several proposals/trolling spammed by Keeby101, involving a merger the Ottoman, Byzantine, and Roman Empire articles. —Sowlos  07:18, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Since you all have put the Ottoman Empire as the main successor state to the Byzantine Empire, how about we merge the Ottoman Empire article with the Roman and Byzantine Empire articles as well? The new article will be called the "Roman Empire" and the new sections of the article would be called Foundation, Dominance, Christianization and Decline, Resurgence, Second decline Islamization, Resurgence and Dominance in the Early Modern Era, Final decline and Modernization, Fall and Legacy. What do you all think? Keeby101 (talk) 18:11, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Just stop it. One more edit like this and I'll ask for you to be blocked. Go and do something useful. Fut.Perf. 18:16, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
I have removed the archive tags, please see talk page. ·addshore· talk to me! 23:05, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
This is the talk page. Fut. Perf. was quite right to close this proposal on the grounds of WP:POINT. --Nicknack009 (talk) 07:08, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


My proposal on the entity's denonym. (Eastern Roman Empire vs Byzantine Empire)[edit]

Gather an honest opinion by a well regarded hellenic historian on why we should continue to use the denonym "Byzantine Empire" instead of "Eastern Roman Empire" for the past entity known contemporarily as The Roman Empire, centered in Constantinopolis. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.83.37.135 (talk) 22:54, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

My apologies everyone. Please accept.[edit]

Look, I was a bit ignorant on the proposals and I just wanted to say to everyone that I am sorry for making such proposals. I should have rephrased the proposal in the very first place. I should have actually proposed to make an article of my own called "Rome(Entity)" that would have consist of sections titled Foundation, Dominance, Christianization and Decline, Resurgence, Second decline Islamization, Resurgence and Dominance in the Early Modern Era, Final decline and Modernization, Fall and Legacy. Each of these sections would have had links to the current articles. With that being said. I apologize for that and do not hate me. I am not trolling. Peace ☮ Keeby101 (talk) 02:35, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

To Chewings72 regarding inapropriate language and incorrect use of "arrows" in infobox.[edit]

Original anonymous poster of the section which you edited here.

Yes, some of the language was inapropriate.

Yes, linking the "Byzantine Empire" article to the "Ottoman Empire" article through an "arrow" in the infobox, denotes an connotation that is also inapropriate and factually wrong as the "Ottoman Empire" is not a sucessor state to the "Byzantine Empire".

Hopefully Chewings72 and other "armchair" wikipedia editors find this new section, civil in nature and without inapropriate language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.83.33.75 (talk) 04:30, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Explaining the complexity/misconceptions[edit]

The central mistake the current lead makes is that it doesn't explain the often-misunderstood issue of what exactly this state was and how it "came to be"

The Roman Empire was never split in two, rather, it was a single state with two administrations. During such periods when it had two Imperial courts, the area administered by the Eastern Court in Constantinople is referred to by historians(!) as the "Eastern Roman Empire", while the provinces administered by the Western Court in Ravenna/Milan is called "Western Roman Empire", again - by historians.

Those two troublesome terms come with two misconceptions: that the Empire was split into two states; amd that the contemporary names of said states were "Eastern/Western Roman Empire". It must be made clear that the Empire was not split into two, and that the terms are historiographic, not contemporary (the latter is sort of done, but it could be done better).

Further, the term "Eastern Roman Empire" is even more problematic as historians sometimes use it to refer to the Roman Empire as a whole(!) - after there is no more "Western Roman Empire". This is all part of the simplified high-school-level narrative ("there were western and eastern empires; then the western fell, and the eastern continued on"). I know this is by no means the first time I myself am struggling to somehow correct high-school history.

So there are three points connected to the ERE term:

  • the Empire was not split into two, but was merely administered by two imperial courts
  • the terms WRE and ERE are historiographic, not contemporary (this was already done, I'd like to make it more explicit)
  • If used after 476 (or rather after the death of Julius Nepos) the term "ERE" in fact indicates the whole of the Roman Empire. As an interesting side-note, the Western Province of Dalmatia passed into the hands of the Eastern Court when the Western was abolished.

I've tried to somehow address this in my latest lead draft. I'm not 100% happy with it, but I think its a step in the right direction.

A few further points:

  • I disagree that the Byzantine Empire is a "continuation" of the Roman Empire. It is the Roman Empire. "Byzantine Empire" is simply the term for the Roman Empire, i.e. the same state, during a certain period.
  • I don't think we should have two entries in the 'conventional long names' parameter. This is a parameter intended for a single name entry. We should chose one, and go with it. In my experience, that's how its almost always done when a country has several names. "Romania" is referred to in the lead, I don't think its necessary in the infobox.
  • Finally, as one can see in the template instructions, the 'common_name' parameter is the one intended for the non-factual, "unofficial" name. 'Conventional_long_name=' is almost always utilized by the historically accurate, "official" name ("official" is in quotation marks).

-- Director (talk) 16:50, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

The "common name" parameter isn't displayed at all. It only serves for creating links to categories, subpages and so on. Fut.Perf. 22:00, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
I prefer the lead as FutPerf reverted it to today. I don't find any of the points in the above post important enough for the lead. They are points of detail which would be mildly interesting in the body of the article somdwhere - but, no they are not important unless one has an obsessional attachment to this tired issue. I find the theme that we shouldn't reflect the "misconceptions" of historians too close to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS and outside the scope of Wikipedia. DeCausa (talk) 20:15, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. Do we really have to go through the yearly morass of discussing all of this again, and again, and again? I quite agree with DeCausa that this obsessive insistence on something that most of the literature does in fact not stress in the same way has a feeling of "righting great wrongs" to it, and it certainly is an instance of WP:Lead fixation to have it monopolize all the first half of the lead paragraph like this. Last time we discussed this, the main outcome was that we wanted to free the lead section from this excess weight. I do actually like some of the wording Director suggested, but that's really for somewhere further down in the text. Where I also agree with Director is in the general aim of streamlining the naming section in the disinfobox (I said something about that last year at Talk:Byzantine Empire/Archive 12#Name variants in infobox). However, I disagree with removing the main "Byzantine Empire" heading (i.e. changing the "conventional long name" parameter). "Byzantine Empire" is just that, the conventional name, and that is precisely what that heading is for. Essentially, the main title of the box should always be the same as the title of the article, or at least stand in an immediately understandable logical relation to it. "Byzantine Empire" and "Roman Empire" don't do that; having the article under the one and the box under the other heading doesn't help to clarify things but only confuses. My personal preference would be to reduce the "native name" parameter (i.e. the smaller heading underneath) to "Roman Empire" – it's "native" in the sense that it represents the autonym, even if it's an English translation of it, and all the Latin and Greek is really not of prime interest to the reader, and, again, not easily to take in from a mere box entry without supporting prose. Fut.Perf. 22:51, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I'm sure you're all bored by all this, but rest assured I'm no "crusader" in this matter (no pun intended), but merely a user who's taken the time to do some research. I'm very muhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Watchlistch interested in Byzantine history, myself.. but I'm not Orthodox, I'm not Greek, or Russian, or whatever. I don't have some ethno-religious bone to pick with you arrogant Latins :P
At the very least the infobox heading should be changed to "Roman Empire", as opposed to the a-historical term, and the intro sentence should do without the word "continuation". As I'm sure you know, I can easily show that the 'conventional long name' parameter is not used for the most common term in sources (which has the 'common_name=' parameter), but the historically accurate term. People who know how to read Wikipedia look to that entry to find out the full historical name of the state. Also I of course am opposed to the removal of the Greek and Latin native names, why would we do that? -- Director (talk) 09:01, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
You are not listening. If you are not prepared to take in what other people are saying, it's no use continuing this discussion. Fut.Perf. 09:24, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Of course I'm "listening". The 'conventional_long_name=' parameter is for the (quote) "full name in English", nothing else. "Roman Empire" is the "full name in English" of this state, I don't think anyone disputes that. As I said, Wikipedia readers look to the infobox heading for the "official", historical name of the former state, whereas the most common name in the sources is used in the title. In practically every former country article out there, you have the historical name as the infobox heading, supported by the translations of said name in the native language. Clear, direct, easy to understand - not this mess. We must make the actual name of this state more obvious to the reader. And I don't think this is a point to be dismissed offhandedly. -- Director (talk) 10:17, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
No, the "actual name" in English is what it is in the present tense, by convention (hence "conventional name"), and that is "Byzantine Empire" and nothing else, period. That will remain the heading in the infobox, for the same reason as it remains the title of the article itself. Fut.Perf. 11:15, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
The title of the article and the heading of the infobox are determined by different criteria. To me it seems that "full name in English" refers unambiguously to the "official", historical name of the state. Nazi Germany is the "Greater German Reich" in the infobox, even though "Nazi Germany" is the term used "by convention". And, as I said twice, this is a situation practically ubiquitous to all such articles. Now you might say it "doesn't apply" to such an ancient state, but this has to do with the infobox itself and its parameter criteria. The bottom line, for me, is that the reader looks to the infobox heading to find the historical name in English - and he/she should find it. Consistency is important to at least diminish the detrimental effects of (dis)infoboxes. -- Director (talk) 11:25, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
We should never assume that readers look for particular entries in infoboxes based on any implicit conventions learned from other infoboxes – average readers don't have that kind of automatic familiarity with whatever you or I might think are Wikipedia-wide habits. Readers look at the top of the box with nothing but a vague expectation that it will contain something fundamentally characterising the topic of the article; by default, that will be the same name as the article itself. If it isn't the same name, it has to be something whose logical relation to the article title is self-evident. With a case like "Nazi Germany" vs. "German Reich", that relation is indeed easy to understand – it will be self-obvious to any reader that "Nazi Germany" isn't what the Nazis themselves called it, so they can easily figure out that the string in the infobox will represent that instead. However, with "Byzantine Empire" vs. "Roman Empire", that link is far from obvious. It doesn't explain, but is itself in need of explanation. Anything that is in need of explanation and cannot be fully understood from the tabulated listing alone simply should not be in an infobox, ever. Fut.Perf. 11:38, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
@Director, per my first post, I wasn't accusing you of any political/cultural/religious agenda. I was accusing you of uninteresting literalist pedantry that's of no special value to the general reader. (Is that better?...) When I read the points you are making, I just have the overwhelming desire to say "so what?". They are footnote-level points only. (And, that's how they are treated in the historiography.) As to the infobox (ugh), agree with Fut.Perf. I think it just looks bizarre to have it headed with the name of a different Wikipedia article. Isn't it just common sense? DeCausa (talk) 13:53, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
(Apologies for my absence, rather busy these days.)
I take your point(s). The link between the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire is less obvious than that usually present between the title and the infobox heading. However, I view that as problem to solve rather than anything else - I still think the parameter must be used as its used throughout the project. I propose using a note that briefly explains to the reader why we're using "Roman Empire". -- Director (talk) 15:48, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
No, that's not what notes are for, and anything that requires an explanative extra note is not what an infobox is for, and your obsession on making the simple, conventional, standard name "Byzantine Empire" disappear from the top of the page for nothing but your private POV interests is becoming absurd now. Stop it. You will not remove "Byzantine Empire" from the top of the box, period. Fut.Perf. 15:53, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't believe I am at all "obsessed" with any of this, and I can't fathom what you could possibly mean by "private POV interests"? Infoboxes everywhere are of course absolutely teeming with explanative notes [1][2][3], in fact they have special parameters for them (including this one), and I'd like to point out that its you who believes the matter needs further elaboration. I'm fine with just using the infobox as it is used throughout the project. -- Director (talk) 16:01, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
No, I absolutely do not think the matter "needs further elaboration". I believe it would need further elaboration, if we went by your very bad proposal of making the top of the box say something other than the top of the article, and that is precisely why it is such a bad proposal. And stop repeating that inane argument that that's what's done everywhere else; I just showed you in one of my last postings how it isn't. You are, again, not listening. Fut.Perf. 16:07, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I meant to emphasize its you who believe "Roman Empire" is confusing to the reader. I don't really think we need a note, but I can see how one might feel the matter is not entirely clear.
If you hold that to have the infobox 'say something other than the top of the article' is a very bad proposal, then I'm afraid you have a lot of work to do changing existing infobox headings across the project. I can literally go to the former countries cat and just spam links here, one after the other, where the heading uses the full, historically accurate, "official" name, while the title uses a different, most common one. Of the three articles I linked above to show notes usage, two are good examples of this ([4][5]). But pick practically any country where the official name does not match with the commonname and you will get a good example of what I'm talking about [6][7][8][9][10][11][12], etc. etc. Its not that I'm not listening, I'm just not seeing your argument in this regard. -- Director (talk) 16:31, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, you are not seeing it, because you are not listening. I know. But I'll say it again: Having different headings in the box and in the article title is okay if and only if the relation between the two is self-evident. That said, I'm not going to accept any argument on the basis of "other articles are doing it that way" in any case, where infoboxes are concerned, as a matter of principle. Ill-designed infoboxes are pretty much one of the most widespread evils of Wikipedia, so no habit based on other infoboxes in other articles will ever form a compelling argument to do anything here. Fut.Perf. 16:42, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
  • @"I'm not going to accept any argument on the basis of 'other articles are doing it that way'". - My argument is that the relevant infobox parameter is misused, as it does not sport the "full name" of this state. Note: not the common name, but simply the "full name". I base that interpretation on the fact that the entire project does not use the common name in the infobox, but the full "official" name.
  • @"Having different headings in the box and in the article title is okay if and only if the relation between the two is self-evident." - Well, pardon me, but - says who? What are you basing that particular claim on? Because I'm not seeing such criteria in either the relevant infobox instructions or in common use? Certainly not below the level of "Byzantine Empire"/"Roman Empire". To pick the first example from just the links I posted above, the Kingdom of Naples is called the "Kingdom of Sicily" in the infobox (and I can't imagine changing it to "Kingdom of Naples").
Sometimes the names are completely different, sometimes they are naturally similar. But the point is to show the different criteria: the infobox name sports the historically accurate term, whereas the title uses the commonname.
I don't want to annoy you, Future. But I assure you I have no agenda here and am arguing in complete good faith. My only motive is to reduce the detrimental effects of the infobox by at least filling-in the parameters in a consistent fashion with the rest of the project. If we used the common name in the infobox heading (as we do with modern countries), I'd not be proposing anything here. -- Director (talk) 16:59, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

Future, since the gist of your argument seems to be (and correct me if I'm wrong on this) that "having different headings in the box and in the article title is okay if and only if the relation between the two is self-evident", then please support that claim with something or otherwise give this up. Far from it being a "personal" thing for me, it seems that the reverse may be true. Frankly I feel all these "orders" you're issuing are a bit demeaning ("No.", "You will not change this.", etc.). -- Director (talk)

It isn't in need of "supporting" with "something"; it is plain common sense. You, Direktor, have doggedly tried to replace the heading in this box for several years now, at least since mid-2012, going away whenever you found that your change didn't win consensus, only to come back repeating the same edit some month later. This is blatant long-term revert-warring. Stop it. Fut.Perf. 11:09, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Its not common sense - its nonsense. If we had some of the articles use a historical infobox heading and some use the commonname, because the former was arbitrarily decreed not to be "self-evident", - we'd have a terrible, even more confusing state of affairs. Fortunately - we don't: we use the historical name in the heading of the former country infobox, and I can attest to that, if I have to, by literally spamming this thread with 150 links or more.
I ask you again: who says that the link between the common name and the heading needs to be "self-evident", and who is it that decides what is or is not "self-evident"? And finally, why would you even object to that when an infobox note is proposed to dispel any hypothetical misconceptions you believe the reader may acquire??
If you wish to claim I have engaged in some kind of 10-year edit war here, you know where to bring that up, but I'd be much obliged if you stopped discussing your perceptions of my conduct here on the Byzantine Empire talkpage - because that looks like you're threatening me in loo of a credible argument. -- Director (talk) 11:41, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Stop "asking again" and again the same thing all over. I've given you my arguments. If you don't find them convincing, fine, that's up to you, but stop pretending you never heard them. I see I probably won't convince you here, and you certainly won't convince me, but then again, it seems you have so far failed to convince anybody else in all the three years you've been trying to push this change through. Long-term consensus on this page has been against you. I'm not willing to discuss this further with you at this point; it's a waste of time. Fut.Perf. 11:56, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
I've not heard on what basis you claim that the connection between the names must be "self-evident" (whatever it is exactly that defines that). If it is indeed only your opinion that it makes "common sense", then I can't see how you can hold that up. My position is not based on anything I personally consider to be "common sense", but on conventions that the entire project follows (which, btw, I believe are a better indication of what is sensible). I'll post an RfC, I hope you'll participate? -- Director (talk) 12:29, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Director, this edit but was bad enough, but this is unacceptable. Not only did you make those edits while there was an ongoing talk page discussion on that point, no one has supported you in that talk page discussion. And this was after you were already reverted on 30 January here. This is just edit-warring against consensus. DeCausa (talk) 14:01, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
No, its not edit-warring. As I said above, if you feel I have engaged in edit-warring, then please express your opinion in the appropriate venue. Not on the Byzantine Empire talkpage. As things are, such comments appear to me as little more than rather unimpressive rhetorical ploys.
From my perspective, all I did was #1 demonstrate a different proposal that takes into consideration your objections to the original edit (making that clear in the edit summary), and #2 demonstrate the fact that infoboxes do, in fact, use "explanatory notes", through making use of the infobox parameter specifically intended for that purpose. -- Director (talk) 15:41, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
Direktor, all you are doing is wasting your time. Don't think you are the only person who has tried to push this through. Stop believing yourself to be some vigilante "Lone Ranger". User:Keeby101 attempted a similarly eccentric and out-of-context stunt, but at least he apologized for it. I believe you made a comment regarding User:DeCausa and User:Future Perfect at Sunrise describing them as "arrogant Latins", but in truth you were attacking the wrong people. You are the arrogant one here. You refuse to listen to and ignore the arguments of other distinguished Wikipedia editors. Please, Direktor, stop all this nonsense and cease creating havoc on this otherwise wonderful Wikipedia article. It should not be an advertisement for personal opinions. B14709 (talk) 23:14, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
I was obviously joking (I'm a "Latin" as well, in every sense). What is wrong with you folks, why do you keep imagining this is personal somehow?? "Lone Ranger"? What? Fellas, pls stop commenting on me personally and produce a credible argument for using the commonname in the infobox heading in loo of the historical name. That just isn't done, certainly not in the vast majority of cases. Clearly, most people do not share the view that it is "common sense" to do so. -- Director (talk) 05:11, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Allow me to but in on this conversation! Especially given that I was mentioned and my username was linked to everyone! Dear B14709, its fine to mention me, but please do not link my username to everyone please!

Since I am here however... I will give my two cents on regards to this edit war or rather a discussion that is starting to escalate into an edit war. Personally, I think that the name of the article along with the article itself is fine as is, however the only problem that I have with it is the fact that the Ottoman Empire is shown/labeled as the successor state to it. In my opinion, the Despotate of the Morea and the Empire of Trebizond should be labeled as the successor states to the Byzantine empire given that they survived after 1453 and were not absorbed into the Ottoman empire until 1460-61. Cheers! Kirby (talk) 12:04, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

That might make sense if we were to imagine that the Empire was somehow not inextricably tied with Constantinople itself, which it was. -- Director (talk) 13:37, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
Sorry about that, Kirby. Also, because the Despotate of the Morea and the Empire of Trebizond were created before the fall of the Byzantine Empire, it might not be the right decision to list them as the direct successors. As many, many, different countries ended up with the former territory of the Byzantine Empire, if we put all or most of them as successor states it would get pretty confusing. Thanks for pointing that out, though! B14709 (talk) 21:23, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
@DIREKTOR
  1. You've already gone to great lengths to point out how the Roman Empire was not inextricably tied with administration in Rome, but you will then argue that the Byzantine/Eastern Empire is conversely unable to detach from its original administrative centre?
  2. At the risk of sounding too direct, I have to say that the lead as it is now is better in quality and readability than what you tried to replace it with. Furthermore, it already addresses the issue of "Byzantine Empire" really being a historiographical term for what started as "the eastern half of the Roman Empire".
  3. I would like to point out that you appear to be overly sensitive to finding negative meanings in neutral wordings describing the Byzantine Empire. "Continuation" doesn't necessarily imply "separate from what came before", and it's a false distinction to draw a line between the splitting of the state or its administration (except in times when all emperors were in fact subordinate to one).
  4. I feel like this is bordering on WP:Attrition (from continuing efforts to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS). This debate has been flaring up for years, and I can't help but notice how few of the people who took part even a year ago have come back this time around. Pushing on this issue until enough people are too tired to push back is the wrong course of action.
 —Sowlos  17:51, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
  1. Say what now? I see you're trying to make it look like I'm contradicting myself somehow, but uh - I'm obviously not. Rome was not the capital of the Roman Empire since the Crisis of the 3rd Century, and it only really ceased to be part of that state in 772 AD. That has nothing to do with the fact that the historical name of the state remained "Roman Empire" throughout its history (until 1453). That also has nothing to do with the fact that the Empire became inextricably identified with its new capital later on... Weird point.
  2. Lets leave the lead aside, at least for now. The infobox heading, however, it just makes no sense.
  3. See above.
  4. I am not here to "right great wrongs" nor is this part of some sinister plan on my part. I have no interest in Byzantium besides finding its history fascinating. Seriously - can we stop discussing me? All I hear when these sort of comments pop up is "I have no relevant counter-argument".
-- Director (talk) 16:44, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Direktor, you are missing the point. Your proposal would only confuse readers instead of fulfilling the purpose of an infobox: " to summarize key facts in the article in which it appears". Because nearly all historians currently use the term Byzantine Empire, the fact that at the time it was called something else isn't exactly "key" to the article. And as that fact is mentioned in the FIRST PARAGRAPH of the article, readers can easily access that information if they wish. B14709 (talk) 21:36, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Also, the parameter itself is called "conventional long name", and I think nearly all of us can agree that calling the state in question "the Roman Empire" is decidedly UNconventional. B14709 (talk) 21:42, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
And again, this subject has been discussed for years, and I think we all have better things to do than argue about this. Visit the archives of this article and you will find many debates about whether or not to change the name or the infobox. Can we please stop arguing? B14709 (talk) 22:07, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
No offense, but to me it seems like you're missing the point. Never mind that the parameter is called "conventional_long_name=" (and the various implications one could possibly draw from that) - the relevant instructions state its for the "full name of the state". Note: not the most common name in sources - but simply the "full name in English". Plus, there's the parameter directly below intended for the most common name in sources. Now, to me, that clearly seems to indicate that the parameter in question is simply for the real, actual historic full name of the state in English. And its not just me - everyone apparently sees it that way. Everyone? Everyone. Practically everywhere on this project in such circumstances - you have the common name in the title, and the historically accurate name in the infobox heading [13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21]. And that to me is even more important than whether the parameter is used properly, because the infobox heading is where the reader looks to find the historical name - even though we must use the commonname in the title. Not to use one here implies that "Byzantine Empire" is the historical full name of this polity. Now, Future seems to think the practice of having different names in the title and the infobox heading is a bad idea. That can be debated. But as things are, its just how these infoboxes are written. If we had the commonname more often in the infobox (as we do in articles about modern countries), then we would have a different situation. -- Director (talk) 22:31, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Actually the bottom line point is that you have absolutely no support for your position, while you refuse to acknowledge that consensus is overwhelmingly against you. No wonder the conversation turns to you, as you continue beating this dead horse. Please accept the consensus of every other responding editor and move on. Laszlo Panaflex (talk) 02:52, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
You're all nuts.. :) sure, fine. Though, since I received no relevant argument from you guys (besides "we're against you, shut up"), I reserve the right to stir-up trouble with this again in the form of various DR; it makes no sense to me. -- Director (talk) 11:03, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
I suppose it might be a little late to contribute but to reply to Panaflex: since, as you've mentioned, this gets brought up a lot might it be safe to assume that the "consensus" isn't as overwhelming as you imply? I for one think Director's proposal has merit and his argument is sound. I Feel Tired (talk) 00:05, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Just a quick post from a retired Wikipedia editor. I was working on this page back in 2005, and people were arguing over the name issue even then. Pages and pages and pages of discussions on this topic have been written and archived. In my humble opinion, the Byzantine Empire name dispute will never be solved to the satisfaction of all parties. Long after those who have just taken part in this round of debate have retired from Wikipedia, I am certain that others will come after you and continue the debate. :) Bigdaddy1204 (talk) 17:06, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Well, on that cheery note I think we should declare this thread closed...until the next one! DeCausa (talk) 17:32, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Also consider that article needs to depict the truth[edit]

The term Byzantine wasn't used until 1558 by Hieronymus Wolf. That frankly needs to be mentioned prominently. We are talking the direct continuation of the Roman Empire, people who never referred to themselves as Byzantine,I did like that that was mentioned early on. However it isn't even mentioned in the opening that there is still contention between historians to this day over weather we should even use the term "Byzantine" at all, in my undergrad studies professor that wouldn't let us refer to them as Byzantines at all.. The reason I think this should be included early on is because most people frankly don't read past that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Officialaccount (talkcontribs) 23:19, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

I think a sentence or two about the academic controversy in the 'nomenclature' section could be useful. I don't think it is necessary to add more than what is already in the lede, since the lede does an excellent job of highlighting the continuity between the Roman empire and the Byzantine empire and gives an accurate history of the name already. I don't have any good sources right off hand for the academic controversy of the name, although if nobody digs one up before I get around to it I may indeed get around to it eventually. Chuy1530 (talk) 04:09, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

Latin Empire as potential successor?[edit]

After the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, the empire's territories were partitioned. The newly established state to take the Byzantine Empire's place was the Latin Empire: as a distinct country with different territory, a different religion, and different leaders, shouldn't the Latin Empire be recognized as a successor and antecedent to the Byzantine Empire? Although the Latin Empire lasted for barely 50 years, the re-established Byzantine Empire was much different from the previous one. For a model of how I suggest this article's infobox be structured, you can check out Northern Rhodesia's article. Thanks! B14709 (talk) 22:40, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Too complicated. We had endless debates here over what (if anything) to include in those "successor" fields, and if we were to include all the different states that inherited all or some of Byzantium's position at any time, the list would grow out of all proportions. Moreover, having the same entry appear both in the predecessor and successor fields strikes me as exceedingly confusing to the reader. It's the typical kind of situation that boxes simply aren't good at. Entries in a box should be self-explanatory, otherwise they fail purpose of the box, which is to offer basic information that can be taken in at a glance. Having such a double link would present the reader with a puzzle, which could only be solved through additional explanations. If the box doesn't explain itself but is in need of external explanation for its contents to be properly understood, it is useless. For this kind of information, the reader is simply better off just reading the text. The information that there was a short-lived state that was established when the B.E. had been temporarily overthrown is quite easy to convey in prose, and much easier and faster for the reader to take in in that way than if they were to encounter it merely through these linked flags in the box. Fut.Perf. 23:26, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

cfd note[edit]

No Wikiproject Byzantine Empire, huh?

I support both, the idea is to replace the use of modern or religious place names with the contemporary names. Of course it is being opposed by religious or nationalistic indignants. trespassers william (talk) 20:47, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Talk page history problem[edit]

This talk page shows all history in the various archives, but the View history link does not show edits prior to the first archival in 2008. It looks like someone mistakenly deleted all of the history elements when archiving the talk page on June 15, 2008 (THIS edit). There is a redirect to the archive, located HERE, but there is no capacity to view history in archives. Or, rather, the history only shows the history of the archival. Does anyone know how to remedy this situation? I assume it is possible to recover the history from the underlying database (at least it seems to appear to be there and in exported XML).

I will also post on Village Pump (technical), since this seems to be a solidly technical issue.Wikipositivist (talk) 03:56, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

I've replied at the technical village pump; as I said there, the history Is at Talk:Byzantine Empire/Archive 7. Graham87 06:48, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Graham 87. I'll keep further discussion on Village Pump, since not all (or even most) is directly relevant to this article. For those interested, check here.Wikipositivist (talk) 22:45, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Religion in infobox[edit]

Can't believe we have yet another infobox problem here (seriously, why is it that it's only ever the infobox entries that attract disagreement on this article?) Anyway, people have been reverting between two versions of the "religion=" entry, one of which simply describes the main religion as "Orthodox Christianity", while the other distinguishes between "Christianity" first and "Orthodox Christianity" only "after 1054" [22]. The "after 1054" version was first introduced about 12 months ago [23], apparently without significant discussion back then.

I can see the point for both sides, of course. On the one hand, some people are obviously reluctant to project the label "eastern orthodox" back into the pre-schism period. On the other hand, the version that emphasizes the distinction between "Christianity" and "Orthodox Christianity" seems to imply that the Byzantines suddenly changed their religion in 1054 – which is obviously wrong. So I personally prefer the plain version. The religion of the Byzantines didn't suddenly turn into something different, just because something else was branching away from it in some other part of the world. The form of Christianity that characterizes the Byzantine Empire is clearly the single, unbroken tradition which today, in hindsight, we describe as the "Eastern Orthodox" one. Trying to cram the terminlogical distinction into the box strikes me as a typical instance of over-scrupulous obsession with detail at the cost of plain readability that's unfortunately such a common problem in infobox editing.

Of course, just to make this clear, this has nothing to do with which of the two branches of the schism has any claim to representing the "true" continuation of pre-schism Christianity. I would obviously make the same argument for the western side (and indeed, I find that the corresponding infobox entry at Papal States duly says "Roman Catholic" throughout, which is as it should be). Fut.Perf. 07:05, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

I agree that infoboxes are useless in dealing with these kind of subtleties. On the one hand, Orthodoxy was such a key component of the distinctiveness of Byzantine culture that it seems strange not to give it a namecheck. On the other, calling it "Orthodoxy" for the whole period is anachronistic. (And 1054 certainly shouldn't be used to indicate any sort of change either in substance or nomenclature) Would "Christianity/Eastern Orthodox" be suitably ambiguous? DeCausa (talk) 08:49, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Would work for me. Ambiguity sometimes really is a blessing. Nice trick. Fut.Perf. 09:24, 7 July 2014 (UTC)