Talk:Armeniac Theme

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I erased the references to seals of kommerkiarioi of the Armeniac Theme because I know that no such seals for the given years have been published so far. This has been judged by Cplakidas "personal research" and the old text maintained on the authority of an entry of an online "Hellenic Encyclopedia." The author of this entry mentions the seals without citing the editions. She is simply wrong. In principle, it seems ridiculous that I should have to prove that something does not exist! However, I write back to Cplakidas:

Dear Constantine, your idea of what a "credible source" would be is frankly surprising. Once more, the entry in the Hellenic Encyclopedia, whoever the author is, DOES NOT give any references to editions or auction catalogues where the seals in question should be found! Where lies then credibility? Aren't sources rather than accepted authority that make a statement credible and 'authoritative?' Isn't that found in the Hellenic Encyclopedia "personal," and in the case "very poor," research too? At any rate, I understand that the average reader like you may hold such a source to be credible. What I am telling you is that I checked the information and it revealed to be false. Is that to be banned as evil "personal research?" Moreover, since there are NO SEALS, I have NOTHING to prove. Yet you are stubborn and pretentious like many narrow minded "administrators" of your kind. Now, to be honest, it annoys me a bit having to give one like you the proof that I SHOULD NOT provide. However, I find it a pity that other people should have to read bul**hit on Wikipedia because of a Cplakidas. Therefore: the latest scholarly publication on Byzantine seals of kommerkiarioi from Anatolia, available on line at, gives a complete list of the published specimens in which you won't find the alleged seals of the Armeniac Theme for 650 or whatever. Regards.

I wrote to the administrators of the "Hellenic Encyclopedia" to complain about the mistake, an especially serious one given the 'authority' that many people may naturally attribute to this source. I think that this story teaches us a lot of things. Can serious reference checking be excluded from Wikipedia as "personal research?" I insist that selection criteria, when in the hands of mediocre people, put knowledge in chains and make us all waste a lot of time. Cheers, fm Fredmont (talk) 07:36, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

First, please tone down your language... You are effectively an anonymous user here, and no one has any way of judging your level of knowledge or even seriousness unless you can prove that you are indeed a scholar in some field. Making general accusations or claiming that a source is false merely because you say so is therefore not enough evidence (plainly you did not bother to read or understand the links I gave you). "In principle, it seems ridiculous that I should have to prove that something does not exist!" No it is not, when your credibility as a user has yet to be established on any basis whatsoever. Also, since you make a new claim, the burden of evidence is on your part, not mine. "yet you are stubborn and pretentious like many narrow minded "administrators" of your kind." Why thank you, yes I am stubborn, else I wouldn't go on creating articles on obscure subjects no one in the modern world really cares about. I am however not an administrator, merely a user interested in the Byzantine Empire and who wants to spread some (hopefully accurate) knowledge on the subject. I am neither above reproach nor infallible, but thanks for just assuming that I am an idiot simply because I happened to call for some verifiable sources to back up your opinion, random man on the internet oops, I meant of course: supreme fount of wisdom, whom I poor intellectual ant should never have doubted... If you spot something on WP that is incorrect (and that is often the case), then in my opinion, instead of having a go at users you don't even know and who made the horrendous mistake of (gasp) trusting a source that has proven generally reliable, it is better to provide a credible source to counter it, rather than start the mud-slinging. More often than not, the sources I am forced to use contradict each other, even the most authoritative ones, and some contain outright mistakes. We cannot all be perfect like you, so in the future, please hold out for the chance that this is simple human error, all right? Constantine 09:29, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
FIRST, I do whatever I wish with my language, as long as I am not abusing you. And I am sure I am not, although the soft-hearted might see it differently. I basically said I find your unmotivated stubbornness a hint of mediocrity and slight lack of discernment: for example, why on earth should I waste my time vandalizing the entry "Armeniac Theme" with such subtle sigillographic arguments? Yet, mediocrity is not that bad after all. Some might see it as a quality. SECOND, the article in the Hellenic Encyclopedia contains a statement which is not – I repeat, is not – supported by accurate references: "not referenced" as one says. If I check the proper editions and do not find the alleged seals, I have, in principle, little to do but refer you to the editions. To which, I guess, neither you nor most users will have easy access. This does not mean, and with this I do not mean to say, that you or other users are "idiots" or "not perfect like" me). Now, it is, in principle, the author of the article who should prove her case. It is pure luck that a recent scholarly publication on the subject, giving, moreover, a full list of seals, was available online. I'm not unaware that "the onus of proof lies with the prosecution." But it is also held to be a fair and economic principle that one can only prove the existing. And, besides, the author of the article in the Hellenic Encyclopedia may actually be seen as "prosecutor" in this matter, since she alleges something that nobody would have ever suspected otherwise.. Fredmont (talk) 19:27, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
You have a perfectly credible source, so the easy, correct and polite thing to do would have been to point out that this source contradicts that statement. You did that, the statement has been removed and will stay removed. It would have been far more economic on both of our tempers had you confined yourself to that. There was no reason whatsoever to start ranting about "people like me" etc because I simply reverted the removal of cited information on the grounds of your personal knowledge (you'd be suprised how many trolls and vandals go about the same way). I freely admit I am not an expert on the subject (certainly not to the level of knowing what seals have been published), but so are most people around here, meaning you have two choices: either be patient, assume good faith and simply present your case without disparaging their work (mediocre perhaps in your view, but voluntary and freely available, and that is what WP is about), or leave. Since you are evidently knowledgeable, I for one strongly prefer you to stay. PS, just in case you are not aware of it, I should point out that capitals are used to indicate anger and shouting, so please be careful how you use them in the future. It can easily heat up a discussion. Best regards, Constantine 20:07, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

717/8 seal[edit]

As this seems (to my uneducated eye) to be the only one mentioning the Armeniakon in Ragia's interesting paper, I have put in a mention with references. I hope that I have got it right. I rely confidently on being corrected in a courteous and well-referenced way. Richard Keatinge (talk) 11:03, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Dear Richard, you are right. In fact, there has been some discussion on whether one should already read "Armeniakôn" on a seal of 694/695. Noted sigillographist Werner Seibt suggests for the latter the reading "...of Armenia IV [Fourth] (Gr. Ἀρμενίας δ´, i.e. one of the four Armenian provinces, units more ancient and smaller than themes, with which you certainly are familiar)" and this reading is generally accepted. On yet another recently published Wien kommerkiarios-seal of 675/676, the editors, among which the same Seibt, read "...of the Arme[n]<ia>s (my attempt at representing Gr. Ἀρμε[ν]<ιῶ>ν, where only the letters ΑΡΜΕ and the Ν at the end are still visible)," highly unusual and a hapax on kommerkiarios-seals, and state that there is not enough room on the seal to fit Armeniakôn in. This is not the place to provide further references. Cheers, Fredmont (talk) 12:51, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

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