Talk:Byzantine Empire/Archive 10

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Archive 5 Archive 8 Archive 9 Archive 10 Archive 11 Archive 12 Archive 13

Unbeliveble mistake concernig begining of the empire

I cannot belive my eyes! Byzantine empire was founded in 3330??????? EMPIRE not the city. This is outrageus and completly innacurate. The city was rebulided in early 4 th century. It existed before, and if Theodosius I is the last Emperor of Rome how can the EMPIRE BEGIN IN 330 AD WHEN HE DIED IN 395. AND SPLIT THE EMPIRE. THIS YEAR IS NOT EVEN MENTIONED IN THE BOX!!!!!!!! And after I tried to change this horrible and shameful mistake some "smart" guy revisted it. NPOV PEOPLE AND FACTS! THIS IS BULLSHIT!

User:Emoutofthevee —Preceding undated comment added 16:43, 3 July 2009 (UTC).

The Byzantine Empire was neither founded in 330 nor in 395. And Theodosius I was not the last Roman Emperor, nor did the Roman Empire "fall" or cease to exist in 395. The Empire was split not only in 395, but also in 285/6, in 337, and in 364 (at least). After 395 simply no one could reunite both halfes (unless you count Justinian' restoration).
The Eastern Roman Empire was not "founded"; it simply continued to exist. Therefore, any foundation date is to be taken with a grain of salt. As the article's section on the establishment of the Empire points out, much of the groundwork was laid by the reforms of Constantine, which is why the article picks 330 as the approximate date.
HTH, Varana (talk) 10:31, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I guess, that's why NPOV was mentioned. There are several dates that can be considered for the starting date of the Byzantine Empire - 330, 395 etc. Neither of them is obviously "correct" and we should avoid "taking sides" if we can. At least there should be some discussion about the dates. In fact, there was even a section "Dating the empire" ([1]), but it looks like after some... er... discussion about the lead section all this information ended up removed from the article - [2] - (just in case, there is hardly any doubt that it was not done in bad faith). I'd say we should return it...
And on the matter of the infobox - I guess it would be best to remove it completely, but at least something like "330(?)–1453", "330/395/476/620–1453", "4th/7th century AD–1453" might give some idea about the exactness of the starting date... --Martynas Patasius (talk) 18:40, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, normally I am not so much for pinpointing exact dates in infoboxes either, but I think a case can be made here. It can be argued from the expression itself that since the article's subject is a Graeco-Roman empire (no matter what you want to call it) centered around Constantinople, the founding date should be the year when Constantinople first became just that, i.e. an imperial residence. I think it depends on whether you want to emphasize the element "Byzantine" or "Empire". Wikipedia appears to do the latter; otherwise we would have a pendant article about the "Eastern Roman Empire" before it became "Byzantine". Iblardi (talk) 19:15, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I take exception to calling that a POV issue. It is a debate about facts (when was the Empire founded?) and about the article (What should go into the infobox?). I still think, with Iblardi's arguments, that 330 is the date that makes most sense, but if a discussion comes to a different conclusion, I have no problem with that. It's just that the agitated tone of Emoutofthevee threw me off a bit. :)
Anyway, regarding the infobox: I usually am against too much information and explanations within the box. Put a date in there, and direct the reader to the respective section of the article. (Can we create a clickable reference from the box to the article?) Varana (talk) 07:58, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Iblardi's comments. The Byzantine Empire, from its very name, is intimately tied with the fate of the city of Byzantium/Constantinople: its establishment as an imperial residence after 330 marks the beginning of a continuous imperial government that lasted until 1204, when the "Byzantine Empire" was disestablished, although other "Byzantine" states held out, and the Empire was only restored in 1261 when Constantinople was recovered. Again, its fall in 1453 marks the end of the Empire, although remnants survived for a few years after that. Other start dates can be supplied using political or cultural arguments, but the 330 date is, per the above argument, the most "correct" and also, being the earliest of the alternatives, the more inclusive one. Constantine 08:18, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Well, legally, the Roman Empire begun at 31BC (this is not POV I have an important book for backup if you like)... Our choice here has to be the following: will we follow what is "legally" accepted and was accepted and quite correct for the Byzantines/Romans, or will we follow historiography? First goes for 31 BC second for 330.--Michael X the White (talk) 18:09, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Slavs not Turks

While I was adding information on Maurice (as accidentally) in the Reconquests section I noticed that somebody keeps changing Slavs to Turks when it comes to the sentence "They (the Avars) captured the Balkan fortress of Sirmium in 582, while the Slavs began to make inroads across the Danube." Yes the Avars were of mixed Turkic ethnicity but the other peoples who made "inroads" were the Slavs. Changing Slavs to Turks could be terribly confusing and innaccurate for a casual reader.

--Tataryn77 (talk) 16:08, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Macedonian Map

I'm not sure the maps of the empire at its greatest extent under the Macedonians is entirely accurate. The sources I've read indicate that it had a broader area of control in Mesopotamia and Syria. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:59, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Inconsistent formatting

I have noticed on a cursory glance that references are highly inconsistent in form. Some use Author, page with no periods; others have a period and use "p." or "pp." and some are linked, and some are not. Can we settle on a consistent form for these notes so they are easier to decipher? Martin Raybourne (talk) 02:16, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Speaking of which, I also note that there are many notes that are not just references. Should we split these up? Martin Raybourne (talk) 01:47, 4 September 2009 (UTC)


is the fact that they spoke greek after the 7th century correct? i thought they always spoke greek in that part of the world from alexander until 1453. i mean really what author in that part of the world ever wrote in latin? not plutarch, not strabo. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kylefoley76 (talkcontribs) 05:37, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

Caption correction

The caption: "The siege of Constantinople in 1453 according to a 15th century French miniature." is redirected to List of sieges of Constantinople, which is less than ideal. I would like to edit that caption to "The Fall of Constantinople according to a contemporary French pilgrim." but I cannot due to the page lock. Alternatively, if editing of text is unacceptable at this time, it could be kept the same but the redirect fixed, e.g. siege of Constatinople. --Noren (talk) 14:23, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

I think the latter would be the better solution, in any event. I'm an admin, so I can edit it, if nobody objects. john k (talk) 17:59, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I forgot to leave a note, I changed it. Adam Bishop (talk) 18:07, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Map in box

550? There is a diff with the borders of the one above. Which one is right?
before the 1st Crusade?
1204? After 4th Crusade?
1450? Last map?

I think it's problematic for a map of the Empire as it was for about fifteen years should be the map in the infobox. The empire only covered all of Italy from the end of the Gothic War in 553 until the Lombard invasion in 568. It seems perverse to illustrate the extent of an empire that lasted for a thousand years by a territorial extent it held for less than 20. I'd much prefer to use the 1045 map as the main map. john k (talk) 18:20, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

It is based in consensus and voting that took place about a year ago.--Michael X the White (talk) 21:29, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
The discussion from last June clearly did not result in a consensus. A majority apparently favored the 565 map, but there was no consensus, and wikipedia is not a democracy. Furthermore, the use of the Justinian map seemed to be justified on the basis that the map has to show a country at its "greatest territorial extent." I have no idea what the basis for such a claim is, but if there is a guidelines which states as much, a case like Byzantium, where the "greatest territorial extent" under Justinian applies to an empire which arguably was not yet fully "Byzantine," (Latin was still the official language, for instance) and which was both incredibly short-lived and incredibly tenuous, is one which, it seems to me, deeply implicates WP:IAR. Is there an argument for using the Justinian map other than that it represents the largest territorial extent of the empire? What is the guideline which supposedly requires that the main map for former states represents largest territorial extent? john k (talk) 21:40, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
The consensus was to decide with a poll. Anyway, I do not see a point in there. Yes the Empire was not "fully Byzantine" and had never been Byzantine at all, up to 1453. The Empire was the Roman Empire and Justianian was one of its Emperors, since we're referring to the Period when the Imperial Capital is Constantinople. Last June's question was simple: include a map that shows the Empire's peak, but which peak, territorial or political? And it was decided for the territorial peak to be presented in the infobox and the political later on somewhere else in the article.--Michael X the White (talk) 13:07, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
Alright, let me be clearer. Most historians of late antiquity would refer to Justinian's empire as the "Eastern Roman Empire." It's connections to the older Roman Empire are very clear - Latin was still the language of government and of the emperors; it still entertained ambitions of reuniting all the territories of the old empire, and made a stat at it with the reconquest of Africa and Italy; and in the east, it still comprised the whole extent of the old Roman Empire. All of this changed in the period following Justinian - the ambitions to reconquer the west were mostly destroyed by the Lombard invasion, and then again by Constans II's failures a century later; Latin was supplanted by Greek as the language of administration; and the territories in the Levant and Egypt were lost permanently due to the Islamic conquest. The state which emerged by the beginning of the eighth century was distinctly different from Justinian's empire, and is almost always referred to in the historiography as the "Byzantine Empire." Given that this article is about the whole period, the main map should be more representative of the territorial extent of the empire through the vast majority of its history, which is what the 1045 map does. And you have still not presented an argument for using the "territorial peak" - just an assertion that this is what was decided last year by a narrow majority. Wikipedia is not a democracy, and looking at the argument from last year, I don't see any coherent arguments for the current map either. All I see is a lot of people noting that 565 is the greatest territorial extent, and then assuming that they have somehow demonstrated that this should be the map for the article. So, I'll ask again. Why are you saying that the "greatest territorial extent" should be the basis of the map? Is there a guideline or wikiproject recommendation somewhere which suggests this? Even if that were the case, I'd still say this is probably a case where we should ignore all rules and go with a more sensible map, but it would at least be more comprehensible. Either way, I'd like to understand what the argument is for requiring the "maximum territorial extent" as the basis for the map. Why is this better than, say "a map which gives some sense of the territorial extent of the empire through most of its history?" While the 1045 map is obviously just as much of a snapshot as the 565 map, it does a much better job of generally representing the extent of the empire through most of its history - the Balkans and Anatolia (with some residual territory in Italy). That more or less describes the territorial extent of the Byzantine Empire from the late 7th century until the early 14th century (with the exception of the Italian territories, which were lost in the eleventh century). Egypt, Syria, North Africa, Spain, and most of Italy were all lost within a century of the current map, and, with the exception of parts of southern Italy and northern Syria, never recovered. Why is it useful to our readers to suggest a Byzantine Empire much larger than it was for the vast majority of its history? john k (talk) 13:40, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
To use 'a high-watermark map' in a 'historical nation-article' is widely the common form here in Wikipedia AFAIK. It's not a official policy but rather a custom (as in tradition). Please take a look at Roman Republic, Roman Empire, Arsacid Empire, etc. All of them show the subject at the point of its maximum territorial extent regardless if it was a temporary fluke (an exception). Can you (john k) give us a good reason why we shouldn't follow this custom in this article also? If your basic arguments are more or less that "the Byzantine Empire was (after Justinian) not Roman enough for me" and "this empire should be shown with its (so-called) traditional territories" then please propose a change. I know that I will vote against it (and if I'm mistaken with my assumptions about your reasoning then I apologize). And yes you are quite correct: Wikipedia is not a democracy, but it also isn't a dictatorship. Flamarande (talk) 18:22, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
A third possibility is to have the map in the infobox show a limited number of different historical boundaries of the empire during its long life span, for instance those of 565, 1045, and 1360. A reworking of the present map in this direction would, in my opinion, add to its informative quality. Iblardi (talk) 19:06, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
If I may quote a historian: "When exactly 'Byzantine' begins and 'late Roman' ends is a moot point. Some prefer to use 'Byzantine' for the eastern part of the Roman Empire from the time of Constantine I, that is to say, from the 320's and 33o's, other apply it to the Eastern empire from the later fifth or sixth century, especially from the reign of Justinian (527-565). In either case, the term 'Byzantine' legitimately covers the period from the late Roman era on, and is used to describe the history of the politics, society and culture of the mediaeval east Roman Empire until its demise at the hands of the Ottomans in the fifteenth century." - John Haldon in 'Byzantium a history' ISBN 0-7524-2343-6 page 9, chapter Introduction.
In my personal interpretation: there is no clear point where one (Eastern Roman Empire) ended and the other (Byzantine Empire) started. There is a difference between the two but cultural transformations take decades and centuries and depend largely upon the viewer's opinion and interpretation. The ancients themselves never had a official ceremony that we could use (as when Mao declared the official start of the Peoples Republic of China). Historians acknowledge this fact with the Byzantine Empire. Flamarande (talk) 19:07, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
I think I explained my reasons - that the current map is misleading, because the Byzantine Empire lasted for over one thousand years and lost most of the territories depicted on the map quite early in its history. Roman Empire does depict a brief ephemeral set of borders, and I'd say that we should probably instead do a map which doesn't include Mesopotamia, whose "conquest" by Trajan lasted about two years, but at least in that case the difference between the map and the long-standing borders of the Roman Empire for four centuries are not particularly great. A couple of years after this map became operative for the possibly-not-yet-Byzantine-Empire, they lost most of Italy. A few decades later they lost Egypt, the Levant, North Africa, and their foothold in Spain. They never regained any of these territories (except some border regions in southern Italy and Syria). The Empire then existed for 800 years, never controlling any of these territories again. The 1045 map is better because it represents the greatest extent of the Byzantine Empire after it lost its Roman accoutrements. Justinian's Empire was more a late and temporary revival of the Roman Empire than the "height" of the Byzantine Empire, and as such its territorial extent is more in the nature of a shadow of the old Roman Empire than a good representation of what the Byzantine Empire was about. Looking at other examples isn't very useful, simply because few other empires have undergone the massive kind of territorial recentering that the Byzantine Empire experienced. I find it weird that I have to keep on explaining this, while being accused of not providing any reasons for what I want to do. Obviously you disagree with me, but I have difficulty understanding how anyone could be in much doubt about the basis for wanting a map showing the later period. And I already proposed what I think should be done - use the 1045 map. I would be open to Iblardi's suggestion of a map showing the empire's extent at different periods. And again, I'm perfectly willing to acknowledge that Justinian's empire is often considered to be part of the Byzantine Empire. I just think the uncertainty of the transitional period of the sixth century gives us reason to be cautious about using that map as the main one. Obviously, a map of Justinian's conquests ought to be included somewhere within the article. john k (talk) 21:08, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

In this article, what is described with the term "Byzantine Empire" is the Roman Empire after its capital was transferred to Constantinople. So Justinian's map is fine. What you're suggesting is a new view that this article should have, about linking what is described here to the Greek language and tradition. It is not about the map, it is about the article. The present definition of the map is in perfect accordance to the article.--Michael X the White (talk) 13:11, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

This is pointless. The point isn't that Justinian's Empire wasn't the Byzantine Empire. It certainly fits under the definition of the Byzantine Empire given in this article, which is a perfectly acceptable definition. The point is that the territorial extent of Justinian's Empire is not representative of the territorial extent of the Byzantine Empire for the vast majority of its existence. john k (talk) 15:13, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
As I said: To use 'a high-watermark map' in a historical 'nation-article' is AFAIK the common form here in Wikipedia. It's not a official policy but rather a custom (as in tradition). Please take a look at Roman Republic, Roman Empire, Parthian Empire, etc. All of these articles (and only god knows how many more) show the subject (nation) at the point of its maximum territorial extent regardless if it was a temporary fluke (an exception). Why shouldn't the Byzantine Empire-article do the same? Flamarande (talk) 15:20, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
All the articles you note have "high water marks" that are reasonably representative of the territorial extent of the empire through most of its history. This isn't true for Byzantium. I have been trying throughout this discussion to explain why I think this is not appropriate for the Byzantine Empire, and why an exception should be made, but nobody seems to actually be following my argument. And there are wikipedia articles that are exceptions. For example, we have Grand Duchy of Hesse and Kingdom of Saxony, which distinctly do not show those states' territories at their largest territorial extents (during the Napoleonic period), but rather their borders for most of their history in the long nineteenth century. john k (talk) 17:18, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
In the case of Byzantium, the difference between the (short) "high water mark" and the average size is indeed exceptional, with the empire of Justinian being about three times at large as the much more stable medieval one, and the 565 map alone does not give an accurate idea of the true extent of the empire through most of its history. I think that tradition is in itself not a good argument, but if conventions are to be given any weight, I can point to the practice of showing several phases in one map which I referred to above. Typically such a map would show the empire both at its late antique and medieval zenith. An example, which includes the phase of decline in the 14th century, can be found here: [3]. I do not see why we would have to choose between either map A or map B. Iblardi (talk) 19:42, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
How about something like this? Image:Byzantium_Location_550_1025.svg Varana (talk) 15:05, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
It's quite nice, although the light green is a bit composite, and does not reflect any actual historical extent (the gains in Armenia occurred in 591, after most of Italy and much of Spania had been lost) Constantine 15:46, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. What do you mean by "composite"? For the extent of Justinian's empire, I used this map. If that's wrong, I'll change mine. Varana (talk) 16:11, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
Thought as much. Lazica was actually almost fully separated from the rest of the Empire. If you want an accurate eastern border for 565, take a look here and here. Cheers, Constantine 20:14, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
The composite map looks good to me, pending any modifications for strict accuracy. john k (talk) 20:43, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

I think it should remain as it is. As Flamarade said, it is common for maps of Empires to show the Empire's greatest territorial peak (that's partlu what Empires are about isn't it?). Other maps can be added somewhere else inside the article.--Michael X the White (talk) 12:59, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, we are all aware that it is common for maps of states to show the state's greatest territorial extent. I'm not sure how empires are "partly about" that, though. Is the Roman Empire's two year possession of Mesopotamia really sufficiently important that we need a map which shows it? And, as I've noted before, the Byzantine Empire is a special case, in that it's territorial peak is dramatically larger than its extent through the vast majority of its history, and also occurred near the beginning of a very long history and was never repeated. We ought to be flexible, rather than adhering blindly to a "rule" which isn't even a rule. john k (talk) 14:11, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm not changing my opinion, BUT Image:Byzantium_Location_550_1025.svg or a similar image is a good idea as far as I am concerned. Varana idea is IMHO simply brilliant. It shows the 'core territories' and the 'maximum expansion watermark' at the same time. As a matter of fact I had a similar idea some time ago and proposed a replacement (at the Roman Empire-talkpage) by a map which showed the transitory nature of the most eastern conquests of Trajan (you know, the couple provinces which were held only for 3 years or something like that). The current image was added later and gives a lot of info so replacing it would be unwise. The only wish that I have (a wish and not condition) concerns the colour (never satisfied). The main/traditional/core territories could be in purple and the lost territories should be in a lighter tone of purple (does anyone remember my 'imperial purple' proposal?). As far as the precise borders between the two are concerned I only wish to point out that Sicily was held by the Byzantine Empire for a long amount of time (I would show Sicily as a part of the core territory but I'm probably mistaken). Flamarande (talk) 20:21, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Regarding Sicily, since we are showing the two points of maximum extent (565 and 1025 or 1045) and not "core territories" (since then most of Armenia and much of the Balkans should be left off), it is a bit complicated. The island had been lost since 912, and only a part was temporarily recovered by Maniakes in ca. 1040. Since evidence suggests that it was lost again after 1043, it shouldn't be in the map for neither 1025 nor 1045. Constantine 20:50, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Changed the colours a bit (still green, I can do a purple version tomorrow) and corrected the Eastern frontier; I hope it's reasonably accurate for the scale of the map (link the same as above; you might need to reload (F5) the page). On Sicily, see Constantine's remarks - I used the borders of 1025, and Sicily was not Roman then. The idea to have a combined map was Iblardi's, not mine. :) I do like the idea, though, as I basically agree with John that Justinian's Empire is not really representative. (And yep - while the Roman Empire map is a beautiful and informative one, the Mesopotamian provinces are a bit unfortunate.) Regards, Varana (talk) 21:00, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I just wish to point out that you're not forced to use my "purple proposal" at all. Another (perhaps even better yet) idea is a map that changes in chronological fashion (decreasing, expanding, decreasing, and ending in 1453). I don't know how to make one (yet) and it is just an idea. Yes, I'm ashamed to confess that I somehow only noticed and understood Iblardi proposal now (no net connection yesterday).
Quoting: "A third possibility is to have the map in the infobox show a limited number of different historical boundaries of the empire during its long life span, for instance those of 565, 1045, and 1360. A reworking of the present map in this direction would, in my opinion, add to its informative quality. Iblardi (talk) 19:06, 19 September 2009 (UTC)" Flamarande (talk) 22:13, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Didn't this article, and Roman Empire, and probably others, have animated maps at some point? Where did they go? Adam Bishop (talk) 22:21, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Ah, I didn't understand that Iblardi could also have meant an animated map. Yes, it did have one at some time, though I don't know when they were removed (the German articles still use them, even at the top: Byzantine Empire and Roman Empire. Maybe this would be an even better solution for the box; it would at least be nice to reinstate the animated maps somewhere. Varana (talk) 14:32, 24 September 2009 (UTC) This and also this are also animated maps. (I'm not really suggesting here we change the infobox map to one of these, I'm only mentioning them.) Cody7777777 (talk) 17:07, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

An animated map was not what I had in mind, but I have no problems with using the one mentioned. I think Varana's second 565/1025 map is fine too. Iblardi (talk) 19:54, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
You didn't? Well you're still getting the credit for the idea (not my fault :). Flamarande (talk) 20:58, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
The only animated map I know of is on the Ancient Rome article. Although the 565 map seems to be in favour - and I do support it in favour of the 1045 map - I feel that a c.600 AD map maybe should be shown. Emperor Maurice pushed the eastern frontier substantially east in his agreement with Khosrau II. Despite the erosion of imperial control in Italy, I think the favorable situation in the east easily compensates. Either way, I think a 600 map should at least be in the article. --Tataryn77 (talk) 00:30, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

If we are going to use a "chrono map" how should we proceed?

There seems to be a general agreement for the use of a "chrono map" (a map which shows the changing borders of the BE and ends in 1453) in the infobox. So how are we going to do it? Here is my proposal in the form of a step-by-step list (feel free to point out anything I missed) Flamarande (talk) 21:35, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

  1. We have to agree upon a beginning (the end is probably easy (1453 ?) but the beginning... perhaps Tetrachy?)
  2. We have to collect acceptable maps and gather them here in this talkpage and organize them in a chronological order. Colours don't matter but accurate borders are a must - a minor wrong map can be gathered but its mistakes must be clearly pointed out for correction in step 4).
  3. We should agree upon the most important cities of the empire (Constantinople, Rome, Alexandria, Carthage, Antioch, Thessalonica, Nicea, more?). The future maps will show the location of these cities.
  4. Afterwards we have to use a template (a large "original map" which will be changed into several new ones, copying the borders of the collected maps - and correcting any mistakes).
  5. Every new map will clearly state its respective date (perhaps on the lower left corner?).
  6. All the new maps should use the same colour (I'm in favour of 'light purple' but I don't speak for all of you) for an easy understanding.
  7. All the new maps have to uploaded into Media wiki (using simple names - eg: ByzantineEmpireMap1050.jpg)
  8. Someone has to create, in Media wiki, a "chrono map" (I think that I can pull this off)
  9. We replace the current map in the infobox
For a beginning, I'd say 395. If we pick the Tetrarchy (or rather 330), then we'll have the entire Roman Empire. As for the end, in 1453 there isn't much to show, so, depending on the scale of the map, it may be problematic. At any rate, the "Byzantine" successor states (Epirus and Trebizond) must also be shown. For dates, I'd suggest 395, 565, 717, ca. 920, 1045, 1180, 1261, 1350, 1453. I also have an extensive collection of maps from various scholarly sources in my PC. Anyone interested just send me an email. Constantine 23:33, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
395, 565, 717 seem good to me as well. Do we have a map of the 920s somewhere, or would it show something more interesting compared to c. 867? I concur with the later dates.
As for cities - Constantinople, Rome, Carthage, Alexandria, Thessalonica. Antioch maybe. Nikaia would be too close to Cple., I think, for the scale of the map.
I would favour bright land (e.g. a pale yellow like some existing maps) and a darker purple (maybe similar to the Western Empire's colour in this map, to produce a nice contrast necessary for the later stages when Byzantine territory was small.
The current animated maps are GIF animations. Does Wiki now provide the means to create animated graphics by itself? (What is Media wiki? Commons?)
P.S. Was Lazica Byzantine by 565? The maps differ, but it seems to have been a vassal state after the 562 peace. Similarly with Croatia under Basil II or in 1045 - mark it as "Byzantine" or not? Varana (talk) 09:49, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
According to Vasiliev, who refers to an account by Menander Protector, Lazica was "resigned" to the Byzantines by the Persians in the peace treaty of 562. It is also depicted as being under Byzantine rule on the 565 map of the New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History. I'm not sure about the status of Croatia. Iblardi (talk) 21:34, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

In case we're going to use an animated map, in my opinion it should start with the tetrarchy (I don't think that showing more information is bad, it can help the readers understand the empire's evolution from the whole empire, and the article starts anyway before 395, and the Eastern Roman emperors, after the assassination of Julius Nepos in 480, claimed to rule the entire Roman Empire), and it should show initially the whole Roman Empire, separated through a line when it was divided. I think following dates should be included 286, 330, 395, 480, 565, 717, 920, 1045, 1180, 1205, 1261, 1350, 1453. Cody7777777 (talk) 06:25, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with the choice of years, I know my response may be late but i think making a map of 565 AD and then jumping to 717 AD is wrong because it skips almost 200 years of political maps, there should be a pre-arab conquest map and a post arab conquest map so i think adding political maps of the empire by 626 AD and 650 AD are perfect, then adding the 717 AD map. Justinian43 ([[User talk:Justinian43|talk}}) 23:35, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree that the dates 626 and 650 should also be included in an animated map. Cody7777777 (talk) 14:07, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Change of Greek to forefront of the infobox

At first I was leery of this change as a Latin title would be easier to read first off, but then I thought about it, and I support the change. The Greek language was officially the language of the Byzantine Empire for a majority of the time, so it makes sense. Monsieurdl mon talk-mon contribs 22:12, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Mamluk Sultanate and the Byzantine connection

I added the Mamluk Empire to the infobox because a portion of the Empire was a protectorate under control of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia that was conquered by the Mamluks. Control of this territory was not conquered by the Ottomans until after the fall of the Empire. Since the articles on both the Mamluks and the Beiji dynasty do not include the loss of Cilicia to the Ottoman Empire in 1474, it was overlooked. I hope this is acceptable to all- I would be happy to provide sources and referencing if necessary. Monsieurdl mon talk-mon contribs 16:13, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

No doubt, but the successor states are usually those that directly conquered territory or seceded from another state. Cilicia was both de facto and de jure independent from the Byzantines long before the Mamelukes conquered them. The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia itself is a far better candidate for a "successor" than the Mamelukes. However, we should avoid cluttering the infobox, and since ultimately all these areas were conquered by the Ottomans, we don't really lose anything in accuracy. PS, Wallachia IMO is also extremely questionable, it should go. Cheers, Constantine 18:15, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
In that case, maybe a reduction to just the Ottoman Empire might be best? I was originally going to put the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, but it was extinguished over a full century before the fall of Constantinople. I thought it best to go with the Mamelukes, but your thought on not cluttering the infobox may be the best route. Monsieurdl mon talk-mon contribs

18:33, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Personally, keeping just the Ottomans and Venice would be fine. These were the two major successor powers, and the only ones who ruled directly from their conquest of Byzantine possessions until the early modern era. A case for the Byzantine successor states might also be made, for although their survival post-1453 was limited to a few years, Trebizond at least led a practically independent existence for well-nigh three centuries. However, before we do this, we should perhaps solicit some opinions from the other contributors, lest this turns into the usual revert mess. Constantine 18:39, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
Agreed! I'll set it up now to solicit opinion on the matter. Monsieurdl mon talk-mon contribs

18:47, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Support for reducing number of successor states in the infobox

As there are so many successor states that were left upon the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire, we should pare down the number of states in the infobox to the Ottoman Empire and Venice. I support this change as it reduces clutter and leaves the major states involved. We could always include a section detailing each successor state within the article if enough support is out there for it. Monsieurdl mon talk-mon contribs 18:54, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

  • Support per above. It might be also a good idea to create a list of the various successor states, and give it after the Ottomans & Venice. Constantine 18:58, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose, the current list of successors was discussed earlier on the talk page based on a criteria described there (please check the earlier discussions there). I think that it makes sense including the Empire of Trebizond, the Despotate of Morea and the Balkan Orthodox states, which had the same religion, a similar culture and took many elements from the empire's administration. Cody7777777 (talk) 06:25, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Infoboxes are bad enough as it is when it comes to accuracy of information. Having read the proposal, I still can not think of any valid reason why correct data should be omitted. --DIREKTOR (TALK) 09:46, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
That is why originally I wanted to add the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia to the list as it was a Byzantine protectorate and shared strong ties with them. I was just trying to respect the continuity of the "successor" idea- that area was in fact still under Mamluk control after the fall of Constantinople, and if the Ottoman Empire is included, along with these other little states, then to be technically correct, the Mamluk Empire must be added. I thought it to be easier just to pare it down rather than to get into a slugging match over these kinds of things. Monsieurdl mon talk-mon contribs

14:44, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

The criteria decided earlier on which successors should be included, was largely based on: surviving until the year 1453, having the same religion, similar culture, having similar organization and administration, and also having controlled some parts of the territory which was once part of the empire. The only exception for Islamic states was the Ottoman Empire, because, at least partially, their culture and organization also had more influences from the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire than other islamic states, the Ottoman sultan also claimed the title "Kayser-i Rûm" and they also had a larger (Eastern) Orthodox Christian population (called "Rum" or Romans in the islamic world) than other islamic states at that time (the Mamluk Sultanate had more miaphysite Christians). Venice was also included because it appeared as the result of a rebellion against the empire. Although, personally I don't really have too much problem with the inclusion of the Mamluk Sultanate, adding other islamic successor states could become necessary in that case, so I still think it is better to avoid including additional islamic states. Cody7777777 (talk) 22:17, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
How shares the "League of Lezhe", a loose confederation of Albanian clans, a "similar organization and administration" with the Byzantine Empire? Wallachia didn't even break away from the Byzantine Empire, why is it counted as a "successor"? Ragusa - Catholic, not Orthodox, and likewise very weak similarities in organization at best. Even with the criteria above, we can boil down the list to the Ottomans, Trebizond, Morea, Serbia, and Venice.
Edit: Generally, support, reduce the list as much as possible. I second the sentiment expressed by some in this discussion that Infoboxes should be as succinct as possible; they can and should generalize. Details belong to the article, nowhere else. Varana (talk) 23:08, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
About the Republic of Ragusa, I agree it is better to remove it (in fact, it was not even added when the above criteria was suggested) and perhaps the League of Lezhe can be removed as well (although I am still not very sure about that, since I think we should not consider the organization of the confederation, but the organization of the principalities that formed that confederation, and there may have been some influences in the organization of some of them). However, especially as long as Serbia is mentioned, Wallachia should also be mentioned. The following books[4][5][6][7] also support the mention of Wallachia as a successor state (and the rulers of Wallachia also helped economically the Ecumenical Patriarchate in administrating the Christian communities in the Ottoman Empire (the Rum Millet) longer than Serbia, and they also imitated the Emperors of Constantinople). Also, the list does not necessarily include only break-away states (for example, the Ottoman Empire, did not start as a break-away state), it includes states which had controlled before 1453, parts of the empire's territory (Wallachia did controlled earlier before 1453 the region of Dobruja south (or east) of the Danube), and actually, during the time of Constantine I, the Empire also extended into territories North of the Danube which later became Wallachia([8][9][10]), and the empire's influence North of the Danube, appears to have been maintained until Justinian I([11],[12]). Cody7777777 (talk) 06:44, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Infoboxes must burn in hell. Support complete removal of this entry from the box. A process as complex as the dissolution of the empire simply cannot be represented well in this fashion. Fut.Perf. 06:48, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Remove infobox. The Ottoman Empire is the clear successor state. Perhaps the Holy Roman Empire too. The Roman Empire is not a predecessor state, they are the same frigging state, but can't trust the mass hordes of enthusiasts not to re-add it. The mass-hordes can't be trusted with infoboxes on popular articles like this in general .... so they should be banned. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 08:37, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
    • Can we please leave wiki-politics out of this? For better or worse, infoboxes are a standard, and even required, feature in articles. And since merging this page into an enlarged Roman Empire article would not only let loose all kinds of trouble, but also contravene established conventions, the link back must stay, no matter what the Empire truly was (we've been through this issue in the naming dispute already). Again, while I agree with Fut Perf that "A process as complex as the dissolution of the empire simply cannot be represented well in this fashion", the feature is there, and is used in every other article too. Constantine 12:26, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
      • Wiki-politics? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 12:29, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
      • Incidentally, our civilization has a convention of early modern origin distinguishing the Roman Empire before c.330–800 period with the Roman Empire afterwards, calling the latter "Byzantine". That kind of thing happens and is fair enough, and we have a separate article. However, the hordes won't understand that it is just a convention, as many such things are. You could remove it from the i-box, but it get put back in. Thus the hordes can't be trusted to use infoboxes, and so the article would benefit from not having one ... 'tis all me is saying. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 12:36, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps, the predecessor should be described in the infobox as "Ancient Roman Empire", which currently is a redirect to Roman Empire (actually, in my opinion, the current Roman Empire article should be renamed as Ancient Roman Empire, and a new article called Roman Empire be made which would offer short overviews for all of its periods). Cody7777777 (talk) 22:17, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
This discussion is about the successors and not about the predecessors. Reduce the successors to 'Ottoman Empire', 'Empire of Trebizond', and 'Despotate of the Morea' (shouldn't it be 'Despotate of Morea'?). Flamarande (talk) 08:34, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm, so far the opinions expressed tend to favour the retention of Trebizond and the Morea (yes, it is "the Morea" or "the Peloponnese", just as properly it used to be "the Ukraine"). What about Venice? In many ways, it is a direct offspring of Byzantium, its activity was to a very large extent focused in Greece, and for long it was the main antagonist to the Ottomans over control of formerly Byzantine territories. Constantine 11:50, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't agree with Venice as a successor. Venice neither conquered/replaced the Byzantine Empire (as the Ottoman empire did) and it wasn't a Byzantine remnant either (like Trebizond and Morea). Flamarande (talk) 11:57, 24 October 2009 (UTC)
Regarding the Republic of Venice, I agree that it can be removed. I would propose the earlier criteria with a few modifications: surviving until 1453, rulers consider themselves heirs of the emperors, have the same religion (except the Ottomans), have occupied before 1453 parts of the empire's territory and have similar culture, organization (this actually also implies autocracy, despite the fact that the empire in earlier times called itself a "Republic") and administration. This way the Republic of Venice, League of Lezhe and the Republic of Ragusa could be excluded (leaving the Ottoman Empire, Trebizond, Morea, Serbia, Wallachia). (I should also add, that personally I don't have any problem with the current list which was stable enough for some time, and perhaps it should be noted that currently there are other articles' infoboxes, which include longer lists of successors, like in the case of the articles Holy Roman Empire, First French Empire, Austria-Hungary, Russian Provisional Government, Nazi Germany, Soviet Union and probably others.) Cody7777777 (talk) 10:17, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
@Flam, actually, the discussion is about both. @ The three of you, all these lists are too arbitrary. It's best not to have a successor/predecessor box at all. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 09:00, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
        • I know and appreciate your opinion. However, given that the infobox will be there for the foreseeable future, let's try to make the best of it. PS, the "wiki-politics" referred to the "Infoboxes must burn in hell" slogan. Perhaps an unfortunate choice of words on my part. Constantine 12:40, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
All I was trying to do was to include factual material in the infobox, not to bring a 'horde' mentality. We're discussing things here and rendering a consensus- and I completely understand that the Roman Empire most certainly is not a predecessor state- they were divided of course. Monsieurdl mon talk-mon contribs

14:49, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Just to clarify, I of course wasn't suggesting the complete removal of the whole box. My position is just that boxes should be restricted to those pieces of information that are simple and straightforward enough to be appropriately displayable in tabulated form. Anything that requires explanation to be properly understood shouldn't be in a box. As for the argument that some link back to Roman Empire must be present, that can easily be put into the timeline, along with the Ottoman Empire. Fut.Perf. 07:44, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
So, it is agreed that the successor/predecessor bit of the infobox should go then? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 09:01, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
I support the removal of the predecessor/successor section- sounds like a winner to me. Monsieurdl mon talk 11:06, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
In my opinion, the removal of these sections is not a very good idea (since most infoboxes of historic states usually include such sections, and they'll probably get re-added later anyway). As I said before, in case the current lists are changed, I would support the following lists "Predecessors: Ancient Roman Empire, Successors: Ottoman Empire, Empire of Trebizond, Morea, Serbia, Wallachia" (based on the criteria described above). Cody7777777 (talk) 21:03, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
  • What FPaS said. Infoboxes are an unmitigated evil, so it stands to reason that spending time arguing about what goes in them is a waste. If there's any dispute, and there is, we should go with no successor states. No infobox is apparently too much to hope for. Angus McLellan (Talk) 23:40, 26 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I hate to pee on everyones barbecue but there should ONLY one successor state - if any is to be listed, and that is carist Russia as the Third Rome until 1917, and the Morea as they were still part of the Empire - and that's all... This has been well documented by every major historian in the last century. "Venice" as a successor state, are you kidding? Does anyone remember the Fourth Crusade? Thats like saying Bonny and Clyde became FDIC bankers by robbing it... The Morea was still part of the Empire until 1461. Trebizond, Serbia, Wallachia and everyone else were break away states. I'm shocked that no one is mentioning the concrete fact that Russia should be the successor state - if any. Dinkytown (talk) 02:41, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
The main reason why the Grand Principality of Moscow was not included, was because it did not controlled any territory of the Eastern Roman Empire before 1453. (I would also add that the use of Third Rome for Russia seems to have appeared around 1510.) Cody7777777 (talk) 12:42, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Support Removal: After reading the archive section of this issue, I believe that we should nix the infobox. In my opinion, Russia (which was not mentioned in the archive) would be a far better - and exclusive candidate for this position than any one listed here. Territorial occupation should not be the criteria. Russia was far more the inheritor of Byzantine culture, religion, government and traditions, even while the Byzantine Empire was in exisistance, more so than Venice or any other candidate listed.
That's kind of absurd; no one has mentioned Russia except you, and Russia was not a territorial successor. It's like saying the US is a successor state of the Roman Empire. Adam Bishop (talk) 16:28, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not the only one who says this; George Ostrogorsky, among many others, draws the same conclusions. There is also precedent for this; look at Liberia - never an American government colony, imported American culture, government, educational system - even the language, yet was never occupied by the US government. Russia went further - importing their Orthodox religion to the point that they later *could* have been rightly classified as 'Defender of the Faith' of Orthodoxy. In addition, Russia and Byzantium had a far better working relationship (albeit a distant one) than any one else in Orthodoxy (save Ethiopia).
The most pressing thing to resolve - if we are going to have this in the infobox, is to clarify as to what is a "succeeding state". If that is not going to happen, then scape the infobox. Dinkytown (talk) 21:21, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm not denying that Russia also represented a successor of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, but as far as I know, these Infobox sections include the territorial occupation criteria on nearly all articles with such infoboxes (and I think that it makes sense to also include such a criteria among others). And Trebizond, Serbia and Wallachia were also the inheritors of "Byzantine culture, religion, government and traditions". And regarding Venice, I agree that it can be removed. Cody7777777 (talk) 19:27, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Cody - Your example of Nazi Germany is a good example of the intention of 'occupation' of the state, but I think this needs some clarification of the word 'succeed' for it to fly. If this can't be done, then I would propose deletion. Dinkytown (talk) 21:32, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Occupation, of course should not be the only criteria used for choosing successors in the infobox of this state (used alone, it would generate a list too long), but it should not be ignored. Earlier, the following criteria for determining successors used in this infobox was proposed (which I still support): surviving until 1453, have the same religion (except the Ottomans), have occupied before 1453 parts of the empire's territory, rulers consider themselves heirs of the emperors and have similar culture, organization (this also implies autocracy) and administration. I think these criteria would produce the following list: Ottoman Empire, Trebizond, Morea, Serbia and Wallachia. If necessary, we could of course, discuss changes of these criteria. Cody7777777 (talk) 23:47, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Whatever may be the merits of these arguments, they show one thing: if you have to go into this level of argument and personal interpretation in order to come up with a set of criteria for inclusion, that is the strongest indicator the whole thing ought to be thrown out. Infoboxes are only for things that are indisputably factual. Anything that is in need of interpretation, explanation, weighing up of priorities etc., just isn't what infoboxes are made for. Fut.Perf. 06:28, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, I realize that the infobox has problems regrettable (and I can understand why some users even want to remove the infobox, although I would not support that, since I would prefer that we should try to improve them as much as possible), but I still don't think that removing these sections of the infobox is the best solution, and I think there are obviously some states which can be considered successors (and in this case, I think it is not a very good idea to make that infobox give the impression that this state had no successors, especially since most infoboxes of historic states, at least as far as I know, include such sections, and in my opinion, even leaving the current list would still be better than the entire removal of the list). The above criteria were an attempt to determine which states were successors from multiple points of view (and in this way, closer successors). Cody7777777 (talk) 17:09, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
I would have to agree with Perfect. The criteria has to be very black and white and so far I haven't seen it. I can dispute the Ottoman inclusion as they are Muslim and there wasn't much of a bureaucracy left to inherit from the Byzantines after 1453. Byzantium's legacy is very far and wide, but not uniform. Dinkytown (talk) 13:09, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I support removing the infobox. I oppose everything else. Keep it bulky and ugly if it must stay, perhaps it will generate more opposition to itself that way. Srnec (talk) 04:32, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Ah, I'm with you here, though I'm gonna be more realistic and support the exclusion of only the suc/pre section. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:00, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
  • All right, from the moment Russia entered the game for inclusion, I am rather converted to removing the successor/predecessor links altogether. Constantine 18:03, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I support removing the predecessor/successor information, but not the infobox... and who in the world would ever believe Russia should be included? To be technically correct, it was the Grand Duchy of Moscow, or Muscovy, that was in existence at that time, NOT Russia. If I was drinking coffee, it probably would have come out of my nose... Russia a successor? That's funny. Monsieurdl mon talk 16:01, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
  • While you are cleaning up your snot-flavored coffee, you can enjoy the following quote from George Ostrogorsky:
"...Ivan III ...introduced Byzantine ceremonial into Moscow and soon made Russia the leader of the Christian East as Byzantium had once before. If Constantinople was the New Rome, Moscow was to become the 'Third Rome'. The great traditions of Byzantium, it's faith, its political ideas, its spirituality, lived on through the centuries in the Russian Empire." History of the Byzantine State, p.572.
So, what are you laughing about? Dinkytown (talk) 05:09, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
That's why I supported the removal completely, because 'successor states' could be taken as anything really, and to me it is best just to remove all hint of controversy over the matter. Embracing the idea of successor to Eastern Orthodoxy is one thing; to be a successor to the whole of what was the Byzantine Empire after 1453 is quite another matter entirely. I was laughing because the Empire had been surrounded and engulfed, and Muscovy could not have possibly fit the criteria for "successor state"- however, if you wish to claim successor by Eastern Orthodoxy alone, then it wouldn't appear here, but rather in the article Eastern Orthodox. Monsieurdl mon talk 12:08, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
The Grand Principality of Moscow or the Tsardom of Moscow should obviously not be included since they did not controlled any territory of the empire during their time, but the Russian Empire did controlled Crimea in the 18th century. In case, we include states (whose claims for being successors/heirs are described by sources and) which controlled parts of its territory not just before 1453, but also after 1453, the Russian Empire could also be included, in this way. Cody7777777 (talk) 13:17, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
While Russia was certainly a heir to Byzantium's civilization and ideology, the same goes for practically all Orthodox nations. However, the criteria for a "successor state" are more of a political than a cultural nature. Otherwise we could also add Serbia, Bulgaria and modern Greece to the list. I think it was Helene Ahrweiler who once remarked that "the modern Greek is essentially a Byzantine living in the shadow of the Acropolis", and similar things could be said for all Balkan nations (including the Turks, to an extent). Anyway, since a consensus will probably forever remain out of reach, Fut's suggestion seems best. Constantine 11:51, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Let's do it.
Praise Be To God then (albeit Orthodox, Catholic, Roman, Islam, Anglican, etc. - i.e. insert your God here....) - let us rejoice in the knowledge that we sing Kumbaya together and send this evil infobox content to the proper place in Hell, heaping coal upon this abomination before God. Let us do this before the San, Sami, Hmong, or Aborigines claim inheritance to the shining palace on the hill - the legacy of Byzantium. Lets us do this before its too late... Dinkytown (talk) 13:32, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Yea, let the spirits of Nicaea and Ephesus and Chalcedon rest in peace, and remove what is abhorrent from the infobox, for the whole of the infobox can yet be saved. Ivan III is not Terrible in mine eyes; that I can assure you! Monsieurdl mon talk 13:47, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Just a minor note (although it may not be necessary), Ivan IV was called the "Terrible", because he was considered to "inspire fear" in his enemies, not necessarily because he would had been a horrible or cruel ruler. Cody7777777 (talk) 18:37, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

In my opinion, removing the successors list, could give the impression that the infobox claims that there are no successors (especially since, most infoboxes of historic states, include these sections), and I don't think that this will improve the infobox. Although, my first choice regarding this issue remains the crieria described earlier above, for me the following revised criteria could also be an acceptable alternative: have occupied parts of the empire's territory (both before and after 1453, but listed chronologically in such cases), sources describe their claims to be successors/heirs after 1453, have the same religion (except the Ottomans) and have similar culture and organization (this also implies autocracy). I think these revised criteria would generate something similar to the following list: Empire of Trebizond, Ottoman Empire, Morea, Serbia, Wallachia, Russian Empire (they occupied Crimea in the 18th century), perhaps the Kingdom of Greece could also be included (as it was initially an "absolute monarchy", in this way similar to an "autocracy", I could be forgetting other states, but I don't think the list will get too long, and there are anyway other aricles' infoboxes with longer lists of successors). Cody7777777 (talk) 13:17, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

How about in lue of the infobox successor state content, we have a section titled "Byzantium's Legacy". This could easy be an entire article on to itself. Everyone could go into their own detail with far less conflict and be far more informative, with a sub-section of "Russia", "Serbia", ect. with description of Byzantium's influance. There could never be any agreement on the infobox content. There could be a sub-section for each country - of course with the heaven inspired citations... Dinkytown (talk) 16:49, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
That sounds like a great idea that I can support fully, which could resolve the entire matter! Monsieurdl mon talk 00:41, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Unless there are no other objections, I would move that we removed the successor states infobox and follow the above remedeies... Dinkytown (talk) 18:09, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
Making a new article about the empire's legacy is clearly a good idea and such an article should obviously be made, but this doesn't seem too much related with the infobox, and I still think that removing the successors section will not improve that infobox, so in my opinon it is better to have them both. In my opinion, a list of successors, including Trebizond, the Ottomans, Morea, Serbia, Wallachia, Russia and Greece seems reasonable enough, I don't think there is too much left to add, and I don't see any problem with this proposed list of successors. Cody7777777 (talk) 20:25, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
This is why we're going to support the section Byzantine legacy in order to include everything relevant, and remove the infobox successors to make it right for all. Monsieurdl mon talk 00:26, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
The lack of clear definition of "successors" was the reason why we need Byzantine legacy article or paragraph and the infobox should be burned. The infobox becomes meaningless unless there is context to the statement within, which it doesn't have. I haven't discussed the merits - or lack thereof, of most of those included in the box, but I could debate that. That would take forever as everyone puts their finger in the pie. The infobox content becomes too controversial, thats why it should be removed. Dinkytown (talk) 04:28, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
There is a section called "Legacy" which could indeed need some improvements, but it is better to add more information in a new (sub-)article about the empire's legacy, since this article is already quite long by Wikipedia's standards. But still, the problems of the infobox is a separate issue from that section or from a possbile new article regarding the empire's legacy, and removing this infobox section could still give the impression that the infobox claims there are no successors (since most of these infoboxes include those sections, and it could also make this infobox look somewhat weird, compared to the others). I still cannot understand why the new proposed list of successors above is controversial, what else exactly do you want to add (or remove)? (I'm not against adding other orthodox states, if they are supported by sources and have also occupied at some point former territories of the empire). Also, as far as I see, a list of 7 or 8 successors is not very long (for example, the infobox of the article Russian Provisional Government currently has 14 successors, Austria-Hungary's infobox also has around 13 at the moment, and the infobox of Soviet Union currently 15. (And, even if you would "burn" this infobox, it would probably be "risen back from its ashes" after some time, in my opinion it would be better if we decide on a less controversial list of successors than the current, improve the "Legacy" section and also make the new proposed article.) Cody7777777 (talk) 07:57, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
You are bringing up exactly why we should remove it completely. First, there should be no requirement for a successor state to be orthodox- the Austria-Hungary article obviously runs the gamut with respect to peoples. Second, the successors goes down so far that it just doesn't look right. With Byzantine legacy, you can include other states such as the Kingdom of Armenia that technically were not in existence in 1453 without worry, along with every successor that you could tie to the Empire as a true legacy.Monsieurdl mon talk 12:50, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Please provide the sources which describe the Kingdom of Armenia as a successor/heir of this state. (And as I said before, I'm not against imroving the current "Legacy" section nor against making a new article about the empire's legacy, in fact I believe that doing such an article is a good idea, but that doesn't mean that this infobox section should be removed.) Cody7777777 (talk) 21:37, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
The Soviet Union, Austria-Hungary, and the Russian Provisional Governments are all states that have 'broken up' in a very short period of time and for very few reasons. This is not the case for Byzantium. Thats why the infobox content would be problematic. Under the present listed infobox national candidates, I can prove, with solid academic sources, on why the United States - yes, the US, is a 'successor' state of Byzantium, far more stronger than the Kingdom of Armenia. I also can provide solid sources as to why the Ottoman Empire should not be listed as a 'successor' state. There are many states that can draw a 'legacy', but not succeeded from Byzantium directly. There is a far more historical 'gray' in this present standard, than your other examples listed above. Lets move on to the legacy and remove the infobox content. Dinkytown (talk) 14:12, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Hear, hear! You stated it better than I attempted to- I hope that logic is understood! Monsieurdl mon talk 15:25, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
Please provide the sources which describe the United States as a successor/heir of this state, and also the sources which claim that the Ottoman Empire is not a successor state (there are sources which describe it as a successor/heir[13][14][15][16][17],[18][19], others could also be found). Only those which are described by sources as successors/heirs should be included, no original research should be included. (And unless that list gets extremely long, like more than 15 states (actually, I would expect less than 10 states), I have to say, that I don't see what is the problem with that section.) Cody7777777 (talk) 21:37, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
I have agree with Cody on this issue. Please provide us with these "solid academic sources, on why the United States - yes, the US, is a 'successor' state of Byzantium" asap. Flamarande (talk) 22:24, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
I am not going to carry out that argument because that is not the issue. The issue is what is the definition of 'successor state' and what context can that be applied to the infobox? That has not been settled yet. Who gets put in there will be based on that context. If there is no context, the infobox should be removed. Cody, your standard is a fixed number; ideally less than ten, yet not more than fifteen. Why a number? Define the definition of successor state before we can move on this debate. Dinkytown (talk) 00:20, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
I thought we already solved this whole infobox problem with the legacy section, and the complete removal of the successor section of the infobox. I still don't see why we should keep it, because if we do, the definition of a successor state is clear- A successor state is a state that takes over some or all of the territory, assets, treaty obligations and rights from a previously well-established state (the predecessor state). Based upon this definition, the Mamluk Empire and any other Empire that claimed the territory of the previous Byzantine Empire must be included, irregardless of religious or cultural strength of ties. That is my requirement for keeping it; abide by the definition of a successor state, and don't pick and choose. Monsieurdl mon talk 12:38, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually, we don't really need a definition of a successor state (and I realize now, that attempting to do one, could lead to original research), all that is actually necessary, is for the sources to describe them (or their claims) as successors/heirs, and I don't see what is controversial about this (and there is no "picking and choosing" here). Also, please provide the sources which consider the Mamluk Empire as a successor/heir to this empire (and then we'll have to add it in the infobox). Cody7777777 (talk) 18:00, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

My opinion on this is the following: A large list of successor states may be very interesting as information but also may be so large not to be useful. I mean, that list could even become an article on its own!--Michael X the White (talk) 16:43, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

The list should be reduced to: 'Empire of Trebizond, Ottoman Empire, and Morea'. Flamarande (talk) 22:24, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Support removing the successor information. An infobox is a poor way to present something like this. Tom Harrison Talk 13:47, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Based upon comments made here, I have compiled the results so far:

Consensus for removal of successor states and the addition of a section titled Byzantine legacy:



  • Before idea of legacy section was presented

I would say that so far, we have a pretty good consensus that supports removal of the successor states. Monsieurdl mon talk 14:43, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

If some sates are described by sources as successors/heirs, I don't see any good reason why they should not be mentioned in the infobox, and I don't understand what exactly is controversial about this, as far as I see removing it does not look like an improvement. Also, there is already a section called "Legacy", which should indeed be improved (but most of the new information should better be added in a new (sub-)article about the empire's legacy, since this article is already quite long by Wikipedia's standards, it has around 128 KB). And, improving the section (and making a new article) about the empire's legacy (which I also support), does not mean that infobox section about the successors should be removed (removing this infobox section could give the impression that the infobox claims there are no successors, since most of these infoboxes include those sections, and it could make this infobox look somewhat weird, compared to those from other articles). Also, please note that "Polling is not a substitute for discussion" (and actually, I don't think that the list you compiled, can describe very accurately the opinions of all the users (and it does not actually include all the persons) who have posted in this debate). Cody7777777 (talk) 18:00, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh puh-leeeeze. This is a very clear consensus, and the discussion has gone on more than enough. Just because you, more or less alone, still don't agree doesn't mean you can block this consensus forever. Of course, we all know you possess the tenacity to keep this debate running for weeks or months, but that's not how consensus in Wikipedia works. We will enforce this consensus now; please don't obstruct it. Fut.Perf. 18:15, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Please explain the reasons why that infobox section should be removed and why it is controversial (currently the only explanation I have seen, is that some users, don't like that infobox section, I'm sorry to say this, but at least in my opinion, this looks like WP:JUSTDONTLIKEIT). Cody7777777 (talk) 18:37, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Who is polling? As the section in WP:POLLING states, "consensus is an inherent part of a wiki process. When conflicts arise, they are resolved through discussion, debate and collaboration. Polling, while not forbidden, should be used with care, if at all, and alternatives should be considered." We debated the proper course, which was not removing the infobox, adding all of the states, or deleting the states with no other action, but removing the states AND creating a place for each successor where their roles can be adequately represented. I know that Wikipedia is not a democracy, but it was clear to me that after a huge amount of debate and discussion on the subject, it was time to show who supported and who opposed the course of action. Like Fut.Perf. said, you can't simply endlessly hold up a decision until the course of action matches your opinion. Sometime a decision has to be made, and you are welcome to bring it before ArbCom if you wish to have a decision rendered regarding the edit. The REASONS have already been stated above in discussion, and so I don't understand why you are asking this question... Monsieurdl mon talk 18:40, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry to say this, but regrettably there were no clear reasons above for removing that section, only an unexplained claim that is controversial, I can only assume that there are no clear reasons for this. (And, I don't think that a poll can describe a discussion too accurately, and in case it is necessary to specify, in your compiled list above you have not included the opinions of user:Srnec and user:Michael IX the White.) Also, there were no improvements done yet to the legacy section, nor the legacy sub-article was made (they should have been done before removing that section, although that doesn't represent a reason to remove it). Cody7777777 (talk) 20:17, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
  • I know this debate has been going on for a while and a lot of loose ends got lost. I will try to summerise the reason for the controversy. All this rests on the concept of what is a 'successor state'. I never saw a clear definition of this concept. As far as I saw, a successor state could be...

1) Territorial successor: which can include every country that existed from 565-1453 covering the region from Southern Spain to Armenia, from northern Italy to Egypt - dozens of Medieval nation states;

2) Cutural Successor: a half dozen Orthodox states, Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Wallachia, Greece, Armenia, maybe a few others;

3) No Successor States: as they were all eaten up by the non-successor state Ottoman Empire...

4) Military successor: Ottoman Empire, then Hapsburg Spain, then Britian, then France, then Britain (again), then US, etc... This is just what I could think of. There was never a clear definition of 'successor'. The Roman Empire successor was very clear -->Byzantinum. However, for the Byzantine Empire, it is not as clear, but it had left a very strong legacy and impact on many cultures for many reasons. We should understand and respect this. The infobox content would/can say nothing about that legacy.

I understand the people had a lot of personal/emotional investment in this article - me included... I have been in awe of Byzantium ever since I first read the Time-Life book Byzantium when I was in seventh grade - that was over thirty-five years ago... I have since made a pilgrimage to Istanbul a few years ago and will again some day. Everyone here wants a good Byzantine article, and I recognize that. This debate was not waisted effort. Everyone in this debate played fair, was respectful (and at times comical), and all our efforts were in good faith. Lets all work together on creating a "Byzantine Empire's Legacy" article. We have more debates/fights ahead of us on this article. Lets make an article stronger than the Walls of Theodosius. Take Care... Dinkytown (talk) 21:25, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Actually, attempting to define a "successor state" could lead to Original Research (which should obviously be avoided, and I realize that I have done this mistake earlier), only states which were described by sources as successors/heirs should've been included. (So, for example, France, the Mamluk Empire, Britain or the US should not be included if there are no sources which explicitly describe them as successors/heirs.) Cody7777777 (talk) 22:37, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
The term has already been defined, and I listed it here. The Mamluk Empire fits this definition, and it is sourced. The diplomatic relations with the Mamluks, who controlled Cilicia and the region of the Taurus, was established. The Ottoman conquest did not, however, remove this control until well after 1453. This, however, is not the point- the point is that consensus has been created, and we can all freely add to the section with a lot of really good material, vice an infobox with a long, hefty list of successor states. Monsieurdl mon talk 00:48, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
As already said before, attempting to define a successor state is Original Research (and yes, I also did this mistake before), and determining who are the successors (regardless of what definition is used) is also WP:OR. To avoid Original Research, only those which are described by sources as successors/heirs should be included (and I do not understand what could be controversial about this). If you wish to add the Mamluk Empire, please provide the sources which describe the Mamluk Empire (or their claims) as a successor/heir for this state (the sources must explicitly include the words "successors" or "heirs" when describing them in this way), and then I'll even support its inclusion there, along with other sourced states. (Also, the problems of the infobox are a separate issue from the legacy section/article issue, the infobox will still look weird without that section (even giving the impression that this state had no successors), regardless what other sections or articles are made.) Cody7777777 (talk) 19:39, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

It is a colossal task to define which state is a successor state and which is none. Most states, from Spain to Russia, can claim this! And their claims could be very strong, while it might be considered POV judging who's a successor and who is not. I think we should just say that the Empire fell to the Turks, but its cultural and political heritage was left to the entire world (or something).--Michael X the White (talk) 21:19, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Well, fortunately we don't actually need to determine who is successor or not, (doing that could lead to Original Research, and) which could have also been indeed a colossal task, the sources can tell us who are the successors (and actually I don't even expect such a list to get longer than 10 states described by sources as successors/heirs, but of course, I could be wrong). Cody7777777 (talk) 19:39, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

As a compromise, I would propose that instead of adding states in that infobox successor section, the new article about the empire's legacy is added there once it is made, so in this way the infobox could direct the readers to the legacy article (although this does not seem to be an usual practice, and I still support a list of successor states supported by sources). However, if no one will actually start that legacy article, I intend to restore the infobox successor list. Cody7777777 (talk) 19:41, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Historical division of Byzantine history

I have finally added two out of three missing parts of the subsections required for the history of the Byzantine Empire. This is the list that I will be creating a template off of, much like the History of Greece employs:

*History of Early Byzantium

+new additions split off

The additions are somewhat weak in material for now, but at least it is a start, and it is late and I am tired! Monsieurdl mon talk 06:43, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

IMO, "Early Byzantium" is not a good term, it should be split into the Constantinian and Theodosian dynasties. However, in both cases we are dealing with periods where the Empire was still whole, i.e. the western half still existed. In addition, Constantinople did not definitively become the permanent capital oft he East until the 360s. Thus I am not sure in how far "Byzantium" alone is suitable for this period. Also, better don't use the Palaiologan flag in the infoboxes. It really only applies to that dynasty, seeing it for articles on the 4th century is odd. Constantine 10:49, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
This is why I put this into a list, for this sort of brainstorming before a lot of links and time is put into the article- thank you for your comments!
I can split the History of Early Byzantium into two distinct articles, but I have another problem- the division of the Empire of course occurred in the 3rd century, but the main article begins at 330 AD. Also, with your concerns comes a question, one that I am sure will provoke numerous responses, but has to be asked- if the Palaiologan flag is not appropriate for the entire series, then why is it have a prominent place within the infobox, and exists in Roman Empire as a successor state? That's a mystery to me... If you notice in Byzantium under the Angeloi, I have added the arms of Doukas to reflect the Despotate of Epirus, and so I'd also like comments on that as well. Would we need to create an icon that would completely represent the entire Byzantine Empire if needed? I'm not worried about the article text near as much as accuracy of the media used. Help is most appreciated.
I took your advice and split the articles, as listed above. Monsieurdl mon talk 13:41, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
For the flag, infobox guidelines state that we use the last flag used by a particular state or other entity, and luckily, we have that for Byzantium. But it is in no way representative of the whole Byzantine history. Also, for the template, you ought to be aware that traditionally, Byzantine history is divided into three major eras: early Byzantine (or late Roman/East Roman), which depending on the historian ends either in 565 or with Heraclius' reign or death (the latter is more popular, since it is also generally held to mark the end of Late Antiquity), middle Byzantine, which stretches either until ca. 1081 or all the way up to 1204, and late Byzantine, from then until the fall of the Empire. Personally, I think that, social and cultural criteria being the most important for determining such periods, the end of the middle Byzantine period should come in 1081. The Komnenian state had different social structure (largely nobility/feudal based), different military structure, and different enemies in both West and East, a different, post-Schism religious situation, etc. In most ways the Palaiologan state was a direct continuation rather than anything new, so it makes sense to group them together. Constantine 14:06, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Based upon the available sourcing for banners, I included the 395 banner that includes the cross and labarum on the red background. Since the labarum alone was used in the Western Roman Empire article, I stuck with the 395 banner.
I am afraid this 396 banner, and other similar flags uploaded in Commons, have no basis in historical evidence. They originated here in Greece, as supposed "reconstructions", but they are not based on any actual sources. Flags were not used either way in the modern sense... I do not really see a problem with using the same Chi-Rho design as for the WRE, since it is prominently displayed on coins, sceptres, etc as a sort of "state symbol". Constantine 12:19, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
I was leery of the use based upon conjecture, and so that's why I came back here again for thoughts. I'll make the changes to use the Chi-Rho, which I wanted to use in the first place. Awesome- thanks! Monsieurdl mon talk 16:10, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
It is difficult to divide the whole history of the Empire into smaller subsections, but I have done my very best to maintain the format initially created for the other missing subsections. Now the difficult task can begin of providing the material. Monsieurdl mon talk 18:23, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
I don't know if this fits anywhere (or, indeed, if it should be merged with something else), but we also have Byzantine civilisation in the twelfth century. Adam Bishop (talk) 16:50, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
That's a great idea- I'll examine the material and ask if we can merge it with our subsection on the talk page. Monsieurdl mon talk 18:23, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Request for date to be added

Since it's so important in giving an overall context, I'd like to see a date against the statement in the lead section:

"... an important point is the Emperor Constantine I's transfer of the capital from Nicomedia (in Anatolia) to Byzantium on the Bosphorus ..."

I believe the lead should say when this happened, not relegate that information to a footnote. The footnote gives a date of 381 for the first recorded use of the name "New Rome", but I don't just want to plug in that date as I'm not sure it necessarily corresponds to the date of the "transfer of the capital". If the date of this transfer is a bit woolly and open to interpretation then I guess we could just say "4th century"; it would be better than nothing.

Anyone knowledgeable fancy doing this? (talk) 21:02, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

There is no doubt whatsoever that when Constantinople was started, this meant that Nicomedia would be supplanted as the capital, for that was the wish of Constantine. It was this way from the moment his son became a Caesar, and so it is accurate. The year would have to be 324, the very year it was founded. Monsieurdl mon talk 23:09, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
I have added this date of 324 to the relevant section. (talk) 02:05, 22 November 2009 (UTC).


Further to my post immediately above, I just noticed that this article says:

"The first instance of the designation "New Rome" in an official document is found in the canons of the First Council of Constantinople (381) ..."

whereas at Nicomedia it says:

"Constantine mainly resided in Nicomedia as his interim capital city for the next six years, until in 330 he declared the nearby Byzantium as Nova Roma, which eventually became known as Constantinople ..."

Do these dates contradict each other? (talk) 21:06, 21 November 2009 (UTC).

The second statement is inaccurate, as there is no evidence that Constantine ever called the city "Nova Roma". The city was perhaps first known as "Second Rome", or, perhaps more probably (since that name is attested in the 330s, unlike the other two) simply as "Constantinople" straight from the beginning. Iblardi (talk) 21:20, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
No, it is not inaccurate according to Treadgold in A History of Byzantine State and Society. On page 39, he writes that "Constantine formally refounded the city of Byzantium, giving it the name of New Rome.". Hate to burst bubbles.. LOL Monsieurdl mon talk 23:09, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, this is what we often read, but does Treadgold refer to a source for his statement? It appears to contradict the information given in the Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum 164, 2005, which treats the naming issue at some length. Iblardi (talk) 23:45, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes... Timothy Barnes's book Constantine and Eusebius (1981) from the Bibliographic Survey of Chapter One. I would have thought that as he was a Byzantine scholar, it would be sufficient, but then again, when does everyone agree on anything? Monsieurdl mon talk 00:04, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Sounds interesting. Can you cite it? Iblardi (talk) 00:12, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
I have found it on Google Books... it is from page 212: "On 8 November 324, Constantine invested his son Constantius with the imperial purple and formally marked out the perimeter of the new city. The emperor named it "New Rome," but most of his subjects preferred to call it Constantinople, after its founder." Footnote: Codex Theodosianus 13.5.7 (334): urbis quam aeterno nomine lubente deo donavimus ; Origo 30; Eutropius, Brev 10.8.1. The title "New Rome" appears to be attested as early as 324/25 by Publilius Optatianus Porfyrius, Carm. 4.6. Monsieurdl mon talk 00:20, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, thanks for the reference. The Codex Theodosianus, however, says that by 334, Constantinople had been "doted with the/an eternal name", [20] which is not the same as saying that Constantinople was originally called "New Rome". If we take "aeternum nomen" to refer to Rome, this does not imply that Constantine called the city "New Rome" any more than it may have been "Second Rome" ("Deutera Rhome"), which is the form reported by Socrates of Constantinople. It may also be a bit rash to take the form "New Rome" as used by the poet Optatianus Porfyrius as evidence for the city's official name. Note that the source that you cite mentions it as an attestation of the name as such, not necessarily of its official use. Iblardi (talk) 01:13, 22 November 2009 (UTC)
Officially no because the choice of the people was Constantinople, but according to The Carmina by him, it was called "New Rome". That's the whole crux of it.. we can make it so that it is stated as not the official name if need be... 01:47, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Map Byzantine Empire 1045.svg

The map is incorrect and non-academic. Transylvania was integral part of Hungary (look English Britannica or German Brockhaus Encyclopedias), city of Buda and city of Pest did not exist until the 13th century. Croatia was more little in the 11th century. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:10, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

The real name of the Byzantine Empire

This medieval state was known as "Ρωμανία/Romania" by its inhabitants and its neighbours. The name Byzantine Empire is a conventional and established by historians. The "Byzantine" refers to the very oldest Athenian colony "Byzantion", which was later renamed Constantinople by transferring of the Roman capital from Rome to Byzantion. I propose the name vasilia ton Romeon (which was not historical fact) that exists in the right column be changed to "Ρωμανία/Romania". The name of the page of course should remain as Byzantine Empire not to be confused with the European country Romania.-- (talk) 16:30, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Dimboukas (talk) 22:08, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
I also agree with this proposal. (I think the names included in the infobox in this case should be "Ρωμανία","Rhōmanía" and "Romania".) Cody7777777 (talk) 14:07, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Shouldn't all articles in Wikipedia refer to the empire as [b]The Eastern Roman Empire[/b]? The term Byzantine is one made up by historians much later on. The people at the time even referred to themselves as Roman D(r)ead End (talk) 11:43, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

We aren't meant to correct the mistakes of the ages. The Engish Wiki should reflect the English language, and not improve it. English books, films, TV documentaries, etc overwhelmingly use Byzantine Empire. In other words the name of the article will NOT change anytime soon. Flamarande (talk) 21:01, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Not to mention this is a perennial question. We could add a FAQ section at the top of the page to deal with this, so as to avoid this question being raised all the time. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 23:16, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, as already said sometime before, the term "Byzantine" has subjective pejorative connotations (this can be checked in the following English sources[21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30], so probably this is the reason why this question is asked so many times), and pejorative terms should normally be avoided on Wikipedia (since they are quite obviosuly against its "Neutral Point of View" rule, which is considered a fundamental principle (or "pillar") of Wikipedia). Also, at least in my opinion, it seems somewhat strange to have an article titled "Sultanate of Rûm", while this article is called "Byzantine Empire" (it could even confuse some readers, and it is nearly like saying that the Turks are more "Roman" than the Romans). The English term "Eastern Roman Empire" is also in common usage (and as far as I know, it doesn't have pejorative connotations). So, since there are actually some problems with the term "Byzantine", I have to say, that I can't really understand what is wrong with people who ask this question. Cody7777777 (talk) 13:37, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Let us not reopen this can of worms, shall we? It has been debated to death far too many times already. Until scholarly usage at least changes from the overwhelming use of "Byzantine", we stick with that. Constantine 13:44, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Sorry Constantine, i think you are obviously Greek and biased. They called themselves Romans, I think its convenient that you dont want this debated. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:58, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

I guess the German and British scholars who named it "Byzantine Empire" were also Greek and biased. Not to mention Encyclopedia Britannica, the well known Greek and biased encyclopedia. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 07:08, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Actually, it is quite plausible that the British and German scholars used any label they settled on pejoratively, because the "Empire of the Greeks" and the states of medieval Western Europe had a long history of difficult relations and mutual distrust.
Those scholars settled on "Byzantine", so that is the word that became tainted. We are stuck with that, just as we are stuck with tainted words in many other domains. That is not a reason to use the tainted word if there are reasonable alternatives. And even if historians have freed themselves from the influence of the taint, that does not justify using such a word within WP if the public, i.e., the primary users of WP, still recognizes the taint.
We are much better off titling this article "Eastern Roman Empire", and redirecting a new "Byzantine Empire" page to it. (Note that the content of this page is fine. This is purely a titling issue.) Jmacwiki (talk) 19:04, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
what an ill-informed discussion! The universal scholarly description is "Byzantine". It would be ridiculous to refer to it as "Roman". Sure, until 1204 (not 1453) there was theoretical continuity with the Roman empire. But from the time of the Emperor Zeno to that of Emperor Heraclius the empire clearly morphed from the Eastern Roman Empire of late antiquity into a medieval Greek Empire (I'm not Greek by the way). The major differences being (a) the "fall" of the West (how do you have a Roman Empire without Rome?) (b) the supremacy of Greek language, political customs and culture over Latin/Roman, which became extinct in the empire; (c) the significant territorial differemce between "Byzantium" and East Roman Empire with the losses to the Arabs and (to some extent) the slavs. "Byzantium" is clearly a successor state to the Roman Empire but certainly had pretensions to continuity from, it's fair to say, a propaganda point of view. for most of its history it did indeed describe itself as 'Roman'. But it's not true that (as someone above says) that it was always known as "Romania" by inhabitants and locals. Westerners from the 9th century regularly referred to the empire as "of the Greeks" not Romans. For example, Luitprand of Cremona refers to incidents in the 10th cent. where westerners give offence to the Byzantines by referring to the Basileus as 'Emperor of the Greeks'. Even Anna Komnena in the 11th century sometimes refers to 'Byzantion' in the Alexiad (although admitedly she normally refers to 'Romans'). Even in Byzantium, after the restoration by the Palaiologoi, it became the vogue to refer to themselves as 'Hellenes' rather than 'Romans', as the Byzantines began to cherish their 'pagan' archaic Greek roots over the Christian 'Roman' ones. Otiose99 (talk) 22:30, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I have to say, that I do not understand why it would be "ridiculous" to refer to this state as the "Roman Empire", as far as I know, it is a well known fact among scholars that the "Byzantine empire was the Roman empire", and there are also scholarly sources which claim that the "Roman Empire did not come to an end until 1453". And the Romans were not just restricted to the city of Rome (which ceased to be the "de facto" capital of the Empire after 285), following the Edict of Caracalla in 212, most of the people living in the Empire were Romans, regardless of their origins, and after Constantine, the new capital Constantinople was considered to be the Second/New Rome. And in my opinion, this Empire cannot be considered as just a Greek Empire after the 7th century, since even if the official language was Greek, the Empire still had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history, it was only in the 14th-15th centuries that a Greek ethnic dominance became clearly evident (and actually, it should also be noted, that ancient Roman culture, was considerably based on ancient Greek culture). Regarding Anna Komnene, as far as I know, she uses "Byzantion" only when referring to Constantinople (and she does this, because she wants to imitate ancient sources, for example, in the Alexiad the Turks are also called Persians, while the Pechenegs are also referred as Scythians), but when she refers to all of the Empire's citizens, she calls them "Romans". Cody7777777 (talk) 13:17, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Firstly, there was no continuity to 1453 only 1204. The main point is (and scholarship is united on this) the 'Byzantime Empire' was a different polity to the 'Roman Empire'. You will not find any serious scholarship suggesting otherwise. This is the real reason why it's given a different name. It's a successor state almost in the same way as one could describe the barbarian successor states in the West. Perhaps some people fail to grasp this because there isn't a neat point where one ends and the other starts. Nevertheless it changes and is different. The titles of a few books (you cite) don't change this. You are incorrect on the Empire's ethnic make-up. With the fall of the east to the arabs and north balkans to the slavs the Empire becomes a Greek entity (albeit with minorities). Don't forget Anatolia was at this time largely Greek-speaking and culturally Greek. In fact there is scholarly discussion about how one of the strains imposed by the Macedonian revival in the 10th/11th centuries (particularly with Basil II's acquisitions) was inclusion of large non-Greek populations - something the Byzantines had not had to deal with since the 7th century. DeCausa (talk) 18:46, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
It can be said that there was continuity between 1204 and 1453 through the so-called "Empire of Nicaea" (Constantine Laskaris, the brother of Theodore I Lascaris, was proclaimed emperor in Constantinople just before the fall of the city in 1204, and he and his brother retreated to Nicaea, where they established a new capital of the Empire). As far as I know, historians use the expression "Byzantine Empire" to distinguish between the ancient Roman period and the medieval Roman period, this does not necessarily mean that they consider it to be a different state, and there are enough scholarly sources which support the fact this state was a continuation of the Roman Empire (and this means it was not just a different successor state), and the sources claiming that the Roman Empire ended in 1453 seem to be serious enough, at least in my opinion. And the fact that its culture changed over time, does not mean it can no longer be the same state (cultures change anyway in time), and I do not think that medieval/Byzantine Roman culture can be described simply as a Greek culture, it could rather be described as a complex mixture of ancient Roman, Greek, Oriental and Christian elements (and in my opinion, I think there were more similarities between ancient Greek and ancient Roman cultures than between ancient Greek and Byzantine Roman cultures). And regarding Anatolia, its ethnic situation is still open to debate, but it is very probable that "there was no complete linguistic homogeneity in Asia Minor in the seventh century", and there are sources which claim that in "the eighth and ninth centuries the Byzantine empire continued to embrace many nations differing from the Greeks in language and manners.". Except the Greeks, there are also several other populations known to have lived in Anatolia during these times, such as Phrygians, Galatians, Isaurians, Paphlagonians, Cappadocians, and also others (later, some Slavs were also settled in Anatolia). And even if these people were becoming more hellenised, that doesn't mean they couldn't still be a distinct people, what clearly united most of these Anatolian people was their Chalcedonian Orthodox faith (although, some Phrygians were actually montanists), and there were also many Armenians living in eastern Anatolia (some Armenians were also settled in Thrace), but since most of them were non-Chalcedonians, they were usually seen as being separate from the Romans (or "Rhomaioi"). And in the 7th century, the Empire still controlled parts of Italy and North Africa, which had many Latin speakers (and it is also probable that some Latin-speaking minorities still remained in the Balkan remnant of the Empire, even after the Slavs took most of the other Balkan provinces). Cody7777777 (talk) 13:07, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
This is a little silly. No serious Byzantine academic talks about the "medieval Roman period". it doesn't exist. You only really use Bury to support this. Hardly convincing. There's obviously elements of truth in the points you make about specifics - that can be done for any historical lable. (Although I don't really see that the existence of other ethnic groups in Anatolia has any bearing on the dominance of Greek language and culture there, which long pre-dates the Byzantine period) That only goes to demonstrate that simplistic period labelling ("the middle ages began on X", "the renaissance began on Y" etc) is normally unhelpful. The extremity of your view - that "a" Roman Empire existed around the environs of Constantinople in 1453 is simply misleading. The vast majority of serious modern academics do not talk about "East Roman" after the 7th century because it is misleading to do so. In fact, the normal scholarly implication of using the phrase "East Roman Empire" is that it's a reference to the empire in late antiqity upto the 6th/7th centuries. It's a different polity after that!! You can check any academic modern bibliograpy of Byzantine history to get the point.DeCausa (talk) 14:37, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
There are indeed historians who claim that the "Byzantine Empire" is the result of the changes in the "Eastern Roman Empire" during the 7th/8th centuries, but in my opinion, this does not necessarily mean that the "Byzantine Empire" was a different state, I think they could simply mean that the "Byzantine Empire" represented a "changed Roman Empire" (as this book also claims "the Byzantine Empire was only a continuation of the Roman government under a reformed system"), and I have to say, that I have not yet seen some sources making the explicit claim that the "Byzantine Empire" was not still the "Roman Empire", and as far as I know, there are also historians who use the expressions "Eastern Roman Empire" and "Byzantine Empire" as synonyms, but indeed "Byzantine" is more often used when describing the later periods. Regarding, the expression "medieval Roman Empire", there are some sources which use it to refer to this Empire, (the expression "Byzantine Roman Empire" also seems to always refer to this state), the historian John Haldon also claims that "Byzantine might be paraphrased by the more long-winded medieval eastern Roman empire, for that is, in historical terms, what Byzantium really meant.". Regarding, John Bagnall Bury, I think his views are still significant today (although, I'm not claiming here that all scholars unanimously agree with all of his views), he wrote some important history books about this state, and his books were republished many times (even as recently as 2010, and some sources even describe him as "master of East Roman history"), so I do not think that his views can be just simply ignored. (I would also add, that in my opinion, it seems somewhat strange to refer to the Seljuk Sultanate of Anatolia as the "Sultanate of Rûm" while referring to this state as the "Byzantine Empire".) Cody7777777 (talk) 21:17, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I just want to point out that the 2010 "republication" is not a real publication; that's just some company reprinting texts they found on Google Books or whatever. (I'm always surprised by the number of people who are confused about that, especially when they are used as Wikipedia references.) Also, the person who called Bury a "master" is Harold Lamb, a novellist, not an historian. I'm not questioning Bury's importance but Lamb is hardly an expert (Bury was probably all he knew how to find...). Anyway, this argument is rather silly, isn't it. Even the Roman Empire is divided into different stages by historians. It's not like there was a single unchanging Roman Empire that suddenly may or may not have become Byzantine. The Empire of Augustus was not the same as that of Hadrian, or Diocletian, etc. Adam Bishop (talk) 21:42, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the information regarding the 2010 "republication", it's good to know. But, what about this 2008 republication, does it not represent a real republication either? Cody7777777 (talk) 13:17, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Definitely. You can tell even from the cover. That font is jarringly unprofessional, and what does that image have to do with Rome or Byzantium? Also, check the text inside. The format and layout of the text are clearly from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. The copyright page gives it all away anyway; this is a company with only a P.O. box, not a real address. It publishes solely online. The cover was designed by some other random company (and poorly, as I said - obviously the designer saw an image with Roman numerals and put no more thought into it). This doesn't mean Bury's book is useless, but nevertheless, it was published in 1889, and this "reprint" is meaningless. Adam Bishop (talk) 05:39, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree. That was my point above. However, what I was originally trying to say was that "Byzantine" is not (as seems to be suggested by some contributions above) some erroneous lable which we are "stuck with" because historians won't use the "real" name... for some unclear reason but somehow attached to some sort of political or culturally-biased agenda(?!) Byzantine is in fact a useful and appropriate description of that polity. To use Roman or even East Roman is misleading. This is why in the modern academic world it is universally used and, more than that, there is no serious debate about it either!DeCausa (talk) 07:54, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Just a minor note, in case you haven't already seen in the earlier posts here, a problem with "Byzantine" is that in English it has some pejorative connotations (at least, according to the following sources[31][32][33][34]). Cody7777777 (talk) 13:17, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh, yeah, but it is apparently A Huge Deal for some people on Wikipedia, and this debate has been going on for as long as I've been here. I wouldn't worry about it though (for the quite sound reasons you have listed). Adam Bishop (talk) 13:41, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
You prompted me to check-out the archive, which I probably should have done before I put my oar in! (I'm new to wikipedia.) OMG!!! It's extraordinary. Can't even begin to guess at some of the motivations. Think I'll bow out at this point....DeCausa (talk) 15:25, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Deletion of kindergarten*style wrong maps

Use the realistic Oxford maps instead of wrong nursery-school fantasy maps. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:51, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

To you and the above user: those maps are quite helpful. If you have a problem with the accuracy, you can propose changes, but don't just delete long established content. That is unconstructive. Iblardi (talk) 19:13, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps useful, but if they are incorrect they shouldn't be in the article. Paul August 19:59, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Must be a really advanced nursery school. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 19:17, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
OK... Looking at [35] I guess that you wanted to point out that you think that maps File:The Byzantine Empire, c.1180.PNG, File:Byzantiumforecrusades.jpg and File:Map Byzantine Empire 1045.svg are wrong because they 1) show Hungary without Transylvania and 2) the last one shows Buda before it was supposed to be founded? And that is why you removed them from this article ([36], [37], [38])? Right? --Martynas Patasius (talk) 19:28, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
According to our article on Transylvania, "Between 1003 and 1526, Transylvania was a voivodeship of the Kingdom of Hungary", based on that alone the map File:Map Byzantine Empire 1045.svg, needs to be fixed or removed. I've removed it for now. Paul August 20:20, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
With all due respect to any possible territorial sensitivities by any of the parties involved, I still think that the map fulfills its main purpose, which, for this article, means giving a reasonably accurate impression of the extent of the Byzantine Empire at a particular stage of its existence, as well as of its internal administration, and that removing such a map does more damage than good. However, I agree that any maps used in the encyclopedia should ultimately be based on reliable sources. I am currently not in the position to check and/or correct any of the supposed inaccuracies regarding the neighbouring countries myself at this time, but as said, I find outright deletion in this case unnecessarily rash. Iblardi (talk) 21:04, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
The map hasn't been deleted, simply removed from the article. And it has nothing to due with "territorial sensitivities", by me at least. But — assuming our article on Transylvania is correct (does anybody dispute that?) — the given map is incorrect and should be fixed before being used. Paul August 21:36, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I only now see that the article did already contain a map showing the empire in the first half of the 11th century under "Wars against the Bulgarian Empire". My objection should be considered invalid, especially as the only remaining purpose of the 1045 map would be to shed light on the empire's internal arrangement, for which those extraterritorial borders are not needed. Iblardi (talk) 22:39, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Can we get a clear description of what exactly needs fixed and how? It's an SVG map, so it's relatively easy to edit. I could do it if I had clear and concrete instructions. Fut.Perf. 22:50, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

I can upload Oxford or Cambridge maps, or maps from Greek and Italian universities , but I'm afraid , they haven't free licences :( —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Indeed, that will be a problem. We need to work with what users create for us, and fix the problems ourselves (see WP:SOFIXIT). Fut.Perf. 11:42, 9 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:19, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

The exact situation of Transylvania during this period is still open to debate, the following map from, shows two independent states (regardless of the origins of their rulers) in Transylvania around the year 1000, the following book also claims that the magyars extended their authority over Transylvania around the year 1100, while this one claims it was conquered by the Hungarian kingdom between the 10th and 13th centuries, the following also claims that, although the Kingdom of Hungary started expanding into Transylvania from the 10th century, it included it entirely around the 13th century as an autonomous principality, and these[39][40] also make a similar claim. As far as I see, according to these books, although the Kingdom of Hungary started expanding into parts of Transylvania from 10th century, they incorporated it entirely in the 13th century. However, to avoid these debates, I think it would be better to show only the territories of the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire on the maps of this article. Cody7777777 (talk) 14:07, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Euroatlas is an american private company. As you can see: Their maps haven't better quality than wikipedist's maps (. Here are some scanned Historical maps of Oxford, England. (in the site: University of Texas): The only reliable sources are the maps of European universities. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:36, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Please use only 100% creditable sources like English Britannia and German Brockhaus Encyclopedias. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

"Romanian Transilvania, Hungarian Erdély, German Siebenbürgen

"historic eastern European region. After forming part of Hungary (11th–16th century), it was an autonomous principality within the Ottoman Empire (16th–17th century) and then once again became part of Hungary at the end of the 17th century; later it was incorporated into Romania (1918–20). The region, whose name first appeared in written documents in the 12th century, covered a territory bounded by the Carpathian Mountains on the north and east, the Transylvanian Alps on the south, and the Bihor Mountains on the west. The neighbouring regions of Maramureș, Crișana, and Banat have also, on occasion, been considered part of Transylvania.

Having formed the nucleus of the Dacian (Getic) kingdom (flourished 1st century bc–1st century ad) and the Roman province of Dacia (after ad 106), Transylvania was overrun by a succession of barbarian tribes after the Roman legions withdrew about ad 270. Thereafter the Romanized Dacian inhabitants either moved into the mountains and preserved their culture or migrated southward. The area then was repopulated by peoples from the Romanized lands south of the Danube River or from the Balkans. The Magyars (Hungarians) conquered the area at the end of the 9th century and firmly established ... (200 of 1778 words)" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:57, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

My Wikipedia Motto: Do not be dilettant! (even if this is the lexicon of dilettantism)

Thank you for the article from Britannica (and I'm not debating here if it is right or wrong). However, we cannot base our articles by adopting a single point of view (such as Britannica's point of view), and I've already posted some other reliable books above (including a book published by the "Central European University") which discuss about this topic, and claim that the conquest of Transylvania by the Kingdom of Hungary was a process lasting between the 10th and 13th centuries, and there is also the following book published by the Stanford University, which claims that the Magyars extended their control into Transylvania around the year 1100. (And regarding "euratlas", it is true that it is not the most reliable source, but nonetheless their maps are probably more recent, so I don't think they should be entirely ignored, and actually the map you shown above has a small description on Transylvania stating "Territory in dispute between Hungary and the Pechenegs".) They could be wrong, but we cannot decide here who is right or wrong (since in cases of disputed topics, we need to avoid taking sides, and maintain a neutral point of view on Wikipedia, by neutrally representing multiple points of view, instead of adopting a specific point of view). The fact that there are contradicting sources, in my opinion is further proof that in these cases we should avoid showing on the maps of this article, the territories of other states, except those of the state which is the topic of this article. Cody7777777 (talk) 19:09, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

This is not true. The magyars arrived in Translvania around the 890's. We can discuss about the power of Hungarian king (the state) , but we can't discuss that was under other Hungarian people's control (like Transylvanian Gyula family , who was Saint Stephens relative. ABout euroatlas: Hungarian Kingdom and its Carpathian Basin are littler than Great Britain in their maps (Medieval Hungarian Kindom was around 320.000-390.000km2 Great Britain is just 219,000 km2.) A satellite picture for better comparison:!Europe_satellite_orthographic.jpg But there are serious size-problems with the ratio of other big territories like Hispania. Therefore Euroatlas maps are not serious maps. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:22, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Pecheneg state did not exist, they were wild nomad mobil warriors of an area, who attacked and robbed European states. Therefore it is impossible a dispute with non-existent state. Pechenegs lost all of their battle against Hungary. How can an always defeated group of people (who had not central power) discuss an area?

Look the map of Hungarian campaigns of the 10th century: According to this Idea, the Hungarians had dispute with Spanish kings about the territory of Spain in the 10th century. It's laughable:))))))))) Isn't it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:43, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

At any rate, McEvedy's atlas (Penguin, 1992) shows the kingdom of Hungary including the Transylvania territory in its maps of 1030 and 1071. (And the Pechenegs/Patzinaks are shown as an independent tribe.) Iblardi (talk) 20:02, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Perhabs Croatia lost its political independence under Ladislaus I of Hungary Originally, Croatia and Slavonia were two different states, later united by Hungarian Kings. Read Slavonia article. The map makers didn't know the details of the history of this region. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:16, 9 January 2010 (UTC)


The Byzantine Empire is notable for being a multi-ethnic state and a product of Latin conquerors. The origins of a state have to be explicitly mentioned in the lede, thereby neutralizing confusion for readers that are unfamiliar with the topic. It is also necessary to state the socio-cultural amalgamation of the empire so that readers can attain a factual perspective on its holistic character. Indeed the Byzantine Empire was composed of citizens of Latin, Greek, Arab, Slav, Vlach, Armenian, Georgian and Coptic ancestry. This certainly showcases the level of administrative and indeed cultural tolerance that existed within its borders, its pre-eminent position in the Eastern Mediterranean and the relatively progressive nature of its official institutions.--Monshuai (talk) 09:31, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

The fact that the empire had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history is indeed supported by many sources([41],[42],[43],[44],[45],[46],[47],[48],[49],[50],[51],[52],[53]), and I also think this should be stated more explicitly in the article. However, the claim that it was "a product of Latin conquerors" seems somewhat misleading, this empire was the medieval continuation of the Roman Empire (which from the beginning had a multi-ethnic character), and Constantinople was founded by the Romans, not just by Latins or Greeks (it is, of course, true that many Romans were also Latins, but especially by the 3rd-4th centuries, nearly all of the empire's inhabitants had Roman citizenship, regardless of their origins). Cody7777777 (talk) 17:11, 7 February 2010 (UTC)


Coinage with idealized depiction of Byzas, founder of Byzantium. Cast in Thrace, Byzantium, around the time of Marcus Aurelius (161-180 CE).

Feel free to use in the article the following coin depicting Byzas, founder of Byzantium. Per Honor et Gloria  17:11, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

The Byzantine (Eastern Roman / Roman) Empire Still Exists?

The Greek-speaking Roman (Byzantine) Empire of the East still exists in a sense, in the form of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which still resides in Constantinople (Istanbul) and inherits an unbroken continuity of succession from the time of the last Byzantine emperors and the theocratic administration of late Rome. Rome, at its end, was in Constantinople and was only defeated in the fifteenth century by the Turks, yet the Patriarchate of the Greek Church (which was the official Church of Rome at the end) still remains to this day. Even though there is no Emperor, the little walled compound in Istanbul that is controlled by the Church retains, essentially, the mantle of the former glory of the Empire, and may be the final vestige of Byzantium. It's an interesting notion. Think about it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:02, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Mt. Athos actually has a better claim of that general type (and isn't currently micromanaged by the Turkish government)... AnonMoos (talk) 12:08, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
I could argue that the Catholic church centred on the Vatican is the last remnant of the Western Roman Empire. Flamarande (talk) 13:31, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

It is factually true that the Patriarchate of Constantinople is (literally) the last OFFICIAL 'office' of the late Roman Empire. This is a simple historic fact. Due to this historic reality, the Greek Orthodox Church is the legitimate Roman Church. Mt. Athos may be the oldest still-standing Republic in the world, but it was never an official 'governmental branch' of the Roman Empire. Further, the Vatican cannot claim to be a legitimate office/descendant of the Roman Empire as they do not posses the historical and successive links. The FACT is that it was the real Roman Empire (what culturally and religiously biased "western" historians call "Byzantium") in the East that was in unbroken line of succession and they alone could/can claim such a title. Facts are facts. So yes, you are clearly correct in stating that the Patriarchate of Constantinople is the last legitimate entity of the Roman Empire. -- (talk) 22:45, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

of course, there was no Bishop of Rome (or any of the dozens of other bishoprics in the catholic - or for that matter orthodox churches - which are still extant) in the late Roman Empire! As a rule of thumb, an IP who asserts that his belief is "simple historic fact" with CAPS can be treated as having the credibility of Elmo on the subject. DeCausa (talk) 23:08, 31 January 2011 (UTC)


This map is not correct. 500's, was the Serbian kingdom, and is not occupied Byzantium --Стефан Немањић (talk) 08:21, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Religion: Orthodoxy? Yes, But Only After Schism

Christianity at the time of the conversion of Rome and Constantinople considered itself to be One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and, yes, Orthodox, but the infobox seems to imply that the Byzantine Empire fell under the religious governance of the Eastern Orthodox Church from the beginning, when in fact the Western and Eastern Churches did not officially distinguish themselves until around the 11th Century. I would change the infobox to state: "Religion: Christianity; later, Eastern Orthodox Christianity." The term "Orthodox" was popularized by the Greek Church after the schism between East and West but the Christians of early Constantinople would not have referred to themselves as Eastern Orthodox Christians. Similarly, the Christians of Rome at the time would not have referred to themselves as Roman Catholics, only as Christians. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:53, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Excellent point! I have fixed this, including mentioning the East-West Schism in 1054. Cheers.--Pericles of AthensTalk 23:40, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Okay. Great. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:18, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

They would absolutely have called themselves either "Orthodox" or "Catholic", interchangeably, before the Schism. There were, after all, Monophysites, Arians, Nestorians, and so forth, from whom the Orthodox wished to distinguish themselves. john k (talk) 12:58, 1 August 2010 (UTC)


The infobox on this article is WAY too big. An infobox is supposed to provide basic information about the country at hand, and the one currently used doesnt. I propose we use the infobox I made and can be found here instead, or something like it. If someone wants to learn specific dates about the Byzantine Empire, they can read the article. We don't have to include EVERYTHING in the infobox. It makes it hard to read. Philly boy92 (talk) 14:36, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Greek/Latin naming in the introduction of emperor articles

I would just like to mention that the Greek and Latin naming of emperors should not be in the first sentence of the introduction. This could be confusing to casual readers. I have been moving Greek and Latin naming to references, though notes or even the infobox are welcome compromises. This is the English Wikipedia. The Greek name of an emperor is not the most important information about an individual, so should not cluster the uppermost sections of an article. Thank you.--Tataryn77 (talk) 15:53, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

I oppose moving those names in a footnote. The fact that it is not the most important information is irrelevant. --TakenakaN (talk) 16:16, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
It is not irrelevant. This is the English wikipedia. The Greek naming is not crucial and if not in a reference should be in the infobox. I will continue to revert for the sake of preserving the integrity of the articles.--Tataryn77 (talk) 16:20, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I know it is the English Wikipedia, but we are talking about the name of a person, how could his real name be irrelevant? The articles' integrity is fine as it was. --TakenakaN (talk) 16:25, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree with TakenakaN. Including the Greek names conforms both to policy (WP:MOSBEGIN) and established practice, since Greek was de facto the dominant language in the East. Constantine 16:32, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
I also agree with TakenakaN. Please stop the changes. There is no consensus for the changes you are making and they are also against naming conventions. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 16:40, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry for the trouble. The reason for my edits was because of lack of uniformity with other Roman emperor articles. If the issue has been solved then I will cease editing and reverting. Let's not fill half the introductions with Latin and Greek names though. Once again, sorry for the inconveinience. --Tataryn77 (talk) 17:11, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

There was no "Eastern Roman Empire"

I have some serious problem with this article. First, there were no "Eastern Roman Empire," which is a name that was created by Charlemagne after he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 800 AD. A better term for this page would be "The (Late/Medieval) Roman Empire: Byzantium Epoch/Era." Second, the idea that Constantine the Great broke up the Roman Empire into two, independent empires is ridiculous. The line from Constantine to the Fall of Constantinople is practically uninterrupted ( see the Fourth Crusade) The starting date should not be in the fourth century, but at either the founding of Rome in 753B.C., or the founding of the Empire in 23B.C.. Third, the Emperor in the East was superior to the one in Rome, who was more or less a junior partner. Fourth, centuries after the collapse in the West, the people in the former territories still looked to the Emperor in Constantinople as their leader. Clovis I actually had to request the Emperor in Constantinople for the right of ruling over the people he conquered because they did not believe he had the right to do so without the Emperor's consent and were rebellious (the Emperor gave his consent). All of this can be found in the The History of the Byzantine Empire: Vol. 1&2, by Alexander Vasiliev. I have the book, but it's at home and I am at school so I can't refer to it directly. I am also surprised that no one has made that a source because it is probably the definite book in the 20th Century about the Byzantine Empire. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:34, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps I'm confused. At his death in 395, Heraclius separated the unified RE into two states, which his sons ruled; unlike earlier administrative divisions, an emperor of one was no longer an emperor of the other. What designation would you give to the eastern state, if not ERE? (Note that I am not asking about its founding date, only the legitimacy of this name.) Jmacwiki (talk) 05:29, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Not Heraclius (c. 575-641, reigned 610-641). You are confusing him with Theodosius I (347-395, reigned 379-395). The better question would be how to describe Diocletian, Galerius, Maximinus II (Daia), Licinius and Sextus Martinianus without making a division between Western and Eastern Roman Empire. Dimadick (talk) 06:46, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, Bede dates by Roman emperors [who are Byzantine], German chronicles list emperors until to Irene as predecessors of Charlemagne, and so on ... I'd correct you and point out that early medieval western Europeans did not think of the HRE as a resurrection of the Western Empire (that too is a later invention), but the transfer of Roman imperium to the Franks from the Romans of Constantinople.
You are right otherwise of course; but being right is not enough to change anything. Western writing since the 18th century is rooted in the idea that the Western Empire before 500 is the real Roman Empire, and that's what has determined usage (including the popularity of the neologism "Byzantine"), falling nicely into synchrony with the history of the West's big countries, France, England and Germany. It shouldn't work like this, but what are you gonna do? Nothing can be done here anyway, so don't waste your effort. :) Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 20:51, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, maybe Wikipedia can correct several centuries of false ideas? We can change the western world! :D —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:17, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but I did not sign in earlier, but I'm the one who started this topic, and was on a public computer and forgot to log on. Anyways, since I have a little more time know, I just want to add that I understand about the transfer, and I am sorry if I misspoke. But I really think that the users should really push for actual facts and knowledge, not false ideas and beliefs about history. We know that the Byzantine Empire was the late Roman Empire, and Wikipedia should be at the forefront of trying to correct perceptions that can be proven factually to be incorrect ones. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Drlcartman (talkcontribs) 23:26, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Please read Wikipedia:Article titles. Wikipedia should never ever "be at the forefront of trying to correct perceptions that can be proven factually to be incorrect ones". The titles of the article shouldn't be used to "change the western world". This is supposed to be a encyclopaedia written for the benefit of the common people. The contents of this article must reflect the subject as it is taught in school and read in books written by credible historians. The articles of the English wiki have to use the common names currently used by the English language. If you truly want to convince anyone of "the truth" then by all means, talk to the English-writing historians who write the books. Perhaps you can persuade them in writing books using the subject's "proper and correct name". If they change their ways we can change the title of this article, but not before. Talk to a history teacher (if you live in the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, and any other English-speaking country) and ask him why he is using the name 'Byzantine Empire' instead of '(Late/Medieval) Roman Empire: Byzantium Epoch/Era'. This talkpage isn't a (figurative) court of law, where you can present your opinion and win your case with glorious speeches. This isn't a factual/political/cultural/historical battleground. Spare your breath and stop preaching your gospel. Flamarande (talk) 02:03, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Eastern Roman Empire

The line between calling emperors "Eastern Roman" or "Byzantine" seems to be very gray. It simply does not make sense to call emperor Leo I "Byzantine" while the western Roman empire was still in existence.

We should start referring to emperors as "Byzantine" starting with the Heraclius article.

If nobody agrees, then where should we start? Nobody would ever think of calling Constantine I a "Byzantine" emperor. Nor Arcadius, nor Theodosius II. So why does it say Theodosius II was a "Byzantine" emperor? I understand the purpose of calling the Medieval Greek speaking state "Byzantium", but this is not the case with Theodosius II or Leo I.--Tataryn77 (talk) 16:54, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Well, the issue has been debated in the past here, and the consensus is to follow what conventional historiography says: i.e. that a) the Empire is to be named "Byzantine", not "East Roman", and b) that the time limits are 330 or 395 to 1453. The area of transition between the late antique "Late Roman"/"Early Byzantine" and the medieval "middle Byzantine" periods is certainly put at about the reign of Heraclius, but if Justinian I is considered a "Byzantine" emperor, then so should Theodosius II... They presided over essentially the same state. As for Constantine I, he is almost everywhere considered to be the first "Byzantine" emperor, even though of course he ruled over the entire Empire, not just the East. Anyway, the Byzantine Empire is identical to the East Roman Empire, period. Confusion arises only from the conventional limitation of "East Roman" to refer to the late antique state in English sources. In German for instance, "Ostrom" ("East Rome") can easily be used beyond that period and even unto the end of the Empire... At any rate, at the latest after 395 it is legitimate to call the empire and its inhabitants "Byzantine". My usual practice is to use both terms, i.e. "Eastern Roman (Byzantine)" for people and events from 395 up to ca. 640 in the first instance, and then continue with one of the two terms in the article... Constantine 17:53, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Then we should use both until Heraclius.--Tataryn77 (talk) 19:41, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
A question to User Cplakidas: Agreed, I didn't know about that, but in that case why didn't you mention this consensus in other relevant articles you co-edit when at 1453 the empire was mentioned there as Roman empire and recently the very last emperor as a Roman emperor? -- (talk) 19:56, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Huh? I did not really catch that... If you mean that in the article on Constantine XI there is mention of him being the last Roman emperor, then I don't really see any problem: the Byzantine Empire was the eastern half of the Roman Empire (both "Byzantine" and "East Roman" are modern conventions) as it survived and evolved through the Middle Ages. The fact that Constantine XI, like all his predecessors, styled himself "Emperor of the Romans", and that he stood in direct succession to Augustus Caesar is not disputed by anyone. Constantine 20:31, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
The line is more varied than Cplakidas is making out. Mark Whittow for instance takes the 9th century as the era to switch terminology, but it's like asking "how long is a piece of string". "Byzantine" is just a modern construct, and any historian can start using it when he pleases. What is important however is to make the reader realise that these terms are relatively arbitrary rather than trying to decide for them that Justinian or Heraclius or Irene or Basil is the objective time time inscribed up in heaven by the all powerful autocrat of history. I do think though that the term "East Roman Empire" is particularly sinister, as it makes people think the Empire had been divided into two states [in fact in the Diocletian to 500 period it was mostly one state with 2 to 4 rulers, the capital and senior emperor being in the east]. Use "Roman" not "East Roman" ... at worst use "eastern Roman" if you have to distinguish the Romans of the empire with the Romans under barbarian rule in the west. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 21:01, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Of course the line is more varied. Treadgold takes it as far back as 284, for instance, to encompass the entire Dominate. However the overwhelming majority accept either 330 or 395, at least as conventional dates. Obviously, as in all such cases, people who were Roman one day did not suddenly wake up the next transformed into Byzantines... But if we do not get mired down in endless debates as to when exactly the transition point must be placed, we ought to accept the most common set of dates. Constantine 21:26, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree from obviously onwards. The question here is about when to use the term Byzantine, rather than when not to use the term Roman [I don't think any historian would object to this term for "Byzantines", even if they wouldn't use it by preference]. Like I said, the best thing to do is to indicate that the distinction any time after 330 is quite arbitrary and use "Roman" and "Byzantine" interchangeably without worrying too much. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 21:33, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
The question raised concerns when the term "Byzantine" should be used exclusively in the articles of Roman emperors. Obviously Manuel Comnenus should be referred to as "Byzantine Emperor" exclusively. As well as Basil II and Leo III. Should [[Heraclius and Maurice and Justinian I be exclusively "Byzantine"? Arguable. I have never heard of Arcadius being referred to as a Byzantine emperor. I don't think many scholars use "Byzantine" until after the fall of the west. So that brings used to Zeno. His reign presided over the fall of Rome so should he be the first emperor referred to as "Byzantine"? Perhaps not. The idea of "Byzantine" denotes (further) hellenized Roman culture after the abandonment of Latin as a first language. Should it be Heraclius who is referred to as "Byzantine" exclusively first? Or the last Heraclian dynast Justinian II? We're stuck in a mire.--Tataryn77 (talk) 00:26, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
Byzantine and Roman are not mutually exclusive, just that you shouldn't use Byzantine before 330. Like I said, it's fairly arbitrary and so don't worry about it, just make the terminology transparent. It's not for Wikipedians, who cannot prove expertise, to decide these matters and deny readers freedom of thought. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 00:54, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

I think I can make this more clear. For example if I re-write Zeno's article do I say Zeno was Eastern Roman Emperor, Byzantine Emperor, or Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Emperor? The latter seems to be a good compromise. I just need to know which emperor to begin adding the (Byzantine) to "Roman Emperor". --Tataryn77 (talk) 01:30, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Agree with Deacon, in fact that was exactly my point in the article I mentioned. The time of the hellenization of the Eastern Roman empire varying from scholar to scholar. The "Byzantine" started to be used to denote, as Tataryn pointed, exactly that fact, or better say procedure. As for the date, I think Whittow's date is considered to be somewhat extreme. But in any case nobody disputes that by 1453 the empire, or what was left, had been completely hellenized (despite for obvious reasons still styling himself "Emperor of the Romans" in his last speech Constantine XI called Constantinople "hope and joy of every Greek"[54]). The problem was that two editors there, didn't accept any mentioning of "Byzantine" even during Palaiologos reign, and since user Cplakidas was present there making edits I thought to kindly ask him about, given the answer he initially gave to Tataryn. To the point of the discussion now, I think that the date issue is complicate but persisting in many articles, so the best solution, maybe, is to link the articles dealing with events after the dates Cplakidas gave as a consensus (or in case of a rethinking, any other date), with the Byzantine empire or Byzantine emperors articles, where the issue is (or must be) adequately analysed. In case of any disagreement there, we can redirect the issue here so that every editor can take note of the past discussions over the matter so to avoid unnecessary repetitions. In general and for the record I see it as another extreme to consider Constantine I as the first "Byzantine" emperor exactly because he ruled over the entire Empire, but Cplakidas must know better.-- (talk) 07:29, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
The point is, as the first Christian emperor and the founder of Constantinople (remember, "Byzantine Empire" essentially means the empire ruled from Byzantium, aka Constantinople, which was essential to the state's identity), he is seen as the first "Byzantine" emperor (to quote Michael Grant's biography of Constantine, "So Constantine [...] clearly lived in an epoch of sensational change, which he himself helped decisively to promote. Was he then, it is often asked, the last Roman or the first Byzantine emperor?"). Evidently, since "Byzantine" has come to refer to the eastern half alone (which survived), 395 would be a good idea. As for the form used, as long as it is clear what is meant, there really is not much of a problem. However, if "East Roman" is used, in the first mention at least there should be IMO some clarification that this equals "Byzantine", as it is not immediately obvious to all... Constantine 08:33, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
It is not obvious for english speakers because of their dumb education system.(they have excellent colleges, but generally dump secondary education, exept for a few elite schools. and their colleges in fact give narrow specialization). (talk) 09:50, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
If this was the reason they would not have chosen the ancient and almost forgotten (Greek) name of the city instead of the actual name which was also the name of the empire's creator to distinguish it from the older Roman empire. They didn't do it without a good reason. But this discussion is irrelevant to what we discuss now.-- (talk) 12:39, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Probably a bit late, but I would say that it makes more sense to use "East Roman Emperor" through to Phocas, and then start mostly using "Byzantine Emperor" with Heraclius, who changed the official language to Greek and lost Syria and Egypt. It is distinctly odd to call Valens or Theodosius II a "Byzantine Emperor." john k (talk) 14:32, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

I also agree, at least the infoboxes referring to the emperors before Heraclius should use "Eastern Roman Emperor". Although, the terms "Eastern Roman" and "Byzantine" (which is also a pejorative term) are usually synonyms, there seems to be a preference in historiography for using "Byzantine" when referring to the later periods (after Heraclius, or in other cases from the 8th century with Leo the Isaurian).Cody7777777 (talk) 13:37, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Here is the truth: there was no "Byzantine Empire;" just a legitimate Roman Empire (unbroken linage). Anything else is cultural bias. The other "Roman" empires were just wannabes. -- (talk) 22:54, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

I think we should dispense with all WP:RS and just replace with footnotes saying "here is the truth". Why did this guy bother to type his post? DeCausa (talk) 23:11, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Just to add my 10c, Byzantine Emperors never called themselves Byzantine Emperors or East Roman Emperors, they were simply Emperor of the Romans. Their contemporaries called them either Emperor of the Romans or Emperor of the Greeks. My personal belief is that for historiographical reasons the East Roman Empire shouldn't be called Byzantine until the Western half of the Empire fell — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:11, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

One other stylistic thought to keep in mind when choosing the name to use: the article's own content. If continuity with the (unified) RE is fundamental, as it is in Justinian's renovatio imperii, for example, then calling that state the "RE" or at least the "ERE" is more appropriate. If Greek culture is fundamental, as it is in making Greek the official language, then "BE" is the more appropriate name.
In other cases, go with the thoughtful advice above. (But be aware that historians now call that empire Byzantine merely because previous political writers found that name to be that a helpful way to delegitimize the empire, just as Empire of the Greeks was helpful 500 years earlier.) Jmacwiki (talk) 05:36, 16 August 2011 (UTC)


The article states:

"By contrast, in the Persian, Islamic, and Slavic worlds, the Empire's Roman identity was generally accepted. In the Islamic world it was known primarily as روم (Rûm "Rome")."

But, according to Cyril Mango (La civiltà bizantina/Byzantium: the Empire of New Rome):

"[gli europei d'occidente] pertanto identificavano i bizantini come graeci. Affine il termine impiegato dagli Slavi (Greki), laddove per Arabi e Turchi essi erano Rum, vale a dire Romani" (this is my (imperfect) translation: "[The Western Europeans] identified the byzantines as graeci [Greeks]. The same did the Slavs (Greki), while the Arabs and the Turks called them Rum (Romans)").

According to Cyril Mango, the Slavs called them "Greeks"! I don't dare to correct the article because this is a featured article and it should be written in a proper english. I'm not a native speaker, so it's better that native speakers correct it!--Casmiki (talk) 18:48, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

The Slavs did indeed call the Byzantines "Greeks", but, due to their far closer interaction with and influence by Constantinople, they still recognized them as "Romans", in contrast to the West, which disputed their right to the name. As late as the 14th century, Stefan Dushan crowned himself "Tsar of the Serbs and the Romans", the latter implying the Greeks. Constantine 18:56, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

User:Alvez3 Edits

This user has made this edit and this edit to the Nomenclature section. I've objected and the user has tried to put it back in.

Alvez3, the existing text has been in the article for a long time. That means it has consensus approval. If you want to change something, you therefore need consensus to change it. There's nothing wrong with making a bold change without first getting consensus, but the correct procedure in accordance with WP:BRD is that if someone then reverts you it means you haven't got consensus and you need to then follow the D of WP:BRD and discuss it on the Talk page to get consensus for your change. That's what I meant in my edit summary that you haven't got consensus (and not that "my opinion" is consensus as you said in your edit summary).Because this is a featured article it is even more important to follow the process correctly so as not to reduce the acknowledged quality of the article. So please do not revert again until consensus is reached here. To revert again before that happens is edit-warring.

Turning to my objections to your edit: (1) It is quite clear from the rest of the article whether the "claims" were justified. To have as your reason for the edit that the claims were indisputable is taking an unnecessarily POV-pushing stance. (2) The claim referred to was "Roman inheritance". You've changed it to "role"/"stance" "as successor to" the Roman Empire, that's two different issues. The point being made originally (Roman inheritance) is much broader than the narrow one (successor state) you are trying to make. The broader point is more appropriate (3) Is being the successor, the "empire's role"? It's a strange turn of phrase. Certainlt the Byzantines would have argued that their role was much bigger than that. I don't think role is the right word at all. Your original word (stance) sounded even worse. You've changed something which flows well in English to quite a clumsy inelegant phrase. (4) The Byzantines themselves never claimed that they were a "successor" to the Roman Empire. They believed they were the Roman empire. (5) Your change is unsourced (6) As can be seen from this talk page archives the relationship between the Byzantine Empire and the Roman Empire one is subject to much debate and is complex. Your change is pushing your POV on that issue in a rather unsubtle way and is inappropriate.

Most importantly, to change a well-written long-standing part of featured article requires a very good reason. Plesase reach agreement here before reverting again. DeCausa (talk) 08:13, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

I have no particular view on what the eventual outcome of this dispute should be, but it seems to me reasonable that, since this article has been reviewed and designated as a featured article, no changes of this sort should be made until a consensus has been reached for them. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 17:39, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

I think that what was contested from Charlemagne onward was the claim that Constantinopolitan emperorship represented Roman imperial authority (or represent it on its own), not so much that the empire was a successor state to Rome or had a "Roman inheritance" in general. Iblardi (talk) 17:52, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I agree with Iblardi. I think that was what the original text was trying to get at with "The claims of the Eastern Roman Empire to Roman inheritance". The change introduced by Alvez3 (and now Dinkytown) narrows it to the succesor state point which is not what the text was trying to get at, I think. But I agree that the original doesn't really get it either. It should probably be something like "The claims of universal Roman imperial authority..." or something like that. DeCausa (talk) 18:58, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
I think by ‘agreeing’ with Iblardi like that you are trying to put words in his mouth that he never said. It is clear what he is saying is Charlemagne contested the authority of the current monarch, nothing more. The stumbling point here is the word's ‘claims’ applicability to the whole Empire. ‘Claims’ sounds highly controversial here since it detaches the Eastern Roman Empire from the Roman inheritance out of hand. Why does the empire have to claim descendancy when its descendancy is not really in dispute? Given that, your suggestion ("The claims of universal Roman imperial authority...") which you offer as a compromise is in essence a switcheroo of secondary subjects that keeps the original source of controversy intact. I'm not sure the current ‘role’ is the best alternative to the previous edit but it certainly seems more appropriate and less inflammatory than ‘claims’.-- (talk) 01:40, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
The disputed wording is based on very little sourcing. The question of whether Charlemagne was considered by various authorities as the new Roman Emperor would surely be addressed in biographies of Charlemagne. The only reference offered in this article is in Greek and is not available online. It is the 'Greek Encyclopedia Helios', which seems unlikely to be the best source available, since it is tertiary. Presumably Western sources would record what Pope Leo had in mind when he decided to crown Charlemagne as the Emperor. There should also be histories that say what Constantinople thought of Charlemagne's status. Our article on Charlemagne may give ideas for where to find sources. EdJohnston (talk) 02:43, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
Actually, the current wording is incorrect. I don't believe that there is any evidence that the West, at the time of Charlemagne, didn't accept that the Byzantine Empire was Rome's successor. I think what wasn't accepted is the authority of the Byzantine Emperor in the West . In any event, the sentence is totally unwieldy. I suggest changing it to:
"The authority of the Byzantine Emperor in the West, as Rome's successor, was challenged by the corronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III in the year 800. Needing Charlemagne's support in his struggle against his enemies in Rome, Leo used the lack of a male occupant of the throne of the Roman Empire at the time to claim that it was vacant and that he could therefore crown a new Emperor himself."
In the context of the section, I'm not sure the second sentence is even needed. Let's keep it simple. DeCausa (talk) 11:33, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

It's a good suggestion. I would go a little further and offer this version of the entire paragraph that circumvents any mentioning of the 'claims':
"Although the empire had a multi-ethnic character during its history and preserved Romano-Hellenistic traditions, it became known to most of its western and northern contemporaries as the Empire of the Greeks due to the increasing predominance of the Greek element. The use of the term Empire of the Greeks (Latin: Imperium Graecorum) to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire also implied that in the West it was no longer seen as the Roman Empire. The authority of the Byzantine Emperor as successor of Roman Emperors, was challenged by the coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III in the year 800. Needing Charlemagne's support in his struggle against his enemies in Rome, Leo used the lack of a male occupant of the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire at the time to claim that it was vacant and that he could therefore crown a new Emperor himself. Whenever the Popes or the rulers of the West made use of the name Roman to refer to the eastern Roman Emperors, they preferred the term Imperator Romaniæ instead of Imperator Romanorum, a title that Westerners maintained applied only to Charlemagne and his successors."
I'd leave the last sentence though since it demonstrates that there was still a certain ambiguity about how Popes and other western rules saw the Byzantine Empire.--Alvez3 (talk) 04:09, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Gives a decent inclination into how the politics may have been involved regarding Leo, Charlemange and the throne in the East. Pudge MclameO (talk) 16:01, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
In general, I'm happy with the proposed text as a replacement for the existing text. (As an aside, I find the extirpation of the word "claims" a little over the top - and btw, a claim can be valid or invalid, there's nothing to be implied by its use - but I don't think it's terribly important one way or the other.) However, I think there is an important point raised by EdJohnston on the sources. In the absence of decent sources, I have doubts that Charlemagne's coronation was such a turning point in western attitudes, which probably had more to do with the Ottonians' 2nd revival of the "Roman" imperial title rather than the events of 800. On Charlemagne's coronation, John Julius Norwich in "Byzantium the Apogee" puts it like this: "Thus - despite the fateful ceremony just completed - the Roman Empire remained, so far as either of them [i.e. Charlemagne and Leo] was concerned, one and indivisible, with Charles as its Emperor. All that had happened was that the Pope had arrogated to himself the right to appoint and invest the Emperor of the Romans - a right which for nearly five centuries had been exercised by Byzantium". There's nothing in the coronation which challenged Byzantium "as the Roman Empire". I think the change Alvez3 has made to say that the coronation challenged the "Byzantine Emperor" as the successor to Rome (rather than challenging the "Byzantine Empire") is therefore correct. But I suspect the whole reference (given the purpose of this section) should really be to the Ottonians rather than Charlemagne. DeCausa (talk) 22:27, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
The new proposed text is largely fine, however, I think there is still a small problem with saying "The authority of the Byzantine Emperor as successor of Roman Emperors", since it can give the impression that the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Emperors were distinct from the Roman Emperors (and they obviously considered themselves as "Roman Emperors"). In my opinion that phrase should be modified as "The authority of the Byzantine Emperor as the legitimate Roman Emperor". And I don't think Charlemagne was crowned with the exact title "Holy Roman Emperor" (this expression appeared later, although he is indeed usually considered as the founder of that line of emperors), it appears he was proclaimed as "Imperator Augustus" (and other sources also mention the title "Emperor of the Romans"), and the Franks considered him a successor of Constantine VI. And while it is true that the relations between the Ottonians and the Byzantine Roman Emperors were even more difficult, I think it can still be considered that the seeds of this conflict remain with Charlemagne's coronation ("Charlemagne's acceptance of the title of Imperator Augustus at his crowning by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day, December 25, 800, was a direct challenge to Byzantine supremacy"), and it is very probable that there would have been no Ottonian Emperors without Charlemagne. Cody7777777 (talk) 01:37, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with the facts in the last part of your post - however, the section is about nomenclature not the more general issue of challenging Byzantine power. Although it's true there would be "no Ottonians without Charlemagne", I think it is only with the Ottonians that the name dispute arises, since, as the John Julius Norwich quote suggests, all Leo was doing, in his eyes, was putting in place a "new Roman emperor", and then a hiatus on the issue follows until the Ottonian "renovatio". However, the source problem remains - I don't think the sources (either mine, yours, or in the article) support either proposition. So let's leave it as Charlemagne for the moment - until someone comes up with better sources. As far as adding in "legitimate" is concerned I'm neutral and don't mind either way. I would say, however, that I do find this obsession amongst some Wikipedia editors with defending the "legitimacy" of the Byzantine Empire as "the Roman Empire" (an obsession not noticeable in academia) somewhat bizarre, anachronistic (is it really appropriate to take sides in an 9th/10th century argument!?) and unscholarly. DeCausa (talk) 07:37, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
I could be mistaken, but as far as I knew, the Franks called the Byzantine Romans as "Greeks" at least since the 8th century, probably even before Charlemagne's ascension, but in diplomatic relations this indeed started to happen more often from the 10th century. However, there are some authors, like the historian and theologian John Romanides, who have explicitly attributed to Charlemagne this usage of the term "Greeks", "By claiming that he ruled the Roman Empire, Charlemagne thus clearly meant that he governed the whole Roman Empire. The Franks decided that the Eastern part of the Empire had become Greek, and its leader, an emperor of Greeks....He (Charlemagne) needed the condemnation of the East Romans as heretics in order to prove that they were no longer Romans, but Greeks..." (I do not know if this statement is accurate or not, but the proposed text does not really attempt to explain who started to call them "Greeks"). Regarding legitimacy, the Franks have, at least officially, recognized all eastern emperors until Constantine VI as legitimate Roman Emperors ("...the Latin speaking world had continued to recognize the Emperors at Constantinople as the legitimate Roman Emperors until Irene deposed her son in 797.", in western "annals of the time and of many succeeding centuries, the name of Constantine VI, the sixty-seventh in order from Augustus, is followed without a break by that of Charles, the sixty-eighth"), and they challenged the legitimacy of Irene using the pretext that women could not be emperors. In my opinion, the proposed phrase "The authority of the Byzantine Emperor as the legitimate Roman Emperor, was challenged by the coronation of Charlemagne..." could describe this issue somewhat better, and without implying that the Franks were right or wrong in challenging the eastern emperor's legitimacy. Cody7777777 (talk) 21:37, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
As I said, I don't have a problem with the proposed text, but it is still not properly sourced. Hopefully, that will be rectified at some point, but no objection to it going in for the moment. DeCausa (talk) 22:11, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. Unless someone will oppose, in the following days I intend to add the new proposed text in the article. Cody7777777 (talk) 01:37, 21 March 2011 (UTC)
I concur. --Alvez3 (talk) 04:48, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

Cody, the text you added has Charlemagne crowned as "Imperator Augustus" whereas the Charlemagne article says "Imperator Romanorum". Comment? DeCausa (talk) 18:02, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

The article about Charlemagne indeed mentions "Imperator Romanorum", but the same article also claims "During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800." (and I had the impression Charlemagne preferred to use "Imperator Augustus" in his documents). But nonetheless, both versions are supported by sources, and I have no problem if you wish to change it to "Imperator Romanorum". Cody7777777 (talk) 18:19, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
No, no preference, although if there's conflicting sources maybe both should go in. Imperator Romanorum obviously goes more to the heart of the nomenclature issue of course. DeCausa (talk) 21:08, 22 March 2011 (UTC)