Talk:Byzantine Empire/Archive 8

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Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8 Archive 9 Archive 10 Archive 13

Byzantine Senate as Legislature

Having read wikipedia's entry on the Byzantine Senate, I beg to oppose the mention of the Senate as a legislature in the infobox. The Byzantine Senate, although existing till 12th century, had nothing to do with being a legislature: it could not create, amend and ratify a law by itself, it only acted from time to time as a consultative body in co-operation with the Imperial Council. Legislation depended on the emperor's will (remember Codex Justinianus, Ekloge and Basilika). Moreover, all the body's powers were suspended by Leo's VI Novella XLVII, i.e. for the last 6 centuries of the empire's existence. So, IMO, it is inaccurate and misleading arguing that "the Senate was the legislature of the Byzantine Empire". Ashmedai 119 (talk) 20:48, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Not a bad point. I guess we are just victims of the infobox's demand for neatness and encapsulation. Reality, more often than not, is not so neat and cannot be encapsulated so easily. Maybe we can qualify the infobox entry. Dr.K. (talk) 16:56, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Move of the capital

I was trying to nail down the precise 6 to 8 years when the capital was moved to Syracuse - but incredibly, I couldn't find it in this article - it seems a bit of an oversight. πιππίνυ δ - (dica) 14:16, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

The reign of the mad Constantine who moved to Sicily, I believe. Tourskin (talk) 20:05, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually it was under Constans II, from c. 660 to 668. After his assassination Mezezius also reigned from Syracuse, his brief reign lasting from 668 to 669. Dimadick (talk) 14:46, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Constans, Constantine... sorry about that. Tourskin (talk) 17:03, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Not that far off the mark though, since he reigned officially as Constantine. Iblardi (talk) 18:37, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

name of Byzantine empire

Hello, i woulid like to make a comment about name of Byzantine empire (Imperium Romanum) ---> Βασιλεία Ρωμαίων (Vasilía Roméon). For the name "Vasilía Roméon", as Greek, in modern greek or ancient greek (language of byzantium). I would say "Βασιλεία των Ρωμαίων (Vasilía ton Roméon)" or "Βασίλειο των Ρωμαίων (Vasílio ton Roméon)" --> who means "Kingdom of Romans. My opinion is that it needs the genitive (ton). --ΩΑΡ (talk) 09:57, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

It makes perfect sense without it. Also Βασιλεία Ρωμαίων means Empire (of the) Romans, or Roman Empire (Βασιλεία was used for Empire at the time and had also been used for other Empires, like for exemple by Xenophon for the Persian Empire). Now, Βασιλεία των Ρωμαίων means Kingdom of the Romans and certainly not Roman Empire. I think it is fine as it is. --Michael X the White (talk) 11:06, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Her or it?

When referring to the Empire, do we say, "her reign was..." or do we say, "its reign was..."? Right now there's at least one instances of both being used, which I think is a little unorthodox, pardon the pun. Tourskin (talk) 15:32, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

An empire is a thing, therefore it is an "it" - see: It (pronoun). AFAIK an "empire2 (a country) isn't feminine and an empire can't reign. The sentence should be improved into something: "During its 1000 year existence the Byzantine Empire helped..." . Better yet: "A bastion of Christianity, and one of the prime trade centres in the world, the Byzantine Empire shielded Western Europe from..." Flamarande (talk) 18:44, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
That's a nice modification Flamarande. I agree. Dr.K. (talk) 18:53, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

NPOV violation

This article contains language that violates the NPOV principle. There is no justification for saying that the Byzantine empire was a "bastion of Christianity" that "helped to shield Western Europe from early Muslim expansion". If anybody objects to the removal of these statements, they should justify their position.—Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.30.114.148 (talk) 21:23, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

First, justify your removal, for it is you who wish to alter the status quo. Do not place the burden of evidence on us, you are the one who must prove to us that a change is needed. Tourskin (talk) 02:56, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
General Wikipedia principles (among them NPOV) take precedence over the status quo of any given page. Systematizer (talk)
The justification is as above: the article uses biased language. First, it refers to a "bastion of Christianity". This is heroic rethoric. You yourself formulate it in a more neutral way below, by saying that it was the "center of Christianity", which is a neutral formulation. Second, in the phrase "helped to shield Western Europe from early Muslim expansion" it is implied that the fact that it was a positive fact that Muslim expansion was halted. The article should not be making such judgements. Systematizer (talk)
In what way is it POV?
See above. Systematizer (talk)
The language in which a version of Wikipedia does not affect the NPOV Principle. That the article is about a Christian state, or that the languge in which it's written is English is no justfication to present facts from an Euro-Christian perspective. Systematizer (talk)
The Byzantine Empire was the center of Christianity and the heart of Christendom at an early time when the Latin Church in the West was juggling between Germanic invasions, paganism and Imperial control. That it was the heart of Christianity is not in doubt.
To say that the empire was "the center of Christianity" is NPOV. To say it's "a bastion of Christianity" is POV given the connotations of the term "bastion". Systematizer (talk)
That it defended Europe against Islamic expansion is not in doubt. To you, it may be offensive, I believe your own obvious Islamic agenda sees through here. The fact that the Arabs failed to take Constantinople twice meant that Western Europe would be dominated by a Latin Christian culture and not an Arabic Islamic culture.
Of course, this has historical importance, but the article should not explicitly take the Christian or Muslim perspective. Systematizer (talk)
Had it not been for Constantinople in 717 AD and 686 AD, Arabic not Latin would be the language of the elites; Arabic script not Latin script would be used in writing and Mosques not Churches would have been built. Even the Arabs recognize this to this day, so what is your problem? Do not change the original content until a concensus has been reached; learn to use wikipedia properly, not to your own agendaTourskin (talk) 03:01, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm just an ordinary Wikipedia user (check out my page 66.30.114.148 and you'll see that my edits have no bias whatsoever). From your own user page, it seems that you, Tourskin have a bias and agenda regarding this page. You should restrain yourself from introducing pro-Christian content in this page since you are obviously not neutral in what regards Christian-Muslim relations.
Don't you dare give me a lecture on Christian-Muslim relations. Where I was born, in Iraq, the only Christian-Muslim relations we know off at the moment is a slaughter relationship.
Your personal grievances only confirm that you have a bias on the topic of Christian-Muslim relations. Plus, I warn you against the usage of threats such as "don't you dare". Please review Wikipedia's civility guidelines Systematizer (talk).
Who the hell are you? You don't me, you don't know my contributions to wikipedia. So on what faulty basis do you conclude that I am biased? This article is about a Christian Kingdom that fought many wars against Muslim countries for its survival, first against the Arabs, then the Turks. Its wars against the Muslims protected Europe from Islamic conquest. Europeans are proud of their Euro-christian culture for the most part. Since this is an English wikipedia, it is very notable and therefore acceptable to include in this article the fact that the Byzantines were a bastion of Christianity (that means they were one of the best Christian state at the time, a fact) and protected Europe against so many invaders, even though the Europeans did not ask for this, nor were the Byzantines fighting for the barbarians of Europe.
Regardless of who is right in the content issue, Systematizer, you should go around claiming that you are neutral and accuses others of having biases. Everyone has biases, even if they don't acknowledge them. Tourskin has a desined user page, you don't. That doesn't mean that you have no views.
No problem at all. It always irks when somebody comes along and claims: "You're biased but I am not", especially when merely based on the fact that one discloses his views while others don't. Str1977 (talk) 10:28, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Now then, you - who falsely accusses me of Christian-Muslim bias. If a Muslim posts a quote from the Qu'ran that Muhammad is Allah's only prophet is that being biased? Similarly, if I post a quote directed at other Christians, not Muslims, about how the Catholic Church is God's Church, is that being biased? You know what, it doesn't matter! Wikipedia is not about removing all edits by biased users. Its about verifiable truth, obtained by concensus via civilized discussion, not accusations such as yours. Your edits have already been reverted by another user who contributed to the established structure.
Byzantium was one of the greatest Christian states at its height if not the greatest. Byzantium defeated numerous Muslim attempts at conquest. This may be an ashameful fact for Muslims, or it may not. I don't care. The Crusaders tried to protect Eastern Christians from initial Turkish persecutions of the Holy Land. They failed. It ashames me as a Christian. Should you care? No, because the truth hurts, and I am immune to your political correctness, as is wikipedia. That it offends you is surprising to me and only demonstrates your own narrow-mindedness and desire to censor. Tourskin (talk) 04:06, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
A Wikipedia page is not a venue for users to express their grievances about other users, nor about other religions. You should stick to the NPOV principle. If that is "political correctness" that you disagree with, you should be making your case to Wikipedias's editors. Systematizer (talk)
We cannot apply anachronistic political correctness to describe Byzantium as just a trade centre with a few purposeless wars here and there. The principal characteristic of Byzantium was its Christian faith either we like it or not. Sanitizing this fact is the POV, not the other way around. If we eliminate mentioning the significance of the myriad of wars waged defending Christian Byzantium against its adversaries we end up with a sanitised description of a great Christian state. The sanitised version ends up looking not much different from a giant Walmart since the primary function (i.e. her battles for survival as a Christian State) is hidden and trade is emphasised. I am sure the great Muslim nation has its own triumphs against the Christians. For example I wouldn't want to sanitise the triumphs of Saladin in the name of political correctness. A bastion of Christianity or a bastion of Islam is a historical fact not something we have to hide. Dr.K. (talk) 04:53, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Well stated. Tourskin (talk) 04:55, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Tourskin. Dr.K. (talk) 05:00, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
I do not argue about the Byzantine's contributions to the Christian world but I cannot agree with your idealistic point of view describing Byzantine empire as defender of Christianity, Tourskin. The Byzantines' motives for waging wars had always been more political than religious - as you probably know the empire fought against other Christian states ( for example Bulgaria) with no less ferociousness than the Muslim ones. In fact, it is just a state struggling with its hostile neighbours for dominance over either Asia minor or Balkans, depending on the particular enemy. So, I think that words like "bastion of Christianity" are not suitable for wikipedia and should be replaced with more neutral ones (for example "the Byzantine empire played a major role in stopping Muslim invasions in Europe" or something like that). Gur4eto (talk) 20:11, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
I am fully aware of the animosity between the Byzantine and Western worlds. Nonetheless, it is not the motives that count. Byzantium was a bastion of Christianity in that it was a key corner stone of Christendom of the time. Yes it fought Christian wars but you should also know that the Byzantines considered wars against Christians as less glorious than wars against Eastern opponents and I am citing John Haldon for this. Byzantium shielded Western Europe, unintentionally, but she did so nonetheless. You cannot deny that Byzantium was the most sophisticated Christian state during the Dark Ages. Tourskin (talk) 20:21, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
This argumentation is void. What is being discussed is not the verifiable fact that Byzantium was a or the center of Christianity or that it fought wars against the Muslim world. What is being objected to is the usage of biased language.
Your voiding of my argumentation is void; the first user got rid of the idea that Byzantium was a Christian state that defended Europe against Muslim states. Why don't show me then, how the language is biased? As Dr K put it, you're just removing it. There is no insensitive way to put the fact that (a) Byzantium was one of the best centers of Christianity (b) Byzantium defeated Muslim attempts to conquer Europe (and failed against the Ottomans). My argumentation is not void because I was addressing a seperate argument that the wording should be changed because of the intention. The first user argued for a "walmart" version of Byzantium, getting rid of the religious aspects of the state, even though the state saw herself as the protector of Orthodoxy. Finally, in what shape or content is your argument?Tourskin (talk) 02:14, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Look we can sanitize the language. We can call her "Centre of Christianity" and a great commercial centre. But then what? This sounds like a Californian shopping mall. Where is the blood? Where are the tears? Where are the battlements and the fortifications? Where is the Greek fire and all the battles waged defending Christianity? Standing for 1000 years at the gates of where East meets West and repelling countless waves of adversaries while fuelled by her faith was remarkable. That's why we need to describe this using big words. Anything less won't do her justice. Dr.K. (talk) 16:56, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
NPOV takes precedence over the status quo, yes, but you have to attain consensus for your edits, at least after you find that they are controversial. Str1977 (talk) 17:14, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Systematizer, what are you blabbering about? As Dr K and Str 1977 said, you have a view and so do I. The fact is, the empire shielded Europe from Islamic conquest. I am not saying that is a good thing, I am saying that it shielded Europe from Islamic conquest. I can use words like "dare" if I want to, I'm not threatening anyone. How dare you is the same thing as "how do you have the guts and lack of shame to lecture me" - it points at the ridiculousness a user has o tell me about Muslim-Christian relations, as if I would be some uneducated fool. Furthermore, if you don't want to hear about my personal grievances, then don't accuse me of my personal biases or lecture me about my Christian-Muslim relations outlook - I have cooperated with Muslim editors on wikipedia. None of my edits are POV. Anyone who has studied Byzantium will know that the two most notable effects that she has had on the world are 1) The evolution and preservation of a unique Orthodox Eastern Christian heritage and 2) the protection of Europe from Islamic conquest that allowed Europe to remain independent to fight herself to bits in the Dark Ages and led to the rise of the Feudal age.
How else would you have it worded!! Tell me!!! Do not remove content because of wording, why don't you instead offer a different wording? This is what Byzantium was! Hail Byzantium!!! (You have driven me to express my bias). Tourskin (talk) 17:45, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Re the content: "bastion" merely means fortress, hence "bastion of Christianity" means that the Empire defended Christianity both within its own borders as well as in the Europe further to the west. Str1977 (talk) 17:19, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Exactly my points Str1977. I'm in complete agreement with you. Thank you also for reminding me about the allegations of bias regarding Tourskin. Whatever a user puts in their talk page is their business. To come and associate the infoboxes and other info with their edits and allege POV on their part is counterproductive and goes against WP:AGF. Tourskin's symbols on his talk page should not be used against him. If he had the sincerity to inform other users of his background, this should not be used against him as prima facie evidence of his POV. Everyone has a background and a POV. Some hide it, others don't. Are the ones that hide it free of POV? This is nonsense. Let the ideas speak for themselves, not the user backgrounds. Dr.K. (talk) 17:32, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Bastion... yes it means fortress.. duh. Sorry about that. Anyways, thank you for defending my right to have a view. Tourskin (talk) 17:35, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
People get bastion and beacon confused and think the first is as positive as the second. You can't argue w/o POV that Byzantium was the center of Christianity (Copts & Catholics would disagree with you) but there's no question that Byzantium was a bastion of Christianity. I think the argument comes from the idea that people shouldn't think that Christianity is something that needs defending, which is itself pretty blatant POV. That said, I really don't see what the problem is with saying that Byzantium successfully resisted Muslim invaders for centuries and pointing out that it's the equivalent of the Battles of Dongola and Tours. -LlywelynII (talk) 07:19, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, IS A BYZANTINE?

http://www.romanity.org/htm/fox.01.en.what_if_anything_is_a_byzantine.01.htm

Opinions? I just want to know what you guys think of this article by Professor Fox. --Titus001 (talk) 03:54, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

An amateurish outcry of a well established truth. Whilst it is well-established amongst scholars and students of the Eastern Roman Empire's true name, it is not a case for it being called that name always, primarily because people who read about it will have no idea that the Romans actually lived on until the 15th century. It is convenient for us to label the Medieval part of the Roman Empire as the "Byzantine Empire". No other country has experienced such a gradual evolution in identity, so it is difficult to look to some convention as a guideline. Tourskin (talk) 04:16, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

The guy that wrote that article is a Professor of history.I thought it was well done. What is your opinion on this post? Some guy/girl on another forum had this to say.

"And oh, by the way, I also got further confirmation that the term "Byzantines" is not a western invention. It turns out a great part of the Byzantine chroniclers of the early middle ages used it extensively and precisely in that sense. Many used Byzantion exclusively (instead of Constantinople) and massively used "Byzantinos" to refer not only the residents of the city but also all the subjects of the eastern empire (not surprising, since it was plenty common to name countries & their inhabitants after the ruling cities, viz. Portugal, Tripoli, and, of course, Rome itself.)

So, again, with this little foray, I feel confirmed that this whole insistence on Basileos Rhomaoi and Romania stuff is all latter-day revivalism. [A reminder: I don't say they didn't call themselves Romans before, but I reject the contention that they only called themselves Romans, and that "Greeks" and "Byzantines" was somehow a Western insult. It isn't. They used those terms themselves, and aplenty, officially and unofficially. They only got fidgety in the 11th C. and started being insistent upon it afterwards." --Titus001 (talk) 05:20, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

The person posting that is confused. Budsantion was indeed the name of the old Greek city, but Western writers did not derive the name from medieval Roman usage. Anyways, wiki talk pages are not general discussion forums, but should only be used for editorial discussion relevant to the article. Thanks, Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:29, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

POV check: Aspar

I had a concern about the following paragraph.

After the fall of Attila, the true chief in Constantinople was the Alan general Aspar. Leo I managed to free himself from the influence of the barbarian chief by supporting the rise of the Isaurians, a semi-barbarian tribe living in southern Anatolia. Aspar and his son Ardabur were murdered in a riot in 471, and henceforth, Constantinople was freed from the influence of barbarian leaders for centuries.

Although this certainly fits with the traditional telling of Byzantine history I don't believe this could be called NPOV (unless there is some aspect of the history I am not familiar with). Obviously the use of the term barbarian is inappropriate in any context to begin with. But regardless, as far as I understand Aspar was "Byzantine" in virtually any real sense of the word and his family had been a part of the Empire for some time. The only "barbarian" aspect of him was that his ethnic group was not Orthodox and at the time this prevented his rise to the throne. The paragraph is trying to imply that he was a foreigner that had seized control of the Empire but the real Byzantines managed to take their country back. This does not seem to me to be a reflection of reality in any genuine sense (more importantly in any sense that modern scholars would agree with).

Is there more to the history that somebody knows?

--Mcorazao (talk) 17:58, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't find the term Barbarian to be a violation of NPOV. Usually, to me its a meaningful broad class of peoples with the following sterotypes:
  • Loyal to own culture
  • Tough, sword yielding warrior classes
  • Houses made out of wood rather than stone
  • Stone and metal works heavily limited, resulting in high quality limited works. No mud houses.
  • Few Horses, only for a few mounted elite.
  • Virtually no libraries or philosophers and no written language usually.

The above characteristics, with the exception of the last are hardly derogatory. Th last one is also true for the most part. Barbarian is not so much on a level of civilization as group of people. To me, barbarians translates to tough men and women. Tourskin (talk) 23:12, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

To you it translates as 'tough men and women', but for far too many of ppl out there it simply means "Rabid/aggressive hordes of illeterate people who didn't wash and stank of sweat and rotten food. Clad in fur, too-often drunk, pillagers, rapists, murderers, burners of cities, and destroyers of civilization".
I personaly believe that to use this word too much is simply lazy and sloopy research. "Blah-bah" was a "barbarian", the "barbarian horde" under "whoever barbarian chieftain" invaded the BE. There were dozens upon dozens of diffrent cultures and tribes: Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, Alemanni, Huns, Saxons, Yutes, Roxalani, Franks, etc. To use the word 'barbarian' simply shows that noone cares enough for the quality of this article.
Just check the dif of the recent edit by Mcorazao, it not only improved the quality of the sentences; it also gained a lot in accuracy. Instead of writting 'barbarian' try to identify the person's tribe/culture and include it at the proper place. This would drastically improve the quality of this article. Flamarande (talk) 23:42, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
No need to point a sharp finger at me with the bold "you". I was just offering my take on it. If it improves the accuracy, so be it. Tourskin (talk) 23:58, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Sorry. Flamarande (talk) 00:07, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
What's up with everybody picking on Tourskin these days. Like Mcorazao said above: "Although this certainly fits with the traditional telling of Byzantine history...." so the only thing Tourskin was doing was defending the traditional way of telling the story which is not a bad thing. Mcorazao's argument has the advantage of being more precise regarding the origins of the barbarians and more politically correct. In the process we lose a little Byzantine-centered POV and traditional story-telling flavour. Which is better? The precision of Mcorazao's formulation clinched the deal for me, even though I did find the old "barbarian" centered narration charming because it evoked a distinctly byzantine flavour. Dr.K. (talk) 00:20, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you Dr K, though I gracefully accept Flamarande's apologies. I also wanted to say, but was not as well versed in saying it as Dr K, his opinion. Tourskin (talk) 00:24, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Can we reinclude the word barbarian but surround it in "quotation marks"? It would get rid of the POV yet retain the Byzantine flavor, as Dr K would have it. Tourskin (talk) 00:25, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Thank you Tourskin for your nice comments. I support including "barbarian" (in quotaions) along with Mccorazao's more detailed description. This way we have a hybrid solution which combines the desirable features of both approaches, while explicitly qualifying the word barbarian. Dr.K. (talk) 00:35, 23 August 2008 (UTC)


Why has the Justinian 565 map been removed?

There was the 565/1025 debate for months over which map would be the "main" map for this article, now there is no main map and the Justinian Map is missing from the entire article - only the Justinian article itself has the map.

There's I believe a 1025 map and a 1045 thematic map, so whats with the quite lengthy absence of the 565 map that so many originally fought (and democratically won) vehmently over?

I would be bold myself but I can't even remotely remember how to add a map to an article.

--Tataryn77 (talk) 18:51, 2 September 2008 (UTC)


That's right! The most important issue in this talk page was that of the map! And now it is not there! ...--Michael X the White (talk) 19:16, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

A 550 map is in the main map - does that close the case? Gabr-el 01:12, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Provided that the one who removed it didn't actually know anything about the "map issue".--Michael X the White (talk) 13:46, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Latin in mosaic from Constantine IV's reign

Do not remove what I added in language section. "Imperator" is visible in text above of the figures, together with "privilegia" written in the stone tablet that Constantine IV is giving to Bishop of Ravenna ect (Constantine IV is granting the bishop "privilege" of tax immunity) - it's Latin, even though the particular mosaic was made nearly 60 years after Heraclius' policy with Greek. It shouldn't be suprising that Latin continued to be used even after Heraclius (something that is mentioned right above what I added in language section - with a source). --Kurt Leyman (talk) 19:46, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Well, I didn't remove the addition, but I think that the mosaic may really only reflect local tradition rather than any 'official' use of either Greek or Latin by the Empire. Obviously the Latin-speaking West still used Latin, but I don't think it is contested that by the time of Heraclius' reign Greek had replaced Latin for official purposes in the Eastern provinces, which were the empire's primary interest by then. From Constantinople's point of view, Italy had become a cultural and economic backwater on the fringe of the empire, of limited importance and increasingly difficult to maintain as the military situation in the Eastern Mediterranean worsened. Local administration was mostly left to the indigenous aristocracy and church officials, who went on communicating in Latin as they always had done. This doesn't seem to be so much a matter of official policy as one of continuity at a provincial level. Iblardi (talk) 20:35, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

I did not mean to imply that this is a prove of "use of language XXXX over language XXX as official language" - rather, my point is that Latin was obviously still used even after Heraclius' reign, be it a minority language or symbolical, ceremonial language - which is what the sourcing above my additions in the language section says. --Kurt Leyman (talk) 20:54, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

You're giving undue weight to this fact by adding it as an example, you should at least add a proper source instead of using provocative arguements in your edit description like "your ignorance over Latin is not my concern", which has nothing to do with what Yannismarou stressed out.--Zakronian (talk) 15:28, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Not to mention use of a picture as reference is a WP:PRIMARY source. Clearly not allowed under Wikipedia rules until such time as a WP:RS secondary source has commented on it. Such usage verges on WP:OR and does not belong in a featured article. Dr.K. (talk) 17:08, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
It is also not pleasant to start of a discussion with a command "Do not remove". When Heraclius changed the language officially from Greek to Latin, of course that does not mean that everyone who spoke Latin all of a sudden forgot how to speak it. Furthermore, parts of the Empire were not as Hellenized as Greece or Asia Minor. Gabr-el 17:18, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

"of course that does not mean that everyone who spoke Latin all of a sudden forgot how to speak it." Obviously, but this is not just about that. This is a mosaic from Ravenna, capital of the Empire's holdings in Italy, commissioned to commemorate the fact that Constantine IV had granted Bishop of Ravenna "privilegia" of tax immunity. Clearly, this is an example of Latin's use as ceremonial language (not just language spoken by minority) just as the cituation above my additions states - even when Greek had become official language and one might assume that it's use in something like this had stopped. --Kurt Leyman (talk) 19:38, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it made sense to keep using Latin for such purposes in those parts of the empire where it had been an established language of administration (in addition to being a spoken language) for centuries. I think Heraclius and his successors did not have the intention of banning the use of Latin altogether. It was simply abolished as the language of official communication in the East because it was impractical; very few spoke it as their native tongue and it had to be acquired with effort. Laws were already issued bilingually in the time of Justinian. Especially when the importance of the West for the empire was diminishing, it was no longer practical to maintain a shadowy second administrative language that hardly anyone understood only to keep up an appearance of continuity with the Roman past. But it would have been practical to continue communicating with the subjects in Latin wherever it was the native language, like in Italy. But this is only of limited importance for the empire as a whole, as Italy was no longer its cultural and administrative center. Decrees were issued in Constantinople, and they were issued in Greek. Iblardi (talk) 20:29, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
I have seen the addition of the text and must say that too much fuss is being made over it. There is no harm in adding in verifiable information, if it is true and I don't doubt it is. Gabr-el 21:48, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Nonetheless Kurt, you continue to show extreme arrogance. Though I do not object to your edit, I do object to the fact that you added it in without consensus. Gabr-el 07:30, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
And I object to your objection. Be bold clearly shows that one isn't supposed to wait for any consensus at all (and I'm sure that there is no special policy for this article). However contributors should be able reach a consensus (which respects accuracy and facts) afterwards. Another user can always correct/improve/(delete unneeded information) an article. That's the whole point of "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly". Accusing another user of "showing extreme arrogance" is unwise, to say the least. Flamarande (talk) 18:00, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Why do you object to my objection? Being bold does not mean ignoring the objection of others in a discussion; its part of the wiki rule of being civil. No, you do not need a consensus to change things, but when ur change is disputed, and Kurt's change was disputed, you must be civil and discuss to attain a consensus. You yourself said it, and that is my point too; you accuse me of the wrong things, I myself said that this is a trivial issue. But Kurt has failed to try to get a consensus before adding it in afterwards. He also said "do not remove this and that" - it is in my opinion arrogant to defy other editors and not seek a consensus after objections have been raised and it is also rude to demand other users first time not to remove a piece of information you add in - for isn't that being bold? Gabr-el 18:18, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I object to your objection (funny sentence :) because of this: "Nonetheless Kurt, you continue to show extreme arrogance. Though I do not object to your edit, I do object to the fact that you added it in without consensus." Accusing a regular contributor of being arrogant is being impolite and such things have a way of getting very quickly get out of control. Let's drop the matter. Flamarande (talk) 00:09, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Accusing someone of arrogance, based on mypast interactions with that user, is my business, not yours Gabr-el 00:14, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
It is not impolite to inform one of their faults, but rather beneficial, in the hope that they learn from them. Be mature and accept criticism as a lesson, not an insult. Gabr-el 00:18, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
If it's solely your business then take it to your personal userpage, and not to the talkpages of articles. Thank you. Flamarande (talk) 00:22, 18 September 2008 (UTC) PS: I'm not going to continue this sterile conversation, as I said: these things have a weird way of getting out of control very easily.
Dude, u started this. If its my business then stay out of it. There is nothing wrong with giving criticism to a user. Gabr-el 00:42, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Changing the first Emperor and date of the Empire's beginning

I would object Constantine I being considered the first Emperor. Constantine did not rule divided Roman Empire. Arcadius was the first Emperor in the east, as Honorius was the first Emperor in the west. Although there is no doubt that Constantine I was considered to be founder of Christian Roman Empire (both in west and east) he did not rule divided empire, and I therefore think it is not correct to consider him as the first Emperor - the date of establishment would of course also be changed. Theodosius I ruled an unified Roman Empire - by that account particular empire did not exist durign his reign. --Kurt Leyman (talk) 14:52, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Okay. Find a source that we can write ;) Not that I don't trust your knowledge, but people, when reading, expect a source, because it's wikipolicy. If you find the source, I can incorporate it into the article :) Thank you! BlackPearl14[talkies!contribs!] 18:47, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with BlackPearl14's suggestion. Dr.K. (talk) 19:33, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

No,no Constantine the Great is accepted as first Emperor, because he was the first Emperor that ruled from Constantinople and that's what we're based on.--Michael X the White (talk) 20:22, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Michael here. It doesn't matter if its a divided empire or not. What makes Byzantium is that it was Rome centered on Constantinople. As the first Christian Emperor ruling from the capital of Byzantium, I think it is the best choice. Gabr-el 20:38, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Sorry guys. I didn't mean to be taken as disagreeing with you. I simply wanted to find a citation for the obvious fact that Constantine was the first Byzantine emperor. Is this citation difficult to find? I can't believe that this fact is widely disputed. Dr.K. (talk) 20:48, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
No need to apologize; your opinion warrants respect either way it goes. I do not believe that a citation is appropriate for this matter. The reason being is that this is not so much a matter of who was first, but whenwas first. If we say that Theodosius was the first, or Heraclius, that conflicts with our acceptance of 330 AD as the start of the Empire. There are many conflicting opinions as to when Byzantium began. Therefore, finding a reference for the first Emperor and coming to a concensus based on a collection of such references will be as unhelpful as it is for determining the start of the Empire. Thus, I propose we merely accept Constantine, based on our taken-for-granted view on the Empire's start - 330 AD. Gabr-el 00:37, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Thank you very much Gabr-el for your, as usual, gentlemanly approach and kind comments. The respect is mutual and I am very pleased to have yet another discussion with you on this page. Your arguments make eminent sense to me and I completely agree with your comments. I accept your proposal. All the best and take care for now. Tasos (Dr.K. (talk) 01:14, 12 October 2008 (UTC))

Renaming the article

I think this article should be renamed to a more neutral name, like "Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire". Both terms are used by historians ( http://books.google.com/books?q=%22Eastern+Roman+Empire%22&lr=&sa=N&start=10 (although the link wasn't really needed)) and Wikipedia should not settle for one as the main title. What do you think? Cody7777777 (talk) 10:06, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

I oppose. The term "Byzantine Empire" is used far more often by current academia. To be honest the article History of the Eastern Roman Empire is the one who should be re-named into History of the Byzantine Empire. Flamarande (talk) 10:17, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Regardless, which is used more often, the link on google books, proves that "Eastern Roman Empire" is also used a lot (and I'm convinced someone could put a similar link for "Byzantine Empire"). "Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire" was supposed to be a compromise (although even so, it could suggest a transformation from Roman to Byzantine). Cody7777777 (talk) 10:37, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Cody we are not supposed to bow to compromises unless we really have to. The content of Wikipedia is supposed to present the knowledge (AFAWK) as it is taught in school, as written about by scholars (in this case by historians), and as used by the common ppl (in this case the overwhelming majority of English-speakers). And all of them use 'Byzantine Empire' far more often. Flamarande (talk) 14:30, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
I oppose per Flamarande. Having all possible names on the title of an article is unwieldy and unnecessary and not practised. Also if Britannica names it Byzantine so should we. Dr.K. (talk) 10:57, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Also oppose, per Flamarande and Tasos. Regardless of our individual preferences, it is best known as the Byzantine Empire, both in academia and in the wider public. Constantine 12:49, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

I also oppose. Even though "Byzantine" is only a historiographic term founded to distract from the Roman legacy, the Empire is more widely known as "Byzantine". And besides, the true names seem covered in the article.--Michael X the White (talk) 12:53, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Also oppose, we've been over this a hundred times already. Adam Bishop (talk) 12:54, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
oppose - it will create confusion --5telios (talk) 21:34, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Oppose though I see we carry the vote. Gabr-el 21:38, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Oppose WP policy says to choose one title, not to use alternates within the title itself -- redirects are useful for alternate titles. Byzantine Empire is the standard, common name. --macrakis (talk) 21:39, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your replies. I don't plan to insist on this renaming with such an opposition (and I have to say, I'm a bit amazed, although I was expecting a strong opposition, I was still not expecting a total opposition). However, I still think I should explain why I claimed that the current "Byzantine Empire" is not the best choice. Current historians don't claim that between 330 and 1453 there was a state in the world called "Byzantine Empire", instead they claim that there was a state called "Roman Empire" (the objective part), which they (a part of historians) prefer to call "Byzantine Empire" (the subjective part). So, in other words, (the nickname) "Byzantine Empire" is the individual preference (a POV) of a part of historians. Obviously, the article needs to deal with both the objective and subjective parts. The question would rather be which should be given more importance. (To be honest, in my opinion, to name an article about the later Roman Empire as "Byzantine Empire", is nearly the same like naming the article Roman Catholic Church as "Papism", the difference being, that this term is less used than "Byzantine Empire" (of course, I could be wrong about this comparison). However, it seems clear there is no reason to continue this.) Cody7777777 (talk) 13:17, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

No you're wrong; hardly anyone calls the Catholic Church "Papism" unless they have serious issues with the Catholic Church. Byzantium is a very neutral term, widely used. Instead of refuting our 330 Ad claim, please present one of your own. Constantine is the best candidate for starting the Byzantine Empire. Looking for a dividing time period between the Romans and Byzantines is like looking for the black and white in a shade of grey; its not going to be an easy task either way. Most historians don't give a very good reason why they choose certain start dates for the Empire and most don't even give a start date, merely talking about the Empire's beginnings from Heraclius. Gabr-el 04:59, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry if my comparison offended anyone (that was not what I meant). I cannot understand how "Byzantine Empire" is a neutral term. It's purpose is to enforce the subjective opinion of some people that this state doesn't deserve to be called Roman (no current historian (at least as far as I know) would ever deny the fact that this state was called "Roman Empire"). So, in my posts above, I was not trying to suggest a different start date, but to also suggest in the title that there never was a split between Romans and "Byzantines". (However, since you asked, my candidate for a start date of this article would be "286 AD", since it was Diocletian who started the tradition of spliting the administration, Constantine reunified the empire instead, and the article Western Roman Empire at the moment also has this start date.) Cody7777777 (talk) 19:37, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
No need to apologize. But it is my opinion that Byzantium is a term many Historians use to describe an Empire that became remarkably distinct from its Roman predecessor. When this emerged is hard to suggest, but should not be based on the western Roman Empire, since this empire did not evolve but merely fell into collapse from its inception - and therefore should not be looked on to much for Byzantium. Gabr-el 22:19, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

The term "Byzantine Empire" has only been around for 300 years. It stems from an old Western rivalry with the empire, starting with Charlemagne. Charlemagne was the 1st person ever to call the Eastern Roman Empire the "Greek Empire" or something else other than Roman Empire. The Arabs called it the Roman Empire, everyone except Western Europe called it the Roman Empire. Western Europe believed the Empire was no longer worthy of being called Roman, since they had a woman as emperor. Thus Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, but in reality the Byzantine Empire was far more Roman. One could make a case the Byzantine Empire was much like Rome (before the fall of the Western half) since it never entered the Dark Ages. Although the culture changed much from the older empire, the Byzantine Empire still had chariot races, aquaducts, and superior engineering (all stereotypical "Roman Stuff"). However, I don't have much of a problem with people saying "Byzantine Empire" since most people are accustomed to calling it that, and it does help distinguish the different cultural periods of the Roman Empire. Besides, people give me odd looks when I talk about the Roman Empire existing in the 15th century, and they usually say "You mean the Holy Roman Empire?" I think this article does a good enough job of describing the etymology of "Byzantine" and showing how the Byzantine Empire is just another term for the Roman Empire in the Middle Ages. -Unsigned comment by 70.234.191.195

As such, isn't it a useful distinction? Never mind. I hadn't read all of your comment carefully. ChildofMidnight (talk) 05:19, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks - but as active editors of this article, we have all been given weird looks by people when we speak of the Roman Empire in the 15th century! Gabr-el 05:56, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Religion?

It says it went from Christianity to Eastern Orthodox Christianity in 1054. That seems to imply a Roman Catholic bias, could there be a better way to represent its religion? For example, the Holy Roman Empire was founded in 962, yet its article says it was just Roman Catholic. Saying the Byzantine Empire went from Christianity to Eastern Orthodox Christianity is like saying the Holy Roman Empire went from Christianity to Roman Catholic Christianity in 1054. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.234.172.126 (talk) 22:31, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't see a Bias issue, I see only an inconsistency issue. Nonetheless, to say that they went to "Eastern Orthodoxy" from "Christianity" is something even the Catholic Church would deny - as they profess that the Orthodox Churches are real. It should just say Eastern Orthodox. Besides, a hallmark of Eastern Orthodoxy is remaining on the same, correct path. Gabr-el 05:59, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Hmm, I didn't know the Catholic Church taught that. Either way, I think the current status is a little better than what it was when I first posted this. Earlier it said the Empire became Eastern Orthodox in 1054, which is a bias in some sense. Now it just says Christianity/Eastern Orthodox. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.234.179.180 (talk) 17:08, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

I can assure you that the Catholic Church teaches that the Orthodox Churches are real Churches. Gabr-el 02:50, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
An additional comment: Not that I am recommending anything but if we are being technical, it is not entirely NPOV to say that religion of Rome and Constantinople was simply Christianity if we say they later became Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox. Although the Roman Imperial Church was the most prestigious Christian organization there were many other Christian groups inside and outside the Empire. It may, in fact, be that the Roman Church did not even represent the majority of Christians as there were huge bodies of Christians in Egypt, the Levant, Persia, Germania, and other regions that were outside the Roman Church (I say "may" because I have never seen any estimates of relative sizes but I know the "unorthodox" sects were large).
Point is that whatever wording is chosen it should avoid any implication that the official Roman Church ever represented the entire Christian world.
--Mcorazao (talk) 06:51, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Wording regarding Latin in Language section

I have not checked in for a while but I noticed some additional wording added in the Language section regarding Latin usage.

... Vulgar Latin continued to be a minority language ... and in Italy, as elsewhere in the Western Mediterranean, Latin remained in use both as a spoken language and one of culture and (local) administration. An illustration of later use of Latin in the empire is late 7th century mosaic from the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe in Ravenna portraying Constantine IV.

Although this is all correct I think it is distracting from the point of the paragraph. These are all Western references (Ravenna, of course, being in Italy). Yes, technically the Eastern Empire gained nominal control over many parts of the West for brief periods and claimed ownership over areas of the West for longer periods, in reality Italy and other Western lands rapidly lost their connection to the East after the 5th century. The point of this paragraph was to emphasize that even after the West was lost Latin did not suddenly disappear in the East even though its importance did decline rapidly. The fact that Latin was still important in the West is a separate topic that is really outside of what was intended to be discussed in this section.

Since this wording has been there for a while I didn't want to arbitrarily alter it.

Comments on this?

--Mcorazao (talk) 06:51, 5 January 2009 (UTC)


In my opinion, the phrase should not be removed. This article already speaks about the western provinces when they were reconquered during the time of Justinian I (so I don't think there's anything wrong to speak about them in the 7th century, since the Exarchate of Ravenna was still controlled by the Emperor from Constantinople until the 8th century). Also, we should not give the impression that latin was entirely gone by the 7th century from use by imperial administration. Although greek was already the cultural language of the east for a long time (although these provinces were multi-ethnic), coins from the emperors of the Heraclian dynasty still use latin words such as "Dominus Noster" or "Perpetvus Augustus" until the 8th century (http://romanity.org/htm/fox.01.en.what_if_anything_is_a_byzantine.01.htm#coins). Also, if I remember correctly, the Code of Justinian, which was written mostly in latin (excluding the Novellae which were in greek), remained in use until Leo III issued the Ecloga (a revision of the Code of Justinian written in Greek) in 726 AD. Cody7777777 (talk) 23:21, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, I think if the comments are not going to be removed the paragraph needs to be rewritten. The point of the paragraph is now lost and it is now rather muddled.
To respond to your points:
  • I think you are missing my original point a little. The point of the paragraph was to emphasize that Latin continued to be a part of Eastern culture even after the fall of Rome. The additions to the paragraph bury this point (i.e. they tend to emphasize Latin usage in the West detracting from Latin usage in the East) which I think is important to make clear.
  • The reconquering of the West was a very brief period in Byzantine history (excluding some tiny areas that were held longer) and to imply that the West during those periods became strongly reintegrated with the Byzantine Empire is rewriting history. Talking about Western culture as being part of Byzantine culture is rather like talking about Japanese culture as an example of American culture during the occupation years. Technically Japan and the U.S. were politically connected for a time but they were always very distinct. The same was true of the West and the East even during the Justinian era.
  • Be careful about over-emphasizing Justian's rule in discussing the Byzantine era. Justinian is widely acknowledged as having been the last emperor to try to push widespread use of Latin and even Justinian gradually gave up on trying to push Latin during his rule.
  • Be careful about overstating the importance of Latin because of trace evidence in coinage and other areas. Latin was a ceremonial part of the culture for most of Byzantine history but this does not reflect Latin's actually being a widely used language. Latin, indeed, did appear in some for or another on coins until ... I think it was the 11th century. The army continued to use Latin terminology thoughout Byzantine history. Latin phrases were used in official functions for centuries. But one could say similar things about Latin usage in many modern Western nations yet nobody would argue that any Western nation speaks Latin.
  • The fact of the matter is that, after Justinian's reign, scholarly knowledge of Latin plummeted (although, as mentioned, small minority groups did continue to use Vulgar Latin throughout Byzantine history). By the time Heraclius came to power, there were not a lot of people left in the Empire that could even read classical Latin, much less speak it.
  • Your comment on the use of Justinian's Code in Latin is only technically true. The fact is that summaries of the Code were almost immediately created in Greek and these were actually what the administrators and the courts mostly used to enforce the law. The Ecloga was, in part, an acknowledgement of the fact that it was silly to be basing the law on a document that nobody actually read (that was not the only motivation in writing the Ecloga, of course).
I still don't really see the need to elaborate on Latin in the West since this section is already a bit long but, if this is going to be discussed, rephrasing is in order.
--Mcorazao (talk) 04:46, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, I agree that the paragraph should be rewritten. In my post above, I was not trying to say that latin was still in wide use after the 7th century (its importance was already in decline), I was trying to say that until the 8th century it was still used even in the east, sometimes as a secondary language (regarding the western provinces, we can still refer to the exarchates of Africa and Italy (during the time they were part of the empire), where it was still used in administration, but the paragraph should not use this to claim that it was important in the east as well).
Regarding the cultural differences, I think the comparison, between the USA and Japan cannot apply entirely in this case. Most of the western provinces (Spain, Gaul, Britain) were indeed largely separated from greco-roman culture in the 5th century, but I don't think that Italy was separated that much, since the Ostrogoths kept the roman institutions in Italy, and the empire reconquered it anyway (also during the 7th century the emperor Constants II ruled for a while from Syracuse). Also, there were still popes in Rome, who were of eastern origins during these times. I mainly trying to say that in the 7th century Italy and Africa were not that much separated from the eastern provinces (there were differences of course, but not like when comparing Gaul and Britain to the east). Cody7777777 (talk) 21:46, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree the US/Japan comparison is extreme. I was just trying to emphasize a point. The cultures of Rome and Constantinople, though, had diverged well before the fall of Rome and, indeed, they had never really fully converged in the first place. Then again, the cultures of Constantinople and Alexandria were in a lot of ways at least as divergent although their political connections were closer and went back much further.

In any event, given that the article is about the Byzantine Empire, this section should focus on the regions that were part of the Empire for most of its history and/or represented a major portion of the population. That obviously includes the Balkans and Anatolia, and then to a lesser degree, Illyria, the Levant and Egypt. Italy, not so much.

Anyway how about something like the following.

The original language of the government of the Empire, which owed its origins to Rome, had been Latin and this continued to be its official language until the 7th century AD when it was effectively changed to Greek by Heraclius. Scholarly Latin would rapidly fall into disuse among the educated classes although the language would continue to be at least a ceremonial part of the Empire's culture for some time. Additionally common Latin continued to be a minority language in the Empire which many scholars believe gave birth to the Vlach languages. In the Western Mediterranean provinces temporarily acquired under the reign of Justinian I, Latin continued to be used both as a spoken language and the language of scholarship.

Note that I have simplified the paragraph and removed a lot of the details (basically coming much closer to the way it was). We went to a lot of trouble months ago to shorten this section and I think this is enough detail on this one topic. To be honest, if we were going to preserve some of the details that have been added since we would actually need to expand the paragraph more since the details in there right now seem a little haphazard.

BTW, regarding the Vlach thing, the wording I had a few months back was the result of a lot of compromise. Frankly I had not wanted to include the Vlach thing at all because of the controversy but to satisfy others I mentioned it with the "some scholars" qualification. This qualification should not have been removed.

Comments?

--Mcorazao (talk) 17:08, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

To me, your version seems fine. Regarding the southern Vlach thing, I don't think there's any problem with it, there were indeed latinized Illyrians and Thracians living in the balkans, although most of the provinces were they were a majority, were conquered in the 7th-8th centuries by Slavs and Bulgars, but some minorities still remained in the empire. Cody7777777 (talk) 22:27, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually, it might be better to specify "southern vlach", to differentiate it from "northern vlach" or "daco-romanian". Cody7777777 (talk) 18:43, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

successors

Get rid of them. We've beaten this to death and we could come to no consensus other than to get rid of all these false pretenders. Gabr-el 21:46, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

In my opinion, only the Empire of Trebizond, the Despotate of Morea and the Ottoman Empire should be mentioned in the infobox (although later the Tsardom of Moscow also claimed to be a successor to the (eastern) Roman Empire, but this should not be mentioned in the infobox, since they didn't controlled former imperial territories). Cody7777777 (talk) 20:53, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't like the idea, since we might find it difficult to draw the line. There are so many claimants. The ones you listed are only a fraction of the territorial successors, not to mention the cultural and religious successors. Gabr-el 05:11, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, I don't think we should leave the successors section empty. The reasons I listed the Empire of Trebizond and the Despotate of Morea were because these states actually split directly from the empire, so they occupied parts of the same territory and they were of the same religion and culture. I listed the Ottoman Empire because they considered themselves to be the successors of the empire, they had the same territory (they also ruled from the same capital), and they were culturally closer to the eastern Roman Empire than other islamic states, their administrative system also borrowed elements from its administration, and there was also the Rum Millet. If we list others apart from these, in my opinion only the remaining Balkan states (such as Serbia, Wallachia [1], Moldavia (Stephen the Great of Moldavia was actually married with Maria of Mangup who was related to the Emperors of Trebizond), Albania, etc.) could also be listed, because they shared the same religion and culture, they also had similar administration, and they also occupied (small) parts of the eastern Roman Empire. What I'm trying to say is, that we should list only the states which had parts of its former territory, that were linked more culturally to the empire than others, had similar administration, and which also had the same religion (excluding the ottomans). If we list all the states who occupied parts of the same territory, or which had cultural or religious links, or any other sort of claims, the list would be too long. Cody7777777 (talk) 14:48, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
IMHO one should remove the Republic of Venice and the Kingdom of Cyprus but leave the others. Flamarande (talk) 02:30, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
In answer against these proposals, the following states all have cultural, religious and territorial succession from Byzantium:
  • Papal States (Rome, central Italy)
  • Russia (Crimea)
  • Ottoman Empire
  • Kingdom of Cyprus (Cyprus)
  • Republic of Venice (Dalmatian Islands, Venice itself)
  • Despotate of Morea
  • Empire of Trebizond
  • Habsburg Empire (southern spain, southern italy)
  • Genoa (Islands of Chios and Lesbos etc)

Where should one draw the line in this mad list?

Gabr-el 02:52, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

The Kingdom of Cyprus, the Duchy of Athens, the Duchy of the Archipelago and the Habsburg Empire were (western) feudal states (their administration was not inspired by the east roman system, while those of the Balkan states were). Also, the Habsburg Empire did not control in 1453 (, at least as far, as I know,) southern Italy and southern Spain. Also, Russia did not control in 1453 Crimea. Regarding, the Republic of Venice, and the Papal State, they indeed started as imperial rebels, from this point of view, they could be included, although they didn't had imperial aspirations as far as I know. The Republic of Genoa appeared from the Kingdom of Italy (medieval) which was also a(n) (western) feudal state. In my opinion, I still believe that only the states which had parts of its former territory (not after 1453) AND that were linked more culturally to the empire than others AND had similar administration AND which also had the same religion (excluding the ottomans) should be listed (if we use OR instead of AND, the list would become too long). Cody7777777 (talk) 09:44, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
How about the following list:
I might be forgetting something, but I think this corresponds with the proposed "line draw" above. Cody7777777 (talk) 14:47, 28 January 2009 (UTC)
So be it. Gabr-el 20:32, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. Cody7777777 (talk) 20:53, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
My Pleasure. Gabr-el 21:16, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Form of government

I notice that recently the form of government was changed to Absolute Monarchy, is this really correct? As far as I know, officially the emperor could not go against the law, but he was the one who could change it. (I think it would be better to show only Autocracy.) Cody7777777 (talk) 11:49, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

I find the distinction between them blurry at best, but as autocracy seems to emphasize the non-hereditary, unconventional form of an absolute ruler, I'd tend more towards Absolute Monarchy. As far as the resp. articles are concerned, the difference is apparently not whether the ruler was above the law. That aspect of an Absolute Monarchy to me seems difficult to apply to a medieval state anyway. Varana (talk) 14:35, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
As a further complication, notice that Autocracy states that the ruler is "self-appointed". This would only be possible if he [We can ignore empresses for this discussion] already controls an important power center, esp. the military. In contrast, it seems that many Byzantine/ERE emperors were politically sophisticated enough to get either the Senate or the predecessor emperor to appoint them. We should (1) change one of the definition pages; or (2) accept the limitations of one definition or the other; or (3) live with a complicated but more nuanced description. (I'd vote for #3, since the rest of the article doesn't give much attention the nuances. But I'm not willing to write it at this point.) Jmacwiki (talk) 23:50, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

As far as I know, Emperors have used the title "Autocrator" many times. Also, (starting from 457 with Leo I) when an emperor was crowned, he was taking the crown himself, the patriarch only blessed it (so the emperor was crowning himself). Absolute Monarchy usually refers to the centralized monarchies which appeared in Europe during the 17th-18th centuries as far as I know, however it is of course not restricted to that period. However, Absolute Monarchy also seems to prefer "hereditary rule", which was not legal in the empire (but of course it did happen), and a(n eastern) Roman Emperor, (officially) had to be "elected" by the senate, the army, and the people. Cody7777777 (talk) 21:04, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Proposed date/predecessor change

I propose that we set the Byzantine Empire's immediate predecessor as the Eastern Roman Empire. There is already a page for it, and not all of Rome became part of the Byzantine Empire anyway. I also think it would be appropriate to change the start date for the Byzantine Empire to 610 AD. Constantine the Great seems to have stylized himself as a Roman emperor and not a byzantine emperor. the reforms of the heraclean dynasty gave byzantium its greek character both in language and military reforms. I am not an expert on these matters, so i won't arbitrarily change dates on such an important and greatly written article. Thanks for ur consideration and keep up the good work. Scott Free (talk) 02:52, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

"There is already a page for it" ??? I believe that you're mistaken. Eastern Roman Empire is just a re-direct towards Byzantine Empire (and correctly so). The name "Byzantine Empire" is a relatively modern invention (used by academics and scholars) and noone can say that "the Eastern Roman Empire ended on (insert whatever date here) and the Byzantine Empire began". AFAIK the "Byzantines" never called themselves Byzantines at all. Flamarande (talk) 04:27, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
And to that I say no, least of all because the debate has been beaten to death and the conclusion so inconclusive that the date has been set at 330 AD, for various reasons. Constantine may not have been a very Byzantine Emperor, but then again Byzantium did not simply emerge overnight, nor can one emperor be called the first Byzantine Emperor. Rather, the process of Hellenization and Christianization that transformed Rome began with Constantine. Otherwise, we have only our own arbitrary judgements to say who was Byzantine enough - I mean look at Byzantium under Justinian the Great before his reconquest of the West - it was a very Byzantine Empire. The hidden reality is that Greek was a widely spoken language if not the most widely spoken language, after Aramaic, in the Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean (hence the Gospels despite their aramaic and jewish origins are written in Greek)and Christianity had become a significant if not the most significant religion as well - in some Gnostic or Nicaean fashion. Gabr-el 04:30, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Eastern Roman Empire=Byzantine Empire (historiographic term).--Michael X the White (talk) 11:57, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
I also oppose the proposal (there was actually no such thing as "Byzantine Empire", it was only a term invented in the past by some (western) historians who believed that this state does not deserve to be called "Roman Empire", although probably current historians have other reasons). In my opinion, that start date should be rather changed to 286 (since Diocletian's reforms also caused heavy changes in the empire), but I suppose I'm in minority on this. Cody7777777 (talk) 13:57, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes I'm afraid I would have to disagree with you there. Whilst his reforms may have accelerated or leaned the Empire toward Hellenization, his reforms attacked Christianity and slowed down (at least superficially) the Christianization of the Empire. Byzantium was essential the Greek and Christian version of Rome, and it was Constantine who first brought the Empire to both of these traits together, whilst Diocletian only touched upon one of these. Gabr-el 22:22, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that is true (although ironically his reforms included the foundation of "dioceses" which later came to correspond (and be used to refer) to the bishops' territory of jurisdiction). The main reason, I believe that 286 makes more sense is because around that year he split the empire in Western Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire, but that start date would actually make the name "Byzantine Empire" useless, since it comes from the former name ("Byzantium") of New Rome (Constantinople). Cody7777777 (talk) 22:39, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Our disagreement, despite both of us having very valid points, demonstrates the hair-tearing frustration of the Byzantine Empire's start!Gabr-el 22:45, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Of course Constantine the Great styled himself as a Roman Emperor and not a Byzantine Emperor. There was no such thing as a Byzantine Emperor. Constantine XI in 1453 didn't call himself a Byzantine Emperor, either. This article should be at Eastern Roman Empire, because that's what this state was. But people have been fighting a losing battle against the anachronistic name "Byzantine Empire" for centuries and probably will continue to do so. Anyway...on the subject of the date of establishment, I'd go with the traditional date of 395, the death of Theodosius. What Diocletian did in 286 was an administrative move for largely military purposes; he didn't even govern from what was then called Byzantium, but from Nicomedia (the Nicomedian Empire?). He appointed trusted lieutenants to handle the Empire's ever-increasing military demands, but all of them, even Maximian, were under his suzeranity as the senior Augustus. What happened in 330 was more historically significant, except that Constantine ruled the entire classical Roman empire, not just the eastern provinces. After his death, there were sometimes two Augusti, one ruling in Mediolanum or Ravenna and the other in Constantinople, but one was always senior. But after Theodosius died in 395, the two halves were never again united under one Emperor and they were often at loggerheads until the West was overrun. So, if the question is when the Eastern Roman Empire first was a separate political entity from the classic Roman Empire, I'd vote for 395. If the question is when its character changed, I'd say between 628 and 640, when Heraclius began to emphasize himself as Βασιλεύς instead of Augustus, and the Empire lost most of its non-Greek provinces to Islam. Just my thoughts... Jsc1973 (talk) 06:11, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
I have the Correct Answer...
The line between The Eastern Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire is 527 AD when Justinian came to the throne. The reason for this are many:
1) Militarily: Justinian’s’ reconquests of the Western Roman Empire, although it completely broke the treasury, it changed the...
2) Political: Relations between Rome (becoming a protectorate) to Constantinople. These relations that will dictate the Mediterranean World for centuries to come;
3) Culture: a) the building of Hagia Sophia set the model for "Byzantine" architecture after he built the Church of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus for practice, and; b) the 'official' language was changed from Latin to common folk Greek;
4) Religion: suppression of Paganism and the closing of the Neoplatonic Academy (okay, the guy's an ass...), which made a final break between the 'Christian' empire and the 'Pagan' one.
He defined what the term "Byzantine" is. I could go on but it would be a massacre...
I am not Greek - just a simple Varangian who took a wrong turn and ended up in Vinland. Yes, I am loyal to my Emperor, no matter what... Dinkytown 17:22, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
I could also argue that the empire should still be called "Roman". Throughout Justinian's reign, Latin remained the language of administration. It was also the emperor's (treasured) native language. The Corpus Juris Civilis is seen as the culmination of Roman, not Byzantine, law. In the West, acknowledgement of the Eastern Empire as the Roman Empire was universal, and the idea of nominal overlordship over barbarian kingdoms was still credible. But what truly matters is whether a majority of historians calls the empire "Byzantine" rather than "Roman" in this period. I think the latter is more common, but this should be examined. Iblardi (talk) 19:45, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Regarding the name of the article, if it's worth for something the Wikipedia:Naming_conflict#Article_names_2 should be checked more carefully:
"A number of objective criteria can be used to determine common or self-identifying usage:
  • Is the name in common usage in English? (Eastern Roman Empire[2] is also in common current english usage, although probably lesser than "Byzantine Empire")
  • Is it the official current name of the subject? ("Byzantine Empire" was not an official name, it is anachronic, not used in the empire's time)
  • Is it the name used by the subject to describe itself or themselves? (The official names were "Roman Empire" or "Empire of the Romans")
Subjective criteria (such as "moral rights" to a name) should not be used to determine usage. These include:
  • Does the subject have a moral right to use the name (Roman Empire)?
  • Does the subject have a legal right to use the name (Roman Empire)?
  • Does the name (Roman Empire) infringe on someone else's legal or moral rights?
  • Is the use of the name (Roman Empire) politically unacceptable?"
Historians don't claim that there ever was a state called "Byzantine Empire", they claim that there was a state (between 330 and 1453) called "Roman Empire", which they (or at least, a part of them) prefer to call "Byzantine Empire" (because of their own subjective opinions). Wikipedia should give more importance to what historians objectively describe as historic facts, rather than their subjective opinions of the facts (which should, of course, also be mentioned in the article). We should not debate if this state deserves its official name ("Roman Empire"), naming this article "Byzantine Empire" suggests that this state does not have the right to be called "Roman Empire" (which is considered subjective criteria). So in my opinion this article should've been named "Eastern Roman Empire", or maybe "Roman Empire (Byzantine)" as a disambiguation. Regarding the start date, I think it should be left as it is now (330) (it's probably hard to find start dates for "fictional" states), "Eastern Roman Empire" while usually means "the eastern part of the Roman Empire", could also mean "Roman Empire ruled from an eastern capital". The end date also has some problems, 1461 is sometimes also considered as an end date ([3]) although this is not often. (Also, they did not cosnsidered the Western/Eastern Roman Empire separate (the Code of Theodosius II, was applied both in the east and in the west, and later Odoacer and Theodoric ruled Italy as governors of the Roman Emperors from Constantinople[4],[5].) Cody7777777 (talk) 09:07, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
The medieval Roman empire is commonly called Byzantine, whether this is "correct" or not. It isn't a matter of prejudice, but purely one of tradition. The degree to which the Byzantine Empire "deserves" to be called Roman is not a subject within contemporary historiography as far as I am aware of. It is simply the conventional name for this particular historical entity. Wikipedia should not try to judge the validity of terms commonly used by historians. Iblardi (talk) 12:08, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, I was not claiming that the article should try to judge the validity of terms used by historians, I was trying to point out that the Wikipedia:Naming_conflict#Article_names_2 seems to give more importance to english equivalents of the native (official) names (I think it is obvious that "Byzantine Empire" is not the english equivalent of "Imperium Romanum" or "Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn") when naming an article. Also, while many historians use the term "Byzantine Empire", not all of them agree that is a good term, for example the historian J._B._Bury#Bibliography uses the name "Later Roman Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire". There were also some who wrote against this name [6],[7], and there is also an web page here which prefers to avoid "Byzantine Empire" (and there are also several books here which consider 1453 as the end of the Roman Empire). Also, the article of the medieval Kingdom of Germany is called Holy Roman Empire, despite that it had less elements from the Roman Empire than the Eastern Roman Empire (which was actually the "Roman Empire", not a separate state). Cody7777777 (talk) 18:27, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Might I add that we shouldn't get too emotional with the naming; calling it "its deserved name" the Roman Empire is not going to undo the Fourth Crusade!!Gabr-el 22:17, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Let me add in the last nail of this very pointless discussion thread. First of all, Byzantium is the most well known, well used term around - Period! So It doesn't matter if you are able to collect a handful of scholars who feel that we are offending the Greeks, ooops, I mean, the Rhomanoi, anymore, because I can collect at least ten times as many more notable scholars who would argue for Byzantium's name! Secondly, wikipedia's main rule is to use the most well known name; thats why the United States of America is called just United States in wikipedia. Thirdly, we have been over this more times than Constantinople has been besieged, and until a majority of scholars start calling her the Eastern Roman Empire, we won't be making any changes either. Finally, what the Holy Roman Empire and her etymology has got to do with this is beyond me; its a red herring that nonetheless demonstrates that people DON'T call it the Medieval German Confederation (a title that would be more deserving) but a term that historians use more often, Holy Roman Empire. OOoooowwwff!!! Please, what more must be said? Gabr-el 19:22, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Well, since you are asking what more can be said, there are some things on Wikipedia:Naming_conflict which might seem interesting:
"* Is it the name used by the subject to describe itself or themselves?" [8]
"Always ensure that names are used in an historically accurate context and check that the term is not used anachronistically."[9]
"Where self-identifying names are in use, they should be used within articles. Wikipedia does not take any position on whether a self-identifying entity has any right to use a name; this encyclopedia merely notes the fact that they do use that name." [10]
"Suppose that the people of the fictional country of Maputa oppose the use of the term "Cabindan" as a self-identification by another ethnic group. The Maputans oppose this usage because they believe that the Cabindans have no moral or historical right to use the term.
Wikipedia should not attempt to say which side is right or wrong. However, the fact that the Cabindans call themselves Cabindans is objectively true – both sides can agree that this does in fact happen. By contrast, the claim that the Cabindans have no moral right to that name is purely subjective. It is not a question that Wikipedia can, or should, decide.
In this instance, therefore, using the term "Cabindans" does not conflict with the NPOV policy. It would be a purely objective description of what the Cabindans call themselves. On the other hand, not using the term because of Maputan objections would not conform with a NPOV, as it would defer to the subjective Maputan POV."[11]
(The sources shown above prove that the name "Byzantine Empire" is controversial.) Cody7777777 (talk) 20:08, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
There are many good points on both sides. However, what is the point of this debate? Are we to change the wiki-title from Byzantine Empire to Roman Empire: 27 BCE - 476/1204/1453/1460/1461/1917/1922 ACE? along with disregarding everything "Byzantium"? What about creating a new title - Roman Continium...? Although I'm quite sure that will go nowhere - albeit its an accurate one. Historians have long established the tradition of "Byzantium" in place of the ERE for many of the reason I stated above. Yes, they can rightly claim the title of "Romans" more than anyone else, yet we are describing them from our collective twenty-first century perspective. We can argue about the date as to when this Roman/Byzantine boundry is located - that is not a settled question, even for Wiki.... I think that everyone here knows that the "Byzantines" called themselves "Romans" - and rightly so. However, if any Roman/Byzantine feels that they are being discriminated against due to a creation of a hostile work environment, let them file a class-action lawsuit against the "Byzantine Studies" Department of XXX University (see also Supreme Court Case: Roman Imperium v. Byzantine Institute of America). But would Fox News or BBC cover it? Maybe CNN (Live from Constantinople...). Dinkytown 23:21, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Like I said... a pointless discussion, deserving title or not!Gabr-el 23:58, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Names used by some contemporary nations

I notice someone recently changed something in the lead, "...was frequently called by many of its contemporaries (Western European, Armenian, Georgian, Russian, Jewish) as the Empire of the Greeks ("Imperium Graecorum", "Yunastan", "Graecia" etc.)". I think it deserves additional sourcing (sometime after the Fall of Constantinople, the russians even claimed that Moscow was the "Third Rome", since they recognized that Constantinople was named "New Rome"), preferably which can be checked quickly through the internet. Also, this refers mainly to how it was called by its contemporaries, not how other nations called it later. I think the previous "...it was known to many of its western European contemporaries as Imperium Graecorum, the Empire of the Greeks." was better, but I would like first to see what other users think about this. Cody7777777 (talk) 16:37, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

I think that the present version (without the "Armenian, Georgian, Russian, Jewish .... Yunastan", Graecia"-part) is somewhat better. The danger of including the names given by other nations/languages is that it will get simply too big (one can include the Chinese name, Persian, Indian, Tibetan, etc). This article is written in the English language and to obtain the names given by other nations/languages one should use the language links on the left. Flamarande (talk) 17:32, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for agreeing. Cody7777777 (talk) 17:41, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree also. I think that the multi-ethnic version reads like a United Nations politically correct anachronism. In addition it is long and cumbersome. And anyway Western Europe played a greater role in the Empire's history than the nations quoted. Dr.K. logos 18:48, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

no convincing arguments have been made. i pruned down the version so it doesnt take much space at all in the current version. its also sourced. what you havent done so far. these are also contemporary names, not later ones. the current version only replaces 'west european' with 'many' which is true and adds two additional names to 'imperium graecorum', 'yunastan' and 'graecia'. 85.72.90.42 (talk) 20:40, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Tha main problem with the current is that it claims "it was frequently called by many of its contemporaries as the Empire of the Greeks ("Imperium Graecorum", "Yunastan", "Graecia" etc.)", this now contradicts with "To the Islamic world it was known primarily as روم‎ (Rûm "Rome")", and many of its contemporaries were islamic nations. The problem with the previous was that it claimed that the Russians usually considered it as the "Empire of the Greeks", yet after the fall of Constantinople, they claimed that Moscow was the Third Rome, since they accepted that Constantinople was the New Rome (this can be checked here, I'm not saying however, that they never called them greeks, but not "frequently"). (Actually most orthodox contemporary nations considered it "Roman", the rulers of the Vlach-Bulgar Empire and the Serbian Empire even adopted the title "Tsar of the Romans" ([12], [13]).) Regarding the armenians, this document uses "lordship of the Romans", while here "empire of the Romans", however I don't trust that translation entirely since it uses the term "byzantine" several times, which was not used at that time to describe the empire, so once again "frequently" should not be used. It was mainly western europeans which called it "Empire of the Greeks", for various political reasons (such as legitimizing the "Holy Roman Empire" [14],[15]), however even westerners called it as Romania sometimes, such as this chronicle of the first crusade. However, as Flamarande said above, there is no reason to show how all of these nations called it, else will have to give informations about more nations. Cody7777777 (talk) 00:27, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

'they called themselves the third rome and the serb leaders sometimes called themselves tzars of the serbs and romans' is no good reason since i said 'frequently' and not always. the fact that you arent even giving us the whole story is evidenced by the your quotation of sebeos to 'prove' that the medieval armenian historicans called byzantium by its roman name. not true since yoynk 'greek' is much more frequent in Sebeos' work than horom/hrovmayetsi 'roman'. thats the case with medieval armenian historians in general i recall. also the various south slavic empires and kingdoms also mainly used grci 'greek' for byzantium for a variety of reasons like having met latin-speaking populations in the balkans, because of the move of the capital to constantinople and on it goes. and the whole section is about external perceptions and not byzantine perceptions of themselves which were mostly roman. i added only two extra names so please drop it. for some weird reason you dont want to add the names that other polities and peoples called it as long as they arent 'roman' or at least motivated by political reasons like the franks. as far as i see your contributions only revolve around that matter which though true, byzantine was the roman empire is also pushing you to act this way, lets not add another name in case my romanity gets hurt lol. you also posted some pretty suspicious proeastern theological sites i think you shouldnt try to convince seculars that way. 85.74.194.92 (talk) 20:31, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

btw even the arabs sometimes had trouble telling the difference between yunan and rum because they knew that the people did have some sort of relationship though they mostly used the latter. read byzantium viewed by the arabs by nadia maria el cheikh. 85.74.194.92 (talk) 20:49, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

The current, "it was frequently called by many of its contemporaries as the Empire of the Greeks ("Imperium Graecorum", "Yunastan", "Graecia" etc.)", still contradicts with "To the Islamic world it was known primarily as روم‎ (Rûm "Rome")". The islamic world called it "Rûm" most of the time, and they continued to do so in the Ottoman Empire as well, since they formed the Rûm Millet[16]. In fact, as far as I know, in many islamic nations today, orthodox christians are referred as Rûm. Also, the Slavic empires, even if they referred to them as "greeks" sometimes, they did not denied its romanity, the current text gives the impression that nearly everyone denied it (so we need to be clear who denied it, it was mainly the franks who had political reasons for this, as far as I know). I realize, I was wrong about the armenians (however since they used both terms yoynk and horom/hrovmayetsi it gives the impression, that unlike for us, there wasn't too much difference for them between the two), but the text still needs revision. I propose the following "it was called by some of its contemporaries (usually by western Europeans, mainly for political reasons, but sometimes also by some of its northern neighbors and Armenians) as the Empire of the Greeks ("Imperium Graecorum", "Graecia", "Yunastan" etc.)" (please also note that, "Yunastan" gets few results on google books, while "Yunanistan" is most of the time used for modern Greece, regarding the religious websites, regardless if seculars like it or not, religion was important in this state). (Also, according to this author, the move to Constantinople, did not meant it became Greek.) Cody7777777 (talk) 16:45, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

frequently means frequently and many is correct. you probably skipped over my response since you repeat similar points that i answered. no one is saying anything about a 'denial of romanity' the short sentence is about external not internal perceptions and thats what it is. too much ado about two extra names. your final comment about the move of the capital tells me that you didnt really understand the context of my comment pleas read it again. as for proeastern theologians sure byzantium was religious but using them as sources here well not good thats a general comment 85.74.241.130 (talk) 23:43, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

To be honest, I think you skipped my response, "it was frequently called by many of its contemporaries as the Empire of the Greeks ("Imperium Graecorum", "Yunastan", "Graecia" etc.)", contradicts with "To the Islamic world it was known primarily as روم‎ (Rûm "Rome")" (many, can be interpreted to mean most of them, while the islamic nations were a considerable part of its contemporaries). To avoid this contradiction, we should avoid the use of "many". Also, we need to consider that this article does not discuss about a single period of the empire (especially in the lead), but about all of its periods, for example the franks did not called it as "Empire of the Greeks" until around the 8th-9th centuries (and they did not used only that, they sometimes called it "Romania" or even "Imperium Constantinopolitanum"), so "frequent" in the lead may also imply that we're referring to all of the empire's periods (while the use of "greek" appeared and increased in later centuries), Regarding the slavs, I think they rather borrowed the use of "Greek" from the franks (maybe during the contacts between the two, the "clashes" in the 9th century between (eastern) roman and frankish missionaries attempting to convert Bulgaria, or later when in the 13th century Vlach-Bulgar Empire of Kaloyan accepted the papal primacy/supremacy, but despite these contacts with the franks, Kaloyan considered himself as Rhomaioktonos, "Killer of the Romans", mainly for his actions against the east romans, not the franks of the fourth crusade), and the orthodox slavs, unlike the franks, even when they used the word "greeks", they did not intended to deny its romanity (and actually, I doubt they used "greek" in many official documents, while the franks did used it in many of their official documents). The phrase "it was frequently called by many of its contemporaries as the Empire of the Greeks" while it does not directly claim that they denied its romanity, it still indirectly suggests that nearly everyone did so, especially since the franks (who did) are grouped with the rest (we should avoid giving such an impression). Also, I don't think there are many sources (in english, at least) which speak about how "frequently" the slavs used "greek". The reference in the lead about western europeans using "Empire of the Greeks", was rather to emphasize these political conflicts with the franks, which were important for the empire, the slavs and armenians did not used the this for political reasons (at least as far as I know), another possibiltity would be simply "it was called by some of its contemporaries as the Empire of the Greeks ("Imperium Graecorum", "Yunastan", "Graecia" etc.)", but this no longer underlines the political conflicts with the franks. Also, the lead does not necessarily refer to how other nations called it, it needs to explain mainly how it called itself (especially, since the article's title doesn't do this), the names used by other nations (especially when they did not have importance as political reasons) could've been discussed in other sections, maybe in the "Etymology" section. (Regarding, the comment about the capital I posted it since you said above "south slavic empires and kingdoms also mainly used grci 'greek' for byzantium for a variety of reasons like having met latin-speaking populations in the balkans, because of the move of the capital to constantinople", to me it seems that your comment suggests that the slavs considered it to be "greek" because it was centered in Constantinople or New Rome, and I don't think this is the case (especially since the russians later adopted the idea of "Third Rome", but the city was usually called by slavs as "Tsargrad" (and by vlachs/romanians (the latin-speaking populations in the balkans) as "Ţarigrad", after they borrowed this from the slavs)).) Cody7777777 (talk) 20:38, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

try a. nikolov - empire of the romans or tsardom of the greeks, the image of byzantium in the earliest slavonic translations for a view from the slavs...the rest really repeates the same arguments two more names about extrabyzantine perceptions wont hurt the article...especially since the others were already mentioned before my edits as for the arabs yes youre right but you should also take a look at the monograph i recommended above..now if your problem is just about 'many' and 'frequently' because you think that 'some' and 'sometimes' might express it better.....85.74.195.42 (talk) 01:55, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for the source, I found something about it here, it does claim indeed that they translated Rhomaioi more often Greki, but it also claims that they translated Rhomaioi as Rimljany or Romei. It is not the two names you have added, that causes a problem in the lead, but rather the way it is expressed. Once again, it seems you ignored the contradictions caused by "many". The phrase "it was frequently called by many of its contemporaries as the Empire of the Greeks ("Imperium Graecorum", "Yunastan", "Graecia" etc.)" implies that the muslims (since they were a considerable part of its contemporaries) also called it as "Greek", which as you also agreed is not true. It also indirectly gives the impression that slavs and armenians also denied its romanity, sine the franks (who did) are grouped with the rest (and we should avoid giving such an impression). Also, the lead refers to all of its periods, not just to some (later) periods (which of its contemporaries called it "greek" during the 4th-7th centuries?). (The reasons, I keep repeating these, is because you seem to ignore them, but I don't really intend to continue doing this.) Cody7777777 (talk) 09:57, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

ill change 'many' to 'some' but your version was bad. btw whats your problem with outsiders 'denying its romanity' anyway? the case of the carolingians is discussed below from what i see plus external perceptions arent always congruous with internal ones...and neither with what can be called 'historical fact' necessarily...and the lede differentiates between the two...now if you dont like this one either85.74.254.39 (talk) 02:06, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

ps since youre interested in the matter ill mention the cheikh byzantium viewed by the arabs monograph again independently of this matter..85.74.254.39 (talk) 02:18, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

You all realize, I hope, that this entire discussion is almost a textbook demonstration of the problem with weasel words like "frequently/usually [called]", "many/some people [said]", etc. As such, (a) the discussion was not necessary (and arguably should not have been pursued), because (b) under WP policy, the offending sentences should not even have been written! Jmacwiki (talk) 04:54, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Maps and their problems

There is a distressing habit of historians and their publishers to favour the creation of historical maps which show extremes of territorial control. This often obscures the real picture over long periods of history. A good example of this is the treatment of Byzantine control in the western Balkans. Virtually all maps for the period 800 - 975 shown in books are based on one created for Steven Runciman (shown in his books on the First Bulgarian Empire and on Romanus Lecapenus) which shows the Bulgarian Empire AT ITS GREATEST EXTENT. For most of the period 800 - 975 this map is quite wrong. As Thrace was very close to Constantinople it is unsurprising that the Byzantines exerted considerable efforts to keep as large proportion of it under their control as possible. Under warlike leaders, like Krum and Symeon, the Bulgarians did take many cities in Thrace such as Adrianople, Anchialus, and Philippopolis. Their hold of these towns was, however, usually fairly short-lived. Either the towns eventually returned to Byzantine control by treaty or they were reconquered. These episodes, because they were less notable to Byzantine writers than their loss to Bulgarian aggression are often overlooked. For example in 855-856 Michael III and Bardas reconquered large areas of Thrace from Boris I of Bulgaria, including the towns on the Gulf of Burgas (how else could the defeated Byzantine troops have fled to Mesembria after the Battle of Anchialus, when according most maps it was a Bulgarian possession?) and Philippopolis.

I would submit that at least two of the maps in the article are very inaccurate. Urselius (talk) 09:54, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

I assume one of them is this one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ByzantineEmpire867AD4lightpurple.PNG
Which is the other?
You mention Byzantine control over the Gulf of Burgas in 856. Did this last until 867, the approximate date of the map?
Yep, maps are often drawn using older maps, which use older maps, assuming that someone down the line got it right. While this is more easily corrected when sources are more abundant, it is usually the only feasible way to do it for periods and/or areas where sources are sketchy or not readily accessible (or borders being more loosely defined than in modern times).
If you can provide better information on the borders of the maps in the article, I think that would be welcome. Varana (talk) 00:10, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
The war against Boris I in 855-56 is not widely remarked in English-language histories, but it is noted in two Bulgarian sources (1) Gjuzelev, p. 130 - Gjuzelev, V., (1988) Medieval Bulgaria, Byzantine Empire, Black Sea, Venice, Genoa (Centre culturel du monde byzantin). Published by Verlag Baier and (2) Bulgarian historical review, v.33:no.1-4, p.9 - Bulgarian historical review (2005), United Center for Research and Training in History, Published by Publishing House of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, v.33:no.1-4.
Fine in his book does not remark on the campaigns of 855-56 but implies that the Thracian cities taken by Krum and Omurtag were returned by treaty - John V.A. Fine Jr., The Early Medieval Balkans, Ann Arbor, 1983. He notes that Philippopolis was a Byzantine city when it was sacked by Syviatoslav of Kiev in the time immediately before John Tzimiskes' campaigns against the Russians in Bulgaria. He also notes that the region of Zagora was given to Boris after his conversion (863), and as Zagora was north and west of the cities on the Gulf of Burgas this also implies that these cities were Byzantine at the time, and remained Byzantine up to Symeon's campaigns (Fine, pp. 118-119).
At the beginning of Peter of Bulgaria's rule peace was obtained between the two powers with the frontiers restored to those defined in treaties of 897 and 904. Simeon's conquests in Thrace were restored to the Byzantine Empire whilst it, in turn, recognised Bulgarian control over inland Macedonia (Fine, pp. 160-161).
Up to Khan Krum's reign the Byzantines held a number of the fortified towns on the military road which went from Constantinople towards Sirmium. These included Adrianople, Philipoppolis and even Serdica (modern Sofia). This is well documented and can be found in Fine, Ostrogorsky etc. etc. Admittedly the Byzantines didn't have much control over the rural areas around and between these towns as these were occupied by Slav tribes, but the Byzantines were the only organised authority operating in the area and they extracted tribute from the Slavs whenever they were strong enough. A map which doesn't indicate any level of Byzantine control in inland Thrace, even by hatched lines, at this time just isn't reflecting the real historical situation. The map found here : http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Europe_814.jpg gives a better indication for the pre-Krum boundary. After Krum, but excluding those periods of active Bulgarian campaigning, the loss of Serdica and the inland area of Thrace north of a line between Philippopolis and Develtus (but not the coast around Anchialus and Mesembria) would show the approximate extent of Byzantine control. (Urselius (talk) 09:45, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Debate on the Intro line

open the debate here... Dinkytown 02:03, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

what? why? What debate is there? Gabr-el 05:05, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

I am not sure what was supposed to be discussed here, but regarding the phrase "Due to Greek linguistic, cultural, and demographic dominance" from the lead, while linguistic and cultural is probably correct, I don't think it is correct to say that there was also a "demographic dominance". I think it is obvious this is not the case during the time of Constantine I, and even in the 8th century, when the empire no longer controlled Egypt, Syria, Palestine, North Africa, most of Italy (and other western provinces), most of the Balkans, being largely limited to Anatolia and Thrace, there are still mentioned a lot different people living in Anatolia, Phrygians, Galatians, Isaurians, Paphlagonians, Armenians (I think "Greek" was usually considered to refer only to someone livng in (southern modern) Greece). Although these could've been just regional names (excluding the armenians of course), we do not know that for sure, but since these people were becoming hellenized, I think it's better to use the term "Hellenistic" instead of "Greek", since "Hellenistic" can include both "Greeks" and "hellenized people". (In my opinion, I believe a "Greek" "demographic dominance" occurred only in the last centuries (14th-15th).) Cody7777777 (talk) 20:57, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

You are correct; Greeks formed a minority especially before the 8th century. There were also many Syriacs in the Empire, in the Lebanon and Syria, before they were lost to the Arabs. Gabr-el 21:18, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
On another note, I changed the words "briefly expanded influence" to "briefly re-established dominance" in the 12th century, in the main intro. The Komnenian restoration was not a dead-cat bounce and it is safe to say that the Empire, under the early reign of Manuel Komnnenus was the most powerful state in the Mediterranean. Gabr-el 21:17, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
the greeks had a strong demographic presence in the balkans and asia minor. there were also sizeable greek colonies in southern italy, northern egypt, and western palestine. in fact: Alexander's campaigns opened the whole Orient to Greek settlements, an outlet for the overpopulation back home. As a result Asia Minor received the bulk of the Greek expansion. By 200 AD, and after the fruits of Roman peace had settled in, 6,000,000 people in Asia Minor viewed themselves as Greeks of the Roman world, and another 1,000,000 Armenians oscillated between Roman and Persian authority. so if byzantium is based on 'hellenistic' models, then why ignore the demographic aspect of greek dominance when the greeks were historically colonizing areas outside of their classical homelands? ultimately, the minorities listed by you are just that, minorities. 71.172.194.191 (talk) 21:35, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
one of the refs supports greek 'ancestral' dominance (i.e. check feliks gross here). also, using 'greek' is a good replacement for 'hellenistic' cause the latter word is already a link for the 'cultural' aspect of the empire (i.e. hellenistic civilization) and the former is only linked to something broad. 71.172.194.191 (talk) 21:59, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

If thats the case, then you are saying that the Greeks in the 7th century allowed Arab Muslims and Persian Zorastrians to invade their beloved Greco-Roman Empire? Yeah right!!! They obviously did not relate to the Greeks. Perhaps because, for one, no once called themselves Hellenes then as much as we are now! Gabr-el 05:03, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

you're not making a lot of sense. the points you make have nothing to do with the origins of byzantium, which are rooted in roman legal traditions and hellenistic models. just because the empire lost egypt and palestine doesn't negate the fact that a lot of greeks were living in those territories since the alexandrian era. 96.225.109.103 (talk) 14:26, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
I am making no sense? Perhaps you should educate yourself on the difference between "alot" and "majority". My argument is very clear. Greeks living outside of western Asia Minor and Greece were few - thats why the Arabs conquered these territories easily - they did not massacre there way through millions of people, the Jews, the Christians of Palestine, the Copts, the Syriacs - all these peoples hated Greek rule, because the Greeks were vicious persecutors of anyone who looks at their orthodoxy in a funny way, as the Miaphysites, Nestorians and so forth found out. Gabr-el 17:31, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
ranting doesn't make you right, it just makes you uncivil. your arguments so far have three flaws: 1) the arabs 'easily' conquered egypt and palestine only because historically byzantium was too exhausted militarily to maintain those territories after fighting protracted wars against the sassanid empire 2) you have yet to acknowledge the historical fact that ever since the alexandrian period, the greeks established large, numerous, and potent colonies in largely non-greek areas 3) it is illogical for you to associate the hate foreigners had towards 'greek rule' with the origins of byzantium. as far as i can tell, you haven't shown any demographic information to prove that the greeks were never a potent demographic force in areas outside of the balkans and asia minor. i never said that the greeks were a majority in specific areas such as egypt and palestine, but they were 'collectively' the largest population in the byzantine empire (looking at the big picture). the eastern roman empire wasn't called the 'greek east' for nothing. 96.225.109.103 (talk) 18:22, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

The following, "Studies on the internal diaspora of the Byzantine Empire By Hélène Ahrweiler, Angeliki E. Laiou" ISBN 9780884022473, "A history of ancient Greek By Maria Chritē, Maria Arapopoulou, Centre for the Greek Language (Thessalonikē, Greece)" ISBN 9780521833073, "National histories, natural states By Robert Shannan Peckham" ISBN 9781860646416, claim that this state was multi-ethnic (to the end). Also, this article discusses about the empire from around 285/330 to 1453/1461, there was obviously no "Greek" "demographic dominance" during the time of Constantine I, by that time the empire controlled the western provinces as well. There was no "Greek" "demographic dominance" during the time of Justinian either (both before and after the conquests), "Cyril Mango. Byzantium: The Empire of New Rome. Scribner's, 1980.", in the balkans (Illyiricum, Moesia, parts of Thrace and Macedonia),lived also many latinized Thracians and Illyrians, while in Egypt most of the population were copts, and in Syria most of them were native syriacs. During the time of Heraclius' dynasty the empire still controlled (except Anatolia), North Africa (which was not "Greek") parts of Central and Northern Italy (which were not "dominated" by greeks), most of Thrace and Moesia (which were mixed between hellenized and latinized populations). By the time of Leo III and Constantine V, the empire was largely limited to southern Thrace, Anatolia, south-eastern modern Greece, southern Italy. After Basil II, the empire regained the Balkans (which now had a considerable slavic population) and also most of Armenia. Following the loss of considerable parts of Anatolia in the 11th century, the Balkans were for a while the largest part of the empire. But even in Anatolia the situation is not clear, the greeks made indeed a considerable colonization in the urban centres (especially those nearer to the sea), but we do not know too much about the rural areas. I have some doubts that the greeks colonized an empty land (in Anatolia) so fast. An article here claims the following "Indeed, it is not clear just how and when many of the ancient indigenous peoples of Anatolia disappear or are assimilated -- people like the Phrygians, Lydians, Dacians, Galatians (who were Celts), Cappadocians, etc.". I believe that most of these native people living in Anatolia became hellenized in time, rather than the Greeks colonizing most of Anatolia entirely. Also, the article Demographic history of Greece seems somewhat inaccurate (it seems to group all those natives of Anatolia as "greeks"), while it does seem to mention a bibliography, it doesn't give any explicit citations as far as I see. Another important problem is that regardless how hellenized they were not, they did not considered themselves as "greeks" (well, it is true some of them started to do so, from the 13th century, but most of them preferred to be called "Romans"), it is somewhat inaccurate to say "Greek" "demographic dominance" when they did not called themselves "greeks" (in fact it may be subjective POV, hellenistic is at least, a more descriptive term). Greek, while it can mean also "Hellenistic", most of the time means "hellenic". Hellenic refers usually to the "greek" culture before the conquests of Alexander, while "Hellenistic" emphasizes, when referring to culture the combinations of earlier "greek" (or "Hellenic") and "oriental" cultures, while when referring to people, hellenic refers usually just to the "original" greeks, while "hellenistic" includes also the people that were hellenized in later times. Also, If you consider that "greek" and "hellenistic" can mean the same thing, I hope you won't have too much problem accepting this term. Regarding the source "Citizenship and ethnicity By Feliks Gross" it does make indeed the claim you say, but however I think it may rather refer to the people from the city of "Byzantium". In my opinion, if we use "Greek" we'll have to remove "demographic dominance" or we can use "hellenistic" (and also "later", since the copts, the syriacs, and latin (or latinized) westerners were not "hellenized" too much). Cody7777777 (talk) 17:51, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

you do have some sources, but they only seem to emphasize the presence of numerous minorities, which doesn't automatically make them majorities. feliks talks about the 'entire' byzantine empire. Byzantine Greeks: Byzantines ruled a multi-ethnic empire where the Hellenic element was predominant, especially in the later period. (H. Ahrweiler and A.E. Laiou, eds., Studies on the internal diaspora of the Byzantine Empire (Washington, 1998), vii.) we can't assume that the 'hellenic element' was just cultural and linguistic, when demographics also play a role in the spread of culture and language. 96.225.109.103 (talk) 18:22, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
cody, the information found in the 'demographic history of greece' article mostly comes from the "Atlas of World Population History". i already found on page 110 mention of a 'greek demographic crisis' (i.e. overpopulation) solved by alexander the great during the hellenistic period. so, greeks did in fact expand demographically into asia minor and elsewhere. i guess the demographic dominance of the greeks wasn't as 'late' as we thought. it's true that the early empire had lots of copts and syriacs, but the greeks were everywhere. if you think about it, lots of greeks left egypt, syria, and palestine after the arab conquest (including Callinicus of Heliopolis). 96.225.109.103 (talk) 19:36, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
According to the infobox in the 4th century the empire had a population of 34,000,000 (referring only to the Eastern Roman Empire), the article Demographic history of Greece claims that 8,000,000 were Greeks (actually it refers to Anatolian (which could also be incorrect to count them all as greeks) and southern Balkan populations, but even if we accept this number and add also those living in other oriental provinces, I doubt that number would rise too much). Egypt was the most populated region of the empire, and majority of people there were copts[17], [18], [19], (only Alexandria had a large number of greek colonists, and maybe a few other cities in the northern part), in fact it could be possible that the copts were the largest population in the empire at that date. In Syria, the Hellenistic element was also largely limited mainly to the northern cities. The idea is that at least, if we combine the copts, the syriac natives, the natives of Anatolia, the non-hellenized balkan population, the greeks would be in minority (so in my opinion "Greek demographic dominance" does not make too much sense). Also until 395 AD, there were periods when the west and east were joined, so in the early period, we could also count those from Italy, Gaul, Sapin, Britain, North Africa (which were not greeks). "Cyril Mango. Byzantium: The Empire of New Rome. Scribner's, 1980." describes the empire during the time of Justinian, and it doesn't show any greek "demographic dominance" it describes the multi-ethnic nature of the empire. I don't think "due to Hellenistic cultural, linguistic, and (later) demographic dominance" was bad, however another (more compromised) possibility would be "due to increasing Hellenistic cultural, linguistic, and demographic predominance". We should also consider the fact that these greek or hellenized people (excluding maybe those living in (southern modern) Greece), were not called greeks during most of the empire's time. (To be honest, in my opinion the current version "due to Greek cultural, linguistic, and demographic dominance,", seems to give the impression of greek nationalism.) But first, I would like to see what other users also think about this. Cody7777777 (talk) 19:17, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
good points cody. but i think that the 'demographic' aspect of this issue is outside the realm of 'greek nationalism' given the fact that we are dealing with an empire-state and not a modern nation-state. nevertheless, the greeks were ethnically conscious during the early stages of the empire's history (see Byzantine Greeks). i agree, however, that a good compromise would be the 'due to increasing Greek cultural, linguistic and demographic predominance' sentence. (by the way, how many copts, syriacs, etc. were living in the early empire?) 96.225.117.204 (talk) 21:21, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
To me the reference to "demographic dominance" seems problematic for a couple of reasons: (1) The sentence "...due to Greek cultural, linguistic, and demographic dominance, it became known to some of its contemporaries as the Empire of the Greeks" requires evidence that is both real and perceived as such by contemporaries. (2) I think the qualification 'later' should be included by default. If not, it should be shown that the early empire was called 'Greek' by any of its contemporaries. (3) The very definition of 'Greek' may be problematic. Is it based on descent, or is it based on culture, language, or a mixture of all of these? Is there one definition of 'Greekness' that is widely agreed upon, which can serve as a base for more or less accurate numbers? (In view of the rest of my comment, of course, I suspect that the answer is 'no'.) Iblardi (talk) 20:14, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
the term 'hellene' was problematic iblardi, but not the term 'graikos'. the latter was used by the greeks and was based on descent, culture, language, and christian religion (see Byzantine Greeks). early byzantine politics didn't emphasize 'greekness' since everyone in europe was competing for control over the legacy of the ancient romans. adding 'later' wouldn't make sense cause ahrweiler says that the 'hellenic element' was predominant (its predominance rose during the late stages of the empire, but was still present through and through). 96.225.117.204 (talk) 21:21, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
As far as I know, most of the empire's people did not liked to be called "Greeks" (which was considered insulting("Was it not unpardonable," they said, "to have called the universal emperor of the Romans, the august, great, only Nicephorus: "of the Greeks"" Liutprand of Cremona: Report of his Mission to Constantinople, there is also something here), at least, until around the 13th century, they considered themselves only as "Romans" (or "Rhomaioi") although "greek" could be used for someone living in (southern modern) Greece, so it could have a more regional meaning at that time, although "greek" could also mean pagan. Cody7777777 (talk) 15:07, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
it was politically insulting to call the byzantines (in the aristocracy) 'greeks'. however, the greeks of the empire didn't mind being 'romaioi' (roman citizens) and 'graikoi' simultaneously (see demetris constantelos). ethnic distinctions didn't disappear in the empire. also, the only term associated with paganism was 'hellene', which is why the majority of greeks used 'graikos' (except for the pontians). 96.225.108.221 (talk) 19:43, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, this source claims that "greeks" meant "pagans", I do not know if it is right or wrong. Cody7777777 (talk) 11:38, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the current version. Iblardi (talk) 21:43, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
you do? great! thanks for your help. 96.225.117.204 (talk) 22:03, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
I stand by my ranting; the Empire became Greek from 1080's onwards, true, but not before. Gabr-el 20:17, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
Just a minor note, from 1080 until around 1186, the empire still controlled most of the Balkans, which had a considerable slavic population (and there were also vlach minorities). Cody7777777 (talk) 15:07, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
then stand alone. the empire can also be said to have 'become greek' since heraclius' reign. 96.225.117.204 (talk) 21:21, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
I care not if I stand alone or by hundreds of users, unlike yourself, who seems to live on debating opposing users by attacking them personally. You have made numerous ad hominem attacks, of which I have found the decency not to retaliate in kind.Gabr-el 21:32, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
ranting at me (and making false allegations) still doesn't make you right, it still makes you uncivil. 96.225.117.204 (talk) 21:43, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
Where did I rant? Here are you personal attacks:
  • ranting doesn't make you right, it just makes you uncivil
  • then stand alone
  • and making false allegations - such as what? These personal attacks?
  • ranting at me - I never ranted at you, whatever "ranting" means.
  • it still makes you uncivil
Where have I been uncivil? Where did I rant? Gabr-el 21:49, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
those aren't personal attacks. the first statement you list falls under the category 'calling a spade, a spade'. the phrase 'stand alone' means that you are the only one responding to my statements as though you're always right and i'm always wrong (i.e. Yeah right!!!). the false allegation you make is this: "who seems to live on debating opposing users by attacking them personally" (news flash: i never made fun of you or cody or iblardi during these debates). the statements about you being uncivil still fall under the category of 'calling a spade, a spade'.
you want more proof? your words: 'I am making no sense? Perhaps you should educate yourself on the difference between "alot" and "majority".' you not only took the meaning of my words the wrong way (when i said you weren't making a lot sense), but you imply in your response that i'm 'uneducated' cause i am discussing demographic issues. not helpful. believe what you want, but i've had my fair share of debates and positive contributions for one day. goodbye. 96.225.117.204 (talk) 22:03, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
You should educate yourself, take that as good advise. I did not say you are uneducated, I said learn the difference between saying that there are "alot" of greeks and "majority". There are a lot of criminals in the world but they are not a majority of the world's population. Personal attacks do not have to be making fun of people. You are unaware of how things work in wikipedia, but saying that someone is "ranting" is a personal attack. Saying someone needs to be educated on the difference between a majority and a lot is not a personal attack, since you use the word "a lot" when the key word we are using is [Greek] "dominance". I have no idea what you mean by "calling a spade a spade". Gabr-el 22:28, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

The current version is indeed better than the previous, however I still believe it is better to use the term "Hellenistic", since we have difficulty defining "Greek" (which usually means "hellenic"). The term "hellenistic" (in cultural aspects) is used to refer to the combination of "hellenic" and "oriental" cultures (following Alexander's conquets), and the empire also had considerable oriental influences. I think it may be better this way: "due to the predominance of the Hellenistic element (especially in the later period)", the term "hellenistic" is also used in the following[20],[21],[22],[23],[24]. Cody7777777 (talk) 15:07, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

despite the oriental influences, however, the 'hellenic' element was still predominant (based on the sources). still, i like your compromise because you linked the word 'element' to the byzantine greeks article. thanks for all of your help. 96.225.119.31 (talk) 15:55, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
quick question cody: do you think that the word 'hellenistic' is really that important a term to add to the intro line? the sources use 'greek' only and without the actual greeks, hellenistic institutions wouldn't have been established at all (according to the 'hellenistic civilization' article at least). except for vasiliev, the references you provide aren't that great (a general book about greece without citations, a book about 'great armies', an encyclopedia or tertiary source, and a source about islam). ahrweiler, laiou, and feliks seem to know what they're talking about. i'm not going to change anything, but i would like a response. thanks. 96.225.119.31 (talk) 16:17, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't think "Hellenistic" is a very happy term to use here. First, it is anachronistic; it normally refers to the East before the Roman conquest, and stating that the Hellenistic element was increasingly present during the later centuries seems therefore incorrect: it had always been present, and if anything, the Hellenistic character was perhaps increasingly replaced by a Hellenic one in the later period. Also, the statement is about perception. It seems more plausible that Westerners referred to the Byzantines as "Greeks" because of the empire's language and location rather than because of a perceived Hellenistic element. Moreover, when Latin intellectuals such as Liudprand called the Byzantines (little) Greeks (Graeci, Graeculi) they were building on ancient Roman models of "Greekness" and all the negative stereotypes associated with it: those little Greeks are smart and cultured, but at the same time effeminate and wily, and they and can never be trusted - look what they did in the Trojan War. (In fact, these associations were apparently inherited by the term "Byzantine" in its old pejorative sense.) I think that the word "Greek" covers this perception better than "Hellenistic" does, even though it is true that the culture of the empire was a mixture of Graeco-Roman and oriental elements. Iblardi (talk) 16:57, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
wow, good arguments iblardi. based on the above, i agree with replacing 'hellenistic' with 'greek'. 96.225.108.221 (talk) 19:29, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
I believe "Hellenistic" describes both the cultural and demographic situation better when referring to the entire periods (as in the lead), "greek" can describe in a better way only the later period (at least in my opinion). "Hellenistic" is anachronistic, but so is "Byzantine" (should we get rid of both of them? Also, about "Byzantine" it is even worse, as it is used in the title). For example, the autocratic character of the emperor (claiming "divine right") was of "Hellenistic" influence, not "hellenic" (as far as, I know the idea of such a ruler, was despised in ancient Greece). The oriental influences on its culture cannot be ignored. (Actually, Christianity had very strong influences on its culture, but obviously the Christian inlfuences were not the reasons, why it was considered "Greek" by some of its contemporaries.) When referring to demographics, "Hellenistic" includes both the "greeks" and the other "hellenized" people. However, it is true that in the (much) later period, the hellenic element was much more predominant (especially in the 14th and 15th centuries), but the hellenic element can be included as "hellenistic". I believe there were shown enough sources (above) supporting the term "hellenistic" (in case more are needed they could be found using this search). The main problem about this phrase is indeed that is supposed to explain why some of its contemporaries called it "Empire of the Greeks" (in case of western europeans there were more religious and political reasons, I think). Some of its contemporaries did believe they were "Greeks", but we cannot present their perceptions as being true facts (although "Citizenship and ethnicity By Feliks Gross" gives the impression that most of its citizens were "greeks", the following claim that this is wrong[25],[26],[27],[28],[29],[30],[31],[32],[33],[34],[35],[36],[37],[38],[39] and there are probably many other which support its "multi-ethnic" and "multi-cultural" character, even "Studies on the internal diaspora of the Byzantine Empire By Hélène Ahrweiler, Angeliki E. Laiou" claims that it had a strong "multi-ethnic" character, which somehow seems to contradict their claim of "hellenic" predominance). I would rather change that phrase to "but due to Hellenization, it later became known to some of its contemporaries as the Empire of the Greeks", however other possibilities would be "due to the increasing predominance of the Hellenistic element, it later became known to some of its contemporaries as the Empire of the Greeks" or simply "Later, it became known to some of its contemporaries as the Empire of the Greeks" (the culture and demographics could be explained elsewhere). Cody7777777 (talk) 11:38, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Banned user editing

The anon user editing through IPs 96.225.*.* and related ranges is banned user Deucalionite (talk · contribs), who is indef-blocked and no longer welcome on this project. Please roll him back whenever he reappears. Fut.Perf. 21:10, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm glad to hear of it. Gabr-el 21:42, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Byzantine 1025 map

Map Byzantine Empire 1025-en.svg - This map appears to be overestimating Arab control in the Caucasus, especially considering that Georgia fought Byzantium in the 1020's and the Armenians were suppose to have rebelled in the 9th century after the Emir of Melitene and his army was crushed. Gabr-el 05:46, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

You are right, but I based it on the French original. Will be fixed. Cheers, Constantine 09:16, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Official name of Constantinople

There are many sources here claiming that the official name of Constantinple was either "Second Rome" or "New Rome", Constantinople being a popular name, which entered in official usage later (some of the sources there mention also the version "Constantinople New Rome"). I believe that the city was officially called from its founding until 381, as "Second Rome" and then "New Rome". In my opinion the article should mention this more clearly. Constantine tried to make it look like Rome, on seven hills, and forming a new senate there, I think it is obvious he was building a "second Rome". Cody7777777 (talk) 21:27, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

I would like to point out that most of the sources you refer to are of a general nature, and since the story is widespread, one could expect them to echo it. Yet the name "Constantinople" already appears on coins from the 330s, while there is no attestation of either "New Rome" or "Second Rome" being in use as an official name at that time; the story for Constantine officially naming the city "Second Rome" appears to go back to a 5th-century ecclesiastical writer. "New Rome" appears in the canons of the Constantinopolitan council of 381, but there it is obviously used in an ecclesiastical context, to corroborate the claim of the see's status being second only that of Rome. In short, I think it would be fairly safe to say that "Constantinople" was the official name from the beginning, rather than one of the two "Rome" variants. Iblardi (talk) 21:49, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Interesting, but it still seems strange that all of these sources would be wrong. I do not know which was the first official name, but at least some time after its founding, the name of "New Rome" seems to become more favored in official contexts. I think the canons of an ecumenical council were considered to be official enough at that time, and there is still no clear evidence that 5th-century ecclesiastical writer was wrong. Also, is there more evidence except those coins, that "Constantinople" was an official name from the start? There is something here claiming that "the Latin poet Optatianus Porphyrius used (in Carminae, 4, 6) the expression "New Rome" as early as 324/25" although this is not an official context, it may show Constantine's intentions of building a "new Rome". Also, later in the Alexiad, Anna Comnena uses the name "New Rome" (although Constantinople also appears there) only when referring to a treaty (which can be considered as an official document). Cody7777777 (talk) 22:38, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Only a quick comment regarding your sources for now, as I'm in a hurry: (1) Porphyrius, in Carmen (plural Carmina not Carminae as the source has) 4 line 6 says "altera Roma", i.e. "a/the second Rome", not "New Rome", in a context which is highly rhetorical.[40] (2) Anna Comnena is quoted as saying "they are bound to revert to the Empire of the New Rome and the Queen of Cities, Constantinople", which hardly seems to equate the two; rather, "New Rome" seems to be used either as a name for Byzantium (the empire) or as a specification of "Constantinople". Iblardi (talk) 05:54, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
I think that we should distinguish between "New/Second Rome" as a concept and as the official name of the city. While the evidence for the latter being used rather than Constantinople from the beginning looks weak, it cannot be denied that Constantinople was increasingly seen to eclipse Rome in the course of the 4th to 6th centuries, albeit solely by the Byzantines themselves. The designation "New Rome" is not found in laws at least through Justinian's reign, although by then the concept seems to be there (Wes, Das Ende des Kaisertums, p. 19). Perhaps the article should take notice of this. I do not know about the post-classical period. Iblardi (talk) 08:10, 28 April 2009 (UTC)