Talk:List of Byzantine usurpers

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Name and purpose of article[edit]

The original intent of this article was just to list those who unsuccessfully claimed the imperial title. Over the course of its creation, it has expanded to include anyone who illegitimately usurped imperial authority, regardless of whether they claimed the imperial title. This then begs the question as to whether the title needs to be changed, and this turns on what we mean by "usurpation". Is it when some usurps the imperial title, or when they usurp imperial authority in some fashion (which does include all rebels against the emperor)? Given that in an absolute monarchy, as the Byzantine Empire was, if someone was engaged in a conspiracy to overthrow the emperor, or they rebelled in an important urban centre, at some point they would have to defeat the emperor to secure their position. Consequently, if they had defeated the emperor, it would have been inevitable that they would have claimed the imperial title at that point, even if they hadn't done so previously.

So, do we keep the title as it is, or do we change it to something like "List of Byzantine Usurpers, Rebels and Conspirators"? Thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Oatley2112 (talk) 09:26, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

If rebels are added to the list, then there are several missing names. How about Arduin the Lombard, Kalokyros Delphinas and Hervé Frankopoulos? They were all rebels, though they didn't claim imperial authority. But to be honest, I am curious about a person already included. Who exactly is Eleutherios the Younger? I have failed to find mention of him outside Wikipedia. Dimadick (talk) 06:50, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the additional rebels - this article, like most things on Wikipedia, is a work in progress and needs to be updated, so I will attempt to expand as I can. Regarding Eleutherios the Younger, he was the leader of a local rebelion that overthrew Gennadius in Carthage around 665 - see Pringle, Dennis, The defence of Byzantine Africa from Justinian to the Arab conquest: an account of the military history and archaeology of the African provinces in the sixth and seventh centuries, Volumes 1-2, (B.A.R. 1981) pg. 47. Treadgold mentions the rebellion against Gennadius (pg. 320), but not the leader - Pringle gives him the name "Eleutherius", and I have taken the appelation "the Younger" from a German list of Byzantine emperors and usurpers which named him as such to distinguish him from the more well known usurper Eleutherius (exarch). Oatley2112 (talk) 11:35, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Regarding the rebels listed by Dimadick, although I have added Hervé Frankopoulos, the other two highlight the issue of what to do about rebels who join another rebellion led by someone else. In those circumstances, I think we should just list the principal rebel or recognised leader of the rebellion (Bardas Phokas the Younger in the case of Kalokyros Delphinas, and Atenulf, Prince of Benevento in the case of Arduin the Lombard). Oatley2112 (talk) 05:51, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Kudos to Oatley for compiling this list. I've already expressed my view that this list needs renaming, but how is a problem. "Challengers to the throne" would be even more awkward. An idea would be to merge this into the List of Byzantine revolts and civil wars and create a List of Byzantine rebellions and conspiracies or even split that one in two, since many of the conspiracies were only suspected at best. Constantine 12:13, 9 January 2011 (UTC)