User talk:Varana

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Hello, Varana. Welcome to Wikipedia. Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are a few good links for newcomers:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! By the way, you can sign your name on Talk and vote pages using three tildes, like this: ~~~. Four tildes (~~~~) will produce your name and the current date. You should always sign talk pages but not articles. If you have any questions, see the help pages, add a question to the village pump or ask me on my talk page. Again, welcome! Ann Heneghan (talk) 19:39, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for the welcome. :) Varana 12:56, 20 August 2005 (UTC)


Comments have been added to Talk:Maxentius/Comments. As it stands the article could be of B quality if references were given. It could be of GA or A quality if the lead was larger and references were given for most of the article and if the prose would become compelling. Apart from these few advices and comments please feel free to ask for more information and help if unsure. Lincher 14:07, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Constantine I[edit]

Hi there - I noticed you replaced the category 'Deified Roman Emperors' in the article. As Constantine abolished the Imperial cult, and no senate or emperor after his death even attempted to deify him, I don't see where the deification comes in. Certainly nobody built temples in his honour. Unless you're referring to his being venerated as a saint... InfernoXV 17:43, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Hi. Actually, Constantine was made divus, i.e. deified, after his death, and this practice continued for the whole century (even Theodosius I was made divus). This is testified by both coinage (for instance, this one), and Eusebius describing exactly these coins. (And probably inscriptions, too, though I can't think of an example right now, but will look for one, if you want.) Constantine remained pontifex maximus of all Romans, including pagans; while he personally became Christian, he didn't abolish the imperial cult (we have an inscription from the town of Hispellum: Constantine grants the town's wish to build a temple to the Flavian dynasty, he only forbids bloody sacrifices). Certainly, his deification was not emphasized by his Christian sons and is rarely mentioned in literary sources, as virtually all later pro-Constantinian sources are Christian, but it happened. Action of the Senate was required only formally, if at all, and was certainly obtained if necessary (Constantius I could be called divus right after his death in Britain). While the Senate and Constantine might have been not on the best of terms sometimes, the Senate never had any power to defy any emperor's wishes in Constantinian times. Constantine might have been pro-Christian, but above all, he was a realist when it came to power, who ruled an Empire with a still considerable pagan population, and it shouldn't be surprising that he catered to both Christians and Pagans. (Apart from that: our modern view of strictly opposed, confronting sides doesn't do justice to Late Antique reality; there was a large area of overlapping and common ground. Christian Saint and pagan Deified Emperor is typical for Constantinian religious politics.) Varana 19:32, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
A palpable hit! Good one, I hadn't realised or noticed that. I checked my coins and found you were right. Thanks for the info! InfernoXV 11:39, 20 September 2006 (UTC)


Thanks for your fascinating contributions to the Byzantine discussion at Talk:Byzantine Empire. I appreciate the polite and friendly way you have contributed to the discussion, and also I must thank you for helping me by producing an excellent map of the partition of the Byzantine Empire in the Fourth Crusade. Thankyou very much! :) Best wishes, Bigdaddy1204 22:43, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

New map?[edit]

Is there any chance that you would be able to create another map for Byzantine Empire? Ideally, I am looking for a map similar to this one, but showing the empire in about 867AD:


Would this be possible? Bigdaddy1204 15:35, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

certainly, though not before the weekend. :)
By "similar to this one", do you mean also looking like your series of maps, i.e. the Empire in red on the yellow landmass (to keep "corporate identity" *g*), or in the vein of the Latin Empire map? Varana 16:06, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Hi again, I've made a new map now which can be seen here: [[1]]. Yes I meant following the yellow and red maps so as to make it part of the series. Tell me what you think of the new map (be honest :) ).

Is there any chance you would be able to produce an animated map? Combining all the following Byzantine Empire maps:

  • Image:Byzantium550.png
  • Image:ByzantineEmpire717AD.png
  • Image:ByzantineEmpire867AD3.PNG
  • Image:1025AD.PNG
  • Image:Byzantium1095.jpg
  • Image:John'sEmpire.jpg
  • Image:Byzantium in 1170(3).PNG
  • Image:Byzantium1270.jpg

Also, do you think we should have a map of the empire in 476AD? Otherwise, people reading the article at Byzantine Empire might get confused and think it started out at Justinian's size... What do you think? Bigdaddy1204 17:51, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Byzantine vs Eastern Roman empire[edit]

Hi Varana. I made some additions in 'Byzantine Greeks', a section in language and some copyediting. I experimentally removed a reference on the languages such as Arabic, Slavic, Armenian etc, simply because they weren't spoken by the people we call 'Byzantines', but by people who were frequently their subjects and frequently their enemies. For example by "Romans" we mean a specific group of people, of a specific language and civilisation, and not all peoples of Roman citizenship. Considering how all ancient and medieval Empires are treated, I find it biased to make an exception out of Byzantium. The post-Byzantine Greeks for example, who are occasionally named "Ottoman Greeks", were the worst enemies of the "Ottoman", and not Ottomans themselves. And eventhough the Ottoman citizenship was given to muslims of the Ottoman Empire (whether arabic, Slavic or Kurdish), the 'Ottomans' by default are the Turkish-speaking citizens. I'm saddened by some editors biased attempts to present the Byzantine Greeks or Byzantines as a medieval civilisation with no identity which suddenly disappeared after the sack of Constantinople. I think we would resolv our dispute if we drew a line between the "Eastern Roman" and "Byzantine" Empires like most historians do. As Ostrogorsky puts it, the 7th century marks the transition from the Eastern Roman to the Medieval Greek (Byzantine) Empire. Eventhough their articles are the same, we editors should make it clear that within specific context, they are not synonymous entities. Regards. Miskin 23:00, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Hi Varana. I'm not throwing around exaggeration, maybe that's not your personal opinion but it's the opinion of others such as Roydosan. If you look into Anglophone sources you'll find out that "Byzantine Greek" is in wide use, without referring to a specific "Greek ethnic" group of the Byzantines. They refer by default to the Byzantines. Other sources use simply "Greeks", and I called it pragmatic because it was the de facto ethnonym used by the non-Byzantines to refer to them (and and a lesser degree by Byzantines). Miskin 18:02, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

"The Byzantine Empire rules over Byzantine people, and a subject of the Emperor is a Byzantine."
Personally, I don't agree with this sentence for the simple reason that e.g. "Celtic" and "Greek" ethnonyms were always present within the Roman Empire that you used as an example, independently of citizenship. In Byzantium however there's no "Greek" identity separate to that of "Byzantine". Secondly it's clearly not how it is viewed by scholars, as it is shown in my earlier citations. Byzantine is not "Jew, Slav, Arab" or any culture of the Empire. It's any "Greek or Hellenized" person of the empire, independently of ethnic origin. Miskin 18:09, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Byzantine Empire[edit]

Hello! I am eager to know what you think about the latest proposal at Talk:Byzantine Empire. There is a vote about whether or not we should change the Byzantine Empire from pink to purple in all the maps of the article. I would be very happy to see your support or object, or even comment on this issue. Please let us know what you think! Thanks, Bigdaddy1204 13:28, 12 December 2006 (UTC)


Thanks for your offer to re-colour File:LatinEmpire.png so that it can be understood by red-green colour-blind users such as myself. You may find the hints and tips offered in Category:Articles with images not understandable by color blind users#Tips for editors useful.

In particular the best thing to do would be to scrap the idea of using colour alone to distinguish "country"/dominion/area-of-influence. Much better would be to use bold outlines around the area edges and then to use clear high-contrast text to name them and name their affiliation. For areas which are too small to fit the text, a good idea might be to use numbers or arrows to label text elsewhere.

Another alternative would be to use high-contrast patterns such as cross-hatching, polka-dots, stripes etc. However the legend would have to be large enough for samples of those patterns to be distinguishable.

I am extremely grateful for your offer of help. A group of middle-aged friends and I are currently using your map to play out a historical wargame, and we would all like to pass on our thanks. Andrew Oakley (talk) 09:52, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

thanks for your help (and I'm extremely flattered by your use of the map *blush* :D).
I've uploaded a version with alternate colours here: [2]
Please tell me what you think and if it's readable for you. (I'll fix the legend later.) Is "Ven." as abbreviation for "Venice/Venetian" understandable? In German, such abbreviations are very common in maps; I'm not sure about English usage, though.
For this kind of map, with underlying geographical features, I find patterns difficult to do; except really bold lines etc., which would obscure the features _and_ look ugly. :D So I hope I can work out a combination of colours that works.
Regards, Varana (talk) 18:37, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Superb, I can understand that one much better. Many thanks. Andrew Oakley (talk) 23:47, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Panegyrici Latini fact tags[edit]

Hey, thanks for the reply. Your wording was no big deal; I certainly didn't feel offended. As you've noted, the second fact tag was unnecessary, given that the information was already in the table above the paragraph, so I didn't bring it back in my partial revert. I understand your concerns, and you've pretty much said everything in your note on my talk page that I thought I might have to include in a reply to you. I think we're pretty much on the same page. I hope you find the reference in Galletier or Pichon! Geuiwogbil (Talk) 18:01, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Roman Empire infobox[edit]

Hi. In response to your note: (1) Online Shorter OED defines cipher or cypher as a "code" or "a key to a code". I am not sure if this covers SPQR, so I'll change it to acronym, which certainly does. (2) Regarding Romania, I haven't read the article concerned (the summary was provided by another user). My understanding is that Romania became the normal colloquial term used for the Empire by its inhabitants during the 3rd c., after the grant of Roman citizenship to all free inhabitants of the Empire in 212. But you are right to demand evidence. Can you give me a little time to find this before you scrub Romania from the box? Regards EraNavigator (talk) 14:05, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Hi. I've got hold of the article, which is mainly about the use of the term Romania in medieval Byzantium. For our purposes, the relevant passage is (pp 2-3):

"These investigations indicate that Romania made its first appearances in the so-called Chronicle Consularis Constantinopolitana, edited about the year 330, and in a series of other Greek and Latin texts of the 4th and 5th centuries: SS> Epiphanius, Athanasius, and Nilus, and the Latins Ammianus Marcellinus, Orosius and Possidius, the biographer of Augustine. In this period, the term was clearly used to denote the orbis Romanus, or the imperium Romanum; it was essentially a popular rather than a literary expression, formed perhaps by analogy on the model of Gallia, Graecia and Britannia. It was used specifically in contrast with the barbarian world: thus Orosius reports the boast of the Gothic king Ataulf that he would turn all Romania into Gothia, and to Possidius, the barbarians were eversores Romaniae."

The Ammianus quote is interesting, because of the latter's authority. In XVI.11.7 he talks of utilitatem Romaniae ("the benefit of the country"). Although some editors have amended this to utilitatem Romanam, the majority view of scholars is that the original is authentic.

On the basis of this evidence, it seems safe to say that by the 4th c., Romania was the common colloquial term used by the man-in-the-street to denote the Empire. It seems likely that such usage developed during the 3rd c., after all the inhabitants became Roman citizens. Regards EraNavigator (talk) 09:32, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

If you are interested in more detail about the use of Romania before 476, the articles gives the following refs:
  • G. Paris "Romani etc" in Romania I (1872)
  • P. Monceaux Bulletin de la Societe Nationale des Antiquaires de France (1920) pp 152ff
  • E. Fehrle "Romania bei Ammianus Marcellinus" in Philologische Wochenschrift XLV (1925) cols 381-2

Romania is also used in Jordanes Getica EraNavigator (talk) 09:56, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Hi. I beg to differ. It seems to me that your interpretation of the passage runs contrary to its natural meaning. What the article is saying is that literary refs to Romania are scant in the literature of the 3rd and 4th centuries (although much more frequent than just Ammianus - see the refs I gave you) precisely because the term was colloquial, not official: just as you would not expect to see Britain referred to by its popular name of "Blighty" in serious newspapers. And in the ancient world there was much greater divide between the language of the literary elite and that of the man-in-the-street - not least the use of Latin itself, which was classical in the literature but probably closer to modern Spanish in the street. But the concept that Romania was a commonplace term from the 3rd c. onwards has heavyweight academic support. I remember reading it in a history of the Roman empire (Michael Grant, I think), but as a helpful user has pointed out in my talk page, it is also contained in Ancient Coin Collecting 2nd Ed., by W.G. Sayle a leading expert on Greco-Roman numismatics.

(p. 30): "In AD 212, emperor Garacalla declared all free persons in the empire to be Roman citizens, entitled to call themselves Roman, not merely subject to the Romans. Within a few decades, people began to refer to the entire empire less often as Imperium Romanorum (Domaine of the Romans) and more often as Romania (Romanland)". This passage supports exactly my entry in the infobox. I therefore suggest the entry should stand. Regards EraNavigator (talk) 11:51, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

(1) OK, I'll change it to "from 4th c.", since that is all that the available evidence supports strictly speaking, although if it did start as a popular term, then it would have become commonplace long before it appeared in the formal literature. PS: Do you have some problem with Romania? I see that you also opposed its inclusion in the lead (and presumably the infobox) of Byzantine empire, even though there is no dispute that the Byzantines, throughout their long history, called themselves "Romans" (Ρὢμαίοι) and their country Romania (Ροὓμανία). It's like arguing that the article on Greece should not mention in the lead and infobox that the Greeks themselves call it Hellas, or in Hungary that the Hungarians call it Magyarorszag.
(2) I disagree with removing "Greek equivalent" as it is the exact Greek translation of imperium Romanorum, but we can shorten it to just "Greek"; also I strongly suggest we keep the transliteration, as the great majority of readers, unlike us, are unfamiliar with Greek letters and pronunciation (how would you like the infobox to have entries written in Arabic script or Chinese characters without a transliteration?). While I concur that the infobox should be kept as concise as possible, that must not be at the expense of essential or very useful data. Infoboxes should be informative. Regards EraNavigator (talk) 16:52, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
I understand the point about nationalist propaganda all too well. I've had to revert numerous edits to the infobox of one of my own articles, Battle of Navarino (1827): for example an Irishman who removed "Ireland" from then official name of the British state, "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland" and a Russian who objected to "Russian Empire" and repeatedly changed it to simply "Russia" and replaced the Romanov double-headed eagle flag with the modern flag of Russia, which only became official in 1896! But I assure that I am not motivated by Romanian nationalism (I'm Italo-British, not Romanian!). My sole motivation in entering Romania is that I genuinely believe (and the evidence supports) that it was how the Romans commonly called their country in the later period and into Byzantium. Overall, my own opinion is that the infobox name section is fine as it now stands. Informative without being overcrowded with detail. Regards EraNavigator (talk) 13:31, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
PS: Your example of Finland is not strictly relevant to transliteration, as the Finns use the Latin alphabet. A better parallel is the article on Libya, where the official name is given in (i) English translation of the official name (ii) official name in Arabic script, and (iii) transliteration of the Arabic script into Latin script
PPS: I haven't finished yet with the Roman empire infobox. I want to improve the Currency section, giving the value-relationships and chronological sequence of the various denominations.

Mediation of Byzantine Empire[edit]

A RfM has been submitted at the RfM page here for the article Byzantine Empire. You may add any comments you may have on this page and are welcome, but your presence is not required. Monsieurdl mon talk 23:23, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Today Part Of infoboxes[edit]

Thanks for your message. I agree that the Today Part Of lists get a little long for the big empires. I copied the format I found already established for the Abbasid Caliphate. The Today Part Of lists really help me (& I'm guessing other people) put some of these entities in the context of the world today & thus make them more relevant. If they take up too much room in the main infobox, perhaps we can move them lower in the article, near the bottom? I like that something visible & easy to peruse is available, so that if, for instance, I'm studying the history of Armenia I can easily jump to the Roman Empire & see if the Roman Empire made it as far east as Armenia without having to do a word search for "Armenia" in the Roman Empire article. The list seems even more useful for ancient empires since Armenia may have been called something other than Armenia by the Romans, and a word search for "Armenia" may not even show up that region as being part of the Roman Empire when it in fact was, just under a different name. Markwiki (talk) 23:45, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

I also tried today to make the box collapsible but couldn't figure it out. Maybe you know how to do that? If the box was collapsed with the option to open it, it wouldn't interfere with page layout but would be easily available for those who want to access the information. Markwiki (talk) 18:35, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

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ArbCom Elections 2016: Voting now open![edit]

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