Byzantium

Discussion in 'Graeco-Roman' started by brian, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. brian

    brian Administrator

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    This is just a thread opened for the discussion of the Byzantine Empire - Byzantium - should anyone wish to. :)

    Personally speaking I find this whole civilisation utterly fascinating - perhaps because it is not simply the bridge between the ancient and medaeival worlds - but also because it was such a glittering superpower at its heyday, around the 900's AD.

    1453 will always sound like so sad a set of numbers. But feel free to celebrate the Byzantines with links and comments.

    I start by offering s good single resource:

    Byzantine Studies on the internet

    And in case anyone can answer, I've been trying for ages to locate the words to the Byzantine coronation ceremony. So far as I know, it refers to the "star of God" somewhere.

    I believe the work "De Administrando Imperio" written by the Byzantine Emperor, Constantine Porphyrogenitus, may actually include this - but I've not actually read in.

    In fact, I've just checked on amazon.com and found it's actually available in English - which is astonishing good news - last time I checked it was only available in either German or Latin, and I can't read either of those languages.

    I think I'm seriously going to have to buy this books. :) Can't afford it yet, but definitely something to look out for soon. :)
     
  2. Polycarp

    Polycarp New Member

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    The two straits linking the Black and Mediterranean Seas, the Dardanelles and Bosphorus, have been significant in human history for nearly its entire length. The earliest Greek stories with any historical basis focus on the Trojan War, and place an abduction as the proximate cause of what was very likely a war based on trade routes -- Troy being on the Asiatic coast of present-day Turkey adjacent to the Dardanelles.

    The Bosphorus, the narrower of the straits, has been a clinch-point since ancient times. Byzantium was founded on the European shore at the point where the Golden Horn, an embayment and short river, empties into the Bosphorus. It was a prosperous trading entrepot for most of ancient times.

    Constantine, seeking to place a capital in the East, rebuilt it as his new capital city, and the site for the Eastern emperors (following Diocletian's idea that the Empire was too big for one-man government and required the joint efforts of two or more Emperors agreed on a common set of goals). This Empire held most of the eastern littoral of the Mediterranean until well after Rome itself fell, lost Egypt, Syria, and Palestine to the Arabs at the time of the Islamic expansion, and retained Anatolia and the Balkans for another 600 years. For its last 200 years or so, it remained solely the city of Constantinople and a few small waterside enclaves in present Greece and Turkey.

    When it finally fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, it became the capital of the Ottoman Empire and remained that until 1922. During this period, a Turkish adaptation of the phrase used to describe going to Constantinople in Greek became the standard use for the city's name -- eis ten polis, "To the city" > Istanbul.

    The interrelationships of Emperor and religious leadership, particularly the Patriarch of Constantinople, are also worth looking at in more depth than I know without research -- but much of Orthodoxy and even a small smattering of Anglican doctrine is founded on that complex subject.
     
  3. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Bumping this thread. :)
     
  4. christodoulos

    christodoulos Interfaith Forums

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    byzantium as a world power in the year 900A.D. is not true.

    In 711 the Byzantine navy failed to prevent the Moorish invasion of Iberia and earlier they failed to hold on to Jerusalem ;a byzantine capital city.

    All this infuriated the Pope and caused him to take his own defensive measures .

    I have long thought that this was the seed ground that would eventually lead to the schism. It started small and mushroomed in time.
    This was when the popes started seeing the incompetency of the greeks.
     

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