>>545078 In regards to who? Anyway, I'd say it's because Byzantium was an expanding (for a time) Christian empire during the Dark Ages, so the rest of Europe looked up at it while dying from disease, dozens of different barbarian groups raiding, Muslims, etc. Meanwhile these guys were kicking Muslim ass near the holy land.
>>545078 Its the Roman Empire, it really is, but it kind of isn't, its also Greek, its Eastern, took on many influenced from the Persians and the nomads that arrived, like the Avars, but it was a Christian empire, the first and greatest Orthodox Empire, it had the largest and greatest city for a while, it stood right in the path of Islamic conquest and won, until the backstabbing Latins sacked Constantinople. Most people begin to have an interest simply because its the Roman Empire that survived, its exotic and its fall is a watershed moment in European history.
>>545078 Because our cultural consciousness hasn't developed a meme understanding of it yet. Medieval Europe was GoT, Rome was lorica segmentata and degenerate emperors, the Islamic caliphates were full of enlightened mathematicians muttering "allahu akhbar", but the Byzantines...lorica segmentata and Greeks? Orthodox GoT? There's no image that immediately pops up in your mind except a vague awareness that Constantinople was huge and this image of Justinian.
I think the bulk of the interest probably comes from the fact that people like to think of it as the successor to the Roman Empire. Even historians who know better like to make romantic allusions to it 'keeping the candle of civilisation burning' or things like that. I remember reading some soppy statement about how it kept the spirit of Roman civilisation going while Europe went through the dark ages and was only extinguished once Europe was on the cusp of the Renaissance and finally surpassing Roman society. Pretty evocative and emotive stuff, so I guess that's the appeal to some people.
>>545078 Because it was grand, influential and one of the longest enduring empires yet people barely learn/know anything about it. It's key to understanding Eastern Europe (why do slavs use weird Greek letters?) which in itself is quite a mystery to most as well as the history of Christianity. When I found about them I was like woah, there was an entire empire there which was Rome Greek n shiet.
>>545554 Also there's an educational gap between classical Rome and the Renaissance. I don't think people know that much about Charlemagne and others either which is quite sad, because this epoch is crucial in understanding Europe and its differences, probably more than any other era.
>>545509 >The Roman Empire wasn't Roman because it didn't include Rome so i wont call ti the Roman Empire >But i have no problem calling the Holy Roman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire even thought it wasnt Roman in any way.
>>545078 It doesn`t attract fascination even in Russia. There just aren`t any Eastern Roman Empire-related memes. Everyone knows about medieval Catholic Europe because of knights and castles, medieval Japan - because samurai and ninjas, even Romania because of Dracula. There needs to appear some really successfull movie/tv series/book/whatever about ERE otherwise it will remain a relatively obscure topic.
It's romanticised by teenagers who think it was le epic bastion against Muslims who wilfully ignore the fact that the Byzantines were possibly the greatest ever kebab enablers in history who literally handed the entire Middle East to them on a platter thanks to their sectarian policies
>>546148 It kind of seems to be a bit of a chicken and egg scenario though, in that a culture/empire/individual needs to be relatively well known for people to want to make films/tv shows/whatever about it - but in order to become well known it needs to be exposed through those mediums. Interesting to wonder why certain things capture our imagination and others don't. I can't think of any really well known movies or anything about a relatively obscure culture that have done well.
A lot (not all) of the empires and nations that capture the public imagination tend to be points of pride or heritage for certain peoples. Italians, but also most western nations, like to look at Rome and Greece as our political and cultural forebears, and I imagine it's the same with a lot of other historical empires and current countries. Carthage isn't 'well known' in most circles (I have no idea how it's thought of in Tunisia) outside of the fact that it's famous as an enemy of Rome - I doubt most people know much about it apart from Hannibal (I'm guilty of this).
Does anyone here know if the Greeks (or anyone) like to look to the Byzantine Empire as forming part of their cultural heritage?
>>546190 I've always been confused about this period though. When I think of the Roman Empire during the pax romana, I think of a provincial style system that's still pretty centrally controlled. Was the Byzantine empire like this? For some reason I thought it had pretty shaky control over the parts of the former WRE it reconquered, and slowly became more like a vassalised western European feudal state.
>>546212 >Does anyone here know if the Greeks (or anyone) like to look to the Byzantine Empire as forming part of their cultural heritage? Big time. Them and Russia. Here in Romania we also have some byzantineboos(because muh orthodoxy)
>>546223 It was much more centralized than western European feudal states with the emperor essentially being god as far as government went.
Rather than having a system of landed gentry, it had a system of civil servants and generals that largely took the place of the nobility and would often serve as provincial governers on the behalf of the emperor.
>>546241 Cool, thanks for the info. Was this system in place right up until the fall of Constantinople, or did the Byzantines become less centralised when they lost their professional army, instituted the themes etc?
>>546228 In Russia praising Byzantium is kinda popular, but even there good luck finding anybody on the street who could name a single Byzantine emperor, while quite a lot would be familiar with, say, Richard the Lionheart.
>>546268 You'll have to forgive the fact that I'm using wiki as a source here, but the later Byzantine Empire seems like it's approaching a semi-feudal system. Perhaps feudalism isn't the best analogy, but the centralisation certainly started to get a bit shaky.
>revolts and civil wars resulting from the widening rift between the civilian bureaucracy in Constantinople and the land-holding military elites (the dynatoi),
>The dynatoi (Greek: δυνατοί, "the powerful") was a legal term in the Byzantine Empire used from the 10th century on, denoting the senior levels of civil, military and ecclesiastic (including monastic) officialdom, who usually, but not always, also commanded considerable fortunes and landed estates. Although such positions were not usually hereditary, by the late 10th and early 11th centuries they had started to become monopolized by a limited number of families who by the mid-11th century formed a hereditary aristocracy.
>>546284 >Could they not even name Constantine XI? Lol no way in hell. The state propaganda and the church are actively trying to rectify the situation though. A few years ago there was a really popular documentary about Byzantium, and there are lot of pop history books about how much the medieval west sucked compared to the glorious Orthodox empire, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
>>545078 Personally its exoticness and culture, its tragic and slow downfall and the ancient atmosphere it breathes make it very romantic(no pun intended), that it was the roman empire helps but it is different enough from your traditional image of that empire that speaks to the imagination
>>545486 That's a good point actually. It's especially noticeable if you watch cheap documentaries and the Byzantines appear. There just isn't a standardized Byzantine appearance for the general public. Romans are always guys in togas, laurels and lorica segmentata. Middle-ages is guys in fur, surcoats and buckets on their heads along with some monks. Renaissance is guys in funny pants and hats. Post renaissance is everybody dressed like Louis XIV or George Washington. Muslims always look like Saudi princess. But the Byzantines always look different. Sometimes they're all dressed like Justinian, sometimes they look like Arabs, sometimes they look like they're straight out of Conan the Barbarian, sometimes they're all dressed in leather armour. It's pretty funny actually.
>>546173 Movies and other modern media ultimately derive most of their historical memes from Victorian era plays, operas, novels, and popular culture. So that's why we have Romans speaking in British English, Medieval knights, Crusades or exotic travels in the Middle East, or Napoleon.
>>548302 >Those barbarians created an large and powerful empire and rebuilt constantinople. > fighting other muslims semi-successfully while failing against any non-balkan European power > turning Constantinople into the stinking shithole that is Istanbul
>>548457 >containing russia for centuries >cucking the poles out of a coastline >holding hungary for 150 years despite several crusades >rekking the spaniards and venetians at sea while being outnumered several times >turning istanbul into a metropolis out of a few walled villages that was constantinople
All these things the ottomans did and till 1693 they held their own against more or less everyone they came up against.
>>545078 Because it is a singular civilization that is hard to connect to anything in antiquity. Modernism is ill-equipped to understand the middle ages much less the eastern roman empire, that was steeped in the same religious overtones.
Byzantium was basically greeks with christianity living under roman laws. The same autistic interest with philosophy that the antique greeks had, the medieval greeks had with theology, as many western visitors would report.
Unlike western europe which was more military oriented, the ERE was more of a bureaucratic civilization but not secular at all. Even though it's aristocracy was dedicated to military science and soldiers made up a good part of the population, outright conquest was never a thing. Wars were waged either for reconquest or for defensive purposes, which is why the Crusades were an idea unthikable to them.
If you want to learn about byzantium, I'd say study whatever military manuals of theirs remain. It is a really weird concept but one that worked and kept them alive in their almost constant warhammer 40k situation,
>>548660 >Lepanto Im no Ottoman, but before Lepanto the Ottomans had far more victories with their navy against the Christians. Lepanto was a singular large victory for the Christians, but the Ottomans had far more. This is really more attributed to the fact that they had incredibly competent naval leaders at the time though. The Barbarossas were badasses.
Byzantium had provinces in the themes, hybrid civil-military districts. The local general collected taxes, a part of which was sent on to the emperor. The generals trained, and equipped their own troops with whatever money they were allowed to keep, which was usually a sizeable amount. Byzantine Anatolia was garrisoned by at least 60,000 men. There was a further 20,000 men garrisoned in Greece, and around 24,000 more underneath the emperor's direct control. The generals used their troops (Who, despite technically being militiamen, where usually professionally trained and equipped) to deal with low to medium scale threats. If reinforcements were needed, neighbouring generals would come to their aid, or the emperor might lead an army made up of his best troops (Emperor's sometime sent trusted generals in their place, especially of they weren't military-minded).
The Byzantine holdings outside of Anatolia and Greece/Bulgaria were pretty much independent after the Rise of Islam. Byzantine control over Northern Italy, Crimea, and Dalmatia was very loose. The only exception was Sicily, which was ruled directly from Constantinople from Justinian to Basil I. After Basil I, Byzantine control over Sicily began to weaken, as emperors were either unable or unwilling to defend it.
Byzantium only began to take on the trappings of feudalism after the Fourth Crusade ruined it.
Regaining Constantinople and Byzantine Anatolia was Greece's main goal from 1829 to 1921. The Greek kings secretly numbered themselves after the Byzantine emperors, so Constantine I would sign documents and refer to himself as Constantine XII.
>>548973 >allying Austria >Emperor of the "Holy Roman Empire" >expecting help from the guys who claim your title for half a millenium
Dude, ally Poland and the Balkan countries.
Get a diplomatic reputation advisor to do that, obviously.
Then let the Ottomans attack you, so you can call in all your allies. Pray that the PLC already happened and is not at war with the Teutonic Order.
Also try to ally Venice or Genoa or anyone who is willing to ally you. Then just wait for the Ottoman attack and cash out after you beat their troops and occupied you Greek cores sufficiently. Don't be too greedy in your first war.
The last time I did this was a couple of patches ago, so maybe it is harder now. But I never used that strait blocking strategy.
>>549437 I think that the beginning of the end was when the rulers of the Italian peninsula, Gothic puppets or the Goths themselves, stopped regularly and deferentially communicating with the government in Constantinople.
>>546284 I'd say someone with a good memory may probably name Justinian I. That's the only Byzantine emperor that had more than one line of text dedicated to him in my history textbook in middle school. It should also be noted that he is still mentioned as an emperor of Slavic descent in some textbooks and/or popular/kids' history books even though that theory has been debunked. I actually fell for it when I was a kid.
>>551517 Pretty much, Justinian and a very cursory mention of his reforms and the Gothic Wars were the majority of the Byzantine content in my textbooks. There was also a brief mention of Manzikert and 1453 without any other context.
>>548973 The strat is a bit more complex now, you have to fight the ottos head on(also navy is useless)but be in control of where you fight, allying hungary is a must to put pressure on the northern border while you siege southern greece, avoid the stacks until you have assembled a big stack which you camp on hills while some other stacks (like some of hungary and poland)keep sieging, eventually they WILL attack your stack and lose
Cuntz don't seem to realize that the Ottoman Empire was still around in Anatolia and Greece at the time. Mehmet and his first few successors expected it to be thats it. As such, Mehmet and the first few successors pretty much adopted WE CAESAR NOW as they expected to rule over a majority European populace for the far future.
That all changed when Selim I did the unthinkable BTFO Persia and Egypt and acquired much of the western half of the Middle East. The Ottoman Rhetoric quickly dropped WE CAESAR NOW and picked up WE CALIPHATE NOW/WE PADISHAH NOW, with the title of Caesar devolving into one of the Ottoman Sultan's long list of titles.
>>549210 >>Latins >>backstabbing >Kill yourself my man
>Sack Constantinople >Don't tell the Emperor that the Turks are transporting their fleet on land right under your nose because you wanted to see who would win >Make the Byzantines submit to the Pope before you send help >they agree >still leave them to die
>>546212 I actually read somewhere once (possibly /r/AskHistorians) that the modern Greek state was actually thinking of basing it's identity on Byzantium over the ancient Greeks, but at the time it gained independence from the Ottomans it was influenced heavily by French and English thinkers who were having a revival of interest in ancient Greek thought, so ultimately the identity of Greece went on to become based around that instead of Byzantium. It's a shame really, I think a modern Byzantine-influenced state would be really good for the world.
>>545078 Because they're the answer to the question "What if Rome hadn't fallen?". They might've been Greek, but they very much kept the Roman and Latin heritage alive until the nightmare of the late 7th and Early 8th Century.
The Germans ruined Europe for centuries until Charlemagne started to pull them out of it (and even then); if he and Irene had married (or their children) and consolidated empires, history would be utterly and profoundly different today.
The Church would be united again for one. The Persians defeated by the Arabs, the Arabs defeated by a united Christendom. Pax Romana would again be the norm. Deus Fucking Vult
>>554252 Isn't that a fasinating thing to discuss in itself? Would they be real Muslims or were they secretly to themselves still Christians? I mean they were a very religious christian people who grew up with generations fighting the Muslim invasion I would think even though being taken over they would still resist in certain ways?
>>554425 >The Church would be united again for one. The Persians defeated by the Arabs, the Arabs defeated by a united Christendom. Pax Romana would again be the norm. Deus Fucking Vult
Shoo shoo Charlemagne
This could never happen, union with the churches wasn't going to happen, and thank god it didnt, a united church meant submitting to the Pope, which was unthinkable. A united Christendom was never going to happen, and it sure as hell wouldn't defeat the Arabs, the crusades proved this.
A study of conquered peoples usually shows that when they begin converting to the religion of the conquerors in large numbers, it is usually because they genuinely believe in it. However, the experience of being a conquered people usually ends up leading to the formation of new religious movements which often place the conquered people at the center. When a people of one religion are conquered by another, it isn't just the official religion of the conquerors that migrates but also dissident movements that push the boundaries of accepted orthodoxy. Missionaries of these movements ride the waves of political success of their ethnic kinsmen and find the conquered peoples, who may find some aspects of the conquerors' religion appealing already, to be a fertile ground for these movements that are like the conquerors' but not exactly. While there are those who hide their true religion, what often happens is that after prolonged periods of time, what started out as merely a means for personal advancement or a tactic done out of fear of persecution becomes a legitimately new school of thought within the conquerors' religion that channels that frustration of the conquered in the language of the conquered. So Christians may pose as Muslims, only for their Muslim descendants to develop into a branch or school that interprets themselves as the true yet persecuted heirs of Allah's Prophet.Even today, a common belief among Persian Shi'a Muslims has been "Our Zoroastrian forbears sinned against God and were punished by way of God letting the Arabs attack the Persian Empire, but this was also for the purpose that Islam would come to the Persians and be salvaged from the Arabs who by and large went astray after the death of Muhammad (pbuh) who is a prophet like Zoroaster was." Also, sometimes the conquerors in order to justify their authority over the conquered "go native", in the case of the Ottoman Turks, they became more Romanized.
>>554438 One of the single most important relationships between the Orthodox Byzantines and Muslim Levantines/Turks throughout the period between the rise of Islam to the ERE's fall was the dynamic of their theological conflict.
God was real to them, and success in battle, statecraft, geopolitics, ~everything~ was reliant upon his favour. The era of wars between the Byzantines and the Muslims was in no way just an imperialistically-motivated series of conflicts between two titans struggling for dominance over the East, but a genuine doctrinal divide between two sides claiming that their own theology was superior to the other in the eyes of God, with secular success determined ultimately by the religion truer to His will.
This relationship is greatly responsible, in fact, for much of the fervor and religious obsession that developed and characterised Byzantium; the astonishing military successes of the Muslims throughout the 600-700s convinced the Byzantines that their religious doctrine was flawed and inferior, spurring directly adoption of certain aspects of Islamic creed and a return to more conservative and literal interpretations of Christian dogma, most famously displayed by the Iconoclast political movements that would dominate the Imperial court and be responsible for the destruction of countless Classical pieces of art, in addition to the state's abandonment of sponsorship for the more masterful schools of architecture, decoration, etc. it had cultivated since the unified Roman era.
The strength of the iconoclast movement is sometimes pinned too much on Islam. It's kind of a become a meme of historians. The truth is the iconoclast movement existed long before the Muslims came around and was already kicking into high gear in 6th century with the rise of the Paulicians, who were among the most radical iconoclasts and even assisted Muslim armies against the Byzantines, and iconoclast leaning emperors. Undoubtedly, the iconoclast movement found a new way to justify itself with the Arab incursion ('see we're right! Jesus hates us because of these icons, just like we said!') but it merely added a new dimension to a conflict which was mainly theological in nature and had been around even since the Arian controversy.
Eusebius of Caesarea (d.340) also was reportedly an iconoclast, at least in some respects and is mentioned in later reports as having responded to princess Constantia's pleas for an icon of Christ with terms along the lines of saying that it was impossible to produce an icon of either the historical man or the transcendent spirit (the former's appearance being unknown and the latter's being in essence formless)
But the question of the icons was one which was wrapped up in Christian wider debates on the nature of Christ's divinity which were taking place at the same time and which preceded Muhammad (who may not have himself been as much an iconoclast as he's sometimes portrayed)
>>554730 Perhaps iconoclasm was ultimately a Syrian or Eastern Anatolian expression of public religion which Islam adopted and which manifested as the Iconoclasm controversies after the Arab conquests drove refugees from these regions deeper into the Empire? I can't help but notice your example Eusebius and Leo III were both from the east, and that this mirrors a later Ottoman controversy in some ways where an ascetic religious movement from Syria and northern Mesopotamia clashed with the Sufis of Constantinople over public and popular expression of religion.
Well, the Eastern Christian lands always were a little more iconoclastic than the West. Case in point, all Orthodox icons you see are 2 dimensional "flat" representations. You will rarely ever see 3 dimensional Orthodox icons, except in slight relief. This is because the Orthodox Church considers anything else to be like unto idolatry. Meanwhile, in Catholic lands, statues of Jesus. Mary and the saints are fairly common devotional items.
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