Somewhat agree OP, I hate how Byzantium is lauded for being a punching bag that insulated Europe from Muslim aggression. All that is saying is that the Byzantines sucked at fighting but that they took a long time to be conquered and some unrelated chucklefucks a thousand miles away benefited from it.
The Byzantines had their own plot of land that they had to protect and they fucking sucked at it. They let sand rats from the desert take their territory and build an empire out of it. When said Muslim empire collapsed, the Byzantines had 200 years to take advantage of the situation. Literally all they did in that time was conquer half of Armenia and half of the emirate of Aleppo
Then they lose 2/3rds of their empire to Turks in the span of 10 years. They only retake about half of that over the course of a century with the help fuckhuge armies of crusaders that periodically marched through enemy territory raping and killing Muslims so a Byzantine army could trail them and take over vacant cities.
It's a shit empire with a shit history and I laugh at anybody who tries framing things as "they were protected western Europe with their suffering!" or "give them a break, they were really tired after losing that one war, you can't blame them for losing the next one!"
>>668853 100% truth The later ERE and Byzantines spent more time and resources persecuting and massacring (not to mention selling into slavery) other Christians with a tiny difference in belief in their lands, driving those Christians to support Zoroastrian Persians and later Muslim Arabs, instead of defeating their true enemies.
>>668810 >be viking >travel and conquer >reach Constantinople >become mercenary guard of the Emperor, fuck Greek qts >the Seljuk Turks also begin recruiting you >charge both sides, drink and fuck >Live on fun - and - ez mode for 400 years. >finally intermix with Anatolian folk and wither away as an ethnicity >mfw I'm a platinum blond and blue eyed Viking Turk >probably Varangian genes >ALLAAAAHUAAAAKBAAAR
>>668853 >"give them a break, they were really tired after losing that one war, you can't blame them for losing the next one!" How is that not a good argument? That's the entire reason why both Byzantium and Persia lost against the Arabs.
While Spain is a good example of how they were irrelevant to a point, just look at the expansion of the Ottomans after the fall of Constantinople. Greece and pretty much all of Eastern Europe got its shit slammed and it took centuries just for a massive European coalition just to stop Muslim expansion into the heart of Europe.
Half the Balkans were taken over decades before the city fell. In fact, plenty of residents of the Balkans, Serbs at the fore, helped the Turks take over because of Byzantine incompetence. Why fight for the obviously infighting, suicidal loser empire?
They wouldn't be tired if they actually fought Persia well instead of getting their asses beat around for decades.
Also, there's no kind of exhaustion that can explain a massive empire being overthrown by a bunch of desert tribesmen who are simultaneously overthrowing another empire. The only explanation is incompetency.
>>670072 Yeah and after the fall they shredded into the entirety of southeastern Europe, the Ukraine and Hungary. Wouldn't have happened if the Byzantines were still right in the middle of the northern half of the empire, retard
You can call them incompetent and shitty, but the Byzantines have been VERY unlucky over the ages, and to exist for a 1000 years and only be subjugated for 350 years technically, it's pretty good... They were PLAGUED twice The latins absolutely fucked their shit up The civil wars after the black death were fucking successful in turning the Empire unstable One shitty bad apple Emperor (Justinian II) fucked shit up and caused the 20 Years Anarchy The arabs were pretty much Blitzkrieging at an exhausted army that barely had a garrison to fight against them (thank god for based Heraclius, or else we would've been like the Sassanids) And even at the height of the Empire, an EU4 style comet appeared through the sky and the Byzantines were PLAGUED, and eventually lessened. Though I will admit, infighting is a very Greek characteristic, the Byzanties weren't incapable, they were mostly unlucky. No medieval state at that time would've recovered from a situation like the 20 Years Anarchy...
>>672259 African countries were uncivilized, not unlucky. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_civil_wars >Rome was better Rome was the same shit, they just didn't collapse as fast because there weren't many powers that could match the numbers and power of Rome... You people are just jealous HREites, that will always claim they're Roman, but not actually being Roman...
>>672266 The difference being that Rome had to fight Iranian tribes and Germanic barbarians... When the civilized ones were the ones that basically brought the Republic to its knees (Pyrrhus, Hannibal, Mithridates), the Roman Empire though got fucked at Teutoburg forest so hard that they're feeling it to this day. The Byzantines had barbarian enemies to all sides, wether it were (Northern) Avars (beaten), Huns (beaten), Bulgars (beaten), Slavs (beaten), Goths (beaten) (who had medieval type armor and weapons, not clubs and rocks), (Southern) Arabs (beaten), Sassanids (beaten), Egyptoarabs (who the fucking sassanids gave tech that was vital to them having swords and armor), (Eastern) Turks (beaten), Arabs (beaten), Mongols (not much there), Khazars (beaten), Ottomans (lost, after being weakened from the 4th Crusade), who had steppe zerg tactics and mudslime weapons and armor. (Western) Venetians (beaten), Franks (beaten), Latins (beaten), Genoese (beaten) (Latins in General, who came by surprise and rekt the Byzantines, who were then rekt by the Byzantines once more, until the shell that once was the Empire eventually collapsed at the rise of the Ottomans. If the 4th Crusade hadn't happened, maybe the Turks would've been dispelled completely.
wastn even that, the byzantine had a very capable and experienced emperor during the muslim conquest. had heraclius participated in the battle of yarmouk they wouldve been victorious and the muslim wouldve lost most of their experienced warriors there, the muslim manpower during that time was very small. the muslim commander khalid was very afraid of an all out attack and he manouvered his light cavalry left and right to trick them prevent that and tricking them into believing the muslim has a constant reinforcement and making them overly cautious.
The eastern romans went through and survived some events that other states wouldnt have, and through all that, they lasted until the 1400s and even had periods of revival. Always in constant warfare, civil and from the outside.
Nice to see someone mention justinian II, hes an interesting figure (who, you say? Never heard of him?)
>>669693 >northern mediterranean area historically intermixing with greeks, balkanians and eastern europeans is the same as southern african White means european caucasoid don't try and push the we wuz everythang mentality on us.
>>668810 Only because Vene-jews-tians were jealous and founded raids against them doesn't mean that Byzance was shit. Varangian Guard is, as warriors, as overrated as "Vikings" but as merchants and settlers they were god tier.
>>672658 I agree. But they stole and raided some monasteries and churches, and the only scholars were clericals and monks, so we basically have a quite overrepresentation of this image of a bloodlusting warrior. They're not like kiks though, they married natives and conformed to the customs everywhere they settled.
The Byzantine Empire was the only European state that was able to maintain the classical, urban way of life. It was a centralized bureaucratic empire with a standing army. Constantinople had its own university and hospital, and the Byzantines were one of the only states to build upon ancient knowledge, developing new, more advanced surgical procedures.
The Arabs tried twice to take Constantinople with over 100,000 men and several invasion fleets. With one fleet and 60,000 men (Roughly), the Byzantines not only beat back the Arab armies, but decimated them as fighting forces. The reason for the loss of Egypt and Syria actually was due to the damage caused by an earlier war, the final Roman-Persian war. The Persians had occupied Egypt and Syria for twenty years, an entire decade, the Byzantine army was ruined, and its economy a mere shadow of what it was.
Why in those two hundred years did the Byzantines not advance? Although the Abbasid caliphate had fractured, the Arab states in Syria, Armenia, and Cilicia were constantly raiding Anatolia. In the Balkans, the Bulgarians were pressing on Adrianople and Thessalonika, and in Italy, the Arabs were pushing the Byzantines out of Sicily. At the same time, the empire was devastated due to economic decline and reoccurring bouts of plague. And yet, it recovered, prospered even. In a world of feudal states and holy wars, Byzantium maintained secular ideals, a centralized government, and a standing army.
The loss to the Turks, while unfortunate, was due to the shift to reconquering their lost lands in the east. The need for professional troops meant that the emperors began recruiting large numbers of expensive and disloyal mercenaries. The semi-professional thematic militias were not suited to offensive warfare. The tagmata regiments were a strategic reserve, they were meant to destroy invaders along with the thematic militias, not reconquer lost territories. Crucially, the border forts located along the Taurus-Anti-Taurus mountains, which had held the Arabs back, were dismantled. Romanos IV made the mistake of marching far into Armenia, where he was defeated. The second army he had brought, which was made up mainly of Franks, also went AWOL before the battle. That's roughly 70,000 troops gone, the core of the Byzantine army destroyed. The Turks overran Anatolia, which was no longer defended by the thematic militias and the border forts I mentioned above. Without Anatolia, the Byzantine's main source of manpower and taxes, the empire entered a period of terminal decline.
You'd all of know this if you actually studied history.
>>672480 >Lost a war that irrevocably changed their empire >Not their fault
Please do not fall back on MUH PROLONGED SASSANID WAR bullshit. They had larger forces for pretty much every engagement with the Rashidun, they just sucked ass hard. Even their best generals got their shit kicked in
I'm not disputing that. The army was far too powerful and you need some form of restraint on a ruler's power. A privy council would have been better than the token senate Byzantium maintained. The emperor could make any retarded decision he wanted because he was an autocrat (Basil I let Sicily fall to the Arabs because he preferred to use the fleet to haul marble for a church than actually defend the state), and the army would try to coup good emperors all the time. Maurice was the emperor Byzantium needed, but he was deposed and executed by Phocas and the army because he made them winter in Dacia.
The Byzantine Empire nearly collapsed during the Sassanid invasion. The Levant and Egypt passed out of imperial control for twenty years. The army was decimated and the economy was ruined. In Italy, the Lombards were pressing on Rome and Ravenna, and the Avars were pushing up to the walls of Constantinople. Heraclius seriously considered abandoning Constantinople for Carthage to rule as "Emperor of Africa." The Arabs popped up six years after the end of the Sassanid war, just after Heraclius arrived in Antioch. The provincial governments in Egypt and Syria were only beginning to be rebuilt. While Heraclius did have an experienced field army under his command, the vast majority of the (Much reduced) army was made up of conscripted peasants and militiamen. The Arabs veteran warriors fought inexperienced militiamen at Yarmuk. Heraclius withdrew his field army to Anatolia because he knew he couldn't defend Egypt and Syria. These armies were settled around their camps, which eventually evolved into the themes and the tagmata regiments.
>>676433 >The Arabs veteran warriors fought inexperienced militiamen at Yarmuk
bit an understatement there lad. during yarmouk the byzantines have the proffesional armenian and slavic contingent and the european contingent led by gregory, these army could very well be able to defeat the lightly armed soldier of the caliphate had they worked together instead of doing power struggle with each other. had heraclius personally commanded them they wouldve no doubt won. it really is just bad luck
>>677534 >anybody else could solve the Gracchi problem (Actually Sulla did it, but they fucked it all up after he died) >anybody else could control the Roman legion (Actually Sulla controlled them all) >anybody else with such a large, powerful state and with the same level of communications wasn't relying on even worse autocrats (Actually Sulla did so, controlled the whole state in spirit, simply by the shade of his power, until his death, without holding any actual power or making any real decisions. The Senate just made decisions in line with his policies)
>>669541 Those are conquered Caucasians, the original inhabitants of Anatolia (Ionian Greeks, Celts, Hittites, etc). Real Turks look like the Uzbeks, Turkmens, Yakuts and Uighurs (tfw Turks assimilated and drove out Tocharians so we can't have pure blonde qts in China).
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