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Forum LockedHeirs of Byzantium

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Poll Question: Who do you believe are the true heirs of Byzantium?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
12 [13.04%]
37 [40.22%]
2 [2.17%]
1 [1.09%]
14 [15.22%]
0 [0.00%]
26 [28.26%]
This topic is closed, no new votes accepted

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bulldog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Dec-2008 at 23:42
Quote Spartukus
Yes, but the meaning is not the same.
 
It doesn't matter what the "percieved" meaning is, the "identifier name" has been the same and its by this name the people are identified.
 
Quote Spartukus
What about Bülent,Devlet? Plus, you need to take under heavy consideration that after the Kemalists came to power, medieval names of Turkic or Mongol origin became very popular, due to the focus of the regime towards the pre-Ottoman past.
 
There are ofcourse new names as well, however, Orhan, Ertugrul, Osman, Mehmet etc are hardly pre-Ottoman names.
 
 
Quote Spartukus
Maybe, but not in Asia Minor.
 
The point I was making is that Turks had a sedentery culture before the Seljuks entered Anatolia.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmata Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2008 at 06:40
Originally posted by es_bih es_bih wrote:


Originally posted by Sarmata Sarmata wrote:

Im kind of suprised Russia didn't make the poll
What has Russia to do with Byzantium, aside from a few religious emigrees and one royal marriage?Yes a similar Orthodox religion, but then again so do many others. Religion is not a qualifying factor for them being "heirs of Byzantium."


So what makes the Bulgarians qualified/? they are a people who were considered barbarians by the byzantine's Krum made a drinking cup out of a emperor's skull, what qualifies them? what qualifies the turks? because they have the land that they used to posses? Is that all it takes? Or any other of the Balkan nations... I'd say Russia would have about as much right to be a candidate as any of the others.
I would say royal marriages actually play a big part in succession, take for example the marriage of Jadwiga with Jagiello, they joined in marriage as did both their nations. religion also, Especially since the Byzantine Empire was practically a Theocracy (at least the emperors played it so), in that respect the Russians have more reason to be a candidate than the Turks do. And what about the Varangian Rus? You ever read "Sailing From Byzantium"?

"In 1408, for exampl, two years after Cyprian's death, his workshop produced the Trinity chronicle, a compilation of local chronicles that - like Cyprian's Life of Peter - linked Moscow with Kiev and underscored its role as the new center of Russian Orthodox culture. And already in the fourteenth century, hints had appeared that Moscow might stand as heir to Byzantium itself, should Constantinople fall to the Turks.
This idea - summed up in the phrase translatio imperii, or ther transference of imperial authority - would never be an exact fit, since Russia would always be a nation first and an empire second. Even at the autocratic worst, the tsars would never claim the universal rule that Byzantine theory always ascribed to the emperors of Byzantium. Yet, while never fully embraced, the idea that Moscow stood as Byzantium's heir was certainly never fully rejected, either. It found its most resonant formulation in the famous theory of Moscow as "the Third Rome." This arose from the confluence of three events, each of radical significance to Russian history, around the middle of the fifteenth century: the Council of Florence, the fall of Constantinople, and the final overthrow of Mongol power in Russia."

Just to clarify my posiito here, Im not saying Russia is the rightful heir to Byzantium Im only argueing that it should be one of the candidate's.

Heir's in order: 1) Greeks 2)Bulgarians 3)Russians 4) Serbs

Edited by Sarmata - 10-Dec-2008 at 07:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2008 at 06:58
Indeed, Russia has the only legitimate ideological claim to the title as I see it. It isn't just about the Orthodox faith -- though that plays a significant role. It is about the structure of the government, the philosophy behind the monarchy, some of the titles bestowed, etc.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2008 at 07:13
If you say that then the US has just as much claim on the Roman title, and then you realize just how much sense it makes for Russia to be even part of this conversation.

The Balkans and the Ottomans as a whole have more claim and a more or less equal share of the heritage of Byzantium.

Russia was affected by it yes, but that doesn't make it an heir.

Everything said about Russian faith, government, can be said of the Bulgarian Empire, the Greek splinter states, to a degree the Ottomans, the Serbian Kingdom, the Bosnian Kingdom, the Albanian princes...etc..



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmata Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2008 at 07:19
why do you keep bringing up US? isn't this about Byzantium?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2008 at 07:35
It's called a parallel to enhance the discussion at hand ;)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmata Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2008 at 08:01
the misfortune must be mine then; I do not see the parallel.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Evrenosgazi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2008 at 10:30
I think that , as an empire ottomans were the heir because , both empires pressed for their religion, claimed to be the only master of the world. Their geography was the same , they had diplomatic and dynastic  relations. We know that Sultan Mehmet II claimed the title Kayzer
 
But for today only the greeks could be their heir. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2008 at 11:54
A lot of factual mistakes in this thread.

1. Kara-Khanids have nothing to do with Turks of Turkey.
2. Not all Seljuks were nomadic (by the time they got to Anatolia).
3. Use of 'Turk' in the current (positive as opposed to earlier derogatory) meaning started already in the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, before the 'Kemalist period'.
4. Names such as 'Ertughrul' and 'Orhan' are pre-Islamic Turkic. So are other Ottoman dynastic names such as 'Korkut'. They existed before the Ottoman Empire or Turkish nationalism, but were rarer than they are today.
5. The mosque in the black and white photograph is the Selimiye mosque (in Edirne), not Suleymaniye (in Istanbul).
6. As I am writing for the tenth time, according to the Official Church of the Byzantine Empire (the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople), the title of Roman Emperor belonged to the Ottoman Sultan. End of story. So please no more racist/nationalist/revisionist 'spiritual heir' crap.
7. Vast majority of Ottoman scholars (excluding the usual racists/nationalists) see the Ottoman Empire as both the socio-economical and political heir of the Byzantine Empire for, frankly speaking, rather obvious reasons. Denial of this obvious conclusion requires high doses of nationalist/racist/religious fundamentalist self delusion.
8. Political claims by Balkan minors are invalid. They were all created later as political entities and were never significant enough to be candidates for the Imperial throne. Bulgarian Tsar is the King of Bulgarians and the Greek King is the King of Greeks, and Serb King is the King of Serbs, that's it. Their claim for the Roman Emperor is as valid as the Gypsy Kings' claim to the Gypsy throne...
9. Political claims from Russia are invalid, as Russia has nothing to do with the Byzantine Empire, except that it wanted to expand to its sphere (which was already occupied by the Ottomans). Russia was Orthodox, yes, but it had its own independent church, while the Byzantine church, which had autonomy in the Ottoman Empire, supported the Ottoman claims.
10. 'Byzantine' 'nation' did not exist and as such was not formed by the Orthodox church.
11. Russia is more of an heir to the Mongol Khanate/Golden Horde than to the Byzantine Empire. Despite the self-image of their nationalists. Note that Turkish nationalists' self-image is similarly ridiculous as they consider themselves descendant of the Gok Turuk Khanate or such.
12. No current country is the heir of Roman Empire. All political claims are equally invalid (there are actually no claims).
13. Culturally Greece is the foremost heir (again: not politically).

I have already written why the Ottoman Empire is the foremost heir 3 or 4 pages before. Go and read them if you know nothing about the history Ottoman Empire. There I have explained the relationship of the Orthodox Church with the Ottoman state and its implications to the 'heir' question in detail. Yet this being the AE, people keep popping up with 'Real spiritual heir is Ethiopia' so-called 'arguments'...

Edited by Beylerbeyi - 10-Dec-2008 at 15:07
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2008 at 15:33
Originally posted by es_bih es_bih wrote:

If you say that then the US has just as much claim on the Roman title, and then you realize just how much sense it makes for Russia to be even part of this conversation.
 
You keep ignoring the faith and ideology again and again.
Also, you comparison would be incorrect, since the real heir to the Roman republic was the Roman empire with the emperor as the head of the state. American form of government is complitely irrelevant here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2008 at 19:05
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:


6. As I am writing for the tenth time, according to the Official Church of the Byzantine Empire (the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople), the title of Roman Emperor belonged to the Ottoman Sultan. End of story. So please no more racist/nationalist/revisionist 'spiritual heir' crap.
 
The patriarch would produce whatever statement after being complitely held under Ottoman control which he actually did many times.
 
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

7. Vast majority of Ottoman scholars (excluding the usual racists/nationalists) see the Ottoman Empire as both the socio-economical and political heir of the Byzantine Empire for, frankly speaking, rather obvious reasons. Denial of this obvious conclusion requires high doses of nationalist/racist/religious fundamentalist self delusion.
 
What are these obvious reasons? The fact that the Ottoman empire empire replaced the Byzantine one on a particular territory doesn't mean that it was its complite heir particularly in the political sphere.


Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

9. Political claims from Russia are invalid, as Russia has nothing to do with the Byzantine Empire, except that it wanted to expand to its sphere (which was already occupied by the Ottomans). Russia was Orthodox, yes, but it had its own independent church, while the Byzantine church, which had autonomy in the Ottoman Empire, supported the Ottoman claims.
 
As I said, Russia is a spiritual heir rather than political. It was the only independent Orthodox Church on Earth for many centuries. Constantinopole Patriarchate was under full control by the Sultan. Please also don't forget that the Russian Emperor was for centuries considered the protector of all Orthodox Christians.
 
Moreover, saying that Russia has nothing to do with the Byzantine Empire is complitely untrue. A large if not the biggest part of the Russian cultural identity was shaped by the Byzantine Empire.
 
And once again, I'm not saying that Russia is the only and complite heir of the Byzantinnes which obvously would be false. I believe however that it could be called a heir in some limited meaning particularly spiritually and ideologically.

Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

10. 'Byzantine' 'nation' did not exist and as such was not formed by the Orthodox church.
11. Russia is more of an heir to the Mongol Khanate/Golden Horde than to the Byzantine Empire.
 
Yes, it's geopolitically heir of the Golden Horde but this doesn't exclude spiritual heredity from Byzantines.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2008 at 19:42
Quote The patriarch would produce whatever statement after being complitely held under Ottoman control which he actually did many times.


Patriarch was in a symbiotic relationship with the Ottoman Emperor. Ottomans were the protector of the Ecumenical church (especially against the Roman Catholic church), just as the Russian Tsar was the protector of the Russian church.

Quote What are these obvious reasons? The fact that the Ottoman empire empire replaced the Byzantine one on a particular territory doesn't mean that it was its complite heir particularly in the political sphere.

Go back 4 pages or so and read what I have written there. It is far more than territory (which is, btw, far more important than 'spirituality')

Quote As I said, Russia is a spiritual heir rather than political.

The Byzantine church says the heir is the Ottoman Empire. I guess they are a better authority on the subject than you.

Quote It was the only independent Orthodox Church on Earth for many centuries. Constantinopole Patriarchate was under full control by the Sultan.

No, the Ecumenical Patriarchate was autonomous within the Ottoman Empire. of course, sometimes they were forced by the Ottoman Emperor, but so was the Russian Church.

Quote Please also don't forget that the Russian Emperor was for centuries considered the protector of all Orthodox Christians.

This condition was forced on the Ottomans (in 1774, I believe, even then its legality is in question- I am not sure Ottomans agreed to that condition, even though the Russians believed that was the case) and did not last a single century as Ottoman subjects declared independence, so it did not last 'centuries'.

Quote Moreover, saying that Russia has nothing to do with the Byzantine Empire is complitely untrue. A large if not the biggest part of the Russian cultural identity was shaped by the Byzantine Empire.

What I wrote was about political claims of Russia, not its culture. Politically only thing that connects Russia to Byzantine Empire was a royal marriage, which pretty much everyone had.

Quote And once again, I'm not saying that Russia is the only and complite heir of the Byzantinnes which obvously would be false. I believe however that it could be called a heir in some limited meaning particularly spiritually and ideologically.

Well, Russia clearly had a claim, and it is at least an Empire (unlike a mere Kingdom like Bulgaria or Serbia). So its claim was taken more seriously. If Russia took over Constantinople and Turkey, it could have indeed become an heir, why not. But Petersburg and Siberia, not really...

Quote Yes, it's geopolitically heir of the Golden Horde but this doesn't exclude spiritual heredity from Byzantines.

'Geopolitics' is a good word. Yes, that's what I am talking about. If I go to an Aegean island, declare independence and worship Jupiter today I would be the spiritual heir of Rome. That's what it takes, so no wonder there are so many Byzantine spiritual heirs...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2008 at 19:47
Since nobody seems to read the previous pages, I re-post part of my original take on the matter:

Ottoman dynasty had the strongest claim to the Roman throne, without slightest doubt. Why?

1. They claimed the title 'Caesar of the Romans', and were accepted as such by most local and foreign peoples.

2. They ruled from Constantinople, the Roman capital.

3. They ruled over the Eastern Roman lands (South of Danube & West of Euphrates were the cultural heartland).

4. They have taken over the Byzantine role of defending the Eastern socio-economic order against Western (feudal and later capitalist) penetration.

5. They were close relatives of the Byzantine royalty (descended from the Kanakuzen line).

As to the language-ethnicity argument, it is not really valid because the Roman Empire in the beginning ruled over Latin speaking people in Italy but later over the Greeks and it still was the Roman Empire. Even if you think the linguistic-ethnic argument is valid, then Greek was one of the official languages in the Ottoman Empire, and most Greeks lived under the Ottoman state.

The religion argument supports the Ottoman claim. Because:

1. Either what the church says is irrelevant. The original Roman Empire itself was Pagan. Christians took over the Empire, and they were considered heirs. If that is the case, Muslim takeover should be no problem either.

2. Or what the church says is relevant. In that case, the Ecumenical Church remained in Constantinople, and it accepted Ottoman Sultan's claim to the Byzantine throne. Of course, Catholic church (i.e. Pope) didn't (while he made it clear that the only reason he refuses the claim is that Mehmed II is a heretic, i.e. Muslim), but who cares for what the Catholics say?

Bulgaria, Duchy of Athens, Armenia, Russia, Habsburgs (who accepted Ottoman claims as well during Suleyman's reign anyway) etc. could not be not be heirs to the Roman throne. Only reason they are brought about was European racism/religious fundamentalism. IMO, only other candidate after 1453 was Trabizond, but Mehmed II finished them off.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2008 at 20:21
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

Since nobody seems to read the previous pages, I re-post part of my original take on the matter:

Ottoman dynasty had the strongest claim to the Roman throne, without slightest doubt. Why?

1. They claimed the title 'Caesar of the Romans', and were accepted as such by most local and foreign peoples.
 
Aye, everyone was after a part of the Roman legacy. This is where the Russian concept of a "third Rome" comes in as well.
 
Quote 2. They ruled from Constantinople, the Roman capital.
 
Aye, that they did. Still, by the same logic one could say that any of the Western Emperors, Popes, or Italian princelings who ever held Rome were the heirs to the Roman legacy. One certainly could make the case, but it isn't the strongest in my humble opinion. There are a couple of threads in the archives which lay out the most legitimate, Byzantine case for the legacy. Furthermore, I would note that the way in which Byzantium acquired the Roman legacy was by an ideological identification of the new capital (Constantinople) with the old (Rome); and that after this was achieved the former gained the ascendancy. This is almost entirely analogous to the situation with Russia.
 
Quote 3. They ruled over the Eastern Roman lands (South of Danube & West of Euphrates were the cultural heartland).
 
The statement is correct, but I think we can, once again, look to the analogy between the Byzantine legacy and the Roman legacy -- indeed, the former is a simple continuation of the latter. Thus, while this does build up a certain case for Ottoman claims, I don't think it is the strongest.
 
Quote 4. They have taken over the Byzantine role of defending the Eastern socio-economic order against Western (feudal and later capitalist) penetration.
 
To a degree, yes.
 
Quote 5. They were close relatives of the Byzantine royalty (descended from the Kanakuzen line).
 
Interesting. I'd be interested in reading a source if you could refer me to one. I don't doubt you; I'd just like to familiarize myself with something that would help me gain another piece of knowledge about the late empire.
 
Quote As to the language-ethnicity argument, it is not really valid because the Roman Empire in the beginning ruled over Latin speaking people in Italy but later over the Greeks and it still was the Roman Empire. Even if you think the linguistic-ethnic argument is valid, then Greek was one of the official languages in the Ottoman Empire, and most Greeks lived under the Ottoman state.
 
Aye, I don't believe the Greeks have the strongest claim based on the linguistic and cultural argument; I believe the most telling argument for a claim to the legacy is ideological, rather than cultural. Once again, however, note the striking similarity between the Russian inheritance of the Byzantine legacy and the Byzantine inheritance of the Roman legacy. The only thing missing -- and I grant you that it is a huge missing piece of the puzzle -- is the continuity of a unified political order, the which would resolve the question to all of our satisfaction. Perhaps an illustration may help. Whereas we may liken the Byzantine inheritance of the Roman legacy to the process of cellular mitosis, we would do better to liken the Russian inheritance of the Byzantine legacy to a gradual -- and I believe beneficial -- infection.
 
Quote The religion argument supports the Ottoman claim. Because:

1. Either what the church says is irrelevant. The original Roman Empire itself was Pagan. Christians took over the Empire, and they were considered heirs. If that is the case, Muslim takeover should be no problem either.
 
An interesting and somewhat valid point, but perhaps a bit overstated. We must remember that the sort of piety that existed among your average pagan Roman in the first century B.C. was quite different than the sort of piety -- and even the sort of religious ideology -- that existed in the late third century A.D. on the eve of Diocletian's persecution. And this was, again, quite different from the sort of piety that existed in Byzantine society from the fourth century on. It is the scope of the role that religion played in Byzantine ideology that is a reason for a change in the understanding of the concept of an ideological heritage. That said, I do understand where you are coming from.
 
Quote 2. Or what the church says is relevant. In that case, the Ecumenical Church remained in Constantinople, and it accepted Ottoman Sultan's claim to the Byzantine throne. Of course, Catholic church (i.e. Pope) didn't (while he made it clear that the only reason he refuses the claim is that Mehmed II is a heretic, i.e. Muslim), but who cares for what the Catholics say?
 
Well, the Ecumenical Patriarch does not have absolute authority in the Orthodox Church; he holds a primacy of honor, not one of jurisdiction. That said, you do have a point: the patriarchs generally had recognized and confirmed the accession of various emperors to the throne. The problem is that the Byzantines had a rather well developed ideological/theological notion of what the emperor was supposed to be, and one of the things he was supposed to be was Christian.
 
That said, the only reason the objection is telling for me is because I accept the supremacy of the ideological claim to the Roman/Byzantine legacy. If you wish to accept a different standard, you could certainly speak as you did above.
 
Quote Bulgaria, Duchy of Athens, Armenia, Russia, Habsburgs (who accepted Ottoman claims as well during Suleyman's reign anyway) etc. could not be not be heirs to the Roman throne. Only reason they are brought about was European racism/religious fundamentalism. IMO, only other candidate after 1453 was Trabizond, but Mehmed II finished them off.
 
Well, don't forget the Despotate of the Morea centered at Mistra; they held out for a wee bit as well. That said, I take your point about Trebizond. As for the rest, I don't think we can dismiss them outright -- although I certainly think some of the claims are weak. The problem is -- and this is why this topic is so fascinating -- that there is a sense in which almost all of the political entities mentioned in this thread could be considered heirs of Byzantium. I honestly think the question centers as much on a discussion of the context in which we wish to understand the term "legacy" as it does on a debate about the varying claims of the different parties.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bulldog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2008 at 20:44
Damn Beylerbeyi makes a strong case Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2008 at 11:57
Quote Aye, that they did. Still, by the same logic one could say that any of the Western Emperors, Popes, or Italian princelings who ever held Rome were the heirs to the Roman legacy.


They would have been, if they fulfilled the other criteria as well. If someone from Rome unified the rest of the Western Roman territory, and declared himself the Emperor and everyone accepted him as such, he would have obviously been a heir. What happened in reality was when Rome fell, the conqueror sent the symbols of Empire to Constantinople, and forfeited the claim. They tried to invent it later (Holy Roman Empire), but it was too late.

Quote Furthermore, I would note that the way in which Byzantium acquired the Roman legacy was by an ideological identification of the new capital (Constantinople) with the old (Rome); and that after this was achieved the former gained the ascendancy. This is almost entirely analogous to the situation with Russia.


I disagree. 'Byzantium' is a Western invention. What you call Byzantium is Roman Empire itself, it is not a 'heir'. Therefore it has nothing to do with the situation in Russia. Constantinople and Rome divided the Empire between them to rule easier. Later one half fell and the other stayed alive. What Empire did Constantinople and Moscow rule together?   

Quote Interesting. I'd be interested in reading a source if you could refer me to one. I don't doubt you; I'd just like to familiarize myself with something that would help me gain another piece of knowledge about the late empire.


Well, you should doubt me actually. Ottomans were married both to Kantakuzen and Palailogos lines, that much is certain. But I have written 'descended from' and that may not be the case, if we consider individual Padishahs themselves. I don't think anybody knows for sure. But the dynasty was certainly related to the Byzantine royalty.

Quote Once again, however, note the striking similarity between the Russian inheritance of the Byzantine legacy and the Byzantine inheritance of the Roman legacy. The only thing missing -- and I grant you that it is a huge missing piece of the puzzle -- is the continuity of a unified political order, the which would resolve the question to all of our satisfaction.


As I wrote above the so-called 'Byzantium' is not the heir to the Roman Empire. Byzantium is the Roman Empire. Therefore the relationship of Rome to Constantinople bears no similarity whatsoever to the relationship of Constantinople to Moscow. If Constantinople ruled South part of the Roman Empire and Moscow ruled the North part, and if the South fell to the Turks, then yeah, it would be 'strikingly similar'. As it stands it is similar to some backwater duchy marrying a princess and claiming the Imperial throne they had only heard in stories...

Quote An interesting and somewhat valid point, but perhaps a bit overstated. We must remember that the sort of piety that existed among your average pagan Roman in the first century B.C. was quite different than the sort of piety -- and even the sort of religious ideology -- that existed in the late third century A.D. on the eve of Diocletian's persecution. And this was, again, quite different from the sort of piety that existed in Byzantine society from the fourth century on. It is the scope of the role that religion played in Byzantine ideology that is a reason for a change in the understanding of the concept of an ideological heritage. That said, I do understand where you are coming from.


Actually I included that point of view for the sake of completeness, as some historians do call the Ottoman Empire 'Third Rome' or 'Islamic Rome'. I disagree and my reason to disagree is the same, Byzantium is Rome, it is not a heir. Whereas Ottomans are not Rome, they are an outside claimant, they are what I call a heir.

Quote Well, the Ecumenical Patriarch does not have absolute authority in the Orthodox Church; he holds a primacy of honor, not one of jurisdiction. That said, you do have a point: the patriarchs generally had recognized and confirmed the accession of various emperors to the throne. The problem is that the Byzantines had a rather well developed ideological/theological notion of what the emperor was supposed to be, and one of the things he was supposed to be was Christian.


Desperate times call for desperate measures. In the end they preferred the Turkish Padishah's turban to the Roman Cardinal's mitre. Byzantine ideological/theological formation was mainly opposed to Catholic (Western) infiltration of the Eastern Roman land, and Ottoman Sultan agreed to guarantee Orthodox supremacy among the Christians of the Empire, in return for the Church's cooperation. It was a symbiotic agreement that the Ecumenical Patriarch agreed to. Admittedly he was no Pope, but he has million times the authority to decide whose claims he supports than the Patriarch of Moscow or, indeed, you. If he thought it was unthinkable that the Emperor be a non-Christian he would not have agreed to it.

Quote That said, the only reason the objection is telling for me is because I accept the supremacy of the ideological claim to the Roman/Byzantine legacy. If you wish to accept a different standard, you could certainly speak as you did above.


You have an extremely arbitrary criterion as opposed to very real geopolitical facts, and even taking your criterion, Ottomans have the stronger claim. As Byzantine ideological position was developed by their opposition to the Western infiltration to the lands of Eastern Rome, and it was the Ottoman Empire which took over the mantle in this case, with the support of the Byzantine Church itself. You are basically like the 19th century Orientalists, who, instead of looking at the facts on the ground read some texts such as the Quran and then believed that they knew the 'Oriental soul' better than the people themselves...

Quote The problem is -- and this is why this topic is so fascinating -- that there is a sense in which almost all of the political entities mentioned in this thread could be considered heirs of Byzantium.


For me this topic is fascinating because it shows how much people are blinded by nationalism/religion/racism and the lengths they go to avoid seeing the elephant in the room.

Namely that when an Empire rules almost exactly the lands of the Eastern Roman Empire, which claims the Roman throne, which has the same capital, which has the same ideological/geopolitical mission, which the contemporary peoples accept as the heir, which the church of the Eastern Romans calls the heir, they are not considered the heir... Why? Because the Emperor is not Christian...

However, according to the AE pundits, Russia, which rules no lands no Roman (eastern or western) has ever seen, which has a capital no Roman has ever seen, which has a very vaguely similar ideological/geopolitical mission, which no contemporary person accepts as the heir, which the Byzantine church does not consider the heir, is the true heir... Why? Because their King is Christian and that fact makes your insides go warm and fuzzy... Give us a break!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2008 at 13:31
The ottomans replaced the Romans and while i think they took some of the old system (and blood) inc titles, they built something that was quite new with Roman input along with Persian, Arab and Turkish. Either way i cant see a direct line or evolution. Once the emperor was killed in The City that political line was gone forever. No one can claim it with a straight face.

Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

1. They claimed the title 'Caesar of the Romans', and were accepted as such by most local and foreign peoples.
but he was not a Roman Caesar. He conquered the Romans as a foreigner, to the Romans he was a not one of them and the sultan didn't act like one. Why else would there be a millet system. Everyone even the church had little choice but accept the new powers.

Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

2. They ruled from Constantinople, the Roman capital.
If the French conquered Washington would that make them legitamate heirs to the US constution and government, let alone be american?

Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

4. They have taken over the Byzantine role of defending the Eastern socio-economic order against Western (feudal and later capitalist) penetration.
True they helped preserve us from those western barbarians. ThankyouSmile

but that was more a by-product of them protecting their interest along with the millet system. They protected themsleves and in a ironic twist of fate their captive Roman population.

Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

5. They were close relatives of the Byzantine royalty (descended from the Kanakuzen line).
Yeah blood is not that important, all you need is the next line to rule from some upsurding general and a new dynasty started.

Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

As to the language-ethnicity argument, it is not really valid because the Roman Empire in the beginning ruled over Latin speaking people in Italy but later over the Greeks and it still was the Roman Empire. Even if you think the linguistic-ethnic argument is valid, then Greek was one of the official languages in the Ottoman Empire, and most Greeks lived under the Ottoman state.
East rome even before the split had greek as the lingua franca, latin never really replaced it. After the split it became the unchallenged languge of trade and education. So the comparison will be true over the role of Greek as a language, not if it was spoken. Ottoman replaced it as the new king language for the area, so it doesnt fit here either. Rather, out with the old and in with the new.

Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

1. Either what the church says is irrelevant. The original Roman Empire itself was Pagan. Christians took over the Empire, and they were considered heirs. If that is the case, Muslim takeover should be no problem either.
The christian take over was from the inside out and not by external force. The Romans that the ottomans took over morphed into a very religoius society, being christian (orthodox) was being Roman. The Roman society had become one with that religion. Being Greek was to them an insult, like being pagan.

These guys feuded over Icons, should they or shouldnt they, and it was major contoversy  then about such shtty details on Christianity. Islam was simply too foreign to a roman citizen to be Roman. The Egyptians couldnt be Roman if they were copts and hated the Romans that much they welcomed the muslims when they arrived. i cant see how any society with such single minded religoius chauvinism would accept Islam if they had issue wit such churchs. The peasants that did jump to the other side, stopped being Roman they became ottoman. Come to think about it, that millet system is the closest thing the ottomans had to preserving that attitude.

Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

Bulgaria, Duchy of Athens, Armenia, Russia, Habsburgs (who accepted Ottoman claims as well during Suleyman's reign anyway) etc. could not be not be heirs to the Roman throne. Only reason they are brought about was European racism/religious fundamentalism. IMO, only other candidate after 1453 was Trabizond, but Mehmed II finished them off.
agreed. I dont belive it can be calimed.

But while we have replaced the Roman identity for a Greek one during liberation. Turkey still has the Rum.  so in that respect I'd say Turkey has a population that kept the label.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Patrinos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2008 at 15:03
I don't believe that we can discuss and find a political inheritor of the Rwmania or Vasileia Rwmaiwn(Ρωμανία- Βασιλεία Ρωμαίων) or anachronistically Byzantine Empire.

Rwmania's main characteristic was what West calls Greek-Orthodoxy(Ορθοδοξία). Even though Byzantine Empire was not a theocratic state the Church(Ecclesia) was powerful and rich. After the Fall(1453) this institution continued to survive of course in a totally different enviroment than before this blackletter day(29 May),as called by late Byzantine schollars.
  -Constantinople's Oecoumenical Patriarchate never identified with Ottoman Empire and even if it kept some of its benefits it was still an opressed institution that many times acted not properly for its ""flock"" because of ...Sultan's "advices".
Today's situation in Fanari is a logical effect of this about half millennium story...
- The fact that member of Byzantine Greek families married royal member of other states' has nothing to do with inheritance of the political succession of Byzantium. Theophanw also married Otto back in 10th century but  Constantinopolites never accepted to Germans any right to claim anything from Vasileia Rwmaiwn. Marriages between royal families are, I think..., very common.

- It is written about how Ottoman empire protected the established social situation of the East against Westerners...
...
...
But who protected Eastern-Byzantine society(I mean Balkans,Anatolia etc) from the more eastern penetration(Ottoman); economicly, socially, linguistically, religiously?

-The last Emperor himself would had been suprised if  those who are "ἐχθρός της πίστεως ἠμῶν-enemy of our faith" and like " ὄφις τὸν ἰὸν ἐκχύση καὶ ὡς λέων ἀνήμερος καταπῖη ἠμᾶς- snake that his poison will be exuded to us and like lion will swallow us" will be considered as his inheritors.(the sentences in italic are Palaiologos' own words.)

The only political entities that we can consider heirs of Rwmania are the short lived Empires of Trapezous and Nicaia and the Despotates in Moreas and Epirus, but they had similar end with Constantinople...

If we want to talk about Rwmania's cultural, language, conscience,identity, religion, national, philosophical  inheritance  its easier.


Edited by Patrinos - 11-Dec-2008 at 15:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2008 at 16:15
Just to clarify a few points,

- I am not saying that the Ottoman Empire is the 'Third Rome'. My point is, it has the strongest claim among the PRETENDERS by far. You can argue that Roman Empire ended after 1453 or when Trabizond and Morea fell, and everyone after that are just pretenders and I would agree. If you argue, however, that Russia or Holy Roman Empire or Greece are the legitimate heirs, then that's obviously not the case, as their claim is nowhere as solid as the Ottomans'.

- Ottomans protected the Byzantine church against the West, because they had to. Any Empire founded on those lands at that time had to do that. It was a geopolitical necessity. Even if it was founded by the Zimbabweans it would have had to behave like Byzantium. Ottomans protected the church, because they needed its help to control the vast Orthodox populations they ruled over. And the church needed the Ottomans because it had no state and could be destroyed by the Latins or other churches if those people took over the land or even more conversion-oriented Muslims.    

- The Orthodox church cooperated with the Ottoman state big time. Maybe the Greek national church which came into being much later did not, but the Ecumenical Patriarchate did, for centuries. Greek nationalist revisionism later created a romantic history for the church ('secret schools' and all), of course, like everyone did. I don't really expect the average Greek to understand this point. Ultimately it is not important because I agree that the Ottomans penetrated from the East as well, and things would have been better for the Orthodox 'civilisation' if they remained independent. However, they collapsed under Eastern and Western expansion. This is history, such things happen. West won eventually, anyway.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2008 at 16:47
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi Beylerbeyi wrote:

Just to clarify a few points,

- I am not saying that the Ottoman Empire is the 'Third Rome'. My point is, it has the strongest claim among the PRETENDERS by far. You can argue that Roman Empire ended after 1453 or when Trabizond and Morea fell, and everyone after that are just pretenders and I would agree. If you argue, however, that Russia or Holy Roman Empire or Greece are the legitimate heirs, then that's obviously not the case, as their claim is nowhere as solid as the Ottomans'.

- Ottomans protected the Byzantine church against the West, because they had to. Any Empire founded on those lands at that time had to do that. It was a geopolitical necessity. Even if it was founded by the Zimbabweans it would have had to behave like Byzantium. Ottomans protected the church, because they needed its help to control the vast Orthodox populations they ruled over. And the church needed the Ottomans because it had no state and could be destroyed by the Latins or other churches if those people took over the land or even more conversion-oriented Muslims.    

- The Orthodox church cooperated with the Ottoman state big time. Maybe the Greek national church which came into being much later did not, but the Ecumenical Patriarchate did, for centuries. Greek nationalist revisionism later created a romantic history for the church ('secret schools' and all), of course, like everyone did. I don't really expect the average Greek to understand this point. Ultimately it is not important because I agree that the Ottomans penetrated from the East as well, and things would have been better for the Orthodox 'civilisation' if they remained independent. However, they collapsed under Eastern and Western expansion. This is history, such things happen. West won eventually, anyway.
 
I'm not going to respond to the longer post you wrote before the one quoted above, primarily because I agree with most of what you said; I think you make a very strong case. I think one of the most telling things you mentioned was the transfer of the symbols of imperial sovereignty to Constantinople by the Goths -- and idea, I'll admit, I had not brought into consideration. I also agree with you that the Greek claim to the Byzantine imperial legacy is extremely weak -- while their claim to the culture might be a bit less so. They might have been able to make a claim before the loss of Greek Anatolia, and the collapse of the monarchy but they never held Istanbul/ Constantinople, and you and I can both agree that Athens is certainly no "Third Rome".
 
I think we are probably looking at the legacy itself in different terms. I consider it primarily in the context of the religious ideology behind the concept of a "Christian Empire" -- possibly not the best criteria for this topic, I grant. Consequently, I don't place all that much emphasis on sovereignty over particular territories when determining who the "heir" to the Roman tradition was. This is what I mean when I say that I consider the ideological factors behind the legacy as paramount, and it is in this sense that I think the Russian claim is strongest. I think you are looking at the legacy from the context of geopolitical realities -- probably a better criteria than mine, if we are to consider the question in a modern sense.
 
-Akolouthos


Edited by Akolouthos - 11-Dec-2008 at 16:50
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