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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%]
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Heirs of Byzantium
    Posted: 11-Dec-2008 at 16:54
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.


I surely agree that the Greeks are the foremost cultural heir of Byzantium among modern day peoples. I always wrote that.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2008 at 17:00
Originally posted by Akolouthos

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
 
I meant the same thing when I was talking about Russia as an ideological heir of the Byzantine Empire.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2008 at 17:12
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi

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.


I surely agree that the Greeks are the foremost cultural heir of Byzantium among modern day peoples. I always wrote that.
 
I know. I wasn't criticizing or denying that. I just wanted you to know that I agree with you that the Greeks are definitely in line before a few others when it comes to making a claim to the imperial legacy. The attached note about culture was a bit of an apologia for a way in which they do have a cultural connection.
 
-Akolouthos
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2008 at 17:13
I think many of the reasons for all of our confusion in the discussion in this thread are rooted in the origin of the topic. It was originally started by a Bulgarian nationalist, with the goal of emphasizing Bulgarian claims, and it didn't really become an entirely serious discussion until he left. Basically we've been trying to piece together a serious dialogue from something that started out as a rather shoddy nationalistic joke. But hey, we've done it. Smile
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Patrinos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2008 at 18:05
I don't think that Greece as a state claims to be the continuance of Byzantine Empire, thats childish...in previous times maybe some did. But I cannot imagine the poor Greek state of 1830 included Morea and the cross area of Roumeli(till Lamia) and a douzin of islands in the Aegean claiming to be the new Byzantine Empire, which just made a break...If you want to speak about the inheritance of all the other we now western historiography now calls byzantine(culture,language etc etc) it would be good.
But really I don't understand what do you mean with "imperial legacy". Is it the right to claim land?...Ottomans I suppose didn't use the Byzantine flag to conquer previously Byzantine lands...
Its true that Ottomans used previously established institutions to help them rule(e.g. those of kleisourarchai who are simiral with the ottoman derven-agas) but very new ways were brought like kadi juridical system,devshirme, millet system etc, and I suppose the citizens felt the difference.
  Simple mathematic equations,accepting Beylerbey's thesis, show that today's Republic of Turkey who is undisputable heir of Ottoman empire is also heir of  Res Publica Romana of the pre-christian era......
The logical dead ends that come out of that type of questions( who's the political heir of... etc etc) make the intended answers absurd.



Edited by Patrinos - 11-Dec-2008 at 18:21
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2008 at 18:29
Sorry guys if I've been irritable, I've been writing the same stuff over and over again ('yeah', I hear you say at this point, 'as if you're not irritable normally'). But anyway.

Its true that Ottomans used previously established institutions to help them rule(e.g. those of kleisourarchai who are simiral with the ottoman derven-agas) but very new ways were brought like kadi juridical system,devshirme, millet system etc, and I suppose the citizens felt the difference.


Of course they borrowed heavily from the Romans, but I consider the Ottomans primarily an Islamic/Middle Eastern state, based on Islamic/Middle Eastern political ideals and institutions. That's another reason why I oppose the 'Third Rome' view.

Simple mathematic equations,accepting Beylerbey's thesis, show that today's Republic of Turkey who is undisputable heir of Ottoman empire is also heir of Res Publica Romana of the pre-christian era......


Ottoman's having a geopolitical role similar to the Byzantine Empire is the mainstream opinion among historians. Details of my argumentation are mostly based on Stefanos Yerasimos' works (a Turkish Rum historian who used to work in France, he could read Turkish, Greek, Ottoman and Koine, and was a Marxist like all other intellectuals in Turkey in the 70s to boot). Although I am not sure if he discussed the question of Roman heirs directly anywhere so it is hard to refer you to any single text.

Secondly I do not extend the heir question to Turkey from Ottoman Empire. It becomes absurd at that point as you wrote. Turkey doesn't even like the Ottoman Empire, let alone the Byzantine one.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2008 at 22:14
Originally posted by Beylerbeyi


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'.


Yes, but only in an intellectual level.The official use of "Turkishness" as a cultural and national identity started with the foundation of the Turkish Republic  in the 1920s.





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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bulldog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Dec-2008 at 23:27
 
Turk has been used as an "identity" in Anatolia since the Seljuks entered the region, the meaning of this identity can be whatever you subjectively wish to make of it. However, this identity was strong enough for the Europeans to re-name Anatolia "Turchia", the Turks themsevles actually knew the lands as "Rum" or "Roman" until the 15th century when the Ottomans started referring to the Southern Balkans as "Rumeli" (Roman lands).
 
Beylerbeyi
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...
 
If the Emperor was Russian would he be more accepted as an heir? Russians and Greeks arn't any closer than Greeks and Turks, is Russian and Greek orthodoxy the same? 
 


Edited by Bulldog - 11-Dec-2008 at 23:36
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Dec-2008 at 20:01
Originally posted by Bulldog

 
Turk has been used as an "identity" in Anatolia since the Seljuks entered the region, the meaning of this identity can be whatever you subjectively wish to make of it. However, this identity was strong enough for the Europeans to re-name Anatolia "Turchia", the Turks themsevles actually knew the lands as "Rum" or "Roman" until the 15th century when the Ottomans started referring to the Southern Balkans as "Rumeli" (Roman lands).

 


It's not what i wish to make it, it's what it was. It was not the national identity of the 20th century, simply because there was no such thing as a "Turkish nation". The principles of Turkism were  grasped by Ziya Gökalp, in the early 20th century.  Until then, a Turk was a derogatory term used to signify the non-educated peasantry. It's not that there was an identity, it's that this identity was different in the Middle Ages, different during the Ottoman Empire, different during the Turkish Republic. That's what really matters. And the use of  the term Turk to signify Ottoman subjects was only  strong in paper. Inside the Ottoman Empire it was marginalized until the Young Turk Revolution and the second Constitutional period.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bulldog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Dec-2008 at 22:07
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It's not that there was an identity, it's that this identity was different in the Middle Ages, different during the Ottoman Empire, different during the Turkish Republic.
 
There were Turks in the Middle Ages, Turks durint the Ottoman Empire and Turks after the formation of the Turkish Republic, these are the simple facts. They were "identified" as "Turks". Now we can go round and round in circles discussing what is meant, to be a Turk, anybody can have their subjective view on the matter, from "etrak-ı bi idrak" to "Türk yiÄŸitleri".
 
Spartukus
The principles of Turkism were  grasped by Ziya Gökalp, in the early 20th century.
 
This is a common mistake, the concept of Turkism was not formed by Gokalp and these ideas did not begin in the Ottoman lands either.
 
The first modern Turkist thinkers were Tatar Islamic scholors in the early 1800's which rose against the Russian power in the region. They were firstly "reformers" and believed the muslim and Turkic (the muslims in the region being mostly Turkic) must modernise and form unity. These ideas spread to Russian Turkistan and Azerbaycan and grew in popularity.
 
After the Russian forces started clamping down on this movement many intellects fled to Istanbul and came into contact with similar movements starting in Ottoman lands.
 
 
Spartukus
  Until then, a Turk was a derogatory term used to signify the non-educated peasantry.
 
Turk had many meanings depending on the context and era of Ottoman rule. Some of the biggest revolts were by the Turkmen clans and they proved to be quite a threat to the state siding with Tamerlane and later with Shah Ismail. These Turkmen clans were not held in the best of light by the Ottoman authorities. They were viewed as unruly, uneducated, uncontrollable.   
However, on the flip side of the coin, the Devshirme were sent to Turkish families, Turkmen tribes were settled in newly conquered lands (especially in the Balkans and Cyprus) the state language was Turkish and according to Ottoman history as taught in the court they stressed their Turk roots.
 
 




Edited by Bulldog - 12-Dec-2008 at 22:16
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Dec-2008 at 10:00
Originally posted by Bulldog

There were Turks in the Middle Ages, Turks durint the Ottoman Empire and Turks after the formation of the Turkish Republic, these are the simple facts. They were "identified" as "Turks". Now we can go round and round in circles discussing what is meant, to be a Turk, anybody can have their subjective view on the matter, from "etrak-ı bi idrak" to "Türk yiÄŸitleri".


It's like talking to a wall , really.
 
Originally posted by Bulldog

 
This is a common mistake, the concept of Turkism was not formed by Gokalp and these ideas did not begin in the Ottoman lands either.
 
The first modern Turkist thinkers were Tatar Islamic scholors in the early 1800's which rose against the Russian power in the region. They were firstly "reformers" and believed the muslim and Turkic (the muslims in the region being mostly Turkic) must modernise and form unity. These ideas spread to Russian Turkistan and Azerbaycan and grew in popularity.
 
After the Russian forces started clamping down on this movement many intellects fled to Istanbul and came into contact with similar movements starting in Ottoman lands.



I said the principles of Turkism , not the concept of Turkism.True, the concept was initially grasped by a Russian emigré Yusuf Akçura.But Gökalp was the one to clearly define the characteristics of Turkism , based on his sociological readings of his era. It is not accidental , that Mustafa Kemal read and used Gökalp's writings rather than those of previous generations.
 
Originally posted by Bulldog

 
Turk had many meanings depending on the context and era of Ottoman rule.
 


True. But during the last century of the Empire,little before the rise of nationalism, it was used mainly for the uneducated peasantry.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Camerun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jan-2009 at 03:43
There Are no real heirs today. The ottoman empire has become Turkey, The Russian Empire has become Russia. Greece doesent have Constantinople/Istanbul, and Turkey has Istanbul but they have no other conections to The Byzantine Empire. but the most important reason is that no State today have Dynastic Ties with Byzantium.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nickmard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-May-2009 at 11:21
I assumed the Russians were. Wasnt the neice of the last Byzantine emperor married to a Russian Tzar/King. The Russians took on the two headed eagle and are Orthodox, however dont speek Greek.
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