Author Topic: What do YOU know about Byzantium?  (Read 448 times)

Jubal

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What do YOU know about Byzantium?
« on: October 09, 2016, 12:06:04 AM »
I've been thinking about this and what popular perceptions of my subject actually are recently - so, dear reader who presumably isn't a specialist in the field, what things initially spring to mind when you think of Byzantium and Byzantine history? What do you know, what images does it conjure up, and what if anything do you most feel you want to know about it?
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

comrade_general

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Re: What do YOU know about Byzantium?
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2016, 12:47:50 AM »
It's the settlement in thrace in RTW.

Pentagathus

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Re: What do YOU know about Byzantium?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2016, 07:01:25 PM »
In RTW: Barbarian Invasion it's the capitol of the eastern Roman empire.

Glaurung

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Re: What do YOU know about Byzantium?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2016, 10:47:06 PM »
I'm not a specialist, but I expect I know somewhat more about it than most people. A very brief summary goes as follows: Constantine / division of the Empire, Theodosius, Justinian (laws! laws!), lots of Greeks, Fourth Crusade / Latin Empire, 1453, lots of Ottomans, First World War, Ataturk.

Images? I've been to Istanbul - visited Hagia Sophia and some of the other tourist sites, seen the Theodosian walls.

I don't think I currently have a particular desire to know much more, though I might well read Procopius at some point. I guess I am somewhat fascinated with Justinian (despite the Roman Law project!), who seems to have been roughly the Napoleon of his age.

Clockwork

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Re: What do YOU know about Byzantium?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2016, 11:55:40 PM »

Things I'm pretty sure about.

They all wear purple.
They're Roman-ish and Greek-ish.
Belisarius was pretty sick at fighting.


Things I think I know but could well be wrong.


They died out due to political stagnation and infighting. And outfighting possibly. And Goths? And Turks?
Constantine was the last Roman.
Capital city was Constantinople.
Anna Comnena was a smart lady, wrote a book or two and did some science.
Invented the human barbeque gun.
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Jubal

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Re: What do YOU know about Byzantium?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2016, 10:58:22 PM »
Interesting stuff!

Turks more than Goths - and yes, both outfighting and infighting very much involved. Political stagnation is arguable - civil war doesn't necessarily imply stagnation, I don't think.
"Constantine was the last Roman"; definitely room for a book or three arguing that point. In any case, Byzantium had eleven Constantines :P
The purple thing was mostly Emperors, it was considered a specifically Imperial colour - valid Imperial heirs were even born in a special purple room (and referred to as "Porphyryogennitos", or "Born in the purple").
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...