Author Topic: Byzantine?  (Read 4174 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 38,391
Byzantine?
« on: November 13, 2007, 01:16:08 AM »
Any thoughts on the term "Byzantine?"

I got my training in historiography at the U of Chicago, and on those grounds I don't use it.  It was New Rome, the Roman Emperor, Romans and the Roman Empire in the East.  In Armenian, Syriac, Coptic, Arabic, Slavonic, Greek, etc. the term is "Roman."  The codification of Roman Law happened at New Rome, by the Emperor in the East, Justinian I, who was a Latin (in the ethnic sense, as was Constantine, btw).

There is no patriarch of Byzantium, nor was there ever.  So it's the Constantinopolitan Rite.


The term was concocted to discredit the Empire in the East and the Orthodox Church. I won't use the mislabeling.

The term as applied to those in the East who have submitted to Rome fits the attitude of a lot in the West towards their coreligionists, but as those congregations reassert the terms of union, and reassert their native ecclesiology, etc., the term loses its accuracy.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Salpy

  • Section Moderator
  • Toumarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,061
  • New Martyrs of Libya pray for us!
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2007, 01:54:31 AM »
Actually, in Armenian, the word I hear for that empire is "piuzantagan."  I think I have also heard "Hooyn."  I don't think I have ever heard the word Roman ("hrovmeagan") used for that.  But then, I don't exactly run with the most scholarly crowd.   :)

Offline ozgeorge

  • I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 16,382
  • My plans for retirement.
    • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2007, 04:49:26 AM »
The term was concocted to discredit the Empire in the East and the Orthodox Church.
Yep.
If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 38,391
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2007, 05:46:16 AM »
Actually, in Armenian, the word I hear for that empire is "piuzantagan."  I think I have also heard "Hooyn."  I don't think I have ever heard the word Roman ("hrovmeagan") used for that.  But then, I don't exactly run with the most scholarly crowd.   :)

Now all of the above languages (except Slavnoic, being a dead language and all) do have their equivalents to "Byzantine."  But the term Roman is the one used in the Classical sources, e.g. in the case of Armenian Aghatangelos, Koriwn, etc.., "Byzantine" we learned during the Western captivity.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline wynd

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 503
  • Transfiguration
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2007, 10:23:57 AM »
The term was concocted to discredit the Empire in the East and the Orthodox Church. I won't use the mislabeling.
Didn't this happen also with "Greek?"

Offline ozgeorge

  • I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 16,382
  • My plans for retirement.
    • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2007, 08:31:31 PM »
Didn't this happen also with "Greek?"
Yep.
If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline Salpy

  • Section Moderator
  • Toumarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,061
  • New Martyrs of Libya pray for us!
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2007, 09:23:50 PM »

The term was concocted to discredit the Empire in the East and the Orthodox Church.


ialmisry and ozgeorge:

Just to clarify--which church do you mean by the "Orthodox Church?"

Offline prodromas

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,239
  • Greek Orthodox
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2007, 09:31:14 PM »
ialmisry and ozgeorge:

Just to clarify--which church do you mean by the "Orthodox Church?"
The Eastern and Oriental together of course because they are the Orthodox church.
The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ 1920-1914, never again,
השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again

Offline Salpy

  • Section Moderator
  • Toumarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,061
  • New Martyrs of Libya pray for us!
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2007, 09:35:29 PM »
Thank you Prodromas.  That's what I would think, except I am trying to understand how not calling that empire "Roman" would discredit the OO Church.  But then I'm not a history buff.    :)
« Last Edit: November 13, 2007, 09:36:00 PM by Salpy »

Offline Fr. George

  • formerly "Cleveland"
  • Administrator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 20,183
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you always!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2007, 09:39:42 PM »
The Eastern and Oriental together of course because they are the Orthodox church.

"May as well be all the same" to those west of the Balkans at that time.
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline Salpy

  • Section Moderator
  • Toumarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,061
  • New Martyrs of Libya pray for us!
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2007, 09:46:55 PM »
True.  All those easterners are the same, you know.   :P

Offline ozgeorge

  • I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 16,382
  • My plans for retirement.
    • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2007, 11:03:42 PM »
It begins.... ::)
If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline prodromas

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,239
  • Greek Orthodox
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2007, 04:31:05 AM »
It begins.... ::)

I don't want to divert this thread but if an EO poster or OO poster can give me a definitive argument that they are not the One True Church together I would with all seriousness like to hear it. (please PM me)
The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ 1920-1914, never again,
השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again

Offline ozgeorge

  • I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 16,382
  • My plans for retirement.
    • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2007, 04:38:10 AM »
I don't want to divert this thread
Too late.
It was diverted 7 posts ago....
Another one bites the dust.

Regards,
Your fellow Byzantine Eastern Orthodox Greek (and whatever else anyone wants to call me).
I could have called myself "Your Fellow Roman" which is what my Parents, Grandparents etc. called themselves, but apparently that's not up for discussion any more.....<sigh>
« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 04:48:14 AM by ozgeorge »
If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline Αριστοκλής

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,026
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2007, 09:06:37 AM »
No, it's not done. "Roman" for us to be sure. My grandparents and still, my father.
The 'west' (a form of the undefined "they") replaced 'Roman' with Byzantine and "Greek" as well as hanging "Eastern" on us.

And then there is the term, "Greek"...
"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides

Offline Fr. George

  • formerly "Cleveland"
  • Administrator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 20,183
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you always!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2007, 09:27:32 AM »
I got my training in historiography at the U of Chicago, and on those grounds I don't use it.  It was New Rome, the Roman Emperor, Romans and the Roman Empire in the East.  In Armenian, Syriac, Coptic, Arabic, Slavonic, Greek, etc. the term is "Roman."  The codification of Roman Law happened at New Rome, by the Emperor in the East, Justinian I, who was a Latin (in the ethnic sense, as was Constantine, btw).

There is no patriarch of Byzantium, nor was there ever.  So it's the Constantinopolitan Rite.


The term was concocted to discredit the Empire in the East and the Orthodox Church. I won't use the mislabeling.

The term as applied to those in the East who have submitted to Rome fits the attitude of a lot in the West towards their coreligionists, but as those congregations reassert the terms of union, and reassert their native ecclesiology, etc., the term loses its accuracy. 

A man after my own heart. 
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline pathofsolitude

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2007, 10:43:53 AM »
I will always use the term Byzantine. Its an irreplaceable part of my vocabulary. Its just a matter of words really. I dont know what the big deal is. Or would you rather Americans call you the Roman Church?
The great apostasy has occured. Get out of there while you can!!! Its better to be priestless than to have a heretic bishop. The apostles taught that the church consists of saints only. There are about 7,000 Spirit-bearers currently in the catacombs.

Offline Anastasios

  • Webdespota
  • Administrator
  • Merarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 10,496
  • Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina
    • AnastasiosHudson.com
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2007, 10:52:43 AM »
I will always use the term Byzantine. Its an irreplaceable part of my vocabulary. Its just a matter of words really. I dont know what the big deal is. Or would you rather Americans call you the Roman Church?

Yeah--we're the real Roman Catholics   8)
Please Buy My Book!

Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline JoeS

  • (aka StMarkEofE)
  • Site Supporter
  • OC.net guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,122
  • Global Warming Enthusiast.
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2007, 05:13:45 PM »
Yeah--we're the real Roman Catholics   8)

Hadnt really given it much thought lately but your right. Lets look at this a minute.
There was the Eastern and Western Roman Empires each with their own emperors. This was true even at the time of the Schism.  Technically, the Eastern Orthodox are Eastern Roman Catholics as opposed to the Roman Catholics of the Western empire. Ha, what do you know about that.

Offline Anastasios

  • Webdespota
  • Administrator
  • Merarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 10,496
  • Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina
    • AnastasiosHudson.com
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2007, 05:35:35 PM »
Hadnt really given it much thought lately but your right. Lets look at this a minute.
There was the Eastern and Western Roman Empires each with their own emperors. This was true even at the time of the Schism.  Technically, the Eastern Orthodox are Eastern Roman Catholics as opposed to the Roman Catholics of the Western empire. Ha, what do you know about that.

A polemical article, sometimes it is stated that he overstates his case, but useful for understanding a Greek Orthodox perspective on this issue of identity:

http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.03.en.franks_romans_feudalism_and_doctrine.01.htm
Please Buy My Book!

Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline JoeS

  • (aka StMarkEofE)
  • Site Supporter
  • OC.net guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,122
  • Global Warming Enthusiast.
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2007, 05:53:11 PM »
A polemical article, sometimes it is stated that he overstates his case, but useful for understanding a Greek Orthodox perspective on this issue of identity:

http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.03.en.franks_romans_feudalism_and_doctrine.01.htm

"The schism between Eastern and Western Christianity was not between East and West Romans. In actuality, it was a split between East Romans and the conquerors of the West Romans."

An interesting perspective indeed.


Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 38,391
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2007, 06:45:14 AM »
ialmisry and ozgeorge:

Just to clarify--which church do you mean by the "Orthodox Church?"

The Orthodox Church:EO, OO and WRO.

Thank you Prodromas.  That's what I would think, except I am trying to understand how not calling that empire "Roman" would discredit the OO Church.  But then I'm not a history buff.    :)

Simple. The empire falls in the West, so obviously those in the East can't be united because they don't possess the unity of THE capital Rome.  Without her staying hand the provinces in the East reverted to the squabbling, between the Byzantines (read EO, Constantinople), the Copts (read Alexandria), the Syrians (read Antioch) and the federati/allies (read Armenia, Georgia, Ethiopia, etc). This helps downplay the Dark Ages (Dark only in the West) and ignores the suppression of the Celtic, Mozarabic, Gallican (actually, much of it self-inflicted), and Ambrosian rites/churches by Rome.

In other words, the EO are not united, the OO are not united, and the EO and the OO are not united and they need to be united through Rome, i.e. Old Rome.  Just read Fr. Ryland's articles on the Orthodox: portrays us as a bunch of preschoolers that the teacher has to attend to.  Actual case in point: they have three patriarchates of Antioch (Maronite, Melkite, Syriac) overlapping, with three separate patriarchs of Antioch.  As far as I know (correct me if I am wrong) there is no connection between the three except submission to Rome.  This would be odd in Orthodoxy (witness the metochia) of adjoining patriarchates, let alone those inhabiting the same place.

Fowden has a book "From Empire to Commonwealth: the implications of Monotheism in Late Antiquity" which talks about the connection between the idea of the Roman empire and its universalist claims and the implications for the OO: in brief the OO, although separated in politics (though the Armenians played a LARGE role in East Rome's history, especially 8-11 centuries.) and religion, none the less operate in the universe of Rome, as opposed to say, Zororastrian Iran, which Armenia was part of, yet alien.   Treadgold (and others like Mango), speak of how the Church for the first time united the empire, changing it from just a motley of subjects under an emperor, to a society whose members saw themselves as a body politique (e.g. see Treadgold "A History of the Byzantine [sic] State and Society"). 

The Copts, Syriacs and (at least part) the Armenians were part and parcel of that body (the Armenians would play a large part in East Roman history, particularly in the Macedonian Renaissance, whose dynasty was of Armenian origin), the OO Arabs were supported outside the empire by the empire (versus the Nestorians), Nubia and Ethiopia were allied.

Now, if the Eastern Roman Empire is not the contiuation of the empire in which the Church arose, but a successor state (like the Franks), then the Copts, Syrians and Armenians that were part of that Eastern Roman empire are distinguished from their forebears who were part of the Roman Empire. And if such a thing is comtemplated, then the claim ir rendered plausible that the Copts, Syrians, Armenians, Greeks etc. only entered the patrimony of the ancient Church when they "rentered Catholic unity," i.e. submitted to Rome, which is portrayed as the only link to that ancient church and society.  In effect, it makes the role of Rome over the Copts, Syriacs and Armenians (and Greeks) the same as her role in bringing the Visigoths (i.e. Spain), Franks (i.e. France and Germany).

"May as well be all the same" to those west of the Balkans at that time.

Fowden characterizes the Balkans (read Slavic nations) as the "Second Byzantine Commonwealth" (versus the First one of Armenia, Syria, Egypt and Ethiopia).  Yes, those in the West want to see it as the same thing, and this also effects the view of the OO.  All the OO (leaving aside the Mar Thoma for the present discussion) were part of the Roman empire, mostly directly, the Armenians partly indirectly (as Armenia was partitioned).  The Slavs can claim no such antiquity, they received their Church and civilization from New Rome later. 

Now, if New Rome was not the same Roman empire, then the Slavs did not receive the a direct link to the early Church and society.  Rather they received it second hand.  And if New Rome was second hand, so are those cultures of the OO, as the same views discrediting of the ties of New Rome to Old Rome also serve to discredit the connection of the OO to their forebears: e.g. Armenia of the Bagratunids can't claim a connection to that of the Arsacids, if a discontinuity is allowed between the Constantinople of the Roman emperor (and so named by all) Constantine and that of, say, the Macedonian dynasty.

And if that is so, then the OO are not in any closer relationship to the early Church, but are on the same level as the medieval slavic patriarchates.  And if their pedigree begins in the Middle Ages, then they have to get connected to the early Church through that only link, the pontifex maximus at (Old) Rome.

True.  All those easterners are the same, you know.   :P

This shows up in the distinction between the West (almost entirely Roman rite, but a few Mozarabic, and an actual viable Ambrosian rite) and the East in Rome's canon law codes, etc.  where the dicodomy West/East homogenizes the Eastern ChurchES as la meme chose.  Also in the mistaken notion that the EP is an Eastern Pope.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline prodromos

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,463
  • Sydney, Australia
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2007, 08:13:30 AM »
Yeah--we're the real Roman Catholics   8)
Even the Turks acknowledge that

Mailing Address of the Ecumenical Patriarchate:
Rum Patrikhanesi, 342 20 Fener- Haliç, Istanbul.

Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 38,391
Re: Byzantine?
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2007, 01:16:26 PM »
Even the Turks acknowledge that

Mailing Address of the Ecumenical Patriarchate:
Rum Patrikhanesi, 342 20 Fener- Haliç, Istanbul.

I can't help but point out that little of this is Turkish:

Rum: Latin, via Arabic
Patrik:Greek
hane: Persian (house)
si: Turkish suffix (his)
Fener: Greek, via Arabic (lighthouse)
Halic: Arabic (Gulf, inlet)
Istanbul: Greek, via Arabic (to the city).

It just reminds me of the claims of the Turks over the Ecumenical Patriarch (though they won't allow that title) and Anatolia.

I remember seeing a poster from the Turkish board of Turism.  It said "Come to Turkey, the land of five civilizations"  My Greek doctor commented "too bad none of them are Turkish."
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth