Must you be so petty? Nobody here is denying that Byzantium is the continuance of the Roman Empire in the eastern Mediterranean. But historical distinctions must be made for clarity's sake. I was referring to the Christian, Greek-speaking empire centered around the former town of Byzantium which as the centuries passed grew into a civilization of quite a different character than the Latin Rome of antiquity. THAT Rome, I would not wish to live under. Byzantium was the greatest imperium that has ever existed.Lubeltri,
Byzantium ceased to exist when it was made the Capital of the Empire. It became "Constantinople, the New Rome". To continue to call it Byzantium is like calling Washington DC "That Swamp On The Potomac". It is revisionist.
The name "Byzantine Empire" is used by historians to make an important distinction between the Latin empire of antiquity centered on Rome (in the country now known as Italy) and the medieval Greek empire settled on Constantinople (anciently known as Byzantium).
Even Greek and Orthodox historians use this term. It is not in origin derogatory (unlike "Gothic" or "medieval"). Remember, before we Westerners started using "Byzantine Empire" regularly, we called it the "Greek Empire."
And, to be honest, it is a pretty reasonable choice, considering the new capital of the empire WAS Byzantium. The empire no longer had any control of the city of Rome
or its surrounding area, and no longer spoke the language of Rome, Latin.
Imagine that the United States of America moves its capital from Washington, DC, to Manila, Philippines, eventually losing almost all of its territory in North America, and the the government and people are now Spanish-language instead of English. This situation lasts for centuries. Sure, it's still "America," but wouldn't it be advisable for historians to make a name distinction to avoid confusion?
If you aren't happy with the name, come up with one you like that seems more reasonable. But simply calling it the "Roman Empire" isn't helpful. The Rome-centered empire of A.D. 200 was quite different than the Constantinople-centered empire of A.D. 1025.
I personally like the common practice of "Roman Empire" until Constantine, "Eastern Roman Empire" until Heraclius, and then "Byzantine Empire" after that.