Does anyone know where to look regarding the alleged suppression of traditional rites? The Traditional Syrian liturgy of the Antiochian Church, later replaced by the Rite of Constantinople, comes to mind. I've heard some say this was through suppressive force, but others say it can't be proven from the historical record.The suppression came from around 1200, when the absentee "Patriarch of Antioch"-himself never setting foot outside of Constantinople-demanded that Antioch adopt the Constantinopolitan rite, and told Alexandria to adopt it (the Pope had written asking some canonical questions, and Pat. Balsamon was a canonist).
Anyway, we all know there was a lot more variation in Eastern Orthodoxy than there is today, and some of it happened through violence. I'm just curious as to how this happened, and which rites were actively suppressed in favor of another. Books, articles, papers, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
I think the actual impact of Balsamon's letters is easy to overestimate, and other historical factors were at play in encouraging liturgical homogeneity before his time. Here's Joseph Nasrallah's take on this question, which I translate from his Histoire du mouvement littteraire dans l'eglise melchite du Ve au XXe siecle vol. ii t. 2, pp. 154-156
Despite the injunctions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, manifested in Balsamon's Responses to the questions posed to him by the Patriarch Macarius of Alexandria in February 1195, this patriarchate continued for a time to make use of the Liturgies of Saints James and Mark. The testiminonies of the manuscripts and of the author of the Tartib al-Kahanut (ed. J. Assfalg, Die Ordnung des Priestertums, Cairo, 1965) lend credence to this. For the Liturgy of Saint James, manuscript 258 of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and Vatican Greek 228; for that of Saint Mark, Vatican Greek 2281 (1207), Sinai Greek 2147, two manuscripts of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, one of which has the number 173/36 and is a copy of a codex transcribed in 1585/86 by the future patriarch Meletius Pigas. The liturgy of Saint Peter [a South Italian liturgy found in a few Greek and Arabic manuscripts -Samn!] is also found in Vatican Greek 2281.
Sinai also used the Liturgy of Saint James up until the 14th century, as testified by Messanensis 177 (end of the 10th century) and Sinai Greek 1040 (14th century) and that of Saint Mark: Messanenses 117 contains this anaphora on the verso, dating from the 12th century; Sinai Greek 2147 (12th/13th century) which gives the Greek text accompanied on the margin by the Arabic version.
The commentaries accompanying the three liturgies in Sinai Arabic 237 are an evident sign that it is not a petrified witness, but rather was in use in the monastic community.
Finally, use on Sinai of the Liturgy of Saint Peter, of which Sinai Arabic 237 is the only witness. Melkites occasionally used the Anaphora of Saint Ephrem.
Hagiographical, ascetical, and even canonical collections sometimes contain extracts from liturgical books, generally not too long, troparia, hymns, and benedictions from the Euchologion. The latter are the most interesting; they frequently constitute liturgical peculiarities. [...]
Despite the fragmentary analysis of which these liturgical books have been the object, we can say that, as a whole, by the 13th century they were fixed in the state in which we know them in our own day. [...]