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Tobias

The Byzantine Empire's Most Serious Loss

What do you think was the Byzantine Empire's most serious defeat?  

31 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think was the Byzantine Empire's most serious defeat?

    • Yarmuk:Islamic forces conquer Syria 636 A.D.
      1
    • Pliska: Forces of Nicephorus I are defeated 811 A.D.
      0
    • Manzikert: Byzantines lose Asia Minor 1071 A.D.
      13
    • Myriokephalon: Seljuk Turks defeat Byzantine army,1176AD
      2
    • Constantinople's fall to 4th Crusade, 1204 A.D:
      13
    • Other:
      2


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President Ulysses Grant (America) granddaughter married Prince Michael Cantacuzene.

 

http://www.lib.byu.edu/~rdh/wwi/memoir/FrAmbRus/pal2-06.htm

 

(There used to be a website with pictures of Leo VI Art of War "Tatika" on it (it's seems similar to Bellifortis, more picture than text from what I've seen of it), it had a black background to the page. There was a link to his frontpage from there, which was purple, claimed to be a decendant of Michael VIII (Paleologue). It's the only one I can remember with any picture for a picture search, the computer I'm using is all weird, this whole forum looks like a poka-dot negative (I can't even read my signature!).

 

Ya, also, the Byzantine Royals went on to rule parts of Italy and I think even Poland and Prussia. A good many of them are still around today. I'm going to track one down so he can make me the Duke of Hazards.

 

(I used to work with a Sforza (my best friend back home), she thought she was a princess when I first met her! Wonder if she is related to the Byzantine ruling families)?

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Hmmm, I don't remember.... just know that it did somehow.... oh ya, I was trying to do a search for that website someone asked for earlier, and found that stuff, it's somewhat related and is of interest in a weird paralle way....

 

ok, I'll be quite now. ;)

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Well maybe talk about Constantinople's fall in 1204 A.D: lol. My examination will soon.

 

I was reading a book the other day concerning the Fall of Constantinople to Mehmet II. This book shows the battle from the point of view of the Byzantines intially and then the Ottomans later. I was surprised in this book how high Byzantine enthusiasm was during the siege. They were convinced that they were in the right, and that the barbaric heretic Turk was in the very worst of the wrong side. Some of the people say that the fall of Constantinople to the Crusaders did not "count", as it had been treachery that had led to the fall, and had not lasted. It was this book that has made me wonder whether to start a thread on if the Byzantines could have recovered and rebuilt had they beaten Mehmet or at least caused him to withdraw. It really was a lot closer than most think :)

Thank you John Norwich Julius for that !

 

A good argument could be made for all of the above battles, however if you look at the most critical battle lost it would have to be the Revolution and death of Maurice in 602 (not really a battle). He had defeated the Persians and the Avars and was getting ready to take on the Lombards in Italy. Without his death, the empire would have had an intact - trained and highly skilled army. It would have had tremendous financial support and would easily have defeated the Arab drive from the South.

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Hmmm, I don't remember.... just know that it did somehow.... oh ya, I was trying to do a search for that website someone asked for earlier, and found that stuff, it's somewhat related and is of interest in a weird paralle way....

 

ok, I'll be quite now.

 

It's very interesting though, to think that as late as the 19th century Byzantine Royals still existed. I suppose you can't just conquer 1790 years of tradition (for those who believe that the Byzantines were a genuine successor empire to the Romans) without a few people still lingering on in the ancient ways and of ancient bloodlines.

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I'm wondering why the loss of Egypt, the Empire's granary, didn't figure in the poll. Interesting discussion, tho.

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The invasion of the Arabs happened so quickly and with such fervour that the Byzantines, already rather overextended and exhausted from Heraclius' campaign against the Persians, really had no chance of saving Egypt. It would have been a terrible loss at the time, but not a crippling stroke. This loss was just one of the many disasters that the Byzantines would endure during their history. The Byzantines would be back in position as a powerhouse relatively soon at any rate.

At the time, Egypt and North Africa were large drains on the Empire's treasury anyway, especially after Justinian's campaigns in Italy. It probably turned out to be more of a relief to lose this African territory.

Edited by Tobias

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Guest Ibrahim

well , this is my first reply in this forum ,i joined cuz i found this interesting topics , anyway in this poll i thi nk that it was defenitly Manzikurt Battle because after it the Byzantines lost most of Asia minor and many treasures and men they used to get from it , also the Fall of Constantinople was a very serious blow to the Byzantines they never recovered from and it eventually led to the Fall of Constantinople to The Ottoman Turks . the loss of Egypt was a big problem too but not compared to the loss of Asia Minor which was very important to the empire's wealth & army & security , by it's loss the road was clear for Constantinople's Conquest by the Ottomans even if it fell after 400 years of Manzikurt

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Welcome to UNRV Ibrahim :)

Certainly, Manzikert was a serious defeat. An interesting thing is that the Emperor leading the army through Asia Minor, Romanus Diogenes, had a political enemy leading a section of his army- a chap named Andronicus Ducas - and left his best general, Nicephorus Botaniates, at home, suspecting his loyalties were wavering from him. (Ducas or other factions had obviously completely pulled the wool over Romanus' eyes, as Nicephorus was certainly far more trustworthy then Andronicus.)

Although it was a unmistakeable strategic defeat, Byzantine losses were relatively low. It was not an immediate disaster; most soldiers of the Byzantines survived and were fighting in other areas of the empire soon. The defeat was more disastrous in the shattering of the image of Byzantine -or Roman- invincibilty, that lead other tribes to rebel, and of course the loss of the Empire's main economic and military recruiting grounds.

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For me the most important asset of Byzantium was its religious/cultural authority over the Christian world. This was lost in stages. And two of the most important ones are:

 

1. the iconoslast controversy [when Rome found itself more "orthodox" than Byantium, and realized it can "stand on its own"]

 

2. The Latin occupation of Constantinople and the transfer of relics to the West [the religious-self-confidence in the lasting of Byzantium was shaken; after this moment the "West" didn't "need" Byzantium anymore and a mutual hate was put in place, to the detriment of Christianity in general] -after this Byzantium became from the most important world power only a "local" one.

 

This is why I voted for the Latin occupation.

Edited by palimpsest

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wasnt it like Andronicus Ducas? who basically lost the battle because he jsut withdrew from the battle with the reserves or something?

 

 

Andronicus Ducas had considerable hatred towards Romanus Diogenes. The family of Ducas had lost control over the Byzantine Imperium when Romanus took the throne for himself. Thus when the Emperor was lost in the fray, Andronicus deliberately added to the confusion by saying that the Emperor was dead, and that the day had been lost.

 

Had he not been so selfish, the Byzantines could've held the day.

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