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Honorius

Byzantines = Roman = Ellinos?

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ok well for the past two days ive been in an argument with a fellow who is Greek..

 

i corrected him on using the term 'Byzantine' and simply told him that it was a modern term and that the 'Byzantines' themselves called themselves Romans.

 

anyway he claims that the Byzantines called themselves Ellinos/ellinas? which he says means Greek (I know no Greek at all.).

 

so what im asking is did the 'Byzantines' call themselves Ellinos/ellinas? or did they call themselves Romans?

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ok well for the past two days ive been in an argument with a fellow who is Greek..

 

i corrected him on using the term 'Byzantine' and simply told him that it was a modern term and that the 'Byzantines' themselves called themselves Romans.

 

anyway he claims that the Byzantines called themselves Ellinos/ellinas? which he says means Greek (I know no Greek at all.).

 

so what im asking is did the 'Byzantines' call themselves Ellinos/ellinas? or did they call themselves Romans?

 

 

The last time I read about the "Byzantines" they call themselves "Romaioi"/"Romei" . I believe that your fellow Greek is very very very Patriotic and that his argument is based on that (you know about the endless debate about Alexander III as a Greek...) . And yes , Ellinas = Greek/s .

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ok well for the past two days ive been in an argument with a fellow who is Greek..

 

i corrected him on using the term 'Byzantine' and simply told him that it was a modern term and that the 'Byzantines' themselves called themselves Romans.

 

anyway he claims that the Byzantines called themselves Ellinos/ellinas? which he says means Greek (I know no Greek at all.).

 

so what im asking is did the 'Byzantines' call themselves Ellinos/ellinas? or did they call themselves Romans?

 

 

The last time I read about the "Byzantines" they call themselves "Romaioi"/"Romei" . I believe that your fellow Greek is very very very Patriotic and that his argument is based on that (you know about the endless debate about Alexander III as a Greek...) . And yes , Ellinas = Greek/s .

 

You're right, they didn't call themselves Byzantines (though I don't see why your friend shouldn't call them that if he wants!) They did call themselves Romei (spelt Romaioi), and that word was still used by Greek people up until the early 20th century at least. They were also perfectly well aware that they spoke the same language as the ancient Greeks (Elines, spelt Hellenes) and so if you asked a Greek-speaking subject of the Byzantine Empire whether he was an Elin (spelt Hellen) he would probably have said yes.

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i dont care what he calls them but theres more to the story that i dont wish to speak about.. anyway so they called themselves Romans? not Ellinos?

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http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/psell...onographia.html

 

In the preface and introduction, the translator uses the term 'Byzantine' (a pejorative), however in the translation of the book he uses the term 'Roman(s)". In the 11th century AD, there were still many nations in the Empire.

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i dont care what he calls them but theres more to the story that i dont wish to speak about.. anyway so they called themselves Romans? not Ellinos?

 

Forget all the jumbled mess, just know that the people of classical and medieval Greece to the time of mid 20th century never even used the word Byzantine. Now as to the correct term, it depends on the time period. The ancient Greeks around the time of Roman dominance would call themselves people of Hellenes. The Christian Greeks meanwhile would term themselves Romaioi, and if you used the term Hellenes, the Romaioi would hate you even if he acknowledge his pagan past=Hellenes because to a Christian Greek, Hellenes was a forbidden and pagan past. Since the Romaioi was extremely assertive of the fact that his empire was the true Roman Empire/Basileia Romaion, so yes, a Romaioi, considered himself Roman. Now why do we have the creation of different terms like Byzantine? Blame Western European politics and probably the pope who crowned Charlemange. Since Charlemage was supposed the new Roman Emperor of the [Holy] 'Roman Empire', however, what do you do when there was an already existing empire in the East? Simple, you discredit them and call them the Greek Empire. Soon, Western Europe was calling the Greeks a bunch of things, and one of them was Byzantine because it became popularized by the West. [Note, Byzantine was the equivalent of saying the Greek Empire].

Edited by FLavius Valerius Constantinus

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Medieval monks (in the West) initiated the use of the term 'Byzantine'. The Pope has enough on his shoulders.

 

Once upon a time there were TWO Emperors; one in the East and one in the West.

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Medieval monks (in the West) initiated the use of the term 'Byzantine'. The Pope has enough on his shoulders.

 

Once upon a time there were TWO Emperors; one in the East and one in the West.

 

They initiated it, but it was not popularized by them only.

 

Once upon a time, the Western Empire fell to ruins, leaving only the real Romans in the Eastern Empire.

 

The Holy Roman Empire was just an attempt by the pope to assert his authenthicity as the successor of the Roman Empire, therefore he started calling the Greeks whatever he could to discredit them. Thereby, people were taught different terms like Byzantine.

Edited by FLavius Valerius Constantinus

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The Holy Roman Empire was just an attempt by the pope to assert his authenthicity as the successor of the Roman Empire, therefore he started calling the Greeks whatever he could to discredit them. Thereby, people were taught different terms like Byzantine.

 

What is another term the Pope used perjoratively? I'd sure love to hear a few.

Edited by Gaius Octavius

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Greece as it is today is more closely akin to the Later Eastern Romans than it is to the Ancient Greeks, or the Hellenes. As has been said, the Greek people still called themselves Romans as recently as the early 20th Century. I daresay their recovered independence from the Ottoman Empire went a long way towards stoking patriotic fervour, and, as they no longer possessed the city that would have given them some link to Rome (Istanbul, or Constantinople), they may prefer to identify with the ancient Hellenes that inhabited their land.

 

Still, the Romans considered themselves as "The Enlightened Ones", and the Later Eastern Roman Empire certainly preserved much of the old Roman Knowledge, so the people of Greece certainly might call themselves "Hellenes" in the sense that they are descended from the Romans, who gained much of their culture from the Ancient Greeks and preserved it. That is perhaps stretching it a bit, considering the many invasions and settlements of Greece over the years, but in all fairness, it is stretching things further still for the Greek people to consider themselves direct kin to the Ancient Hellenes. It is similar to a hypothetical case of a person of, say, Anglo-Saxon descent, living in Modern Day Britain claiming relationship with the Ancient Britons, who were Celtic on the whole.

Edited by Tobias

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The change from calling themselves romans to greeks it's a complex one. In the ottoman empire they ruled the orthodox christian millet (nation/religion) as romans. Still, in early XIX C some intelectuals with strong connections with the West started to focus more on hellenic heritage.

 

When the 1821 revolution started it was planned by Eteria as a "roman" revolution that would recreate the "byzantine" empire. The northern arm of the revolution that developed with russian support in Moldova (the autonoumos part then, that now it's in Romania) and spreaded to Valahia failed, as it faced some conflict with romanians while russian gave them no direct support. Serbians and Muntenegro that had a degree of autonomy also showed no interest in the plan. Nationalist identity was already more important then panorthodoxy and byzantine nostalgic dreams.

 

The only place were the revolution went well (and this was a big surprise for the planners) was in Peloponnes, but to resist there they needed support from the West.

The West was very philhellenic, full of admiration of Ancient Athens and Sparta and all things from classical Greece and despised the byzantines seen as infaighting muderous eunuchs and fanatical orthodox. This had lots to do with political movements in the West (republican and anticlerical), but also with education etc.

In order to get the support needed exiled intelectuals made a lot of greek propaganda with accent on hellenism with no mention on roman heritage.

The claim of Greek independence for a small area was seen with sympathy in the West while the rebuilding of the Byzantine empire in the Balkans was a very serious political challange because everybody had plans on this area.

 

So, several reasons made the use of greeknes more important then of romanity and this was an important political move that followed the general rise of nationalism in that period.

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QUOTE

"Once upon a time there were TWO Emperors. One in the West and one in the East".

 

Correct me if I am wrong but, just before Constantine the Great (330 CE), there were TWO Emperors in the East and TWO Emperors in the West. Making a total of FOUR Emperors.

 

I know little of this era but watched the BBC 'Ancient Rome' doc a few months ago that showed how Constantine won his wife's brother in battle, making him the sole Emperor in the west whilst helping one of the eastern Emperors do the same in that part of the empire. He then deposed the Eastern Emperor making him the undisputed, undefeated Emperor of ALL the Roman Empire.

 

The last Eastern Emperor was exiled in powerless luxury but then assassinated with his familly to pre-empt any possible attempts to take the power back.

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Spittle, I believe that you are correct. Nonetheless, I was speaking in general terms and not of co-emperors or of contending 'emperors'.

 

Each Emperor had two Caesars.

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The Arabs referred to the Byzantines as Ar-Rum, which translates as Romans,in spite of the fact that the word Greek does exist in the Arabic language. In fact Arabs that spent substantial time within the empire were often nicknamed Rumi or Roman. This seems to indicate that the Byzantines did indeed call themselves Romans. IIRC Byzantine is something the Westerners tended to call them.

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Greek does exist in the Arabic language.

 

Yunan=Greece

Yunani=Greek

 

I think they used it even then.

 

I believe when Christianity took root, Greeks felt more into the Eastern Empire then a Roman would. Lets not forget it also encompassed: Phoenicia, Syria, and Egypt. The capital was set up by Romans, but the Greeks had a large amount of influence.

 

It is not uncommon to see some Christians call themselves Byzantine. In one Greek Orthodox Church I visited, some of their hyms were in 'Byantine.'

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