The Empire That Never Existed
You may have heard of many of the largest empires in world history the Romans the Mongols the British. The Persians the anchors in the Byzantine 's. That last empire, however, the Byzantine 's never actually existed. How can work? The world's greatest empires never have existed. Learn more and this episode of everything everywhere daily. This episode of everything everywhere daily is brought to you by G. Adventures G adventures is the world's premier small group tour operator offering tours in over one hundred countries, and on all seven continents in addition g adventures has been a leader in the area of responsible tourism, helping to establish social enterprises around the world. When you travel with G, you not only get to explore the. The world you also get to help the people in the communities you visit I speak from firsthand experience I've personally visited over forty countries on all seven continents with g adventures, and I can attest to their high standards and the quality of their tours to learn more about g adventures and defined a tour. That's right for you. Click on the link in the show notes. Byzantine Empire had as its capital the city of Constantinople. What is now modern day? Istanbul history books will tell you that. The empire lasted over a thousand years. Under the Emperor Justinian in the year five, fifty five, the empire reached its greatest extent with territory around the Mediterranean. Egypt north, Africa the Balkans and the Levant. Over its millennium of existence they have ninety four different emperors, and it was the center of Orthodox Christianity. Time, the empire shrank by the time of its final defeat. The fall of Constantinople in fourteen fifty three to the Ottoman Turks, the empire had dwindled to what is today parts of eastern Turkey Greece and some of the Balkans. With all of that history, how was it possible to say that the Byzantine Empire didn't exist? And it's actually pretty easy. At no point in their one thousand some year history. Did they or anyone else ever call themselves Byzantine 's or referred to their empire as Byzantium. They consider themselves Roman. The Byzantine Empire was really nothing more than the continuation of the eastern Roman Empire. After the empire in the West fell in every real sense of the word, the Byzantine Empire was the Roman Empire. You can draw a direct line from the Byzantine emperors to the Emperor Augustus Julius. Caesar and the Roman Republic. To. How did this come about? Why don't we just call it? The Roman? Empire! Understand how the Roman Empire kept going until the renaissance. We need to go back to the Roman Emperor Diocletian. By the time Diocletian became emperor in the late third century, the Roman, empire had become very large and very difficult to centrally administer sending orders and getting updates from distant corners of the empire could take months in the year two, ninety, three Diocletian devised a new system for the Roman Empire, whereby would be split into two parts east, and West each part of the empire would be led by a senior emperor, called the Augustus and a junior emperor with the title of Caesar, the system was known as the tetrarchy. Diocletian was established as the Augustus in the east, and his top General Maximilian was the Augusta's in the West. This system lasted for about only twenty years as rivals and claimants flawed each other for power after the death of Diocletian. In the year three twelve, the two parts of the empire were unified once again under the rule of Ember Constantine the first as we know him as Constantine, the great who established a new capital city for the empire. A city called Nova. Or Rome and eventually became known as Constantinople the city that bears his name. After the death of Constantine, the great, the empire split once again into two parts, and this is the first possible starting point for the Byzantine Empire. Constantine is sometimes considered the first Byzantine Empire because he founded the city of Constantinople and legalize Christianity in his empire, but he was in every sense of the word, a true Roman emperor. After Constantine, there were attempts to reunify the to have the empire. The Emperor Theodosius was successful in reconquering the Italian peninsula, and was the last person who could lay claim to being the emperor of a united Roman Empire upon his death in three hundred five, he split the empire between a sons, Arcadia in the east and Honiara, in the West and after that the empire was never unified again. The year three ninety five in the final split of East and West is also sometimes used as a starting date for the Byzantine Empire. In the year four, seventy six, the last emperor of the West Romulus Augustus was killed and replaced by a King of Italy barbarian by the name of Flavius Auto Aker. In four seventy six, the date is usually given by most history books as the fall of the Roman Empire in reality. It was anything, but if they had newspapers back, then there never would have been a headline saying Roman Empire falls to the average person living in Italy. It was just one ruler. Replacing another had been going on for centuries. And with a name like Flavius. Accurate was very romanized even though he was considered a barbarian while he stylized himself a quote unquote king. He considered himself subservient to the Roman emperor back in Constantinople. He sent the roam the robes. Augustus Zeno and Zeno even had coins minted showing Aker ruling Italy under the name of Zeno. I mentioned this. Because even after the Roman Empire, supposedly ended the people that took over still considered the empire as an ongoing concern. For seventy, six is also sometimes used as a starting date for the Byzantine Empire. As well as it coincides with the end of the empire in the West the reason why it's so hard to pin down a starting date for the Byzantine Empire is that there was never any single event you could point to to say that it was a starting point. It could be considered the founding of Constantinople it could be considered the death of Theodosius, or it could be considered the fall of the western empire. Either way. It was just the Roman. Empire chugging along like it always had just a bit different. Well. We can't put a date on when it started. We can certainly put a date on when it ended and that happened on, may twenty, ninth fourteen, fifty, three, when the theo she walls of Constantinople were breached for the first and only time and the last. Emperor Constantine the eleventh was killed, and the city was conquered by the Ottoman Sultan mended the second. So. This empire was really just the Roman Empire. Why do we call it the Byzantine Empire? It's basically something which was devised by western historians to distinguish the Greek speaking Christian empire centered in Constantinople from the earlier Latin speaking pagan. Empire centered in Rome, the first use of the term Byzantine was by the German historian Hironoma Wolf who, in fifteen, fifty, seven one hundred years after the fall of Constantinople published a work called Corpus Hysteria Byzantine. In the Islamic and Slavic world, there was never really a distinction. The Islamic world referred to it as He Room or the Roman nation and the term was used to describe all Orthodox. Christians in Muslim lands well into the twentieth century, the name Byzantine comes from the word Byzantium which was the name of the small town that existed in the location Constantinople was built. So strong was the Roman identity among the people. We call Byzantine byzantines that it wasn't until the eighteenth and nineteenth century. When people in today. What is Greece, stop calling themselves Roman and started referring themselves again as Greek in fact as late as the early twentieth century, some researchers found people what are today Greek islands who still call themselves Roman? This Roman heritage exists to this very day in the name of the country, which uses the exact same name that the Byzantine use to describe their own empire. 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