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Byzantium, Byzantine Empire and Khazaria

  1. Feb 20, 2006 #1


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    First of all, the history is fascinating with the Byzantine Empire juxtaposed between the Roman Empire and the Middle East (Asia Minor) and Central Asia.





    Byzantium was at the cross-roads of the world in it's time. Parallel to its history is the westward migration of various nomadic tribes from central Asia.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2006 #2


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    I picked up a book yesterday at Soy Sefirim book sale at Yeshiva U. The book is "The Jews of Khazaria" by Kevin Allan Brook. It is as fascinating as the history of Byzantium.

    Some background on Wikipedia -
  4. Sep 5, 2007 #3


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    History of Byzantium: 306-1453 (Blackwell History of the Ancient World) by Timothy Gregory

    the first sentence
    Perhaps a good addition to one's history library.

    A Chronology of Early Byzantine History by Gregory

    And perhaps -

    The Oxford History of Byzantium (Hardcover) by Cyril Mango

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2007
  5. Sep 5, 2007 #4


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    Edward Gibbon treated the Byzantine Empire as a continuation of the Roman empire. His Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ended with the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
  6. Sep 5, 2007 #5


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    I think subsequent, or more accurately, modern scholars treat the Byzantine Empire as distinct from the Roman and Holy Roman Empires.
  7. Sep 5, 2007 #6


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    The Turkic name for the Caspian Sea is (K)hazar Sea. (I think this is how the Iranians refer to it too.)

    Also interesting is how the Turks adopted the Byzantine administrative machinery after they conquered Constantinople in the 15th century.
  8. Sep 6, 2007 #7
    The Holy Roman Empire was not connected with the Roman Empire.
    The Byzantine empire, on the other hand, was so connected.
    Roman Empire
  9. Sep 6, 2007 #8


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    I don't think that is entirely accurate. One has to look at what was preserved and carried forward during the Dark Ages to see the connection.

    From the Wikipedia articles, the order seems to be:

    Roman Republic (509 BC – 27 BC)
    Roman Empire (31 BC – 1453) - but the Empire split in the third century - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crisis_of_the_Third_Century
    * Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire) - 330 – 1453
    and the link in the OP.
    * Western Roman Empire - 286 – 476 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Roman_Empire

    Certainly the Byzantine Empire represented a more or less contiguous history/culture, as opposed to the Western Empire which was caught up in tribal wars and instability

    So in the west, one has a succession:

    Kingdom of Italy (476–493) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Italy_(476-493)
    Ostrogothic Kingdom (493 – 553) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostrogothic_Kingdom
    Visigothic Kingdom (369-721?) - based on a succession of kings - Therving kings, Balti kings, and non-Balti kings - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visigoths
    Burgundian Kingdom (411-534) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgundians#The_Burgundian_Kingdoms
    Vandalic Kingdom - (435-534) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandals
    Kingdom of the Sueves - (409-585) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suebi

    Frankish Empire - Merovingians (481–751), Carolingians (751–887)

    There is some debate about Charlemagne (Karl de Grosse) being the first Holy Roman Emperor.

    Holy Roman Empire (10th cent CE - 1806) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Roman_Empire

    Now after the third century there was the Valentinian dynasty - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentinian_Dynasty


    What's interesting is that Valentinian I and Valens were born in Cibalae (Cibalis, now Vinkovci, Croatia) in Pannonia in 321 and 328, respectively.

    Valens was Roman Emperor (364-378), after he was given the Eastern part of the empire by his brother Valentinian I. But he lost it all when his forces were defeated at the Battle of Adrianople and he was killed.

    Valentinian lived on in the west until 392.

    I don't like relying on Wikipedia, but its articles are consistent with various texts on the Middle Ages, which I have been reading.
  10. Sep 6, 2007 #9
    I have to admit that I was extravagant when I said there was no connection between the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire. One has merely to look at a map to see that they were both on the same continent and even a cursory glance at a history book will show that they both were gone before the 20th century began. As you correctly point out, there are many other connections as well. It would be better to avoid fuzzy language such as mine. I would say that the Roman Empire did not really go out of existence until 1806 when it was dismantled by Napoleon, but that would imply that there was no connection between the Holy Roman Empire and modern Germany at least up til 1945, the end of the so-called "Third Reich". Reich means empire in German, and the Holy Roman Empire was the first reich. Let us not forget also the many connections between modern Germany and Brooklyn, NY which continues to exist to this very day.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2007
  11. Nov 13, 2007 #10


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    In case anyone's interested.

    Byzantium: The Lost Empire
    Starring: John Romer

    The reviews are mixed.

    It's unfortunate because I enjoy a good history program, and I would like to see more scholarly works available to the general public.
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