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Old 06-15-2011, 02:45 AM
 
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I always thought the Byzantines were one of the most interesting peoples in history. They carried on Roman Civilization for a thousand years after Rome fell.

My question is do you think that Byzantium could have survived if Constantinople wasn't sacked during the fourth Crusade? Do you think it could have regained all if not most of it's "main" Territory (Greece & Turkey)? How do you think history would have been different? What do you think a modern Byzantium today would be like?
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:19 AM
 
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The long lasting Byzantine Empire seems to be often forgotten; I knew little about it until I read John Julius Norwich's great trilogy on it's history.
I don't think the empire could have survived after first, the Battle of Manzikert in the 11th century, which effectively eliminated the traditional army recruiting ground of Anatolia. Then, as you mentioned, the sack of Constantinople during the 4th Crusade was another major blow. The rise of Ottoman power meant the inevitable fall of the shrunken remanents of the empire.
Given the seemingly constant internal political squabbles, and turmoil amongst the ruling class, it seems amazing that the empire lasted as long as it did. Reading about the fall of Constantinople in 1453 always makes me feel sad, and I believe that we in the West owe the Byzantines a tremendous debt for their long maintenance of Greco-Roman culture and traditions.
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Old 06-16-2011, 03:00 PM
 
Location: NY, NY
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Ive always wondered if the Byzantines converted to Islam, if Constantinople would have been allowed to remain a very rich and powerful city-state by the Ottomans. I highly doubt it but its always been something I imagined could have happened.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:52 PM
 
254 posts, read 438,580 times
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Originally Posted by PatDJohns View Post
Ive always wondered if the Byzantines converted to Islam, if Constantinople would have been allowed to remain a very rich and powerful city-state by the Ottomans. I highly doubt it but its always been something I imagined could have happened.
Conversion to Islam would have been entirely out of the question. The Byzantines were unwilling to reconcile with the Roman Catholic church, from which they had diverged only 400 years prior.

A corollary to the original question is, what the modern state of Greece resemble if the Byzantine empire had survived?
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:35 AM
 
354 posts, read 750,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornet67 View Post
The long lasting Byzantine Empire seems to be often forgotten; I knew little about it until I read John Julius Norwich's great trilogy on it's history.
I don't think the empire could have survived after first, the Battle of Manzikert in the 11th century, which effectively eliminated the traditional army recruiting ground of Anatolia. Then, as you mentioned, the sack of Constantinople during the 4th Crusade was another major blow. The rise of Ottoman power meant the inevitable fall of the shrunken remanents of the empire.
Given the seemingly constant internal political squabbles, and turmoil amongst the ruling class, it seems amazing that the empire lasted as long as it did. Reading about the fall of Constantinople in 1453 always makes me feel sad, and I believe that we in the West owe the Byzantines a tremendous debt for their long maintenance of Greco-Roman culture and traditions.
I wonder what Constantinople would be like today if it had never been sacked. I bet it would be a massive tourist destination. I also wonder how much they could have contributed to the West after Europe left the dark ages. They say one of the main causes of the Renaissance was fleeing Byzantine refugees.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ddmhughes View Post
I wonder what Constantinople would be like today if it had never been sacked. I bet it would be a massive tourist destination. I also wonder how much they could have contributed to the West after Europe left the dark ages. They say one of the main causes of the Renaissance was fleeing Byzantine refugees.
Well, Constantinople, aka Istanbul, is still a large tourist destination. My best friend, who is Greek, and has VERY mixed emotions about Istanbul, visited there a few years ago, and told me about the wonders of Hagia Sofia, which I would love to see sometime, but probably won't.
I don't know about Byzantine refugees, and I wonder how many there could have been, since the empire pretty much consisted only of Constantinople by then, and I believe most of the residents were killed by the Ottoman Turks.
Parts of mainland Greece may still have held out after 1453; I can't recall at present.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Wherever women are
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornet67 View Post
Well, Constantinople, aka Istanbul, is still a large tourist destination. My best friend, who is Greek, and has VERY mixed emotions about Istanbul, visited there a few years ago, and told me about the wonders of Hagia Sofia, which I would love to see sometime, but probably won't.
I don't know about Byzantine refugees, and I wonder how many there could have been, since the empire pretty much consisted only of Constantinople by then, and I believe most of the residents were killed by the Ottoman Turks.
Parts of mainland Greece may still have held out after 1453; I can't recall at present.
The Hagia Sophia makes my blood boil every time. But I guess that's the way it is, I guess.

As to the OP, Byzantium was an empire in decline and decay. The Turks only saved it from economic collapse after a brief heartbreak of losing its identity.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Earth
17,447 posts, read 23,875,691 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornet67 View Post
Well, Constantinople, aka Istanbul, is still a large tourist destination. My best friend, who is Greek, and has VERY mixed emotions about Istanbul, visited there a few years ago, and told me about the wonders of Hagia Sofia, which I would love to see sometime, but probably won't.
I don't know about Byzantine refugees, and I wonder how many there could have been, since the empire pretty much consisted only of Constantinople by then, and I believe most of the residents were killed by the Ottoman Turks.
Parts of mainland Greece may still have held out after 1453; I can't recall at present.
Greeks (presumably the descendants of the Byzantines) continued to live in Constantinople until Ataturk expelled them in 1922 - which led to the population of Athens instantly doubling (at least) and turned Athens from the beautiful 19th/early 20th century city that it was into the city of slums that it has been for years. WW2 and postwar emigration from the Greek countryside would accelerate this.

The Ottoman conquest of Greece was complete by 1500, but the Ottomans never had effective control over the mountains. Crete wouldn't fall until 1671 and the Ionian Islands were only Ottoman ruled for about 10 years before the Venetians retook them.

There were Byzantine refugees who went to the Italian states after the fall of Constantinople.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:03 PM
 
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Looks like bunch of morons talking about something that they know about here.
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