Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

HIST: Discussions about the last 4000 years of history, give or take a few days.

Moderator: K. A. Pital

Post Reply
User avatar
ray245
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 7696
Joined: 2005-06-10 11:30pm

Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by ray245 » 2008-12-26 01:24am

I've seen this debate for a number of times, where people ranging from alternate history fans to Greek Nationalist argued in favor that there is a direct successor state to the Roman empire, and they are either Turkey, Russia or Greece.

Perhaps people with a much better knowledge about the ERE can argue against or for this motion?

Inspired by this thread:

http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=211609
Humans are such funny creatures. We are selfish about selflessness, yet we can love something so much that we can hate something.

Samuel
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4750
Joined: 2008-10-23 11:36am

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by Samuel » 2008-12-26 03:45am

Greece isn't a successor state- it was carved from the Ottoman Empire.

Russia and Turkey aren't either. Both were coexistant with the Byzantine Empire.

User avatar
Sarevok
The Fearless One
Posts: 10681
Joined: 2002-12-24 07:29am
Location: The Covenants last and final line of defense
Contact:

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by Sarevok » 2008-12-26 04:35am

How do you define a "successor" to a past nation ? Something as vogue as this can only be answered by same people clinging to "Spartan" or "Mongol" heritage (yes they exist, at least on the internet).
I have to tell you something everything I wrote above is a lie.

User avatar
Fingolfin_Noldor
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11834
Joined: 2006-05-15 10:36am
Location: At the Helm of the HAB Star Dreadnaught Star Fist

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by Fingolfin_Noldor » 2008-12-26 04:55am

ray245 wrote:I've seen this debate for a number of times, where people ranging from alternate history fans to Greek Nationalist argued in favor that there is a direct successor state to the Roman empire, and they are either Turkey, Russia or Greece.

Perhaps people with a much better knowledge about the ERE can argue against or for this motion?

Inspired by this thread:

http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=211609
Are you.. insane? You can't hand wave off the millions of Turks who reside in the former territories of the ERE. They would never bow to a Greek Government. Never mind that even in her death throes, the Ottoman Empire fended off repeated attacks from Greece.

Neither is Russia even remotely considered a "successor state". They merely used the "New Rome" title for Moscow to handwave their legitimacy as leader of the Orthodox Church after Fall of Constantinople.

Of course there will be the Greek Nationalists who view Constantinople as the rightful government of Greece. But is it possible for them to take control? Nope. They would have to do to the Turks what the Turks did the ethnic Greeks back a few decades ago for that to happen.
Image
STGOD: Byzantine Empire
Your spirit, diseased as it is, refuses to allow you to give up, no matter what threats you face... and whatever wreckage you leave behind you.
Kreia

User avatar
Stark
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 36169
Joined: 2002-07-03 09:56pm
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Contact:

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by Stark » 2008-12-26 05:01am

Yeah, since the Ottomans/Turkey sits squarely on the ERE, it's capital and waged war against them for hundreds of years, it's pretty difficult to imagine this being a 'debate'.

Anyone going to vote for the Norman states being successors to Byzantium? No? :)

User avatar
ray245
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 7696
Joined: 2005-06-10 11:30pm

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by ray245 » 2008-12-26 05:12am

Fingolfin_Noldor wrote:
ray245 wrote:I've seen this debate for a number of times, where people ranging from alternate history fans to Greek Nationalist argued in favor that there is a direct successor state to the Roman empire, and they are either Turkey, Russia or Greece.

Perhaps people with a much better knowledge about the ERE can argue against or for this motion?

Inspired by this thread:

http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=211609
Are you.. insane? You can't hand wave off the millions of Turks who reside in the former territories of the ERE. They would never bow to a Greek Government. Never mind that even in her death throes, the Ottoman Empire fended off repeated attacks from Greece.

Neither is Russia even remotely considered a "successor state". They merely used the "New Rome" title for Moscow to handwave their legitimacy as leader of the Orthodox Church after Fall of Constantinople.

Of course there will be the Greek Nationalists who view Constantinople as the rightful government of Greece. But is it possible for them to take control? Nope. They would have to do to the Turks what the Turks did the ethnic Greeks back a few decades ago for that to happen.
I'm having a hard time debating against those Greek Nationalist at that forum.

Hey, I never said there was a successor state to the ERE at all.

Then there is those Roman/ alternate history fanboys that actually dared to argue that an invader is a legitimate successor to the ERE.

Just because the invading turks claim to be the successor does not make them legitimate!
Humans are such funny creatures. We are selfish about selflessness, yet we can love something so much that we can hate something.

User avatar
Stark
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 36169
Joined: 2002-07-03 09:56pm
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Contact:

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by Stark » 2008-12-26 05:16am

So define what does make a 'legitimate' 'successor state' (or force them to define it) and demonstrate how the modern Greek nation meets those critiera in no way.

User avatar
ray245
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 7696
Joined: 2005-06-10 11:30pm

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by ray245 » 2008-12-26 07:57am

Stark wrote:So define what does make a 'legitimate' 'successor state' (or force them to define it) and demonstrate how the modern Greek nation meets those critiera in no way.
Hard to do so. Reason? People just ignore your point, and proceed to spam the thread with the exact same argument.

When you are done with one guy, another guy pops out and use the same argument again. Whenever I tried to create some sort of criteria, most people will refuse to accept that criteria.

I've argued that by their definition, this mean the Roman empire by right is a successor state to the Gauls, Iberian, Britons and such, an argument that is ignored by many members there. :banghead:
Humans are such funny creatures. We are selfish about selflessness, yet we can love something so much that we can hate something.

User avatar
Setzer
Requiescat in Pace
Posts: 3138
Joined: 2002-08-30 11:45am
Contact:

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by Setzer » 2008-12-26 09:53am

Well, according to Wikipedia, Constantine XI had a nephew named Andreas Palaiologos.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andreas_Palaiologos

His father Thomas continued to rule Morea until it fell to the Ottomans in 1460. Since Constantine never named a successor, I think the throne would go down dynastic lines, but that was never part of Roman law. They just went along with it because it made things easier with the army to cultivate a dynastic sentiment. So assuming the title didn't pass to Mehmet when he conquered the Empire and began calling himself Kaisar-I-Rum, Andreas would be the rightful Roman Emperor, and that whoever he named as his successor is his legitimate heir. But according to Byzantium - The Decline and Fall, by John Julius Norwich, Andreas sold the title to Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. So the House of Trastamara in Spain might be the heirs to the title, but their house ended in 1501. The Spanish throne would then pass through marriage to the House of Habsburg.

Donald M. Nicol's The Immortal Emperor mentions a Constantine Palaiologos in the Papal Guard, and lady named Maria, who wed a Russian Noble named Mihail Vasilivich as possible offspring, but going by the principles of nominative succession, they aren't included as candidates for the crown. After the Trastamara Dynasty ended, the Hapsburgs ruled Spain, but whether the title applies to a Habsburg ruler of Spain or the house of Habsburg in general is a whole different can of worms. Assuming it's simply Habsburg kings of Spain, then the title as of the late 17th and early 18th centuries was this sexy devil:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_II_of_Spain

Charles II died with no successor, and the line of Spanish Habsburgs died with him. He had named a great-nephew, Philip de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou, as his successor, the grandson of Louis XIV. The other nations of Europe didn't like the idea of Spain being effectively ruled by the King of France, and this touched off the war of the Spanish Succession. Eventually Phillip would be allowed to keep his throne, and is known to history as Philip V, King of Spain. So assuming the title passed to the Bourbon rulers of Spain, that would make the current Basileos King Juan Carlos I of Spain.

Assuming the title of Byzantine Emperor was the property of House Habsburg as a whole, then the last Habsburg was Maria Theresa of Austria. With her death in 1780, the house of Habsburg was seen as defunct, and was replaced by the Vaudemont branch of the House of Lorraine, which would style itself Habsburg-Lorraine. At the time, the head of House Habsburg-Lorraine was Joseph II.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_II, ... an_Emperor

So if the title was his by rights, then Eastern and Western Empires were again united in a single person. The Holy Roman Empire, and the Title of Holy Roman Emperor, would be dissolved by this man.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_II ... man_Empire

Assuming the title was now one with the office of Holy Roman Emperor, Francis II was the last Byzantine Emperor. In 1806, Francis II abandoned the title of Holy Roman Emperor. All the subsequent titles, mainly Emperor of Austria, had nothing to do with Byzantium, but if we include the title as legacy baggage, then the last Byzantine Emperor was Charles I of Austria, after whom the Austrian monarchy was dissolved.

The Habsburgs themselves would go on until November 11th, 1918, where Charles I of Austria-Hungary renounced participation in state affairs. While not an official abdication, the house of Habsburg-Lorraine would be officially dethroned by Austiran law in 1919, and Hungarian law in 1921.

So we have a number of potential successors. The now-defunct house of Trastamara, the now defunct House of Hapsburg-Lorraine, the House of Bourbon ruling modern day Spain, and this doesn't begin to calculate Napoleon's reorganization of Germany which dissolved the Holy Roman Empire. It gives us a number of disparate dates for the end of the Byzantine Empire as well, be it 1453, 1461, 1501, 1780, 1806, 1918, 1919, 1921, or continuing in rump form to the present day.

All this assumes that my wikipedia info is accurate, and that I didn't make a mistake somewhere. If anyone finds a mistake I made, please point it out.
Image

User avatar
Akhlut
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2660
Joined: 2005-09-06 02:23pm
Location: The Burger King Bathroom

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by Akhlut » 2008-12-26 11:49am

Sarevok wrote:How do you define a "successor" to a past nation ? Something as vogue as this can only be answered by same people clinging to "Spartan" or "Mongol" heritage (yes they exist, at least on the internet).

While the Spartan one is kind of weird, there are very clearly people who can embrace the Mongol heritage very easily, namely, present day Mongolians. They are direct descendents of the Mongols of Genghis Khan and many of them still cling to ways of life that would be recognizable to the Khans. That their Empire was destroyed means nothing for inheritance of heritage.


As for the OP, though: the ERE is dead and gone, sadly. The closest to a legitimate successor state is Greece and maybe some of the other Balkan states, as they have inherited a great deal of Byzantine culture, language, and, to some extent, law and civics.
SDNet: Unbelievable levels of pedantry that you can't find anywhere else on the Internet!

User avatar
fgalkin
Carvin' Marvin
Posts: 14557
Joined: 2002-07-03 11:51pm
Location: Land of the Mountain Fascists
Contact:

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by fgalkin » 2008-12-28 12:00am

Samuel wrote:Greece isn't a successor state- it was carved from the Ottoman Empire.

Russia and Turkey aren't either. Both were coexistant with the Byzantine Empire.
Yes and no. Kievan Rus and then the rival principalities were not the same political entity as Muscovy, even if they occupied a somewhat similar geographic area.

On the other hand, Muscovy's claim to succession to the ERE was based on dynastic succession- Ivan III married the niece of Constantine Paleologue. That, along with the fact that Muscovy was the largest and most powerful Orthodox nation of the time formed the core of the Third Rome ideology. With the end of the Rurikid dynasty, there was no longer a descendant of Roman emperors on the throne of Russia. Nonetheless, if anyone has a claim towards the succession, it is them.

As for Turkey claiming it as the successor of ERE is akin to claiming the Spanish Empire as the successor to the Aztecs.

Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin

User avatar
The Duchess of Zeon
Gözde
Posts: 14566
Joined: 2002-09-18 01:06am
Location: Exiled in the Pale of Settlement.

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2008-12-29 04:51pm

The Papal States were the last surviving Roman remnant, being a Byzantine Exarchate in foundation, and the Pope serving as Exarch of Rome, effectively. That means the last trace of the Roman Empire's legal authority in an absolute sense ended with the annexation of the Papal States to the Kingdom of Italy in 1871 during the Franco-Prussian War.
The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. -- Wikipedia's No Original Research policy page.

In 1966 the Soviets find something on the dark side of the Moon. In 2104 they come back. -- Red Banner / White Star, a nBSG continuation story. Updated to Chapter 4.0 -- 14 January 2013.

User avatar
Thanas
Magister
Magister
Posts: 30779
Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by Thanas » 2008-12-29 06:28pm

The Duchess of Zeon wrote:The Papal States were the last surviving Roman remnant, being a Byzantine Exarchate in foundation, and the Pope serving as Exarch of Rome, effectively.
This is wrong. The Exarchate of Ravenna was abolished in 751, the Pope never assumed any position of responsiblity in the roman empire. Any claim the Papal states may have had is made nought by the fact that the pope committed treason when he invited a frankish invader to be crowned augustus.

If you want to look for a legitimate successor state, one may argue that it can be found in fact within the Ottoman empire. For example, the early sultans did carry the title basileios and even campaigned in Italy under the propagandistic claim of restoring byzantine control over the country. In fact, the Ottoman sultans claim are the strongest since they ruled over the majority of the rhomai and held the capital of Constantinopolis (which was not renamed until Ataturk). From the trinity of the legitimacy employed by the byzantine emperors, they fulfill two thirds (the third one being of the orthodox faith), or half if one considers speaking greek as the lingua franca as one of the requirements. However, all other nations claiming to be successor states only manage to have one of the requirements at most (Russia's claim being among them, since it did not hold any greek-speaking lands, did not speak greek and did not hold the capital of Constantinople).
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
------------
My LPs

User avatar
ray245
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 7696
Joined: 2005-06-10 11:30pm

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by ray245 » 2008-12-30 01:10am

Thanas wrote:
The Duchess of Zeon wrote:The Papal States were the last surviving Roman remnant, being a Byzantine Exarchate in foundation, and the Pope serving as Exarch of Rome, effectively.
This is wrong. The Exarchate of Ravenna was abolished in 751, the Pope never assumed any position of responsiblity in the roman empire. Any claim the Papal states may have had is made nought by the fact that the pope committed treason when he invited a frankish invader to be crowned augustus.

If you want to look for a legitimate successor state, one may argue that it can be found in fact within the Ottoman empire. For example, the early sultans did carry the title basileios and even campaigned in Italy under the propagandistic claim of restoring byzantine control over the country. In fact, the Ottoman sultans claim are the strongest since they ruled over the majority of the rhomai and held the capital of Constantinopolis (which was not renamed until Ataturk). From the trinity of the legitimacy employed by the byzantine emperors, they fulfill two thirds (the third one being of the orthodox faith), or half if one considers speaking greek as the lingua franca as one of the requirements. However, all other nations claiming to be successor states only manage to have one of the requirements at most (Russia's claim being among them, since it did not hold any greek-speaking lands, did not speak greek and did not hold the capital of Constantinople).
Can an invader justify themselves as a succesor state in the first place? And how does faith got to do with political succession? The Roman empire did not start out as a Christian state.
Humans are such funny creatures. We are selfish about selflessness, yet we can love something so much that we can hate something.

User avatar
Thanas
Magister
Magister
Posts: 30779
Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by Thanas » 2008-12-30 08:56am

ray245 wrote:Can an invader justify themselves as a succesor state in the first place?
Does the name of Alexandros Magnos ring any bells?
And how does faith got to do with political succession? The Roman empire did not start out as a Christian state.
This is the ERE we are talking about here. The criteria for appearing as a legitimate emperor included, among other things, of being crowned in the Hagia Sophia according to the orthodox faith by the patriarch of Constantinople.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
------------
My LPs

User avatar
TC Pilot
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1648
Joined: 2007-04-28 01:46am

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by TC Pilot » 2008-12-31 11:33am

Actually, I'm not really sure Alexander's kingdom can be considered a successor to the Persian Empire. While he took great efforts to appear legitimate in the eyes of the Persians, including adopting the royal family and eventually marrying into the Achaemenid line (and possibly siring a bastard with the Persian King Darius' captive wife and half-sister Stateira that killed both during birth), adopting Persian dress and court ettiquette, and going to great lengths to capture the usurper Besus, I don't recall Alexander ever claiming his was a new Persian Empire, considering he torched Persepolis, ruled from Babylon, and styled himself King of Asia, rather than shahanshah.
"He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot."

"Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero."

User avatar
Akhlut
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2660
Joined: 2005-09-06 02:23pm
Location: The Burger King Bathroom

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by Akhlut » 2008-12-31 12:10pm

I think he meant Alexander as invader of Greece and ruling as a Greek king and emperor, rather than as a Persian ruler. I can't say much on that myself; I don't know if the Macedonians of the time were really Greek or if they were just later assimilated into Greek culture.
SDNet: Unbelievable levels of pedantry that you can't find anywhere else on the Internet!

User avatar
Thanas
Magister
Magister
Posts: 30779
Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by Thanas » 2008-12-31 12:24pm

TC Pilot wrote:Actually, I'm not really sure Alexander's kingdom can be considered a successor to the Persian Empire. While he took great efforts to appear legitimate in the eyes of the Persians, including adopting the royal family and eventually marrying into the Achaemenid line (and possibly siring a bastard with the Persian King Darius' captive wife and half-sister Stateira that killed both during birth), adopting Persian dress and court ettiquette, and going to great lengths to capture the usurper Besus, I don't recall Alexander ever claiming his was a new Persian Empire, considering he torched Persepolis, ruled from Babylon, and styled himself King of Asia, rather than shahanshah.
By that same logic, the ERE would not be a successor state to the WRE, considering that they ruled from Constantinople and that the king was named Basileios instead of Augustus. Alexander did intigrate the persian nobility, married into it, etc. Most Historians have no problem considering it a successor state, so I do not have that problem either.

Just because a state does not share the same ideology than the previous one does, does not make it less valid of a successor. For example, the Federal Republic of Germany is the successor state of the third reich, despite the two having nothing in common.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
------------
My LPs

User avatar
TC Pilot
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1648
Joined: 2007-04-28 01:46am

Re: Why there is no sucessor to the Eastern Roman Empire

Post by TC Pilot » 2008-12-31 04:28pm

Thanas wrote:By that same logic, the ERE would not be a successor state to the WRE, considering that they ruled from Constantinople and that the king was named Basileios instead of Augustus. Alexander did intigrate the persian nobility, married into it, etc. Most Historians have no problem considering it a successor state, so I do not have that problem either.
Yeah, for some reason this is more difficult in my head that it seems it ought to be. I keep wanting to say the ERE wasn't a successor to the WRE, but then I draw a blank. Alright, I'll leave this discussion to people who know what they're talking about. :P
"He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot."

"Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero."

Post Reply