FAQ

Why Neo Byzantium?

Byzantium was the ancient name of Constantinople.  Constantinople was the imperial capital and the heart of the Byzantine Empire.  It was with this consideration in mind that I decided to name my blog Neo Byzantium.  It signifies a new revival for the Byzantine Empire.

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About the Byzantine Empire:

    What Byzantine Empire?  The Byzantines saw themselves as Romans.

    “Byzantine Empire” is a modern term used by historians to differentiate the Greek speaking empire from the earlier Roman Empire.  It was derived from the ancient name of Constantinople; Byzantium.  Throughout its existence from 330-1453, the inhabitants of the Byzantine Empire always referred to themselves as Romans.

    What about the Eastern Roman Empire?

    In 284, the Roman emperor Diocletian divided the Roman Empire into east and west.  The east was the Eastern Roman Empire.  The territory of the Eastern Roman Empire became that of the Byzantine Empire.

    Why do you use the term “Byzantine Empire?”

    The Eastern Roman Empire was unique due to its blend of Roman traditions, Christian ideology and Greek culture.  Therefore, the term “Byzantine Empire” is a convenient and distinctive label to distinguish it from the Roman Empire.  Other convenient terms also include “Byzantium” and “Byzantines.”  Also, it is less of a mouthful than “Eastern Roman Empire.”

    When did the Byzantine Empire begin?

    The Byzantine Empire did not come into being overnight.  It evolved over the centuries as it developed its own unique characteristics.  Therefore there is no agreement about when the Byzantine Empire began.  Some of the suggested dates include 284, 330, 395, 476 and 641.

    As a starting point, I personally prefer to use 330.  In 330, Constantine consecrated Constantinople as the new capital of the Roman Empire.  But this does not mean that the Eastern Roman Empire was the Byzantine Empire yet.  It was probably around the age of Justinian in the 6th century when it began to come into its own as the Byzantine Empire.  But this is arguable.

    If you notice any mistakes or have any good information to add regarding the FAQ for the Byzantine Empire, please contact me here

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