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Byzantines Defenders of Europe?

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Topic: Byzantines Defenders of Europe?
Posted By: Youngblood
Subject: Byzantines Defenders of Europe?
Date Posted: 15 Feb 2011 at 07:45

The Byzantine Empire being situated on both Europe and Asia was constantly afflicted on both sides by would-be conquerors. In the east there was always a threat. First being the Persian Sassanids then the Muslims who stormed of the Arabian desert taking all in their path in 632. The Byzantines fought the various muslim sultans and caliphates for nearly 800 years, without their tenacity would it not be fair to say Europe would be a vastly different place? Now I know someone will point out Charles Martel and the battle of Tours, this is important but pales in the contribution and sacrifice of the Byzantines. Let me know your thoughts.




Replies:
Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 15 Feb 2011 at 08:29
The Byzantines eventually lost.
 
So we can presume that Europe is a vastly different place?


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 15 Feb 2011 at 08:37
The sacrifice of the Byzantines? Now that is a twist to the tale...since Manzikert in 1070 was merely a confirmation of the disintegration of the agrarian themes of Anatolia that had sustained the Eastern Empire from the time of Heraklius onward. besides you are assuming a false homogeneity under the guise of "Muslim" opponents. The Seljuks would just as easily swept over an Arab as they would have a Byzantine and religion was essentially inconsequential.

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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Flipper
Date Posted: 15 Feb 2011 at 17:52
There are many theories on how Europe would be a different place and many if(s). In the end you don't know what would happen if eventually someone had broken through during those 800 years. Maybe, Europe might have been ready for it or not. For sure they created a comfort over eastern threats but Europe itself had its own issues from time to time. In the end it fell but the Ottomans didn't reach were many might have feared from an eastern power.


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Posted By: Youngblood
Date Posted: 17 Feb 2011 at 14:23

I should not have referred to them all as Muslim since obviously the Seljuks are different than Arabs, but the Seljuks didn't finish off the Byzantines it was the Ottomans. Yes, they did fall and did eventually die out. However, they bought Europe time to grow and centralize into countries that would be able to defend against the Ottomans when they did eventually move into Europe.



Posted By: pinguin
Date Posted: 17 Feb 2011 at 23:53
Actually, the Bizantine empire was weakened by the Western Crusaders, when they invaded it, a while before the Turks.

So, why should the Bizantines wanted to "deffend" the West?


Posted By: fantasus
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2011 at 03:01
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Actually, the Bizantine empire was weakened by the Western Crusaders, when they invaded it, a while before the Turks.

So, why should the Bizantines wanted to "deffend" the West?
As usual it is a question of sharing an enemy, not necessarily mutual "love". Since Konstantinople stood in the way for further expansion into Europe, by defending itself it at least slowed ottoman expansion. On the other hand the ottomans were at various times supported with various european powers, not for their own sake, but because of shared enemies. France, Sweden, Britain, and later Imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary did just that.


Posted By: Flipper
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2011 at 05:10
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Actually, the Bizantine empire was weakened by the Western Crusaders, when they invaded it, a while before the Turks.

So, why should the Bizantines wanted to "deffend" the West?


Actually both of your points are correct. As I've read many times, the Crusaders were the ones who caused the damage and the Ottomans just finished the job.

As for the Byzantines, they covered first their ass of course. They were the wall of comfort as long as the enemy came from south east.

One of my greatest historical IFS is "What if the Byzantines could see the future in a magic ball"? They would simply come into agreement with the Arabs not to be touched and let them through Evil Smile


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Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2011 at 06:09

The Byzantines didn't save europe because the thrust of the conquests was directed towards Asia and north Africa. The reason why there was so many attempts against Constantinople from the very beginning was simple. The Byzantine empire was at its most vulnerable situation after the initial conquests and its fall would be the coup d'grace that relieve the pressure on that front.

After 740 there was no real campaign directed at destroying the Byzantines, in fact the conquest movement all but ended due to the civil war. Only the Seljuqs 300 years later who launched a campaign of conquests and een then the crusades and the disintegration of their empire gave the Byzantines respite.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2011 at 07:25
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Actually, the Bizantine empire was weakened by the Western Crusaders, when they invaded it, a while before the Turks.

So, why should the Bizantines wanted to "deffend" the West?
Most of the time I recall the Byzantines had more animosity with the west than with the middle east.


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2011 at 11:14
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Actually, the Bizantine empire was weakened by the Western Crusaders, when they invaded it, a while before the Turks.

So, why should the Bizantines wanted to "deffend" the West?
 
Most of the time I recall the Byzantines had more animosity with the west than with the middle east.
 
One has to make as many inversions as mentally possible to assert that the Western Crusaders "weakened" the "Byzantine Empire". There wasn't a "Crusader" in sight at Manzikert [albeit there were some 500 Franco-Norman mercenaries in the army of Romanus IV and even Turks] and the Eastern Empire had long ago lost both Egypt and Syria so one must really strain in making the analogy that the rise of Crusader Kingdoms in the Levant "weakened" the Byzantine state in areas it had long lost. In fact, if one knows what actually happened at Manzikert in 1071, one could understand that internal rot was what did in the military organization of Byzantium. Despite the fact that the Seljuks carried the field in Armenia, they certainly did not organize any sudden intrusion into Anatolia proper and it was left to the Byzantines themselves to convert momentary defeat into total chaos with the usurpation of Ducas and the neglect of the themes for the sake of the political show at Constantinople. The loss of the Anatolian heatland to the Seljuks in the generation after Manzikert was what made the Empire little more than a collection of crab holes along the shores of the shores of the Aegean and Black Seas.
 
PS: It is usually chatted about by the ignorami that the Crusades were launched to retake Jerusalem after its capture by the Muslims in 1077. Of course such is tommy-rot because Jerusalem was captured from the Byzantines (who had lost it earlier to the Sassanids from 614 to 628) in AD 637 by the Arab Caliphate! What did happen in 1077 was the expulsion of the Fatimids from the city by a contingent of Seljuks--of course the Fatimids came back in 1098 and it was only then that we run into the Crusaders.
 
Just some food for thought.  


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Joe
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2011 at 11:28
yeah apparently the Eastern empire was at its height in the 500-700 range. Like after Atilla crokes and the huns fall to sh*te; they reconquer Italy for sometime and prosper. I forgot the guys name who changed the official language to greece. Thats the time I feel it really started losing power. They changed the culture from "Roman" to more "greek". Even if many did speak greek the main idea was "Roman". I'm not sure what happened during 500-700 I do know for a fact they grew economically. Its also funny to mention and note how the "Greeks" carried on Roman tradition and the idea of "Rome" even though none of them spoke latin as their main language and the power base was in greece. It seems like the natural order of things though before the romans dominated the greeks were in "charge".


Posted By: Reginmund
Date Posted: 19 Feb 2011 at 01:51
The Byzantines didn't save Europe because there wasn't any Byzantium and there was no Europe. It's important to distinguish between contemporary and historiographical terminology.
 
In contemporary terms, the Roman Empire maintained its sphere of influence both in the east and west over several centuries. What would have transpired if they hadn't done so for as long, and how it would have affected Catholic Christendom, is contrafactual history and impossible to speculate in as the variables in play are simply too many to identify and there isn't enough primary source material to even try.


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Sing, goddess, of Achilles' ruinous anger
Which brought ten thousand pains to the Achaeans,
And cast the souls of many stalwart heroes
To Hades, and their bodies to the dogs
And birds of prey


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 19 Feb 2011 at 03:58
Well Reginmund I have tired of stating as much repeatedly each time threads such as these pop up (and I have also grown weary of putting "Byzantium" in quotes) but somehow these appeals to sanity always fall on deaf ears. It is as fruitless as placing an Armenian, a Greek, and an Italian in the same room and asking each who is more "catholic"!

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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Flipper
Date Posted: 19 Feb 2011 at 22:19
"Byzantine" is a term of convenience among historians, like many other in historical contents (e.g terms like Minoan, Hittite etc). Most books are sold with this term but 99% of them will explain to the reader that "Byzantine Empire" is actually the Easter Roman Empire. Therefore, in a forum like this, I don't think we need to point a finger to everyone who "dares" to use the term.

We need to point a finger when someone uses the term like if the administration and the people of the empire were using it.


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FΑΝΑΚΤΟΥ ΜΙΔΑ ΓΟΝΟΣ
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Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 20 Feb 2011 at 01:05
Well, Flipper, I dislike the term because as the existance of the adjectival pejorative, byzantine, underscores it carries a negative connotation and intuitively asserts progressive decadence. Further, this phantom also generates the false image that makes it rather easy to consider the Ottomans as "outsiders" in Europe when in actuality they were an European presence long before the capture of Constantinople in 1453. An economist might argue that the Ottomans themselves were the effective successors as a dynasty (in geopolitical terms) to the realities of the Eastern Roman Empire!
 
 
PS: How is that as an opening for the introduction of the "Turkish Problem" in a contemporary context?


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Flipper
Date Posted: 20 Feb 2011 at 19:34
I agree with your statement above DrGonzaga. Everyone can have his own objections about those terms of convenience. I also agree with the fact that the Ottomans were effective successors for at least 150 years ahead.

What I didn't understand was your "PS" about the Turkish Problem. What do you mean?


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Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 20 Feb 2011 at 21:13
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

What I didn't understand was your "PS" about the Turkish Problem. What do you mean?
 
In the 16th Century it was the Turks "bursting in on Europe" and then in the 17th century they were at the "Gates" of Vienna while in the 18th century the Russians "verified" their European authenticity by going after the Turk in the Black Sea and beyond so much so that by the 19th century not a decade went past without there being a "Turkish Problem" roiling up Europe. And now today, what do we have? Well the Turks assert, "Hey boys we are Europe so make room for us in the Union! The result: The political correctness of the EU Club is now strained to the max over those Muslims calling themselves "Europeans"!


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: Flipper
Date Posted: 20 Feb 2011 at 22:54
The "Gates of Vienna"...Hmm, yes. Austrian diplomats keep repeating that still to their Turkish counterparts. It is indeed the political "correctness" and also the double faced moral of Europe causing that. If you scratch the back of someone because you want to reach his market, don't expect that he will not ask from you something in return.

On the other hand, I know many Turks don't want the EU and maybe they are right. Their economy is standing strong at the moment and they have been previously treated with arrogance. Erdogan might know that an entrace has no point now and it might be imppossible. However, he wants his name to be "the first" prime minister of Turkey doing a serious attempt to get Turkey into the EU. If Turkey does need the EU 80 years later, it will be Erdogans name in every single document and reference. Smart move if you ask me...

In any case, this is an interresting point DrG, but maybe for a thread of its own.


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Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 07:54
Well, what a great bunch of postings. Congradulations to all!

But, have any of you ever really examined the Wiki article concerning this battle (Manzikert)?

I know that some of you have a great disreagard towards a lot of the Wiki articles, but when you ever examine a Wiki article, I would suggest that you also examine their discussion page. Thus;

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

Just click upon "discussion" for more! Some of you have already read that I decry the battle as being in any way factual.

Regards,
Ron

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"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: Seko-
Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 08:11
alright, I'll bite for what it's worth. Tell us what your issue is.


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 08:48
My dear Seko, as I said, just go to the site and read the discussion page? It is all there, without me having to place it here.

I believe some of it was posted by my identical twin? chuckle!

Regards,
Ron

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"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: Seko-
Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 09:08
ok...seems we have a different kind of sense of humor.

What are we supposed to gather from the discussion board at wiki? If you won't make your point here than I won't bother looking elsewhere.


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 10:14
Of course it is only your loss!

Have you ever read any discussion boards at Wiki?

It is like some foods, if you don't try them then you'll never know if you like them!

But, you respectfully asked;

"Tell us what your issue is."

My issue is the account of the Battle of Manzikert (at least at Wiki)! I consider it as worthless, as can be found in the "discussion section".

It seems as usual, that some people here suspect me of leading them into a trap, and go out of the way to avoid any suggestion I might well make. But I lead no one into traps, the traps merely spring themselves!

And, just how could anyone as "stupid as me" ever fool one of you very experienced guys?

Do not be afraid?

I am certainly not afraid of ridicule. In fact, I welcome it. And, I now expect it! smile!

Regards, and respects to all,
Ron


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"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 10:26
Why don't you consider any of the primary accounts of the battle of Manzikert to be of any use?

They aren't the most detailed or reliable accounts of a battle, but as far as medieval ones go they tend to agree with eachother a lot and are written by contemporaries.


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 10:31
Dear Constantine XI, I can only ask of you what I asked of Seko, just go where I have asked/requested, and "you shall receive".

Just why should I take up band-width here when it is free at Wiki?

My greatest regards,

Ron

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"History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 11:26
I have personally read all of the primary source accounts of Manzikert, which I needed to do for university 4 years ago for one of my essays.

So I already have done what you have suggested and I don't agree with you. Try showing some evidence to back up your opinion. At the moment you appear unpersuasive and unevidenced.


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 13:01
Look CIX the crap he's pulling here is the identical detritus he's sought to insert into the Wiki article and, as to be expected, received the "put down". It's some more taurus foeces demanding the illogical and scatological be accepted as factual and such simply deserves little more than derision. I wonder when the Fomenko crowd will go after him for PLAGIARISM!
 
 


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Honi soit qui mal y pense


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 13:10
PS: There are no "discussion boards" on Wiki--
  • This is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#FORUM - - Click here to start a new topic .
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Signatures - ~~~~).
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:No_original_research - - Neutral point of view
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Verifiability -


  • Posted By: Seko-
    Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 13:32
    Thank you CXI and Doc.

    Opus, I suspect your identical may be you and if not you can correct me.
    Regarding one of your posts above I'll share the content that has any relevancy.

    As you say, "My issue is the account of the Battle of Manzikert (at least at Wiki)! I consider it as worthless, as can be found in the "discussion section".

    Being that this is our forum and we would like nothing better than to verify comments made here you can explain why you consider the explanation of (wiki or not) the Battle of Manzikert to be worthless.

    In one of your posts some time ago you wrote this:

    I do see in the name of "Alp Arslen", some distinct Norse elements, do you?

    If so, just why would anyone by that name be there? Was he a descendant of one of the Byzantine Guards?

    http://allempires.net/forum/topic124778_post57180.html#57180

    Maybe you can share what you mean by the battle being a worthless account. What does Alp Arslan translate into in English and why he was in Anatolia or Scandinavia according to your norse assumption.



    Posted By: eventhorizon
    Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 16:50
    That Ottoman was essentially a Muslim version of Byzantine, with a slight Oghuz Turkish elite diffusion spice thrown into the mix which caused the language to change, but the genetics to remain largely similar, seems believable to me.

    Europe's reservation for inclusion of Turkey, I believe is twofold:

    - a real linguistic affinity with Asiatic Turkics
    - Ottoman being the torch bearer of Islam for five and wider Turkics for 10 centuries, whereas Ottoman was the claimant of Caliphate who somehow got hold of a descendant of Abbasid Caliph from contemporary Egypt and also was the custodian of two holy cities/towns

    The change of luck in WW I due to Arab betrayal and the loss of Imperial dominion, leadership of Young Turks and later more pragmatic Kemalists turning Turkey's direction towards Europe, was able to modernize, westernize and secularize a large portion of the urban population, but the rural population in Anatolian heartland, remained largely untouched, who made a come back with soft Islamism of AKP.

    I believe Turkey knows its precarious position and is no longer waiting for or depending on a EU accession, which may or may not happen. A special partnership may be what it will end up with. This is not a surprise as no large civilization accepts encroachment by another. Hindu India is also not willing to accept subcontinent's Muslims back into their fold and are happy to make do with a lesser Muslim presence after the partition, regardless of economic and strategic benefits it would provide to reunite the subcontinent into a SAARC union for example.

    Sorry if this is off topic, mainly responding to Dr. G's comments in this regard.


    Posted By: The Hidden Face
    Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 17:13
    Eventhorizon, that's too off topic, I think. I mean, soft Islamism of AKP etc, nothing to do with the topic.

    As for the topic, I think Byzantines are also defenders of Asia from Europeans.(i.e Latins.)


    Posted By: The Hidden Face
    Date Posted: 20 May 2011 at 17:55
    Quote And now today, what do we have? Well the Turks assert, "Hey boys we are Europe so make room for us in the Union! The result: The political correctness of the EU Club is now strained to the max over those Muslims calling themselves "Europeans"!

    Dr. I am not sure what you are trying to say here. Technically, It's the Council of Europe that decides what counry is European and what country is not. So Turkey is a European country according to the Council of Europe, regardless of Turkey's entry into the EU. Furthermore, Turkey's reasoning to enter the EU has nothing to do with a willingness to prove Turkey's Europeanness. There are rather other political and economical factors playing a role on it.




    Posted By: drgonzaga
    Date Posted: 21 May 2011 at 01:33
    What I am subtly stating goes all the way back in the thread where I clearly denoted that the history of the Ottomans is part and parcel of the History of Europe, and has always been considered such within respected historical constructs. To maintain otherwise is unhistorical; hence contemporary palaver about the "otherness" of the Turkish state is little more than hypocritical appeals to contemporary "nuttiness".
     
    Despite the attempt to to derail the thread by speaking of the Seljuks--whom the Ottomans pretty well eliminated--we have to remember that the Ottomans "conquered" Anatolia from the Balkans and not otherwise!


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    Honi soit qui mal y pense


    Posted By: opuslola
    Date Posted: 21 May 2011 at 03:50
    In response to the comments concerning the Battle of Manzikert, as found above, I will offer what I wrote in the "discussion" area of the Wikipedia site.

    "A few corrections or explanations needed.

    In the body of this site, it was written; "500 Frankish and Norman mercenaries under Roussel de Bailleul", later it is found that certain Frankish and Norman mercenaries were dismissed for raiding the country side ("the Roman population also suffered some plundering by Romanos' Frankish mercenaries, whom he was forced to dismiss." So, back then just how did they determine or distinguish the Franks from the Normans? Were the Normans really English? And just how many of the 500 were dismissed, and just where would this group of 200 or 300, etc., go? Even later they are mentioned as being involved in the events, thus "Romanos ordered his general Joseph Tarchaneiotes to take some of the Roman troops and Varangians and accompany the Pechenegs and Franks to Khliat." Note above that the Normans are not mentioned but the dismissed Franks, are mentioned. Just what are the facts?96.19.156.227 (talk) 20:10, 19 May 2011 (UTC)Ronald L. Hughes

    Just whom was Bryennios, who commanded the left wing?In the article it is written; "The next day some foraging parties under Bryennios discovered the Seljuk army and were forced to retreat back to Manzikert. The Armenian general Basilakes was sent out with some cavalry, as Romanos did not believe this was Arslan's full army; the cavalry was destroyed and Basilakes taken prisoner. Romanos drew up his troops into formation and sent the left wing out under Bryennios, who was almost surrounded by the quickly approaching Turks and was forced to retreat once more. The Seljuk forces hid among the nearby hills for the night, making it nearly impossible for Romanos to send a counterattack.[6][17" It is even said that Bryennios survived the battle and later fought for the Romans. But, does not his Roman name betray him?Within Wikipedia your hyperlink takes us to his site, which says; "Bryennios or Bryennius (Greek: Βρυέννιος), feminine form Bryennissa (Βρυέννισσα), was the name of a noble Byzantine family which rose to prominence in the 11th and 12th centuries, mostly as military commanders. The etymology of the name is uncertain. The first members of the family appear in the 9th century. None are known for the 10th, but they reappear in the latter half of the 11th century, when they rose to high military commands and became associated with the Komnenian dynasty. Members of the family retained high positions through the 12th century, and are documented up to the 15th century." Considering the later day adventures of the "Brienne" family in both Western and Eastern Europe, perhaps the name "Bryennios" in Greek or Eastern Latin, could just as easily be spelled "Brienne?" Certainly Walter, or Jean de "Brienne", should raise some questions? See;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_de_Brienne

    And just how could I leave out this information also found within Wikipedia?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roussel_de_Bailleul It seems he actually tried to carve out a place for him and his troops within Anatolia? Was he with those troops who ravaged the countryside and were dismissed? Some reasonable explanation is needed? 96.19.156.227 (talk) 20:27, 19 May 2011 (UTC)Ronald L. Hughes"

    As you may note I was merely trying to get the Wiki site to improve its article by giving better explanations, etc. I also attempted to ascertain if there could have existed any relationship between the "Roman" name Bryennios, and the Frankish name Brienne? And, as well I also questioned the acts of Roussel_de_Bailleul, who, it was written, attempted to establish a Frankish or Norman estate or empire within Anatolia. This act in itself is both strange and earily similar to the so called "Celtic" kingdom know to have existed in Anatolia, in times past.

    I also feel that the questions I posed to the Wiki article are real questions, and one's that should be asked by any good historian, and not merely "detritus", as one poster here described it. But at least that poster actually took the time to look! Thanks!

    So, there it is Seko!

    I could also have taken the entire account into question, since it shows so little information that could really be considered as fact.

    Would not it have been easier for any of you to merely go to the Wiki site and read it yourselves as did drgonzaga?

    Regards,



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    "History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


    Posted By: gcle2003
    Date Posted: 21 May 2011 at 04:41
    There can be no reason whatsoever to think that '500 Frankish and Normal mercenaries' included anyone 'English', largely because there were still no 'English' five years after Hastings. What there were of course were Saxon refugees from the Conquest who scattered here, there and everywhere seekings service as mercenaries. In particular they formed part of the Varangian Guard in Byzantium, and the Guard were present at Manzikert. The Byzantine forces therefore are already known to have almost certainly incoporated Saxons from England.
     
    In any case there is no indcation there that the accounts of the battle are 'worthless'.
     
    Quote
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Runciman - Steven Runciman , in The History of the Crusades, noted that by the time of the Emperor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexios_Komnenos - Alexios Komnenos , the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine - Byzantine Varangian Guard was largely recruited from Anglo-Saxons and "others who had suffered at the hands of the Vikings and their cousins the Normans".
     - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varangian_guard - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varangian_guard
     
    I see no reason to suppose any link at all between Jean de Brienne and Nikephalos Bryennios. Jean of course was much later, but his family was well established as feudatories of France long before (and remained prominent at court for some centuries.) The family of course takes its name from the town and the town name's origin may be Celtic but there remains no reason to link it with anyone in the Balkans or Anatolia.  


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    Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

    Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.



    Posted By: Seko-
    Date Posted: 21 May 2011 at 05:43
    Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

    In response to the comments concerning the Battle of Manzikert, as found above, I will offer what I wrote in the "discussion" area of the Wikipedia site.

    "A few corrections or explanations needed.

    In the body of this site, it was written; "500 Frankish and Norman mercenaries under Roussel de Bailleul", later it is found that certain Frankish and Norman mercenaries were dismissed for raiding the country side ("the Roman population also suffered some plundering by Romanos' Frankish mercenaries, whom he was forced to dismiss." So, back then just how did they determine or distinguish the Franks from the Normans? Were the Normans really English? And just how many of the 500 were dismissed, and just where would this group of 200 or 300, etc., go? Even later they are mentioned as being involved in the events, thus "Romanos ordered his general Joseph Tarchaneiotes to take some of the Roman troops and Varangians and accompany the Pechenegs and Franks to Khliat." Note above that the Normans are not mentioned but the dismissed Franks, are mentioned. Just what are the facts?96.19.156.227 (talk) 20:10, 19 May 2011 (UTC)Ronald L. Hughes


    Romanos Diogenes's army was a cosmopolitan lot. Normans (Viking conquerers mixed with local Frankish, Gualish) from northern France became mercenaries of the Eastern Romans. Gibbon wrote that their leader was Ursel of Baliol. The Baliols, or Bailleuls, of France were eventually to become English nobles and later progenitors of Scottish kings.

    Franks (germans) as you know had been dealing with the adventurous Vikings in her territories. In 911 Charles III, king of the Franks gave Rollo, leader of a group of Danish adventurers, the newly created Duchy of Normandy (the land of the north men). He hoped that these Viking poachers would turn gamekeepers and guard the strategic NW approach to the ILe de France against other adventurers. Rollo and his men were the first Normans. This makes both Franks and Normans a separate identity.

    You are trying to make much significance out of the Frankish mercenaries be it one umbrella of Normans and Franks or separate units for each. Either way they were under their own commander, Baliol.

    The Normans were not English in 1071.

     General Tarchaneiotes was an Eastern Roman with Turkish heritage. He was not involved in the battle at Malazgirt for he had retreated, unbeknownst to Romanos, to the west and safely to Constantinople.

    Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:




    Just whom was Bryennios, who commanded the left wing?In the article it is written; "The next day some foraging parties under Bryennios discovered the Seljuk army and were forced to retreat back to Manzikert. The Armenian general Basilakes was sent out with some cavalry, as Romanos did not believe this was Arslan's full army; the cavalry was destroyed and Basilakes taken prisoner. Romanos drew up his troops into formation and sent the left wing out under Bryennios, who was almost surrounded by the quickly approaching Turks and was forced to retreat once more. The Seljuk forces hid among the nearby hills for the night, making it nearly impossible for Romanos to send a counterattack.[6][17" It is even said that Bryennios survived the battle and later fought for the Romans. But, does not his Roman name betray him?Within Wikipedia your hyperlink takes us to his site, which says; "Bryennios or Bryennius (Greek: Βρυέννιος), feminine form Bryennissa (Βρυέννισσα), was the name of a noble Byzantine family which rose to prominence in the 11th and 12th centuries, mostly as military commanders. The etymology of the name is uncertain. The first members of the family appear in the 9th century. None are known for the 10th, but they reappear in the latter half of the 11th century, when they rose to high military commands and became associated with the Komnenian dynasty. Members of the family retained high positions through the 12th century, and are documented up to the 15th century." Considering the later day adventures of the "Brienne" family in both Western and Eastern Europe, perhaps the name "Bryennios" in Greek or Eastern Latin, could just as easily be spelled "Brienne?" Certainly Walter, or Jean de "Brienne", should raise some questions? See;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_de_Brienne



     Nicephorus Bryennius was in charge of the Roman west tagmata during the first day of battle. The next day Romanos was determined to draw the Seljuk's into a general engagement, Romanus drew up all his forces for battle.  Romanus followed textbook strategic planning; he commanded the centre with the Varangian guard and a large body of mercenaries.  Bryennius commanded the left wing; Theodore Alyates commanded the right wing.  Turkish and Uz auxiliaries provided a light cavalry screened on each wing.  A reserve force under Andronicus Ducas followed a discrete distance behind the main column.

    The Seljuk army formed a broad crescent in front of the Byzantine Roman position.  Alp Arlsan commanded from a nearby hilltop where he could survey the field of battle.

    Romanus initiated the battle by beginning a slow advance.  The Seljuks poured arrows into the Byzantine ranks and retired as they advanced.  Skirmishing occurred between the wings of both armies but neither side gained any advantage.  Towards dusk, Romanus called a halt to the advance and began an orderly withdrawal back to the camp.  As the Byzantines began to reverse direction the Seljuks launched a fierce attack against the wings.  The Byzantine right wing, which had been particularly hard pressed during the advance, broke in confusion.  At this point the reserve force, under Andronicus Ducas, should have come to the aid of the emperor but instead turned and withdrew from the field, sparking a general rout.  The left wing under Nicephorus Bryennius fought its way clear, but the centre, including Romanus was overwhelmed and captured.
    http://www.deremilitari.org/resources/articles/markham.htm

    For you to make a big bahoo over
    Bryennius is weird since he lived to fight on the second day. Nicephorus Basilakes was captured.

    Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:



    And just how could I leave out this information also found within Wikipedia?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roussel_de_Bailleul It seems he actually tried to carve out a place for him and his troops within Anatolia? Was he with those troops who ravaged the countryside and were dismissed? Some reasonable explanation is needed? 96.19.156.227 (talk) 20:27, 19 May 2011 (UTC)Ronald L. Hughes"


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

    He was one of the many who deserted and did not join the battle. Later he did carve out some land for himself while under imperial service.

    Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:


    As you may note I was merely trying to get the Wiki site to improve its article by giving better explanations, etc. I also attempted to ascertain if there could have existed any relationship between the "Roman" name Bryennios, and the Frankish name Brienne? And, as well I also questioned the acts of Roussel_de_Bailleul, who, it was written, attempted to establish a Frankish or Norman estate or empire within Anatolia. This act in itself is both strange and earily similar to the so called "Celtic" kingdom know to have existed in Anatolia, in times past.

    Are you taking coincidence as an explanation for your convoluted, later-day fact again Opus?
    Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:


    I also feel that the questions I posed to the Wiki article are real questions, and one's that should be asked by any good historian, and not merely "detritus", as one poster here described it. But at least that poster actually took the time to look! Thanks!

    Why should I look when I asked you to take time and explain your story here? I'm glad you complied. Are you as good a historian as you intend on being, or are you attempting to Fomenkonize everything?

    Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:


    So, there it is Seko!

    I could also have taken the entire account into question, since it shows so little information that could really be considered as fact.



    Do take the entire account into question. Looks like you already have. No sweat off of history's back. In fact there was no battle. There are no such people as Diogenes and Alp Arslan and Turks never inhabited Anatolia. Its all a myth. A suberterfuge from the illuminati.
    Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:


    Would not it have been easier for any of you to merely go to the Wiki site and read it yourselves as did drgonzaga?

    No! I like to see real effort and legwork from our members.
    Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:


    Regards,



    Regards!


    Posted By: opuslola
    Date Posted: 21 May 2011 at 11:53
    Thanks Seko!
    Perhaps then, I should lay prostrate at your feet? (I would hate to see any of you in power have to do any foot-work?)

    But, I shall not!

    I would rather suggest some better words to disloge my questions directed towards Wikipedia?

    But, of course, either of us could well be incorrect?

    Oh! I am sorry, it seems that only I could be incorrect!

    Pardon!

    Regards,

    -------------
    "History, a distillation of rumour."-Thomas Carlyle

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


    Posted By: Seko-
    Date Posted: 21 May 2011 at 13:32
    as your are thinking up a storm how about answering my questions from yesterday. You can find them a few posts up above. And quit feeling sorry for yourself. Its unbecoming of a scholar as you.


    Posted By: Basil Bulgarktonos
    Date Posted: 11 Jul 2012 at 07:30
    The Byzantines did protect europe from the arabs in the east, not from the  love of the west but because in order to reach europe from the east they would have to conquer byzantine lands.  When the ottomans finally conquered europe, the west was strong enough to deal with them. On the other hand, medieavel europeans did manage to defeat arabs; Karl Martell "the Hammer", the crusades, reconquista, so i guess we will never know.  But the byzantines also helped defend the culture and knowledge of the ancient world.  When europe sank into the dark ages, byzantine scholars still learned the works of Aristotle and Socrates.  when the Empire finally fell in 1453, many scholars ran to Italy and helped to start the renissance.

    -------------
    "This agglomeration which was called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire" (Voltaire)


    Posted By: Buerebista 12
    Date Posted: 11 Jan 2013 at 05:52
    I agree with  Basil Bulgaroktonos in what the Eastern Roman Empire was in the culture, social and also religious  of the medieval Europe and I have to say that only after the year 602AC, when the greeks have the leaderships in Empire taken, the state become the Byzantine Empire, with all that happened after

    -------------
    Mind over matter


    Posted By: CogitoErgoSum
    Date Posted: 06 Feb 2013 at 15:36
    The Byzantines paved the way for the Muslims conquest. Justinian enforced his religious laws, which caused the Jews and Christians to hate him, which caused them to convert to Islam. 


    Posted By: Guests
    Date Posted: 13 Feb 2013 at 12:54

    Byzantium could be seen as defending Europe, in that blocking the advance of foreign nations united by Islam allowed Europeans to develop without being swallowed up by the deluge of the Islamic tide of conquest.

    But you can bet that the Byzantines didn't do what they did for Europe, they did it to preserve their own nation. In this endeavour they were ultimately unsuccessful. The nation state, its language, religion and the historical continuity which defined it were all swept aside and replaced by something radically different. In contrast to European states such as Scotland or France.
     
    Byzantium likely did not see itself as the defenders of Europe in the same way that Habsburg Spain did in the 16th century. Philip II, most Catholic of kings, firmly believed that it was his responsibility to marshall the ships and soldiers of his empire to thwart the Ottoman ambitions in the central Mediterranean sea.
     
    Alexius I wanted European mercenaries to help him regain national territory, and baulked at the notion of representing any form of leadership for any supra-national Christendom when the Crusaders arrived instead.
     
    For Byzantium the Islamic invasions were simply yet another in a long line of foreign, heathen/pagan/heretic/infidel/schismatic, non-Greek/Romans. Defending themselves against these opponents was simply business as usual for the Byzantine emperor.


    Posted By: ArthursArmory
    Date Posted: 07 Feb 2014 at 09:32
    Constantinople was situated in the best and worst possible place. Able to take advance of trade along hte Silk Road and ideal port conditions made Constantinople extremely powerful. They also sat on the edge of two conflicting ideologies and therefor had to protect the borders of Europe

    -------------
    Sports guy, entrepreneur, and medieval history buff



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