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Friday, 20 December 2013

Byzantium on BBC4

The third episode of this interesting programme on Byzantium or Istanbul as the title says was quite interesting although on balance I preferred the one done by Ragi Omar.

The new documentary was very careful about what key words to use and it had a complex way of explaining historical events. The one contradiction that comes out of the whole series was the one to do with whether Byzantium was Greek. So the presenter would throw in comments like 'The Greek Prince Michael would come back and claim his throne'' there were other instances where he also tried to explain that Byzantium was in fact a Greek empire. They spoke Greek, they were ( still are ) Greek Orthodox and at least the last two dynasties which lasted more than 350 years  ( The Paleologos being the final one ) were Greeks who came from the South of Greece. Constantine the 11th was the Prince of Mystra in the Peloponnese. So this total evasion of the truth is somewhat disturbing? They were Greek they spoke Greek they were and still are Greek Orthodox but some commentators are still obsessed with going on about the Roman Empire. Byzantium after the schism in 1260 was no longer Roman in fact anything Roman was outlawed?? And the Latins, many of them anyway, were thrown out? How Roman is that?

So although this was a good attempt to show a city it failed to cover the real issue of what was Byzantium. A similar programme on England would perhaps conclude that the English are Normans? The fact that the Normans were assimilated and became English would never be questioned but the Greeks assimilating and creating a Byzantine civilisation is being ignored?? Shame on the historians who fail to explain this! There are in fact more Byzantine flags being flown in Greece and Cyprus that the modern Greek flag. Modern Greece is what remained of Byzantium so perhaps the argument should be that Greece is in fact Byzantium. A trip to Hellenic territories will show anyone how Byzantine this country still is.



nick venedi






nick venedi

nick venedi

nick venedi

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