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Friday, 20 December 2013

Simon Montefiore

Great documentary by Simon Montefiore on Istanbul and the Byzantine empire but he could have done a bit more research on the subject and avoid mixing up a few concepts? Perhaps it all goes wrong when you rely on those who claim to be historians to get your facts. It is a well known fact that some of these people put their own spin and interpretations on what constitutes history.

Saying all of that I don't want to be negative. He managed to cover a vast subject area and maybe a 3 part series does not give one enough time to deal with the debate as to whether Byzantium was Greek or not. He did, however, and on a few occasions manage to make references to the strong link between Hellenism and Byzantium.

I don't blame Simon Montesori for not taking sides on the debate but if the Byzantines spoke Greek, were Greek Orthodox, and their emperors came from mainland Greece then they were more or less Greek? Or were they Croatian or perhaps Swedish? Historians will always disagree with each other and offer different interpretations but SM did a reasonably good job covering such an interesting subject. The breaking point with the Roman past came at the schism in 1250 anything Latin was expelled. My own opinion is that the country called modern Greece today is in fact more Byzantine than anything else. The Byzantine flag is flown in more villages and buildings across Greece than the modern Greek flag. The 'Akathistos Ymnos' which starts on the 25 March every year and goes on for 5 weeks in remembrance of the Virgin Mary who saved Constantinople from invasion is the biggest event in the Hellenic calendar so I am saying what is known as modern Greece should in fact be the continuation of Byzantium.


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