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Greatest Emperor (of Byzantium)

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Poll Question: Who was the Greatest Emperor? (364-1453)
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
55 [35.71%]
16 [10.39%]
1 [0.65%]
3 [1.95%]
3 [1.95%]
57 [37.01%]
1 [0.65%]
1 [0.65%]
4 [2.60%]
13 [8.44%]
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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Greatest Emperor (of Byzantium)
    Posted: 03-Jun-2005 at 01:19
Originally posted by eaglecap

Another great warrior Emporer was Alexius Komnena.



Komnena ????
He wasn't a hermaphrodite or a transsexual by my knowledge!
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Alexios Komnenos, but Anna Komnena. Get it?
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  Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jun-2005 at 01:47
Komnena ????
He wasn't a hermaphrodite or a transsexual by my knowledge!
Komnenos Please!
Alexios Komnenos, but Anna Komnena. Get it?[/QUOTE]
I forget feminine and masculine nouns in the Greek language. It is an easy mistake to make when you speak and write a language with no feminine or masculine nouns.

I don't see any mention in the article about him being a transsexual or hermaphrodite and as far as I know hermaphrodtites are sterile.

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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jun-2005 at 05:27
Originally posted by eaglecap

I forget feminine and masculine nouns in the Greek language. It is an easy mistake to make when you speak and write a language with no feminine or masculine nouns.

I don't see any mention in the article about him being a transsexual or hermaphrodite and as far as I know hermaphrodtites are sterile.



Sorry eaglecap, I just couldn't help it, it was seven o'clock in the morning and my teacher's mentality got the better of me! And of course I have a family interest in the matter.
The " hermaphrodite" bit was just "irony", a concept widely used in Europe.
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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jun-2005 at 11:15

 Its pretty hard to choose really my namesake was a pretty excellent Emperor, but his reign is overshadowed by the Arab invasions, even though I still admire the man.

 I think Alexius I should have had a spot in the poll, without his leadership the empire would have almost certainly have collapsed alot sooner than it did.

 Usually id say Justinian, but even though I remember him for Hagia Sophia etc, what I best remember him for is the reconquests of the west which was really more down to Belisarius.

 Hmmm oh ill stay with Justinian.

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  Quote giani_82 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Jun-2005 at 21:46
Justinian's rule pretty much formed the existence of the Byzantine empire
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jun-2005 at 01:33
He definitely cast a long shadow over it. I would say Justinian and Heraclius in equal measure created the Byzantine state which effectively took shape from the 7th century onwards. Justinian played the role of exhausting it to the point it was in need of reform (perhaps the best example ever that a universalist Roman state was no longer viable). While Heraclius was the man whose task it was to organise the exhausted state in order to cope with the new world order.
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  Quote Alparslan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jun-2005 at 05:13

 

What is the importance of Basil "the Bulgar slayer"?

Because he blinded thousands of Bulgars or massacring huge Bulgarian populations? What a hero!!!

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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jun-2005 at 08:48
Originally posted by Alparslan

What is the importance of Basil "the Bulgar slayer"?

Because he blinded thousands of Bulgars or massacring huge Bulgarian populations? What a hero!!!

 The account that 14,000 Bulgars were blinded except for 1 in 100 who lost only one eye is almost certainly a gross exaggeration, I personally dont take accounts like this that describe mass barbarity as fact, ive read enough accounts of enough wars to show that accounts from 1000 years ago and earlier are unreliable when it comes to this kind of thing, at best.

 Basil may have been brutal in his wars against the Bulgars, but the Bulgars are hardly what I would call saints themselves, after the conquest he treated the Bulgars justly and fairly.

 For the first time since the Slavic incursions the entire Balkan peninsula was in the hands of Byzantium again, for the first time in 2 centuries Armenia was part of the empire, much of Syria was recovered from the Arabs, parts of southern Italy were recovered from the Normans, and he was even planning the recovery of Sicily just before he died. Overall the empire reached a height it hadnt reached since Justinian, only due to the fact he had no heir were his achievements largely destroyed by incompetant and weak Emperors after him.

 I think his accomplishments earn him the right to be remembered for more than just being the Bulgar-Slayer.

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  Quote dorian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jun-2005 at 19:26
Well, I don't know who is the Greatest Emperor but I read about the 7th century and I think that Heraclius was one of the most important Emperors. His strategy was so inspiring and he managed to face up the Persians and the Arabs and reclaim the Byzantine Empire in a very difficult period for the Byzantines.
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  Quote Cyprus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jul-2005 at 03:03
I am strongly interested in what do turks thing about Byzantin empire - and what they exactly know about it?
because it is no surprise that almost everybody is able to speak about Justinian and perhaps about Basileos II. but noeone know anythink about Konstantin XI or other sons of Manuel II. such as Andronikos, Demetrios or Theodoros - and of course Thomas.
So if there is someone from Turkey I would by gratefull for your reply.
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  Quote Cyprus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jul-2005 at 03:05
Originally posted by Alparslan


What is the importance of Basil "the Bulgar slayer"?


Because he blinded thousands of Bulgars or massacring huge Bulgarian populations? What a hero!!!



no, he just won the war and destried his enemies - taht was normal at that time - he was real hero.
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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jul-2005 at 03:16
Originally posted by Cyprus

I am strongly interested in what do turks thing about Byzantin empire - and what they exactly know about it?
because it is no surprise that almost everybody is able to speak about Justinian and perhaps about Basileos II. but noeone know anythink about Konstantin XI or other sons of Manuel II. such as Andronikos, Demetrios or Theodoros - and of course Thomas.
So if there is someone from Turkey I would by gratefull for your reply.


Well, I'm not from Turkey, not yet anyway, but I can assure you that lots of people here knows lots of things about Constantine XI Dragas and his family. We have discussed him many times. In fact there is a strong community of people, from all over the world inclusive Turkey, obsessed or knowledgeable about the Byzantine Empire on AE, as you can find out if you look around a bit, especially in the Medieval forum!
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  Quote Perseas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2005 at 12:50
Originally posted by Alparslan

What is the importance of Basil "the Bulgar slayer"?

Because he blinded thousands of Bulgars or massacring huge Bulgarian populations? What a hero!!!

The importance of Basil II Bulgaroktonos is widely acknowledged by those who cared to study his life.  In addition to what Heraclius wrote, he had to confront except foreign incursions and also internal disputes who were threatening the empire. The revolts of Bardas Skliros and a little later, of Bardas Phokas were significant parts of his reign and he managed to be successful in their repressions.

In his foreign affairs, Basil wasnt successful only with Bulgars but in the eastern front he managed to retake lands from his rivals Fatimids redefining a Byzantine east that had before him been limited to the Anatolian plateau. The same result he had in the north front where his alliance with Vladimir of Kiev was rather effective from many perspectives, most notably is the acceptance of Christianity which had the very practical impact of strengthening and extending long-standing strategic, religious and commercial ties between the Byzantines and Russians. He wasnt only imposing imperial authority on his frontiers and his neighbours with warfare but also with well-concieved diplomacy.

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Dec-2005 at 12:57
Originally posted by Rebelsoul

 

Heraclius was Armenian? Now that's funny, all sources give him as Greek by his father (I haven't seen anything about his mother though, his father was the offspring of a very well known Greek family)


i don't think we'll ever really know for sure, but there is a very good source that claims that heraclius was not only an armenian, but an arsacid! ready?

sebeos.

what was he doing as the exarch of carthage? well, if you'll recall, this area of the empire was only recently reconquered by justinian. the vandals, of course, were in control there for about a hundred years before justinian. the idea is that heraclius' family comes from an armenian military family that was stationed in the area after the reconquest, perhaps in descent from a high ranking military commander that may have been hanging off the arsacid tree.

however, it is often overlooked that when heraclius defeated the persians he assumed their kingship. you never see it on any maps or anything, and it's very briefly glossed over in the history books, but rome actually controlled the territory as far as the indus for a very brief period between the persian defeat and the arab attack. the last persian "kings" were actually roman governors. so, it could very well be that sebeos (or pseudo-sebeos. i can't recall.) was recording some kind of official propaganda designed to justify heraclius' title of "king of persia, king of kings".

as for him being greek, well, it's the same thing. the greek sources have him as a greek....he was the emperor of the greeks, of course they say he was greek. if he was greek, what was he doing in carthage?

cappadocia was populated mostly by cappadocians, who were an indo-european people of the anatolian persuasion.  they spoke persian in the persian period, greek in the first greek period, latin in the roman period, greek again later on and today most cappadocians speak turkish, although there used to be an armenian minority.

best roman emperor? i'm going to echo the sentiment for julian, although he didn't rule long enough to leave much of a legacy. i also really like one of the constantines, the one that was harshly iconoclast and forced the monks to marry.......and zeno, i think, is widely under-appreciated.

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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Dec-2005 at 17:37
Originally posted by inri


best roman emperor? i'm going to echo the sentiment for julian, although he didn't rule long enough to leave much of a legacy. i also really like one of the constantines, the one that was harshly iconoclast and forced the monks to marry.......and zeno, i think, is widely under-appreciated.

The Emperor you are thinking of is Constantine V. I thought he was a good Basilaeos to start with, but over time my appreciation of him has steadily grown. He ruled the Byzantine state was a steady hand at a period of its greatest weakness for nearly 40 years when it was beset with severe internal problems and external threats. His aim was to keep the Arabs at bay, in which he pretty largely succeeded, while destroying the Bulgar nation, which he came close to succeeding in doing. Here was a practical man, a man who could see that Byzantines needed to fight, grow crops, rebuild cities and trade - rather than live contemplative lives as monks and produce no children. Inheriting a religious controversy which he persued (perhaps too strongly), it is testament to the man's substantial capabilities that inspite of every imaginable libel thrown at him by his iconodule enemies post-mortem that in the eyes of a biased history he is still a capable and strong Emperor. His military campaigns are further proof of the man's strokes of brilliance, the Battle of Anchialus strikes me as being typical of the Emperor's magnificent pincer fights. In 13 campaigns against the Bulgars, he won each one. There was only one exception, the only campaign in which the Emperor could not personally be present.

After writing all that, I feel fairly inspired. I may just write a biography of him for the AE info vaults.

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  Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2005 at 21:07
I thought about this and went with my namesake, Justinian.  While he did harm to the empire through the evaporating of the treasury because of the conquests of unprofitable land like Italy, his triumphs are to great. Hagia Sophia is a masterpiece of architecture and his law code is the basis for multiple countries.
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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Dec-2005 at 23:09

 The land Justinian sought to conquer was actually wealthy, it was just the ravages of the wars that left especially Italy bare, I doubt Justinian believed the campaign in Italy to take so long and cost so much, had the conquest gone to plan then Italy would of been an excellent addition to the empire and North Africa etc was well worth the expense.

 Justinian did have his faults obviously, he did severely deplete the treasury but he wasnt helped much by fate, the plague absolutely crippled the manpower of the empire, less people means less taxpayers and also at the worst possible time less soldiers. The empire was surrounded by many fierce enemies that had to be bought off, the Avars and Persians being the biggest whilst the west was reconquered.  

 Alot of money was well spent on building programmes throughout the empire which left it much more spectacular than he had found it the jewel in the crown being Hagia Sophia. Codifying the laws aswell was a brillaint achievement.

 Justinians usually criticised for going to far and overstretching the empires resources, I always think that i'd rather he attempted to much than to little. Some people seem to forget despite Justinians obvious faults everything he did was what he thought were in the best interests of his empire. I think he definately deserves the title of "the great".



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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Dec-2005 at 04:17
 Justinian (527-565 AD) the greatest of them all...well who is the worst Byzantine Emperor?? do you agree if its Constantine XI?
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  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Dec-2005 at 05:31
Originally posted by Byzan

 Justinian (527-565 AD) the greatest of them all...well who is the worst Byzantine Emperor?? do you agree if its Constantine XI?


Yes, I stuffed up big time in the Siege of 1453. I practically had victory dropped into my lap, yet through sheer personal vice I threw it all away.........lol

Seriously now, Constantine XI is amongst the most heroic and capable of Byzantine Emperors, the fact that he was the last is the fault of his predecessors.
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  Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Dec-2005 at 09:38

 I see no reason why Constantine XI could be considered the worst Emperor, worse than Phocas?  he couldnt of been as bad as Phocas if he had tried.

 

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