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36

Another simple but important reason besides economic changes starting at this time is the spread of printing technique. A scientific community really only works when scholars can cite each other and share their ideas in a cheap and fast way, thats why internet boosted scientific progress in our time. If you study the link, the Gutenberg printing technique ...


29

Religion is a great cultural differentiator. People have been killing each other for many millenia, with a preference for targeting other people who belong to a distinct "culture", a rather loose term. From the outside, the god(s) people worship are quite easy to work out; if they are not the same as yours, then these people are "foreigners". Historically, ...


25

The biggest difference between the military threats of the Goths and the Huns compared to Persia was the migratory nature of the former versus the centralised (and thus spatially constrained) government of the latter. Rome and Persia had sparred against each other in the mesopotamian region for centuries, but, though one or the other might gain ascendancy, ...


25

I don't think it is possible to idenitify a single point in history as beginning the "slope toward the end". Such thinking results from the simplistic model of an empire's history as consisting of two segements: "growth" and "decline". In reality, the history of the Byzantine empire is a complex sequence of alternating growth and decline. I'd say that the ...


24

It did exist but no one is sure what it was. The making of such was split between different orders and each only knew how to make the next step in the chain. It was delivered via tubes and could be "thrown" towards the enemy. Some of those were man-portable, other were ship bound. Sometimes, you could find it in jars. The best guess is that it was a ...


22

The fourth crusade was the turning point. The crusade was high-jacked by Venice to take revenge on the Byzantines for past deeds: imprisonments, break of contract, etc... The crusade was aimed to land in Egypt originally, as it was seen as the main threat to taking Jerusalem back. However, since the crusaders could not pay for the large Venetian feet, it ...


22

There are many reasons, and I'm going to present the materialistic one championed by the Marxists (collective thud as the audience of History.SE falls off their chairs and faints). One of the requirements for having scientific progress is economic - you need enough surplus to enable the resources devoted to scholarship. This was enabled at the beginning of ...


22

I'm afraid any answer to this question must begin by considering what is understood to be the 'Renaissance' and the 'Scientific Revolution'. And that consideration, in turn, inevitably reveals a number of historiographical difficulties. The first of these is that neither of these were 'events', at least, not in the sense of a war or an assassination. They ...


13

I'm going to add another answer specifically to address a separate part of your question: why didn't the same thing happen in Islamic world? The answer is plausibly Al-Ghazali. Quoting from Wikipedia: Others have cited his movement from science to faith as a detriment to Islamic scientific progress (source: Sawwaf, A. (1962) al-Ghazali: Etude sur la ...


13

I wrote an essay on him last year, and didn't see a single reference to him dying of unnatural causes in any of the following works: Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders 376-814: Volume 3: The Ostrogothic Invasion 476-535 (New York: Russel & Russel, 1880-1889) S. J. B. Barnish, Cassiodorus: Variae, (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1992), 90-93 Mark ...


12

Lars Brownworth discusses the survival of the Eastern Empire and by tangent the fall of the West in "Twelve Byzantine Rulers" in Episode 5: Zeno. His book by the same name presumably discusses the same. The podcast discusses the general situation at the time of the various emperors essentially being puppets of barbarian generals and the like. The fall of the ...


11

Partly it's because you are reading the history books of those countries and a certain amount is spin. Islamic countries were the principle source of science between the Romans/Greeks and the 16C - inconvenient if you are a christian country and especially if you are a university that is essentially a religious institution. So you claim that these Arabs ...


11

They looked in England, but nothing came of it. During the Greek War of Independence, a commission investigated Cornwall, England for descendants of the Palaiologan dynasty. Supposedly, a certain Theodore Palaiologos of Pesaro in Italy died there in 1636. The Ferdinando Palaiologos mentioned in the question was one of his sons, and he died at Barbados on 3 ...


10

Long lasted wars between Sassanians and Byzantine empire had made cripple armed forces of both of them and made their borders vulnerable. Lakhmids were acting as a buffer state between nomad Arabs and Sassanians. but Khosrow II made them into neutral force practically. the practice made Iran's southern border more vulnerable even more. Kavadh II massacred a ...


9

Byzantine Empire was not formally a hereditary monarchy. There was no law which regulated inheritance in Byzantine Empire. Nevertheless the offsprings of the imperial family sold the right to claim the throne to Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, Spanish monarchs. This was inherited by Charles V, Holy Roman emperor. Yet he never styled himself a ...


9

In addition to Anixx's answer, check out Andreas Palaiologos - the oldest newphew of Constantine (the last emperor). Looks like he sold his "rights" to the Byzantine throne twice, both to France and Spain. And his younger brother sold them to... gasp... the Ottomans. Well, they had to get some money for high living. Which brings us to another aspect: Mehmed ...


9

Andrew Wheatcroft's The Enemy at the Gate: Habsburgs, Ottomans, and the Battle for Europe contains the argument that both the Habsburg Empire (in the West) and the Ottoman Empire (in the East) considered themselves to be successors of the Roman Empire by the 17th century. Wheatcroft points out that both empires ascended almost in parallel: Frederick III ...


8

Greek fire was used by the Byzantines, often on their war boats, as an incendiary to enemy vessels. The formula likely consisted of some mixture of naptha, sulfur, and niter among other compounds. This was basically a Byzantine napalm and was effective at sea because the fire could continue to burn (due to the underlying subtances being highly flammable and ...


8

It seems that the diminshing use of the Roman three-name practice (which includes the cognomen as the 3rd name) was primarily due to the influence of early Christian & Greek "naming" traditions. Personal Names of the Aristocracy in the Roman Empire During the Later Byzantine Era ... Personal names in the Byzantine era of the Roman Empire ...


8

There was a certain amount of natural antagonism between the west and the Byzantines. Part of this was religious: They belonged to different sects of Christianity, and thus often viewed each other as little better than heretics or Muslims. Another part was commercial. What little commerce the west had was in direct competition with the Byzantines, whose ...


8

Unlike a city wall, that has people always around it to man and guard it, a free standing border wall tends to get stripped of manpower whenever the attention of the state building it falters. An unmanned wall isn't hard to get around, or over. I've even read that some believe the main task of these border fences is less to hold invaders out, than to keep ...


7

A prior article mentions the empire of Justinian (and Leo, by extension), but I would argue that these are 'Roman' empires which are terminated by the eruption of Islam over much of the East Roman Empire. This was a pretty traumatic event which led to some serious results. Among them, the abandonment of Latin, abandonment (with some exceptions) of universal ...


7

Different languages have different sounds that flow easily in that language. Names from another language are bound to be slightly mis-pronounced, especially if the new language doesn't have the original sounds easily available. A great example of this is Chinese (Mandarin), which has its set of syllables, and isn't built to handle new ones. When I was in ...


7

As Olybrius' wiki notes, he was the grandson and great-grandson of emperors and a member of the Anicia bloodline. Perhaps this was done for the same reason Olybrius was married to his niece: Anastasius wanted to strengthen his rule through a bond with the House of Theodosius through this marriage. (Furthermore, in 512, the citizens of Constantinople ...


7

You are right, the name Hellenes means “pagans” in the New Testament, and was consequently abandoned by Greek Christians, who preferred to call themselves “Romans”. The term Hellene was revived by the Greek philosopher Giorgios Gemistos Plethon in the 15th century as part of his endeavour to replace Christianity by the “Religion of the Hellenes”. It was ...


6

There are several answers to that question; various authors have favoured one or another, but it is probable that the fall of the Western Roman Empire was due to their combination. From a geostrategic point of view, the stability of the Roman Empire was guaranteed by the legions: strong but not numerous forces, able to intervene in many places thanks to ...


6

The Renaissance happened in the Byzantine empire as well, but it was interrupted by the fall of Constantinople. Anyway, Italy remained the most developed and scientifically advanced country throughout the Middle Ages. That is, it was the most scientifically advanced from the times of the Roman empire. It is completely incorrect to claim that the Muslim ...


6

Because they were too busy trying to keep the Arabs from capturing Constantinople (in the 700s) and forcing them out of Anatolia (after that). If they had managed that, I'm sure it would have gotten on the agenda. But the Islamic forces remained too strong.


6

As @Mark points out, the Empire was too large to be efficiently managed from a single central point in the 4th century: at that time, the complete area consisted of provinciae, full of Roman citizens who had to be protected (no client state to serve as buffer), and the external borders were under high demographic pressure ("barbarians" on the other side of ...


6

Muslim trader presence certainly existed in the Byzantine Empire. I'd split my answer into three parts: Documented Facts: Quoting from the main source: Muslim presence in the Eastern Roman Empire can be traced back to very foundation of Islam in the 7th century but at some later point the Muslims were regarded as a quasi community and appropriate ...



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