When I first came across the Byzantine Empire in books I assumed that it was pronounced as it was spelled (i.e. bih-zan-tin or baɪ zən tɪn in IPA). However I have since heard many people, including history academics, choosing to exclusively pronounce it quite differently: as biz-in-teen.
This doesn't make a huge amount of sense to me, as the capital (Constantinople) has often been referred to as Byzantium (such as in the famous WB Yeats Poem). How would this even be pronounced? biz-in-te-e-um?
Looking at the etymology of the word sheds little light for me: bȳzantīnus. I am assuming this is Geek (but I'm afraid Greek is Greek to me)
Any sources I could find which describe how to pronounce Byzantine list both methods (usually placing baɪ-zən-tɪn second).
Notwithstanding common contemporary parlance, which method is likely to be the most historically accurate reflection of how denizens of the Byzantine Empire would have referred to themselves (other than as Romans of course)?