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78

Most people at the time did not think the Roman Empire had fallen -- it's only from five hundred or a thousand years later that we can conclude that it did. Both points of view are reasonable. What happened around 476 is that the Western part of the Roman Empire was lost to central control. This was not the first time it had happened -- consider the Gallic ...


49

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 ...


47

The Early Middle Ages were not kind to Rome, and the long destructive war to recapture it didn't help things. By the time the dust settled, Rome had practically ceased to exist as a major city, with population estimates ranging from less than 50,000, to a tenth that* The rest of the peninsula didn't do much better. According to McEvedy and Jones, Italy was ...


43

No, they did not try to move their capital to Rome, but the Emperor Heraclius at one point--around 620 or so when the war against Persia was going very badly--did consider moving the capital even farther west to Carthage (not quite as strange as it sounds since his father had been exarch of Africa and it had been the power base from which he had seized the ...


41

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 ...


41

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, ...


34

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, ...


30

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 ...


29

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 ...


28

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 ...


26

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 ...


26

Going beyond E.B. or Wikipedia: The official website of the Hagia Sophia Museum states The first church [at the H.S. site] was constructed by Emperor Konstantios [i.e. Constantine's son] (337-361) in 360. The first church was covered with a wooden roof and expanded vertically (basilica) yet was burned down after the public riot that took place in 404 ...


22

I did not watch the YouTube video, but based on your description, it seems to be presenting a garbled account of history. Constantine XI did not will his titles way, but his brother Thomas Palaiologos claimed the imperial title after his death. Thomas briefly ruled the Byzantine remnants in the Peloponnese, but fled to Italy ahead of an Ottoman invasion in ...


21

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 ...


19

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 ...


18

John VI Kantakouzenos John VI Kantakouzenos, who reigned from 31 March 1347 to 10 December 1354, is the emperor who comes closest to meeting your criteria. He was deposed by his co-emperor John V Palaiologos (for whom he had earlier acted as regent), adopted the name Joasaph Christodoulos and wrote a History: After he had been forced to retire, Emperor ...


17

The Byzantine empire was a continuation of the older Roman empire in the East but it was gradually transformed into a different political entity. Meaning: The original Roman empire used Latin as an official language, as expected, while Byzantium was Greek-speaking They basically inherited the Roman legal system from the Roman empire. They considered ...


15

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 ...


15

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 ...


15

The critical factor all these answers leave out: The Black Death. The Plague of Justinian swept through the Byzantine and Sassanid Empires a few generations before Islam. On the Byzantine side, the reduction in manpower available for warfare was near 90%. The damage to the economies of both empires made it unlikely they'd rebuild the population losses ...


15

Warren Treadgold, one of the most eminent scholars on the Byzantine Empire puts it simply as follows: Modern historians have called this empire "Byzantine" because it was ruled not from Rome but from Constantinople, the former Byzantium Hieronymus Wolf was the earliest known historian to use the name of the Byzantine Empire's capital to refer to the ...


14

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 J....


14

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 ...


14

The Fall of Constantinople had a negligible effect on the launching of the Age of Discovery, school textbooks notwithstanding. It was well under way a generation earlier, due to the perfection of the caravel in Portugal under Prince Henry the Navigator and the explorations he launched down the coast of Africa. The Madeira Islands had been rediscovered in ...


14

Long lasting 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 Persia. But Khosrow II made them into neutral force practically. the practice made Iran's southern border more vulnerable. Kavadh II massacred a lot of ...


13

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 ...


13

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 ...


13

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 ...


13

Just a hint, according to Greek wikipedia entry (which cites this book), the Patriarch wrote Ῥωμαῖοι - Rhōmaîoi in the letter.: Οι δύο δυνάμεις ολόκληρου του σύμπαντος, η δύναμη των Σαρακηνών και αυτή των Ρωμαίων, ξεχωρίζουν και ακτινοβολούν όπως τα δύο μεγάλα φωτεινά σώματα του ουράνιου θόλου. Γι'αυτόν και μόνο τον λόγο θα πρέπει να ζήσουμε μαζί ...


12

Case for Italy, the Vatican, or both Italy was the place where the Roman Empire originated and Rome is located. They still speak a language directly descended from Latin. Rome was the most important city throughout the Middle Ages, and the Pope usually was the one with a monopoly on conferring the imperial title. Also, to become Emperor, it was usually ...


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