Ravenna Revisited: A Byzantine Birth

Success and growth are usually associated with organisational challenges.

For the Etruscan Ecclesiastical Empire these challenges were especially interesting because whenever they acquired a new territory or culture they also acquired it’s history.

Their greatest challenge was shaping and retro-fitting the history of the Byzantine Empire.

The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in the East during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul, which had been founded as Byzantium).

It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Empire

The magnitude of the challenge was daunting and the Etruscan Ecclesiastical Empire [officially] dragged its feet and tried to ignore the problem for over 1,225 years before eventually publishing a “Byzantine” history in 1557.

The first use of the term “Byzantine” to label the later years of the Roman Empire was in 1557, when the German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ, a collection of historical sources.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Empire#Nomenclature

Naming the Byzantine Empire was one of the larger hurdles they had to clear because it’s difficult to explain away why something as significant as the Byzantine Empire was left unlabelled [and undocumented] for over a thousand years.

This is problem the Wikipedia wizards very clumsily try to obfuscate and finesse.

Rûm, also transliterated as Roum or Rhum…

The name derives from the Greek…. refers to the Byzantine Empire, which… had not yet acquired the designation “Byzantine,” an academic term applied only after its dissolution.

The Arabs, therefore, naturally called them “the Rûm“, their territory “the land of the Rûm” and the Mediterranean “the Sea of the Rûm.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rûm

This problem is even more nuanced when you realise the Roman Empire narrative is probably a repackaged Rûm Empire rip-off.

Ancient Romans were called “Rūm” or sometimes “Latin’yun” (Latins).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rûm

Although the Byzantine Empire had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history and preserved Romano-Hellenistic traditions, it became identified by its western and northern contemporaries with its increasingly predominant Greek element.

The occasional use of the term “Empire of the Greeks” (Latin: Imperium Graecorum) in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire and of the Byzantine Emperor as Imperator Graecorum (Emperor of the Greeks) were also used to separate it from the prestige of the Roman Empire within the new kingdoms of the West.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Empire#Nomenclature

Once the Byzantine Ball was rolling it quickly snowballed into 34 volumes under the patronage of King Louis XIV of France [aka the Sun King].

In the early 17th century, King Louis XIV of France prompted for the assemblage of all Byzantine works and called several renowned scholars from around the world to participate in this effort.

Hieronymus’ Corpus would be used to build upon.

The result was the immense Corpus Historiae Byzantinae in 34 volumes, with paralleled Greek text and Latin translation.

This edition popularized the term Byzantine Empire (never used by that Empire itself during the centuries of its existence) and established it in historical studies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hieronymus_Wolf

Louis XIV (1638-1715), known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (le Roi Soleil), was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France and Navarre from 1643 until his death in 1715.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Louis_XIV_of_France

The “Dragonnades” were a French government policy instituted by King Louis XIV in 1681 to intimidate Huguenot families into either leaving France or re-converting to Catholicism.

This involved the billeting of ill-disciplined dragoons in Protestant households with implied permission to abuse the inhabitants and destroy or steal their possessions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragonnades

It then miraculously mushroomed out into 50 volumes between 1828 and 1897.

The Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae (Latin: Corpus of Byzantine history writers), frequently referred to as the CSHB or Bonn Corpus, is a monumental fifty-volume series of primary sources for the study of Byzantine history (c. 330–1453), published in the German city of Bonn between 1828 and 1897.

The project, conceived by the historian Barthold Georg Niebuhr, sought to revise and expand the original twenty-four volume Corpus Byzantinae Historiae (sometimes called the Byzantine du Louvre), published in Paris between 1648 and 1711 under the initial direction of the Jesuit scholar Philippe Labbe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_Scriptorum_Historiae_Byzantinae

And the Byzantine Ball is still rocking and rolling.

The Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae (Latin: “Corpus of Byzantine history sources”) or CFHB is an international project aiming to collect, edit and provide textual criticism on the historical sources from the time of the Byzantine Empire (4th–15th centuries AD).

Its purpose is to make the works of Byzantine authors, especially those that had previously been unedited, available to modern research in an updated form.

The project was undertaken at the 13th International Congress of Byzantine Studies in Oxford in 1966, and is under the auspices Association Internationale des Études Byzantines (AIEB) and its national branches.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_Fontium_Historiae_Byzantinae

One of the more interesting aspects of the Byzantine Empire narrative is how the shapers and retro-fitters have wrapped their storyline around the Greek Termination Event [607 CE] and the Heinsohn Horizon [912 CE].

The Greek Termination Event is almost year perfect based upon the Old Japanese Cedar Chronology although it’s been re-branded as the Byzantine-Sasanian War of 602–628 that was closely followed by the Early Muslim “Conquests” after 632.

The Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 was the final and most devastating of the series of wars fought between the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire and the Sasanian Empire of Persia.

By the end of the conflict both sides had exhausted their human and material resources.

Consequently, they were vulnerable to the sudden emergence of the Islamic Rashidun Caliphate, whose forces invaded both empires only a few years after the war.

The Muslim forces swiftly conquered the entire Sasanian Empire and deprived the Byzantine Empire of its territories in the Levant, the Caucasus, Egypt, and North Africa.

Over the following centuries, half the Byzantine Empire and the entire Sasanian Empire came under Muslim rule.

Notes and references…
Some authors, including Dodgeon, Greatrex, and Lieu, have expressed the belief that the raid on Chalcedon is fictitious.
Either way, by 610, the Persians captured all the Byzantine cities east of the Euphrates.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine%E2%80%93Sasanian_War_of_602%E2%80%93628

The Muslim conquests brought about the collapse of the Sassanid Empire and a great territorial loss for the Byzantine Empire.

The reasons for the Muslim success are hard to reconstruct in hindsight, primarily because only fragmentary sources from the period have survived.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Muslim_conquests

On the other hand the shapers and retro-fitters moved the Heinsohn Horizon back in time by 534 years so that it connects with their Roman Empire narrative.

The Battle of Adrianople (9 August 378), sometimes known as the Battle of Hadrianopolis, was fought between an Eastern Roman army led by the Eastern Roman Emperor Valens and Gothic rebels (largely Thervings as well as Greutungs, non-Gothic Alans, and various local rebels) led by Fritigern.

The battle took place about 13 km (8 mi) north of Adrianople (modern Edirne in European Turkey, near the border with Greece and Bulgaria) in the Roman province of Thracia.

It ended with an overwhelming victory for the Goths and the death of Emperor Valens.

We have a detailed account for the lead up to the battle from the Roman perspective from Ammianus Marcellinus, which forms the culminating point at the end of his history.

The position in his histories and the lack of a detailed history for the following century has tended to exaggerate the significance of the battle for later historians.
Ammianus’s account of the battle itself, as to be expected from a losing side, is far from clear.

Heat, fire and dust seem to have been particularly significant.

Much of what follows about the battle itself is modern supposition.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Adrianople

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/ravenna-revisited-mausoleum-of-theoderic-farce/

Personally, I prefer the creative writing of Tolkien – at least some of his works are honestly labelled as “classic high fantasy”.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE, FRSL (1892-1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor who is best known as the author of the classic high-fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._R._R._Tolkien

Perhaps it’s unrealistic to expect other academics to achieve this meagre level of honesty…

FOOTNOTE
If P N Oak is correct then 600 CE was probably the zenith of the Worldwide Vedic Culture.

According to P. N. Oak the “blundering” Academics in Aspic have constructed a false historical narrative that has “forgotten” there was once a Worldwide Vedic Culture.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/p-n-oak-chips-of-vedic-society/

The Gupta Empire was an ancient Indian empire founded by Sri Gupta.

The empire existed at its zenith from approximately 320 to 550 CE and covered much of the Indian subcontinent.

The peace and prosperity created under the leadership of the Guptas enabled the pursuit of scientific and artistic endeavors. [unreliable source?]

This period is called the Golden Age of India and was marked by extensive inventions and discoveries in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion, and philosophy that crystallized the elements of what is generally known as Hindu culture.

The 4th century CE Sanskrit poet Kalidasa credits the Guptas with having conquered about twenty-one kingdoms, both in and outside India, including the kingdoms of Parasikas, the Hunas, the Kambojas, tribes located in the west and east Oxus valleys, the Kinnaras, Kiratas etc.

And if the military prowess and techniques of the Gupta Empire sound familiar then that’s probably because there was a Worldwide Vedic Culture that the [monocultural, monotheist] Etruscan Ecclesiastical Empire has enthusiastically emasculated in their historical narrative.

The Imperial Guptas couldn’t have achieved their successes through force of arms without an efficient martial system.

Historically, the best accounts of this come not from the Hindus themselves but from Chinese and Western observers.

However, a contemporary Indian document, regarded as a military classic of the time, the Siva-Dhanur-veda, offers some insight into the military system of the Guptas.

The Guptas seem to have relied heavily on infantry archers, and the bow was one of the dominant weapons of their army.

The Hindu version of the longbow was composed of metal, or more typically bamboo, and fired a long bamboo cane arrow with a metal head.

Unlike the composite bows of Western and Central Asian foes, bows of this design would be less prone to warping in the damp and moist conditions often prevalent to the region.

The Indian longbow was reputedly a powerful weapon capable of great range and penetration and provided an effective counter to invading horse archers.

Iron shafts were used against armored elephants and fire arrows were not part of the bowmen’s arsenal contrary to popular belief.

India historically has had a prominent reputation for its steel weapons.

One of these was the steel bow.

Because of its high tensility, the steel bow was capable of long range and penetration of exceptionally thick armor.

These were less common weapons than the bamboo design and found in the hands of noblemen rather than in the ranks.

Archers were frequently protected by infantry equipped with shields, javelins, and longswords.

The Guptas also had knowledge of siegecraft, catapults, and other sophisticated war machines.

The Guptas apparently showed little predilection for using horse archers, despite the fact these warriors were a primary component in the ranks of their Scythian, Parthian, and Hepthalite (Huna) enemies.

However, the Gupta armies were probably better disciplined.

Able commanders like Samudragupta and Chandragupta II would have likely understood the need for combined armed tactics and proper logistical organization.

Gupta military success likely stemmed from the concerted use of elephants, armored cavalry, and foot archers in tandem against both Hindu kingdoms and foreign armies invading from the Northwest.

The Guptas also maintained a navy, allowing them to control regional waters.

During the reign of Chandragupta II, Gupta Empire maintained a large army consisting of 500,000 infantry, 50,000 cavalry, 20,000 charioteers and 10,000 elephants [citation needed] along with a powerful navy with more than 1200 ships [citation needed]. Chandragupta II controlled the whole of the Indian subcontinent[citation needed]; the Gupta empire was the most powerful empire in the world during his reign [citation needed], at a time when the Roman Empire in the West was in decline.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gupta_Empire#Military_organization

The origins of the English longbow are disputed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_longbow

The destruction of the Gupta Empire at the Greek Termination Event also provides support for the massive geographical and topographical changes that occurred at this time.

Taking a closer look at the topography of Indian it appears that the rotation and northward movement of Taprobane was driven by the expansion of [both] the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.

The expansion of these oceanic basins evidently squeezed and twisted Taprobane in a pincer movement that ultimately created the Western and Eastern Ghats coastal ranges whilst the collision with Northern India resulted in the formation of the Satpuras and Vindhyas ranges.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2017/05/12/indian-impacts-taprobane/

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/the-arabian-horizon-the-ptolemy-inheritance/

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/the-arabian-horizon-the-lost-lands-dilmun/

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/the-arabian-horizon-the-lost-lands-punt/

However, the maps of Eratosthenes and Ptolemy provide numerous insights into the geographic changes that are associated with the Greek Termination Event.

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2017/05/24/ravenna-revisited-greek-termination-event/

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/dallas-abbott-cape-verde-coral/

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/the-red-score-the-frozen-trail/

See: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2016/01/22/parting-pacific-pottery/

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Gallery | This entry was posted in Arabian Horizon, Catastrophism, Comet Halley, Gunnar Heinsohn, History, Radiocarbon Dating, Ravenna Revisited, The Old Japanese Cedar Tree. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Ravenna Revisited: A Byzantine Birth

  1. Gunnar Heinsohn says:

    Interesting to see a 230 year time-span for the Gupta Empire, too. It matches the 1-230s CE span for the Western Roman Empire as well as the 700-930s span of the Early Middle Ages. It is an additional indicator that all the Eastern Empire activities dated ca. 518 to 641 CE consist of events that actually had taken place within the span from 284 up to the year 518 CE when Justinian’s star is seen rising. It strengthens my assumption that the Gothic wars of the 530s-550s are the same as the Gothic wars of the 470s-490s. Odoaker’s son Thela of 490 CE resembles Totila of 550 CE. General Nerses of the 620s, General Narses of the 590s, and General Narses of the 540s have been one and the same person. Gunnar Heinsohn

  2. Pingback: Ravenna Revisited: The Great Sack Race | MalagaBay

  3. Pingback: 732 AD and All That – A Belief System Cocktail | MalagaBay

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