View Full Version : Why the Byzantine Empire was not a "Greek Empire"?

09-09-2010, 04:58 AM
Within the last two centuries, we have seen the western literature label the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) as "Greek Empire". The people of the Middle East and beyond starting from the Persians and still now call the Greeks Yauna, Yunan, Yunani, Yavani, etc. The Greeks of the Classic Greek, Hellenistic and Roman eras identified themselves using the name Hellenes.
The Byzantine historians often speak of "Macedonian army", "Thracian army", "Roman army". The Thracians, Macedonians, Illyrians, Bythinians, Carians, Phrygians, Armenians, Lydians, Galatians, Paphlagonians, Lycians, Syrians, Cilicians, Misians, Cappadocians, had to speak Latin and Greek in order to communicate among themselves, but they must have used their original languages to communicate within their own ethnic boundaries, which of course does not make them "Greeks".