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Symposium @Vienna Uni Abstracts: War Ideology

Symposium @Vienna Uni Abstracts: War Ideology

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Published by: Byzantine Philology on May 10, 2011
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Abstracts Symposium Krieg und Frieden 1 I
NSTITUT FÜR
B
YZANTINISTIK UND
N
EOGRÄZISTIK DER
U
NIVERSITÄT WIEN
I
NSTITUT FÜR
B
YZANZFORSCHUNG DER
Ö
STERREICHISCHEN AKADEMIE DER WISSENSCHAFTEN
Ö
STERREICHISCHE
B
YZANTINISCHE
G
ESELLSCHAFT
S
YMPOSIUM
 
 Byzantine war ideology
 between Roman imperial concept and Christian religion
im Rahmen des vom Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschunggeförderten Projekts “Holy War? A study on Byzantine perceptions and concepts of war and peace in the period from the late 11th to the early 13th century”Wien, 19.-21. Mai 2011
 Abstracts
 
Abstracts Symposium Krieg und Frieden 2
 
E
MPEROR
C
ONSTANS
II’
S INTERVENTION IN
I
TALY AND ITS IDEOLOGICALSIGNIFICANCE
 
P
ANAGIOTIS
A
NTONOPOULOS
(U
NIVERSITY OF
I
OANNINA
)The seventh century forms a crucial period in Byzantium’s perspective towardsthe west, and vice versa. This is because, whereas the empire of Constantinople wasrecognized as the sole Roman Empire, the formation of Germanic kingdoms in thewest, and the shifting of attention towards problems in the east, caused a gradualestrangement between the two sections of the Roman Ecumene.In this context, the attempt of emperor Constans II (641-668) to assert hisauthority in Italy, more than a hundred years after Justinian I’s absorption of it, bearsimportant ideological significance. The question to pose is whether it constituted awar directed at the submission of the Lombard state, a war for territorial conquests insouthern Italy, or simply the reassertion of imperial authority in a region in which itwas permitted to decline. By taking into account the facts supplied by the narrativesources, mostly western, events that preceded and followed the expedition and thegeneral perspective of this particular emperor, an attempt will be made to shed lighton Constans’ attitude, realistic chances, and the significance of his Italian expedition,both for Byzantium, and the Lombard state, as well as the Roman Church.
1176
 
EIN BYZANTINISCHER
K
REUZZUG
?
E
VANGELOS
C
HRYSOS
(A
THEN
)In einigen Publikationen der letzten Jahre (Ralph-Johannes Lilie, PaulMagdalino, Andrew Stone) wird der Kriegszug des Jahres 1176 gegen dieSeldschuken in Myriokephalon als Byzantinischer Kreuzzug interpretiert. In diesemBeitrag soll gezeigt werden, dass die für Byzanz sonst undenkbare Vorstellung einesKreuzzuges auch im Fall der genannten Expedition nicht angenommen werden kann.Vielmehr ist auch sie als ein gewöhnlicher Krieg zur Wiederherstellung derbyzantinischen Herrschaft im traditionellen Selbstverständnis des Reiches zu erklären.Vor allem die in diesem Zusammenhang herangezogenen rhetorischen Quellen(Eustathios von Thessalonike und Euthymios Malakes) dokumentieren, wie dieExpedition in ihrer Zeit und in ihrem geistigen Umfeld wahrgenommen wurde,nämlich als ein triumphaler Zug gegen die Asiaten nach dem Vorbild Alexanders desGroßen, mit dem Ziel Ekbatana (aber eben nicht Jerusalem) zu erobern.
 
Abstracts Symposium Krieg und Frieden 3
Dass Manuel jedoch im Zeitgeist des alles beherrschenden Kreuzzuggedankensin seinem diplomatischen Diskurs mit Westeuropäern die Nützlichkeit seinerUnternehmungen für deren Ziele im Nahen Osten unterstrich, ist wohl fastselbstverständlich.
T
HE
H
OLINESS OF THE
W
ARRIOR
:
 
R
EVOLT AND
R
EVERENCE IN THE
A
CRITIC
B
ORDERLANDS
 
O
LAF
H
EILO
(W
IEN
)Traditional Islam is generally thought to have rejected the cult of saints.However, it instead has given a famous change of meaning to the word martyr (
šah
ī 
,“witness”, a direct equivalent of the Greek word) by transferring it to warriors whohave died fighting for the cause of Islam.
1
In the Qur’an, which reflects the close-knitcommunity of Muhammad, the meaning of the latter concept is clear-cut (Q 3:169),but in the borderlands it becomes as complex as its context. In ‘Umayyad Syria andIraq, where tribalism and imperialism struggled to control the individual, a Romansystem of hire and wages had been Arabised for the employment of border warriors,but it had also been rejected by the Islamic traditionalists who regarded the‘Umayyads as godless and tried to define a purely religious normative system of aholy warrior.
2
A
mu
 ğā
hid 
who merely fights for a personal longing after money orseeks martyrdom for personal prestige is allotted a terrible place in hell:
3
for God willlift the veil from all that had been hidden
4
and judge every man after his innerintentions (
niyya
).
5
It is clearly an apocalyptic morality, for it denies the physicalmeaning of the world.
6
But it is also strikingly individualistic: God has seen (
šahada
)the
šah
ī 
and the
šah
ī 
has seen God, and they are alone with each other in thismystic unification, where the world is excluded.
7
Yet there does exist a world wherethe
šah
ī 
is both killed and remembered for it, and that is the world whose darknessthe modern historian tries to penetrate.
8
Thus it will be interesting to note that thesanctification of the Holy Warrior was a social phenomenon that cannot beunderstood from a merely ideological point of view. On the Byzantine side of theborder, the only notable effort under Nicephorus Phocas to give fallen soldiers the
1
Goldzieher,
 Muhammedanische Studien
II:387ff; cf. Brunotte, “Martyrium, Vaterland und der Kultder toten Krieger” 97.
2
Bonner,
 Aristocratic Violence and Holy War 
24-42, 113ff, 130ff.
3
Muslim,
Sa
ḥī 
h
 
18:43 (pII:102).
4
al-Ghazzali,
’I 
 y
ā
‘Ul
ū
m ad-D
ī 
n
IV:517.
5
Nawawi,
ad 
īṯ 
 
1. Cf. Bonner,
 Aristocratic Violence and Holy War 
122ff.
6
Cook, Studies in Muslim Apocalyptics 314f. Lange,
 Justice, Punishment and the Medieval Muslim Imagination
143f, 164f.
7
Cf. Rumi,
 Mathnavi
II:1286 for a beautiful example.
8
Neuwirth, “Blut und Tinte” 37-43, Brunotte, “Martyrium, Vaterland und der Kult der toten Krieger”97-106.

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