un fat to immaginario, rna strettamente legato all'origine naturale. E tuttavia il concetto eli cultura nazionale puo essereinteso anche nel senso di civilisation: secondo tale concezione la natura viene respinta, perche la civilisation e un concetto universalistico. Quando in Francia, in Cermania, in I.nghilterra si parla di cultura, bisogna sapere se si tratta della cultura nel senso di Herder, come continuazione di una disposizione naturale, una specie di forma creativa, 0 se si tratta invece eli quella ricerca eli una forma comune di vita, me non deve niente al dono naturale. La storia del termine impone una distinzione indispensabile, soprattutto quando si parla della cultura nel senso piu largo, come per esempio« la cultura bizantina »: bisogna porsi la domanda sc attraverse questa definizione noi vogliamo fare riferimento alla cultura nazionale 0 alia culrura spirituals, perche in quest'ultimo caso siamo nella logica dell'Impero e non in quella degli stati nazionali, Quando si parla di cultura bisogna riflettere sulla storia del termine.

Greek Identity in the Middle Ages

Concludo cosi-questa mia introduzione al convegno. NeI nostro mondo, i conilitti piu pericolosi e violenti sono originati dalle pretese degli stan nazionali. In un'impero, come quello sovietico per esempio, gli stati nazionali non avevano uri' esisteriza reale. Un'impero non coincide con uno state, rna Ie nazioni possono esistere, come esistevano nell'Impero romano 0 ancora come esistevano nella dimensione spirituaIe del cristianesimo medievale. Se si vuole mantenere entrambe le possibilita, cioe un impero con forme inferiori di esistenza comunitaria, le nazioni nel sense cristiano, non si puo contemporaneamente rivendicare I'esistenza di uno stato riazionale dotato di una cultura congenita (dobbiamo ricorrere ancora una volta alia metafora della nascita). Una delle questioni piu attuali me questo convegno pone risiede proprio in questa domanda sui vantaggi e sugli svantaggi delle due forme di coesistenza. Sono forme me evidentemente coesistono; rna abbiamo bisogno eli una grande varieta di nazioni, nel senso di « essere nan in un certo contesto ", di una grande varieta protetta da una specie eli impero, 0 abbiamo bisogno di queste individualita me sono gli stati nazionali, di una cultura che e l'espressione della loro natura, volontaria, volontarista, forse anche aggressiva? Fra queste due possibilita dobbiamo elaborare la nostra ri£lessione sulla situazione reale nella quale viviamo.

The Speros Basil Vryonis Center for the Study of Hellenism, California


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practices of the rustics as occasionally recorded or as they have 'y survived into modern times. whereas the modern Hellenes assert a derivation from the Hellenophones of both the ancient and Byzantine periods.0> ~ ~~r ~I .. to this second literary Q. culture and scholarship from the time of the western Enlightenment until the very end of the twentieth century. /. In summation the written Greek texts of the ancient and Byzantine eras have been so extensive as to permit a substantial analysis of the question in hand. Slavdom.. .aN u\A€'l?Oh ~ period of the Middle Ages.~ : ~'~ villages.t... Syriac.. A good deal less has been . and the Islamic world formed a part of the Middle Age world and all had contact with the Greek speakers of Byzantium. Marxism... articulated about Arab. national revolutions themselves mark a turning point in the evolution and intensification of self-identification with all their political.I"i -----Sper05 VRYONIS ---------------..". about the Hellenophones of Byzantium.. The disciplines of anthropology and . economic.. "'.. This in itself calls for a wider analysis inasmuch as not only Byzantium.7. and continue to think. nationalism. k :i. This must be supplemented by the "I ri:.o.had nevertheless their .a. '. psychohistory.. The title directs our attention to three things: the nature of a v1 4ib"l ~__) people's and of a person's identity.S"'l written prodUctions of those neighboring peoples and socie~~~ "'~~:~':' ties! culture which knev.•• .~"w- identity.. The effort to evaluate their self\-~-~ .. for the literate element in society.ru.lr. and social consequences.. The title poses the question whether there was any Greek identity in Byzantium and therefore in the Middle Ages. Finally there is the very concept of Greekness itself.~ of evidence (both modem and medieval) of the folklore and :. .. that ~J)=/ ~~ '" z: i.)_) the view(s) which -the Romans had of the Greeks.ftJl'4-->. f¢G. At the end of all this. Not as of • ·5 IV~ ~~ en.· __ ------------------GREEK lDENTlTY MIDDLE .... grosso modo..1Gng about the formal views as expressed by the language and values of the literate re. :.lwi.lS..J1b ¥vo. biological racism.l"rlib ~ S. Armenian.o . theories of literary criticism... wntten and said about ~ "1"". on the level of the involvement of scholars. and more recently by deconstructionism..J fon~ for reconsa:ucting the identity of the Gre~k.. to own VIeWS the Greek speakers...:. a product of the fusion of politics.<o.c. .J~" .~.f... Ottoman. but with one very serious limitation. and a certain . where educati0r: ~d literacy. I pass to a very brief consideration of the title of our conference: "Byzantium and Hellenism: Greek Identity in the Middle Ages"..\:.. This too is important in any examination of Greek identity in the Middle Ages.t:(.. This extrapolation points to the fact that identity often goes in tandem with what neighboring peoples and societies thought. it enables us to ascertain primarily the thought..~ thana very small part of the problem.'alJAc.{ . nationalism and anti-nationalism.. ______ .r '10...~ a. has been triggered by a wide variety of dynamic phenomena: Imperialism and colonialism. The majority of society..1 i ~ 22 Finally the post World War ITsocial and economic up-heavals have shifted the point of reference in discussion of the Greeks and their more general relevance to the solution of the social problems which' have caused profound anxieties in present day society. the term "Middle Ages".. U1. ~~ In either case however..· '.. archaeology and museology. The gestation of the modern era. romanticism... Undoubtedly rich as this long written record. however.1.:: folklore have been particularly useful in this matter of cultural \~{ .£c. . Thus it is clear. D. during the long era of Ottoman rule.1:u. emotional and cultural world of a limited (in number) literate class which wrote these texts . f and Jewish views of the culture of the medieval Greek-speakers..: the ancient Greeks and! or Byzantines and !~ ~OL\JW"~<0 _ f\ \~ _ who 0ugh they were influenced b~ ~em.?. consisted of rustics living in their "I "'~E. . the matter of a Greek identity._.~ much reference has been made. These inquiries raise such extensive issues that they occupy a great chronological period and involve the entire complex of modern scholarship.£ 'E". Much has been. k:~\->.....=. These movements which have so quickened and intensified life in these three critical domains would little by little lessen the gap between formal and popular culture and the differences in self-identification between the elite and rural populations.. a much broader query emerges: Is it professors alone. Simultaneously the title focuses specifically on whether the Hellenophones of Byzantium and modem Greece can in any way be characterized as having any specifically Greek :/' Characteristics. The European Enlightenment. --IN THE ACES - Europe (and also in classical Islamic civilization to a lesser degree). or a people or state who determine identity? In actuality the problem of whether there is Dr ever was a Greek identity is.:" I.-vwvv1. Slavic. (b..~ _... Persian.~ presentatives of the patrons of the formal culture of these societies.. were minimal.. from the Mycenaean to present times is. o. e~cialll in Blzantin~d.)J . and culture. but also the Latin West. It raises further the question which has surfaced more recently as to whether the identity of the ancient Greeks was really Greek..-. .W.ya. Thus it will be possible to touch on no more '1 v. in regard to the broader question. I do not enter into the more impoverished historical and literary texts written in Greek.. ~' amount about the Papal and Crusading views of the Greek-speaking ~i Orthodox Christians in the Middle Ages. .. even in the policy of museum exhibits and in their reception. Ottoman times.~~ identity is ~'iiclt more difficult and has to depend on a careful sifting }~ of literary texts that speak tangentially of the rural populations and . 23 . we are still tal. Finally scholars have on occasion asserted that the modem Greeks in effect have little or nothing to do with the ancient Greeks.. especially for the ~ ~~uu ~\l. theIr ldentity.j" ~t 4?cot:k'1:j""v tJ: ..r .

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EKIDE. and finally in the period of the Greek enlightenment. that represent the tobacco and other industries.I" ~~ . whereas they accept a change in the meaning ofithe term Hellene.'I' " . argument. among other entities. . the ancient Creeks. Second.. There are two problems with this proposition. they argue. that the Byzantines were Romans as indicated by what they called themselves..education. grammar..press and radio. we should remove all the nomenclature that derives from the term "Byzantine" in referring to the empire and its inhabitants. and the discussions in Byzantine circles seemed to take these presuppositions as the given for the advance of Byzantinological knowledge. Well known is the fact that as heirs of the Roman empire the Byzantine state and its citizens were described by some form of the Hellenized Latin term. Rather the epithet Byzantine as applied to the empire and its inhabitants seems to have been forged by the sixteenth century German scholar Hieronymus Wolf (1516-89). which I have in an earlier study dubbed the "school of names"..NTI1YINl1-1E . though they remained unspoken. and semantics.'I" ·-----Speros VRYONIS --------------'. the Hellenistic. and this misnomer has so captured historical obedience that it is unlikely that it will ever be dislodged.. syntax. Finally. The first is that when a people stop calling themselves one thing (i. Yet if one were to follow the argument of what I have termed. Hellene to indicate pagan.. --- superimposed on this strange amalgam of unhistoricity with the assertion that "truth" has prevailed in the west. Rhomaios.. went back to the written Greek texts of these brilliant ancient writings with the result that this ancient literature fed the cultural identity of the modem Greek speakers and brought about a reaffirmation by will of an identity to be connected with.. In general the debate failed to meet the standards of sound and serious scholarship. 26 27 . as something that could be explained only by races. there is a complete cultural break with their past. Thus the spoken language of the modern Greek is essentially the vernacular Greek of late antiquity. as in classical antiquity. and it is an argument with some logic. The discussions thus produced agitation. .~ 2. the "school of names".e. The' Byzantines never referred to either the state or themselves (save for the inhabitants of Constantinople) as Byzantines. In any case personal agendas (certainly in the case of Jenkins) were also issues. and this served as an irritant to Jenkins and his followers. Roman and Byzantine eras. Hellenes) and call themselves something else (Rhomaioi). elsewhere.e. and that the Greek language spoken in Byzantium had already. on the part of scholars who deny the existence of Greek cultural identity in Byzantium was precisely the philological terms used to refer to Byzantine citizens. absence of truth) have prevailed in the east (eastern Europe). whereas faith and belief {i. 4. It remains a fact that the Slavs were largely absorbed as in most of Greece they became Hellenophones. The terms Hellene and Hellenism gradually came to denote pagans and paganism. Conversely the monotheistic evolution in the meaning of the term..' ~--------------------GRE. indicates that the Greek speakers no longer thought of themselves as Greeks. there was a Greek identity in Byzantium.. Thus this phase of the denial of any Greek elements of identity of the Hellenophones of Byzantium relies on what they called themselves and as the majority. undergone most if its basic changes by the time of Christ. For the next decade and more these assertions and pseudotheories entered the classrooms and seminars of some of America's and Britain's most prestigious universities. though not the entirety. When all is said and done there is no doubt that large numbers of Slavs settled in Greece during the early Middle Ages. . long before. . by the 'degeneration' of language ~ and by the inability to recognize change and evolution as part of the historical process. One of the basic arguments. After this truncated bit of the 'prehistory' of our question we must address the question as to whether.: .1. the 'theory' behind this argument is simple: a people are what they call themselves. As to this cl~m . it follows from the argument of this group of scholars. that is the existence of a modem Hellenophone people who insisted that they shared in both heritages·. along with. or not. the racial.one wou}d do well to contemplate the massive propaganda machines In the United States such as Hill and Knowlton.I':" \ .'1 " MlDotEAGES . but much less so in vocabulary. as well as the American television.. wliich in most though not in all written texts are employed to refer to Byzantines. and that the Greek spoken (less so the written) language had undergone profound changes in phonetics. In short...-"'-'. short circuited as they were by the blind assumptions of Jenkins' ideological bases. The translators rendered the term for gentile by the term Hellene for at that time the Greeks were all pagans and so it was natural for the Jews living in the midst of Greek pagans to take their ethnikon as Signifying pagan and as representing their religious practices. . Salient was the narrowing of the dimensions of culture and civilization.. For Jenkins then the Byzantines were racial degenerates and congenital liars+. but no advance of knowledge. the ethnikon having been given this meaning when the Jews of Ptolemaic Alexandria translated the Pentateuch into Greek for their coreligionnaires. of ethnic epithets given in the formal written texts related to the word Rhomaios.. It was at this point that Byzantine scholarship came into contact with real life.

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1985. De Administrando Imperio. '[oov rQmx.. "She (Irene) sent theeunucn and notarios Elissaios to leach her (the daughter of Charlemagne) the literature and Im1guage of the Greeks and to instruct her in the customs of the imperium of the Rnomaioi". Greek By and large the Latin west utilized the ancient Latin form Graecus to indicate a Byzantine. 2nd ed.Purvobulgarski nadpisi. Theophanis. Hildesheim.oov ~s~rtoQeouv x.' and the term Rhomaios to describe practices and customs of the Byzantine imperial monarchy. Grik.leZVLO. thetJ destroyed all things outside the walls and thl!1J also besieged the city". He employs a derivative of the term Craikos to define the cultural content of Byzantine civilization (with reference to the Greek language and education.x. as written in the high Greek text corning from the emperor.. '. (b) education. 1tSO LUx. In modern Turkish the double use of the word Rum and Yunan is maintained to mean the Greeks of Turkey and of Greece respectively. the Greeks (Craikoi). and the words Rumca and Yunanca both refer to the Greek language. edition.wv YQO:(.T]tog(()V "[fis '[wv TIutQWv oQIl-TJcra. He considers three fundamental aspects of Byzantine identity to include (a) language. and in the Slavic texts composed later the basic term for anything Byzantine is derived from Grik. overwhelmingly.. 30 31 . But in rare translations. Gyrk. O:Qna.~----Spcros VRYONIS -----------------------------.:_~. Wasrungton.y.[a.V. 8.[2<. ?f· - was to marry the latter's daughter and the two empires would thus be brought together iri an alliance.EVLlEV. BES. Sofia.'!Il . reports the details' of a marriage alliance proposal arranged by the Byzantine empress Irene and the emperor Charlemagne by which Constantine . ngo .--.IUL(()Y crx.J ~~~ "We (now) directed ourselues toward the land of Turkey. Die Protobulgarische Periode der bulgarischen Geschichte (Amsterdam. and in the west the Byzantine emperor was often referred to as imperator Craecorum.1JCPogo~ '[a 'J.lCltUxaL '[~v '{_)"waaClv.jf. settled in Asia Minor much earlier. The east and south Slavic world. For the Arabs the Byzantines were indeed continuators of the ancient Greeks.WVT(()(. ~eT] Lf}e. volume 1.ij1t'J. Can. and first proceded to sack the dwellings of their neighbors. 9.----M AGES :0£>' !~~. one coming from a man of the cloth and the other from the pen of an emperor. chapter 49. 1966.'"'~. translations hom the classicizing Greek of the Byzantine imperial chancellery. .: ~w. The most famous case is the terminology thus applied by Liudprand of Cremona an ambassador of the Ottonians to the court of the Byzantine emperors in the tenth century.~ " I. adopted the same ethnicon to designate Byzantines and their state by some form of the word Crek.Ij.[OV(. 'tWV oix.':'-.u'[iO'tQccpOv "[E x.'Pcoucicrv ~aatAsla£"9.-". Theophanes Confessor.454. being the descendants of a fusion of the Goths with the local Greek population. Gyrk8.1. into demotic Greek of the Protobulgarian inscriptions.:'0..1to)"c(()~.01JV" 10_ "Whereas Nicephoros was holding the sceptre of the Rhomaioi.c.H. To him the Byzantines were not Latins or Romans but Greeks. English translation RJ. It is of some interest to examine two medieval Greek texts.v tvvoijaavt~<.~. " 10.at oi'iLm tv t4'> eifLU'[~ OVT~~ rr~AOrtOVYl1cro'U anoa'J. OE xa. The Protobulgarian inscriptions very interestingly utilize this ethnicon for the state and people of Byzantium. "ta. as well as for their army. ngoo'J. It was thence that there came the ancient Rum and Yunanis (Ioanians)". Thefirst two of these are clearly Greek. J enkins. and then also attacking the inhabitants of the ciI1J of Pairas.iJcrulov rov cuvouXOv XUk vo'[Ct. .QWv nQoe."J.}~- [DENmY!N THE IDDLE ". known under the same name ofthelcmd of the "Greeks". is also in part descended from its Hellenistic precedents. new rev.OQX. Grek. Constantine Porphyrogenitus.455. retaining the pejorative Graeculus in some authors as an ethnic epithet of contempt.Ua. Greek text edited by G. 1990). chA9. and these (51a 'Is) 'who were in the province of the Peloponnese decided to revolt. B. x. Theophanes also speaks of the descendants of a fusion of the Goths.: ~ .t 2l..lus de Boor. In the tenth century text of Constantine VI! Porphyrogenitus.. '[0 oLoo:~m uuniv to: '[c tWV rQmx. . ert2'. and directly descended from classical Greece through their Hellenistic forms. '[oov Yf.UtT]v SnOA. "XCn:EALJtOV'E)".[OU "[~LXOUe.<xL nmocUcrul au't'llv ta.yTjv f. a very traditionalist monk. the Roman imperial institution. which would be more dearly of Roman origin. 1992. . The matter of law is not mentioned. Chonographia.CL1:a.. but as such they were given a much less exalted status as to culture.l X. De administrando Imperio. as Gothograikoi. the emperor relates: "N . 4. (c) monarchial institutions. ed. We name it thus because it has been thus known since the olden times as (the land) of the Rum (Greeks).a.'-__ ------------------Gr<J:EK ~:i.)VoLxiae.at ta. But the regularly used form of ethnic identification of Byzantium and Byzantine in the vernacular Greek of theProtobulgarian inscriptions is not Rhomaios but Grikos.Qu t:xgcm::" x.ov f'-£v ·tete. the Bulgarians use the term Rhomaios etc. Moravcsik. The third. . In Ibn Battuta Rum and Yunan are subsumed under one identity. or imperator Argeorum.

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he describes it as a bare remnant of its former glorious state. Chalkokondyles. Most striking in this reappearance of the ethnicon Hellene. Darke edition. laments the loss of Asia Minor: "Woe to us who now remain! It (Analolia) has departed from the Roman state! Oh this loss! We live in a feu: remnants and members of life and body (formerly so great and beautiful). When he speaks of language and education he uses extensively the word Hellene (5 occasions)..¥.in much more detail and greater extent. 5. Constantinople Pletho Who./-":m~:.. the views on Byzantine identity that we saw in the writings of the medieval monk-chronicler Theophanes. It is almost uncanny that this late secularist Byzantine religiophilosopher projects a view of the identity of the Byzantines that is identical in most. 251. Berkeley.'~!i~s/· . Metochites. but not all. revived a form of ancient paganism and the Peloponnese. Ioannes Chortasmenos (1436/37) in a theological treatise uses Hellene to refer to ancient Greek pagans. wholly incapable in the means of existence and life"13.-~. In his treatise analyzing historically. and in doing so explained why in the reign of Constantine I the title of the emperor had been changed: "The Hellenes.~1-:" 16. 14. are Hellenes in 'race'. the first patriarch of Ottoman rule in Constantinople. and principal minister of the emperor. 1971. VRYONIS. by some necessary references to the obvious: The views of Theodore Metochites. Though he wrote a short treatise on the fact that he considered himself a Rhomaios and not a Hellene. But he otherwise praises the Athenians for having reached an unsurpassed state of development in wisdom 15. IV. finally. Rhomaios. VII) of his employment of ethnika to denote his contemporary Byzantine society and its remnants after the fali of Constantinople. but also politically. and only seven employ the word Rhomaios. the 'race' and language of the ancient Greeks"14. "We are participants in. "ti. 651. this author employs all three words. 13. 15. T. as though the majority and most vital members have been severed. Though Metochites speaks of the Byzantine state as the Roman state.from that time.. VRYON1S.. the Athenian democratic institution he criticizes the Athenian democracy as an ochlocracy or mob rule. 1996. as in note 14 above. "We. shows that in the great majority of cases he uses the ethnicon Hellene for everything Byzantine: "In 22 instances where Gennadeios uses an ethnicon to denote a Byzantine. i :' r Y \': ) ~I (~ 34 'I\. . As for the ancient Greek cultural heritage and the ancient Greek "race" (species). The fifteenth century atticizing historian Laonikos Chalkokondyles perhaps grasped this thought and trend most succinctly in his history.~l~. mentality. as our language and traditional education testifif16.1J. I shall conclude this summation of much that has been written elsewhere . In over twenty instances he employs the term Hellene for ancient Greek and pagan Greek. Theodori Metochitae miscellanea philosophicaat hisiorica. 2. in no way accepting to be called emperor of the Hellenes (sic)"17. Kiessling. 4. They changed their name moreover and no longer called themselves by their ancestral name. virtue and ethnic identity. 1926. reserving the use of the term Rhomaios and its derivatives exclusively for the pope and the western emperor.. On four other occasions 413. mingled there (Constantinople) with the Romans. In his long and richly informative history ChaIkokondyles utilizes the ethnicon Hellene and its derivatives to refer to any and everything Byzantine. ed. LANlBROS.. Hellene and Graikos to designate contemporary Byzantines. he says. in Ainos. Amsterdam. ---IN THE AGES - In fact. these have not disappeared. Athens. "u. but in his correspondence he adopts the newer style by utilizing Hellene to denote contemporary Byzantine language. C G.i. wrote to the emperor these well-known words. and the successors to. Chalkokondyles. as in note 3 above. a sampling culled from the entirety of his works (volumes I. but since the Hellenes were far more numerous than the Romans thin} preserved their tongue and culture. llriAruoUr./~. Ilsloxovvnaiosai. 241.47":248" 17. is its extensive employment by the conservative Gennadeios Scholarios._-------------------GREEK IDENTITY MIDDLE . And we continue to live 'in shame and derision.c. a leading intellectual who studied not only the classical texts but their relevance for understanding of the empire's hard times. Muller. and the patron of the great mosaic decorations of the church of the Chora. whom you lead and rule. George Gemisthos PIe tho and Laonikos a leading advisor to. 15 passages utilize the ethnicon Hellene. for.. which he chose as his place of retirement from the rough and tumble of political life. I. The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the Eletenta through tIre Fijternth Century. with such force and influence. Metochites. temporarily.

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