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"When did the Empire really ‘fall’ ?" Topic

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23 Oct 2023 9:22 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Deucey Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2022 9:25 a.m. PST

When did The Empire (you know which one) fall?

A) 476
B) 1453
C) 1806
D) 1917

Grattan54 Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2022 9:40 a.m. PST

Actually, I am not really sure what you are talking about.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2022 9:54 a.m. PST

I vote for 1453, the fall of the old Eastern Empire, the last people to call themselves 'Romans' -- Rhomaioi
The Holy Roman Empire which fell in 1806 was a wannabe facimile, and 1917 saw the Abdication of the Russian Tsar, with even less claim to be a successor to Rome.

Feel free to disagree!

42flanker13 Nov 2022 10:03 a.m. PST

A) Roman,Western. Deposition of Romulus Augustulus, traditionally 'last Emperor' of Rome
B) Roman, Eastern. Fall of Constantinopolis to Sultan Mehmed II. Death of Constantine XI, last 'Roman' emperor.
C) Holy Roman, neither Holy nor Roman. Nor an Empire
D) Russian, Abdication of Tsar Nicholas, last of the Romanovs. Did the two-headed eagle emblem fool anyone?

dbf167613 Nov 2022 10:48 a.m. PST


OSCS7413 Nov 2022 10:59 a.m. PST

B also

raylev313 Nov 2022 12:05 p.m. PST


GurKhan13 Nov 2022 1:56 p.m. PST

"Two Romes have fallen, the third stands, and there will be no fourth."

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Nov 2022 3:01 p.m. PST
Thatblodgettkid13 Nov 2022 5:11 p.m. PST

1453. The rulers of Constantinople considered themselves the heirs of the Roman political tradition going back to 509 BC. Just my two cents…

HMS Exeter13 Nov 2022 6:09 p.m. PST

410 AD

You can call it what you like, but after Rome gave up on Britain and got sacked, it just wasn't the same.

Sergeant Paper13 Nov 2022 7:44 p.m. PST

A and B

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2022 9:02 p.m. PST

4 ABY with the Battle of Endor and the destruction of the Death Star II.

Why, what other Empire is there?

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2022 10:53 p.m. PST

Yeah, B for me as well. The Eastern Empire, while it survived, was the true heir of old Rome.

Atheling13 Nov 2022 11:43 p.m. PST

A for the so called advanced Western Empire and B for the somewhat more resilient Eastern Empire.

My Just Add Water Miniature Painting Blog:

Stoppage14 Nov 2022 4:07 a.m. PST
robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2022 7:42 a.m. PST

Somewhere between Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation?

Not long after the death of Captain Sir Dominic Flandry?

Shortly after the defeat of the "supermen" of Sauron?

That's Asimov, Anderson and Pournelle for the readers. For those who like their SF on screen and written by committees, not long after the death of Bearded (alternate) Spock.

"Terror must be maintained, of the Empire will be destroyed."

But done straight, B. Neither of the later empires had any continuity of laws, offices, race or language.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2022 9:16 a.m. PST

Real answer: When people stopped conversing in Latin as an everyday thing, and nobody on the street thought of themselves as "Romans" anymore.

All Sir Garnett14 Nov 2022 11:13 a.m. PST

B obviously.

Mark Plant15 Nov 2022 12:25 a.m. PST

The Byzantines thought of themselves as Romans. Even the Ottomans called them "Rum".

And the eastern Roman Empire had never really spoken much Latin. Greek was always the main language there.

Ravenfeeder15 Nov 2022 5:43 a.m. PST

1204. What came after was a rump successor state that was never going to be an Empire again.

bobm195915 Nov 2022 8:20 a.m. PST

1453…the Sultanate Of Rum didn't fool anybody

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2022 9:56 a.m. PST

The Byzantines thought of themselves as Romans. Even the Ottomans called them "Rum".

Well then, there's your answer.

And the eastern Roman Empire had never really spoken much Latin. Greek was always the main language there.

But they still spoke it, and understood it, in circumstances where it was necessary to do so. Latin was a "trading" language for over a millennia, especially in areas that were directly Roman, and of course was the language of the law. To some extent that's why the Catholic Church used Latin for almost another millennia, even though by the 15th century almost no one outside of the educated elite could comprehend it. At first it was the "Lingua Franca" of Europe, even after the Western Empire had fallen. So, too, in the Eastern Empire. It was also the scholarly language up to the 17th Century. Isaac Newton, despite being and speaking English, wrote his magnum opus on his scientific discoveries in Latin so that everyone of any intellectual importance could read it. Today we would see a Latin work as limiting in its market; in his day, Latin ensured the widest market for a scientific work. Scholars across the entirety of Europe, and even parts of Asia and North Africa— and even America— could read and understand his book. But even at that time, Latin was restricted in knowledge and understanding to an intellectual elite. To the lands which had once been Rome, it was dead, and only appeared at Catholic Mass, spoken only by priests, with the common laity simply accepting the odd sounds as "holy," though they understood almost none of it.
So whenever and wherever Latin passed from a language generally understood to the mysterious language of the scholar, the lawyer, and the priest, in that time and place the Roman Empire died.

Marcus Brutus15 Nov 2022 12:29 p.m. PST

Where would Julius Caesar or Augustus or Trajan have recognized the end of the Roman Empire? Hard to say but I don't think it would be in Constantinople in 1453. Probably more likely in the 5th century or perhaps when Justinian dies and the final attempt at reconquest is over.

dapeters15 Nov 2022 2:41 p.m. PST

I think the medieval Arabs made claims and so did the Russian after the fall Constantinople.

Brechtel19815 Nov 2022 2:48 p.m. PST

The Eastern Romans certainly considered themselves Romans, and referred to themselves as Romans. And, for a few hundred years, Latin was the language of the Eastern Empire. Only gradually did Greek come to be a common language.

And there was no 'Byzantine' Empire. It was the Eastern Roman Empire. The term 'Byzantine Empire' was invented by a German historian in the 15th century after Constantinople fell to the Turks.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2022 5:15 p.m. PST

E) All of the above!

Nick Bowler15 Nov 2022 7:00 p.m. PST

If you listen to the 'History of Byzantium' podcast, in 1918 there were still people on the Greek Islands that called themselves Romans.

Mark Plant15 Nov 2022 9:38 p.m. PST

You may have heard of the Romanians.

Ravenfeeder16 Nov 2022 10:55 a.m. PST

If you listen to the 'History of Byzantium' podcast

I do and it's superb.

dapeters16 Nov 2022 11:05 a.m. PST

Brechtel198 I think you have that backwards, in The Eastern Empire Greek was the lingua franca.

138SquadronRAF16 Nov 2022 11:12 a.m. PST


Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2022 2:06 p.m. PST

B) 1453

Erzherzog Johann16 Nov 2022 7:30 p.m. PST

I guess if someone identifies as Roman who am I to argue . . .

I'll get my coat.

Bill N16 Nov 2022 7:35 p.m. PST

Can you have a Roman Empire without Rome?

La Fleche16 Nov 2022 8:42 p.m. PST

It hasn't.

The board keeps changing the executives and subsudiary names, and the marketing wonks keep changing the Logos but the corporation and product are always the same.

Brechtel19817 Nov 2022 8:19 a.m. PST

Can you have a Roman Empire without Rome?

Why not? If the people and the government consider themselves Romans, then their empire is also Roman.

Marcus Brutus17 Nov 2022 11:49 a.m. PST

Why not? If the people and the government consider themselves Romans, then their empire is also Roman.

"If" is the big question. I hardly think that an Anatolian Greek speaking peasant of the 11th century would consider themselves Roman. Certain elites perhaps but what constitutes mass identity? As dapeters mentioned above the Eastern Empire was Greek all the way through evening during the height of the Roman Empire. Latin faded away, even in the military by the 7th century. Traditional Roman emphasis on infantry was supplanted by a move to elite cavalry. At some point it becomes absurd to suggest that Byzantine subjects were Roman (and yes, the term Byzantine was used during this period to describe the residents of the former Eastern Roman Empire – this was discussed at some length in a previous TMP subject.)

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Nov 2022 2:22 p.m. PST

The people? What the people think? If you're more than a day's walk from Rome, Rome is an abstract concept that is fair enough for intellectuals and other 1%ers, but do I identify with it?

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Mark Plant17 Nov 2022 8:26 p.m. PST

I hardly think that an Anatolian Greek speaking peasant of the 11th century would consider themselves Roman.

Given that the area had been under Roman control for 1400 years, I think you are very wrong.

An Anatolian peasant, like any peasant, would regard his village as his prime identity. After that a lord, if he had one. After that it could only be the empire.

He would serve in the armed forces of that state and oppose its enemies. He would obey its laws and customs. In this case, he would tie his religion very tightly to that state too.

A bit of a hint is the behaviour of the peasants when conquered. They did not lie down quickly and suddenly become Arabs, Crusaders, Bulgarians etc. They kept their "Roman" identity for a long time. In the case of the Romanians, they still do, speaking a Latin language and retaining the name.

(The cavalry/infantry thing is not important. Pretty much everywhere in Europe moved to elite heavy cavalry. The Hungarians didn't stop being Hungarians when their elite started wearing plate and stopped using a bow.)

Marcus Brutus18 Nov 2022 12:55 p.m. PST

Given that the area had been under Roman control for 1400 years, I think you are very wrong.

You must be counting from 100 BC onwards. Isn't that circular reasoning. You are including the very timeline that is being queried. That hardly suffices as evidence for me.

I think your point about Romanians actually works against your argument. Romanians do share a language link with Latin. That is about it. There is no Roman identity per se among Romanians and there is no sense of a nostalgia for ancient Rome or the Roman Empire. This true of modern and also medieval Romanians. Medieval Romanians did not see themselves as the heirs of ancient Rome. If that is true for "Latin" speaking Romanians what about 11th Greek speaking Anatolians?

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2022 9:22 a.m. PST

Can you have a Roman Empire without Rome

Heck, Free France was an empire without a metropol at all.

Volleyfire15 Oct 2023 3:41 a.m. PST

Stoppage +1

Sandinista17 Oct 2023 9:07 p.m. PST

1922 when the last Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed VI, was deposed…

Deucey Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2023 5:22 a.m. PST

Poll already ran

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