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Stephen Chakwin
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@Mark The name of the city stayed Constantinople officially until 1930 when the Ataturk government changed it. Maps and documents from before then referred to it by that name and the Europeans were not quick to take to the new name. The term Byzantine, as I understand things, was used for the first time by German Renaissance scholars who wanted to make a distinction between the old Roman Empire and its surviving form in the East. There was more than a simple difference to keep things easy going on there. When this change in nomenclature was made, the Turkish conquest of the shrunken remains of the Eastern Empire - reduced to a rump state by the combination of long years of misrule and political folly and the predatory Fourth Crusade - was about a hundred years old and the European West had no fond memories of the society that it had looted and helped destroy. Part of the idea was to paint the Eastern Empire as a decadent shadow of the "true" Rome, which means that they were a bunch of sneaky heretics who deserved what they got.
Toggle Commented Jun 16, 2011 on 138- The New Rome at The History of Rome
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Jun 15, 2011