Part 2 // Contents

 

ROMANITY, OR BARBARITY?

 

PART 3: The clash with the West

Chapter 6 - The Dark  Ages

Chapter 7 - The first appearance of the “Greeks”

Chapter 8 - Charlemagne and the autonomizing of the West from Romanity

 

Epilogue

Footnotes

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

a) Hellenic language

b) Other languages

 

APENDIX: MAPS

 


Chapter 6- The Dark  Ages

In Western historiography, the centuries between the 6th and the 11th are usually referred to as “The Dark Ages”. It was a period of time for which we have very few sources, which, nevertheless, still give us enough information to form an idea of the situation in Western Europe at the beginning of the Medieval era (for example, the works of Gregory of Tours in 590 A.D., of so-called Fredegar in 660 A.D., of Paul the Deacon in 780 A.D. etc.)  It was a Europe that was wallowing in ignorance, where the knowledge that had accumulated over the 1500 years of Hellenic and Hellenic-Roman civilization were rapidly disappearing. Hellenic education vanished in Gaul around 500 A.D. and in Spain around 600 A.D. [1] Even the renowned Isidore of Seville (who was later acknowledged as one of the leading experts on the medieval West) had no knowledge of the Hellenic language.

The works of the great philosophers and poets had disappeared altogether:  in 750 A.D., nobody had access to Aristotle or Aeschylus, for the simple reason that those who could minimally read and write could be counted on one’s fingers... Subsequently, the copying and preservation of manuscripts was not in the least feasible. Besides, the barbaric chieftains of the Longobards, the Franks and the Teutons had no interest in anything else, beyond waging wars.  Charlemagne’s reign was the one, minor exception, as he had housed a few educated persons in his court. From that point on, Western historians made a lot of fuss over nothing, when referring to “Carolingian renaissance” and other, similar pompous statements. Upon the demise of Charlemagne, the promotion of literacy in Francia and Germania ceased once again. Also lost for many centuries was the Romans’ technical knowledge, such as the construction of roads and bridges. In 820 A.D., Charlemagne’s biographer, Einhard, wrote with evident pride about how his king succeeded in building a bridge over the river Rhine – an otherwise routine job for Roman technology.

Aristotle remained unknown in the West, up until the 13th century; thus, “discovering” him set off a revolution in Western European thought.  As a matter of fact, the naive western Europeans of that period had come to believe that they held in their hands a mighty weapon, with which they could promote philosophical and theological thought much further than the point the “Greeks” had taken it.

It was at this precise junction that the arrogance of Scholasticism also appeared, to which the Latin church became attached for entire centuries, having acknowledged it as the supreme theological achievement of the human spirit. The fact that in Constantinople Aristotle had never become obsolete and the Hellenic-speaking Fathers of the Orthodox Church had, over the centuries, created a high-quality synthesis of Hellenism and Christianity, were overlooked by Western historians, as mere “fine print”.

It would be of considerable interest to take a look at the state Western Europe was in during this period, from the scant sources that we mentioned previously.  By  590 A.D., during the time of Gregory of Tours’ writings, the Hellenistic tradition had vanished in the territory of Gaul.  In the ten books of Gregory’s “Historiae Francorum”, not even a trace of Hellenic literature appears to exist.  An endless alternation of slaughters and lootings permeates his entire work, thus giving an impression that distressed even the author.  Everything around him is crumbling and disappearing, while he strives – almost desperately – to salvage for the coming generations the events of his time.  This is what he writes in his introduction:  “In the cities of Gaul, literary writing has lessened to such a degree, that it has essentially disappeared altogether. Many are those who complain of this, not only once, but again and again….. ‘What an impoverished period this is’, they are heard saying. If, among our people, there is not a single one who can write in a book the things that are happening today, then the promotion of education is truly dead for us.” [2]

 

Nevertheless, the writings of Gregory of Tours at least indicate that he had several Latin sources at his disposal:  a translation of Eusebius’ “Chronicles”, Orosius, Sidonius, Apollinarius et al. [3] Thus, his “History of the Franks” does possess a certain infrastructure, a certain logical sequence, and the events are set out in a relatively orderly manner. Although the Hellenic-Roman civilization was no longer preserved around him, still, its remembrance and its literary style have been preserved.  Gregory is the last known Roman historian in Gaul …

A few decades later, things became much worse.  In the Frankish “Chronicle” by Fredegar (practically the sole existing source for 7th century France), which was composed around 660 A.D., the reader finds it hard to find his way among the fragmented narrations of the author.  Various Frankish courts succeed one another; freaks of nature (floods, meteorites, etc.) are intertwined with the narration of a certain diplomatic mission; the small and insignificant are mingled with the large, without any attempt to classify anything critically, and the author frequently stands in awe and wonder at the incomprehensible things of a far broader world, of which he knows nothing.  When reading Fredegar, one is given the impression that mankind has gone back 1500 years, to the times before Homer, to the time when man had not yet put the world around him in order and could not yet form an overall picture and a logical sequence to what was going on around him.  Everything is reminiscent of Greek mythology – a pre-historic period, where man is merely prey to certain unreasoning powers, incapable of resisting or comprehending what is happening to him.  And it is not at all strange that Western European mythology relates to this precise period:  the legends of the Nibelungen, of King Arthur, etc. And yet! This pre-historic era had ended for Europe, 1200 years earlier, when the Hellenic spirit had shone forth, from Ionia (Asia Minor) and Attica (mainland Hellas).  And now, 7 whole centuries after Christ, Western Europe was forced to go back so many centuries and start from zero, on account of the barbarians’ predominance in Western Romania...

 

In Gaul, (which is of special significance, on account of the role it would play during Charlemagne’s time), the 7th century ends with the total collapse of the last administrative establishment that was left: the Church.  Between 670 and 790 A.D., a vast emptiness is observed in the bishoprics. For nearly 150 years, no bishops can be found in formerly flourishing cities such as Marseilles, Nimes, Limoges, Bordeaux, Antibes, Geneva, Arles, and many more. According to Pirenne, this emptiness was so prevalent, that it could not be attributed to a circumstantial disappearance of historical sources.  More likely, it should be attributed to a common, deeper reason. [4] It appears that the cities and urban life in general had degenerated to such a degree that in the end, they were no longer in a position to even maintain a bishop. This also constituted the final blow that finished off the Hellenic-Roman civilization in that territory.  The decline of the urban way of life was accompanied by the collapse of the system of economy and commercial transactions. There is an abundance of bibliography on this subject (mainly by French historians) and it would be totally out of the scope of our study to repeat the findings detailed therein. At any rate, the picture that is formed is one of a western Europe that has returned to a closed, self-contained economy, whose outcome was a significant decline in its living standards. Where there used to be Roman ships on regular trading routes between Alexandria and Rome or Syria and Marseilles, now each region kept to itself and had to be content with local produce.  Products such as papyrus and silk vanished in the West and were transformed into an exclusive privilege of free Romania.

However, the point that made the difference between free Romania (a.k.a. “Byzantium”) and the West even more revealing was their numismatic circulation. While Constantinople continued to circulate its golden coin (the “solidus”), in 7th and 8th century France, money had essentially ceased to be in circulation.  In 8th century contracts, prices were often written in units of cereals or cattle.[5]

This meant that money had ceased to circulate and the economy had regressed back to the stage of bartering, of exchanging commodities.  This was a primitive stage that Europe had left behind, as far back as 600 B.C. with the first appearance of Hellenic coins, and it caused immense difficulties in the economy of the land.  In order to understand the difference between the Frankish and the Romanian perception on this matter, it suffices to remind the reader that Constantinople had maintained its gold “coin” unadulterated from the time of Constantine the Great, up until 1078 A.D.  During these 750 years, this “coin” comprised the only reliable currency throughout Europe, and even beyond it (e.g., the Arabian Caliphates).  The Solidus, which was its Latin name, contained a steady 4.48 grams of gold and was the established currency for international transactions; it was the “Dollar of the Mediaeval period”, as it was aptly named.  Services, salaries, produce, taxes and at times even ransom payments to enemies, were all covered by “currencies” that had a steady value, for eight whole centuries. It was the longest-surviving example of numismatic stability in the entire history of Europe.

So far, we have focused on a description of Western Europe during the “Dark Ages” for two reasons:  Firstly, because in this way, the contrast to the “Byzantine”(Eastern Roman) Empire is presented more vividly, given that it continued to maintain and cultivate the Hellenic-Roman civilization under conditions of financial prosperity that were totally unknown to the West. Secondly, because it was during this very period of barbarism and darkness that saw the birth of the extremely audacious Frankish allegations on the superiority of their theology and culture. As we shall see, these allegations were accompanied by a systematic forgery of History as well as by a relentless slandering of the free Romans. The vilification of “Byzantium” was considered a necessity, as it would veil the extent of Western Medieval barbarism, given that the very existence of Romania’s civilization (with the inevitable comparisons that it evoked) was contrast enough to the barbarism of the West.  The Western ideological form eventually prevailed in Europe, from that time and up until this day, thanks to the military supremacy of the Franks.  It is therefore important to bear in mind the cultural (or, rather, the primeval) setting in which the self-awareness of the Western civilization that confronted the Hellenic-Roman one was born.

 

It was precisely this Frankish ideological setting that guided many Western historians in their evaluation of the middle ages of “Byzantium”. These historians attempted once again to impose their own experiences and their own worldview throughout Christian Europe. Hence, they likewise gave the name “dark ages” to an analogous period of the Eastern Roman Empire. However, given that the Empire had lived moments of triumph during the 6th century (the construction alone of the impressive Church of the Holy Wisdom of God –Haghia Sohia- ruled out the element of darkness …) and given that it had also given birth to some of the most illustrious names of the middle ages, during the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries (Photius, Cyril, Methodius, Constantine Porphyrogennetus, Michael Psellus), the Frankish concept of “dark ages” had to be limited to two centuries only: the 7th and the 8th.

Of course darkness was to be found during those years only in the minds of the petty rulers who had sprung forth out of the “gloom-and-mould-covered Bavarian woods”, to recall Pericles Yannopoulos’ expression. The defending Roman Empire watched its territories dwindle after the impressive onslaught of the Arabs, but it still, nonetheless, managed to keep them in check and thus preserve its civilization.

There was of course an intellectual recession during this period, possibly attributed to the fact that the Empire primarily focused on military organization (the military “Themes” appeared in the 7th century, in charge of which they had placed generals). It was a period of regrouping for the state, which had not only lost the West, but also Syria, Palestine, Egypt and North Africa. The financial consequences were enormous. By losing Egypt, the Empire was losing its traditional supply of grain. At the same time, as Pirenne had underlined, the Saracen pirates who had dominated the Mediterranean Sea had cut off all communications between the sections of the once “Roman lake”. For the first time after 900 years, the Mediterranean had ceased being an open route of communication and was now being transformed into an impervious border between hostile nations.

Perhaps the greatest catastrophe was brought on by the Iconomachy, which kept the State divided for 120 years. It is a fact that we do not have very much information from this period. Few sources have been saved to date, the most complete one being Theophanes’ “Chronography”. All the same, this situation probably does not relate as much to the cultural decline of letters, as it does to the Iconomachy conflict, where each side would destroy the works of the other as soon as it rose to power. This was a form of civil war that left countless ruins in its path.

Nevertheless, the picture that emerges from within contemporary research testifies at least to a continuity and not a lapse in education during these centuries. The University of Constantinople continued to operate. We know of professors such as George Cherovoscos and Stephanos Alexandreus who taught grammar, Aristotle and Plato during the mid 7th century. [6] According to Lemerle, who had made exhaustive attempts to reconstruct the educational program of those centuries, one does not observe any discontinuation in both elementary and secondary education; not even any remarkable changes to the structure or the program, from the end of the 6th century, through to the beginning of the 9th.

From the year 700 onwards, we lack information on higher education. Most likely there was a crisis, without this however implying that higher education had ceased to exist. The biographies of Tarasius (Patriarch 806 – 815), of Nikephoros (Patriarch 806-815) and of St. Theodore Studite bring to light certain data on the existence of higher education in the middle of the 8th century. Nikephoros studies were (in the following order): grammar, rhetoric, astronomy, geometry, music, arithmetic and he completed his education with philosophy. As Lemerle believed, this would have been the uppermost education standard of that era. [7]

 In fact, Nikephoros’ Biography, which was salvaged, contains a lengthy section where quite large excerpts of Aristotelian philosophy are found.  This proves that the study of Aristotle never ceased in Constantinople, even during the “dark ages”. A few decades later, a grandiose revival of letters recommenced in the Empire, with Photius as the most prominent personage, who, in his “Library” had cited and commented on some 280 books, which he had read himself. This revival would obviously not have been possible, if all these works had not been salvaged and studied in Constantinople. Finally, we must not forget that it was during these “dark ages”, that the most sublime of all poetic works of mediaeval times was written, in our language:  the Akathest Hymn*.

*[A special hymn of praise and thanks, written in honour of the Holy Virgin and offered in a standing position in church, and not seated (=akathest)]

It is understandable, how the above portrait cannot be compared to the Frankish-governed Western Romania, where complete illiteracy obstructed the replication and preservation of manuscripts. Even the “educated” Franks of Charlemagne’s time did not possess those authors by which classical civilization is defined: neither Homer, nor Aeschylus, nor Sophocles, nor Thucydides, nor Demosthenes, nor Euclid, while of Plato’s twenty six works, they were aware of only one, “Timaeus”. [8]  Besides, it is characteristic that Charlemagne, albeit son and grandson of a Frankish king, was nevertheless illiterate, and it was only during his old age that he attempted to learn to read and write. 

The cultural abyss that separated Romania from Francia was not limited only to literacy and to financial prosperity.  It extended to every kind of human activity. When princess Theophano (niece of Emperor John Tsimiskis) married Otto II and went to Germany, the Germans became utterly scandalized because she bathed and wore garments made from silk.  One German nun had actually insisted that she had seen in a vision that these atrocious habits would be sending her to hell. [9]  A few years later, her cousin Maria Argyre shocked the Venetians, when she brought forks to Venice for the first time. [10] Equally abysmal was the difference between the two worlds, with regard to the place of women.  One characteristic event suffices to depict the cultural gap that existed between Romania and the West: in 1125, in the hospital of the monastery of Pantocrator in Constantinople, the resident male physicians served together with one female physician, four female assistant doctors and two female reserve assistants. [11] During the same period, some Western theologians did not think highly of women.

These barbarians, therefore, were the ones who decided to build a “Western Europe”, both in opposition to Romania, and in order to impose their own “civilization” on the Romans.  As of the 9th century, they began to pester the Romans with a series of works entitled “Contra errores Graecorum” (Against the Errors of the Greeks), in which they supposedly “proved” the countless dogmatic and other errors of the “Greeks”.  Nowadays, the descendants of those barbaric tribes are striving to persuade the still unconvinced neoRomans that we all share the same “common cultural heritage”, therefore we are supposedly obliged to agree to concessions, even in matters pertaining to our national rights, for fear of displeasing them. The progressive westernization of Hellas has obviously made the acceptance of such demands a lot easier.

It is often said that the main contribution of “Byzantium” to humanity was the preservation of ancient Hellenic works of poetry, philosophy, etc.  Although this is correct, “Byzantium” did offer much more than this, and it also created a superb synthesis of Hellenism and Christianity. Nevertheless, with the constant repetition of this phrase, we are perhaps forgetting another absolutely essential dimension of the matter, namely: why did the works of classical education disappear in the West but were preserved in the East?  If, according to the Western view, Romans and barbarians had merged and finally formed the Western European civilization, how is it that the Hellenic-Roman works were lost in the West? When two nations merge, the new synthesis contains elements from both sides. In fact, when one of the two is obviously superior in culture to the other, it is to be expected that its education will dominate over the other’s education. We know that, to a large extent, something like this had indeed occurred, during the synthesis of the Romans with the Hellenes, which produced the Hellenic-Roman civilization.

 

The great tragedy of European History lies in the fact that the clash between Romans and barbarians in the West did not bring about the same results. The Hellenic-Roman civilization rapidly disappeared during the 6th and 7th centuries, as we saw above. There is only one explanation for this, and our understanding of it constitutes a central point for the understanding of the genesis of the western civilization.  Quite simply, Romans and barbarians never did merge in the West. They remained isolated, because barbarians were, with very few exceptions, incapable of embracing the Hellenic-Roman civilization; incapable of appreciating anything beyond certain external ritualistic elements. The more profound knowledge of human nature, of the world, of the end of History, and all that the wisdom of the Hellenic-speaking Fathers of the Church had to offer, were considered (and continue to be considered) by them to be nothing more than “Byzantinisms”, that is, pointless and incomprehensible theological conversations. The Romans’ hopes that the Germanic tribes would eventually accept this acculturation stumbled on the arrogance and the political scheming of the Franks.  On the dilemma of “Romanity or barbarity”, Western Europe favoured barbarity, from the very beginning of mediaeval times.  Thus, instead of entering a new era of prosperity, revitalized by the new tribes that were entering its cultural sphere, Western Europe instead tumbled back into prehistoric darkness and was forced to start from scratch.

From there onwards, the barbarians slowly began to set up their own civilization, starting from nil, from primitivism. Most of them soon disappeared. Names, whose very mention spawned fear during the 5th and 6th centuries are nowadays nothing more than sounds without any hypostasis: the Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Erules, Vandals, Gepides, Swebes, Longobards and many others, all disappeared without leaving any trace, with one exception: the Franks. The Franks not only managed to wipe out the Hellenic-Roman civilization in the parts of Romania that fell under their occupation; they even managed to survive to this day, as the protagonists of Western European History. This is the reason that Western Europe is what it is, and not a continent based on the Christian, Hellenic-Roman civilization.  And more than this: the Franks succeeded in usurping the very name “Europe”, severing it from the only civilized nation of the time - the Romans. Through persistent and long-term attempts, they actually managed to also convince many Romans that only the Franks and their descendants belong in “Europe”, and that the Romans are something foreign, something inferior. When this plan is successfully fulfilled, there will be no differing opinion left to reveal the distortion of History and the crimes of Western Europeans against the highest civilization that our continent has ever borne.  Even worse, all the complex-ridden Romans will themselves be rushing to destroy their own civilization, imploring Westerners to give them certificates of “Europeanism”, thus irrevocably depriving humanity of the potential to discover a life far different to that of the mass, neurotic and alienated existence that the West has to offer…

 

These simple observations would have been redundant, had the Westerners not succeeded in altering the true picture to such an extent that nowadays it is considered a tautology that the Western civilization was born from the Hellenic-Roman one.  It is therefore necessary to repeat a few, simple truths, so that this confusion can be dispersed once and for all. And above all, we need to remember that the reason ancient works in the West were lost, is only because someone destroyed them.  The “someone” was not the Romans – on the contrary, we know that the free Romans of the East were the only ones who preserved them.  Those works were destroyed by the barbarians, the Franks and the others. Thus, when we say that “Byzantium” preserved the works of antiquity, the significance of this observation is not that these works were salvaged by the free Romans; this would be only natural and self-evident. The important thing is that certain others, certain non-Romans - the barbarian ancestors of Western Europeans - preferred to clash with the Hellenic-Roman civilization and to destroy and obliterate these works.

 

The choice to destroy everything “foreign”, everything unfamiliar, remained a basic trait of the West in all of its contacts with other civilizations.  However, those who are surely better qualified to comment on this observation would be the Incas, the Aztecs, and North American Indians …

 

Chapter 7 The first appearance of the “Greeks”

In the 8th century the word “Greeks – Graeci” appears for the first time as the national name used to define the Hellenic-speaking denizens of the Roman Empire. In the past, the word had been used to express the word “Hellenes” in Latin. [13] Afterwards, however, it was lost as a national name, since the national significance of the word “Hellene” disappeared. The name “Graeci” (and its derivatives Greek, Grec, etc.) was established once again after the 8th century in all of the Western European tongues for describing the Hellenic-speaking Romans. Let us examine a little more carefully, from within the sources, how this neologism came to be.

In Chapter 3 we mentioned how the subjects of the “Byzantine” Empire considered themselves Romans and how the Empire continued to call itself Roman, until its termination by the Turks. This was exactly what all the other peoples also knew them to be, who had any kind of contact with the Empire up until the 8th century. For example, the Arabs, who had conquered vast territories after 630 AD, were quite aware that they were conquering Romans (“Roum” in Arabic, as in Turkish too, later on). Even today, 1300 years later, there are, according to their own estimates, about 1.200.000 Orthodox Christians living in Syria and Lebanon, who speak Arabic, but declare themselves to be “Roum Ortodox”. Not Syrian or Lebanese (after all, these are not considered ethnic differences within the uniform Arabic nation) but “Roman Orthodox” - descendants of the conquered Romans of the 7th century - who managed to preserve their religion and national identity for 1300 years, and who still shed a tear today, whenever they encounter another Roman…

 

It was only natural that we were also named “Romans” by the barbaric peoples who settled in Western Romania.  Thus, the Frankish Chronicle by Fredegar mentions Phocas (602 – 610) as a “Roman patrician” who acceded to power in 602. [14] Further down, the Chronicle praises Heraclius, the vanquisher of Persians, with a rare display of splendour: “The Emperor Heraclius was impressive in appearance, handsome, tall, braver than the others, and a great warrior. He would often kill lions at the hippodrome and wild boars in remote locations …” [15]   This was the period when the Christian World continued to be unified, with the Roman Emperor as its head.

 

Even after Heraclius’ death, the Empire continued to be called “Roman”.  In section IV, 66 by Fredegar, we read that Heraclius “was succeeded by Constantine’s son, during whose reign the Roman Empire was savagely looted by the Saracens”. However, neither in Fredegar’s Chronicle nor in those of his Holdovers (who kept records up until 760) do we meet (not even once) the word “Greeks” as reference to the “Byzantines”. It is obvious that up until 760, the Franks had not yet decided to falsify History by naming the free Romans of the Empire “Greeks”.  On the contrary, they acknowledged that the Empire was one, and that Rome belonged to it, as can be seen in Fredegar’s Holdover (paragraph 37) where he recounts the wars between Franks and Longobards in 754, following Pope Stephen’s appeal to the Franks for aid. (More details on these events will be given in the next chapter.) Throughout this Chronicle, one can still discern a respect and a friendly climate in the references to the Empire.  While Fredegar’s Holdovers never used the word Graeci, twenty years later, in 780, things began to change. The Franks with Charlemagne have now subjugated the Longobards and have created a kingdom that extends over present-day France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Northern Italy. In “History of the Longobards” by Paul the Deacon, who resided in the court of Charlemagne, certain curious neologisms began to make their appearance.  Quite inexplicably, the free Romans began to be called “Greeks”.

 

The narration up to the time of Heraclius presents no problems: “Heraclius, son of Heraclionus, assumed the governance of the Roman nation.” [16] In fact, Tiberius, who acceded to the throne in 578, is clearly referred to as the “fiftieth emperor of the Romans”, in an uninterrupted succession from the Octavian Augustus. [17]  Then, all of a sudden, the “Greeks” make their appearance around 650: “When the Greeks arrived in those days to plunder the sanctuary of the Holy Archangel [Michael], which was situated on mount Garganus, Grimwald [duke of the Longobards] attacked them with his army and slaughtered them.” [18]  Further along, however, when referring to Constantine IV, he writes that “the governance of the Empire of the Romans was undertaken by Constantine, son of emperor Constantius, who reigned over the Romans for seventeen years.” [19]  He repeats the same words for Constantine’s successor, Justinian II, who “undertook the government of the Romans and maintained it for ten years.” [20].

Needless to say that in all these references to the Romans of Italy, Paul the Deacon maintains their proper name, regardless whether they are the rebelling subjects of the Longobards (for example Padua in 599 [21]) or free citizens who had preserved their property (for example Classis, which “was restored to the Romans by command of Liutprand” in 724 [22]).

Paul the Deacon’s “History of the Longobards” contains certain glaring contradictions, which have been exploited for centuries by Western propaganda. Thus, when Emperor Constas goes to Italy (662) and begins his new liberating war against the Longobards, Paul the Deacon writes that the Longobards sent a messenger who “was arrested by the Greeks and brought to the Emperor”. [23]  In other words, the Romans are suddenly transformed into Greeks. They remained “Greeks” for as long as they remained in Italy, where the author describes scenes of great tribulations for the citizens of Rome and of Southern Italy. “Even the sacred vessels and the treasures belonging to the churches of God were transported far away, by the avarice of the Greeks, through an imperial command.” [24] And further down: “When the Beneventines and their provinces were rid of the Greeks, king Grimwald decided to return to his palace in Ticinum.” [25]

 

Oddly enough, after all of these events, the narrative continues to refer to Romans and to an emperor of the Romans in Constantinople, up until the reign of Leo II in 695.  In other words, for as long as the Roman army under Emperor Constas was warring against the Longobards and freeing the enslaved Romans, it was not (according to Paul the Deacon) a Roman army, but a Greek army. As soon as the emperor returned to Constantinople, he became a Roman once again.  These descriptions would have all been regarded as quite amusing, if they had not been written wittingly, and, even worse, if they had not been embraced by almost all the Western historians.  However, given that these had been written wittingly, and because, as we know today, the adopting of forged national names always serves darker objectives, it is necessary to provide some kind of interpretation.

In our opinion, there is only one possible interpretation for this contradiction. It is the one that Romanides suggested. At some point after 750, the Franks conceived a colossal imperialist plan: the creation of an empire that would include Italy and, of course, the city-legend: Rome.  In order to minimize the obstacles, they had to cut off the Romans of Italy from their capital, Constantinople, as well as from their fellow countrymen in the rest of the Roman Empire. So they started, gradually but systematically, to use the term “Graeci” in order to differentiate the Hellenic-speaking Romans from the Latin-speaking Romans. [26]  What used to be an instrument of Frankish imperialism, ended up a commonly accepted historical “truth”, to the point that today the Christian Roman Empire is often called “Greek Empire” in Western histories – and of course the descendants of the Hellenic-speaking Romans are called “Greeks” everywhere.

 

Forty years after Paul the Deacon’s death, the falsification was complete. Einhard, who wrote Charlemagne’s biography around 830, did not hesitate to call Constantine VI a mere “emperor of the Greeks”. [27]  However, even in general, the entire Roman Empire was nothing but Greek, according to Einhard.  In his description of the boundaries of Francia after Charlemagne’s conquests, he writes that “[he] annexed the whole of Italy, which extends … from Aosta to Southern Calabria, at the point where the boundaries between the Greeks and the Beneventines are.” [28]  From that time on, every Western source has been referring to the Hellenic-speaking Romans as “Greeks”, even up to the present day.

 

After everything that has been exposed in the 3rd chapter and this one, the political motivations that dictated the invention of various names for the Romans by the Westerners must have become evident: 

In the 8th century, they needed to cut off the Latin-speaking Romans from the Hellenic-speaking Romans in order to conquer Italy unobstructed. So they invented the name “Greeks”.  In the 16th through to the 19th century, they had to prevent the Romans from re-establishing their Empire. Thus, they nicknamed it “Byzantine”, given that there was no-one who would demand its re-establishment. 

This is why we stressed in the introduction that the national names were devised wittingly by the Western Europeans, as the ideological means of annihilating Romanity.

In the next chapter we shall follow closely the political and religious events of the second half of the 8th century, when the great rift between West and Romanity was forming. This is a particularly important period, which has not, however, been sufficiently covered by Hellenic bibliography. [29] For this reason, we will need to go into more detail than we did in previous chapters, so that we may be able to study in detail how the Franks managed to cut off all connections with the Roman Empire and come up with that fictitious interpretation of History that prevails in Europe to this day.

 

Chapter 8 - Charlemagne and the autonomizing of the West from Romanity

It was in the 8th century that the rift between the Roman Empire and Western Europe was finalized.  The Franks now felt powerful enough to demand for themselves the leadership of the “Christian World”. According to the medieval convictions however, which appeared to be deeply rooted in the majority of the population, the Roman Emperor was still at the summit of the known World.  Thus, the need arose for Charlemagne, the most renowned king of the Franks, to be crowned emperor of the Romans in 800, in order to legitimise his authority.

In the pages that follow, we will follow more attentively the events that led to the permanent separation of Western Europe from the Roman Empire, between 750 and 800 AD. It is our personal opinion, that this period is especially decisive in the shaping of the Western European conscience and Western civilization. It was during these 50 years, that the West chose the confrontation with Romanity, a confrontation that has never ceased, even in our time.  And it was during Charlemagne’s reign, that the West became united into a powerful state, which has since comprised a vision for Western Europeans, as well as “proof” of their “common cultural roots” that they continue to invoke to this day.  It is by no means a coincidence that the first attempt for the re-unification of western Europeans (the EEC of the Six) was embarked on by those countries whose territories corresponded exactly to the dominion of Charlemagne…

The beginning of the 8th century found Italy divided between the Longobards and the free Romans, whose capital was Constantinople. Ravenna was the administrative centre of Roman Italy and the free territories included Southern Italy along with Sicily, Naples and the Ravenna – Rome passageway with the so-calledVenice and Istria continued to be Roman.

The wars between Romans and Longobards were incessant, and the Empire would occasionally send an army to defend its territories, but it is a fact that from 580 AD, when the Avars, the Persians and the Arabs reached closer to the walls of Constantinople, the emphasis on defence turned to the East. Consequently, it was for purely geopolitical reasons that the Western provinces were neglected to a certain degree. The vacancy in power that ensued in the West allowed for (if not imposed) the appointment of the Church as a point of support for the suffering Romans. The Pope took initiatives and became involved in the political game, in an attempt to secure the survival of his fellow countrymen. Thus, in 594 AD, Pope Gregory I requested the Emperor’s permission to seal a peace pact with the Longobards himself, despite the contrary political will of Constantinople, which had favoured a military defeat of the barbarians. The 7th century provides us with many more examples of this kind of initiative by the Pope.

To the Westerners and the Western-oriented historians, it was these initiatives that signalled the beginning of the rift between the Empire and the Pope; a rift that would finally lead to the Schism and an open hostility between the Empire and the West.  The reality, however, is quite different. In order to comprehend the Pope’s role during the 7th and 8th centuries, we have but to turn to examples with Roman Patriarchs and archbishops of more recent History.  One such example is the Patriarch of Constantinople, during the period of the Turkish occupation.  Apart from the religious role, his role had also been a national one. He was the Ethnarch of all the subjugated Romans, who tended -with whatever means he had at his disposal- to the betterment of the fates of the entire Race. A second such example is the archbishop of Cyprus during the British occupation, before 1960.   This is how we should evaluate the Pope’s role during those difficult years, when the barbarians had fenced in the Romans from all sides.  The secular objectives and the territorial claims that characterize papal history in the pursuant centuries are the result of the seizure of the papal throne by the Franks in the 11th century, and we should in no way ascribe these characteristics to the Romanian Popes of the 8th century.

Developments in Italy took an unpleasant turn in the middle of the 8th century. In 751, the Longobards subjugated Ravenna and in the following year they reached the outer walls of Rome. Pope Stephen (752 – 757) attempted to close a deal with them, like his predecessors had also done, and when he failed, he asked for help from the Emperor Constantine V. Help however, during this crucial moment that threatened the very existence of Rome, was late in coming. According to the Liber Pontificalis (Book of the Pontiffs), “when Stephen realised that help was not going to come from the imperial throne, he remembered the actions of his predecessors Gregory I, Gregory III and Zachariah” and “enlightened by Divine Grace”, he sent a message to Pipin, king of the Franks. [30]

Pipin responded affirmatively and invited the Pope to Francia. During the meeting that took place in 754, Pipin promised to help and to protect the Holy See, while the Pope on his part gave his blessing to Pipin as king, and gave his sons the title of patrician. [31]  We need to stress here that the title of patrician was not of any particular importance and it was bestowed from time to time on various barbarians.

The following year, Pipin did in fact go down to Italy and vanquished the Longobards. Upon his departure, however, the latter violated their agreements and began to besiege Rome anew. The Pope sent new, desperate appeals to Pipin, who returned to Italy, scattered the Longobards, and delivered the Roman territories to the Pope. Emperor Constantine V immediately sent his ambassadors, demanding the return of the territories to the Empire. Pipin, however, refused to do this, pointing out – unlike what the former Frankish rulers upheld – that he had not acted on behalf of the Empire. Thus, the lands of the former exarchate were left under the political jurisdiction of the Pope. 

For Western Europe, this was a decisive moment in its History, since this was the way that the Papal state was created, which has been preserved in various forms to this day, playing a leading role in the political developments of the continent. The founding of the Papal state is usually described with expressions such as “the revolution of Italy in the 8th century”. Historians agree that Rome, deeply disappointed by Constantinople’s indifference, had decided to defect once and for all from the East.

It is highly unlikely that the Romans of 755 could have seen things in the way that we see them today.  In their eyes, the Pope, being a genuine Roman Ethnarch, did what he could for the safety of the Orthodox Romans, amid the desperation in the Longobard-besieged city. He turned to the Orthodox nation of the Franks, in order to save Rome from subjugation; in fact, not just Rome, but the entire exarchate. In other words, he also wished to free the Romans who had been conquered by the Longobards. After all, we must not forget that Franks and Romans had allied in the past, in the 6th century, when the Franks had helped the Romans, not only against the Goths, but also against the Longobards. It was perfectly normal for the Pope to turn to them, when he saw no help coming from Constantinople.  When examining the situation through this prism, we discern no secular ambitions by the Pope, nor are there any imperialist plans for domination over Western Europe, as Western historians usually assert.  All these problems came much later, after the 11th century, and it would be wrong to place them in the middle of the 8th century.

It is also evident (and this is something that all historians accept), that Constantinople did not have any serious concerns about the developments in Italy. The occupation of Ravenna was seen as a temporary event, which would soon be reversed. The conflict between Romans and Longobards was riddled with such episodes during the 7th and 8th centuries.  Pipin’s handing over of the former exarchate to the Pope and not to the Empire was most certainly an annoyance, as surmised from the consecutive delegations that were sent to Pipin during that period.

It was the Emperor’s decision to strengthen relations with the Franks, in the hope of neutralizing any potential extremist tendencies of expansionism from their part. Thus, in 757 he sent the chief delegate Georgios to Pipin, together with a huge church organ as a gift. It was the first time that Francia had laid eyes on an organ and the impression it made remained historical. [32] At the same time, he suggested marriage between Leo, the Emperor’s son, to Pipin’s daughter Gisela, although this proposition was never realised. In retrospect, we can say that this policy had a very limited outcome, as the Franks continued their expansion even after Pipin’s death.

It is noteworthy, how the main Roman source for that period, Theophanes’ “Chronography”, contains only a vague knowledge of what was taking place in the West during the decade of 750 (and even there, we find a chronological confusion, since Theophanes places Pope Stephen’s delegation to Pipin in 723 – 724). [33] At any rate, this limited information supports the view that we outlined above. Theophanes refers to Stephen as “the late reposed” and he also justifies the Pope’s action.

Beyond Theophanes, there is not a single other Hellenic-speaking source available for the events in Italy, as D. H. Miller has verified, who has systematically researched this period. [34] Thus, we are obliged to draw the details of these events from the Liber Pontificalis and the Frankish Codex Carolinus, where the Pope’s correspondence with the Frankish king is kept. The latter however is of uncertain genuineness. For instance, it mentions an epistle sent by Pope Stephen to Pipin where the former asks Pipin to now rid him of the “Greeks” also, so that the holy, catholic and apostolic Church of God may be freed from the infectious deceitfulness of the Greeks. [35]

It makes one wonder why the Roman Pope, who had only recently asked for help from the Roman Emperor Constantine V, and who continued to date all his documents according to the year of the Emperor’s reign, would speak thus vehemently against the “Greeks”. But as we shall see further down, there are many other strange things in the Frankish sources of this period.  They cease to be strange, as soon as we perceive the successive forgeries made a posteriori by ruthless Frankish diplomacy.

In 757, Stephen was succeeded by his brother Paul I. The orchestrated propaganda of the Codex Carolinus continued. In a letter to Pipin, the new Pope condemned the “Greeks” as heretics, even though he did not explain what their heresy was. He calls them nefandissimi, odibiles, perversi (impious, odious, perverse). [36] Roman sources are unaware of such a stance by the Pope.  We need to remember that Emperor Constantine V had released new persecutions against the Iconophiles during this period, and with the Synod of Constantinople in 754, he had also ascribed to Iconomachy the character of an official dogma for the first time. Monks from the East had come to Rome seeking refuge with the Pope, who had remained steadfastly Orthodox and an iconophile. Could this have been the reason for the condemnation of the “Greeks”?

It seems hard to believe. Were that the case, the Pope would not have condemned the “Greeks” in their totality, but only the specific heretical views of the Emperor.  Disagreements between Pope and Emperor were quite a few in the centuries prior to 750, and Orthodox History acknowledges that quite often, the Pope was right. One superb example was Pope Martinus I, who, albeit tortured and exiled, refused to succumb to Constantinople’s Monotheletism in the 7th century. Martinus was proclaimed a saint by the Orthodox Church, and he continues to be commemorated to this day.  But never did a Pope express himself in this way for the totality of the Romans of the East.

Furthermore, in 8th century Rome, there were 10 “Greek” (i.e. Hellenic-speaking) monasteries, out of a total 38 monasteries within the city, where the people sought refuge from the Arab yoke or from the Iconomachy persecutors. [37] Was it ever possible for the Pope to condemn the “Greeks” in their entirety, when he had so many “Greek” monks under his jurisdiction, and moreso, when it is a known fact that Paul I himself had donated his homestead to the “Greek” citizens of Rome in 761, having ratified the donation by a Synodic bull which had been signed by all the cardinals, and which had the name of the donor inscribed in Hellenic lettering? [38]  Finally, we should note that Pope Paul hailed from an old, renowned family of Rome. [39] It would not have been possible for him to begin calling his fellow countrymen, the Romans of Constantinople, “Greeks”, at a time when every Roman knew that no “Greek” nation existed in the East.

In short, to summarize the situation, there is no logical explanation for these expressions by Pope Paul I. Since these words have not been confirmed by any other source, in our opinion, we can consider them as posterior concoctions by the Frankish industry for historical falsifications.  This of course is a matter that needs to be examined by experts; nevertheless, we need to make a parenthesis here, to remind the reader that History according to the Franks is rife with falsifications during this period.

For instance, the so-called “pseudo-Isidorian ordinances” (a collection of canons and papal decrees which were circulated by the Franks at the beginning of the 9th century) are renowned.  These include –no less- 94 spurious papal decrees, as well as the infamous “Donation of Constantine”. As noted by V. Stephanides, “no other falsification in the history of mankind has been conducted with such artfulness, and no other forgery has brought about such huge results. The cited forgeries were not composed from mere figments of the imagination, but from elements taken from a painstaking study of theological and canonical sources, which, after being slightly distorted and re-coordinated, produced the desired result.” [40]

Furthermore, a few decades later, it was observed that the biographies of popes John VIII, Martin I and Adrian III (872 – 885), had been removed from the Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis), “an unprecedented kind of omission”, as noted by Loungis. [41]

Obviously, these popes had no place in History (as falsified by the Franks), given that they had sent congratulations to the imperial army which had driven out the Arabs from Southern Italy. In fact, Pope John VIII had prompted the commanders of the army to go to Rome, to defend the Romans there. [42]

Subsequently, it was not at all strange that the Franks retroactively erased his biography, which obviously must have also included other evidence that would have revealed the Frankish forgeries.

At any rate, an in-depth examination of Frankish forgeries would demand a particularly voluminous research that would leave modern-day readers speechless.  With this in mind, we need not search any further, to understand why, during that same period of time, the Romans of the East had begun –otherwise inexplicably- to be referred to as “Greeks” in both the Codex Carolinus and in Paul the Deacon’s “Historiae Langobardorum”.  Obviously, it was a predetermined political decision that dictated such a falsification.

Pipin died in 768 AD and his kingdom was divided between his sons Charles and Charlemagne, according to the German custom. The latter died three years later, whereas the former reigned for 46 years and became known in History as Charles the Great or Charlemagne.

In the very first year of the two brothers’ reign, the new Pope, Stephen III, convened the Lateran Synod (769), mainly in order to solve the problem of the presence of a claimant of the papal throne. This Synod, however, acquired a special interest, in light of later developments.  For one thing, it was the first synod to take place in Rome, in which Frankish bishops -12 in number - participated, along with 39 Roman bishops (a detail which, incidentally, also proves that the distinction between Romans and Franks was still evident in 769 AD). [43]

With the Lateran Synod, the Pope had also aspired to incorporate the Franks in the Orthodox camp. By offering them for the first time the honour of participating in the Synod, he hoped to keep them more committed to him in view of future Longobard expansionist aims. History, however, proved him wrong, as the Franks soon afterwards embarked on their own expansionist wars, without showing any respect towards Orthodoxy or the Romans.

Nonetheless, this synod also had a secondary significance. One of its important decisions was the unconditional support of the veneration of icons (in fact, epistles by the Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, which were in favour of the veneration of icons, were recited during the synod). At the same time, however, as in every synod, the confirmation of acceptance of the decisions of preceding Ecumenical Synods was repeated.  It was underlined that the correct faith is defined only by Ecumenical Synods, and the Symbol of Faith was recited. [44] The Frankish bishops unanimously agreed with all these decisions and declarations. The Christian Church continued to be one and indivisible, even in 770 AD, with the exception of Constantinople’s stance on the Iconomachy issue.

However, scarcely twenty years had gone by, when the Franks changed their stance altogether, rejecting everything that they had accepted during the Lateran Synod.  They disregarded the unalterable status of the Symbol of Faith, by adding the “filioque” clause.  They rejected the exclusivity of the Ecumenical Synods for defining the dogma, by officially recognizing the arbitrariness of every secular leader or Pope, something that led the Latin church into authoritarian adventures in the centuries that followed.  They also rejected the veneration of icons, even after Constantinople had reverted in favour of icons.  Having embarked on such actions, they began ever since to assert (and they continue to do so) that they were the ones who had preserved the correct Christian faith, as opposed to the Romans, whom they began to systematically slander for many centuries, with their “Contra Errores Graecorum”.  But let us take a closer look, to see what exactly happened.

Despite the contrary opinion adopted by some historians, it was not the Iconomachy that caused the religious conflict between the Franks and the Empire.  A few years after the Lateran Synod, the situation changed in Constantinople and an iconophile Empress, Irene, convened the 7th Ecumenical Synod (Nicaea, 787). As we know, this Synod fully restored the veneration of icons. What was the Franks’ reaction to this? Instead of hailing the return of the “heretical Greeks” to the orthodox faith, they composed a reply, “Capitulare adversus synodum”, which rejected the decisions of the Nicene Synod.

This was the time when Charlemagne’s military successes gave birth to dreams of world domination in the Frankish court. Indeed, the Franks now felt powerful enough to cast aside every pretense: they were not in the least interested in any orthodox faith – even the condemnation of the Iconomachy in 769 meant nothing more to them than a means of conquering Italy.  They were not even interested in the Pope, as long as he held a different opinion: when Pope Adrian received the “Capitulare”, it must have shocked him. He would not have expected this kind of a reaction, given that his representatives had participated in the 7th Ecumenical Synod, his epistles had been recorded in the Synod’s Minutes, and the Patriarch Tarasius himself had pointed out how exceptionally focused Adrian was, on the ancient traditions of the Catholic (overall) and Apostolic Church.[45] He immediately composed a reply, known as “Hadrianum”, and sent it to Charlemagne. In it, he refuted, point by point, all the Frankish positions, adhering to the orthodox decisions of that Ecumenical Synod.  Charlemagne, however, had already made his own decisions. Instead of accepting the Pope’s clarifications and rejoicing - as all Orthodox normally do to this very day - over the victory of the icons, which decision had been co-signed by all five Patriarchates, he instead instructed his advisers to compose a new theology. This is how the renowned “Libri Carolini” came to be, which expressed the Frankish theological positions, as opposed to the Orthodox ones, in both Rome and in Constantinople. 

Disputes and revolutionary changes occur very rarely in world History. Usually, the flow of events is so continuous, that one cannot easily discern where one era ends, and another one begins. In the Libri Carolini, however, a historian is entitled to acknowledge the huge rift that occurred in European History. If there was one moment during which the separation of Western Europe from Romanity was finalized, it was the decade of 790. The reasons for the separation should not be sought –as many believe- in geographical reasons or linguistic differences. The Romans of Italy and the Romans of the East continued to be Romans, whether they spoke Latin, or Hellenic. Nor were there any religious causes, given that the dispute over icons had been resolved (albeit temporarily) after the Synod of 787. Nor should one look for the reason of the separation in the supposed abolition of the Western Roman Empire in 476, as we explained in Chapter 4. Finally, even the “founding” of the papal state in 756 did not cause the rift between the West, Rome and the East.

It becomes clear, from everything that we described, that the Rome-Constantinople dispute was a temporary one and that it was settled by the Ecumenical Synod of 787. And in our opinion, it is odd, how acknowledged historians such as Karayannopoulos assert that after the 7th Ecumenical Synod “any bridging between the pope and Byzantium was no longer possible, hence the pope was forced to turn once again to the Franks.” [46] These historians have embraced the Western view that “the proliferation of the Byzantine dominion throughout the south of Italy (after the battles between Franks and “Byzantines” in 787) worried pope Adrian very much”. [47] It seems, however, that the “very much” was apparently not that “much”, since Adrian went ahead and participated in the Nicean Synod, when he could have refused the invitation on the pretext that Rome no longer belonged to the Empire; that it was independent.  In fact, the “very much” proved to be rather “less”, since, in spite of his “worrying”, Adrian (with the “Hadrianum” that we mentioned earlier) preferred to oppose those who would have protected him from “Byzantine expansionism” - the Franks.

Instead of regurgitating the Frankish propaganda, it would be far simpler to examine the Roman view, which, if anything, possesses a greater hermeneutic capability (and fewer logical contradictions) regarding the events of the period 750 – 800 AD.  The picture that will be formed by the Roman viewpoint is still mostly unknown.  However, the general axis around which the mosaic fragments are to be pieced together is known to us, and it is none other than the one we described in this chapter.

Let us now see exactly what took place after Charlemagne’s decision to confront the Roman Empire and the Pope. Already in 787, after the Franks had permanently prevailed in Northern Italy, and having placed Central Italy under their “protection”, they turned upon the South. Their first target was the independent Longobard ducat of Benevento, although of course their ultimate objective was to completely annex Southern Italy, so that any Roman resistance would be eliminated.

This disturbed Constantinople. Until that moment, it could only observe –weakened as it was– the gradual loss of the Ravenna exarchate; however, it looked as though Campania and Apulia continued to be a non-negotiable line of defence for the Empire. Thus, imperial forces landed in Calabria and allied with Benevento. [48] From 787 – 788, direct conflicts began between the imperial army and the Franks, with Southern Italy as the envied prize.  Diplomatic relations between Constantinople and Charlemagne were cut off for ten years, and one of the miracles that took place during this cessation was the most famous marriage by proxy that the middle ages had ever known, namely, between the Emperor Constantine VI and Charlemagne’s daughter, Rotrude.

In 794, Charlemagne convened an oversized Frankish Synod in Frankfurt, which legalized the recent theological arbitrariness of his court.  During this synod, the veneration of icons was condemned as a non-Christian practice, the title of “Ecumenical” for the Nicene Synod of 787 was rejected, and the “filioque” was inserted in the Symbol of Faith.  Many other actions of Constantinople were also condemned, such as the Emperor’s requirement to preside over the Synods as an “iso-apostle” etc. [49]  In general, we can say that the Franks had chosen confrontation at a political level, and were now trying to “adorn” their plans with self-designed religious differences.  This is the reason that their arguments have no special value. As Romanides had aptly observed, what we have here is an example of a “newly formed group of Germanic tribes, who began to teach the Romans, before actually acquiring any education themselves.” [50]

One way or another, the sources that the Frankish theologians could resort to were scant : only whatever had remained after the 300 years of destructions and darkness that we described in Chapter 6.  Judging by what their references reveal, they relied mainly on the work of Pope Gregory I, as well as the summaries of works that had been preserved by Isidore of Seville. [51] On the contrary, the Nicene Synod (as Western historians also accept) had access to countless sources; some from the Patriarchal library and others which had been brought along by the Synod’s participants from their Metropolises.

References to the sources, as well as to the impressively exhaustive cross-referencing of excerpts, can be found in the Minutes of the Nicene Synod, which have survived to this day. [52]

One of the innovations that was introduced by the Franks at the Synod of Frankfurt,  became a critical point of friction in the dispute between the Orthodox Church and the Latin one; the slogan –so to speak- of the religious conflict between the West and Orthodoxy.  We are referring to the “filioque”.  This tiny addition of three words (“and the Son”) in the Symbol of Faith inspired thousands of pages to be written, however, the interested reader should refer to those who are more specialized than us on the theological arguments of the two sides. We will, however, mention some historical elements on its genesis, since they belong to the time period that we are analyzing.

To begin with, we should note that even in this matter, the Franks had created a myth that has prevailed up to this day, even though it is historically unfounded.  In other words, the view that the “filioque” was the source of the difference between the Roman Catholic and Hellenic Orthodox Church is still dominant.

This myth must, finally, be eradicated. The truth is that all the Roman Popes were opposed to the “filioque”, from the moment that it was inserted in the Symbol of Faith by the Franks. In fact, Pope Leo III (796 – 816), who had firsthand experience of the Franks’ pressures on this matter, did something that revealed the true extent of the papal reaction to the arbitrary Frankish acts.

He arranged so that the orthodox Symbol of Faith (without the “filioque”) be inscribed on two silver plaques (one in Latin and one in Hellenic), which he then affixed high up on a wall in the cathedral of St. Peter, so that it could be read clearly by all the faithful. Leo had hoped that the Franks would not dare desecrate the most sacred centre of Western Christianity.

In 809, the Franks went ahead and officially recognized the “filioque”, with the Synod of Aachen.  Given that the Pope continued to uphold the Orthodox tradition, Charlemagne sent a delegation to Rome headed by the monk Smaragdus, in the hope of changing the Pope’s stance.  In the Minutes of this meeting, which have been preserved to this day, it is quite evident that Leo categorically refused to be swayed. [53] Leo’s successors also continued to oppose the “filioque”, until the Franks violently seized the Patriarchate of Rome and permanently enthroned their own Pope (probably around 1009 onwards). [54]  It was only after a Frank ascended the papal throne, that the Popes began to support the “filioque” and to oppose the Orthodox position of the remaining four Patriarchates.  This was the reason that the Orthodox Romans ceased referring to the Church of Rome as “Roman Catholic” after it was besieged by the Franks: it was neither Roman (in the national-cultural sense of the term), nor of course was it “Catholic”, as it was now severed from the “catholic” (Greek, means ”Overall”) Body of the Christian Church. It has since been referred to as “Latin”, and this is the only term befits it.

Let us now move on, to the famous coronation of Charlemagne in Rome, as “emperor of the Romans” on Christmas day of 800 AD. The events preceding and during the coronation have been the subject of exhaustive research by medieval historians, therefore we only need to make a brief mention of it. Besides, after everything that has been exposed so far, our view is that this coronation represented the conclusion, not the beginning, of the anti-Roman policy of the Franks.

Pope Adrian died in 796 and was succeeded by Leo III. Charlemagne arranged to secure the subjugation of the new Pope, by sending him a series of instructions and obliging him to thenceforth date his documents, starting from the date of the Frankish occupation of Northern Italy. [55]  The Pope was also pressured into giving up the keys to St. Peter’s cathedral, along with the banner of the city of Rome, to Charlemagne.

Western historians believe that this act was proof of the Pope’s preference to the Franks and not to the Empire. This allegation would have had some sort of basis, if the papal state were truly independent. But independence was nonexistent, as Charlemagne’s armies loomed above the heads of the Romans of Italy. Even Gibbon had observed this, when he very accurately noted that: “Charlemagne’s power and politics annihilated an enemy (the Longobards), and imposed a master on the Romans”. [56]  Besides, the Franks behaved as though they were the legal owners of the former exarchate.  As mentioned in the Codex Carolinus, Charlemagne ripped out the mosaics from the palace in Ravenna and took them to Aachen to adorn his own palace. [57]

In 799, certain relatives of the former Pope Adrian, attacked, abused and imprisoned Leo.  With the help of friends, he managed to escape and eventually reached Saxony, where he asked for Charlemagne’s help. The latter decided to take Leo’s side. At the same time, it is certain that he saw before him a unique opportunity to further promote his objectives. Thus, in the negotiations that followed, Charles most probably demanded quid pro quo from the Pope, even though the Western sources do not mention anything of the kind. Leo, whose very life now hinged on Charlemagne’s support, could not refuse him anything.

The events that followed are well-known: Leo returned to his throne, while Charles (entirely “by coincidence”) announced that he wished to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Birth of Christ in Rome. During the Christmas service in St. Peter’s cathedral, the Pope crowned Charlemagne, anointed him with oil, and the spectators acclaimed him as their emperor. Charles began to mint golden coins with his face engraved on them, along with the monogram of the Pope.  The 25th of December 800 is considered in the West as the date of “re-establishment” of “the Western Roman Empire”. In the Frankish chronicles of that time, Charlemagne is listed as the 68th emperor, after the Roman Emperor Constantine VI. [58]

Charlemagne’s successors were to bear the title of “emperor” in the various compositions of the state (the better-known one being the “Holy Roman Empire of the Germanic Nation”), up to the beginning of the 19th century. In fact, the Germans continued to enumerate their emperors, beginning from Octavian Augustus and up to Francis II (1806), who was considered the 120th Roman Emperor. [59] The Franks developed a somewhat washy, theoretical interpretation for the arbitrary action of Charlemagne, which they nevertheless imposed for twelve centuries, up until our time. The formulation of this theory has been preserved in the Chronicle of Laureshein (9th century) and we quote it herebelow:

“Given that the title of emperor ceased to exist among the Greeks, and because their Empire was ruled by a woman (meaning Irene), both Pope Leo and the rest of the Fathers who were assembled in Rome, as well as the entire Christian fold, believed that it was their duty to acclaim the Frankish king Charles as their emperor, who was the ruler of Rome, where the Caesars of all the other parts of Italy, Gaul and Germany were also based. And since God had entrusted all of the aforementioned countries to him, it seemed proper for him to also assume the title of Emperor, with the help of God and the prayers of all Christians”. [60]

In actual fact, the exact title that was given to Charlemagne during his coronation was not made known.  He himself never dared to sign anything as “Emperor of the Romans” (“Imperator Romanorum”), which was the title of the emperors of Constantinople. After 800 AD, he simply added the title “Romanorum gubernans imperium” (=governor of the empire of the Romans) to the existing title of “rex Francorum” (=king of the Franks) and “rex Langobardorum” (=king of the Longobards). [61] This form of title was unknown in the Roman imperial tradition.

Later on, the Franks asserted that with his ‘voluntary’ choice to crown Charlemagne, the Pope had supposedly transferred the imperial crown from the East to the West, from the Greeks to the Franks.  Invoking this famous theory of “translatio imperii” (=shifting of the imperial status), later popes, such as Innocent III, attempted to impose and to validate their theocratic aims on the emperors of the West. [62]  But the sombre Western tales of never-ending conflicts between popes that directed entire armies and the authoritarian Franco-German rulers will not preoccupy us here.

What does concern us is whether Leo’s actions were indeed voluntary.  We read Gibbon’s view previously; Theophanes in turn, characteristically wrote that Leo returned to his throne (after the events of 799) and that thereafter, Rome was placed under Frankish control: “(Leo), when appealing to Charles, the king of Franks for support, had rigorously defended him from his enemies and he (Charles) reinstated him once again on the same throne, while Rome was thereafter placed under the rule of the Franks”. [63]  In other words, for Theophanes, who wrote just 14 years later, these two events had a cause-and-effect relationship. Leo’s reinstatement also signified Rome’s subjugation to the Franks.

The theories about a supposed independent decision were so naïve, that they could not convince any Roman of the East. Theophanes concludes: “(Leo) rewarded Charles, by crowning him king of the Romans inside the church of the Holy Apostle Peter, anointing him with oil from head to toe and vesting him with royal garb and crown”. [64]  The simple logical deduction of any unprejudiced researcher, that Leo recompensed Charles for his personal help by crowning him king in Rome, is already found in Theophanes’ work and there is no need for us to resort to intellectual “acrobatics” or complicated scenarios in order to discern the truth.

Equally indicative is a phrase by Einhard, Charlemagne’s adviser, which we will come back to, further down.  For the period after 800 AD, Einhard wrote: “….(despite the peace treaty of 812), the power of the Franks always seemed suspicious in the eyes of the Greeks and the Romans”. [65] In other words, he admits that those who the Franks called “Romans” (the Latin-speaking Romans) fostered hostile feelings for the Franks.  How was it possible then, for them to acclaim Charles as their emperor? Charlemagne was nothing more to them than a foreign conqueror.  He was not a Roman, nor did the Romans want him as their king.

But it appears that all these self-evident facts are not enough to convince Western historians, so that we can eventually do away with expressions of the type “re-establishment of the Western Roman Empire”.  Having lived for many centuries with the conviction that they are members of the “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation”, Western Europeans find it difficult -and in the long run refuse - to recant the falsification of History that their ancestors had concocted.  This is why we stressed in the introduction of our study that the historical “landmark” that they used as their beginning, continues to be entirely different to ours, and their different cultural tradition does not allow them to restore the historical truth, to this very day.

To conclude our commentary on Laureshein’s Chronicle, we also need to point out the remarkable logical error that the cited excerpt contains.  His basic argument was that because of the Greeks’ lack of an emperor, it was decided to proclaim Charlemagne as their emperor. But then, that would have made Charlemagne “emperor of the Greeks”!

These are the kinds of comical errors that the Franks fall into, when they attempt to falsify History and rename the Romans of the East “Greeks”, in order to differentiate them from their fellow- Romans of Italy.

The reaction of the Roman Empire to Charlemagne’s coronation was, of course, a hostile one. Charlemagne was seen as the usurper of a title that belonged only to the Roman Emperor of Constantinople. In order to subdue their reactions (or to complete his expansionist plans, depending on how one interprets the events), Charlemagne dispatched an official delegation in 802, to ask for the hand of the empress Irene in marriage, so that “the dawn and the dusk” might be united, to quote Theophanes’ famous expression. [66] The overthrow of Irene from power in October of the same year, however, postponed every such prospect.

The battles between Romans and Franks recommenced in 804 around the Roman provinces of Venice and Dalmatia, given that the Franks’ expansionism had by now reached the Balkans. After repeated clashes, the two sides signed a peace treaty in 812, according to which the two provinces were to remain Roman. Constantinople in turn acknowledged the Frankish demands in Croatia, and its delegation addressed Charlemagne as “king”. It is not easy to opine exactly what this concession meant for Constantinople, as no related comments were found in the sources. [67]  At any rate, Frankish power began to wane after Charlemagne’s death in 814, and the whole issue of the successors’ titles did not particularly preoccupy Constantinople until the following century.

After his death, Charlemagne became the greatest legend of medieval Western Europe and his accomplishments would inspire countless works of literature.  The top-ranking one among them is the great epic of the 12th century that marked the beginning of French literature, “Chanson de Roland” (Roland’s song). To Western Europeans, he continues to be the greatest sovereign in their History to this day, and his reign supposedly constitutes proof of the common descent of all the peoples that are presently called “Westerners”.  This obviously is the reason that the majestic building of the European Union Council bears his name.  Equally characteristic is the fact that there is a legislated “Charlemagne Prize” which is awarded (in Aachen) to those who contribute towards the European unification idea. This prize, which bears the name of an enemy and a conqueror of Romanity, has been even awarded to a top-ranking Hellene politician who played a leading role in our entry to the EEC. It appears that the historical amnesia which is slowly spreading throughout Hellenism will cause us to willingly accept as members of “our heritage” all of the historical enemies of Romanity, as long as our Western European partners ask us to …

In concluding the last chapter of our study, we would like to point out that what is impressive in the events of 750 – 812 is the fact that the Roman reaction to Frankish expansionism was purely a defensive one, not to mention a passive one.  It was not the Romans who decided to sever their relations with the West, but the opposite. The Westerners, the Franks, wanted in every way to break off all political and cultural ties, and confront the Roman Empire.  This is why their later propaganda - that a merging of Romans and Franks supposedly produced the Western European civilisation - is an outright, impudent falsity. Every single aggressive act originated from the side of the Franks, who did not hesitate to use every possible means, including military violence, blackmailing the Pope, destruction of buildings, falsification of documents, altering national names, and all this, in order to subjugate, not “merge” with the Romans of Italy. But even in general, when reading the sources of that era, one is given the impression that the rift was stressed far more by the Franks than it was by the Romans.  Theophanes glided over the event of Charlemagne’s coronation in just two lines, to return to the more pressing problems of the Empire with the Arabs.

It was of course the Franks’ prerogative to clash with the Empire. Since however they chose to secede and create their own cultural tradition, it is an extremely audacious falsification of History to call their nation the “Roman Empire”, to call the Romans “Greeks”, and to maintain that the “Byzantines” destroyed the Hellenic-Roman civilisation, whose true heirs are supposedly the Westerners.

If, at a theological level, the great rift between the West and Romanity must be sought among the Libri Carolini texts, then at an everyday level, it should be found in the military occupation of Central Italy, the Exarchate, and in the attacks against the South. That was when the Romans learned from first-hand experience the ruthless disposition of the Franks, and it was this knowledge that left its permanent mark on the character and the orientation of Romanity.  Even from the very beginning of the 9th century, Einhard, Charlemagne’s adviser and biographer, had described the Romans’ sentiments after the repeated aggressive actions of the Franks: “When he (Charles) accepted the title of emperor, he aroused many suspicions (with the emperors of Constantinople), as it was quite likely that he was planning to take over the imperial power (…) The prowess of the Franks always looked suspicious in the eyes of the Greeks and the Romans. This is also where the Greek proverb comes from, and which continues to be quoted, even today (in 830): If a Frank is your friend, then he is definitely not your neighbour”. [68]

This proverb very eloquently sums up the Romans’ impression of their “acquaintance” with the Franks. The Romans were therefore given the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the primitive arrogance of the Westerners, long before the Schism and the “Crusades”; and it was long before the Turkish occupation, that the Westerners had decided on their hostile stance towards us. The immense rift between the West and Romanity had been a conscious decision of the Franks, who were in fact very much aware of the consequences of their actions, as the aforementioned excerpt from Einhard reveals.  Thus, the first appearance of a “European awareness” coincides with the decision of the Franks to be severed from the Roman Christian World and to seek conflict with the Hellenic-Roman world.  As we had also underlined in the introduction, the notion of a “Western Europe” was born in the 8th century, precisely within this opposition towards Romanity and because of this opposition.

This is why any discussions on whether “Byzantium” (and its successor, Hellas) belong to Western Europe or not, are totally redundant.

However, for those who may still have certain doubts about the true disposition of the Franks towards the Romans, these have been preserved for the coming generations by Liutprand, bishop of Cremona, who came to Constantinople in 969 as a delegate of the Franco-German emperor, Otto I. His adventuresome meeting with the emperor Nicephorus Phocas was extremely revealing. When Phocas pointed out that Otto did not have the right to marry (as he wished) a royal-by-birth princess of Constantinople because “you are not Romans, but Longobards”, then Liutprand, instead of attempting to enhance his role by presenting arguments that supported the Romanity of the barbarians, exploded into a volley of abusive language, which has left its mark in History. Let us cite an indicative excerpt of this response:

“The fratricidal Romulus, after whom the Romans were named, came to be known in Chronography as “a whore’s offspring”, a bastard in other words, who founded an asylum (author’s note: he means Rome) in which he welcomed debtors, fugitives, slaves, murderers and criminals worthy of the death penalty, and gathered around him a swarm of such people, whom he then named “Romans”. It was from these so-called “nobles” that those whom you call world rulers - in other words ‘emperors’ - originate.  However, we the Longobards, Saxons, Franks, Lotharingians, Bavarians, Swebes, and Burgundians, have so much contempt for them, that whenever our anger is aroused against our enemies, we do not direct any other insults at them, except one word: Roman!  And under this very name of “Roman” we include every kind incivility, cowardice, avarice, debauchery, infidelity and generally every kind of malice”. [69]

Naturally, this text by the official envoy of the Franco-German emperor speaks for itself about the sentiments of all Westerners against us. It also provides us with the useful piece of information that up until 969, the Franks had obviously still not decided to become “assimilated” with the Romans. The falsification of History must therefore be attributed to a later era … [70]

Therefore, it was neither the Turkish occupation nor the “Crusades” that were the cause of separation between Hellenism and the West; these events merely exacerbated the existing differences between them. The differences however were pre-existent and were attributed to very tangible reasons, which our ancestors had already experienced, during the 8th, 9th, and 10th centuries.

On the dilemma of “Romanity or barbarity”, Western Europe had already made its choice in the 8th century, and the consequences of this choice have since sealed world History, to our day.

 

Epilogue

The gaping void between Romanity and the West, whose beginnings we described in our study, continued with unabated intensity in the centuries that followed. Romanity had become familiar with the West and its anti-Roman disposition, from the 8th century. In the centuries that followed, the Franks did nothing to allay the fears of the Romans. On the contrary, they continued to maintain an uncompromising stance, demanding our complete subjugation whenever the opportunity arose.

Military conflicts were followed by an exchange of insults (as in the case of Liutprand’s delegation in Cremona), to again be followed by more military conflicts. At the same time, on a cultural level, various Western authors had begun to write (as of the 9th century) endless treatises entitled “Contra errores Graecorum” against the Romans. Day by day, the two worlds drew further apart from each other. The Schism of 1054 was nothing more than another characteristic verification of the Franks’ refusal to renounce their theological arbitrariness.  Later on, new barbaric tribes from the North completed the subjugation of the Romans of Southern Italy.

After 1800 years of an illustrious presence, Hellenism was now irrevocably uprooted from the Italian peninsula.

At the end of the 11th century, the conquering disposition of the Westerners took on an undisguised form, with their so-called “Crusades”. Already with the first “Crusade”, the ulterior motive of certain Latin sovereigns had become evident, and this was perceived by Constantinople. As Anna Comnene wrote in her work “Alexiad”, the objective of the Westerners was none other than the conquest of the Regnant City (Constantinople), which they considered to be the natural conclusion of their expedition. [71] One of the leaders of the “Crusade”, Bohemund, did not hide his mortal hatred for Romania, and had expressed his dedication to the plan for its annihilation, in a passionate letter addressed to the emperor Alexius, which is quoted by Anna Comnena. [72]

The climax of the conflict came in 1204, when thousands of hungry vagabonds from every corner of Western Europe abandoned their hovels and embarked on a journey (supposedly) for the Holy Lands. But “something” happened along the way, and the destination was altered. The civil conflicts between the Romans of this era allowed for all these troglodytes to enter Constantinople and sack it.   In a state of shock, our ancestors watched the Western “soldiers of Christ” bring mules into the Holy Bema of the Haghia Sophia’s sanctum, and their animals slipping on the floors, leaving their excrements and blood on the Holy Altar, while a whore that the Latins had brought along with them climbed onto the patriarch’s throne and began to dance and commit other unspeakable improprieties. [73] The slaughtering and the destruction that followed constitute the blackest page of Western European History.

God only knows how many precious works of art, whose only copies were preserved in Constantinople, vanished forever from the cultural heritage of mankind.

The Frankish regime that followed after 1204 caused an unbridgeable chasm between the Romans and the Westerners. Our ancestors had by now felt first-hand and throughout all the empire, the Latins’ disposition, which could be summed up as the complete annihilation of the Roman civilisation and the Hellenic language. In contrast to the Turkish occupation that followed, which had permitted the Romans to keep their language and religion (and therefore their identity), Western domination had all the distinctive marks of genocide. 

Besides, wherever it did finally prevail, the Roman conscience was uprooted in the most violent manner possible.  One such example is Southern Italy, which was definitely Hellenic for 1800 years. (The sombre history of the heroic but futile resistance of the Romans of Southern Italy from the 11th century to the 16th century is unfortunately still awaiting its author).

It is worth mentioning that as soon as the Romans regained the City in 1261, the Pope hastened to offer those who fought against the emperor Michael Paleologos the same absolution of sins that he had given to the “crusaders” who fought against the Moslems. [74]   One must realise that these views were not only adopted by the political-military leadership of the West. The same sentiments were fostered by “enlightened” intellectuals such as the great forerunner of humanism, Petrarch. Here is what he wrote in the middle of the 14th century: “The Turks are enemies. But these here, the Greeks, are schismatics and even worse than the enemies, so, it is preferable that the Turks occupy Jerusalem instead of the Greeks”. [75] And elsewhere: “as for these frauds and Greeklings, I cannot wait to see this Empire, this font of heresies, to be destroyed by our own hands”. [76]

All the above are of course a part of the “common European heritage” that links us to our Western European partners …

The fact remains, that the fierce resistance of the Romans, neutralized all the western attempts to eradicate the Hellenic-Orthodox civilization, the one after the other. Thus, in the 14th century, the Franks proceeded to draft a “final solution” (to use the expression of a well-known German ruler against the Jews). The plan, which had been submitted by the Dominican monk Brocardus to the King of France Philip VI, included the total annihilation of the Romans through a mass kidnapping of children, the violent renouncement of Orthodoxy and a compulsory subjection to the Latin dogma, the burning of all books that defended the Eastern Christian dogma, and the prohibition of the Hellenic language, along with the recognition of Frankish domination. [77] The Romans however refused this “help” from the West, and chose the lesser between the two evils, namely the Turks.

History vindicated them triumphantly, since, 400 years later they managed to overthrow their conquerors, having preserved both the Hellenic language and their Orthodox faith. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for the millions of our fellow Romans of France and Italy, who were irretrievably lost, after being conquered by the Western barbarians …

After severing itself from Romanity, the West pursued its own course. This was the famous course that led to the crimes of the Holy Inquisition, to the horrors of slave trading, to colonization and racism, the price of which was paid by millions of innocent victims all over the world. The promises offered by humanism for a “golden age” that would dawn with the predominance of rationalism and the progress of science, were tragically extinguished in the Auschwitzes and the Hiroshimas that the supremely “civilised” Western countries led us into.

In our day, the impending danger of a complete ecological collapse of the planet comes to refute most ironically that promise of an incessantly increasing consumption, with which the West corrupted every rival civilisation.

The Romans had no part in, nor any connection to, all these crimes of the West.  Therefore, they should not be fooled into erasing their different historical tradition and rashly accept that they also share the “common European heritage”.

A heritage of a collective guilt for the destruction of the Hellenic-Roman civilisation, the Holy Inquisition, the genocide of the native Americans, colonization, racism, gas chambers and nuclear bombs is not our heritage, and we do not have the least desire to have it thrust upon us by them.

Our heritage, for the past three thousand years, has been the defence of civilisation against barbarity, the preservation of the Truth which had been revealed to Man at some point in time and was expressed through our language, the preservation of hope for a fulfilled human existence, where “the yearning for that sea” that the poem speaks of will find an ocean in the “balance of goodness”, and where the true word will be in equilibrium with the expectation of eternity.

Because Romans know that their destination is to live within eternity, to participate in the never-ending feast where “everything is filled with light, both in heaven and earth and the underworld …”

This is the heritage that the Romans can present, opposite the savagery of the West. And this is the reason why the dilemma “Romanity or barbarity” continues to be as vivid as it was 1500 years ago …

 

 


 

FOOTNOTES

 

[1] See Mango (1973), p. 684.

[2] Gregory of Tours, p. 63.

[3] See introduction by Lewis Thorpe in Gregory of Tours, p. 27-30.

[4] See Pirenne (1980), p. 196.

[5] See Pirenne (1980), p. 243.

[6] See Lemerle (1983), p. 77.

[7] as above, p. 118.

[8] See Cook & Herzman (1983), p. 32.

[9] See Runciman (1979), p. 335.

[10] as above, p. 335.

[11] See Runciman (1979), p. 267.

[12] http://www.doaks.org/WomeninByzantium.html

[13] The word is Hellenic in origin. As a race, the Greeks used to inhabit Epirus and were afterwards called  ‘Selloi’, from where the term Hellenes originates. It is noteworthy, that, while the Latin name Graeci referred to the Hellenes from ancient times, in the Greek language it is unknown as an ethnic name: throughout all of Hellenic literary works, it is encountered only once, in Aristotles «Meteorologika». No ancient Hellene had ever called himselfGreek’. Later, upon the conquest of Hellas by Rome, the word (especially the nickname Greekling began to have a negative inference in the Latin language, and it was with this inference that it was used once again nationally from the 8th century onwards.

[14] See Fredegar, IV, 23.

[15] as above., IV, 65

[16] See Paul the Deacon, IV, p. 177.

[17] as above., ÉÉÉ, 12, p.108.

[18] as above., p. 200.

[19] as above., V, 30, p. 234-35.

[20] as above., V, 11, p. 258.

[21] n IV, 23, p. 167.

[22] In VI, 24, p. 285.

[23] as above., V, 7, p. 220.

[24] as above., V, 11, p. 224.

[25] as above., V, 16, p. 226.

[26] Romanides (1982), p. 205-206.

[27] See Einhard, III, 19, p. 74.

[28] as above., ÉÉ, p. 69.

[29] And yet, it is impressive when one considers how the first neo-Hellenic book on byzantine history,  «Byzantine Studies» by Sp. Zambelios in 1857, placed the beginnings of the neo-Hellenic nation and its differentiation from the West in the 8th century and the formation of the Frankish empire!

[30] Liber Pontificalis, 1. 444. See Herrin (1989), p. 372.

[31] See Herrin (1989), p. 374.

[32] See Herrin (1989), p. 381.

[33] See Theofanes, p. 402-403.

[34] See Miller (1975).

[35] Codex Carolinus, 11, 506. 38. See Herrin (1989), p. 380.

[36] Codex Carolinus, no 32, no 34. See Herrin (1989), p. 383.

[37] See Mango (1973), p. 695.

[38] See Sp. Zambelios, «Byzantine Studies», Athens, 1857, p. 311.

[39] See Herrin (1989), p. 371.

[40] See Stephanides (1948), p. 274. For an alternate view of the origin and the significance of these decrees, see J. Romanides (1981), p. 20-25. Romanides stresses that the Roman Popes benefited from the decrees, to the detriment of the Frankish rulers.

[41] See Loungis (1989), p. 192.

[42] Latin Patrology Migne, vol. 126, 899. See Loungis (1989), p. 193. Pope John VIII had also done otherunheard of things. In 873 he forced the Frankish emperor Louis the Pious to free Methodius, the Thessalonian missionary of the Slavs, whom the Franks had kept imprisoned in Moravia for three whole years (See Obolensky, vol. Á’, p. 242). He afterwards persistently defended the right of the Slavs to perform their church services in their own language, thus  coming to very acute confrontations with the Franks who upheld the theory of three sacred languages (Hebrew, Hellenic, Latin) (as above., p. 244). As we are all aware, the Frankish view was finally imposed throughout all of Western Europe, which resulted in church services being held, from Finland and as far south as the Cyclades islands, in the totally incomprehensible Latin tongue even as late as the 1960 decade. Theworst thing of all that he did, was in 879, during the patriarchy of Photios, when he had participated in the 8th Ecumenical Synod in Constantinople (which is not recognized by Papists today) and he condemned all those who did not accept the 7th Ecumenical Synod of Nice in 787 (in other words, the Franks, who, as we shall see further down, had rejected it during Charlemagnes time in 794). See J. Romanides, (1981), p. 19-20. Later (in the 12th century) the Frankish forgers concocted a certain fabled excommunication of Photios by John VIII and they based on it a whole series of theories on the «Schism of the heretic Greeks» as far along as the 20th century. The exposing of this fraud occurred just recently, in 1948, by the famous historian F. Dvornik in his classic work «The Photian Schism». A simple perusal of this book is enough to shock every naive neo-Hellene, with regard to the ideological means that the Western Europeans had implemented against us...

[43] See Herrin (1989), p. 393.

[44] Mansi 13. 764 A-C. See Herrin (1989), p. 394.

[45] Mansi 12. 999, 12. 1055-71, 12. 1077-84, 12. 1086B. See Herrin (1989), p. 419.

[46] Karayannopoulos (1978), Vol. Â’, p. 171-172.

[47] Loungis (1989), p. 159.

[48] See Loungis (1989), p. 159.

[49] See Herrin (1989), p. 436-330.

[50] Romanides (1975), p. 293.

[51] See Herrin (1989), p. 438, 440. Following years of extensive researching the Libri Carolini, L. Wallach concludes that the only Hellenic source that was used for their composition was Epiphanios of Salamis («Epistle» to John of Jerusalem, year 392). References to other Hellenic-speaking Fathers that are found in the Libri Carolini have been copied from the Latin translation of the Minutes of the Nicene Synod and not any other independent source. Thus we see the comical phenomenon of –for example- the rejecting of Pope Adrians Synodica, to the point that the latter invokes saint Gregory of Nyssa in support of the icons, when the author of the Libri Carolini had no idea of who Gregory of Nyssa was For extensive details, see Luitpold Wallach, «Diplomatic Studies in Latin and Greek documents from the Carolingian Age», Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London, 1977, p. 82-85.

[52] Mansi 13. 33A-37C, 13. 9E, 13, 20C, 13. 53E, 13. 72A-D. See Herrin (1989), p. 421-422.

[53] See Herrin (1989), p. 463-464. Also see Romanides (1975), p. 292-293.

[54] It appears that the first time a non-Roman Pope ascended the throne was in 983, when the Franco-German king Otto II imposed a Longobard, Peter of Pavia, as Pope with the name John IV. See Romanides (1981), p. 26.

[55] See Herrin (1989), p. 453.

[56] Gibbon, XLIX, ôüì ÉÉÉ, p. 23.

[57] Codex Carolinus, 67. See Gibbon, XLIX, ôüì ÉÉÉ, p. 25, õðïp. 67.

[58] Karayannopoulos, as above., p. 185, sub-par. 252.

[59] See Karageorgios (1987), p. 164.

[60] Annales Laureshamenses, 33. See Karayannopoulos (1978), vol. Â’, p. 184-185.

[61] See Pirenne (1980), p. 233.

[62] See Karageorgios (1987), p. 393.

[63] Theophanes, p. 472.

[64] Theophanes, p. 473.

[65] Einhard, 16, p. 71.

[66] Theophanes, p. 475.

[67] See Herrin (1989), p. 466.

[68] Einhard, 16, p. 71. It is noteworthy that this saying was familiar, both to the Franks themselves, for Einhard to have quoted it in Greek in his text

See Christou (1989), p. 114.

[69] Liutprandus, «Relatio de legatione Constantinopolitana», Becker publications, Hannover-Leipzig, 1915, in Karageorgos (1987), p. 507-509. Karageorgos quotes the full text (in Latin and Hellenic) of Liutprands book.

[70] Ever since they decided to ‘merge’ the term Roman was replaced by the term Greek (Grec) as an abusive term. Thus the word «grec» came to be synonymous to the word «impostor» in French, even in our day.

[71] Anna Comnena, Book ×, p. 311.

[72] as above., Book ×É, p. 368.

[73] Here is how the eyewitness Niketas Choniates describes the scene: «… mules and covered beasts of burden were brought in, even as far the sanctum of the temple, while slipping and unable to stand on their legs on account of the slipperiness of the polished stones, and were prodded with knives, thus desecrating the sanctuary floor with their excrement and blood. But also a woman of multitudinous sins, ….  a pole for demons, a workshop of unspeakable sorcery and of loud incantations, in total contempt of Christ, sat upon the synthronon (the priests thrones inside the sanctum) and deposited upon them a severed limb, and twirling around many times, she would move her feet around it». See Í. ×ùíéÜôçò, «Éóôïñßá», Corpus Historiae Byzantinae,  Ýêä. Bekker, Âüííç, 1835, p. 759.

[74] See Runciman (1979), p. 137.

[75] Epistolae de Rebus Senilium 7, Opera Omnia, Basle 1555, vol. 2, p. 912. See Christou (1989), p. 117.

[76] V. Rossi, «Petrarea, Le familiari», 3, Florence, 1937, 120. 85-88. See R. Browning, «Greeks and others from antiquity to the Renaissance», in  Browning (1989), p. 26.

[77] See the analytical presentation by Brocarytus in Simopoulos (1990), p. 247-250. Also see Yannakopoulos (1966), p. 21

 

 


 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Listed are the works that this book refers to only.)

 

a) Hellenic language

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=Yannakopoulos Ê., «Byzantine East and Latin West», translation by K. Kyriazi, Estia, Athens, 1966.

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=Gregoire Henri, (1986), «The Byzantine Church», in Baynes & Moss « Byzantium: an introduction to the Byzantine civilization».

=Theophanes, «Chronography», C. de Boor publications, Leipzig, 1883, 1885.

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=Karayannopoulos John, «History of the Byzantine State», 2 volumes, Sakkoulas publications, Thessaloniki, 1978.

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=Korais Adamantios, «The Complete Works», vol. Á1, supervision by G. Valetas, Dorikos publications, Athens, 1964.

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=Louggis Telemachos, « Byzantine domination in Italy», Estia, Athens, 1989.

=Obolensky Dimitri,  «The Byzantine Commonwealth», 2 volumes, translation by Yannis Tsevremes, Vanias, Thessaloniki, 1991.

=Paparrigopoulos Constantine, «History of the Hellenic Nation», 6 volumes, supervision by P. Karolides, Eleftheroudakis, 6th edition, Athens, 1932.

=Politis Linos, «Poetic Anthology», 8 volumes, Dodoni, Athens, 1980.

=Prokopios, «Pro Wars», Teubner publications, Leipzig, 1963.

=Runciman Steven, «Byzantine Theocracy, translation by J. Roelides, Domos, Athens, 1982.

=Runciman Steven, «Byzantine Civilization», translation by Despina Detzortzi, Organization for the Publication of Educational Books, Athens, 1979.

=Romanides John, «Romanity, Romania, Roumeli», Ponaras publications, 2nd edition, Thessaloniki, 1982.

=Simopoulos Kyriakos, «Xenocracy, Anti-Hellenism and Vassalage», Athens, 1990.

=Stefanides Â., «Ecclesiastic History», Athens, 1948.

=Christou Pan., «The adventures of the Hellenes’ national names», Kyromanos publications, 2nd edition, Athens, 1989.

=Chrysos Evangelos, «Byzantium and the formation of Mediaeval Europe: a research program» in «Byzantium and Europe». Minutes of the 1st International Byzantinological Meeting held at Delphi, 20-24 July 1985, Athens, 1987.

 

 


 

b) Other languages

 

=Anna Comnena, «Alexiad», English translation E.R.A. Sewter, Penguin, Middlesex, England, re-printed 1985.

=Browning Robert, «The continuity of Hellenism in the Byzantine world: appearance or reality», óôï «Hellas Old and New», ed. By T. Winnifrith and P. Murray, London, Macmillan, 1983, reprinted by Browning «History, Language and Literacy in the Byzantine World», Variorum Reprints, Northampton, 1989.

=Bury J. B., «History of the Later Roman Empire, from the death of Theodosius I to the death of Justinian», 2 volumes, Dover Publications, New York, 1958.

=Charanis Peter, «Some remarks on the changes in Byzantium in the seventh century», Recueil des travaux de l’ Institut d’ Etudes Byzantines, VIII, 1 (Melanges G. Ostrogorsky I), Belgrade, 1963, reprinted by Charanis «Studies on the demography of the Byzantine Empire», Variorum Reprints, London, 1972.

=Cook W. and Herzman R., «The medevial world view», Oxford University Press, New York, 1983.

Drew Katherine Fischer, «The Lombard Laws», University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1973.

=Einhard, «Vita Caroli», English translation by Lewis Thorpe in «Two lives of Charlemagne», Penguin, 9th  reprint, Middlesex, England, 1983.

=Fredegar, «Chronicorum liber quartus cum continuationibus», publication and English translation by J. M. Wallace-Hadrill, Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd., London, 1960.

=Gibbon Edward, «The decline and fall of the Roman Empire», 3 volumes, Modern Library, Random House, ÷.÷.

=Gregory of Tours, «Historiae Francorum», English translation by Lewis Thorpe, Penguin, 3rd reprint, Middlesex, England, 1982.

=Herrin Judith, «The Formation of Christendom», Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1989.

Mango Cyrill, (1973), «La culture grecque et l’ Occident au VIIIe siècle», Settimane di Studio, XX, Spotelo, 1973, reprinted by Mango «Byzantium and its Image», Variorum Reprints, London, 1985.

=Mango Cyrill, «Byzantium: The Empire of New Rome», Charles Scribaer’s Sons, New York, 1980.

=Mantouvalou Maria, «Romaios-Romios-Romiossyni. La notion de Romain avant et apres la chute de Constantinople», Scientific Yearbook of the Athens University School of Philosophy, 28, 1985.

=Miller D. H., «Byzantino-Papal relations during the Pontificate of Paul I: Confirmation and completion of the Roman revolution of the eighth century», Byzantinische Zeitschrift, 1975, ó. 47-62.

=Paul de Deacon, «Historia Langobardorum», English translation by William D. Foulke, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1907.

=Pirenne Henri, «Mohammed and Charlemagne», English translation by Bernard Miall, Barnes & Noble, Totowa, New Jersey, áíáôýðùóç 1980.

=Romanides John, «The Filioque», Legacy, 7, Â’, July 1975.

=Romanides John, «Franks, Romans, Feudalism, and Doctrine: «an interplay between theology and society», Holy Cross Orthodox Press, Brookline, Massachusetts, 1981.

=Theophanes, «The Chronicle of Theophanes», publication and English translation by Harry Turtledove, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1982.

=Toynbee Arnold, «A Study of History», revised and abridged by the author, Weathervane Books, New York, 1972.

=Toynbee Arnold, «The Hellenics and their heritages», Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1981.

=Wallace-Hadrill J. M., «The barbarian West: the early Middle Age A.D. 400-1000», Harper & Row, New York, 2nd reprint, 1962.

 

APENDIX: MAPS

 

 

 

 

Part 2 // Contents

File created: 12-11-2007.

Last update: 12-11-2007.

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