Why do we find 300+ references to the word “Roman” in The Alexiad?

Since the latest debate is spread all over the place, let’s do a thread.
1/ Q. Why do we find 300+ references to the word “Roman” or “Romans” in the most famous work of Byz Princess Anna Komnene (“The Alexiad”)? https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/basis/AnnaComnena-Alexiad00.asp

2/ The book is written in greek.
In introduction she poses her credentials: she characterises her Hellenic (Greek) education as TOP/EXTREME (Ἑλληνίζειν ἐς ἄκρον) quoting Greek authors (e.g. Plato Dialogues & Aristotle) and citing ZERO Roman / Latin scholarship.

3/ Can you imagine a capitalist proudly inspired by Marx? A Marxist proudly inspired by Freedman?
Why did the most well-educated “Roman” princess, proudly introduced her most famous work, with Greek scholarship & zero Latin/Roman citations? Something looks out of place here.

4/ On top of that, Anna characterises Latins (Λατῖνοι) as “arrogants”.
To summarise: she’s a “Roman”…

– that studies greek literature
– uses in the introduction only greek authors (Homer, Plato, Aristotle)
– and considers the latin culture as inferior & arrogant

5/ However, she routinely uses the word “Roman”.
Examples (in english):
– Emperor of the Romans
– Roman Empire
– Roman Army

All references come straight out of the ROMAN CIVIL CODE. They are state titles. Official [legal] references.

6/ That’s why I use the UN-China analogy. United Nations is based in New York. Byzantine christian citizens in greek territory (mostly Greeks) using titles like “Roman” 300 times is like Chinese Buddhists using the title “United Nations” 300 times. It doesn’t make them yankees.

7/ All this, to rephrase what most scholars already agree:

Byzantine “Romans” = Roman State Titles + [mainly] Greek cultural identity.
That’s why back then they called them… Greeks.

8/ Since Anna Komnene has a clear, acute, no-BS style of writing, she makes clear reference on the culture she represents.
But first of all, what is the greek word for culture? It is “παιδεία”. Meaning both “culture” and “cultural education” or just “education”.

9/ So, when Anna criticises Nilus as illiterate heretic, she claims he is “UNINITIATED INTO HELLENIC CULTURE”. (Ἀμύητος δὲ πάσης ἑλληνικῆς παιδείας).
She considers the Hellenic as the ONLY culture necessary for the initiation to the “deep meanings of the Divine writings”.

10/ And here she talks about her father, the Emperor Alexios Komnenos (named after Alexander the Great).
I let you guess what kind of culture her father was promoting throughout the “Roman Empire”.

11/ Note: The Komnenian dynasty ruled the Byzantine Empire for a period of 104 years, from 1081 to 1185. The “Grand Komnenoi” ruled in Trebizond for over 250 years, until 1461. The Palaiologoi (closely related to the Komnenoi) ruled until the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

12/ In 2019: Non-Greek Macedonia. Non-Greek Byz. Non-Greek Aegean sea (natural resources). Homer from Turkey (by MIT database).
A market for carnivores eating Greece (heritage, econ, territory).
However, I explore the space of good intentions of all.


“Macedonia” problem is part of a bigger problem

1/ This is written by the infamous JAVIER SOLANA, Secretary-General of NATO & EU Representative for Foreign and Security Policy. He claims “no conflict is unsolvable when diplomatic creativity […]”.

A Tsipras agreement against the 70%+ of greeks is “diplomatic creativity”.

2/ Soros named his son Alexander, and gave him “Macedonia” as a gift. “Project Syndicate” is a fitting name. A mafia syndicate, a CIA/EU/NATO cartel showing off their teeth, their ability to “change history” & our intellectuals (highly educated illiterates) don’t get it.

3 / My take is this: in the end nobody can hide from history. Communism & Nazism were just phases. Claiming themselves to have the eternal glory of Truth, breaking traditional values & historical truth. Seemingly invincible powers were kneeled down by their own incapacities.

4/ When the US foreign policy of Donald Trump goes against 70% of Greeks (polls on Macedonia) & finances the “Macedonia language” propaganda (FBI agents protecting Tsipras) for instrumental reasons (NATO bases, control of N. Greece) this is a SYMPTOM of malignant disease.

5/ We can label this “political disorder” with various names or phrases:

6/ The spirit of this “New World (dis)Order” may superficially take the form of “nationalism” or “globalism” but it accepts the basic marxist premises & terminology:
– capital over higher values
– materialism over wisdom
– money over honour
– instrumental dialectic over truth.

7/ This “disorder” expresses a general LACK OF RESPECT for the TRUTH. And it has plenty of different symptoms:
– There is a reason why the founder of Linux stepped down.
– There is a reason why founder of Python stepped down.
– There is a reason why Google becomes a cult.

8/ There is a reason why Jordan Peterson has a free pass to lecture on the topic of religion & christianity, claiming the exact OPPOSITE of what Jesus said and only a few noticing.

9/ There is a reason why you can say “Byzantine was Rome” in english, and get away with it.

10/ There is a reason why Yuval Noah Harari & Steven Pinker, the Dumb & Dumber of intellectualism, managed to become “philosophers”. There is a reason why “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” has 5,040 customer reviews. As one reader wrote, it’s “Fun, Enjoyable Easy Read”.

11/ Appropriating the legacy of Alexander the Great is part of the same disorder. But it’s going against gravity. You can buy politicians to change the “laws of gravity” for your own benefit, but in the end you’ll break your neck. There ARE natural laws / truths.

12/ Μore than 140 fake news websites run out of N. Macedonia. A center for Psychological Operations. I warn my friends from day #1: Soros & Trump play the same game in the region. Fake “Macedonia” survives only by selling its soul to the highest bidder.


Sweden and Nordic Countries

We often fail to understand a critical element of Sweden & the Nordic Countries. In biology it’s called “evolutionary pressure” or “selection pressure”. They only evolutionary pressure Nordics had was bad weather. Sweden saw WWI & WWII from the screen, eating popcorn.

In contrast, the area with the highest cultural & historical evolutionary pressure was (and remains) the Mediterranean and Middle East. Around the Byzantine region where the extremes collide. The Meds can’t afford to be Swedish. The historical selection pressure is HUGE.

The hard North (& NWest) climates played major role in advancement of technology (they needed tech to survive). Tech = NWest.
But in terms of culture & history, how often has Sweden been conquered? Almost zero geostrategic significance. Even nazis didn’t bother to invade them.

So did Switzerland? Sure about this? Pick up your history book about the fear and pressure they suffered because Hitler gave a damn about neutral countries.

“fear and pressure” is not the same as having 10% of your population slaughtered. I’m not trying to underestimate the values of North&West, they are models in many ways. But NOT in cultural pressure (e.g. from Islam). In that respect we have to COPY the model of the Meds.


Morality and economy

Answers to tweets from a deleted account.

I wish we could say the same for Branko Milanovic’s system in economics. “personal morality exists only outside economics or capitalism”

Branko is a clever guy. Former lead economist in the World Bank’s research department. He wants to be with the king, and with the pleb. With Byz and against Byz. With personal morality (keep it at home) and without morality (in Bank). With Taleb’s system and without.

Research in christian values & economics show the same thing: pick any region w/ the worst conditions. Replace the inhabitants with English Puritans from the Victorian era and… boom! You’ll have a thriving economy. Why? Because personal morality drives the strongest economy.

Let’s change the framing. The issue here is the law. There are 2 schools of thought “legal = moral” (positivist) and the “unwritten laws of divine quality” (Antigone) translated as “natural laws”–> Enlightenment–> French & American revolution –> declaration of human rights.

You know, Antigone is not just for intellectual curiosity. It’s foundational in any decent Introduction to Law. It’s the rebellion against “legal positivism” (dominating modern EU & old dictatorships). It’s not just a philosophical battle, it’s a legal one! Dalloz, 2017 edition.


Explanations on Byzantines

1 / “Rome vs. Greek” complexity of Byz Empire.

Rome was like United Nations today, a title that everybody would love to appropriate. Charlemagne, King of Franks, in 800AC was crowned Emperor of Romans. The Byz King claimed he was King of Romans.

Who was the true Roman King?

2 / Keep in mind that:
– phrase “Byzantine Empire” didn’t exist
– word Rome is actually greek. From Ρώμη (power)
– Greeks never called themselves Greeks
– Byz called themselves Ῥωμηοί (modern greek national symbol) with 20+ nationalities in a central culture. Complex enough?

3 / Imagine this scenario: a Byz emperor writes a letter in greek, the official language of Byz empire, claiming the true Roman identity of his title. Now imagine a Frank cardinal or Pope answers in LATIN, from the CAPITAL of OLD ROME. What would his identity be? Chinese?

4 / Of course the Pope would answer: “c’mon man! you may be rich and all but you don’t even latin! I crowned my pal Charlemagne, King of Franks as Emperor of Romans & we’re visiting you soon for funny crusades, we’ll steal the sh*it out of your treasures. Kisses. The Pope.”

5 / And that’s why if you’re latin speaker you would name the Byzantine fire as “Greek fire”, not “Roman fire” (πυρ ρωμαϊκόν) as some Greek intellectuals would like you to say.

6 / Now the irony. Descendants of those who challenged the “Romanity” of Byz empire for 100s of years, in 2018 claim that actually the Byz empire was old-school Roman! Why? Stealing treasures is not enough. The rich Byz culture has to be stolen also. Big $$ geopolitics.


On Byzantine’s removal of religious education

The Pandidakterion (university in Byz era) was the first to REMOVE religious education & astrology. For comparison the Academy of Athens in 4th c. AC mixed magic & philosophy. So the Byz higher education wasn’t “Orthodox”, it was more Platonic w/ philosophy, math, law & medicine.

It was founded by Emperor Theodosius II in 425 AC, and since then it was under the sponsorship of the Emperors. Education was free, no cost. Cyrus of Panopolis, epic poet, philosopher and a lover of Greek arts, played key role in its foundation.

From the beginning it never taught religious education. So, we see secular higher education being introduced in the middle of a … “theocracy”. Again we see the same in modern history. Christians (e.g. Quakers) introducing secular state in US, spreading in the rest of the west.


On Taleb’s Romans vs. Greeks (3)

That’s accurate. Note that “diehard” here is not metaphorical, it’s literal. The Greeks literally died massively for 100s of years defending the Byzantine territories e.g. Even after 1453 (fall of Constantinople) the Ottomans couldn’t take over Crete for the next 2 centuries.

According to the original byz sources of Phrantzes or Sphrantzes (Φραντζής) the Cretans where the last to abandon the battle defending Constantinople and among the first rising against the occupation (1771). The Cretan style (& music) remains the symbol of “national” in Greece.

That’s why the most famous Byzantine national song (ΑΚΑΘΙΣΤΟΣ ΥΜΝΟΣ, Τη Υπερμάχω Στρατηγώ) remains the strongest inspiration for Greek military, of course in greek language, lasting from 626 AC! Byzantines were in the most LITERAL sense DIEHARD Greeks.