BYZANTINE STUDIES. STUDIA BYZANTINA ET TURCICA.

BYZANTINE STUDIES. STUDIA BYZANTINA. ÉTUDES BYSANTINES. PROF. DR. DARCY CARVALHO. FEA-USP. SÃO PAULO. BRAZIL . 2019

The Byzantine Empire

O Império Bizantino. O Império Bizantino ou Império Romano do Oriente, uma continuação natural do Império Romano, na parte oriental da Europa, existiu como uma entidade cultural e econômica auto-suficiente durante todo o período medieval da Europa Ocidental. Sua existência explica a expansão silenciosa da cristandade, pela adoção, por decreto imperial, do cristianismo como religião oficial do Estado. Explica também o renascimento do antigo conhecimento literário, filosófico e científico na Europa após 1300. O Império Bizantino foi um estado bilíngüe na esfera cultural, utilizando normalmente o latim e o grego durante toda a sua história. Portanto, de maneira alguma podemos afirmar que o latim tornou-se língua morta depois de 500 até 1500, isto é, por mil anos após a queda de Roma.

The Byzantine Empire and the Survival of Latin from 500 to 1500

"In his treatise De doctrina Christiana (Anno 426), St. Augustine formulated the theory of this new Christian culture: being a religion of the Book, Christianity required a certain level of literacy and literary understanding; the explication of the Bible required the methods of the grammarian; preaching a new field of action required rhetoric; theology required the equipment of philosophy. The synthesis of Christianity and Classical education had become so intimate that, when the “barbarian” invasions swept away the traditional school along with many other imperial and Roman institutions, the church, needing a literary culture for the education of its clergy, kept alive the cultural tradition that Rome had received from the Hellenistic world. Encyclopaedia Britannica". Therefore, in the Western part of Europe, under barbarian invasions, after the V-th century, the Latin language survived by necessity as the Church language. In the Eastern parts, the Byzantines kept the language alive as a state language side by side with Greek, the general popular language of their geographical theatre. After the Renaissance, translations into Latin of works originally written in Greek become a main intellectual and commercial activity. Neolatin, that developed after 1300, owns its syntactical characteristics to these activities.The three works below exemplify the process:

Historiae Byzantinae scriptores tres graeco-latini uno tomo simul nunc editi:

I  Nicephori Gregorae Romanae , hoc est, Byzantinae Historia Libri XI, quibus res a Graecis Imperatoribus per anos CXLV a Theodoro Lascari priore, usque ad Andronici Palaeologi posterioris obitum gestae, describuntur, et Nicetae Acominatae Choniatae suplentur.

II  Laonici Chalcocondylae Atheniensis Historia de origine ac rebus gestis Imperatorum Turcicorum, ab Ogusiorum primordio usque ad Mechemetis primi annum XIII in qua Graecorum Imperisque totius inclinatio atque interitus, ab Andronico iuniore usque ad Constantinum ultimum eiusque filios breviter, sed  exacto, ac miro ordine exponitur, e tribos bibliothecae Palatinae manuscriptis codicibus nunc primum graece edita et emendata.

III  Georgii Logothetae Acropolitae Chronicon Constantinopolitanum, complectens captae a Latinis Constantinopoleos, et annorum circiter sexaginta Historiam, a Balduino Flandro Augusto ad Balduinum ultimum, eius nepotem, Byzantii Imperatorum.

"The Byzantine Empire is also known as the Eastern Roman Empire, for it was in fact a continuation of the Roman Empire into its Eastern part. At its greatest size, during  the  500's  AD,  Byzantine included  parts  of  southern  and  eastern  Europe, the Middle East, and northern Africa. The  Byzantine  people  called  themselves  Romans,  although  they  were  actually descendants of various   ancient   peoples   and  they  spoke   Greek.   The word Byzantine, in fact, comes from "Byzantium," which is the Greek name for a city on the  Bosphorus.  The  Greeks  colonized the  area  first,  in  the  mid-600's  BC,  even before  Alexander  the  Great  brought  his troops  into  Anatolia  (334  BC).  Greek culture continued its influence  long  after the region became part of the Roman Empire, in the 100's BC. But it was when Roman Emperor  Constantine  the Great moved  the  capital  of  the  Empire  from  Rome  to  Byzantium  and  renamed it Constantinople  (Istanbul  today),  in  330  AD,  that  the  Byzantine  Empire  really began. It lasted over 1000 years, ending finally in 1453, when the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople and renamed it Istanbul. The importance of Greek culture for the Romans can be attested by references to it in numerous Roman authors such as those of Cicero to his son Marcus, then studying in Athens:

[1] Quamquam te, Marce fili, annum iam audientem Cratippum idque Athenis abundare oportet praeceptis institutisque philosophiae propter summam et doctoris auctoritatem et urbis, quorum alter te scientia augere potest, altera exemplis, tamen, ut ipse ad meam utilitatem semper cum Graecis Latina coniunxi neque id in philosophia solum, sed etiam in dicendi exercitatione feci, idem tibi censeo faciendum, ut par sis in utriusque orationis facultate. Quam quidem ad rem nos, ut videmur, magnum attulimus adiumentum hominibus nostris, ut non modo Graecarum litterarum rudes, sed etiam docti aliquantum se arbitrentur adeptos et ad dicendum et ad iudicandum.

[2] Quam ob rem disces tu quidem a principe huius aetatis philosophorum et disces quam diu voles; tam diu autem velle debebis, quoad te quantum proficias non paenitebit. Sed tamen nostra legens non multum a Peripateticis dissidentia, quoniam utrique Socratici et Platonici volumus esse, de rebus ipsis utere tuo iudicio – nihil enim impedio – orationem autem Latinam efficies profecto legendis nostris pleniorem. Nec vero hoc arroganter dictum existimari velim. Nam philosophandi scientiam concedens multis, quod est oratoris proprium, apte, distincte, ornate dicere, quoniam in eo studio aetatem consumpsi, si id mihi assumo, videor id meo iure quodam modo vindicare.

[3] Quam ob rem magnopere te hortor, mi Cicero, ut non solum orationes meas, sed hos etiam de philosophia libros, qui iam illis fere se aequarunt, studiose legas, – vis enim maior in illis dicendi sed hoc quoque colendum est aequabile et temperatum orationis genus. Et id quidem nemini video Graecorum adhuc contigisse, ut idem utroque in genere elaboraret sequereturque et illud forense dicendi et hoc quietum disputandi genus, nisi forte Demetrius Phalereus in hoc numero haberi potest, disputator subtilis, orator parum vehemens, dulcis tamen, ut Theophrasti discipulum possis agnoscere. Nos autem quantum in utroque profecerimus, aliorum sit iudicium, utrumque certe secuti sumus. [ The Latin Library De Officiis]


Christianity  had  a  strong  influence  on  Byzantine  art,  music,  and  architecture. Since Constantinople  was  the  political  center  of  the  Empire,  it  also  was  the educational center,  where  future  government  officials  learned  to  read  and  write the language of ancient Greece. Thus this period produced remarkable works in history  as  well  as  fine  poetry, and  much  religious  prose.  All  the  visual  arts flourished, too. Most of the artists worked as servants of the court or belonged to religious   orders,   and   they   remained   anonymous.   
Ivory   carvings,   Byzantine crosses,  and  "illuminations,"  or  small  manuscript  paintings, attest  to  their  skill. Almost all that survives of the Byzantine architecture are its churches, with their glorious frescoes and mosaics. With Hagia Sophia as an example, their architects and artisans reached heady heights of magnificence, indeed.
For  1100  years,  the  Byzantine's  were  able  to  maintain  control  of  their  empire, although somewhat  tenuously  at  times;  the  Empire's  expansion  and  prosperity were  balanced  by internal  religious  schisms  (such  as the Nika  Riot)  and  recurring wars  with  enemies  from  the outside.  Finally,  weakened  by  recurring  waves  of attack,  the  Ottomans  overcame  the exhausted  Byzantines  and  a  new  era  of leadership  began.  The  Byzantine  Empire,  however, had  left  its  mark  on  the culture, never to be entirely erased even after the Conquest."    http://www.allaboutturkey.com/byzantine.htm

Le legs de Byzance

"Byzance laisse un important héritage. Sur le plan politique, l'Empire ottoman a pris sa place, assis sur deux continents et il n'est pas surprenant qu'une partie de ses sujets ait considéré Mehmet II, qui connaissait le grec, comme le successeur des basileis. Cette croyance explique que certains, en Occident, aient cru qu'il suffisait de convertir le sultan pour rétablir la situation. Sur le plan spirituel, l'Église et le patriarcat se maintinrent après 1453 et assurèrent la survie de l'orthodoxie, qui put également compter sur l'appui des grands-ducs de Moscou, soucieux aussi de récupérer l'héritage politique, et qui laissèrent affirmer que Moscou était la Troisième Rome. Enfin l'héritage intellectuel est passé en bonne part en Occident. Byzance, dans l'obligation de former des cadres civils et ecclésiastiques, a toujours conservé une tradition lettrée. Longtemps, les intellectuels byzantins ont développé des genres chrétiens, les homélies, les hymnes, les vies de saint, les écrits théologiques appuyés sur l'étude des Pères de l'Église grecque. L'héritage antique est resté négligé car trop lié au paganisme, sauf les textes de Platon et d'Aristote, utiles pour les théologiens, et Homère. Cependant, sous les Paléologues (1259-1453), des lettrés, redécouvrant les auteurs antiques ont, par exemple, édité Sophocle et Euripide et ont rédigé des
manuels de grammaire. Des Occidentaux sont venus s'instruire auprès d'eux et ont transmis ces textes en Occident et quelques professeurs grecs furent invités à enseigner en Italie, favorisant la connaissance du grec. D'autres s'y réfugièrent, emportant des manuscrits, après 1453. De leur côté, des Grecs furent attirés par la scholastique occidentale, qu'ils connaissaient par les dominicains installés à Péra, en face de Constantinople, et traduisirent Thomas d'Aquin. Une renaissance byzantine avait précédé et influencé celle de l'Occident. Jean-Claude Cheynet Juillet 2002; Copyright Clio 2018 "

Education and the survival of Latin in the later Roman Empire

"The dominant fact is the extraordinary continuity of the methods of Roman education throughout such a long succession of centuries. Whatever the profound transformations in the Roman world politically, economically, and socially, the same educational institutions, the same pedagogical methods, the same curricula were perpetuated without great change for 1,000 years in Greek and six or seven centuries in Roman territory. At most, a few nuances of change need be noted. There was a measure of increasing intervention by the central government, but this was primarily to remind the municipalities of their educational duties, to fix the remuneration of teachers, and to supervise their selection. Only higher education received direct attention: in 425 CE, Theodosius II created an institute of higher education in the new capital of Constantinople and endowed it with 31 chairs for the teaching of letters, rhetoric (both Greek and Latin), philosophy, and law. Another innovation was that the exuberant growth of the bureaucratic apparatus under the later empire favoured the rise of one branch of technical education, that of stenography.

The only evolution of any notable extent involves the use of Greek and Latin. There had never been more than a few Greeks who learned Latin, even though the growing machinery of administration and the increasing clientele drawn to the law schools of Beirut and Constantinople tended to increase the numerical size of this tiny minority. On the other hand, in Latin territory, late antiquity exhibited a general recession in the use of Greek. Although the ideal remained unchanged and high culture always proposed to be bilingual, most people generally knew Greek less and less well. This retrogression need not be interpreted solely as a phenomenon of decadence: it had also a positive aspect, being an effect of the development of Latin culture itself. The richness and worth of the Latin classics explain why the youth of the West had less time than formerly to devote to the study of the Greek authors. Virgil and Cicero had replaced Homer and Demosthenes, just as in modern Europe the ancient languages have retreated before the progress of the national languages and literatures. Hence, in the later empire there appeared specialists in intercultural relations and translations from Greek into Latin. 

In the 4th and particularly in the 5th century, medical education in Latin became possible, thanks to the appearance of a whole medical (and veterinary) literature consisting essentially of translations of Greek manuals. It was the same with philosophy: resuming Cicero’s enterprise at a distance of more than five centuries, Boethius (c. 480–524) in his turn sought with his manuals and his translations to make the study of that discipline available in Latin. Although the misfortunes of Italy in the 6th century—including the Lombardian invasion—did not permit this hope to be realized, the work of Boethius later nourished the medieval renaissance of philosophic thought.

Nothing better demonstrates the prestige and the allure of Classical culture than the attitude taken toward it by the Christians. This new religion could have organized an original system of education analogous to that of the rabbinical school—that is, one in which children learned through study of the Holy Scriptures—but it did not do so. Usually, Christians were content to have both their special religious education provided by the church and the family and their Classical instruction received in the schools and shared with the pagans. Thus, they maintained the tradition of the empire after it had become Christian. Certainly, in their view, the education dispensed by these schools must have presented many dangers, inasmuch as Classical culture was bound up with its pagan past (at the beginning of the 3rd century the profession of schoolteacher was among those that disqualified one from baptism); but the utility of Classical culture was so evident that they considered it necessary to send their children to these same schools in which they barred themselves from teaching. From Tertullian to St. Basil the Great of Caesarea, Christian scholars were ever mindful of the dangers presented by the study of the classics, the idolatry and immorality that they promoted; nevertheless, they sought to show how the Christian could make good use of them.

With the passage of time and the general conversion of Roman society and particularly of its ruling class, Christianity, overcoming its reserve, completely assimilated and took over Classical education. In the 4th century Christians were occupying teaching positions at all levels—from schoolmasters and grammarians to the highest chairs of eloquence. In his treatise De doctrina Christiana (426), St. Augustine formulated the theory of this new Christian culture: being a religion of the Book, Christianity required a certain level of literacy and literary understanding; the explication of the Bible required the methods of the grammarian; preaching a new field of action required rhetoric; theology required the equipment of philosophy. The synthesis of Christianity and Classical education had become so intimate that, when the “barbarian” invasions swept away the traditional school along with many other imperial and Roman institutions, the church, needing a literary culture for the education of its clergy, kept alive the cultural tradition that Rome had received from the Hellenistic world.

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