Why Byzantine decline is inevitable.

This video explains it quite well:

As the Turks invaded West their destruction of Civilization mirrored the Mongol devastation. In terms of repeated sacking of cities, turning farmland into pastureland.

And the repeated killings and enslavements of all the civilians that fell into their grasp. Therefore farmers were either captured or killed. And more and more areas in Anatolia became depopulated of Christians as the survivors fled west.

And the Turkic Nomadic Way of life with their flocks and herds and seasonal migration and dwelling in their Ger or Yurts. Dominated more and more.

This permanent foothold was kept by the repetition of the sacking of cities and decline of farming. Therefore Constantinople was unable to expand and keep their footholds eastward as all the Cities are destroyed and would have to be founded anew only to be sacked again with the population carried off or killed. And all the farms have been destroyed too in the Central Plains of Anatolia.

Its a form of scorched earth to limit the spread of Agricultural peoples.

What are your thoughts? Is there other additional explanations as to why Constantinople inevitably fell?
 
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ball dont lie

Kingfisher
Gold Member
This video explains it quite well:

As the Turks invaded West their destruction of Civilization mirrored the Mongol devastation. In terms of repeated sacking of cities, turning farmland into pastureland.

And the repeated killings and enslavements of all the civilians that fell into their grasp. Therefore farmers were either captured or killed. And more and more areas in Anatolia became depopulated of Christians as the survivors fled west.

And the Turkic Nomadic Way of life with their flocks and herds and seasonal migration and dwelling in their Ger or Yurts. Dominated more and more.

This permanent foothold was kept by the repetition of the sacking of cities and decline of farming. Therefore Constantinople was unable to expand and keep their footholds eastward as all the Cities are destroyed and would have to be founded anew only to be sacked again with the population carried off or killed. And all the farms have been destroyed too in the Central Plains of Anatolia.

Its a form of scorched earth to limit the spread of Agricultural peoples.

What are your thoughts? Is there other additional explanations as to why Constantinople inevitably fell?


Great video. Are there any quality books that go into detail about this period and what happened? Recommendations welcome from all.
 

Goni

Woodpecker
The invasion of Anatolia and the fall of the Roman ( Eastern) Empire is nothing new in history and I encourage everyone to use the definition Roman Empire or Eastern Roman Empire and not " Byzantium " because it has never existed as a terminology.

The collapse of the Bronze Age civilisations is related to such kind of invasions in 1190 BC by the " Sea People " and that was far more devastating. Germanic invasion of the western sphere of the Roman Empire, slavic expansions in central Europe and Balkans etc

The Turkic invasion of Anatolia is not to be equelised to the Mongol invasion by any means. The devastation of arab lands and slavic Kievan Rus was apocalyptic.

Mongols killed literally millions of people and only in Kiev 40,000 people were killed.

Do not take for granted everything the video states.

However the video is right on one thing, that lots of raids were involved and of course during the course many people were killed and enslaved.

However in most of the cases , it was a turkic elite and a minority among the other Anatolians that assimilated , islamified and also turkified with the passing of time.

It was a long process that took centuries.

Anatolian turks are in general native Anatolian genetically and racially and less than 10% east asian. The same thing in Azerbaijan.

They got evan more European now that many Russian and Ukrainian women have married in Turkey, slavic slaves brought down in Balkans and Anatolia but what is more important, are the colonies of Albanians and Muslim slavs in Izmir, Antalya and Istanbul during Ottoman times.

The coming in mass of Circassians from Caucasus in 1870s in Anatolia and certain Balkan areas( after the Russians killed and cleansed them all) , refugees from Balkans such as Albanians and Bosniaks and immigration of both groups including Pomaks before and after WW2 have barely left any turkic traces among the population of Anatolia today.

However some clarifications need to be made about this video

Kings and Generals have a very pro " hellenic" attitude in their videos, kinda like the British historians. They are making it look like " greeks" were ruling the Eastern Roman Empire and that the population of Anatolia was greek.

None of it is true. Historically most of the Emperors of the Eastern Roman Empire were Illyrian, Illyro Thracian and Armenian. The last 2 dynasties were of unknown background eventhough the Komnenos are thiguht3to have been of Vlach heritage.

There was barely a single greek emepror ( besides Maurice maybe ) and the language was shifted from Latin to Greek because of a Syrian, Leo III Isaurian in the 8th century.

The ancient hellenic colonies in Anatolia were a tiny minority compared to the native Anatolians.

Did a greekification process happened in middle ages? Yes it did, but it doesn't make those Anatolians greek and nor the Eastern Roman Empire in its identity or structures. It was the Roman state strictures destroyed, not greek ones.

Kings and Generals are making this look like it was a war between nowdays greeks and turks. No, it was a conflict between The multi ethnic greek speaking Roman Empire and varous turkic and asian tribes.

Anyway, since this got too long:

The end of the Roman Empire and it's Eastern half in late middle ages was the end of a civilisation that started with Etruscans since 1200 BC.

The message we should get from this is that you should strike the enemy when you have the chance , with no mercy and once and for all.

Alex Komnenos didn't do that when he restored the greatness of the Empire in the 12th century. He left Eastern Anatolia in the hands of the Sultanate of Rum ( Sultanate of Rome).

The same thing should have Rome done with Germanic tribes and Gaius Germanicus actually did that but Emperor Tiberius forced him to retreat from Central Germany.

With the destruction that the 4th crusade brought for Constantinople in 1204, rise of slavic states in Balkans and the Mongol invasion which brought evan more asian refugees in Anatolia, it was a matter of time before these turkic and Muslim tribes would take over Anatolia.

For that matter evan the slavs should have not been allowed to settle in Balkans in the 7th and 8th centuries such as emperor Heraclius did.

Justinian the Great, his father and his son were not idiots to not allow that.
 
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Sabotage and corruption from within, potential alien involvement and canons being sold to the turk invaders which sealed the deal
Eastern Roman Empire simply didn't have the reserves of Men that the Rome of old had. It seems that once their main field army got devastated they were unable to recover in the same way that they were able to against King Pyhrrus and Hannibal.
 
The invasion of Anatolia and the fall of the Roman ( Eastern) Empire is nothing new in history and I encourage everyone to use th definition Roman Empire or Eastern Roman Empire and not " Byzantium " because it has never existed as a terminology.

The collapse of the Bronze Age civilisations is related to such kind of invasions in 1190 BC by the " Sea People " and that was far more devastating. Germanic invasion of the western sphere of the Roman Empire, slavic expansions in central Europe and Balkans etc

The Turkic invasion of Anatolia is not to be equelised to the Mongol invasion by any means. The devastation of arab lands and slavic Kievan Rus was apocalyptic.

Mongols killed literally millions of people and only in Kiev 40,000 people were killed.

Do not take for granted everything the video states.

However the video is right on one thing, that lots of raids were involved and of course during the course many people were killed and enslaved.

However in most of the cases , it was a turkic elite and a minority among the other Anatolians that assimilated , islamified and also turkified with the passing of time.

It was a long process that took centuries.

Anatolian turks are in general native Anatolian genetically and racially and less than 10% east asian which is obvious racially. The same thing in Azerbaijan.

They got evan more European now that many Russian and Ukrainian women have married in Turkey, slavic slaves brought down in Balkans and Anatolia but what is more important, are the colonies of Albanians and Muslim slavs in Izmir, Antalya and Istanbul during Ottoman times.

The coming in mass of Circassians from Caucasus in 1870s in Anatolia and certain Balkan areas( after the Russians killed and cleansed them all) , refugees from Balkans such as Albanians and Bosniaks and immigration of both groups including Pomaks before and after WW2 have barely left any turkic traces among the population of Anatolia today.

However some clarifications need to be made about this video

Kings and Generals have a very pro " hellenic" attitude in their videos, kinda like the British historians. They are making it look like " greeks" were ruling the Eastern Roman Empire and that the population of Anatolia was greek.

None of it is true. Historically most of the Emperors of the Eastern Roman Empire were Illyrian, Illyro Thracian and Armenian. The last 2 dynasties were of unknown background eventhough the Komnenos are thiguht3to have been of Vlach heritage.

There was barely a single greek emepror ( besides Maurice maybe ) and the language was shifted from Latin to Greek because of a Syrian, Leo III Isaurian in the 8th century.

The ancient hellenic colonies in Anatolia were a tiny minority compared to the native Anatolians.

Did a greekification process happened in middle ages? Yes it did, but it doesn't make those Anatolians greek and nor the Eastern Roman Empire in its identity or structures. It was the Roman state strictures destroyed, not greek ones.

Kings and Generals are making this look like it was a war between nowdays greeks and turks. No, it was a conflict between The multi ethnic greek speaking Roman Empire and varous turkic and asian tribes.

Anyway, since this got too long:

The end of the Roman Empire and it's Eastern half in late middle ages was the end of a civilisation that started with Etruscans since 1200 BC.

The message we should get from this is that you should strike the enemy when you have the chance , with no mercy and once and for all.

Alex Komnenos didn't do that when he restored the greatness of the Empire in the 12th century. He left Eastern Anatolia in the hands of the Sultanate of Rum ( Sultanate of Rome).

The same thing should have Rome done with Germanic tribes and Gaius Germanicus actually did that but Emperor Tiberius forced him to retreat from Central Germany.

With the destruction thay the 4th crusade brought for Constantinople in 1204, rise of slavic states in Balkans and the Mongol invasion which brought evan more asian refugees in Anatolia, it was a matter of time before these turkic and Muslim tribes would take over Anatolia.

For that matter evan the slavs should have not been allowed to settle in Balkans in the 7th and 8th centuries such as emperor Heraclius did.

Justinian the Great, his father and his son were not idiots to not allow that.

What is the recommended reading on this?
 

NickK

Woodpecker
Kings and Generals have a very pro " hellenic" attitude in their videos, kinda like the British historians. They are making it look like " greeks" were ruling the Eastern Roman Empire and that the population of Anatolia was greek.
They were ruling and it was greek.
 
Kings and Generals have a very pro " hellenic" attitude in their videos, kinda like the British historians. They are making it look like " greeks" were ruling the Eastern Roman Empire and that the population of Anatolia was greek.

None of it is true. Historically most of the Emperors of the Eastern Roman Empire were Illyrian, Illyro Thracian and Armenian. The last 2 dynasties were of unknown background eventhough the Komnenos are thiguht3to have been of Vlach heritage.

There was barely a single greek emepror ( besides Maurice maybe ) and the language was shifted from Latin to Greek because of a Syrian, Leo III Isaurian in the 8th century.

Kings and Generals are making this look like it was a war between nowdays greeks and turks. No, it was a conflict between The multi ethnic greek speaking Roman Empire and varous turkic and asian tribes.
The Eastern part of the Empire had always been Greek speaking - and therefor Greek in nature. To say that Hellenised Greek speaking emperors from 'non-Greek' parts of the Empire were for that reason not Greek is a stretch. Likewise we don't say that the Roman Empire wasn't really Roman, Latin or Italic because several dynasties had their roots in distant provinces and/or had non-Roman lineage (like the half-Berber Séptimius Severus or the Hispanian Hadrianus/Trajanus)

I think we can even go one step further by saying that the Roman Republic/Empire was hellenised in statehood, culture, deities, architecture and partly in language itself. Hellenisation began with the conquest of the Greek settlements in Magna Graecia (southern Italy) and ended with the incorporation of Macedon+Greece

By the time of the late Roman Republic/ early Empire it was distinctly different from it's early form (although unfortunately there is very little that remains of that most likely heavily Etruscan based era). The Roman elites used the Greek language as a means to communicate and set themselves apart from the plebs (Marcus Aurelius wrote his Meditations in Greek). The architecture had taken on distinct Greek traits. Greek philosophy had deeply penetrated the Roman psyche. The arts were based on Greek principles and the deities had been synchronised with their Greek cousins.

In short the Greek Eastern Empire was 100 percent Greek. Aside from that, and contrary to what many believe, that was also the reason why the Empire and later the Church fell apart. The Greek language started waning in the West with many becoming mono-lingual (Augustinus of Hippo wasn't fluent in Greek). The language barrier made the two halves flow apart as communication was proving more difficult each time.

The ancient hellenic colonies in Anatolia were a tiny minority compared to the native Anatolians.

Did a greekification process happened in middle ages? Yes it did, but it doesn't make those Anatolians greek and nor the Eastern Roman Empire in its identity or structures. It was the Roman state strictures destroyed, not greek ones.

I don't know what you mean by this. With their extensive history in Anatolia, Greeks are part of the native peoples of Anatolia. Together with the Hittites, Luwians and Lydians (who I think you are referring to). Greeks (be it as Acheaens) get mentioned in the Iliad as living in Anatolia. Myceneaen settlements (Aeolis) were founded in Anatolia in 1200 BC already. That's 3000 years of continuous Greek presence in Anatolia. If you live on the land for 3000 you become a native

If Greeks are not native to Anatolia they are also not native to Greece because you know, before the Dorian Greeks (the real Greeks) moved down into the Peleponessos there were Minoans and Myceneaens (proto-Greeks) living there and they were distinctly different

Maybe there is a misunderstanding. The term colony indicates intrusion in modern English. The Roman term colonia means settlement (of veterans) .

As for the assertions that Greeks have always been a minority in Anatolia, that's simply unprovable. The extent of the spread of the Greek language in Late Antiquity indicates, however, that at that point in time the vast majority of the inhabitants of Asia Minor were Greek

images (14).jpeg
 
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Goni

Woodpecker
What is the recommended reading on this?
Eastern Roman Empire simply didn't have the reserves of Men that the Rome of old had. It seems that once their main field army got devastated they were unable to recover in the same way that they were able to against King Pyhrrus and Hannibal.
Absolutely you can't compare Rome of the 3rd century BC with Roman Empire of middle ages in terms of will power and organization.

With Roman republic in 280 BC, it was either you or me and one of the belligerent was going to be annihilated

The Komnenos had the chance in the 12th century when they restored the Empire, to remove entirely the muslim and turkish presence from Anatolia but they didnt.

There was a lack of manpower also, in both Balkans and Italy.

Well there aren't any specific books about Anatolia, but George Gawrych and Goodwin have plenty of works on the Ottoman empire, how turkic tribes entered Anatolia and the clashes on within the Eastern Roman Empire which didnt allow it's recovery.
 
Eastern Roman Empire simply didn't have the reserves of Men that the Rome of old had. It seems that once their main field army got devastated they were unable to recover in the same way that they were
One often forgotten aspect of the Middle Ages is the changing nature of warfare and troop numbers.

This is directly related to the coming into being of the court system - which can be seen as the predecessor of the feudal system.

The court system originated from mansis (megafarms) in the former Empire. These economic units soon translated their power into political and military power.

In the Western half the fifth and sixth century are characterised by huge population losses (more than 50 percent) a return to economic backwardness, the demise of ancient trade routes, disappearance of the Pax Romana, the increase in banditry, famines, epidemics and countless invaders. As anarchy spread and the Law broke down, these farms (which had become common in the Late Roman Empire) were turned into defensive positions. Small farmers would be living near or in these positions for protection. Many of the farmholders would become the powerful noblemen any king would have to deal with before they'd pledge their allegiance to him.

The advent of the court system went hand in hand with the disappearance of concepts like Roman statehood, City based power, universal citizenship and infantry based warfare (who were non-noblemen)

What replaced these concepts was a class based society, a rural land based powerstructure, fragmented localised seats of power and the transition to heavily armoured cavalry based warfare by the top class. The Germánic chieftains/gemeinnschaft would often deal with this situation by placing themselves at the top of the food chain - as noblemen

The remnants of the Western Roman Empire morphed into the Middle Ages in the late 5th/6th century. The Eastern part of the Empire made this shift in the 8th century.

Any study of military history of this period will reinvigorate this position. From the 8th century onwards the Emperor in Constantinopel had to deal with mighty local rulers who had their own agenda. The state was much less powerful and this proved costly on the battlefield. Strategies were less uniformed and the powerful local nobles often fought under their own flag. There was also a shift towards heavy cavalry (the Kataphraktoi)

images (15).jpegimages (29).jpeg
Medieval Eastern Roman heavy cavalry.
 

Goni

Woodpecker
The Eastern part of the Empire had always been Greek speaking - and therefor Greek in nature. To say that Hellenised Greek speaking emperors from 'non-Greek' parts of the Empire were for that reason not Greek is a stretch. Likewise we don't say that the Roman Empire wasn't really Roman, Latin or Italic because several dynasties had their roots in distant provinces and/or had non-Roman lineage (like the half-Berber Séptimius Severus or the Hispanian Hadrianus/Trajanus)

I think we can even go one step further by saying that the Roman Republic/Empire was hellenised in statehood, culture, deities, architecture and partly in language itself. Hellenisation began with the conquest of the Greek settlements in Magna Graecia (southern Italy) and ended with the incorporation of Macedon+Greece

By the time of the late Roman Republic/ early Empire it was distinctly different from it's early form (although unfortunately there is very little that remains of that most likely heavily Etruscan based era). The Roman elites used the Greek language as a means to communicate and set themselves apart from the plebs (Marcus Aurelius wrote his Meditations in Greek). The architecture had taken on distinct Greek traits. Greek philosophy had deeply penetrated the Roman psyche. The arts were based on Greek principles and the deities had been synchronised with their Greek cousins.

In short the Greek Eastern Empire was 100 percent Greek. Aside from that, and contrary to what many believe, that was also the reason why the Empire and later the Church fell apart. The Greek language started waning in the West with many becoming mono-lingual (Augustinus of Hippo wasn't fluent in Greek). The language barrier made the two halves flow apart as communication was proving more difficult each time.



I don't know what you mean by this. With their extensive history in Anatolia, Greeks are part of the native peoples of Anatolia. Together with the Hittites, Luwians and Lydians (who I think you are referring to). Greeks (be it as Acheaens) get mentioned in the Iliad as living in Anatolia. Myceneaen settlements (Aeolis) were founded in Anatolia in 1200 BC already. That's 3000 years of continuous Greek presence in Anatolia. If you live on the land for 3000 you become a native

If Greeks are not native to Anatolia they are also not native to Greece because you know, before the Dorian Greeks (the real Greeks) moved down into the Peleponessos there were Minoans and Myceneaens (proto-Greeks) living there and they were distinctly different

Maybe there is a misunderstanding. The term colony indicates intrusion in modern English. The Roman term colonia means settlement (of veterans) .

As for the assertions that Greeks have always been a minority in Anatolia, that's simply unprovable. The extent of the spread of the Greek language in Late Antiquity indicates, however, that at that point in time the vast majority of the inhabitants of Asia Minor were Greek

View attachment 30050
Aquila, to be honest, I have witness myself debates up to 30 pages regarding history , which would be the right definition etc and people have still not agreed in the end.

Since I am a bit read on these subjects, i also try to differentiate between '' Hellenization'' in ancient times, especially after the invasions of Alexander, with '' greekification'' that happened in Anatolia in middle ages when the Empire shifted from Latin to Greek.

I also base my concept on blood lines, and the way how people viewed themselves back than and not the modern day perspective.

There are historians in modern day Greece that argue that Greece is the rightful successor of the Eastern Roman Empire, by saying that the language is the same ( even in this case it is not, because koine greek is different than modern day greek), that there was some kind of '' greek'' culture dominating in the empire ( which is again not true, because the Empire viewed itself as Roman, besides Roman culture it got mixed with local anatolian cultures, hellenic, armenian, persian etc ) etc.

They try to give a modern 19th or 20th century perspective to an empire and civilization in times when nation states did not exist and they do that in the name of their own nationalism which is a big fraud regarding historical accuracy and they are themselves but-hurt when they neighbors remind them that mainland greeks are in large assimilated Arvanites, Vlachs and Slavs. ( you probably have to check where does the ceremonial greek dress comes from and the origins of many of the heroes of the revolution of 1821).

For a nation state today, to be a successor state of an empire or civilization it has to fulfill 4 criteria:

1) Dynasties, kings or emperors have to belong to this nation state in terms of origins and bloodlines.

2) The military and political power structure has to have been historically dominated by this certain nation.

3) The culture of that empire has to belong or originate from this certain nations ( habits, architecture, music, dances, food, way of life)

4) The language.

Now, of all these 4 criteria, maybe the last point might be the only thing that connects the modern Greek nation state with the Eastern Roman Empire.

Evan in Turkey there are lots of discussions if Turkey is the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, precisely because Ottomanism was in manay cases very different from Turkishness that developed during WW1 and especially during Ataturk's time. The ones that oppose Turkey being the siccessor state of Ottomans state that Ottoman Empire was a global conglomerate and multi ethnic, not just in terms of nations it ruled, but also in structures of the empire, they state that its main identity was islam and loyalty to the dynasty, that in a lonf period of time the power structures were in the hands of Balkan Muslims etc etc.

In the case of the Eastern Roman Empire, there is absolutely no successor state of that empire, that is why I made all this long post in order to explain my point of view above.

No one is denying there were greeks in anatolia, that a process of hellnisation started since the late 4rth century and it might have continued even under Roman rule. However to give a '' greek'' identity to the Empire and make all anatolians as greeks and make the conflict of the 11th up to the 15th century between the Roman Empire and emerging turkish tribes or emirates, it is very very wrong.

I advise you to not base your informations on the map you posted here, because they are generally made by armchair historians that draw maps according to their own wishes , not much based on documents.

The Empire was always Roman in its identity, despite the shift from Latin to Koine Greek in the 7th and 8th centuries, and I remind you again, it was emperors of Armenian and Syrian stock that did that, probably to differentiate this legal and rightful Roman Empire form the latin speaking germanic kingdoms which the Pope was recognizing as the heirs of Rome.

Those emperors were not '' hellenised'' by any means. They were aware of their Illyrian, Illyro-Thracian and Armenian heritage.

Anastasius, Justin, Justinian the Great, Heraclius , Leo III, Basil II always promoted their kin in the Empire. Justinian evan built 100 fortresses in the Illyricum to protect his homeland from the barbarian incursions. Those emperors, assimilated to one and only one thing, the Roman identity.

As I stated, take those modern maps made by armchair you tube historians with a grain of salt. The spread of the greek language in Anatolia has also to do with being the official language of the empire and the language of liturgy, not with ethnic presence.

When I stated that greek colonies were a minority in Anatolia, I meant that they never influenced the region much genetically. It is a well known things that Anatolia was populated by different nations in antiquity and flourishing civilizations. The region had like 8 different languages.

Hellenic colonies started to appear in the cost by 700 BC. There is nothing to debate about this,

I hope you dont believe that the Trojan wars has even happened. As for the Dorian invasion of Peloponnese, that is largely a myth and unproven till nowdays and Mionians were not proto greeks, they were a different race and civilization entirely influenced by powerful Bronze age civilizations such as Egypt, Hittities, Assyrians etc.

I am not sure if you got my point.
 
One often forgotten aspect of the Middle Ages is the changing nature of warfare and troop numbers.

This is directly related to the coming into being of the court system - which can be seen as the predecessor of the feudal system.

The court system originated from mansis (megafarms) in the former Empire. These economic units soon translated their power into political and military power.

In the Western half the fifth and sixth century are characterised by huge population losses (more than 50 percent) a return to economic backwardness, the demise of ancient trade routes, disappearance of the Pax Romana, the increase in banditry, famines, epidemics and countless invaders. As anarchy spread and the Law broke down, these farms (which had become common in the Late Roman Empire) were turned into defensive positions. Small farmers would be living near or in these positions for protection. Many of the farmholders would become the powerful noblemen any king would have to deal with before they'd pledge their allegiance to him.

The advent of the court system went hand in hand with the disappearance of concepts like Roman statehood, City based power, universal citizenship and infantry based warfare (who were non-noblemen)

What replaced these concepts was a class based society, a rural land based powerstructure, fragmented localised seats of power and the transition to heavily armoured cavalry based warfare by the top class. The Germánic chieftains/gemeinnschaft would often deal with this situation by placing themselves at the top of the food chain - as noblemen

The remnants of the Western Roman Empire morphed into the Middle Ages in the late 5th/6th century. The Eastern part of the Empire made this shift in the 8th century.

Any study of military history of this period will reinvigorate this position. From the 8th century onwards the Emperor in Constantinopel had to deal with mighty local rulers who had their own agenda. The state was much less powerful and this proved costly on the battlefield. Strategies were less uniformed and the powerful local nobles often fought under their own flag. There was also a shift towards heavy cavalry (the Kataphraktoi)

View attachment 30051View attachment 30052
Medieval Eastern Roman heavy cavalry.
I think both the plagues of smallpox of the Antonine Plague. And the Justinian plague were decisive in reducing the manpower that could be called up by the Roman Army alongside what you said.

In addition the loss of Egypt, the Levant and much of Anatolia to nomadization of Anatolia as explained by the OP video all also robbed Eastern Rome of its potential manpower.
 
Absolutely you can't compare Rome of the 3rd century BC with Roman Empire of middle ages in terms of will power and organization.

With Roman republic in 280 BC, it was either you or me and one of the belligerent was going to be annihilated

The Komnenos had the chance in the 12th century when they restored the Empire, to remove entirely the muslim and turkish presence from Anatolia but they didnt.

There was a lack of manpower also, in both Balkans and Italy.

Well there aren't any specific books about Anatolia, but George Gawrych and Goodwin have plenty of works on the Ottoman empire, how turkic tribes entered Anatolia and the clashes on within the Eastern Roman Empire which didnt allow it's recovery.
And as I said before. I think the Justinian and Antonine plagues had a decisive role as much as the loss of the breadbasket of Egypt and North Africa.

And despite progressively more territory which each inch become more existential the manpower didn't seem to be there. Which may be the result of the Turkification of Anatolia and the loss of many cities and farmland there.

For whatever reason it has lost the resiliency of earlier times. When Rome had all of Italy.
 
I think both the plagues of smallpox of the Antonine Plague. And the Justinian plague were decisive in reducing the manpower that could be called up by the Roman Army alongside what you said.

In addition the loss of Egypt, the Levant and much of Anatolia to nomadization of Anatolia as explained by the OP video all also robbed Eastern Rome of its potential manpower.
I don't think it was any of that, even during those years there were still millions of able bodied men capable of manning the lines.

However, these commoners were never considered, let alone armed or trained. This was due to the change to the Medieval concentration of power in the hands of large rural based landowners

Warfare in ancient times had been put in the hands of body of state mandated professionals (the Roman Army). This was efficient as it kept the (non Roman) peasants down and any losses could be easily replenished due to efficient statehoodship and recruitment efforts. This was even more true in the early Empire as the entry requirements were lowered, and the citizenry kept growing (although in Late Antiquity it allowed for rot to take place and high standards to disappear).

That power structure was abandoned from the 8th century onwards. This new class of noblemen was operating from a far less centralised power structure and, more importantly, were hard to replace (also due to a shift in mentality)

The invaders, whether they were Goths, Magyars, Vikings, Kipchaks or Alans were always vastly outnumbered by the Empire's populace. Think 1 to 100 or 1 to 1000 type of numbers. Most of the times these 'invasion forces' numbered no more than several tens of thousands of warriors + women and children

Even during the reign of Justinianus the population still ranked between 20 and 25 million. In the subsequent centuries that number never dipped below 10 million. However, due to the fact that these vast masses were untrained and unarmed their numbers meant nothing.

Compare that to the invaders who were centered around tribes of at best several tens of thousand of people. Their lifestyle and economic backwardness let for a much lower demographic ceiling.

However, they always had been nurturing a warrior-mentality, and each man was by default a warrior. This fact alone made their bands comparable in size to the Medieval Byzantine army

Any defeat, like the Battle of Manzikert (1054), where the Eastern Empire's army was decimated left the empire reeling and unprotected. They practically had to cede half of Anatolia after a single battle. It took decades to get the Eastern noblemen armies back on their feet.
 
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I don't think it was any of that, even during those years there were still millions of able bodied men capable of manning the lines.

However, they were never considered, and these commoners were never armed nor trained. This was due to the change to the Medieval concentration of power in the hands of large rural based landowners

Warfare in ancient times and been put in the hands of body of state mandated professionals (the Roman Army). This was efficient as it kept the (non Roman) peasants down and any losses could be easily replenished due to efficient statehoodship and recruitment efforts. This was even more true in the early Empire as the entry requirements were lowered, and the citizenry kept growing (although in Late Antiquity it allowed for rot to take place and high standards to disappear).

That power structure was abandoned from the 8th century onwards. This new class of noblemen was operating from a far less centralised power structure and, more importantly, were hard to replace (also due to a shift in mentality)

The invaders, whether they were Goths, Magyars, Vikings, Kipchaks or Alans were always vastly outnumbered by the Empire's populace. Think 1 to 100 or 1 to 1000 type of numbers. Most of the times these 'invasion forces' numbered no more than several tens of thousands of warriors + women and children

However, due to the fact that the vast masses were untrained and unarmed their numbers meant nothing. Even during the reign of Justinianus the population still ranked between 20 and 25 million. In the subsequent centuries that number never dipped below 10 million

Compare that to the invaders who were centered around tribes of at best several tens of thousand of people. Their lifestyle and economic backwardness let for a much lower demographic ceiling.

However, they always had been nurturing a warrior-mentality, and each man was by default a warrior. This fact alone made their bands comparable in size to the Medieval Byzantine army

Any defeat, like the Battle of Manzikert (1054), where the Eastern Empire's army was decimated left the empire reeling and unprotected. They practically had to cede half of Anatolia after a single battle. It took decades to get the Eastern noblemen armies back on their feet.

All this is why ultimately Byzantine Armies weren't able to recover from their losses. And this is what truly lost them Anatolia.

And I do agree that practically Nomadic societies practically had the entire Adult Male population under arms. Its not simply that they maintained that mentality but practically all Men were trained from boyhood to ride and to shoot the Compound Bow.

They were grown to fight.

And practically all Men went on great Hunts a few times a year by their units where they all coordinated as a whole army under their Khan:

The Turks have practically similar characteristics. And their more eastern part once ruled the region of Mongolia. The various Turkic Khaghanate in that region before the rise of Temujin:

Rather than calling upon many more reserves as they could have in the old days from the population. The Feudalization of even Byzantium helped greatly to lead to its demise.

They as a result became less Roman in certain way that was very important for survival of Ancient Rome.
 
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Eusebius Erasmus

Woodpecker
There is only one reason the Byzantine Empire fell:

They lost their faith in God.

The loss in faith started with the iconoclasm controversy (8th Century), during which Christian bishops, fearful of the Islamic invasions, started to doubt the Church's teachings on icons -- and engaged in heresy.

This culminated in a complete lack of faith during the Siege of Constantinople in 1453. Emperor Constantine XI, lacking funds to pay his Italian mercenaries, melted down the Orthodox Church's holy gold and silver chalices, and fashioned these into coins. One is reminded of Jesus driving out the money-changers from the Temple.

Until that fateful day, the Greeks were holding off the Ottomans, but the Theotokos left the Hagia Sophia shortly after the melting of the chalices, causing lightning to fall from the sky onto the Cathedral's dome.

From that point on, Mehmet started winning.
 
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Tytalus

Pelican
This video explains it quite well:

As the Turks invaded West their destruction of Civilization mirrored the Mongol devastation. In terms of repeated sacking of cities, turning farmland into pastureland.

And the repeated killings and enslavements of all the civilians that fell into their grasp. Therefore farmers were either captured or killed. And more and more areas in Anatolia became depopulated of Christians as the survivors fled west.

And the Turkic Nomadic Way of life with their flocks and herds and seasonal migration and dwelling in their Ger or Yurts. Dominated more and more.

This permanent foothold was kept by the repetition of the sacking of cities and decline of farming. Therefore Constantinople was unable to expand and keep their footholds eastward as all the Cities are destroyed and would have to be founded anew only to be sacked again with the population carried off or killed. And all the farms have been destroyed too in the Central Plains of Anatolia.

Its a form of scorched earth to limit the spread of Agricultural peoples.

What are your thoughts? Is there other additional explanations as to why Constantinople inevitably fell?
The Emperor's and Nobles also had monumental egos and couldn't resist the urge for civil war.


In the 1300s while already in decline, the byzantines had not 1, not 2, but 4 majors civil wars over 5 years in length.

Lack of unity is incredibly damaging.
 
There is only one reason the Byzantine Empire fell:

They lost their faith in God.

The loss in faith started with the iconoclasm controversy (8th Century), during which Christian bishops, fearful of the Islamic invasions, started to doubt the Church's teachings on icons -- and engaged in heresy.

This culminated in a complete lack of faith during the Siege of Constantinople in 1453. Emperor Constantine XI, lacking funds to pay his Italian mercenaries, melted down the Orthodox Church's holy gold and silver chalices, and fashioned these into coins. One is reminded of Jesus driving out the money-changers from the Temple.

Until that fateful day, the Greeks were holding off the Ottomans, but the Theotokos left the Hagia Sophia shortly after the melting of the chalices, causing lightning to fall from the sky onto the Cathedral's dome.

From that point on, Mehmet started winning.

One would think this lack of faith shouldn't be a problem when the iconoclasm stopped.

It seems that once the above mentioned events happened none of the prayers and rituals availed anything for them.
 

Tytalus

Pelican
When investigating the endurance of the Byzantine Empire, the question is often "why did it fail" - the real question is "why did it last so long?" - The actual answer is that it a had over a thousand years the best bureaucracy and tax collection compared to its rivals.
 
When investigating the endurance of the Byzantine Empire, the question is often "why did it fail" - the real question is "why did it last so long?" - The actual answer is that it a had over a thousand years the best bureaucracy and tax collection compared to its rivals.

They were also extremely competent at a utilizing spies and avoiding potential catastrophes from what I've read.
 
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