Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire, of the Byzantine Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire, until falling to the Ottoman Empire. It was reinaugurated in 324 from ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, after whom it was named, dedicated on 11 May 330; the city was located in what is now the core of modern Istanbul. From the mid-5th century to the early 13th century, Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe; the city was famed for its architectural masterpieces, such as the Greek Orthodox cathedral of Hagia Sophia, which served as the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the sacred Imperial Palace where the Emperors lived, the Galata Tower, the Hippodrome, the Golden Gate of the Land Walls, the opulent aristocratic palaces lining the arcaded avenues and squares. The University of Constantinople was founded in the fifth century and contained numerous artistic and literary treasures before it was sacked in 1204 and 1453, including its vast Imperial Library which contained the remnants of the Library of Alexandria and had over 100,000 volumes of ancient texts.
It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times as the home of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and as the guardian of Christendom's holiest relics such as the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross. Constantinople was famed for its complex defences; the first wall of the city was erected by Constantine I, surrounded the city on both land and sea fronts. In the 5th century, the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius under the child emperor Theodosius II undertook the construction of the Theodosian Walls, which consisted of a double wall lying about 2 kilometres to the west of the first wall and a moat with palisades in front; this formidable complex of defences was one of the most sophisticated of Antiquity. The city was built intentionally to rival Rome, it was claimed that several elevations within its walls matched the'seven hills' of Rome; because it was located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara the land area that needed defensive walls was reduced, this helped it to present an impregnable fortress enclosing magnificent palaces and towers, the result of the prosperity it achieved from being the gateway between two continents and two seas.
Although besieged on numerous occasions by various armies, the defences of Constantinople proved impregnable for nearly nine hundred years. In 1204, the armies of the Fourth Crusade took and devastated the city, its inhabitants lived several decades under Latin misrule. In 1261 the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos liberated the city, after the restoration under the Palaiologos dynasty, enjoyed a partial recovery. With the advent of the Ottoman Empire in 1299, the Byzantine Empire began to lose territories and the city began to lose population. By the early 15th century, the Byzantine Empire was reduced to just Constantinople and its environs, along with Morea in Greece, making it an enclave inside the Ottoman Empire. According to Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, the first known name of a settlement on the site of Constantinople was Lygos, a settlement of Thracian origin founded between the 13th and 11th centuries BC; the site, according to the founding myth of the city, was abandoned by the time Greek settlers from the city-state of Megara founded Byzantium in around 657 BC, across from the town of Chalcedon on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus.
The origins of the name of Byzantion, more known by the Latin Byzantium, are not clear, though some suggest it is of Thraco-Illyrian origin. The founding myth of the city has it told that the settlement was named after the leader of the Megarian colonists, Byzas; the Byzantines of Constantinople themselves would maintain that the city was named in honour of two men and Antes, though this was more just a play on the word Byzantion. The city was renamed Augusta Antonina in the early 3rd century AD by the Emperor Septimius Severus, who razed the city to the ground in 196 for supporting a rival contender in the civil war and had it rebuilt in honour of his son Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, popularly known as Caracalla; the name appears to have been forgotten and abandoned, the city reverted to Byzantium/Byzantion after either the assassination of Caracalla in 217 or, at the latest, the fall of the Severan dynasty in 235. Byzantium took on the name of Kōnstantinoupolis after its refoundation under Roman emperor Constantine I, who transferred the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium in 330 and designated his new capital as Nova Roma'New Rome'.
During this time, the city was called'Second Rome','Eastern Rome', Roma Constantinopolitana. As the city became the sole remaining capital of the Roman Empire after the fall of the West, its wealth and influence grew, the city came to have a multitude of nicknames; as the largest and wealthiest city in Europe during the 4th–13th centuries and a centre of culture and education of the Mediterranean basin, Constantinople came to be known by prestigious titles such as Basileuousa and Megalopol
Priscus of Panium was a 5th-century Roman diplomat and Greek historian and rhetorician. Priscus was born in Panion between 410-420 AD. In 448/449 AD, he accompanied Maximinus, the head of the Byzantine embassy representing Emperor Theodosius the Younger, on a diplomatic mission to the court of Attila the Hun. While there, he met and conversed with a Greek merchant, dressed in "Scythian" fashion, captured eight years earlier when the city of Viminacium was sacked by the Huns; the trader explained to Priscus that after the sack of Viminacium, he was a slave of Onegesius, a Hunnic nobleman, but obtained his freedom and chose to settle among the Huns. Priscus engaged in a debate with the Greek defector regarding the qualities of life and justice in both the Byzantine Empire and in barbarian kingdoms. After an interlude in Rome, Priscus traveled to the Thebaid in Egypt, he last appeared in the East, circa 456, attached to the staff of Euphemios as Emperor Marcian's magister officiorum. He died after 472 AD.
Priscus was the author of an eight-volume historical work, written in Greek, entitled the History of Byzantium, not the original title name. The History covered the period from the accession of Attila the Hun to the accession of Emperor Zeno, or from 433 up until 474 AD. Priscus's work survives in fragments and was influential in the Byzantine Empire; the History was used in the Excerpta de Legationibus of Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, as well as by authors such as Evagrius Scholasticus, Cassiodorus and the author of the Souda. Priscus's writing style is straightforward and his work is regarded as a reliable contemporary account of Attila the Hun, his court, the reception of the Roman ambassadors, he is considered a "classicizing" historian to the extent that his work, though written during the Christian era, is completely secular and relies on a style and word-choice that are part of an historiographical tradition dating back to the fifth century BC. Priscus recount of a dinner with Attila the Hun was at, one of the many houses of Attila.
But this one was said to be greater than the rest. Made for celebration due to it being constructed of decorative polished wood, with little thought on making any aspects of the place for defense. Priscus entered the house the following day bearing gifts to Attila's wife, her name was Kreka. The dinner was at three O’clock; that to Priscus, Attila considered his people were more important than the Roman embassy. As Priscus and the Western Roman embassy stood, they followed the cultural tradition of being given tea from the cupbearers, they were to have a drink before having a seat at the table. Attila sat with the seats being arranged linear to the walls; as the seating arrangement went on the right side of Attila was held for the Chiefs in honor. With the everyone else including Priscus and the Roman embassies on the left. Following the seating, everyone was to raise a glass to pledge one another with wine. Once the Cupbearers left another attendant came in with a plate of meat, followed by other items of food such as bread and things of the time.
All of the food was served on plates of gold. Prius notes that Attila didn’t use any silver or gold plates but instead used a cup made of wood, his attire was bland. Once the first round was finished, they stood and drank again to the health of Attila. Once evening arrived torches were lit and songs that were composed of Attila's victories were sung. Priscus is an important character in Slave of the Huns by Geza Gardonyi, he is depicted as a kindly master and scholar, part of the novel is based on his account of his visit to Attila. The remaining works of Priscus are published in four collections: Given, John; the Fragmentary History of Priscus. Merchantville, New Jersey: Evolution Publishing. ISBN 1-935228-14-5. Blockley, Roger C.. The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire. II. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Francis Cairns. ISBN 0-905205-51-0. Gordon, Colin Douglas; the Age of Attila: Fifth-century Byzantium and the Barbarians. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press. Dindorfius, Ludovicus.
Historici Graeci Minores. Leipzig, Germany: B. G. Teubneri. Media related to Priscus at Wikimedia Commons Georgetown University: "Priscus at the Court of Attila"
Theodore I Laskaris
Theodoros I Komnenos Laskaris was the first Emperor of Nicaea. Theodore Laskaris was born. 1174, to the Laskaris, a noble but not renowned Byzantine family of Constantinople. He was the son of wife Ioanna Karatzaina, he had four older brothers: Manuel Laskaris, Michael Laskaris, Georgios Laskaris and Constantine Laskaris, Emperor of Byzantium. William Miller identified the wife of Marco I Sanudo as the sister of Theodore, based on his interpretation of the Italian sources. However, Mihail-Dimitri Sturdza rejected this identification in his Dictionnaire historique et Généalogique des grandes familles de Grèce, d'Albanie et de Constantinople, based on the silence of Byzantine primary sources; the historian George Akropolites left a description of Theodore: "In body he was small, moderately dark, with a long beard, divided at the ends", "His eyes differed from one another". In 1198/9, Theodore married Anna Angelina, daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Alexios III Angelos and Euphrosyne Doukaina Kamatera.
Soon after this, he was raised to the rank of despotēs. Theodore distinguished himself during the sieges of Constantinople by the Latins of the Fourth Crusade, he remained in Constantinople until the Latins penetrated into the city, at which point he fled across Bosphorus together with his wife. At about the same time his brother Constantine Laskaris was unsuccessfully proclaimed emperor by some of the defenders of Constantinople. In Bithynia Theodore established himself in Nicaea, which became the chief rallying-point for his countrymen. At first Theodore did not claim the imperial title because his father-in-law and his brother were both still living because of the imminent Latin invasion, or because there was no Patriarch of Constantinople to crown him Emperor. In addition, his own control over the Anatolian domains of the Byzantine Empire was challenged, by David Komnenos in Paphlagonia and Manuel Maurozomes in Phrygia, it was only after defeating the latter two in 1205 that he was proclaimed Emperor and invited Patriarch John X Kamateros to Nicaea.
But John died in 1206 before crowning Theodore. Theodore appointed Michael IV Autoreianos as the new Patriarch and was crowned by him in March 1208. In the meantime, Theodore had been defeated by the Latins at Adramyttion, but soon afterwards the Latins were themselves defeated by Kaloyan of Bulgaria at the Battle of Adrianople; this temporarily stalled the Latin advance, but it was renewed by Emperor Henry of Flanders in 1206. Theodore entered into an alliance with Kaloyan and took the offensive in 1209; the situation was complicated by the invasion of Sultan Kaykhusraw I of Rum at the instigation of the deposed Alexios III in 1211. Although the danger from Rum and Alexios III was thus neutralized, Emperor Henry defeated Theodore in October of the same year, established his control over the southern shores of the Sea of Marmara. In spite of this defeat, Theodore was able to take advantage of the death of David Megas Komnenos, the brother of Emperor Alexios I of Trebizond in 1212 and to extend his own control over Paphlagonia.
In 1214 Theodore concluded a peace treaty with the Latin Empire at Nymphaion, in 1219 he married Marie de Courtenay, a niece of now deceased Emperor Henry and daughter of the current regent, Yolanda of Flanders. In spite of predominantly peaceful relations, Theodore attacked the Latin Empire again in 1220, but peace was restored. Theodore was succeeded by his son-in-law John III Doukas Vatatzes, he was buried in the Monastery of Hyakinthos in Nicaea. At the end of his reign he ruled over a territory coterminous with the old Roman provinces of Asia and Bithynia. Though there is no proof of higher qualities of statesmanship in him, by his courage and military skill he enabled the Byzantine nation not to survive, but to beat back the Latin invasion. Theodore married three times, his first wife was Anna Komnene Angelina, whom he married in 1199. With Anna, Theodore had three daughters and two sons who died young: Nicholas Laskaris John Laskaris Irene Laskarina, who married first the general Andronikos Palaiologos and John III Doukas Vatatzes Maria Laskarina, who married King Béla IV of Hungary Sophia Eudokia Laskarina, engaged to Robert of Courtenay, married firstly and divorced Frederick II, Duke of Austria, secondly Anseau de Cayeux, Governor of Asia MinorAfter Anna Angelina died in 1212, Theodore took Philippa of Armenia as his second wife.
She was a niece of King of Armenia. Gardiner mentions the theory that Leo wanted to marry his daughter to another, sent his niece in her place. Theodore's third wife was Maria of Courtenay, whom he married in 1219, she was the daughter of Emperor Peter II of Courtenay and Empress Yolanda of Flanders, but they had no children
The megas logothetēs was an official who served as effective foreign minister of the Byzantine Empire, in the period from c. 1250 to c. 1350, after which it continued as a honorific dignity. The office evolved from the Komnenian-era logothetēs tōn sekretōn, was established during the Empire of Nicaea, its holders were distinguished scholars, who played a prominent role in the civil and military affairs of their time. The title was used in the Empire of Trebizond. After the fall of Constantinople, it was adopted in the Danubian Principalities and as a honorific title for laymen in the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople; the post originated as the logothetēs tōn sekretōn, established by Emperor Alexios I Komnenos in an attempt to improve the coordination of the various fiscal departments. In the late 12th century, the logothetēs tōn sekretōn had risen to a pre-eminent position among the civil administrators, was called the megas logothetēs to indicate this; the all-powerful logothetēs tōn sekretōn Theodore Kastamonites, maternal uncle and de facto regent of the Empire during the early reign of Isaac II Angelos, was the first to be called megas logothetēs in a chrysobull of 1192, although as a honorific rather than an actual new title.
The logothetēs tōn sekretōn was not formally replaced by the designation megas logothetēs until after 1204, in the Empire of Nicaea and under the revived Byzantine Empire under the Palaiologos dynasty. As seen in the case of the first known megas logothetēs, Strategopoulos, in c. 1217, the post retained its previous role: Strategopoulos is mentioned as president of the imperial tribunal the same body attested in 1196 under the presidency of the logothetēs tōn sekretōn. By the middle of the 13th century, its functions had evolved to become different from his antecedent: the megas logothetēs assumed the conduct of foreign affairs and headed the chancery involved with diplomatic correspondence the purview of the logothetēs tou dromou; the megas logothetēs was thus unique among the logothetes in retaining both its exalted position and an active function during the early Palaiologan period: the Book of Offices of pseudo-Kodinos, one of the main sources for the late Byzantine court and administration, records the logothetēs tou genikou, logothetēs tou dromou, logothetēs toū stratiōtikou, logothetēs tōn agelōn as purely honorific titles without a function.
Pseudo-Kodinos wrote shortly after the middle of the 14th century, but the situation he records is of earlier date. Since the publication of Charles Diehl's study on the logothetēs tōn sekretōn in 1933, a generation of scholars considered the megas logothetēs as the de facto chief minister of the Palaiologan-era Byzantine Empire; this view, has been proven as mistaken by studies: numerous sources show that the position of chief minister during that time was designated by the title of mesazōn, an office that supervised the imperial chancery and was in charge of state administration and justice. Indeed, Pseudo-Kodinos explicitly points out that the "proper function" of the megas logothetēs was to supervise "the prostagmata and chrysoboulla sent by the emperor to all kings and toparchs", while the mesastikion "is carried out by whoever the emperor commands". Only three megaloi logothetai are known to held the mesastikion—Theodore Mouzalon, Theodore Metochites, John Gabalas—and indeed appear to have been appointed as mesazōn before being promoted to megas logothetēs, thereby demonstrating the distinct nature of the two titles.
During pseudo-Kodinos's time, the purview of foreign affairs had been transferred to the mesazōn, the megas logothetēs was thereafter reduced to a honorific position. In his Untersuchungen zur spätbyzantinischen Verfassungs- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte, the German scholar Ernst Stein proposed that in the early 14th century, the megas logothetēs exercised the functions of the former Eparch of Constantinople in overseeing the administration of the imperial capital, until Andronikos III Palaiologos, seeking to secure his throne after winning the civil war of 1321–1328, assigned them to the prōtostratōr. Stein's assumption relies on reading the mesastikion in the passage of Pseudo-Kodinos as a compound denoting the Mese boulevard and the rest of the city, rather than relating it with the office of mesazōn; the title ranked twelfth in the overall hierarchy of the palace, between the megas konostaulos and the prōtosebastos, but in March/April 1321 Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos, wishing to exalt his favourite Theodore Metochites, promoted him from logothetēs tou genikou and raised the rank further to ninth place, above the megas stratopedarchēs and below the prōtostratōr.
It appears that the rank retained this high position for the remainder of the Byzantine Empire's existence. According to pseudo-Kodinos, the insignia of office were a rich silk kabbadion, a golden-red brimmed hat decorated with embroideries in the klapōton style, without veil, or a domed skaranikon hat, again in red and gold and decorated with golden wire, with a portrait of the emperor standing in front, another of him enthro
Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition
The Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition is a 29-volume reference work, an edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. It was developed during the encyclopaedia's transition from a British to an American publication; some of its articles were written by the best-known scholars of the time. This edition of the encyclopedia, containing 40,000 entries, is now in the public domain, many of its articles have been used as a basis for articles in Wikipedia. However, the outdated nature of some of its content makes its use as a source for modern scholarship problematic; some articles have special value and interest to modern scholars as cultural artifacts of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The 1911 eleventh edition was assembled with the management of American publisher Horace Everett Hooper. Hugh Chisholm, who had edited the previous edition, was appointed editor in chief, with Walter Alison Phillips as his principal assistant editor. Hooper bought the rights to the 25-volume 9th edition and persuaded the British newspaper The Times to issue its reprint, with eleven additional volumes as the tenth edition, published in 1902.
Hooper's association with The Times ceased in 1909, he negotiated with the Cambridge University Press to publish the 29-volume eleventh edition. Though it is perceived as a quintessentially British work, the eleventh edition had substantial American influences, not only in the increased amount of American and Canadian content, but in the efforts made to make it more popular. American marketing methods assisted sales; some 14% of the contributors were from North America, a New York office was established to coordinate their work. The initials of the encyclopedia's contributors appear at the end of selected articles or at the end of a section in the case of longer articles, such as that on China, a key is given in each volume to these initials; some articles were written by the best-known scholars of the time, such as Edmund Gosse, J. B. Bury, Algernon Charles Swinburne, John Muir, Peter Kropotkin, T. H. Huxley, James Hopwood Jeans and William Michael Rossetti. Among the lesser-known contributors were some who would become distinguished, such as Ernest Rutherford and Bertrand Russell.
Many articles were carried over from some with minimal updating. Some of the book-length articles were divided into smaller parts for easier reference, yet others much abridged; the best-known authors contributed only a single article or part of an article. Most of the work was done by British Museum scholars and other scholars; the 1911 edition was the first edition of the encyclopædia to include more than just a handful of female contributors, with 34 women contributing articles to the edition. The eleventh edition introduced a number of changes of the format of the Britannica, it was the first to be published complete, instead of the previous method of volumes being released as they were ready. The print type was subject to continual updating until publication, it was the first edition of Britannica to be issued with a comprehensive index volume in, added a categorical index, where like topics were listed. It was the first not to include long treatise-length articles. Though the overall length of the work was about the same as that of its predecessor, the number of articles had increased from 17,000 to 40,000.
It was the first edition of Britannica to include biographies of living people. Sixteen maps of the famous 9th edition of Stielers Handatlas were translated to English, converted to Imperial units, printed in Gotha, Germany by Justus Perthes and became part this edition. Editions only included Perthes' great maps as low quality reproductions. According to Coleman and Simmons, the content of the encyclopedia was distributed as follows: Hooper sold the rights to Sears Roebuck of Chicago in 1920, completing the Britannica's transition to becoming a American publication. In 1922, an additional three volumes, were published, covering the events of the intervening years, including World War I. These, together with a reprint of the eleventh edition, formed the twelfth edition of the work. A similar thirteenth edition, consisting of three volumes plus a reprint of the twelfth edition, was published in 1926, so the twelfth and thirteenth editions were related to the eleventh edition and shared much of the same content.
However, it became apparent that a more thorough update of the work was required. The fourteenth edition, published in 1929, was revised, with much text eliminated or abridged to make room for new topics; the eleventh edition was the basis of every version of the Encyclopædia Britannica until the new fifteenth edition was published in 1974, using modern information presentation. The eleventh edition's articles are still of value and interest to modern readers and scholars as a cultural artifact: the British Empire was at its maximum, imperialism was unchallenged, much of the world was still ruled by monarchs, the tragedy of the modern world wars was still in the future, they are an invaluable resource for topics omitted from modern encyclopedias for biography and the history of science and technology. As a literary text, the encyclopedia has value as an example of early 20th-century prose. For example, it employs literary devices, such as pathetic fallacy, which are not as common in modern reference texts.
In 1917, using the pseudonym of S. S. Van Dine, the US art critic and author Willard Huntington Wright published Misinforming a Nation, a 200+
The Byzantine Empire referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic and military force in Europe. Both the terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm. Several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empire's Greek East and Latin West diverged. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed.
Under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use in place of Latin. Thus, although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, characterised by Eastern Orthodox Christianity; the borders of the empire evolved over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I, the empire reached its greatest extent after reconquering much of the Roman western Mediterranean coast, including North Africa and Rome itself, which it held for two more centuries; the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 exhausted the empire's resources and contributed to major territorial losses during the Early Muslim conquests of the 7th century, when it lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arab caliphate. During the Macedonian dynasty, the empire expanded again and experienced the two-century long Macedonian Renaissance, which came to an end with the loss of much of Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.
This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia. The empire recovered during the Komnenian restoration, by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. However, it was delivered a mortal blow during the Fourth Crusade, when Constantinople was sacked in 1204 and the territories that the empire governed were divided into competing Byzantine Greek and Latin realms. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small rival states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence, its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 ended the Byzantine Empire; the last of the imperial Byzantine successor states, the Empire of Trebizond, would be conquered by the Ottomans eight years in the 1461 Siege of Trebizond. The first use of the term "Byzantine" to label the years of the Roman Empire was in 1557, when the German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ, a collection of historical sources.
The term comes from "Byzantium", the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantine's capital. This older name of the city would be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts; the publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, in 1680 of Du Cange's Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of "Byzantine" among French authors, such as Montesquieu. However, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world; the Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the "Roman Empire", the "Empire of the Romans", "Romania", the "Roman Republic", as "Rhōmais". The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and as late as the 19th century Greeks referred to Modern Greek as Romaiika "Romaic." After 1204 when the Byzantine Empire was confined to its purely Greek provinces the term'Hellenes' was used instead. While the Byzantine Empire had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history and preserved Romano-Hellenistic traditions, it became identified by its western and northern contemporaries with its predominant Greek element.
The occasional use of the term "Empire of the Greeks" in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire and of the Byzantine Emperor as Imperator Graecorum were used to separate it from the prestige of the Roman Empire within the new kingdoms of the West. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more straightforwardly seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known as Rûm; the name millet-i Rûm, or "Roman nation," was used by the Ottomans through the 20th century to refer to the former subjects of the Byzantine Empire
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past, is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race. If the individual is concerned with events preceding written history, the individual is a historian of prehistory; some historians are recognized by training and experience. "Historian" became a professional occupation in the late nineteenth century as research universities were emerging in Germany and elsewhere. During the Irving v Penguin Books and Lipstadt trial, it became evident that the court needed to identify what was an "objective historian" in the same vein as the reasonable person, reminiscent of the standard traditionally used in English law of "the man on the Clapham omnibus"; this was necessary so that there would be a legal bench mark to compare and contrast the scholarship of an objective historian against the illegitimate methods employed by David Irving, as before the Irving v Penguin Books and Lipstadt trial, there was no legal precedent for what constituted an objective historian.
Justice Gray leant on the research of one of the expert witnesses, Richard J. Evans, who compared illegitimate distortion of the historical record practice by holocaust deniers with established historical methodologies. By summarizing Gray's judgement, in an article published in the Yale Law Journal, Wendie E. Schneider distils these seven points for what he meant by an objective historian: The historian must treat sources with appropriate reservations. Schneider uses the concept of the "objective historian" to suggest that this could be an aid in assessing what makes an historian suitable as an expert witnesses under the Daubert standard in the United States. Schneider proposed this, because, in her opinion, Irving could have passed the standard Daubert tests unless a court was given "a great deal of assistance from historians". Schneider proposes that by testing an historian against the criteria of the "objective historian" even if an historian holds specific political views, providing the historian uses the "objective historian" standards, he or she is a "conscientious historian".
It was Irving's failure as an "objective historian" not his right wing views that caused him to lose his libel case, as a "conscientious historian" would not have "deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence" to support his political views. The process of historical analysis involves investigation and analysis of competing ideas and purported facts to create coherent narratives that explain "what happened" and "why or how it happened". Modern historical analysis draws upon other social sciences, including economics, politics, anthropology and linguistics. While ancient writers do not share modern historical practices, their work remains valuable for its insights within the cultural context of the times. An important part of the contribution of many modern historians is the verification or dismissal of earlier historical accounts through reviewing newly discovered sources and recent scholarship or through parallel disciplines like archaeology. Understanding the past appears to be a universal human need, the telling of history has emerged independently in civilizations around the world.
What constitutes history is a philosophical question. The earliest chronologies date back to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, though no historical writers in these early civilizations were known by name. Systematic historical thought emerged in ancient Greece, a development that became an important influence on the writing of history elsewhere around the Mediterranean region; the earliest known critical historical works were The Histories, composed by Herodotus of Halicarnassus who became known as the "father of history". Herodotus attempted to distinguish between more and less reliable accounts, conducted research by travelling extensively, giving written accounts of various Mediterranean cultures. Although Herodotus' overall emphasis lay on the actions and characters of men, he attributed an important role to divinity in the determination of historical events. Thucydides eliminated divine causality in his account of the war between Athens and Sparta, establishing a rationalistic element that set a precedent for subsequent Western historical writings.
He was the first to distinguish between cause and immediate origins of an event, while his successor Xenophon introduced autobiographical elements and character studies in his Anabasis. The Romans adopted the Greek tradition. While early Roman works were still written in Greek, the Origines, composed by the Roman statesman Cato the Elder, was written in Latin, in a conscious effort to counteract Greek cultural influence. Strabo was an important exponent of the Greco-Roman tradition of combining geography with history, presenting a descriptive history of peoples and places known to his era. Livy (59 BCE