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  • Real Life History controversies

    Like topic states. My controversial opinion - Renaissance started in 9th century Byzantine Empire. Seeing how Italian city-states of 15th century were based on long cultural and political relation with Constantinople. And how New Rome was heart of cultural heritage of Greek and Roman civilizations. It seems to come from logical implications.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 03-28-2020, 06:39 PM.


    My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
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  • #2
    Do you plan on elaborating on this post? It's a little vague. Haha

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    • #3
      I mean that most of what we think about Renaissance as period - have it's roots in 7th till 10th century Byzantine Empire. Let's see on the Renaissance main elements:

      1. Humanism - Eastern Roman Empire was known to sustain network of state run Universities. People were important for the state government.
      2. Greek and Roman civilization legacy - Byzantium was officially known as Eastern Roman Empire, and it's citizens were still believing they are descendent of ancient Romans - Even when they officially speak Greek and being in their and Asia Minor lands. Universal education was based on models of Hellenized world and law of the Empire was direct continuation of it from Rome's times.
      3. Secularism - Here Byzantium is counter to the thesis as it's practically described as 'first Christian Empire', being de facto Theocracy of (future) Orthodox Church.
      4. Renaissance Italy was build on Byzantine ashes - Genoese and Venetians were in very closed relations with Eastern Romans. Venice has started as Byznatine colony in Italy, even. When Constantinopole fell, many of it's scholars and works of culture of Roman and Greek world traveled to those city-states.

      I'm preparing to run Chronicles of Darkness game on Roll20 about Byzantine period - and for the game, I needed to have some ideas of visuals about people, things and general feel of the scenes. Thinking about it, I came to my thesis conclusion - that Byzantine Empire is like Renaissance 500-800 years earlier. With that, I can use Renaissance assets and elements, when cannot find proper ones from the original time period.
      Last edited by wyrdhamster; 03-28-2020, 06:57 PM.


      My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
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      • #4
        What specifically do you suggest kickstarted the Renaissance? Because it also sounds like the Byzantium also inherited the Renaissance via this paradigm of thought.

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        • #5
          Elgagusto, you have some point here. Most of historian of previous generation - at least in Poland - say that Middle Ages were 'Dark Ages'. You know, nothing was invented, people were locked in their cities behind walls, religion was over present. And, partially, they are right. General population lived by that. Only the universities became the harbors of those ideas start by Greeks and Romans, that slowly returned to the world. In West, local Universities started to show up in 10th and 11th century, Before them, there were only higher schools build by Byznatines in Italy ( in Venice, Eastern Romans colony, for example ) and those by Muslims ( that started as rebelled provinces in Byzantine Empire that joined new religion - Islam - in 6th and 7th century ). It's all the great chain of learning, streaming from Greece and Rome.

          Wikipedia on the Medieval University - 'Some scholars such as Syed Farid Alatas have noted some parallels between Madrasahs and early European colleges and have thus inferred that the first universities in Europe were influenced by the Madrasahs in Islamic Spain and the Emirate of Sicily.Other scholars such as George Makdisi, Toby Huff and Norman Daniel, however, have questioned this, citing the lack of evidence for an actual transmission from the Islamic world to Christian Europe and highlighting the differences in the structure, methodologies, procedures, curricula and legal status of the "Islamic college" (madrasa) versus the European university.'

          Revolution of Renaissance period (15th century) is that is was massive. When Constantinople fell, Universities were already popular in Europe - and then next wave of the teachers from New Rome come to them. In Byzantine Empire period ( up to 11th century ) you had 5 Universities and more or less homogeneous education culture stretch in Greece and Asia Minor. Western Europe, in that time, was divided in various petty kingdoms that needed to 'remember' they need higher education for existence of Empire. Even Charlemagne did not 'know' this, yet.


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          • #6
            I'm not surprised that Charlemagne was ignorant of this, from my understanding he was illiterate but even he valued literacy. Okay so the inexorable factor that makes the Renaissance is the spread of institutions of higher education? What kind of Chronicles game are you going to run by the way? Just curious what kind of group is tackling the time period.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
              What kind of Chronicles game are you going to run by the way? Just curious what kind of group is tackling the time period.
              Really, it's 'just second season' of our Werewolf the Forsaken Vikings game in summer of year 800, few months before crowning of Charlemagne. Empress Irene of Athens is de facto ruler of Byzantium and here son is officially bed-ridden in palace. Unofficially, there are rumors Empress murdered her own son to take throne. My bloody Norse players finally got from Uppsala to Constantinopole. They come to seek solution for problems in Uppsala - showing of Geryo ( Spiritual ) Dragon from Eastern Europe in their lands - and heard it came from 'Greece'. On their way, one of them got strucked by some mysterious illness - my Iconclasm Contagion - that if they uncover, was reason why Geryo left Greece in first place. It may sound simple, but we already have in play important questions of persons religions ( Norse, Christian, ancient Greece Polytheists ) and value of education. It will be interesting to put Norse as 'first Vikings in New Rome' in this context. / Yeah, I know first evidence show Vikings were in year 820 in Constantinopole - let's just let it run as Licentia Poetica of my game, I started it long before I found out this minor mistake. ( It's game I run now three years in April of 2020. ) /

              I also incorporate a lot of Contagion Chronicles stuff - with using Sworn factions to show some crossovers NPCs, centering their backgrounds on Justinian Plague ( Black Death ) and now fights with Iconoclasm Contagion secretly spreading in Empire. More you can read on those on my Byzantine Empire fan Dark Eras topic.

              Bonus: If I made anime opening to the Viking Werewolf game I run - it would look like this... ( Just change Alexios for PCs or Irene. )

              Last edited by wyrdhamster; 03-29-2020, 03:30 AM.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                Like topic states. My controversial opinion - Renaissance started in 9th century Byzantine Empire. Seeing how Italian city-states of 15th century were based on long cultural and political relation with Constantinople. And how New Rome was heart of cultural heritage of Greek and Roman civilizations. It seems to come from logical implications.
                I took some Renaissance classes when I was an undergrad and you're basically right, that's exactly what I remember being taught so I don't know that it's all that controversial.

                When the Western Roman Empire fell, learning and knowledge in western Europe generally collapsed (compared to the earlier Roman-era). Meanwhile the Eastern Roman Empire basically kept right on trucking and Eastern Europe never really had a "dark age" in quite the same way that Western Europe did. A lot of the documents from Greek/Roman authors and such could still be found in the Eastern Roman Empire/Byzantium and a lot of that knowledge wasn't really "lost" in that part of the world. The Italian city states ended up functioning as the trade route between much of the Byzantine Empire and the rest of Europe and when Constantinople was sacked by the Crusaders a lot of that learning and knowledge, old documents, etc, ended up in Italy.

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                • #9
                  Interesting. I never thought of this. Thanks.


                  “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her.

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