Posts about Russian Empire
A thought-provoking article, ending with:
"Again—we suppress Byzantium because it looks to the East and we do not.
Byzantium harkens to Russia, which is depicted as corrupt in the athletic and political spheres.
It points to Greece, which was economically disadvantaged and wrestling for years in the 2010s under the yoke of economic austerity and concerns about its finances.
It alludes to the former Soviet bloc and to the Balkans, which are still wrestling to find their identities.
It harkens to the “Orientalism” that Edward Said pointedly identified—a patronizing depiction of eastern lands by Western Europeans, whose frames of reference were both imperial and colonial. Said was speaking specifically of the Middle East, but, again, this region of the world was a vital part of the Roman and Byzantine worlds.
Byzantium is alive and well. One cannot find Byzantium on a map, but its culture persists. Orthodox monasteries, libraries, and churches still exist across Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, and North America.
It persists in the constitutions of countries, in the literary traditions and the poetic imagination of millions, and in the worldview formation of more than 250 million people.
Byzantium also exists as propaganda—as a historical bridge between historical spaces and geographical continents.
All this we know, and yet we have no reference points in our history books nor do our future teachers and students."