Οι Αρμένιοι στο Βυζάντιο

Η Βυζαντινή αυτοκρατορία μπορεί να είχε σαν επίσημη γλώσσα την Ελληνική και, κατά συνέπεια, ο πρότυπος Ρωμαίος πολίτης/προϊόν αφομοίωσης να ήταν ο ελληνόφωνος ορθόδοξος, αλλά σε πολλά θέματα οι Αρμένιοι ήταν η ραχοκοκαλιά της αυτοκρατορίας. Η παρουσία των Αρμενίων στην Βυζαντινή ιστορία είναι τόσο μεγάλη που ό,τι και να γράψω θα είναι λίγο. Ο Παναγιώτης “Peter” Χαράνης έχει γράψει ένα σημαντικό άρθρο για το θέμα με τίτλο “The Armenians in the Byzantine Empire”.

Ο επίλογος του είναι μια θαυμάσια περίληψη:

For something like five hundred years, Armenians played an important role in the political, military and administrative life of the Byzantine empire. They served as soldiers and officers, as administrators and emperors. In the early part of this period during the seventh and eighth centuries, when the empire was fighting for its very existence, they contributed greatly in turning back its enemies. But particularly great was their role in the ninth and tenth centuries when as soldiers and officers, administrators and emperors they dominated the social, military and political life of the empire and were largely responsible for its greatness. So dominant indeed was their role during this period that one may refer to the Byzantine empire of these two centuries as Graeco-Armenian; ‘Graeco’, because as always, its civilization was Greek, ‘Armenian’, because the element which directed its destinies and provided the greater part of the forces for its defense was largely Armenian or of Armenian origin. It was a role, moreover, of world-wide historical significance for it was during this period that the empire achieved its greatest success, when its armies triumphed everywhere, its missionaries spread the gospel and with it civilization among the southeastern Slavs, and its scholars resurrected Greek antiquity, thus making possible the preservation of its literature. Herein lies perhaps the most important part of the legacy of the Armenians to civilization. But while all this may be true, the point should be made and made with emphasis that the Armenians in Byzantium who furnished it with its leadership were thoroughly integrated into its political and military life, identified themselves with its interest and adopted the principal features of its culture. In brief, like many other elements of different racial origins, as, for instance, Saracens, Slavs and Turks, who had a similar experience, they became Byzantines.

Πραγματικά θα εκπλαγείτε εάν αρχίσω να απαριθμώ τους σημαντικούς Βυζαντινούς Αρμένιους/ Αρμενικής καταγωγής. Ένας μεγάλος αριθμός αυτοκρατόρων, στρατηγών, αξιωματικών και στρατιωτών, λογίων και πατριαρχών ήταν Αρμένιοι/Αρμενικής καταγωγής. Αλλά πιστεύω ότι αρκεί να διαβάσετε το άρθρο του Χαράνη (σε τέσσερα μέρη I,II,III,IV) και να το συνειδητοποιήσετε από μόνοι σας.

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Filed under Βυζαντινολογία, Ιστορία, Μεσαίωνας

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