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The Romanian Countries and the Byzantine Influence

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					     The Romanian Countries and the
           Byzantine Influence



Andreea Solomon
(XI th grade student)


                             Daniela Livadaru ( teacher )
                            Ţurcănaşu Mihaela ( teacher)
• The Romanian modern state gathers territories which, in the
  medieval age, were distinct regions (Moldavia, Wallachia,
  Transylvania, Dobrudja). The founding of the Romanian
  medieval countries also reflects the Byzantine Empire’s
  influence, along other influences belonging to the great powers
  of that time.
 The Romanian Countries and
   the Byzantine Influence
• We set as our goal to illustrate these Byzantine elements,
  which have marked the historical evolution of the
  Romanian territory before the collapse of the Byzantine
  Empire (1453). We consider that there is a Byzantine
  influence even after this event, as the great historian
  Nicolae Iorga showed in his work, entitled “Byzantium
  after Byzantium”.
• The Byzantine reign in the north of the Danube from the
  3rd to the 12th century.
• The institutions of the Romanian medieval countries and
  the Byzantine influence:
       - Governing Principles – The reign
       - The Aristocracy (the Boyars)
       - The official Costume of Rulers and Ladies
       - The Church
The Byzantine reign in the north of the Danube from the 3rd to the 12th century



 After the conquest of
 Dacia by the emperor
 Traian (106), a Roman
 province was founded
 in the north of the
 Danube, a province
 which intensified the
 process of
 Romanization of
 Dacians. Out of
 strategic reasons,
 Aurelian ordered the
 retreat of the Roman
 legions and Roman
 administration from
 Roman Dacia (273-
 275), leaving this
 territory unprotected in
 the age of the Great
 Migrations.
  The Byzantine reign in the north of the Danube from the 3rd to the 12th century




The Byzantine Empire conquered the late-Roman territory situated in the north
of the Danube, making it a region of strategic importance. The Byzantine
Empire strengthened the limes (the empire’s borders) many times, by building
fortresses, bridges and defence banks in the north of the Danube.
  The Byzantine reign in the north of the Danube from the 3rd to the 12th century




Tropaeum Traiani                                                              Capidava
The period: from the 1st                                       The period: from the 1st
to the 11th century                                                 to the 11th century




    The consolidations made under the emperors Diocletian (284-305) and
    Constantine the Great (305-337) were followed of those made under
    Anastasius I and Justinian the Great. The ruins of the fortresses Carsium,
    Capidava, Dinogetia, Tropaeum Traiani, Noviodunum and Troesmis stand as
    proof.
The Byzantine reign in the north of the Danube from the 3rd to the 12th century



 The reconstruction of the Danube limes meant a more intense
 monetary circulation and the presence of numerous Roman auxiliary
 troops (especially cavalry) near the defence line, in order to support
 the offensive actions, which were meant to discourage the marching
 of the migratory peoples towards the Byzantine Empire.



                  Nomisma Tetarteron
                  discovered at Sun’s Land
                  (Păcuiul lui Soare)




                                       Byzantine soldiers
The Byzantine reign in the north of the Danube from the 3rd to the 12th century

During the reign of Justinian, some Dacian-Roman territories (Oltenia,
Banat, Muntenia) were included inside the empire’s borders again.
The Byzantine reign in the north of the Danube from the 3rd to the 12th century



During the reign of John I
Tzimiskes and the Comnens,
Dobrudja was transformed
into a theme (an
                                                                     1 – Garvăn
administrative and military
                                                                     (Dinogetia)
Byzantine subdivision), named                                         2 – Histria
Paristrion. The same emperor                                         3 – Isaccea
also dealt with the                                                (Noviodunum)
consolidation of some                                              4 – Mahmudia
fortresses (Dinogetia,                                                (Salsovia)
Capidava, Troesmis,                                                   5 – Nufăru
Axiopolis) and built a new one,                                     (Talamorium)
Sun’s Land, which reflects the                                 6 - Păcuiul lui Soare
                                                                      7 – Silistra
strength of the Byzantine reign
                                                                    8 – Târguşor
in this region.                                                       9 – Tulcea
                                                                10 – Valea Dacilor
                                                                  (jud. Constanţa
The Byzantine reign in the north of the Danube from the 3rd to the 12th century

                                         • Sun’s Land (Păcuiul lui Soare)
                                           was built in order to defend
                                           Durostorum against the attacks
                                           coming from the north. In
                                           Dobrudja numerous trading
                                           seals and other vestiges were
                                           discovered, which confirmed
                                           the special care shown to
                                           Dobrudja by John I Tzimiskes.
    Byzantine coin (Nomisma Tetarteron
        discovered at Sun’s Land)




                                          A medallion of Byzantine influence was
                                            discovered on Sun’s Land – Vicina
                        After 1453




The fall of Constantinople depicted on the outside walls of Voroneţ Monastery,
                             in North of Romania
The institutions of the Romanian medieval countries and the Byzantine influence

 Governing Principles – The reign
                                               Governing Principles in Moldavia
Byzantine Governing Principles                      (XIVth – XVIth Century)

• The Byzantine emperor was                •      As the head of a Christian state,
  considered “God’s Chosen One”,                 the ruler was considered a divine
  being proclaimed as such by the                choice, as in Byzantium, and had
  army and recognized by the                     the title of “God’s Chosen One”,
  Senate.                                        being proclaimed ruler by the
• Following the political investiture at         Country’s Advisers and by the
  the Hippodrome, was the                        people gathered in the capital
  crowning in Saint Sophia                       city.
  Cathedral, not before a faith            •     The one who invested him and
  profession in front of the patriarch           gave the blessing was Moldavia’s
  of Constantinople.                             metropolitan, in the Metropolitan
• The patriarch played a very                    Cathedral.
  important part, even a decisive          •     The metropolitan participated in
  one, being, in general, a main                 the Advisers’ Council and had an
  adviser of the emperor.                        important political role.
The institutions of the Romanian medieval countries and the Byzantine influence

Governing Principles – The reign
 Byzantine Governing Principles        Governing Principles in Moldavia
                                            (XIVth – XVIth Century)
 • The empire was considered
   the earthly image of God’s         •   The rulers were chosen according to
   Kingdom                                the hereditary criterion, the
 • The emperors were usually              hereditary-elective principle that
   chosen according to the                was functioning in Byzantium was
   hereditary criterion, but this         also adopted in the Romanian
   principle did not exclude              countries.
   encroachment
 • As someone who represented         •   The ruler was the head of the army,
   God on earth, the emperor had          landlord, and chief of administration,
   absolute authority, but not            having absolute power. He was
   tyrannically, for among his            also the main founder of churches,
   most appreciated qualities             monasteries and the greatest
   were justice, generosity and           advocate of culture.
   philanthropy.
The institutions of the Romanian medieval countries and the Byzantine influence

Stephen the Great, Ruler of Moldavia (1457-1504)
Stephen the Great – respect for
  the Byzantine legacy

• adapts the Byzantine political
  model to the local realities
• keeps the idea of ruling by divine
  rights, the bounty and the
  ceremonies of the royal court, the
  religious hierarchy, the law
• shows respect for the Byzantine
  cultural legacy, embedding it in the
  Moldavian art (architecture,
  paintings, adorns, miniature work)
• defender of the former Byzantine
  territories (the late crusades)
• Guardian of the Orthodox Church of
  Jerusalem and Mount Athos.
• Churches and monasteries founder
  (about 43)
• Moldavia was intended to become                      Stephen’s the Great Portrait
  an island of Byzantine spirituality     The gospel from Humor Monastery, 1473
The institutions of the Romanian medieval countries and the Byzantine influence

 Neagoe Basarab, Ruler of Wallachia, 1512 - 1521

Neagoe Basarab – prince, artist
  and philosopher

• one of the greatest ruler-founder
• defender of the Eastern Orthodoxy
  (Mount Athos, Greece, Jerusalem)
• author of the first ethical work in
  Romanian, inspired by similar
  writings by the emperor Basil II the
  Macedonian
• peace adept, has a theological
  view on monarchy
• promoter of Byzantine humanism
• supports the founding of the first
  printer in Wallachia
• represents the cleanest image of a
  God invested monarch
                                          Neagoe Basarab’s family votive portrait
                                                Curtea de Argeş Monastery
The institutions of the Romanian medieval countries and the Byzantine influence

               The Aristocracy (the Boyars)
 The formation and organization of Romanian
    medieval aristocracy, as a dominant social
    class, was tightly connected to the
    Byzantine aristocracy.
  • The direct Byzantine influence – through
  Byzantine noble families, mixed marriages,
  clerks and immigrants and through the
  investiture of Phanariot rulers.
  – Cantacuzino, Caradja/Caragea,
  Rusetos/Rosetti families
  • The indirect Byzantine influence:
  –Through Bulgarian way
  – Through Serbian way
  • The aristocracy developed parallel to the
  evolution of Romanian medieval countries
  • There were also other influences from
  Poland and Ukraine in Moldavia, from          Cantacuzino Family’s Coat of Arms
  Bulgaria and Serbia in Wallachia, from the (being of Byzantine origin, their coat of
  Hungarian Kingdom in Transylvania           arms included the double-headed eagle)
The institutions of the Romanian medieval countries and the Byzantine influence

               The aristocracy (the boyars)
 The boyars had a tight relationship with the Church (boyars – founders
   of churches and monasteries), continuing the Byzantine Church-State
   Symphony




             The Governor (hatman) of Suceava, Luca Arbore and his family,
                   entrusting his foundation Arbore Church to Christ
The institutions of the Romanian medieval countries and the Byzantine influence
                                 The aristocracy (the boyars)

                                   • The system of high offices bears the
                                     seal of the administrative organization of
                                     the Byzantine Empire
                                   • The duties of some high officials
                                     resemble the Byzantine ones,
                                     sometimes even having the same name
                                     in Romanian (logofăt - logophete, spătar
                                     - spatharius, comis - comes, vistiernic -
                                     vestiarus)
                                   • Others keep the duties, but adapt the
                                     names to the local ones (the magistrate,
                                     the chief of the army, the governor, the
                                     bread provider, the cup bearer)
                                   • Some high offices are new, original
                                     (with local traits): ban, majordome,
                                     steward, meat provider, merchandiser

                                The spatharius Preda and his wife, Stanca
                                Arnota Monastery, 1635
The institutions of the Romanian medieval countries and the Byzantine influence

          The official Costume of Rulers
 • The costume is of Byzantine
   origin, with oriental and western
   influences
 • Byzantine tunic above the
   knees, tight on the waist and
   with tight sleeves, fastened with
   buttons and adorned with
   different motifs (granazza),
   garnished with a wide
   embroidered fringe on the collar
   and the lower part
 • Tight trousers, like those worn
   by the Byzantine knights
 • Short boots or shoes
 • Belt made of precious fabric,
   with gold thread and garnished
   with gems – symbolizing the
   submission to God

                                       Mircea the Old and his son, dressed in Byzantine
                                              costume – Cozia Monastery, 1396
The institutions of the Romanian medieval countries and the Byzantine influence

       The official Costume of Rulers
                                        • Round mantle, down to the
                                          knees or to the ground,
                                          fastened with an ornamental
                                          buckle on the shoulder, made
                                          of silk, velvet or fabric
                                          embroidered with gold thread,
                                          sometimes with furry fringes –
                                          symbolizing the sky (the round
                                          one) or the earth (the square
                                          one
                                        • The royal crown, made of gold
                                          adorned with gems – the round
                                          form conveyed perfection and
                                          wholeness
                                        • The sword represented the
                                          ruler’s duty to protect his
                                          people; it had a handle with the
                                          upper part crosswise and it
  Constantin Brâncoveanu and his sons     symbolized invoking God’s help
        Hurezi Monastery, 1692
The institutions of the Romanian medieval countries and the Byzantine influence

     The official Costume of Ladies

  • The hair was fastened in a gold thread net,
    with hairpins adorned with gems or
    covered with embroidered veil
  • Long earrings made of gold with pearls or
    other gems
  • The crown was richly garnished, with
    golden tassels and gems
  • Silk shirt covered with an embroidered
    blouse with gold thread, with loose
    embroidered sleeves and tight cuffs
  • Richly adorned vest, without sleeves
  • Long pleated skirt, woven fine wool
  • Silk or velvet gown, furred, with long sleeted
    sleeves, with gold or golden silver buttons

                      Neagoe’s Basarab wife, Lady Roxanda
                         Curtea de Argeş Monastery, 1526
The institutions of the Romanian medieval countries and the Byzantine influence

           Ruler’s Tunic                         Boyar’s Costume
     Neagoe Basarab - 1514                         17th Century
The institutions of the Romanian medieval countries and the Byzantine influence

        The Church
• The Byzantine political model has been
  implemented in the Romanian Countries
  through the Church, which is recorded
  since the 1st Century in the Romanian
  territories.
• The establishment of Metropolitanates in
  Wallachia (1359 ) and Moldavia (1386), in
  direct dependency of The Ecumenical
  Patriarchy, had the significance of a         Moldavia’s coat of arms, including the
                                               cross – Three Hierarchs Monastery, 1639
  recognition of the Romanian States in the
  Byzantine and orthodox spiritually
  spheres of influence.
• Another element with which the Church
  contributed to the assertion of the
  Romanian stateship and its integration
  into the imperial hierarchy was the
  assigning of the rank of “Io” (from Ioan -
  John, name that translates as “God gave
  holly gift”) to the Romanian leaders, next
  to their name (Io Mircea Voivod).
                                           Io Mircea Voivod… - Cozia Monastery, 1386
 The institutions of the Romanian medieval countries and the Byzantine influence
                                                      • The most visible and the most
                                                        powerful influence of the
           The Church                                   Byzantine Empire in the
                                                        Romanian Countries can be seen
                                                        in the Church’s organization
                                                        and in the place occupied in the
                                                        State affairs and society.
                                                      • it was directly dependent of the
                                                        Constantinople Patriarchy, but
                                                        they had autonomy from it and
                                                        supremacy over the rest of the
                                                        Orthodox Churches in the region
                                                      • like in Byzantium, it was
                                                        associated with the political ruling
                                                        of the country
                                                      • it had an almost complete
                                                        monopoly over the culture,
                                                        scholarship and welfare
                                                      • it was exempted by the ruler from
                                                        paying taxes and it enjoyed a lot
St. Nicholas Princely Church, Curtea de Argeş, 1352
                                                        of privileges and gifts from the
                                                        rulers and the noblemen (villages,
build in the Greek cross shape, in Byzantine style
                                                        land, vineyards, orchards,
                                                        ponds…)
     The light of the Byzantine Empire enlightened the
way to creation of the Romanian State, from its
beginning through its medieval development.
     The Byzantine roots can be identified in many areas,
but they weren’t exclusive. They were doubled by other
influences: local, oriental and western influences that
combined altogether to form the Romanian national
identity.

As our national poet, Mihai Eminescu said,

“The icon of the star now-gone
Slowly climbs up heaven’s vault:
It was there before laid eyes upon;
Though we now see it, it’s long gone... .”

				
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