Through a careful examination of the accounts of Daqin (大秦) — presumably the Roman Empire — and Fulin (拂菻) — Byzantinum —, we can depict a picture of how the Chinese imagined another ancient empire far away in the West. The Chinese annals not only give information on and the interpretation of the name of that mysterious country but also add details about its geography, administration, economy — including agriculture, domesticated animals and products -, trade and the envoys sent by Daqin (大秦) people. Such a description could be remarkable on its own but the accounts also emphasise the similarities between the two great empires that might have originated in their same cultural level.
This study attempts to determine the common features and differences between the Latin language of the inscriptions of Aquincum, Salona, Aquileia and the provincial countries of Pannonia Inferior, Dalmatia and Venetia et Histria, compared with each other and the rest of the Latin speaking provinces of the Roman empire, and we intend to demonstrate whether a regional dialect area over the Alps–Danube–Adria region of the Roman empire existed, a hypothesis suggested by József Herman. For our research, we use all relevant linguistic data from the Computerized Historical Linguistic Database of Latin Inscriptions of the Imperial Age. We will examine the relative distribution of diverse types of non-standard data found in the inscriptions, contrasting the linguistic phenomena of an earlier period with a later stage of Vulgar Latin. The focus of our analysis will be on the changes in the vowel system and the grammatical cases between the two chronological periods within each of the three examined cities. If we succeed in identifying similar tendencies in the Vulgar Latin of these three cities, the shared linguistic phenomena may suggest the existence of a regional variant of Latin in the Alps–Danube–Adria region.
About 620 the Emperor Heraclius succeeded in concluding a temporary peace with the Avars and concentrating his forces exclusively on the struggle with Persia. In 622, during the first great offensive, the tactical and military maturity of the Eastern Roman army was demonstrated for the first time. However, Heraclius still could not use the strategic initiative enough in this period. The complicated relations with the Khagantae forced the Emperor to return to Constantinople and begin negotiations for a new peace treaty. The planned meeting with the Khagan of the Avars almost ended in a personal catastrophe for the Emperor. Regardless of this incident, both sides had an interest in concluding peace. While the Romans needed to continue the war with Persia, the Avars had to devote attention to stabilizing the situation in the Khaganate after the outbreak of Samo’s revolt. The agreement reached at the turn of the years 623/624 lasted until the Avar siege of Constantinople in 626.
The aim of this study is to examine and describe the official language use of the Roman Empire under Justinian I, focusing on the choice between Greek and Latin, the two traditional official languages of the empire. Comparing the practice under Justinian with that of the ages before resp. after Diocletian's accession (284), the conclusion can be drawn that Justinian reformed the official language use on purpose, following the practice of the principate.
This study investigates on the basis of the Neo-Platonist Philosopher’s, Emperor Julian’s letter-fragment (89a & 89b, 363 AC) the relationship of virtues between a priest and a king or “imperator” of the Roman Empire. This letter can be considered as a manifestation of Julian’s political and religious reform, which is based on Neo-Platonic and Christian idea. This theory relates to traditional polytheistic religion, in which the principal virtues are piety, philanthropy and utility.
The Rhodian Panaetius, the path-breaker exponent of the middle period of Stoic philosophy, developed his theory to justify the legitimacy of the Roman Empire before the conquered people in the second half of the second century B.C. The essence of the conception is the following: the rule of a state over another is righteous, if their relationship also serves the interest of the subject country, and this is possible if the ruling state is superior, and makes the subjugated better, governs it more adequate as if it would rule itself. The historian Polybius, who wrote about Rome’s becoming the most powerful empire of the world, knew Panaetius, they were both friends of Scipio Aemilianus, and we even know that they often discussed political questions. Even so the theory of the Rhodian philosopher does not seem to be present in the fragmentary work of Polybius — at least not coherently propounded. The thorough inquiry shows nevertheless that all substantial elements of the theory can be found in Polybius’ work. Firstly he considers justice as an objective notion (nature instructs us on it), asserts the good to coincide with the expedient, and the real expediency to differ from the seeming one: accordingly he can judge the states from an absolute point of view like the Stoics. Secondly he holds the Romans superior to the other nations with regard to their polity, military abilities and all the virtues. Thirdly he esteems the Roman governance as expedient also for the subjects and therefore worth opting for and praising, because Rome makes the citizens of the subjugated countries more temperate, religious, ingenuous, and brings peace, order and rightfulness to their public life. As the most important elements of Panaetius’ theory occur, we can assess that Polybius saw the relationship of Rome and the subject countries according to the conception of Panaetius.
A Kr. e. II. században megszületik egy olyan ideológia, mely a Római Birodalom létjogosultságát igazolta a meghódítottak előtt. Lényege a következőkben összegezhető: akkor igazságos egy állam uralma más államok felett, hogyha ez a viszony az alávetett állam érdekét is szolgálja, ez pedig akkor lehetséges, hogyha az uralkodó állam kiválóbb, és az alávetetteket jobbá teszi, jobb irányba vezeti, mintha ők önmagukat irányítanák. A tanulmány első részében amellett érvelek, hogy ezt az elméletet Panaitiosnak, a sztoikus filozófia középső korszakában alkotó filozófusnak kell tulajdonítanunk. Ezután azt bizonyítom, hogy a Róma világbirodalommá válását megíró megalopolisi Polybios – aki baráti viszonyban volt Panaitiosszal, és vele gyakran cserélt eszmét államelméleti, politikai kérdésekről – az elméletet ismerte, és a Római Birodalom, valamint a meghódított államok viszonyára alkalmazta is.
The inhabitants of the steppes around the Black Sea and the nearby areas of the wooded steppe must be recognised as having played a special role in the events that occurred during the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages. These populations were known not only by their peculiar living conditions but also various cultural models, even though the pastoral nature of their economy and the continuous movements related to it were of fundamental importance. The steppe was also an extensive link that facilitated contacts with the nomads present beyond the southern course of the Volga and Ural rivers, in the vast territories of the Central Asian zones up to the border with China. Toward the end of Late Antiquity, the ethnic make-up of the inhabitants of those territories changed. The Indo-European nomads were replaced by the groups of Turks-Mongols that arrived in subsequent waves from the Asian steppes. These included the Huns, who in 375 had destroyed the state of the Goths on the Black Sea and, having settled after 420 in the woods and plains crossed by the river Tisza, continued to go beyond the Pannonian
to strike the areas closer to the border. The intensity of these incursions increased after 434 whenAttila unified the nomadic tribes under his command, creating a vast empire of the steppe whose centre was located between the Tisza and the middle region of the Danube. The Huns also cooperated with the subjugated communities, first and foremost the rest of the Goths, Gepids and other Germans who had remained in their residential areas, but also theAlani and the Jazigs. It was only after the defeat of 451 on the Catalaunian Plains, the failed Italian expedition of 452 and the sudden death of Attila in 453 that the Hun Empire completely fell apart. The final blow was struck on the Nedao River in southern Pannonia by the forces united under the command of the Gepids in 454 or 455. What triggered a new shift of Germanic populations, considered the final phase of the period of the “Great Migrations” of peoples, was the ingress of the Langobards into Italy in 568. This alliance of Germanic tribes had appeared at the beginning of the 6
century on the shores of the Danube and, taking full advantage of the collapse of that sector of the
in 526, began to occupy Pannonia. In the face of the danger represented by the Avars, and the new nomads who began to occupy the entire plain crossed by the Tisza, the Langobards decided to abandon Pannonia, leaving it to the Avars on the basis of a peace treaty.
One of the fundamental events in the formation of the medieval European continent was the transition to more complex organisational structures, even for the inhabitants of the territories beyond the Roman limes. The historical-social transformation movement of the western European world and the new multiethnic composition of the new Roman-Germanic societies were only two of the consequences of the collapse of the division between the highly-developed Mediterranean world and the areas not directly controlled by Rome where, however, stable socio-economic organisational forms had still developed, involving both the steppe and the Germanic populations. Even if it never was an insuperable boundary for all those who lived in the areas not under Roman control, the limes forever lost that ideological concept of barrier and border between two diverse and opposing worlds. The mechanism that caused such consequences involved very complex processes that, as they occurred, affected the environmental geographic conditions as well as the local traditions and ethnic affinities. The populations that continued to live in the areas beyond the Pannonian border introduced themselves into the stream of cultural transformations that arose in that part of the post-Roman European territories between Late Antiquity and the early medieval centuries. It would still be several centuries before this change would complete its natural cycle. In the end, the tribal societies disappeared and new social and cultural structures arose. This helped to spread new ways of using nature, new standards for social co-existence and a new vision of the world.