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L. Tavadze N. Silagadze:The Byzantine commonwealth and Georgia

The definition Byzantine commonwealth is not old first it was used by Dimitri Obolensky in his major research work – The Byzantine commonwealth: Eastern Europe, 500-1453. Term was used just to describe the huge area which had Roman suzerainty or at least the serious clime over it. The word commonwealth in this case alters the Greek term oikoumene (inhabited universe) or politeuma (government, community).

The Byzantine commonwealth was successor of huge the Roman commonwealth (The Roman Empire is sometimes referred as The United States of Europe) also it had natural stages of genesis, development and decline which is common for every great civilization.

D. Obolensky had discussed many problematic issues of the Byzantine Commonwealth especially with a particular attention on the problems concerning the Byzantium’s relationship with other Eastern European countries from 5th throughout 15th century. The meticulous notice is paid on the relationship with Rus and other Slavic states, the Balkan Peninsula is the concern of special observe. In spite of Georgia’s importance and unique place among the countries of the Byzantine Commonwealth reports is very scant about the position of Georgia in this commonwealth. Hence the problem seems to be very tangible.

The area conditionally called as the Byzantine commonwealth occupied the huge territories, countries, large areas and planes. It is worth to say that the number of member states in the Byzantine commonwealth constantly was changed from time to time. The latter contained the territories Westward from Atlantic Ocean, Eastwards to Caspian Sea. Northward from Baltic Sea it occupied the lands to Southwards in the direction of Ethiopia.

Georgia had been the member of Byzantine commonwealth since the East Georgia had been converted to Christianity, as the religion played the decisive part in Byzantine policy that chose defined the political orientation of Georgia for centuries.

Byzantine Empire needed not only Iberia (The East Georgia) to be converted into Christianity but also all other lands which was inhabited by Georgian tribes. Regarding to this approach Lazs, Sans, Abazgs, Aphsils and many other Georgian ethnic groups were converted.

At the same time Georgia was over floated by Byzantine honorable titles, in other hand those ranks represented senatorial grades which at the first stage was used in Rome and Byzantium but latter had been given to foreign princes, lords or kings to estimate their dependence, allegiance, loyalty or political weight in the Byzantine commonwealth.

Therefore study of implementation of Byzantine institutional system in Georgian states appears to be very problematic; consequently research would be focused on the several issues, which include: 1. Definition of the Byzantine Commonwealth 2. The area of territorial extension of the Byzantine commonwealth 3. The Position of Georgia in this oikoumene.

Category: Abstracts | Added by: margalita (18.10.2009)
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