Our thirteenth Kickstarter backers reward episode looks at the legacy of Byzantium and why it seems so forgotten today.
Download: The Byzantine Legacy
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Huge objection over the proposition that no modern nation claims Byzantium as part of its past (I might even go as far as saying, a bit offensive too). Robin apparently knows that Greeks do regard Byzantium as part of their history, but considers the claim disputable. I know not who is disputing it and I am even harder pressed to imagine on what grounds could anyone dispute the direct linguistic, cultural, religious, ethnic, and ideological continuity between Byzantium and the modern Greek state. Over 40% of Greece’s population are descendants of refugees from Asia Minor and Constantinople following the 1922-24 exchange of population pact that ended the Greco-turkish war. A war, let it be said, fueled by the ideological foundation of “Μεγαλη Ιδεα” the so called “Great Ideal” which was nothing more than the aspiration of restoring Greece to its Byzantine heartland. Millions of people have given their lives to this idea, and for better or worse (rather the latter) is simmering to this day. Let me close by sharing a little cultural tidbit from my early youth, People of my generation growing up in Greece, will remember that when parents, teachers, priests, or army captains wanted to put us to shame for something we did, would say “is that how we will take back the City?” Draw your own conclusions about the weight of Byzantium over the psyche of at least one nation…