Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:47 pm
Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:22 pm
as if Byzantium ever allowed it. The political fragmentation of the western Europe provided for the seeds of pluralism [render to caesar what is caesar's...]. Strong unified power in Byzantium is the direct ancestor of russian/soviet/post-soviet despotism [let every soul be obedient to the powers that be...]. Compare the Western history of Henry IV/Gregory VII, where the emperor had to wait for 3 days in the snow for a papal audience, with Byzantium treatment of John Chrysostomos at the hands of his emperor Arkadius.The first lesson for America to take from the history of Byzantium is about individualism and freedom. While it was no democracy, nonetheless Byzantium flourished when it allowed its citizens, and particularly its soldiers, greater individual freedom and responsibility.