Source document: Opuscula historiae artium. 2014, vol. 62, iss. Supplementum, pp. 6-15
ISSN1211-7390 (print)2336-4467 (online)
License: Not specified license
This paper gives first a brief insight into the ambiguous situation of Byzantine Studies in the academic world. Its main topic is a comparison between Rome and Constantinople in Late Antiquity, stressing what Constantinople had in common with Rome from the point of view of topography and urban monuments, sometimes quite superficially. It also tries to give a picture of the implications of the foundation of Constantinople and addresses the question of the different evolutions of the Western and Eastern parts of the Empire. It relies on the assumption that Christianity is only part of a deep change in the civilisation and culture of Antiquity and was not, at least in the second and third centuries, the motor of the development. The evolution of the symbolic image of the emperor, becoming a representative of the divinity and no longer asking to be considered a god, enabled him to acquire more legitimacy. Finally, the paper argues that one of the most important causes, which helped the success of the Eastern part as opposed to the extinction of the Western part, has its roots in the organisation of a strong administration. In this way, a state, in the modern sense of the word, extending and improving some features of the Roman Empire, could be created. In the West, the strength of the rich and powerful Roman aristocracy did not allow this evolution.