Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Byzantine Commonwealth

Byzantine Commonwealth is a term I did not know, hearing it for the first time recently. However, I found it intriguing; being coined by 20th century historians to refer to the area where Byzantine liturgical tradition was spread during the Middle Ages by Byzantine missionaries. The Byzantine liturgical tradition is the one celebrated to this day by the Eastern Orthodox Church. 

The Byzantine Commonwealth also pointed out the fact that these lands owed their faith to the Byzantine Empire, whilst also sharing its political, cultural and ethical ideals. This area covers approximately the modern day states of Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, FYROM, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Romania, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Belarus. With the creation of diasporas, Orthodoxy inevitably spread to all corners of the world, showing evidently how the Byzantine Commonwealth expands even to this day. An important contribution towards this idea and historical reality is given by Dimitri Obolensky’s book, ‘The Byzantine Commonwealth’ (1971).  

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