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Session of March 24

Session held within the framework of the international colloquium "Constantinople real and imaginary (330-1204). Around the work of Gilbert DAGRON ».



M. Michel Zink, Secrétaire perpétuel de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres : Welcome speech


M. Dieter Simon, Foreign correspondent of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Former President of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften : « Eustathe le Romain, juge impérial dans la Constantinople du XIe siècle »


M. Glen Bowersock, Foreign associate of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres : « The New Rome » (La Nouvelle Rome)

Abstract : The name of the city with which Gilbert Dagron’s publications began, and to which he returned repeatedly throughout his scholarly career, is the subject of this communication. Although Constantine’s foundation of the city in commemoration of himself marked the beginning of its prominence as an eastern capital, it rapidly emerged as a rival to the city of St. Peter in Italy. The competition between old Rome and the new comprised claims to both ecclesiastical and imperial primacy. The present analysis begins with the fundamental paper that Dagron devoted to this complex theme. The implication of a new, or second, Rome in the East, after centuries of propagandistic literature in Italy against any idea of an eastern Rome, provides the context for Constantine’s choice of Byzantium, rather than Troy, for the site of his new capital.
Themistius was perhaps the first to speak publicly of a second or new Rome, and in the centuries that followed the city became known in all the languages of the Mediterranean East as Rome. The Italian city was almost, but not completely forgotten, above all because Latin was the language of Roman law, which was rooted in Beirut. But Rome in the East invariably meant Constantinople. The Greeks of late antiquity employed the poetic adjective Ausonian as an elegant way to signal that Italy was meant when old Rome was at issue.
Images of Rome from the Esquiline Treasure in the fourth century to the Madaba mosaic in the late sixth century reflect the shift in the use and currency of the Roman name. It was only after the fall of Constantinople before the Turks in 1453 that the second Rome relinquished its name to Moscow, which became the third.



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