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Byzantine Intelligence Service

Byzantine Intelligence Service

Dvornik, Francis

Origins of intelligence services: Chapter 3 – the ancient Near East, Persia, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, the Arab Muslim Empires, the Mongol Empire, China, Muscovy, (Rutgers University Press, 1974)

Abstract

The Byzantine Empire, often regarded as the heir of the Roman Empire, was rather its continuation. This continuation was more evident at the time when new invasions deprived the empire of its flourishing provinces in the East and West, definitely breaking through the Roman limes, which had been defended successfully for centuries by the Roman Legions. Rome found it necessary to surrender her primacy and the privilege of being the residential city of the emperors to a new Rome on the shores of the Bosporus, named Constantinople after its founder Constantine the Great. Nevertheless, that city’s inhabitants, and the population of the eastern provinces, continued to think of themselves as Romans, or “Romaioi” in their native Greek language.

It should also be stressed that from the time of Constantine, the ,empire developed along different religious lines, and the emperors regarded themselves as appointed by God, not only to reign, but also to protect and extend the Christian religion, now victorious over the pagan gods and over those principles which had prevailed in Rome and the western provinces.

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