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Danube Bulgaria And Khazaria As Part Of The Byzantine Oikoumene

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins with a Byzantine prophecy. The fact that all "kingdoms" mentioned in the prophecy, except the Byzantines themselves, were pagan seems to have been unimportant. What really mattered was the survival of the kingdom of the Byzantines; that of the Bulgars, who were to protect the Danube frontier; and that of the Khazars, who were to be on alert at the Caspian gates. In other words, the Byzantine position, called by T. C. Lounghis "theory of limited oikoumene had already been developed nearly two centuries before being clearly formulated in the writings of Constantine Porphyrogenitus and the Continuator of Theophanes. "Oikoumene" was the most enduring, and perhaps the only commonwealth ever realized and recognized by the Byzantines. The Byzantine oikoumene was a multiethnic and multicultural system, where the knowledge of the "civilized" Greek language used to be an advantageous fact without being a mass phenomenon.

Keywords: Byzantine Oikoumene; Danube Bulgaria; Khazaria



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