The Reason and the Whole Story of the Fictitious Name “Byzantium”
by Western Historiography
【How did the fictitious Byzantium come into existence?】
In 1557, about one hundred years after the Constantinople-based Roman Empire completely perished (1453), the German historian Hieronymus Wolf faked a name “Imperium Byzantium” for the Constantinople Roman Empire—the historical Eastern Roman Empire, during his sorting out and compiling historical data about the Eastern Roman Empire.
Byzantium, referring to a regime title or name, did not actually exist in previous history. No one had ever heard of it, nor was it once used by Constantinople or Eastern Roman Empire. It is a faked name out of pure imagination. To support this fictitious name, Wolf purposely made up a story purportedly originating from Greek mythology. He wrote that before the 7th century BC the Greek from Athens once established their colonies in Asia Minor which was originally called Byzantium. Thereafter, Wolf renamed all the historical data about Eastern Roman Empire in hand with the new name Corpus Historiae Byzantine. This is why subsequent European and American historians called Constantinople-based Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire “Imperium Byzantium”.
[Notes：Byzantium is an artificially produced name by Wolf. He alleged there was a Greek mythology which recorded a deity person (an integration of deity and human) living in Greek Megara (near Athens) crossed Aegean Sea and landed in Asia Minor where he built the Byzantium city. He also argued that the word “Byzan” originally meant king, and Byzas built his city in the highland beside Chalcedon and named it Byzantium after his own name. This city was the precursor of Constantinople. In other words, it was the king city of the Greek. Just like majorities of Greek historical myths like Troy, this myth is completely based on assumption of Western Europeans, without any historical evidence.]
Wolf is a historian of the Holy Roman Empire, which was founded as a pinchbeck Roman Empire by the Germanic people, called barbarians by the Romans, after the 10th century. Gaul-descendent Voltaire once commented: “It was neither holy nor Roman, nor an empire.” However, since its establishment, the false Germanic Roman Empire had kept declaring that only the western Germanic Roman Empire was the legitimate successor of the Ancient Roman Empire—rather than the Constantinople-based Eastern Empire. This can well explain the reason for Westerners’ systematic forging of the history of ancient Greece and Rome and is also the very reason for Wolf’s renaming Eastern Roman Empire—to fake an empire name and use it for Eastern Roman Empire.
After the 17th century, the preach and repeated use by western scholars during the Age of Enlightenment had made the faked “Imperium Byzantium “acceptable to western European historians and was widely used in western historiography. Thus it gradually replaced the traditional name of Constantinople and Eastern Roman Empire.
The real intention of western academic circle’s consistent use of the coined empire name is to cut off and deny the inherent relationship between Eastern Roman Empire and Ancient Roman Empire with the newly-coined name.
【After the 4th century, the authentic name of the Roman Empire capital was “Nava Roma”—“ Constantinople”】
Constantinople (Kōnstantinoupolis) originated from the name of the Roman Empire emperor that built this city, Constantine I.
In 324 AD, The Roman emperor Constantine the Great ordered to build a new town near Chalcedon, the ancient Persian town in Asia Minor, as the new capital of Roman Empire. After five years of elaborate construction, a huge, luxurious and grand new capital city, Constantine castle, stood up at the Bosphorus bank, where European and Asian continents meet.
On May 11, 330 AD (Monday), Constantine the Great declared the new capital town of Roman Empire had been officially established and named it Nova Roma, to distinguish it from the old Rome in the Italian Peninsula. With the establishment of this new capital town, the main body of Roman Empire had been moved to the east from the Italian Peninsula.
The subsequent historical time witnessed Roman Empire’s major territory shift from Europe (it had been occupied by the south-advancing barbaric Germanic people) to Asia, namely Asia Minor, West Asia and Egypt. Although the empire had moved to the east, the official empire name Rōmanía, or Imperium Romanorum (Latin), remained unchanged.
Nova Roma adopted a series of preferential policies, in an effort to build a functionally prosperous Constantinople to completely replace the position of the previous Italian Peninsula-based Rome. Constantine the Great ordered the Rome nobles living in the old town to settle in the noble residential community built in the new capital town, free of charge. The senate in Constantinople was also equal to that of Rome in legal status. To reconcile the religious conflicts between the Romans and the easterners, Constantine the Great accepted the Christianity (Eastern Orthodox) emerging in Asia Minor. The series of new policies launched by Constantine the Great had contributed to the rapid development of Constantinople and the Eastern Roman Empire.
The Mosaic picture in Sophia Cathedral of Constantinople: Constantine the Great presented Constantinople to Jesus
The establishment of Constantinople led to a sharp growth in population. Within just several decades, the number of population in Constantinople rose from the previous 100,000 to more than 500,000, making itself one of the largest cities in the world. In terms of urban size, it is only the Chinese city Chang’an in the Hang Dynasty that is on a par with it.
【The Eastern Roman Empire is a super-stable imperial system—united and lasting for about one thousand years.】
Some people mentioned that the ancient Chinese imperial system was a super-stable system; however, ancient China was not qualified for the authentic super-stable system. After the Qin and Han Dynasties, not a single kingdom managed to extend its imperium for more than 500 years. However, the imperium established by Constantine the Great of the Eastern Roman Empire had been passed down to 11 emperors, lasting for one thousand years. Although there were inevitably many ups and downs, its super-stable system still came as an absolute shock.
Around 370-395 AD the Roman Empire split into Western Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire.
Western Roman Empire successively founded its capital in Milan and Ravenna (the current Ravenna), while Eastern Roman Empire was headquartered in Constantinople. After repeated attacks and bloodbaths by the barbaric ethnic groups—the Huns and the Germanic people (Goths), the old Rome in the Italian Peninsula became dilapidated.
In 476 A.D, Western Roman Empire completely broke up under the attack of the barbaric Germanic people. The emperor of Western Roman Empire issued abdication edict, declaring the end of the Western Roman Empire and all colonies of the empire could become independent at their will. However, the Constantinople-based Eastern Roman Empire continued to survive as the sole Roman Empire that had inherited the legitimate authority and bloodline of the Ancient Roman Empire.
【Constantinople developed from the Persian Chalcedon】
The Constantinople-based Empire is the authentic heir of Ancient Roman Empire, with Latin as its official language. All the neighbors (the eastern Persian Empire and Arab Empire, the western European countries, northern Russia, and the Chinese in the Far East) called them Romans. However, Asia Minor and West Asia, which came under the rule of Eastern Roman Empire, had developed an exclusively-used geographic name “Hillen” since the ancient time. And it was this name that was later grafted by western historiography circle to Greece of the Balkan Peninsula, and thus the centuries-old ancient civilization of West Asia (e.g. Egypt) and Asia Minor (e.g. Persia and Babylon) had been turned over to Athens and finally attributed to the Germanic people.
But as a matter of fact, the Roman rulers in Constantinople looked down upon the local aboriginals of Asia Minor, and categorized them into the peoples to be conquered and ruled. If someone attempted to call the Romans in Constantinople “Hillen”, they would consider it an insult.
During the later history evolution of the Medieval times, Eastern Roman Empire based its civilization on Asia Minor culture, selected Christianity and Orthodox Eastern Church as the official religions, used Latin as its national language, and introduced Hebrew language, Asia Minor language and ancient Arabic. In this way, it managed to become an empire typical of oriental cultures, distinguishing itself from Ancient Roman Empire and Europe.
The precursor of Constantinople is Chalcedon governed by the Persian Empire, not the so-called Byzantium.
【Crescent served as emblem of Constantinople】
The extant historical data of Eastern Rome Empire show that before 670 BC “crescent” was used as the urban totem and emblem of Chalcedon city. However, the tradition of worshiping crescent and Phospherus (morning star) and using them for emblems originated from Babylon and Egypt.
In 330 AD after the construction of Constantinople city, Constantine the Great added Phospherus (Virgin Mary’s star) to the flag and decorated it with crescent. Constantinople was the first governing state that used crescent as emblem.
After the Turks had attacked and occupied Constantinople, the flag of the Ottoman Empire continued to use the emblem combining both crescent and phosphorus. This emblem has always been regarded sacred by the Arabians.
此后罗马帝国的主要统治区域即由欧洲部分（当时已被南下的野蛮民族日耳曼各部所占据），转移到亚洲部分即小亚细亚和西亚、埃及。虽然帝国已经迁移到东方，但是帝国的正式名称则仍然是Rōmanía（“罗马”），或帝国罗马 Imperium Romanorum（拉丁语）。
公元330年，君士坦丁一世大帝在君士坦丁堡建城后，在旗帜上加上启明星——圣母玛利亚之星（Virgin Mary's star）配以新月。君士坦丁堡是第一个以新月作徽号的城市首府（governing state）。