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2 - The Byzantine Commonwealth and the Emerging Features of a Law of Nations in the First Millennium

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 May 2021

Pamela Slotte
Affiliation:
Åbo Akademi University
John D. Haskell
Affiliation:
University of Manchester
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Summary

The Eastern Roman Empire represents a prototype of a Christian state both in terms of its political philosophy of Church–state relations and in terms of a political philosophy regarding legal recognition of other states – both Christian and non-Christian. The process through which Byzantium recognized emerging states in Europe and beyond became an important element of international legal order as this dominant Christian empire addressed the most critical question of political legitimacy: how can a political order established by Christ recognize other political communities that challenge its territory? As a political community established by Christ and driven by the rule of law, the Empire navigated its international relations following a very specific theological program that reflected its attitude toward its neighbors. This program held that any political project should be an imitation of the Byzantine Christ-given political community and through such process it would come closer in affinity to the Empire and become integrated into its Christian commonwealth.

Type
Chapter
Information
Christianity and International Law
An Introduction
, pp. 17 - 40
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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References

Recommended Reading

Angelov, Dimiter. Imperial Ideology and Political Thought in Byzantium (1204–1330). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.Google Scholar
Barker, Ernest. Social and Political Thought in Byzantium, from Justinian I to the Last Palaeologus: Passages from Byzantine Writers and Documents. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957.Google Scholar
Dvornik, Francis. Early Christian and Byzantine Political Philosophy: Origins and Background. 2 vols. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies, trustees for Harvard University, 1966.Google Scholar
Obolensky, Dimitri. The Byzantine Commonwealth: Eastern Europe, 500–1453. London: Phoenix Press, 2000.Google Scholar
Runciman, Steven. The Byzantine Theocracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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