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Martin Kallander




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Aug, 2020 1:52 pm    Post subject: Why are some Ioannes counted differently?         Reply with quote

Over the course of the roman empire there were three emperors named Ioannes. Ioannes I (423-425), Ioannes II (969-976) and Ioannes III (1118-1143). For some reason we in the modern day call the first one Ioannes, but translate the other two to John and start counting from Ioannes II as John I and Ioannes III is called John II. What is the reason for doing this? It makes very little sense to me Confused

edit*
There were a whole lot more emperors named Ioannes than I thought. After the fourth crusade just about every emperor and his grandmother was named Ioannes apparently which brings the number up to 9 if you count the Ioannes that reigned in the 5th century. (again I don't see why you would not)


Last edited by Martin Kallander on Thu 27 Aug, 2020 8:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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Walter Stockwell




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Aug, 2020 5:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There wasn't one "Roman Empire". Ionnes I (423-425) was emperor of the Western Roman Empire. The others were emperors of the Eastern Roman Empire. The eastern Johns wouldn't have recognized the Ionnes from the western empire as predecessors.
Just my superficial knowledge of the Romans...
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Martin Kallander




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PostPosted: Wed 26 Aug, 2020 10:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That doesn't explain why we call the later ones John but not the first one. The division of the empire really is overrated in the modern day as well, Ioannes reign ended because the eastern emperor, Theodosius II sent armies to depose him and replaced him with Valentian, his 5 year old caesar.
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Jonathan Blair




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PostPosted: Thu 27 Aug, 2020 3:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Per Wikipedia:

Quote:
"Iohannes (d. June or July 425), known in English as Joannes or even John, was a Roman usurper (423–425) against Valentinian III.

"On the death of the Emperor Honorius (15 August 423), Theodosius II, the remaining ruler of the House of Theodosius, hesitated in announcing his uncle's death. In the interregnum, Honorius's patrician at the time of his death, Castinus, elevated Joannes as emperor. "


Quote:
"John I Tzimiskes (Greek: Ἰωάννης ὁ Τζιμισκής, romanized: Iōánnēs ho Tzimiskēs; c. 925 – 10 January 976) was the senior Byzantine Emperor from 11 December 969 to 10 January 976. An intuitive and successful general, he strengthened the Empire and expanded its borders during his short reign."


I think the reason is similar to why Edward I of England isn't Edward III. The Norman Conquest was a defining point in history, and the count of Edwards in the royal line starts with that event. Edward the Elder and Edward the Confessor, being Saxon kings of England, don't count in the Norman succession. Similarly, the fall of the Western portion of the Empire was a defining point in history, and considering the 500 year gap between Ioannes and John, it seems an acceptable division.

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Martin Kallander




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PostPosted: Thu 27 Aug, 2020 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Blair wrote:

I think the reason is similar to why Edward I of England isn't Edward III. The Norman Conquest was a defining point in history, and the count of Edwards in the royal line starts with that event. Edward the Elder and Edward the Confessor, being Saxon kings of England, don't count in the Norman succession. Similarly, the fall of the Western portion of the Empire was a defining point in history, and considering the 500 year gap between Ioannes and John, it seems an acceptable division.

That would make sense if we did not count Constantines from before that point. But we do, so it does not.
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Jonathan Blair




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PostPosted: Thu 27 Aug, 2020 9:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Martin Kallander wrote:
Jonathan Blair wrote:

I think the reason is similar to why Edward I of England isn't Edward III. The Norman Conquest was a defining point in history, and the count of Edwards in the royal line starts with that event. Edward the Elder and Edward the Confessor, being Saxon kings of England, don't count in the Norman succession. Similarly, the fall of the Western portion of the Empire was a defining point in history, and considering the 500 year gap between Ioannes and John, it seems an acceptable division.

That would make sense if we did not count Constantines from before that point. But we do, so it does not.

Pamela Armstrong Authority in Byzantium wrote:
"Similarly but more positively, the Letter of the Three Patriarchs to Theophilus describes the coin type of Justinian II and assigns it to Constantine the Great:

"As the first and foremost offering, a token of devotion to Christ our true God, he [Constantine] engraved on the imperial coinage of the state the sign of the salvation-bringing and life-giving cross, that had appeared from heaven, and stamped the revered and theandric figure of Christ with his own image on the coin...

"The main point is not the error in identification of the emperor, since in the middle and late Byzantine period, as well as in the west, any imperial figure could easily be identified with Constantine, ideal emperor and saint, but the indirect evidence of the impact of Justinian II's innovation." - Cécile Morrisson, "Displaying the Emperor's Authority and Kharaktèr on the Marketplace in Pamela Armstrong's Authority in Byzantium


It is possible that Constantine got a "pass" in the numbering scheme and Ioannes didn't because Constantine was the model emperor. Constantine III, the first emperor to have the name Constantine after the fall of the Western Empire, would never have gotten away with calling himself Constantine I, since everyone knew that Constantine I "founded" Constantinople three hundred eleven years earlier. He would have been ridiculed if he tried. Compare that to Ioannes I, a failed usurper. After a disasterous short reign, Ioannes I gets defeated, mutilated, and beheaded, not exactly something to inspire. So when Ioannes Tzimiskes becomes emperor, the last thing he wants to do is identify his reign with Ioannes I, so he calls himself John I (even though he starts his reign by assassinating his uncle Nikephoros II Phokas in his sleep, which is less than auspicious).

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Thu 27 Aug, 2020 9:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Last time I checked, I could not trace regnal numbers before the 16th century or maybe the 14th. Ancient Babylonian and Greek scholars used bynames (Ptolemy Soter, Philip the Handsome) or filiations (Dareios the son of Artaxerxes, Alexander the son of Philip) to distinguish between kings with the same name. But then sometimes you get nine Ptolemies Soter, or three King Edwards in a row, and some scholar thought of using numbers to distinguish them.

Like Jonathan says, when scholars create lists of kings for scholarly purposes, they are making decisions about who counts and who does not. The next scholar can make different choices (especially if the last king of the last dynasty suffered a tragic accident and the executioner will be present when they present the results of their work to the new king!)

In scholarly books, deciding between Greek, Latin, and modernized forms of names is a stylistic choice like American versus British spelling.

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Martin Kallander




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PostPosted: Thu 27 Aug, 2020 10:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
It is possible that Constantine got a "pass" in the numbering scheme and Ioannes didn't because Constantine was the model emperor. Constantine III, the first emperor to have the name Constantine after the fall of the Western Empire, would never have gotten away with calling himself Constantine I, since everyone knew that Constantine I "founded" Constantinople three hundred eleven years earlier. He would have been ridiculed if he tried. Compare that to Ioannes I, a failed usurper. After a disasterous short reign, Ioannes I gets defeated, mutilated, and beheaded, not exactly something to inspire. So when Ioannes Tzimiskes becomes emperor, the last thing he wants to do is identify his reign with Ioannes I, so he calls himself John I (even though he starts his reign by assassinating his uncle Nikephoros II Phokas in his sleep, which is less than auspicious).


As Mr. Manning said, they did not count their emperors that way. We do it in the modern day and my question is why we ignore the first Ioannes. The following Ioannes'ses's did not call themselves John by the way, John is just an anglicised version of Ioannes. Although having said that, as someone who's middle name is Ioannes, I do not really understand why we insist on not just calling these emperors by their real names, Ioannes and John are two different names in the modern day so the translation doesn't make any sense to begin with.

Constantine was just an example, of the many emperors named Leo the counter starts with the Thracian at 457, of all named theodosius the first one's reign started in 395, even though Tiberius was literally the second emperor after Augustus, the emperor named Tiberius in 535 was considered the second. I could go on, but my point is that Ioannes I is treated differently than all other emperors when it comes to counting.

Quote:
Last time I checked, I could not trace regnal numbers before the 16th century or maybe the 14th. Ancient Babylonian and Greek scholars used bynames (Ptolemy Soter, Philip the Handsome) or filiations (Dareios the son of Artaxerxes, Alexander the son of Philip) to distinguish between kings with the same name. But then sometimes you get nine Ptolemies Soter, or three King Edwards in a row, and some scholar thought of using numbers to distinguish them.


That is irrelevant, I was asking why we do this, I know this was generally not done historically.

Quote:
In scholarly books, deciding between Greek, Latin, and modernized forms of names is a stylistic choice like American versus British spelling.

It is not a stylistic choice to ignore the first emperor named something when you are numbering emperors with the same name. It is not stylistic to say they had different names because you translated one to have his original name but then translated the other ones so as to give them english names. It is absurd and a failure to apply one's own standard
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Mark Millman





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PostPosted: Thu 27 Aug, 2020 11:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Martin,

The real answer, I suspect, is that some prominent historians, who most probably did not discuss all three emperors at the same time or as a group at all, did it that way--I imagine this would have been well back in the nineteenth century, but it could have been more recent--and it stuck. Such trend-setting historians very likely specialized in either Western or Eastern Roman history, and so would have adopted their conventions independently. Once those conventions became accepted practices it would have been more confusing to change. I don't think you're going to find a more satisfying answer. People simply aren't consistent.

One distinction that seems fairly apparent, however, is that the first was a Latin emperor and the following two were Greek. You could, in the absence of any other likely reason, relate it to the need or lack thereof to translate from Greek and Latin respectively.

I hope this proves helpful . . . because otherwise it seems likely that you'll remain frustrated unless you want to read a lot of histories of and papers about the Roman state. Though if you're looking for a dissertation topic in historiography, this might not be a bad one.

Best,

Mark Millman
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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Fri 28 Aug, 2020 4:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Martin Kallander wrote:
It is not a stylistic choice to ignore the first emperor named something when you are numbering emperors with the same name. It is not stylistic to say they had different names because you translated one to have his original name but then translated the other ones so as to give them english names. It is absurd and a failure to apply one's own standard

If you track down the source of the list you are using, it might be something like a list of Christian emperors who were recognized as having authority over Constantinople which began with Constantine the Great. If that is the standard tool, and then someone decides to expand it to include everyone back to Augustus, they might want to keep the familiar numbering.

One issue with these kinds of tools is that since the Sumerian King List, scholars often take an earlier list (or several lists), adjust it (or work the different lists together), and don't cite their source. As long as you explain what you are doing in your book / article / website and use one name for one person, its not a big deal.

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Martin Kallander




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PostPosted: Tue 01 Sep, 2020 1:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
If you track down the source of the list you are using, it might be something like a list of Christian emperors who were recognized as having authority over Constantinople which began with Constantine the Great. If that is the standard tool, and then someone decides to expand it to include everyone back to Augustus, they might want to keep the familiar numbering.

One issue with these kinds of tools is that since the Sumerian King List, scholars often take an earlier list (or several lists), adjust it (or work the different lists together), and don't cite their source. As long as you explain what you are doing in your book / article / website and use one name for one person, its not a big deal.


It is not any particular list I am reffering to, Ioannes Komnenos Is just known as John the second everywhere. I dare you to find any modern thing calling him either Ioannes or the third of his name (or any of the other ones for that matter). By the standards we count and translate emperors (that is to say, every emperor with the same original name, from the start of the empire, to it's end), Ioannes I should either be called John, or the eight later ones should be called Ioannes, regardless the first one should not be neglected in the count.

Quote:
The real answer, I suspect, is that some prominent historians, who most probably did not discuss all three emperors at the same time or as a group at all, did it that way--I imagine this would have been well back in the nineteenth century, but it could have been more recent--and it stuck. Such trend-setting historians very likely specialized in either Western or Eastern Roman history, and so would have adopted their conventions independently. Once those conventions became accepted practices it would have been more confusing to change. I don't think you're going to find a more satisfying answer. People simply aren't consistent.

I figured, but did not want to assume. I at least will from now on call the later Johns Ioannes since that is their real name and include the first one in the count. I don't really see why we should continue doing something wrong for the sake of convenience.
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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Tue 01 Sep, 2020 3:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Martin Kallander wrote:
It is not any particular list I am refering to, Ioannes Komnenos Is just known as John the second everywhere. I dare you to find any modern thing calling him either Ioannes or the third of his name (or any of the other ones for that matter).

The 'standard names and numbers' for emperors which you are finding come from somewhere, probably a scholar sometime between 1300 and 1900. Just because people don't say where it comes from does not mean that this is not so. One of the cool things about studying research history is that you learn how many things 'everyone knows' about history go back to one book or article. For example, a statement about the population of the Achaemenid empire goes back to a Wikipedia article from 2011 and ultimately to some wild guesses in modern books.

Martin Kallander wrote:
By the standards we count and translate emperors (that is to say, every emperor with the same original name, from the start of the empire, to it's end), Ioannes I should either be called John, or the eight later ones should be called Ioannes, regardless the first one should not be neglected in the count.

You could create such a list, although the times when there are two or more emperors who don't recognized each other's authority and have different lines of succession could make that hard! So do civil wars, sometimes we are not certain that a claimnant actually existed, other times we don't know if they called themself emperor. De Imperatoribus Romanis chooses to leave out the western line from Charlemagne / Carolus Magnus / Karl der Groß to Francis II.

The most important thing is that you pick one system and let people know if there are other names someone is commonly known by.

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