Talk:John S. Romanides
Professor Romanides and his followers appear to confuse the Greek usage of "Franks" -- which later writers applied indiscriminately to _all_ Western Latin Europeans, including Germans! -- with the original tribe that occupied Gaul.
- Franks are Germans, and Frankish is a Germanic language. See: Wikipedia:Franks --Rdr. Andrew 13:42, 26 Mar 2005 (CST)
- That's a good point (I'm thinking of frankfurters, etc.) - I was just cutting and pasting to stir some discussion. I hope that, in time, this will become a very lively article! Fr. John
- That seems like a pretty egregiously obvious error on Bratton's part. Do you perhaps have a source for some more informed criticism of Romanides? What about his debate with Meyendorff over the nature of Barlaam's errors?
- P.S. Do you think it's wise/okay to copy text from a 9 year old listserv message into OrthodoxWiki? Did you contact Dr. Bratton? --Rdr. Andrew 14:34, 26 Mar 2005 (CST)
Fr. John Romanides and the attribution "Franks" to all Teutonic peoples
Bratton, whoever you are, you obviously have no idea what Fr. John Romanides means when he says "Franks." He means exactly what Greeks and Ottoman Turks and other Arabs meant througout the Middle Ages and up to the present day by "Franks": Those from Europe who propogate and further Frankish Civilization and Frankish Christianity. The Arabs still call anyone who is a non-Orthodox Christian "Frankji," as Fr. John Romanides points out. In Western sources we find a false distinction between Western Romans and Eastern Greek heretics; Eastern sources (Roman Orthodox as well as Moslem) invariably distinguish between Romans (Orthodox) and Franks (non-Orthodox Christians from Europe). As a matter of fact, I recently listened to a lecture on cd by Fr. Michael Azkoul in which he noted that the icons of the Theotokos produced in the West are indiscriminately called "Francopanagia" by Greek-speakers. The point is, since the Fourth Crusade at least, Eastern Christians (along with Moslem Easterners) refer to those who follow Charlemagne and his Frankish successors' schemes, both geopolitical and "religious," "Franks," since they follow their father Charlemage.
The foremost scholar of the history of the Normans, R. Allen Brown, once retorted that the Scandinavian Normans, in a generation, became "more Frankish than the Franks," simply by adopting the customs and war-techniques of the Franks. That the Normans became Franks in no time at all is shown by their ability to replicate Frankish civilization (feudalism) and Frankish religion ("Roman" Catholicism) in England and elsewhere, by force, of course. Would any of you Romanides critics like to make the idiotic statement that the Normans did not become Franks? What about this quotation from Liutprand, Frankish advisor to the Frank Otto I: "We...Lombards, Saxons, Franks, Lotharingians, Bajoarians, Sueni, Burgundians, have so much contempt [for Romans and their emperors] that when we become enraged with our enemies, we pronounce no other insult except Roman (nisi Romane), this alone, i.e., the name of the Romans (hoc solo, id est Romanorum nomine) meaning: whatever is ignoble, avaricious, licentious, deceitful, and, indeed whatever is evil." Hmmm. Seems that all these Teutons stick together like glue (at least in their self-conceptions) when it comes to anti-Roman (meaning anti-Greek and anti-Orthodox)sentiments and schemes. The sources don't lie: If anything, it is disingenuous to suppress the obvious notion of "Franks" used by BOTH EASTERN AND WESTERN SOURCES, THOUGH THE LATTER EQUATE FRANK WITH ROMAN AND THE FORMER EQUATE FRANK WITH ANTI-ROMAN HERETIC.
Also, I put forth for your consideration, that the term "Frank" was also used by Germans themselves to refer (at various times in the Middle Ages) to anyone who was a warrior in the Kingdom of the Franks, a kingdom which comprised most of the German-speaking world for quite a while. Case in point: In one of Charlemagne's capitularies, the Great Frank castigated the poor warrior-farmers in his Frankish army who were suffering under his policies and who could no longer afford to arm themselves. "Gird yourselves like men; arm yourselves and be Franks," Charlemagne tells them. Now, Romanides-critics, are you telling me that Charlemagne's audience here is comprised only of those who can trace their bloodlines back to a Frank? This would be anachronistic and just plain stupid. Obviously, Charlemage would accept any warrior who could raise a sword and who was a German barbarian. Do me a favor and read all of the works of John Romanides before you generalize about his supposed historical errors.
Thank you very much, Fr. John and Reader Andrew, for posting the "Bratton thesis." I think I read it somewhere on the net years ago, and wished then that there was a forum about it. Another critic of Fr. John Romanides is Andre de Hailleux (I'm sure I misspelled it). I'm going to translate his anti-Romanides writings into English soon, and hopefully I'll be back with a full-length refutation of them. God bless you all.
--James Kelley, www.orthodoxpatristics.com
- 1. I'm not sure who "you" is in your above comments.