Cultural Make up of the Roman Empire During the Reign of Justinian I

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by B-29_Bomber, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. B-29_Bomber General Putnam, United States Space Command

    Mar 10, 2015
    I'm currently doing a mod for EUIV and am looking for sources (maps and whatnot) depicting the cultural layout of the Empire during the Reign of Justinian I, particularly during the 530s, right after Belisarius finishes the conquest of Sicily, but right before he invades the Italian mainland.

    I honestly can't find anything.
  2. Fabius Maximus Unus qui nobis cunctando restituit rem

    Apr 3, 2013
    Perfidious Albion
    As I recall, Greece and Anatolia were Greek-speaking during this period. The rest of the Balkans were Latin-speaking (hence why Justinian was the last Byzantine Emperor to speak Latin as his native tongue), and in the east, the major cities were generally Greek-speaking, whereas the countryside mostly spoke Syriac (in Syria) or Coptic (in Egypt). Africa was predominantly Latin-speaking, and I think Sicily was as well, although it's possible there were some Greek-speaking parts in the east of the island.
  3. Young Lochinvar Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    It’s going to be hard because culture was less clearly delineated in the time beyond vague ideas about: Greco-Roman, Germanic, South Slavic etc. but let’s see what we can do.

    There were the Aromanians in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania. These were sometimes deemed to include the Illyro-Romans who were considered a subset of ‘Roman’ from the Dalmatia/Illyria region.

    This is a useful conceptual line in the Balkansček_Line

    There were also the Assyrian/Arameans in Roman Syria and Sassanid Mesopotamia, and the recently conquered Vandals in North Africa.

    Armenians were more widespread in Byzantine Anatolia extending as far west as Cilicia, Caesarea and Trebizond.

    If you so chose you could also differentiate the Cappadocians as a culture in Central Anatolia.

    Also it’s not really a map of Roman culture but here’s a map of nearby tribal cultures of East Europe which you may find useful
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  4. metalinvader665 Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Tennessee, North American Union

    North Africa had a significant amount of Punic and Berber speakers as well. Plus the Isaurian language was definitely around at the time of Justinian
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  5. Flavius Phocas Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2016
    Actually Latin speakers would be primarily limited to the Western/north-western Balkans, the Eastern Balkans around modern day Bulgaria would still be speaking some Greco-Thracian language. Although it's kind of unclear to what extent.
    Anyways to help the OP, I've found a few simple maps during my own research. They're pretty simple but I hope they'll be of some use. I wish you luck with your mod!

    While giving a good general overview they're kind of simplified, which is understandable due to the nature of this. I think the Greek speakers in Magna Graecia are pretty underepresented and they seem to neglect the Gothic speakers in Northern Italy. As someone else mentioned, some native dialects are also neglected, like Isaurian or Punic. So by no means take these maps as a overwhelming source, just as a general overview.

    Also just as an aside, when naming provinces for a mod set during this time period, this map could not be any more helpful. Probably one of the best and most detailed maps of Rome out there:
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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