Научная статья на тему 'The making of Europe (toward history of globalization)'

The making of Europe (toward history of globalization) Текст научной статьи по специальности «История и археология»

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Аннотация научной статьи по истории и археологии, автор научной работы — Dundua Tedo

With the European Union making the rapid steps forward, there has been a permanent demand for precise knowledge of history of unified Europe. One still wonders how did the Romans manage to build Pax Romana, which was a bit more a commonwealth than an Empire. With Western and Eastern Europe now motivated firmly to build a common European house, these ideas seem to be quite interesting. As to Georgia, being a member of the Council of Europe, moving rapidly toward NATO, she had the same aspirations toward the Graeco-Roman World. This article deals with what can be labeled as making of Europe.

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Текст научной работы на тему «The making of Europe (toward history of globalization)»


D.Sc. (Hist.),

Associate Professor at the Institute of the Georgian History, lecturer at the Institute of the European Studies, Vice-Dean of the Humanities, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (Tbilisi, Georgia).



W ith the European Union making the rapid steps forward, there has been a permanent demand for precise knowledge of history of unified Europe. One still wonders how did the Romans manage to build Pax Romana, which was a bit more a commonwealth than an Empire. With Western and Eastern Europe now motivat-

ed firmly to build a common European house, these ideas seem to be quite interesting. As to Georgia, being a member of the Council of Europe, moving rapidly toward NATO, she had the same aspirations toward the Graeco-Roman World. This article deals with what can be labeled as making of Europe.

I n t r o d u c t i o n

Europe is a special term for the part of the earth, which stipulates, in the main, the same level of the consciousness. An idea of the European integration is a fixation of this reality. Notwithstanding some crisis, a level of the Georgian culture seems to be still European. Occidental aspiration of the country should be considered as normal. An idea of the European integration and of Georgia, as its participant, is a perspective conjuncture. Is this something very new? If not, it should not be

1 The Author is largely indebted by the general works about European integration. Some of them are cited here: Prosopographia Imperii Romani Saec.I. II. III, Paris, VI, Consilio et Auvctoritate Academiae Scientiarum Berolinensis et Brandenburgensis, Iteratis Curis Ediderunt Leiva Petersen, Klaus Wachtel, Adivvantibus M. Heil, K. P. Johne, L.Vidman, Berolini, Novi Eborau, MCMXCVIII; A.N. Sherwin-White, The Roman Citizenship, Claredon Press, Oxford, 1939; Second edition, Oxford, 1973; D. Braund, Rome and the Friendly King. The Character of the Client Kingship, Beckenham, Kent. Fyshwick, Australia, 1984; F. Braudel, A History of Civilization, Printed in the U.S., 1995; K. Rosen, “Die Geburt Europas,” in: Das Mittelmeer—die Wiege der Europäischen Kultur, Bonn, 1998, pp. 10-25; K. Held, “Die Entdeckung der Welt bei den Griechen als Ursprung Europas,” in: Das Mittelmeer..., pp. 26-45; H. Galsterer, “Einheit und Vielfalt im Römischen Reich,” in: Das Mittelmeer.., pp. 115-129; G. Alföldy, Das Imperium Romanum—Ein Vorbild für das Vereinte Europa? Basel, 1999; K. M. Girardet, “Bundesstaaten im Antiken Griechenland und das Römische Imperium als ‘Supranationale’ Ordnung—Modelle für Ein Vereintes Europa von Morgen?” in: Europa. Traditionen-Werte-Perspektiven, Beiträge zu Einer Ringvorlesung der Philosophischen Fakultät der Universität des Saarlandes in Sommersemester 1999, St. Ingbert, 2000, pp. 13-48; B. und H. Galsterer, “Romanisation und Einheimische Traditionen,” Xantener Berichte, B. 2, Köln, 1992; Kolloquium in Xanten, 2-4 Mai, 1990, pp. 377-387; S. Runciman, The Fall of Constantinople 1453, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996; J.J. Norwich, A Short History of Byzantium, Published in Penguin Books, 1998.


revised at all. The first very clear pan-European perception is the Hellenic phenomenon. And Colchis (i.e. Western Georgia, the country the Golden Fleece was stolen from) was exactly a part of the Hellenic World. In the 2nd-1st centuries B.C. Hellenistic Pontus and Colchis formed one state. And Gnaeus Pompeius put Colchis within the Roman hegemony. The Roman Empire, as well as Byzantium, should be thought to be very nice examples of the European integration. And the Christianity is a certain badge for the European countries. Byzantium and Georgia were regarded to form unique Orthodox space; that is why even their monetary types are unificated—with Cross Potent, Virgin Orans, Jesus Christ Pantocrator on the money. The Georgian kings claimed their Imperial titles like Kuropalates, Sebastos, Caesaros etc. Imperial crown is a familiar trait for the 12th-13th centuries Georgian kings. From the 16th century Russia started to realize her function of a predominant within the Orthodox World. Georgia was subjugated to this hegemony from the 19th century. But in the 18th century king of Eastern Georgia Heraclius put the double-headed eagle, already coat of arms of the Russian Empire on his money. So, Georgia has been a permanent subject of the European Integration, and the modern aspirations of the country are very logical. Now, in details.

History of the European Integration

Climate determines economics. Hot and less humid environment defines an early advantage of the South over the North—indeed, the Egyptian state and the crafts confront entirely the primitive clan-system which existed in fact everywhere. Then the whole situation was changed. Times after, some technical improvements toward the North created a very comfortable vegetation process, while the Egyptians still needed time to put the seed beyond the reach of the sun. In the 9th-8th centuries B.C. the Greeks are already in the vanguard by means of the techniques and the structures. The countries being superb before, like Egypt and Babylon, or India, now face a new hegemonic power—Hellas, already overpopulated and needing grain and the raw materials to be imported. Then the perception of Europe has appeared. Europe is a special term for the part of the earth, which stipulates or will stipulate the same level of development. Even Scythia with its rough spring was thought to be more reorganized in the Greek manner than those countries which needed the additional finances for irrigation. So the making of Europe started.

The Greek pattern was as follows:

1. occupying or even frequently being invited to the key-points of other economic structures like Caria, Thrace, Bosphorus or Colchis;

2. establishing the autonomous Greek social structures granted heavily with the techniques from metropolis;

3. the natives being equipped with the best tools for agriculture;

4. the Greek industrial structures maintained on this background;

5. exporting supplies to Hellas and receiving back some industrial goods.

The Aegean and the Pontic (the Black Sea) areas were supposed to form once unique economic space. Economic integration considered several stages to be realized: first it was Asia Minor, in fact mistakenly called so, to be Hellenized due to climatic similarity with Greece, then—West, North and East Black Sea countries. Two major waves of the colonists passed from Hellas—first one in the 8th-6th centuries B.C., and the next—in the 4th century B.C. led by Alexander the Great. Asia Minor was a complete victory of Hellenism, even being integrated politically under Mithridates Eupator, king of Pontus, as far back as the 1st century B.C. The Roman overlordship gave a new sense to the economic prosperity of the Greek World. And at last the Byzantine metropolis was created with


all that languages like Lydian, Cappadocian etc. vanished forever. But there were the serious failures too. Colchis offered a dangerous humidity to the Greek way of life. The Greeks living there had no chance to keep their industrial spirit as the agriculture developed very slowly. Soon the Greek community became a bilingual one, and after—totally assimilated within the Colchian society. As to Bosphorus, a corn-supply from Asia Minor to Greece had broken the traditional scheme, and the region soon lost its Greek style. And the case of Thrace was a certain conflict with the new concept of Europe.

The Romans did the same job for Gaul and Spain, putting the Latin population there and Romanizing these sites. They also cared much about their Greek colleagues in making Europe—starting from the 1st century B.C. the Romans were running the whole administration within the Hellenistic World, while the Greeks used to build their integrated industry. Then the whole system collapsed.

Indeed, Italy never cared much for a maximum of technical improvement and power revolution. The result was catastrophic—a dangerous growth of population in Italy, insufficient economic progress, the high prices on the Italian industrial export, cheap supply from European provinces, indecisive military advantage of the metropolis over the provinces; the Roman imperial system vanished, Italy being forced to the heavy Gothic reception. New Europe will pay its special attention to the technical progress employing more and more hands in a heavy industry. But what was supposed to be done with starving Italy?

East Rome (Byzantium) possessed the prominent food stocks from Asia Minor and Egypt. Emperor Justinianus put Italy within the Byzantine hegemony. But Byzantium herself was also a very old economic pattern. And Europe struck with the Slavs and the Bulgars penetrating beyond the Danube and establishing their national states in Thrace, Moesia and Dalmatia. The Asiatic provinces were lost too. From this very point on Byzantium had been steadily degrading still being a predominant for East Europe and the Black Sea countries. Besides the Byzantines kept some of the Italian provinces, thus irritating the rest of Europe and provoking the emergence of Catholicism and Holy Roman Empire.

An idea of the Transcaucasian and Pontic transit of the Asiatic goods was also very important one. As far back as in the 4th century B.C. Alexander of Macedon took the Graeco-Macedonian armies toward the very heart of Asia, and there, particularly in India, the Europeans tasted the spiced meals for the first time, and they decided that their life would be dull without pepper. So, one could buy some spices for, perhaps, a drachm in the valley of Indus, and sell it in Rome, or maybe, in Athens for hundred. The profit from the trade was very handsome. In all there had been the following routes toward India—1. Maritime route—from the Red Sea ports of Egypt via the Indian Ocean toward Malabar coast. 2. Transiranian transit. 3. The third route was amazingly cheap, for it was river-route via well inhabited and supplied districts, the city of Phasis (Poti, Western Georgia) being a starting point together with a mouth of the river Phasis (Rioni), very comfortable for the large boats. Rioni is prolonged by the rivers Kvirila and Dzirula toward the Likhi mountains. They divide Georgia into two parts: the West (Colchis), and the East (Iberia). The merchants used to climb to the mountains, and then board again at the Kura-river boat-station in Eastern Georgia. A voyage down the river toward the Caspian Sea was swift and lovely. And the Caspian Sea could be easily covered in eight days on a large boat. One could find the river Amu Darya (Oxus) in the past joining the Caspian Sea in its South-Eastern section. Amu Darya-Balkh (Bactra)-Indus is the last section of the route. And the Greek merchants were already in the wonderful country of a leisure and the spices, in the homeland of Buddha. The Greeks and the Romans, the Byzantine soldiers and merchants were in Georgia for the transit purposes and within the frames of early European integration. From the 2nd century B.C. the Chinese started to send the silk caravans via Chinese Turkestan. Then the usual Transcaucasian and Pontic transit took place. This route was cheap, but—very fragile. As soon as Iran recovered from the Hellenic onslaught, she cut the route organizing the Caspian fleet.


Till the 11th century Byzantium had been a handsome and dominant power, the champion of Christendom against onslaught of Asia and Islam. But she was already very old European pattern of the Mediterranean trying to control North. Soon the Empire found itself caught between two fires— the Crusaders and the Turks. Byzantium had to be calmed finally. The Crusaders (after 1204) and the Turks (after Manzikert, 1071) did this job properly overpopulating the country. Toward the end of the 13th century Byzantium is nothing but a lot of principalities with very different confessional visages (Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim). Orthodox World starts disputing about a new leader, Serbian, Bulgarian and Georgian kings assuming formally the title of Caesar and Autocrat (and before the Georgian kings formally had been hailed as king and Kuropalates, king and Sebastos, even sometimes, king and Caesaros). The Italians were more pragmatic. Seizing the whole islands and the key-points over the Aegean and the Black Sea, they will control the complete output there until the 15th century. This was a disaster for building of Europe. Within the Holy Roman Empire Italy had been granted only moderate supplies of food and the raw materials from the northward. And now Venice and Genoa made a commercial onslaught upon what still can be called the Byzantine World destroying the local crafts. ex. In 1261 the Byzantine Emperor Michael Palaeologos had to sign a treaty with Genoa promising the republic the concessions, own quarters in Constantinople and other ports, and free access to those of the Black Sea. A comparative comprehension of the Hellenic and the Italian periods is as follows: the Greeks took up their permanent residence within the East Aegean and the Pontic areas stimulating everything, while the Italians placed the soldiers and the merchants there to empty the local markets. That is why the Ottoman reintegration was welcomed by the overwhelming majority in Asia Minor. And Greece since has formed a separate economic structure. Thus the Italian overlordship came to an end together with the handsome transit trade.

When the Transcaucasian transit was broken, the Byzantines did their best to reach Asia rounding the Caspian Sea in the north, and moving toward the Turks, dwelling already in the Central Asia. But this route—steppe route to the North of the Caspian Sea—failed to be nice because of a very low socioeconomic level of the North-Caucasian tribes by that time. When this level was a bit higher, Genoa organized silk and spice supply of Europe via the North Caspian regions and the Northern Caucasus to Crimea (Caffa). And the rest of the route was as follows: Sebastopolis (Sukhumi, Geor-gia)-Trapezus-Galata-Italy. And when the Ottomans diminished the Italian trade, Africa was rounded by the Portuguese vessels.

Papal primacy over the Byzantine church also failed. In the early days of Christianity the Third Person of the Trinity—Holy Spirit—was thought to proceed from God the Father. Then, in the 9th century, the formula “that proceedeth from the Father and the Son” was adopted in the West. To the Orthodox church it was a heresy. But obviously in a great despair, needing the Western military help, some of the Greeks had agreed that this Latin formula meant the same as the Greek newly established one—the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father through the Son. But the rest still used to say as determined as ever—“better the Sultan’s turban than the cardinal’s hat.” The fall of Constantinople in 1453 clearly meant the end of this unity. And the Byzantine galleys, all packed with refugees moving slowly to the open sea toward the safety of Italy meant a good supplement to the Italian Renaissance, while the Byzantine double-headed eagle—to the Russian heraldry. “The Christian Empires have fallen”—wrote the monk Philotheus in 1512 to the Grand Prince Basil III of Russia—“in their stead stands only the Empire of our ruler ...Two Romes have fallen, but the third stands and a fourth there will not be.” The Italians did their best to save the maritime empires but they failed. Galata or Pera was lost immediately. And the Ottoman control over the Straits endangered the existence of the Black Sea colonies like Caffa (Theodosia), which had passed over to the Ottomans in 1475. Quite soon the whole empire of Genoa had vanished. Venice triumphed at Lepanto (1571), but little good resulted.

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The Italians also did their best to penetrate into a hinterland. ex. Georgia was flooded with the Catholic monks, while due to the Turkish menace the center of the Catholic mission in the East had been transferred from Smyrna to Tbilisi. But again—with no successful outcome. The Orthodox

churches were known either to regard the Latin Church with hatred, or simply—neglecting it. Hence the Italian supplies had been tied up neatly with the countries northwards, while Italy itself being reduced to a modest land.

Now the Ottomans tried to re-establish the “Byzantine” rule over Italy ravishing Otranto, financing the corsairs of Algeria, but, in all, it was just a sweet dream for the Sultan—already the “Emperor of Europe and Asia.”

So, after this Southern European empires gone forever, new Europe emerged with its rationalism and a traditional division into the West and the East still vital, with a very clear perspective of a collaboration, even creating the universal Whole-European architectural style—a certain mixture of the Gothic (Western) and the Byzantine (Eastern) styles—that was Baroque, elaborated still in Italy in the 16th century. The West was lucky in evolution, more severe East had to arrange an economic tension losing the comforts and the services to catch the West. Both of them headed toward Asia for a supply. The colonial system was established. And if the imperial experiment happened to be used still within Europe, like the Austrians and the Russians did, no economic synthesis was planned. Great Britain and Russia never thought even of America and Siberia as of some agrarian sections while sending the colonists there. World War I created the state-socialist system in the Russian Empire and the U.S.S.R. appeared. World War II widened the state-socialist system and the Warsaw Pact appeared. The brutal rationalism like the state-socialism still did its job neatly. Toward the midst of the 19th century East Europe with its serfdom seems to be a grotesque European province. Now the differences are hastily diminishing, and the making of Europe is close to the end. Soon entire North will face the South within the network of a collaboration affiliating some extremely Southern industrial countries like Australia and the Republic of South Africa, Chile and Argentina.

The West and the East (Balto-Pontic sites being a vanguard) reaching after are fixed on the chart below:

--...........^ReVGiutlGn Country '— Abolishment of Serfdom Civil Equality Liberalism

England (Maritime West) the 13th century the 17th century 2nd half of the 19th century

Germany (Humid Continental West) in Prussia—1806 1918 from 1949

Russia (Humid Continental East) 1861 1917 nowadays

Georgia (Humid Subtropical, Semiarid, Highlands) 1864-1871 1917 nowadays

What is Europe?

Appendix and academic summary of this narrative is as follows:

Europe is part of the earth which stipulates or will stipulate the same level of development. That has been well acknowledged since the ancient times. An idea of the European integration is as old as a comprehension of Geographical determinism for technological evolution.2

2 See: T. Dundua, Making of Europe, Tbilisi, 2000.


Economic systems having physical substrata with temperature approximately 20°C and above for the vegetation period and needing further irrigation come together within the Asiatic integration. Being a vanguard at the bay for a lot of the sun, it gradually loses top position for the same higher temperature, penetrating well into the depth and thus partly spoiling a seed. The same seed in moderate latitudes, passing slowly down from the dangerous cold at the surface, finds ideal spot with just internal temperature promoting the best vegetation at the lesser depth and within a smaller period of time. Good agriculture releases a lot of the hands for industry, also benefiting from it. Protofeudal and feudal 5% for city population comes to revolutionary changes. First it was Hellas and Italia to be obsessed by them; then—England and the lands Eastwards, at approximately same latitudes, step by step. And the last century saw almost simultaneous revolutions in the South. Having even free economic choice, those countries would suffer for the climate, keeping the hands in irrigation, thus rejecting the industry.3 There are several definitions of Europe. Will they meet the classics?

Europe is right there where we have liberties and democracy.4 But once there was no liberty and democracy. Europe is defensive-system from the American and Asiatic economic alliances.5 At least, one can be sure for the American alliance to be quite a recent one.

Anaximandres the Milesian was the first to spread the term “Europe” upon the Northern spaces, regardless the catastrophic divergency of the ideas up there from the Hellenic one. Tacitus claims the same for Brittania et Germania.6 Some Greeks even move the marches of Europe as far as the wild steppes of the Turkestan with the Massagetes dwelling there. Southern borders of Europe partly ran north from the river of Phasis in Colchis.7

Now Europe is well-shaped: from the Britain Eastwards toward the Massagetes, from the North Sea Southwards up to the Northern Mediterranean and the Black Sea Basin.

There are some other Greek academic divisions with Trans-Caspian steppes, Colchis and Anatolia being already part of Asia.8

Pragmatic and vital could have been only the thesis fitting the real integratory processes.

Integration for today, that is, a military alliance and market-distribution.

Graeco-Roman way was a creation of the markets, stimulating them with more cultivated lands, having a metropolitan supplies, i.e. colonizing the sites. To know the basic directions and the results of the project is a way to have Europe in Graeco-Roman dimension.

For Italy nothing is sophisticated. The bulk of immigration headed toward Gaul, Spain and Britain9 ; some went to Africa. Gaulo-Iberic full-scale Romanization lasted for centuries, and if it failed toward the multicultural perception, Graeco-Roman European pattern was not to be blamed at all.

Neglecting totally the prospects of power revolution and the steam-machines already invented, Italy degenerated herself into bad industrial supplier for the farming places, thus firing the zonal conflict. With the Huns attached to this clash, it becomes clear that total non-irrigative massive was thought to be Europe.

Greek case with the Hellens scattered everywhere is a bit complicated. But still, completely losing identity in heavy-irrigative (ex. Bactria), or super-humid (ex. Colchis) areas, never really covering the Aramaic (Syria) and Coptic (Egypt) villages, Hellenism gained its major victory in Anatolia, mineral and food stock for the Greek industry.

3 See: T. Dundua, North and South, Tbilisi, 2001, pp. 8-15; idem, The Tale of Two Sebastoses and the Orthodox Alliance. David the King of Georgia and Theodoros Gabras, Tbilisi, 2003, pp. 30-32.

4 See: K. Held, op. cit., pp. 26-45.

5 See: Ibid., p. 45.

6 See: K. Rosen, op. cit., pp. 13, 23.

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7 See: T. Dundua, Georgia and the Outer World, Tbilisi, 2001, p. 97 (in Georgian).

8 Ibidem.

9 For the Romans unifying Europe, see: H. Galsterer, op. cit., pp. 115-129; G. Alfoldy, op. cit.


Byzantine conflict between Anatolia and coastal industry was of old Roman pattern. Again the steppe-people, the Seljuks, were involved for a solution.

For Graeco-Romans the case seems clear enough: those lands and climates which had already contributed for top-civilizations could be joined by others, except semiarid one. So, they rushed to stimulate Europe, like Europe went to America in the 18th century.10

Georgia as a Part of Europe

Appendix and academic summary for Georgia being a permanent subject of the European integration is as follows: as far back as in the 6th century B.C. Themistagoras from Miletus made Phasis in Colchis home for himself and his Greek colonists. Thus West Georgia has been involved in the European matter. Greek commercial superiority was replaced by the Roman hegemony over the small coastal strip of Colchis, already called Lazica in the 1st century A.D. And that hegemony was based upon well-manned castellum-system from Pitius up to Aphsaros. Lazi client-kings, dwelling in the hinterland, largely enjoyed Roman pax and prosperity, gaining a handsome profit by trading with the gallant Pontic cities, like Sinope, Amisus and Trapezus. The whole Black Sea area might be looked upon as a multicultural region of which the general principles were still based on Hellenism, but that was facilitated mostly by the Roman money and defended by the Roman soldiers. Further toward the East, Iberian kings, sometimes even possessing Roman citizenship, welcomed Graeco-Roman transit from Central Asia and India. Spices, precious wood and stones were brought to Europe via Transcaucasian trade-route.11

Byzantium was not a betrayal of all that was the best in Hellas and Rome. Great oriental bastion of Christendom, she seems to be a formulator of the Orthodox Christian Commonwealth. The Georgian kings being within had been hailed as king and Kuropalates, king and Sebastos, king and Caesa-ros. Again dual citizenship is applied. For the Christian monarchs there were the Byzantine titles to make them feel as the citizens of the Orthodox Empire, being at the same time ascribed to their own


After adoption of Christianity, Eastern Slavonia, with Kiev as capital, joined the Byzantine Commonwealth. That clearly meant enlargement of the Eastern European unity toward Eastern section of Humid Continental Europe, into the direction of the river Volga. Russians were the loyal subjects of the Commonwealth, looking calmly at the decline of Constantinople’s hegemony, and the Bulgar and Georgian kings seizing the titles of “Tsar” and “Autocrat.”

Becoming stronger, Russia vividly protested Ottoman reintegration of what was formerly labeled Byzantium, and Muslim overlordship over the Orthodox World by taking the title of “Tsar” for Grand Prince Ivan in 1547. New center of East Europe has been shaped, and then long-term war started for hegemony, Russia being victorious.

Seeing itself as East European super-power, thus Russia claimed Byzantine political heritage. For Russians Georgia had to be within the East European Union, and at the beginning of the 19th century Kartalino-Kakhetian Kingdom (Eastern Georgia) became a part of the Russian Empire. The U.S.S.R. was a substitute for the Russian Empire. And now Georgia is searching for her room within unified Europe.

10 See: K. Held, op. cit., p. 41.

11 See: T. Dundua, Influx of the Roman Coins in Georgia, Tbilisi, 2005, p. 3.

12 See: T. Dundua, Publicius Agrippa, Flavius Dades and Dual Citizenship——A Pattern for Europe in Future? Tbilisi, 2002, pp. 14-15.

C o n c l u s i o n

A plenty of the existing definitions to the term “Europe” are artificial and do not fit the clas-sics—i.e. that which was synchronous to the very first steps (Graeco-Roman) of integrated Europe, thus—the most exact. A permanent perception of the non-irrigative sites, as physical background for the European integration is proved here, having climatic factor fixed upon the types of evolution as something special.