Some kind of a historical debate

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Foinikas, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Ok this is a kind of a historical debate,I would have posted it in the History section but since it can actually be a debate or perhaps something that could evolve into an interesting discussion I decided to post it here.

    This thread is also tricky because it requires some,at least basic knowledge of Balkan and medieval history and therefore it might sink fast but I just had to post it somewhere.

    The whole thread is about Tsar Dusan of Serbia.

    Some basic information about him from wikipedia:

    Stefan Uroš IV Dušan( Serbian Cyrillic: Стефан Урош IV Душан) (c.1308 – 20 December 1355), called Silni ("the Mighty"), was the King of Serbia (from 8 September 1331) and Emperor (Tsar) of the Serbs and Greeks (from 16 April 1345). Under his rule Serbia reached its territorial peak and, as the Serbian Empire, was one of the larger states in Europe at the time.

    The main debate subject:

    There has been speculation that Dušan's ultimate goal was no less than to conquer Constantinople and replace the declining Byzantine Empire with a united Orthodox Greco-Serbian Empire under his control.[3][4] For that purpose he asked help and blessings from the Pope. His idea was to wage a Holy War against the Turks. He thought that with the Pope's help he could get several European Monarchs on his side, along with their fleets, this is why, some say, his own court members poisoned him.


    So...the question is...would actually a forced merge by Dusan of Serbs and Greeks be actually a good thing or did his actions harm Christians(and especially Byzantium)in the region even more?Was he a good guy or a bad guy?
    Should his efforts to conquer the Byzantine Empire be hailed as a good deed or something bad?


    Faced with Dušan's aggression, the Byzantines sought allies in the Turks whom they brought into Europe for the first time. The first conflict between the Serbs and the Turks on Balkan soil, at Stefaniana in 1344, ended unfavourably for the Serbs.[5] In 1348 Dušan conquered Thessaly and Epirus. Later, he fought with the Hungarian protégé ban Stjepan II in Bosnia in 1350, wishing to regain formerly lost Zahumlje.

    For the full article(relativle short)in wikipedia along with some really cool paintings of him and Serbian Knights by Paja Jovanovic go here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Uroš_IV_Dušan_of_Serbia

    I'm still troubled about the intentions of this man,were they good or bad?Was he a hero or not?
     
  2. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    One man's hero is another man's enemy, Foin.

    The main impression he gives me is that he sought power - and found it in territorial expansion. The ultimate goal to conquer Byzantium is somewhat megalomane. Although declining, the Byzantine empire was still very powerful and rich. In that time, they could still afford souvereignty.

    In the end, Dušan merely added his own spice to the crucible of the Balkan. Whether heroes or villains, the resulting affairs have created a very unstable concoction, as we all know too well.
     
  3. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Yes indeed the infighting between Greeks and Serbs was really bad for everyone in the Balkans.

    But the Empire was truly declining back then,it wasn't strong at all.At that time it was being ruled by a series of incompetent rulers who only cared for the throne of an Empire that was a bit more than a kingdom in size and power.An empire that was losing money,lands and army.

    A merge with the Serbs could have made a very powerful combination,but here comes the question was that the real intention of Dusan or would he just replace Greek with Serb dominance?I can't decide if it would have been better to merge with the Serbs or just form a coalition.
     
  4. Kelmourne

    Kelmourne The Savage Hippy

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    I find it funny how war in the modern day is considered horrible and yet we are discussing seriously if a historical holy crusade against the Turks would have been a good thing.
     
  5. jake1964

    jake1964 Old enough to be your dad

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    ;)
     
  6. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    I don't think your country tasted 500 years of Ottoman occupation :p

    Dusan could have been a friend and hero of both nations(Greek and Serbian)and personally this is what makes me wonder,if his intentions were truly good or not.If he really wanted to create an equal,powerful and good Greco-Serbian Empire.
     
  7. Kelmourne

    Kelmourne The Savage Hippy

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    Lol, my country hasn't even tasted 500 years.
     
  8. Ser Land

    Ser Land New Member

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    In my opinion, it was a good thing that Constantinople wasn't conquered by christian forces, because that might have postponed Europe's sea travels and discoveries started by Portugal in the beginning of the XV century. That, as well as the fall of Constantinople(and therefore the Eastern Roman Empire), which ended with the coming of many exiled Byzantines with all their knowledge, due in great part to classic greek and roman writings, was what jump-started the Modern Age that endured until the end of the XIX century. In the XIV century, Europe was less prepared for such events, and church's presence would undoubtedly have imposed certain limitations.
     
  9. Jingojolene

    Jingojolene Wayfarer, heartlander

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    I think an alliance of sorts may have been a good thing but the Tsar's intentions were probably selfish and ultimately a bad thing. I agree with Ser Land.