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"GREEK EAST" and "LATIN WEST" are terms used to distinguish between the two parts of the Greco-Roman world
Greco-Roman world
, specifically the eastern regions where Greek was the lingua franca , and the western parts where Latin
Latin
filled this role. During the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
a divide had persisted between Latin- and Greek-speaking areas; this divide was encouraged by administrative changes in the empire's structure between the 3rd and 5th centuries, which led ultimately to the establishment of separate Eastern and Western halves of the Empire.

After the fall of the Western Empire, the terms "Greek East" and " Latin
Latin
West" are applied to areas that were formerly part of the Eastern or Western Empires, and also to areas that fell under the Greek or Latin
Latin
cultural sphere but that had never been part of the Roman Empire. In this sense, particular attention is given to differences in Christianity
Christianity
in the two parts, specifically between Western Christianity
Christianity
and Eastern Christianity
Christianity
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Use with regard to the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
* 2 Use with regard to Christianity
Christianity
* 3 See also * 4 References

USE WITH REGARD TO THE ROMAN EMPIRE

In the classical context , "Greek East" refers to the provinces and client states of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in which the lingua franca was primarily Greek .

This region included the whole Greek peninsula with some other northern parts in the Balkans, the provinces around the Black Sea
Black Sea
, those of the Bosphorus, all of Asia Minor
Asia Minor
(in the loosest possible sense, to include Cappadocia and extending to Armenia Minor ), Magna Graecia (southern part of the Italian peninsula and Sicily), and the other provinces along the eastern rim of the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
(Judea , Syria , Cyrenaica
Cyrenaica
and Egypt ). These Roman provinces had been Greek colonies or Greek-ruled states during the Hellenistic period
Hellenistic period
, i.e. until the Roman conquests.

At the start of late antiquity , beginning with the reorganization of the empire's provincial divisions during the reign of Diocletian (ruled 284–305), the expression "Greek East" evolved to stand in contradistinction to " Latin
Latin
West". Thereafter, "Greek East" refers to the Greek-speaking provinces mentioned above (after 395 mostly in the Greek-speaking Eastern Roman Empire
Roman Empire
) in contradistinction to the provinces in Western Europe, Italia
Italia
(excluding the Catepanate of Italy , where they still spoke Greek) and Northwest Africa
Northwest Africa
(after 395 in the Latin-speaking Western Roman Empire
Roman Empire
).

USE WITH REGARD TO CHRISTIANITY

Further information: East–West Schism
East–West Schism

"Greek East" and " Latin
Latin
West" are terms used also to divide Chalcedonian Christianity
Christianity
into the Greek -speaking, Orthodox peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean Basin , centered on the Byzantine Empire , and the Latin
Latin
-speaking Catholic peoples of Western Europe
Western Europe
. Here, " Latin
Latin
West" applies to regions that were formerly part of the Western Roman Empire, specifically Italia
Italia
, Gallia (Gaul), Hispania
Hispania
, Northwest Africa
Northwest Africa
, and Britannia , but also to areas that had never been part of the Empire but which later came under the culture sphere of the Latin
Latin
West, such as Hibernia
Hibernia
(Ireland), Caledonia
Caledonia
(Scotland), and Magna Germania
Germania
.

The adjective "Greek" excludes those communities in Eastern Christianity
Christianity
that use languages such as Syriac , Coptic , Armenian and, are in opposition to Constantinople
Constantinople
, form, since the 5th century, what are now called the Church of the East
Church of the East
and Oriental Orthodoxy . No such distinction applies to the West, where Latin continued to be the language of culture for many centuries after its breakup into a number of independent states.

SEE ALSO

* Jireček Line
Jireček Line

REFERENCES

* ^ Cf. Fishwick, Duncan. The imperial cult in the Latin
Latin
West: studies in the ruler cult of the Western provinces of the Roman Empire. BRILL, 2002. * ^ Sherrard, Philip. The Greek East and the Latin
Latin
West: a study in the Christian tradition. London: Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
, 1959; reprinted Limni : Denise Harvey

.