From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Byzantinism or Byzantism is a term used in political science and philosophy to denote the political system and culture of the Byzantine Empire, and its spiritual successors, in particular, the Balkan states, the Ottoman Empire and Russia. The term byzantinism itself was coined in the 19th century. The term has primarily negative associations, implying complexity and autocracy.
This negative reputation stressed the confusing complexities organization of its ministries, the elaborateness of its court ceremonies, as well as for its supposed lack of backbone in martial affairs. Likewise, the "Byzantine system" also suggests a penchant for intrigue, plots and assassinations and an overall unstable political state of affairs. The term has been criticized by modern scholars for being a generalization that is not very representative of the reality of the Byzantine aristocracy and bureaucracy.