I disagree to a certain extent. Okay sure they were Romans but that part of the Empire lost its original cultural hub that was Italy and Rome itself, so to a certain extent it was an offshoot of the Roman Empire centered around Constantinople. Constantinople was its own cultural hub. In a way I see it as an exported offshoot of the Roman legacy which outlived its creators in the west. Think cell division when a cell splits into two, it retains many of the characteristics of its parent cell, but its still not the original cell.
Ya it's just history runing circles since the Roman legacy, as it came about, was built on a foreign culture too. Taking from the Greek city-states then establishing its own identity then splitting into two, with Eastern Rome establishing in turn its own identity after beeing based on Rome proper Roman culture .
There is no Byzantine Empire , there was only one Roman Empire which ended its total run in 1453. They were Romans, they considered themselves Romans, they officially called their nation Roman empire. Stop. This is history these are facts! The Greek language does not mean they were not Romans. This is cultural fact, it's normale that the culture of the eastern part was Greek since the capital was in Greece. I can admit to divide the empire in western or eastern part and is not totally correct and accurate
If you look on my profile you might discover that I know what Im talking about.Real ubiased History is not about what anyone think from his personal opinion and personal reasons but about evidence facts which are not colored by anything other.Every single piece of equipment you see in the painting is archeologicaly known and classified and I can give you informations about it.They had cataphracts also in the west and it is no problem to prove it to you with actuall historical evidence of all sort.First Roman cataphract regiment was already founded by Emperor Hadrian during early second century and we even know this regiment by its name.What you see here are later cataphracts as Emperor Constantius II reformed them after Persian Sassanid model.
And as for the "Byzantine split"-this is only artifficial split a conception that was fabricated from very biased reasons 100 years after final fall of the eastern part of the Roman state.No one had ever call them "Byzantines" or the"Byzantine Empire".They rightly called themselves the Romans and really were by all legal and historical rights direct and uninterrupted continuation of the Roman state(who significantly changed many times before during its long history).For example in England term "Byzantine"Empire was for the first time only used in 1857 and it was never fully accepted by all scholarship because of its artificiality and biased reasons for its creation.By now fortunately this Byzantine terminology is already in decline and more and more often criticizied in works of contemporary scholars.