Yes there had been talks for CENTURIES. Our union was already broken once before during the St. Photios’ time, but communion was re-established eventually. Unfortunately respect for the old order was gone.
No you’re missing the point. After the solidification of schism after Second Lyons, there were consistent and serious reunion talks initiated for a number of decades preceding Florence. Florence did not happen spontaneously on the occasion of the Muslim invasion. The latins and Greeks were working seriously together to have reunion which culminated in Florence.
What could we debate? The Emperor pressured the bishops attending to not “jeopardize” the Empire’s chances for military aid (The Empire of course reduced to a chunk of Greece, Constantinople itself and Trebizond, a mere dying ember of it’s former glory). The conditions that our bishops labored under were appalling. You ignore the circumstances of the time and focus on the documents produced, never mind the conditions under which they were signed and what happened immediately after that.
Have you actually read the acts of Florence? There was a lot of freedom for debate and the debates at times were too elongated. They debated for months about particular topics openly.
The terms of reunion were not completely forced as evidenced by Mark of Ephesus.
If you read the discourse on how they settled the filioque question in the Greek quarters, you see how they debated amongst themselves. After these discussions the Greeks came to the conclusion that the latins had validly and partristicaly defended their teaching. I can provide excerpts if you want of the accounts from the Greeks themselves.
You use Florence as some kind of “proof” that we didn’t believe in First Among Equals, ignoring all context and our history.
Actually my claim isn’t hinged on Florence but on many instances showing the innovation of the modern Eastern Orthodox position even in contrast to their predecessors.
Mark of Ephesus (a man who did not compromise at all on EO faith as EO praise him) openly confessed the authority of Rome. He said Rome would be granted back it’s privileges if she just recanted of the filioque from the creed. That was his only condition and real objection with Rome which hindered reunion
Again centuries after Florence’s the Ruthenians, openly admitted Rome’s authority when considering reunion. They were just worried that the rights of the individual bishops might be infringed upon which was their complaint of the conciliarist system of Eastern Orthodoxy.
Again even later Russian and Slavic authors taught of Rome’s true primacy of authority like Mikhail Emilievitch Posnov, Peter Mohila etc
Again the east signing the formula of St Hormisdas which blatantly taught universal jurisdiction pre schism is again proof of change.
Or when the 7th council (Nicaea II) openly affirmed Pope Hadrian’s letter which blatantly confessed Rome as mother of all churches and taught papal supremacy.
At Chalcedon the acts themselves show the fathers opinion of Rome saying that even its own acts had to be confirmed by St Leo to have any force.