28 May 1453 at dusk | Byzantium | The Decline and Fall

28 May 1453 at dusk | Byzantium | The Decline and Fall

Yesterday, December 24 at 11:48 at night, I finished reading the third and last volume of Byzantium (Byzantium: The Decline and Fall). It is a story whose melancholy increases as we flip the pages. In this last volume, the Empire is like a bonfire (or a pyre?) whose...
Constantinople: The City

Constantinople: The City

One day in the not too distant future, we must visit The City and hope to encounter relics and treasures of times past that survived to this day. For Crusaders and Venetians of the Fourth Crusade ravaged and vandalized her, and she was later turned Islamic by the...
Ethos of Thermopylae

Ethos of Thermopylae

When lost and looking for direction, the simplicity of Cavafy provides the necessary clarity. Thermopylae Honor to those who in the life they lead define and guard a Thermopylae. Never betraying what is right, consistent and just in all they do but showing pity also,...
Byzantium | The Apogee | John Julius Norwich

Byzantium | The Apogee | John Julius Norwich

This is volume II of III of the history of the Byzantine Empire. This volume, unlike the first one, covers a relatively short period of time: from the year 800 with the coronation of Charlemagne as Emperor of the Western Empire to Easter Day 1081, when Alexius...
The tragic figure of Michael IV the Paphlagonian

The tragic figure of Michael IV the Paphlagonian

Forger of coins He was born a peasant in Paphlagonia, out of the way in northern Anatolia. Uneducated. Forger of coins, although he called himself a money-changer. His older brother John had obtained a job at the imperial palace in Constantinople as parakoimomenos of...
Michael Psellus | ‘Basileus’ of modesty

Michael Psellus | ‘Basileus’ of modesty

The second volume of John Julius Norwich’s history of the Byzantine Empire quotes rather frequently passages from one Michael Psellus’s Chronographia. A history of the Byzantine emperors from Basil II (976-1025) to Michael VII Ducas (1071-1078). Psellus...

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