Constantinople, 1204, renewal of interest in Imperial and other Byzantine cults in the West, and the deeproots of new traditions’
Miša Rakocija (ed.), Niš and Byzantium. Third Symposium, Niš, 3-5 June, 2004. The Collection of Scientific Works III (Niš, University of Niš, 2005)
The sack of Constantinople in 1204 and its Latin occupation until 1261 fostered renewed interest in the West in cults popular in Byzantine lands, not least those associated with Constantine and Helena, though in many cases aris- ing from theft and plunder. In the same period a variety of literary and other traditions renewed the imperial names as symbols of authority, legitimacy and piety. Diverse expressions of fascination with the name of Constantine’s mother in particular are placed in the context of the political and military events which surrounded the city’s fall, and the complex dynastic relationships linking the dramatis personae.
The distress reported by the Byzantine historian Nicetas Choniates in the aftermath of the sack of the city was caused as much by religious desecration as by the destruction of homes and the suffering of innocents