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How Hagia Sophia was Built

Stories and legends from the Patria on how the greatest church of the Byzantine world was built

What Remains: Women, Relics and Remembrance in the Aftermath of the Fourth Crusade

After the fall of Constantinople to the Latin Crusaders in 1204 hundreds of relics were carried into the West as diplomatic gifts, memorabilia and tokens of victory. Yet many relics were alsosent privately between male crusaders and their spouses and female kin.

Robert of Courtenay (1221-1227): an idiot on the throne of Constantinople?

Among scholars who have discussed Robert’s reign – however superficially – there appears to exist a relative consensus, with few exceptions, that the misfortunes that befell the empire of Constantinople during this period are largely to be attributed to his personal and utter incompetence. In this contribution I would like to challenge that view.

The Means of Destruction: How the Ottoman Empire Finally Ended the Byzantine Empire

No European had any reason to believe that the Ottomans would capture Constantinople, since they had tried two times previously and had failed in both of those attempts.

‘Part of our commonwealth’: a study of the Normans in eleventh-century Byzantine historiography

‘Part of our commonwealth’: a study of the Normans in eleventh-century Byzantine historiography Alexander Olson (Simon Fraser University) Simon Fraser University: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Master of Arts (2009) Abstract In the eleventh century several Norman mercenaries went to Byzantium where they alternately served or rebelled against the Empire. This thesis examines how […]

The Lost Secret History of Nicetas the Paphlagonian

Although the Secret History of Nicetas the Paphlagonian has failed to reach us in its original form, it has probably shaped our knowledge of Byzantium in the ninth and early tenth centuries more than any surviving text.

Manuel II Palaeologus in Paris (1400-1402): Theology, Diplomacy, and Politics

The end of the fourteenth century found the Byzantine Empire in a critical state.

The Riurikid Relationship with the Orthodox Christian Church in Kievan Rus

Prior to the late tenth century, the princes of the Riurikid dynasty were rulers over the loose collection of pagan Slavic tribes and minor city states that were Kievan Rus. However, in a relatively short period, the dynasty had linked itself and its legitimacy to rule to the Orthodox Christian Church centered in Constantinople.

The Commercial Map of Constantinople

The commercial topography of Constantinople was in part determined by the fact that it was a sea-bound city on seven hills, making access from the port to the forum and other commercial premises a key necessity in urban development.

The City and the Cross: the image of Constantinople and the Latin empire in thirteenth-century papal crusading rhetoric

This paper examines the way papal rhetoric made use of the image and reputation of the city of Constantinople in order to legitimise and incite support for its crusading calls for the defence of the Latin empire after 1204.

The city of walls: Constantinople

The world owes much of its cultural legacy to Constantinople’s walls. When Constantinople was under seige by neighboring enemies, the Roman city’s elaborate system of moats, outer walls, and inner walls stood tall.

Russian Pilgrims in Constantinople

If one compares the Russian Anthony text with the original Mercati Anonymus text, the longest and most detailed of the three extant contemporary Western descriptions of the shrines of Constantinople, one finds that the Latin text includes only twenty of the seventy-six religious shrines mentioned by the Russian enumeration.

Mandeville’s Intolerance: The Contest for Souls and Sacred Sites in The Travels of Sir John Mandeville

While Chaucer‟s knight has traveled to and fought in Spain, North Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia Minor, Sir John claims to have visited the entire known world from Constantinople and the Holy Land to the farthest reaches of Asia.

In the Lion’s Den: Orthodox Christians under Ottoman Rule, 1400-1550

A glance at the Orthodox Christian church under the Ottoman Empire from the early fifteenth to mid sixteenth century gives a revealing glimpse at some of the changing relationships of conquered Christians to the state.

George Gemistos Plethon on God: Heterodoxy in Defense of Orthodoxy

The Emperor, John VIII Palaeologos, knew they were going to face some of the finest minds in the Roman Church on their own soil; he therefore wanted the best minds available in support of the Byzantine cause to accompany him. Consequently, the Emperor appointed George Gemistos as part of the delegation.

The Symbolical Career of Georgios Gemistos Plethon

Thus Gemistos was the first who in an authoritative way attacked the hegemony of Aristotle in western thought.

A Spectacle of Great Beauty: The Changing Faces of Hagia Sophia

For Constantine, Justinian, Sultan Mehmed II, and Atatürk, Hagia Sophia served as a model for the changing political and religious ideals of a nation. To use the useful phrase coined by Linda Young, Hagia Sophia is a building that is “in between heritage.”

Praising A City: Nicaea, Trebizond, and Thessalonike

Praising A City: Nicaea, Trebizond, and Thessalonike Aslıhan Akışık Journal of Turkish Studies, Vol.36 (2012) Abstract The late Byzantine period(1204-1461) was distinguished by the existence of multiple,competing, and interconnected centers, superseding the imperial and Constantinopolitan model of the middle period. Civic identity, defined largely in opposition to the “other”,which refers to the Latins in the […]

A Note on Michael the Porphyrogenitus, son of Andronikos III Palaiologos (*1337-+1352)

Michael the Porphyrogenitus was born approximately in the year 1337. TheImperial couple chose the name “Michael” probably in honor of Michael IXPalaiologos, co-emperor of Byzantium (1296-1320) and father of the young Andronikos.

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