28 May 1453 at dusk... Books: Byzantium | The Decline and Fall

28 May 1453 at dusk... Books: Byzantium | The Decline and Fall

Imagine yourself crossing the threshold of Hagia Sophia as a random tourist visiting Istanbul. You’re wearing your blue jeans, white sneakers, and a t-shirt with the Nike logo on it.

Now imagine yourself crossing the threshold after having read the above passage. The distance is unmeasurable, isn’t it?

Now imagine you are entering the church on 28 May 1453.

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The City

The City

"You may imagine how they gazed, all those who had never before seen Constantinople... and the splendid palaces and soaring churches – so many that but for the evidence of their own eyes they would never have believed it – and the length and the breadth of that city which of all others is sovereign, they never thought that there could be so rich and powerful a place on earth. And mark you that there was not a man so bold that he did not tremble at the sight..."

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Ethos of Thermopylae

Ethos of Thermopylae

When lost and looking for direction, the simplicity of Cavafy provides the necessary clarity.

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, and compassion;
generous when they are rich, and when they are poor...

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Michael Psellus | 'Basileus' of modesty

Michael Psellus | 'Basileus' of modesty

"The Nile may water the land of the Egyptians, but it is my golden words that nourish their spirit. Ask the Persians and the Ethiopians: they will tell you that they know me, that they admire me and seek me out. Only recently there arrived a Babylonian, impelled by an insurmountable desire to drink at the fountain of my eloquence." (Michael Psellus)

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