Among the many Church buildings

However nevertheless attention-grabbing the previous church buildings of the town are as historic landmarks, nevertheless helpful as a clue to information us by way of the labyrinth of the lifetime of New Rome, their supreme worth in any case consists in the truth that they’re monuments, certainly one of them the best monument, of what’s styled Byzantine Artwork — the artwork’ which blended creative parts derived from Greece and Rome with creative parts borrowed from Nineveh, Persia, Syria, and unfolded a brand new kind of magnificence. It was the flower developed by that fusion of Western and Oriental aesthetic beliefs and tastes ensuing from the lengthy intercourse maintained between Europe and Asia, typically on the level of the sword, and typically by the peaceable ministries of commerce. Nowhere might that Artwork discover a extra congenial environment during which to flourish than within the metropolis which binds the West and the East collectively. Like all else on the earth, Byzantine Artwork was not a sudden creation, impartial of all antecedents, unheralded by earlier analogous types. The dome was mirrored within the waters of the Tigris and of the Tiber earlier than it was mirrored within the Bosporus. Columns have been certain collectively by arches as a substitute of by a horizontal entablature, within the Palace of Diocletian at Spalato, earlier than they have been so united within the Sacred Palace beside the Hippodrome of Constantinople.

Mosaics radiant with the hues of the rainbow

Partitions glistening with variegated marbles, marble flooring glowing with colors that vied with meadows in flower, mosaics radiant with the hues of the rainbow, had adorned properties and made palaces stunning earlier than the witchery of such coloration forged a spell over the courtiers of Justinian, or suffused the sunshine in S. Sophia. Even the pendentive that fills the triangular house between two contiguous arches at proper angles to one another, so attribute of Byzantine structure, is claimed to be an earlier gadget in domical development. Be it so. In a single sense, there may be nothing new underneath the solar. The brand new grows out of the previous, the current is the product of the previous And but, whereas a brand new order of issues should spring from an previous order, it isn’t the naked repetition of what has been; whereas it should make use of supplies formed initially for using different days, it isn’t the mechanical mixture of these supplies. It employs them in one other spirit, underneath the management of concepts completely different or extra mature than have but been recognized, because the utterance of emotions appearing with peculiar pressure at specific moments in historical past, with extra ability, on a bigger scale, with happier impact, and the result’s that one thing seems with a person entity completely distinguishable from all that ever was earlier than, or that can ever come after. Byzantine Artwork is its personal very self, nevertheless many adumbrations prophesied its creation.

The outline of Constantinople

After all all of the church buildings of the town had been by no means contemporaneous. In a metropolis which had a lifetime of extra then eleven centuries, the record of virtually any class of edifices erected in the middle of that interval would essentially be a protracted one, with out implying the existence of quite a few edifices of that class at one and the identical time. In line with the outline of Constantinople which dates from the primary quarter of the fifth century, the variety of church buildings then within the metropolis is given as solely fourteen. Church buildings appeared and disappeared, and whereas a few of them had been, for particular causes, maintained all through the entire course of the town’s historical past, many got here to flourish for some time after which decayed within the strange course of issues, bequeathing as their memorial solely the withered leaves of their names. Then we should bear in mind the frequent and disastrous earthquakes which shook the soil of Constantinople throughout the Center Ages, and the horrible conflagrations which time and again decreased the wealth and glory and sweetness of in depth tracts of the town to mud and ashes. For instance: the three fires related to the seize of the town by the Latins in 1208-1204 inflicted a blow from which the town by no means recovered.

The territory alongside the Golden Horn

A type of fires raged for an evening and a day; one other for 2 days and two nights, with the outcome that the majority the territory alongside the Golden Horn, in addition to the territory extending thence to the Hippodrome and the Sea of Marmora, as far-off as Vlanga, had been changed into a wilderness of smoking ruins. “ The fireplace,” says Ville-Hardouin, a spectator of the terrible scene, “was so nice and so horrible that no man might extinguish or examine it It was a tragic and pitiful spectacle for the barons of the military encamped on the opposite facet of the harbour to see these lovely church buildings and people wealthy palaces fall in and be destroyed, and nice enterprise streets burned by the scorching flames; however they might do nothing. The fireplace unfold past the harbour throughout to the densest a part of the town, fairly near S. Sophia, and so far as the ocean on the opposite facet. It lasted two days and two nights, with out being ever touched by the hand of man, and the entrance of the fireplace was absolutely half a league lengthy. Of the harm performed, or of the property and wealth thus misplaced and consumed no estimate may be made, nor of the variety of males, wome

The Golden Gate as victors over the Saracens

Theophilus, on two events, and Basil I. handed by means of the Golden Gate as victors over the Saracens. And Zimisces obtained the identical honour for beating again the Russians beneath Swiatoslaf. These had been nice days within the historical past of the town, nay, of mankind, for they stayed the waves of barbarism that threatened to overwhelm the civilised world. However in any case, it’s when the enemy stands arrayed earlier than the very capital of the Empire, and delivers assault after assault upon the citadel which guarded its destiny and the future of Europe, that the battle waged between civilisation and barbarism throughout the historical past of New Rome is absolutely recognised to have been, certainly, a battle for all times, and that we study to understand what we owe to the Warden of the Gates to the Western World. To those partitions could also be utilized the phrases wherein Mr. Gladstone appraised the worth»of the providers rendered by the Christian populations of the Balkan Peninsula, in an identical connection. “ They’re like a shelving seashore that restrained the ocean. That seashore, it’s true, is crushed by the waves; it’s laid desolate; it produces nothing; it turns into maybe nothing save a mass of shingle, of rock, of virtually ineffective sea-weed. However it’s a fence behind which the cultivated earth can unfold and escape the incoming tide. … It was that resistance which left Europe to say the enjoyment of her personal faith, and to develop her establishments and her legal guidelines.1

Navy works to the opposite parts of the landward partitions

Though inferior as navy works to the opposite parts of the landward partitions, nice historic curiosity is related to the fortifications between the Wall of Manuel and the Golden Horn, for they guarded the Palace of Blachemae, the favorite residence of the Byzantine Courtroom from the time of Alexius Comnenus (1081-1118) till the autumn of the Empire. As already intimated, the palace stood on the terrace buttressed by the Tower of Isaac Angelus and the chambered wall to the north of the tower, the place the Mosque of Aivas Effendi is now discovered. The terrace was virtually degree with the parapet-walk of the fortifications, commanding superb views of the Golden Horn, and of the hills on the head of the harbour; and there probably the most splendid Courtroom of the Center Ages lengthy displayed its wealth and pomp. What with the Crusades, and what with the relations, hostile and pleasant, between the Italian Republics and the Authorities of Constantinople throughout the interval of the Palaeologi, it was in that palace that Western and Japanese Europe got here into closest contact for good or for evil On the hills and within the valleys seen from the western home windows of the palace, the armies of the First Campaign encamped.

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Or kids who perished.” It’s true that church buildings injured by the hand of time had been usually restored.

 

Harbors are a monument to the nice industrial exercise

These harbours are a monument to the nice industrial exercise of town throughout the Center Ages, and fashioned a characteristic within the life and side of the place which has disappeared. Sometimes, within the fruit-season, a substantial variety of the ships and enormous caiques engaged within the coasting commerce between town and the ports of the Sea of Marmora anchor off the factors as soon as occupied by these harbours, and assist the creativeness to recall the animation, the busy crowds, the numerous merchandise, the picturesque craft and unusual crews that made what’s now an virtually silent shore one of many liveliest and most fascinating quarters of New Rome. Owing to the sand thrown up towards this coast, all these harbours demanded frequent cleansing and restoration, and had a tough wrestle for existence. They had been at size uncared for, and, one after one other, become dry land on which to plant market gardens, or construct dwellings for the poor.

The tract of town extending from Vlanga Bostan to the landward partitions was famous for the quantity and significance of its church buildings and monasteries. Conspicuous amongst them was the Church and monastery of S. Mary Peribleptos within the district of Psamatia. It was destroyed by hearth in 1782, and is represented by the fashionable Armenian Church of S. George, usually styled, after the cistern beneath the previous edifice, Soulou Monastir.

The Church of St. John Studius

The Church of St. John Studius, now a tragic spoil, stood likewise on this a part of town. So did the Church and monastery of S. Diomed, upon whose steps someday, in direction of sundown, a way-worn youth in quest of fortune lay right down to relaxation, after his lengthy journey from Macedonia, and rose to turn into, in a capital the place unusual careers had been doable, the Emperor Basil I. He based a dynasty that occupied the throne of the Byzantine Empire for 2 centuries, and counted amongst its members such notable sovereigns as Basil II. the Slayer of the Bulgarians, Nicephorus Phocas the Conqueror of the Saracens, John Zimisces who drove the Russians out of Bulgaria throughout the Danube.

Roman law ruled in the Empire

Roman law ruled in the Empire of which Constantinople was the head. The autocratic power inherited from strictly Roman days was maintained there to the last. Names of offices, epithets of officials, the denomination of taxes, legends upon the coinage of the realm, the terms in which Emperors were acclaimed by the army or the Factions were long preserved in their old Latin forms, but slightly, if at all, altered, and showed clearly the family connection that bound Rome upon the Bosporus to Rome upon the Tiber. Nevertheless, the daughter-city, though proud of her lineage, was also eager to declare her independence and to assert her individuality.

Capital of the part of the Empire

It could not be otherwise. A city exalted to be the capital of the part of the Empire under the sway of Greek traditions, and employing the Greek language as a vernacular speech, would inevitably consider itself called upon to embody and champion the peculiar properties of the society of which it was the constituted head. Nor could a community whose religious life was under the direction of a Church that worshipped in the Greek tongue, and was stirred by the eloquence of the Chrysostoms, the Gregories, and the Basils of the East retain a Roman complexion and character without serious modifications. So long, indeed, as the western division of the Empire existed, the political union between Rome and Constantinople proved a check upon the Greek bias of the latter city, owing to the necessity of using Latin, as the language whose writ could run equally in both parts of the Roman world. The Popes of Rome, with characteristic insight, recognized the value of a common official language as a bond of unity, and an instrument of maintaining universal rule. The use of the Latin in the services and administration of the Roman Church is a master-stroke of political genius. But when partly by the estrangement of the two portions of the Empire, and partly by the fall of the Empire in the West, the need of a common speech ceased to exist, the stream of tendency in the East was left free to follow its natural bent.

Greek bias to gain ascendency

Within the period under review we see, of course, only the early symptoms of the Greek bias to gain ascendency, but though these symptoms are comparatively slight, they are the proverbial straws that indicate the direction of the wind. While Latin alone glitters in the inscriptions upon the Golden Gate, Greek also is allowed a place in the legends which celebrate the elevation of the obelisk upon its pedestal in the Hippodrome.

Honor to the reign of Theodosius II

Another act that does honor to the reign of Theodosius II. is the codification of the laws enacted since the time of Constantine the Great The compilation took nine years to be made, and is known as the Theodosian Code. How great a need it supplied is quaintly set forth in the preamble to the Code. “ The chaos presented by the state in which the laws were found was such that few persons had an adequate knowledge of the subject even though their faces have grown pale from late lucubrations.” “When we consider,” to quote Professor Bury’s translation, “ the enormous multitude of books, the divers modes of process, and the difficulty of legal cases, and further the hugeness of imperial constitutions, which, hidden as it were under a veil of gross mist and darkness, precludes men’s intellects from gaining a knowledge of them, we feel that we have met a real need of our age, and, dispelling the darkness, have given light to the laws by a short compendium.”

The Code compiled at Constantinople

On 23rd December of the year 438, the Code compiled at Constantinople was presented to the Senate of Rome and recognized by that body. It was a curious reversal of the part which the elder city had acted in the world. The teacher had become the pupil or is it truer to say, the pupil then did homage to the teacher? The Theodosian Code was superseded by the Code of Justinian the Great, but the earlier compilation retains the honor of being the first great legal instrument to confer upon New Rome the distinction of becoming the tribunal which has guided the most civilized nations of the world into the paths of righteousness and justice in the dealings between man and man. Into the religious controversies which agitated Constantinople while Theodosius II. Was upon the throne, this is not the place to enter. But Constantinople would not have been itself without a hard theological problem to discuss, if not to solve, and we do not know the soul, so to speak, of Constantinople unless we recognize what may be termed the religious temperament of the city. At a period, indeed, when a great religious revolution in the faith of men had taken place, and men were called to make clear to themselves what exactly they believed, and how their beliefs were to be harmonized with their philosophy and the general principles of reason, religious questions could not fail to be prominent everywhere. They were as naturally prominent in the fourth and fifth centuries of our era, when Christianity became the religion of the State, as they were at the time of the Reformation. But Constantinople made these questions peculiarly its own. It could not well be otherwise where the seat of the chief bishop of the Church in the East was found, and in the capital of a Government which concerned itself in these debates as matters of political importance. Nor can it be denied that in the discussion of the subjects before the public mind we often witness great intellectual acumen, and a profound religious spirit Able and pious men anxiously sought to reconcile faith in the unity of the Divine, with faith in the intimate oneness between the Divine and the human manifested in the life of Christ. No age is dishonored by keen interest in that theme.

 

The eastern division of the Empire

Most fortunately for the eastern division of the Empire it had, early in this critical period, a statesman at the head of the Government who compre-hended the situation, and who had the sagacity to devise measures by which the strength of the impending storm might be greatly reduced, if not broken. During the first six years of the reign of Theodosius II., who ascended the throne when a child of eight years, the government was in the hands of Anthemius, the Praetorian Prefect of the East. His abilities and character had already made him conspicuous towards the close of the reign of Arcadius. Chrysostom admired him greatly, and described him as a person who honoured any office he held more than the office honoured him. And now that he was Regent of the Empire he did all in his power to prepare the ship of State to encounter the coming tempest. His first step for that purpose was to establish peace with Persia, the standing rival and foe of the Empire. In the next place, he forced the Huns who had appeared to the south of the Danube to retrace their steps, and placed a flotilla of warships upon the river to prevent the return of those fierce barbarians. At the same time he strengthened also the Illyrian fortresses to render the north-western frontier more secure. Then, warned by a bread riot in Con-stantinople due to a scarcity of wheat in the city, he made arrangements for a more regular supply of grain from Egypt, thus making the population of the capital more friendly to the Government And lastly, as the crowning act of his administration, he decided to array the city in new and better armour, and make it the strongest citadel in the Roman world. The great wall, flanked by ninety- six towers, which forms the innermost line of the fortifications along the landward side of the city, notwithstanding the changes it has undergone since his day, is even in its ruins, a magnificent monument to his wisdom, and to his devotion to the public weal Those ramparts proved the shield of European civilisation for more than a thousand years. Their erection was one of those great acts in history which confer priceless benefits on mankind.

The change made by Anthemius

The change made by Anthemius in the position of the landward walls involved also the extension of the seaward fortifications to join the extremities of the new western limits. But, although that work must have been included in the plans of Anthemius, it was postponed for no less than a quarter of a century. Lack of funds, or the demands of more urgent necessities, or that happy sense of security from naval attack, in which the Government of Constantinople was tempted to indulge, in view of the city’s geographical position, may account for the delay. But whatever the explanation of the postponement, the gap in the defences of the capital could not be left open indefinitely, and at length, in 489, the thirty-first year of the reign of Theodosius II., the shores of the city were enclosed by Cyrus, the then Prefect of the city. It was the year in which the Vandals took Carthage, and possibly the alarm excited by their successes in Africa roused Constantinople to defend itself at every point.

 

Obelisk is the monument of Theodosius

Another monument of the city due to Theodosius is the obelisk which still keeps its place, as though the symbol of eternity, amid the ruins of the Hippodrome. It was brought from Egypt before the Emperor’s reign, but was successfully placed in position under his auspices, and two inscriptions, one in Latin, the other in Greek, record the pride which the achievement excited. They read to the effect that what others had vainly attempted was accomplished by Theodosius during the prefecture of Proclus—the time taken being thirty days according to the Latin legend, thirty-two days according to the Greek version.

Life in Constantinople under Theodosius I

The bas-reliefs of the pedestal on which the obelisk stands, however little they flatter the art of the period, are extremely interesting for the glimpses they afford us of life in Constantinople under Theodosius I. Anyone who wishes to look upon the events of that distant day, and cares to breathe the atmosphere in which his fellowmen then lived, should come and linger before these weather-worn figures in which the Past is perpetuated. They are not of “Attic shape”; they have not the “fair attitude” of “the breed of marble men and maidens,” with which Grecian urns were overwrought. Nevertheless, they too set the permanent against the transitory scenes of our human history. Here the obelisk is still being dragged through the city to the Hippodrome amidst the deafening shouts of an enthusiastic population; it is still hoisted in breathless silence and suspense from the ground, and set firm upon its base to stand erect for these fifteen centuries. Here four-horse chariots are still driving furiously around the spina of the race-course; the banners of the Factionsblue, green, white, red—still wave frantically in the air; the crack of whips, the cheers of spectators, urging steed and driver onward and faster, may still be heard; the acclamations, the strains of music, the joyous dance, the wild frenzy when the Emperor crowns the victor’s brow with laurel still rend the air. Theodosius, his Empress, his two sons, Honorius and Arcadius, still stand or sit before us. Here are the senators of New Rome, and the courtiers in attendance upon the Emperor. Barbarians, eastern and western, are here doing homage on bended knee to their conqueror, and offering him tribute. Here are the Gothic troops which Theodosius subdued and won to his side, wearing their golden collars, and guarding him with spear and shield. Here the people of the city hold colloquy with their sovereign through the tall heralds—mandatores—who stand on the steps leading to the imperial tribune. Here Christianity with the Labarum in its hand triumphs, and in the Greek and Latin speech inscribed upon these stones we still listen to the voices that mingled in the Graeco-Roman world.