This blog is about the Byzantine culture and civilization which centred at the city of Constantinople, spread across Europe, Asia and Africa and greatly influenced people’s lives and deeds. Around the Mediterranean, from the steps of Kiev and the Russian mainland down to the Nile and its Copts; and from the domes and mosques of the Muslim East it spread all the way up to France and the courts of the German emperors. Though politically Byzantium ceased to exist in 1453 when the capital itself fell to the emerging power of the Ottoman Turks, its culture had such deep roots that it continued to influence not only the Ottoman Empire, but all the states which saw themselves as successors to a culture so familiar and so deeply missed.

 

The Ladder of Divine Ascent, late 12th c., tempera and gold on panel, Monastery of St. Catherine, Sinai, Egypt.

The Ladder of Divine Ascent, late 12th c., tempera and gold on panel, Monastery of St. Catherine, Sinai, Egypt.

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