Category Archive: Byzantine Greece

Mount Athos

Mount Athos.

Greek: Ορος Αθως What: A monastic community Located: Northern Greece Mount Athos is a mountain and peninsula located in Northern Greece. It is the home of 20 Orthodox monasteries under the direct jurisdiction of the patriarch of Constantinople. It is the oldest surviving monastic community in the world and dates back more than a thousand years. Although part of Greece it is actually governed …

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Hippodrome of Constantinople

Ottoman minature of the Hippodrome (1582).

Greek: Ιπποδρομος της Κωνσταντινουποληs What: Stadium for Chariot Racing Where: Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) Built: Fourth Century AD The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a stadium that was built in the fourth century AD for chariot racing. The Hippodrome, meaning “horse path” in Greek, was the centre of sporting and social life in Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, that would have fit …

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The Fourth Crusade

The capture of Constantinople by the crusaders.

Greek: Δ’ Σταυροφορια What: The invasion of Constantinople by the Crusaders of Western Europe. When: 1202-1204 The Fourth Crusade occurred from 1202-1204 by the Crusaders of Western Europe who invaded and captured the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Originally the crusade was intended to conquer Muslim-controlled Jerusalem through the invasion of Egypt. With the sacking of Constantinople, it left …

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A Monastery in Meteora.

Greek: Μετεωρα Nicknames: ‘Suspended Rocks’, ‘Suspended in the Air’ and ‘in the Heavens Above’ Where: Thessaly, Greece When: Monasteries were built in the 14th Century Meteora is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece. The monasteries are built on protruding rocks made of natural sandstone that are believed to be 60 million years old. They …

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El Greco

The disrobing of Christ by El Greco.

Greek: Δομηνικος Θεοτοκοπουλος Who: Painter, Sculptor and Architect. Birth Name: Domenikos Theotokopoulos Born: 1541 (Kingdom of Candia, modern day Crete) Died: 1614 (Aged 72) El Greco was one of the greatest painters of the Spanish Renaissance. He was known as “El Greco”(The Greek), a reference to his Greek origin, and even signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters; Δομηνικος …

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Nika Riots

The city of Constantinople in 1453 with the Hippodrome
in the centre. By De Ludis Circensibus.

Greek: Σταση του Νικα What: A violent riot that took place for a week in AD 532. When: 532 AD Where: Constantinople Death Toll: 30,000 The Nika riots was one of the deadliest riots in human history as tens of thousands of people died and half the city was burned or destroyed. While most riots last a day or two the Nika riots lasted …

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Saints Cyril and Methodius

Saints Cyril and Methodius by Jan Matejko (1885).

Greek: Κυριλλος και Μεθοδιος Who: Byzantine Greek brothers from the 9th century. Born: Cyril in 827-828 and Methodius in 815-820 Died: 14 February 869 and 6 April 885 From: Thessaloniki, Byzantine Empire (modern day Greece) Known as: The Apostles to the Slavs Saints Cyril and Methodius were two Byzantine Greek brothers born in Thessaloniki in the 9th century. They became missionaries of Christianity …

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Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (formerly Constantinople).

Greek: ‘Αγια Σοφια What: A former Greek Orthodox patriarchal church. Built: 532-537 AD Located: Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), Turkey Material: Ashlar and brick Dimensions:82m by 73m and 55m in height Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox church, later turned mosque and now a museum in Istanbul (Constantinople), Turkey. It was originally built sometime between 532 and 537 AD by the Byzantine Greeks and served as …

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Double Headed Eagle

Emblem of the Byzantine Empire.

Greek: Δικεφαλος αετος Origins: Hittite civilization Symbolized: The Byzatine Empire The double-headed eagle was a symbol used by the Byzantine Empire and the Holy Roman Empire that has been adopted by several Eastern European nations as their national symbol to this day. The two heads of the eagle represent the dual sovereignty of the Empire (secular and religious), with the head on the left …

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A view of Mystras from the Villehardouin's Castle.

Greek: Μυστρας What: Capital of the Byzentine Despotate of the Morea in the 14th and 15th centuries. Located: Laconia, Peloponnese Founded: 1248 Last Despot: Demetrius Palaeologus Mystras (the wonder of Morea) is afortified town in the Peloponnese that was at its height during the 14th and 15th centuries, when it was the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea (Peloponnese). It is …

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