Divine Plan – Lapham’s Quarterly


Mehmed II by Gentile Bellini

I found this article called  Divine Plan – Lapham’s Quarterly. We used to live in Istanbul, which, before 1453, was called Constantinople.

After Fatih Sultan Mehmet conquered the city it “ brought to a head many trends already under way. One was the slide of the Byzantine empire’s power, as the loss of Anatolian lands left it short of revenue and recruits, and thus more dependent on fickle Italian allies; another the flight of Greek scholars (particularly brilliant in Byzantium’s final years) to Italy, where they helped to stimulate the Renaissance.
(Millennium issue: Trouble with Turkey – The fall of Constantinople – Dec 23rd 1999)

According to Wikipedia, Sozomen “(c. 400 – c. 450) was a historian of the Christian church.” Sozomen, from The Ecclesiastical History. Born to Christian parents in a small village near Gaza, Sozomen studied in Phoenicia and practiced law in Constantinople, where he composed his church history. Emperor Constantine is said to have begun his conversion to Christianity during the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, when he saw in the sky…an early Christian symbol, with the legend “Conquer by this. The Emperor Constantine, always intent on the advancement of religion, erected magnificent temples to God in every place, particularly in metropolises such as Nicomedia in Bithynia, Antioch on the river Orontes, and Byzantium. He greatly improved this latter city and made it equal to Rome in power and influence, for when he had settled the affairs of the empire according to his own mind and had freed himself from foreign foes, he resolved upon founding a city which should be called by his own name and should be equal in celebrity to Rome.

…Led by the hand of God, he arrived at Byzantium in Thrace, beyond Chalcedon in Bithynia, and here he was desired to build his city and to render it worthy of the name of Constantine…He named it Constantinople and New Rome and constituted it the Roman capital for all the inhabitants of the north, the south, the east, and the shores of the Mediterranean, from the cities on the Danube, and from Epidamnus and the Ionian Gulf, to Cyrene and that part of Libya called Bonium….by the assistance of God, it became the most populous and wealthy of cities.”

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