A Byzantine Christmas Carol

The Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos

This feast of the Protection of the Theotokos is neither one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Church nor is it a commemoration of any events in the earthly lives of our Lord or His Mother. So why does the Orthodox Church here in twenty-first-century North America keep this feast?

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Byzantium

H. Glykatzi Arveler / Ελένη Γλύκατζη – Αρβελέρ

Introduction

The term Byzantium is rashly given to the Christianized eastern part of the Roman Empire, which had Constantinople as its administrative and cultural center and which controlled significant regions of Europe, Asia and Northern Africa from 330 to 1453. At its acme, it extended from the Euphrates to Spain and from the Nile to the Danube. The various peoples that inhabited these lands had a common characteristic: they were influenced, more or less, by Greek civilization, which was mainly conveyed through language.

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National Healthcare and the Church-State Relationship in Romiosini (Byzantium)

hospital

http://www.amazon.com/Birth-Hospital-Byzantine-Empire/dp/0801856574

«Dr. Miller is a learned and enterprising historian with a fascinating theme. He shows beyond a doubt that the Western hospital tradition goes back to the early Byzantine Empire in the fourth century.» — Medical History

Fr. Romanides writes about the relationship between Church and State in the Roman Empire following the conversion to Christianity of Emperor Constantine the Great saying:

«The great struggle between paganism and Christianity in the time of Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337) is reflected in the difference between Roman Greeks (meaning Pagans) and Roman Christians. All Pagan Romans were defending their aristocratic ancient Hellenic identity and traditions which was being torn apart by the aristocratic identity of the cure of glorification which was open to all Romans, both gentis and non-gentis, and to all non-Romans.» Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Ecological destruction is ‘sacrilegious’, says Orthodox church leader

fishEcumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos I, seen by many of the world’s Orthodox Christians as their spiritual leader, has called the destruction of the environment a «sacrilegious and sinful» act.

«The ecological crisis, and particularly the reality of climate change, constitutes the greatest threat for every form of life in our world,» Bartholomeos said in a statement issued to mark World Environment Day on 5 June.

«With the opening of this third millennium, environmental issues already evident since the 20th century acquired a new intensity, coming to the forefront of daily attention,» said Bartholomeos, who is sometimes called the Green Patriarch because of his public support for the environmental cause. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Blocked from Europe by the impregnable walls of Constantinople

Byzantine naval battle

Byzantine naval battle

«Blocked from Europe by the impregnable walls of Constantinople and the unyielding spirit of the Emperor and his people, the armies of the «Prophet» were obliged to travel the entire length of the Mediterranean to the Straits of Gibraltar before they could invade the continent- thus extending their lines of communication and supply almost to breaking point and rendering impossible any permanent conquests beyond the Pyrenees. Had they captured Constantinople in the seventh century rather than the fifteenth, all Europe- and America- might be Muslim today».

Byzantium, the Early Centuries. John Julius Norwich

The Early Centuries of the Greek Roman East (1)

Justinian with his entourage (courtiers and guards), the bishop of Ravenna Maximian and clergy. Mosaic in the church of St. Vitalius in Ravenna (548AD). Ο Ιουστινιανός με την συνοδία του (αυλικούς και φρουρούς), τον επίσκοπο της Ραβέννας Μαξιμιανό και κληρικούς. Ψηφιδωτό στην εκκλησία του Αγίου Βιταλίου στην Ραβέννα (548 μΧ).

Justinian with his entourage (courtiers and guards), the bishop of Ravenna Maximian and clergy. Mosaic in the church of St. Vitalius in Ravenna (548AD). Ο Ιουστινιανός με την συνοδία του (αυλικούς και φρουρούς), τον επίσκοπο της Ραβέννας Μαξιμιανό και κληρικούς. Ψηφιδωτό στην εκκλησία του Αγίου Βιταλίου στην Ραβέννα (548 μΧ).

I.The Foundation of Constantinople and the Adoption of Christianity

We begin our story about the history of Romiosini or the Greek Middle ages with the founding of Constantinople, the capital city of the Eastern Roman Empire. Constantinople was founded by the Roman emperor Constantine I (324-337) who wanted to establish, for various political reasons, a new capital city for the Roman Empire in the east. Ultimately, this change was brought about because of the turmoil which the Roman Empire was facing in the west at the time. With much of the western territories having been destroyed by the invasions of the Germanic tribes, Rome was in constant danger of being attacked. Moreover, with the eastern frontier of the Empire stretching over all of Asia Minor and Syria, Rome was no longer in a position to check the ongoing hostilities with Persia. Consequently, after a series of internal struggles among the ruling powers of the Empire, Constantine -who emerged victorious-chose as the location of his new capital the ancient Greek city of Byzantion. In 324 Constantine transformed Byzantion into «The New Rome» or «Constantinopolis», the City of Constantine. The people often referred to it simply as «The City» or, in Greek, «Hi Polis». MORE… Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »