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Author Topic: What is your view of Charlemagne?  (Read 9346 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 12, 2009, 10:58:55 PM »

He is credited by many for saving the west, or at least rebuilding it. He is a saint in the Catholic Church. What is the Orthodox view on him? As it was pre-schism, could he be considered Orthodox?
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2009, 11:05:16 PM »

AFAIK, he was against veneration of Holy Icons... otherwise, perhaps he was an OK guy as far as the Orthodox Chruch is concerned. Why the question?
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2009, 11:44:09 PM »

His wife was the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor so they must not have had too much of a problem with him despite his iconoclasm and his later insistence on the "filioque."

Having said that, Charlemagne's reforms ushered in the first of Renaissances in the middle ages.  In many ways he was a saviour of western european civilization which was being overrun by threats from the Vikings and the Moors in Spain.  The famous Pirene thesis suggests that without Mohammed and the Moorish invasion of Spain, Charlemagne would never have been as important as he is now in the history of Western Europe.
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2009, 12:22:36 AM »

AFAIK, he was against veneration of Holy Icons... otherwise, perhaps he was an OK guy as far as the Orthodox Chruch is concerned. Why the question?

I'm reading a book about him and wondered...

How harshly did he enforce iconoclasm? I know he really pushed for the filioque. I don't think he was ever a saint in the East as in the west. Correct?
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2009, 09:59:04 AM »

I liked his name a lot and used to make fun of it during History lessons last year. Cheesy Tongue

I don't think that the Orthodox show him that much respect...on the contrary...
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2009, 11:38:11 AM »

His wife was the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor so they must not have had too much of a problem with him despite his iconoclasm and his later insistence on the "filioque."

I would not place too much importance on this. After all, the Byzantine Emperors, and other Christian rulers, also married their kinfolk to the Ottoman Sultans for reasons of state, starting with Theodora Cantacuzene to Orhan I. Bulgarian Czar Ivan Shishman also married his sister Maria to Murad I (Orhan's son), whose son Beyazid I married lots of Christian princesses (Angelina of Byzantium, Olivera of Serbia, and Maria of Greece). Mehmed II (the Conqueror of Constantinople) had many wives, many of Christian descent: "Valide Sultan Amina Gul-Bahar, a Greek Orthodox woman of noble birth from the village of Douvera, Trabzon, who died in 1492, the mother of Bayezid II, and Gevher Sultana; Gulshah Hatun; Sitti Mukrime Hatun; Hatun Çiçek; Helene Hatun, who died in 1481, daughter of Demetrios II Palaiologos, the Despot of Morea; briefly Anna Hatun, the daughter of the Emperor of Trebizond; and Hatun Alexias, a Byzantine princess." (Wiki)
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2009, 11:50:15 AM »

Gotta love my 43-greats granddad Charlemagne*... Wink


* (according to ancestry.com and the Mormon records at least)
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2009, 02:03:10 PM »

AFAIK, he was against veneration of Holy Icons... otherwise, perhaps he was an OK guy as far as the Orthodox Chruch is concerned. Why the question?

I'm reading a book about him and wondered...

How harshly did he enforce iconoclasm? I know he really pushed for the filioque. I don't think he was ever a saint in the East as in the west. Correct?

IMHO he was a barbarian who knew very little about the finer points of theology.  But that is only my opinion.  Perhaps you need to do some more  research or someone better versed in this part of Western history could help you out.
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2009, 04:22:45 PM »

An usurper.
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2009, 05:09:15 PM »

An usurper.

So true. In addition, there were so many rulers of so many nationalities that yearned for the glory and power of the Roman Caesar (later Byzantine Emperor): German, Russian, Bulgarian, and even Ottoman.
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2009, 09:20:12 PM »

Gotta love my 43-greats granddad Charlemagne*... Wink


* (according to ancestry.com and the Mormon records at least)

seriously?  Shocked
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« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2009, 06:35:08 PM »

An usurper.
Awww.
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« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2009, 06:51:48 PM »

Gotta love my 43-greats granddad Charlemagne*... Wink


* (according to ancestry.com and the Mormon records at least)

seriously?  Shocked

Yeah
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2009, 07:13:02 PM »

An usurper.

Agreed.
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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2009, 07:31:57 PM »

An usurper.
Don't hate. Appreciate.  Wink
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« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2009, 09:38:13 PM »

Well, he did save the west from its POLITICAL chaos....or the Franko-German west anyway. also, wouldn't his 'Holy Roman Empire' have been Orthodox, as a Christian Empire?
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2009, 03:16:49 PM »

Gotta love my 43-greats granddad Charlemagne*... Wink


* (according to ancestry.com and the Mormon records at least)

Ha! We are cousins, Father! I am also a direct descendant.

How can one not like one of the Nine Worthies? He wasn't called Carolus Magnus for nothing.
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« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2009, 03:20:34 PM »

An usurper.

Like many of your own Eastern emperors...

Hmm, what was the usual practice? Oh, yes, gouge out the eyes of the current occupant of the imperial throne and send him packing.
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« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2009, 07:17:21 PM »

An usurper.

Like many of your own Eastern emperors...

Hmm, what was the usual practice? Oh, yes, gouge out the eyes of the current occupant of the imperial throne and send him packing.
[/quote]
What was the Roman Catholic Papal practice? Oh yes- invent lies like the "Donation of Constantine".
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« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2009, 03:06:20 AM »

"Of all previous attempts to unite Europe, the Europe of Charlemagne was the first example of a perverted Europe...it was the first failure of all the attempts to build a Europe dominated by one people or one empire. The Europe of Charles V, that of Napoleon and that of Hitler, were in fact anti-Europes." - Jacques Le Goff, French medieval historian

"Thus, the old pagan Imperial Roman idea will be restored. The dictator Karl the Tall (Charlemagne) tried to do it over 1200 years ago, renewing Roman paganism and rejecting the Church in order to do so. There came after him, and imitating him, all manner of other tyrants and atheists, Napoleon and Hitler standing out among the more recent of them."
http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/sovietu.htm

"One of the first historians in this field writing some eighty years ago, the American Charles Haskins, wrote of the 'renaissance' (= rebirth) of Western Europe in the twelfth century. However, as is clear from what we have written so far, more recent historians have preferred to write of the 'birth' of Western Europe at this time. Moreover, they date it back to the second half of the eleventh century, ultimately tracing the roots of this ideology to Charlemagne.

For instance, the French historian Le Goff describes the characteristics of this birth. He speaks of 'dolorisation', the invention of a religion of suffering and pietism, 'the Jesus cult'. This we can see in the humanistic cult of the crucifixion of a man, human nature, 'Jesus', portrayed as a mere suffering human-being. Beloved of the Western Middle Ages, this cult has recently made its appearance in the film of Mel Gibson. This dwells the whole time on the violence and suffering of the Crucifixion, spending only two minutes on the Resurrection. An Orthodox film would have divided its time into two, half on the Crucifixion, half on the Resurrection, half on the human, half on the divine. The same 'Jesus cult' is beloved of modern-day Evangelicals. The French scholar Le Goff goes on to point out the further developments from this pietism of humanism and from there the exaggerated cult of the Virgin, called Mariolatry."

http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/anappeal.htm
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« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2009, 05:43:52 PM »

Gotta love my 43-greats granddad Charlemagne*... Wink


* (according to ancestry.com and the Mormon records at least)

seriously?  Shocked

Yeah
A few years back there was an article in The Atlantic (I think - maybe The Smithsonian?) by some mathematicians who did some statistical work on genealogy.  They concluded that it is a statistical near certainty that any European alive about 1000 years ago who has any living descendants today is an ancestor of all people of European descent alive today.  They pointed out that since Charlemagne lived 1200 years ago and has known descendants, he is an ancestor of all people of European descent alive today.  So the interesting question is not, "Whether we are descended from Charlemagne?" but, "How are we descended from Charlemagne?"

On a side note, Mohammad had a descendant who is known to have married into what became Spanish royalty and has known descendants alive today - so we are all descendants of Mohammad, too.  Allah Akbar!  God is Great!
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« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2009, 05:49:54 PM »

A barbarian!  Cool

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« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2009, 05:57:11 PM »

An usurper.

Like many of your own Eastern emperors...

Hmm, what was the usual practice? Oh, yes, gouge out the eyes of the current occupant of the imperial throne and send him packing.
What was the Roman Catholic Papal practice? Oh yes- invent lies like the "Donation of Constantine".
[/quote]A gouge here, a lie there, a usurpation every so many years!!!  C'mon folks warts abound throughout history.

The Tudors had a terrible claim on the Throne of England - absent military might.  Ditto for Napoleon.  Aside from the Act of Settlement ban on Catholics the throne of Great Britain is better claimed by the House of Bavaria and thereafter Liechtenstein through a daughter of Charles I rather than the current occupant through the daughter if James I.  Let's not even start talking about Ivan Grosny!  How about - was Paul really the son of Peter II - NOT LIKELY!  So the later Romanovs were descended from minor German nobles plus a soupcon of commoner!  Yet they were truly Emperors.

All of which is SO WHAT!!  If every victor, idiot, knave, apostate, knoodle-on-the-side and outright myth is considered you begin to see the fraud that is monarchy - eastern, western, Catholic, Orthodox, etc.  Power, power, power...   Enjoy the show and don't take it all so seriously.  Sheesh
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« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2009, 06:05:23 PM »

Holy Roman Emperor.  Grin
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« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2009, 01:46:22 AM »

An usurper.

Like many of your own Eastern emperors...

Hmm, what was the usual practice? Oh, yes, gouge out the eyes of the current occupant of the imperial throne and send him packing.

I think you are referring here to one incident where Michael Palealogus gouged out the eyes of the young John IV.  Sure, that was the usual practice.  If you can find other examples, then we can establish a pattern or a usual practice. Until then, read a history book and get versed in a few things. I recommend, for byzantine history, anything by the late and great scholar, Sir Steven Runciman.
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« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2009, 10:19:46 AM »

I normally haven't heard a very positive take on Charlemagne in the Orthodox Church.

This is mostly due to his insistence on the insertion of the Filioque into the Creed. As well as his iconoclasm...

Funny thing... My dad (who is still a Protestant) said that in seminary, his teacher always said the Holy Roman Empire was 'Not very Holy, certainly wasn't Roman, and wasn't much of an Empire either'. I don't know how true that statement is, but I always chuckled at it...

I've also not heard positive opinions on William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Mainly because people I've spoken to see the British Isles as being Orthodox prior to the conquest of the British Isles in 1066.
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« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2009, 10:39:42 AM »

When I visited a monastery last week, a monk friend of mine who knows of my "lineage" took me to a cd player and played the Acclamations of Charlemagne from the Chant Wars CD. lol
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« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2009, 10:41:43 AM »

Gotta love my 43-greats granddad Charlemagne*... Wink


* (according to ancestry.com and the Mormon records at least)

Ha! We are cousins, Father! I am also a direct descendant.

How can one not like one of the Nine Worthies? He wasn't called Carolus Magnus for nothing.

Can you PM me your chart? I can send you mine, and we can see how we are related.
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« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2009, 10:46:00 AM »

Gotta love my 43-greats granddad Charlemagne*... Wink


* (according to ancestry.com and the Mormon records at least)

Ha! We are cousins, Father! I am also a direct descendant.

How can one not like one of the Nine Worthies? He wasn't called Carolus Magnus for nothing.

Can you PM me your chart? I can send you mine, and we can see how we are related.


I too am the 43-greats grandson of Charlemagne!  No joke!
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« Reply #29 on: October 21, 2009, 10:50:43 AM »

He is a saint in the Catholic Church.

Is he?

Quote
Charlemagne himself was accorded sainthood inside the Holy Roman Empire after the twelfth century. His canonisation by Antipope Paschal III, to gain the favour of Frederick Barbarossa in 1165, was never recognised by the Holy See, which annulled all of Paschal's ordinances at the Third Lateran Council in 1179. However, he has been acknowledged as cultus confirmed.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne

Cultus confirmed? What does it really mean?
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« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2009, 11:13:59 AM »

It means that the Church recognizes that that particular person is venerated locally for his or her holiness and that the Church does not object to this veneration.  It's usually the first step in canonization.
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« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2009, 11:24:38 AM »

It means that the Church recognizes that that particular person is venerated locally for his or her holiness and that the Church does not object to this veneration.  It's usually the first step in canonization.

Thx!

This stuff struck me as something not really saintly:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne#Concubinages_and_illegitimate_children
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« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2009, 11:48:46 AM »

Indeed.  You won't get an argument from me!
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« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2009, 12:57:25 PM »

Quote
I too am the 43-greats grandson of Charlemagne!  No joke!

Perhaps Charlemagne was really Adam.  Smiley
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« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2009, 01:28:58 PM »

Gotta love my 43-greats granddad Charlemagne*... Wink


* (according to ancestry.com and the Mormon records at least)

Ha! We are cousins, Father! I am also a direct descendant.

How can one not like one of the Nine Worthies? He wasn't called Carolus Magnus for nothing.

Can you PM me your chart? I can send you mine, and we can see how we are related.


I too am the 43-greats grandson of Charlemagne!  No joke!

That sounds about my relation to Charlemagne as well.....seems like we are all cousins!
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« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2009, 03:21:51 PM »

Here is a cite to The Atlantic article that shows we are all descendants of Charlemagne if we are of European extraction.  SO - no more nasty comments about GGGGGGGGGG.... Grandpa unless it's really deserved!   Grin
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200205/olson
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« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2009, 03:41:45 PM »

Here is a cite to The Atlantic article that shows we are all descendants of Charlemagne if we are of European extraction.  SO - no more nasty comments about GGGGGGGGGG.... Grandpa unless it's really deserved!   Grin
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200205/olson

This would also make everyone related to Caesar as well.....with connections to most ancient dynasties.
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« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2009, 05:21:52 PM »

What is my view of Charlemagne... about the same as my view of St. Constantine (Pagan Convert, not completely converted but necessary for a far greater good).
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« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2009, 05:24:59 PM »

It means that the Church recognizes that that particular person is venerated locally for his or her holiness and that the Church does not object to this veneration.  It's usually the first step in canonization.

Thx!

This stuff struck me as something not really saintly:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne#Concubinages_and_illegitimate_children

Some of the stuff St Constantine did was also questionable if not just plainly sinful yet he is still venerated as a saint. We must remember that saintliness is not perfection while here on earth.  Having said that, since Carolus Magnus was an iconoclast, supported the "filioque" and installed the first organ in a church, he is a heretic and must be condemned as such.
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« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2009, 06:08:54 PM »

It means that the Church recognizes that that particular person is venerated locally for his or her holiness and that the Church does not object to this veneration.  It's usually the first step in canonization.

Thx!

This stuff struck me as something not really saintly:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne#Concubinages_and_illegitimate_children

Some of the stuff St Constantine did was also questionable if not just plainly sinful yet he is still venerated as a saint. We must remember that saintliness is not perfection while here on earth.  Having said that, since Carolus Magnus was an iconoclast, supported the "filioque" and installed the first organ in a church, he is a heretic and must be condemned as such.
Oh the heresy of organism....  Grin
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« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2009, 10:32:13 PM »

It means that the Church recognizes that that particular person is venerated locally for his or her holiness and that the Church does not object to this veneration.  It's usually the first step in canonization.

Thx!

This stuff struck me as something not really saintly:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne#Concubinages_and_illegitimate_children

Some of the stuff St Constantine did was also questionable if not just plainly sinful yet he is still venerated as a saint. We must remember that saintliness is not perfection while here on earth.  Having said that, since Carolus Magnus was an iconoclast, supported the "filioque" and installed the first organ in a church, he is a heretic and must be condemned as such.
Oh the heresy of organism....  Grin

LOL, yeah, it wasn't so much the other stuff that condemned him, but the ORGAN, not the bloody ORGAN! lol
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« Reply #41 on: October 21, 2009, 10:35:49 PM »

Quote
What is your view of Charlemagne

Cool name. Not that I'd name my kids after him or anything. He seems to get some people riled up.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 10:36:07 PM by Asteriktos » Logged
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« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2009, 11:45:53 PM »

  If you can find other examples, then we can establish a pattern or a usual practice. Until then, read a history book and get versed in a few things. I recommend, for byzantine history, anything by the late and great scholar, Sir Steven Runciman.

Nice condescension, Scamandrius, but I have read Steven Runciman along with other eminent Byzantinists, including Michael Angold, Warren Treadgold, Deno John Geanakoplos, Donald Nicol, and others.

I was fortunate to have a Byzantine specialist (a Romanian Orthodox, BTW) in my history department, and I took several courses in Byzantine history.

Ritual blinding was a common way in Byzantium to dispatch political or religious opponents from the 8th to the 13th centuries. And Michael VIII was not the only one to do it, as you claim.

Here is a link to an abstract of an paper on the practice of ritual blinding in Byzantium. Alas, it is not available for free, and I do not have an electronic copy at hand.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/r8l60rh351228316/fulltext.pdf?page=1
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« Reply #43 on: October 22, 2009, 12:51:11 PM »

Here is a cite to The Atlantic article that shows we are all descendants of Charlemagne if we are of European extraction.  SO - no more nasty comments about GGGGGGGGGG.... Grandpa unless it's really deserved!   Grin
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200205/olson

This would also make everyone related to Caesar as well.....with connections to most ancient dynasties.
So that's why so many people are the reincarnation of Cleopatra!
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« Reply #44 on: October 22, 2009, 10:38:24 PM »

  If you can find other examples, then we can establish a pattern or a usual practice. Until then, read a history book and get versed in a few things. I recommend, for byzantine history, anything by the late and great scholar, Sir Steven Runciman.

Nice condescension, Scamandrius, but I have read Steven Runciman along with other eminent Byzantinists, including Michael Angold, Warren Treadgold, Deno John Geanakoplos, Donald Nicol, and others.

I was fortunate to have a Byzantine specialist (a Romanian Orthodox, BTW) in my history department, and I took several courses in Byzantine history.

Ritual blinding was a common way in Byzantium to dispatch political or religious opponents from the 8th to the 13th centuries. And Michael VIII was not the only one to do it, as you claim.

Here is a link to an abstract of an paper on the practice of ritual blinding in Byzantium. Alas, it is not available for free, and I do not have an electronic copy at hand.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/r8l60rh351228316/fulltext.pdf?page=1

Lubeltri, I couldn't access the article either without paying for it.  Anyway, if you can supply me with the information of the journal it is published in (if possible), I can get it via interlibrary loan.  Also, tonight I was doing some reading and (re)discovered that the Empress Irene, who ruled during the Iconoclastic controversy, blinded the young emperor for whom she was acting as regent.  Unfortunately, it went too far and it ended up killing him.  So, I guess two examples does establish a pattern.  My apologies to you for my errors and misconceptions.   We need to get more Byzantine history discussions going on this board.  You in?
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Those who do not read  history are doomed to get their facts from Hollywood--Anonymous

What earthly joy remains untouched by grief?--St. John Damascene
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