Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Drop dead gorgeous

956 AD Eastern half of the Roman Empire

    Drop dead gorgeous, green eyes, long hair curled,
        Theaphano, the most beautiful woman in the world ..

        Romanus, the son of the emperor Constantine the seventh,
        fell in love again, this time it was the eleventh ...

        Theophano was a Greek name...
        (Recent centuries in the Empire the Greek language formal became).

Troubadours praised the beauty of the bride in the whole territory.       956 AD
Unfortunately this is a drama, not a love story.

Soon her beauty dominated the palace. 
Soon everyone suspected that she was hiding ambition and malice ...

The emperor was assassinated by unknown poison.                              959 AD

Only you had motive, there was no other reason,
said unto her, Romanus the successor,
who in a few hours would be crowned new Emperor ..

                              TWO YEARS LATER

Glorious general Phokas re conquers Saracen Emirate of Crete...
The triumphal procession passes in front of the street,
and already Theophano devises new scam (how to cheat).

Like all men around her, General Nikephoros Phokas soon fell in love. 

Soon Theophano poised her husband, another one rid of.                   963 AD

Violent Fhokas becomes emperor and then,
unrivaled beauty, gorgeous Theophano, is a bride again...

                              SIX YEARS LATER

Her beauty had begun to leave,
when that fateful Christmas Eve
she first met her one great love....
General John I Tzimiskes...
    [a nightmare or a gift from heaven above?   

Soon the two lovers organized a kind of coup
and murdering Phokas accomplished what they                                                           [pursue.     969 AD

After a while Tzimiskes became the new                                                                          [emperor....

He never loved Theophano, to him it was an                                                                   [adventure.

To calm the people who blamed them both for the                                                                      [murder,

Theophano was sent to exile on his own order ...

                              A FEW YEARS LATER

   But the beautiful and equally intelligent had a hidden player..
      Her son, the conqueror, known with the name "the Bulgar-slayer"..

      Soon he became emperor and made sure
      his criminal mother, no justice for the people, a detour.

Though the western half of the Roman Empire crumbled    
and fell in 476, the eastern half survived for 1,000 more     
years, spawning a rich tradition of art, literature and          
learning and serving as a military buffer between the states
of Europe and the threat of invasion from Asia.                   
The eastern Empire finally fell in 1453, after an Ottoman   
army stormed Constantinople of Constantine XI.              

Texts and Narration: Odysseus Heavilayias - ROTTERDAM //
Language adjustments and text adaptation: Kellene G Safis - CHICAGO//
Digital adaptation and text editing: Cathy Rapakoulia Mataraga - PIRAEUS//

Νο: 42

* The language of the Byzantine Greeks since the age of Constantine had been Greek, although Latin was the language of the administration. From the reign of Emperor Heraclius (reigned 610–641), Greek was the predominant language amongst the populace and also replaced Latin in administration. At first the Byzantine Empire had a multi-ethnic character, but following the loss of the non-Greek speaking provinces it came to be dominated by the Byzantine Greeks. Over time, the relationship between them and the West, particularly with Latin Europe, deteriorated.
Relations were further damaged by a schism between the Catholic West and Orthodox East that led to the Byzantine Greeks being labeled as heretics. Throughout the later centuries of the Byzantine Empire and particularly following the coronation of Charlemagne (reigned as king of the Franks 768–814) in Rome in 800, the Byzantine Greeks were not considered by Western Europeans as heirs of the Roman Empire, but rather as part of an Eastern kingdom made up of Greek peoples. However the Byzantine Empire could claim to be the Roman Empire, continuing the unbroken line of succession of the Roman emperors.

*The story   is based on the Kostas Kyriazis book "Theophano" 

*The Greek historical fiction writer Kostas Kyriazis (b. 1920) wrote a biography called Theophano (1963), followed by the 1964 Basil Bulgaroktonus on her son. As depicted in these books, Theophano was indeed guilty of all the killings attributed to her in her lifetime, and the heritage of a mother who killed both his father and his stepfather caused her son Basil to distrust women and avoid marriage himself.

*Basil II  (Greek: Βασίλειος Β΄, Basileios II; 958 – 15 December 1025) was a Byzantine Emperor from the Macedonian dynasty who reigned from 10 January 976 to 15 December 1025. He was known in his time as Basil the Porphyrogenitus and Basil the Young to distinguish him from his supposed ancestor, Basil I the Macedonian.

The early years of his long reign were dominated by civil war against powerful generals from the Anatolian aristocracy. Following their submission, Basil oversaw the stabilization and expansion of the eastern frontier of the Byzantine Empire, and above all, the final and complete subjugation of Bulgaria, the Empire's foremost European foe, after a prolonged struggle. For this he was nicknamed by later authors as "the Bulgar-slayer" (Greek: Βουλγαροκτόνος, Boulgaroktonos), by which he is popularly known. At his death, the Empire stretched from Southern Italy to the Caucasus and from the Danube to the borders of Palestine, its greatest territorial extent since the Muslim conquests four centuries earlier.

 the tales of a greek sailor

No comments:

Post a Comment