The Last Orthodox Liturgy in Hagia Sophia

The last truly Orthodox Divine Liturgy in the Great Church, the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, took place December 11, 1452. On December 12, the “Patriarch” Cardinal Isidore (ostensible Patriarch of Kiev and all Russia, though deprived of his see by the Grand Prince of Muscovy, Basil) proclaimed the union of the Eastern Church and theContinue reading “The Last Orthodox Liturgy in Hagia Sophia”

What really felled Byzantium?

Greed. I’ve just finished reading Ostrogorsky’s History of the Byzantine State. I don’t think you could find a better record of the deleterious effects of unchecked greed from both internal and external sources than the preserved history of what is commonly called the Byzantine Empire, but which was then known as what it was: theContinue reading “What really felled Byzantium?”

Contra thematic and overly confident historiography

[T]he reader will doubtless ask why the writer chose to present this history chronologically rather than thematically. The answer is that I believe the first task of the historian to be the recovery of order and sequence. An interpretive essay may follow, but at the outset of a new inquiry, one needs to find outContinue reading “Contra thematic and overly confident historiography”

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Let us regard the biblical account itself as a conceptual model of Israel’s genesis. It is as if the Israelites themselves formulated an articulate portrayal of their distant past, much as modern scholarship does. Such a paradigm for a description of Israel’s emergence is feasible. This projection embedded within the biblical text has certain clearContinue reading “Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!”

Hyperbole in Merneptah Stele?

Jim West says it’s not so! Well, he actually only brings into question the well-known line “the people of Israel, his seed is not.” He notes that while most accept the latter part of the line as hyperbole, the first part of the line is not accepted as hyperbole. One has to wonder how aContinue reading “Hyperbole in Merneptah Stele?”