Saturday, 25 October 2008

Byzantine Glory Comes to Life

The Rome of the East

For those who can make it, and those who can afford it (an adult ticket is £12) I would highly recommend the Byzantine exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.

For over 1000 years of Christian history and culture (from the establishing of the separate Eastern Roman Empire to the sacking of Constantinople by the Ottomans) this exhibition will give you a glimpse of Europe's rich heritage.

Some say this kind of display of Eastern Christianity makes an argument for Turkey's inclusion in the EU (I recall seeing Boris Johnson using that same line).

Not so!

It should remind us that "Turkey" and all Asia Minor used to be European in culture, Romano-Greek in heritage and totally Christian in faith and outlook.

It should remind us that the accursed Ottomans invaded European lands and took over. It should remind us that the Ottomans were flung out of all Europe to the South East of Vienna.

It should remind us that the Turkish oppression of Christians and ethnic Greeks in Asia Minor has been terrible and included mass murder and the sacking of churches.

It should remind us that the "modern" secular-Masonic Turkey is the ally of Israel and America - and if they are using the line that Constantinople was once a centre of European, Christian culture then they are merely exposing the differences and reminding us what Europe proper should stand for: Christianity not Freemasonry; Faith not Exploitation; Families not Financiers; Blood and Soil not Profits and Multi-nationals; Patriotism not Zionism.

In the meantime we can revel in the glory that was Byzantium.

The Royal Academy of Arts' Byzantium Exhibition


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