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Das Haus des Manns aus Amastris

ZU einem Gebäudekomplex im byzantinischen Konstantinopel

Acta Antiqua Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Author:
Albrecht Berger

Chapter 12 of the 8th-century Parastaseis syntomoi chronikai claims that two brazen hands on spears and a bushel (modion) were set up on an arched doorway near a granary in Constantinople under the emperor Valentinian (364–375) after the hands of a treacherous grain merchant had been cut, in remembrance of this event. However, hands on spears are a well-known type of Roman military signs, while the bushel should be explained as an altar for burnt offerings. Both objects may well have been depicted together on a votive relief which decorated the arch in Constantinople, but this has nothing to do with the grain trade in the city. The relief can have been fixed on the arch only long after Valentinian’s time, for the building to which it belonged must be identified with a 5th-century palace complex known in later times as ta Amastrianou, the “house of the man from Amastris”, of which remains do still survive.

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Michel Beheim, a prominent 15th-century German author and musical composer — who was at the Siege of Nándorfehérvér (1456) in the entourage of King Ladislaus V (the Posthumous) of Hungary — wrote one of the first song-poems in reaction to the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. Entitled Von den Türken und dem adel sagt dis, these verses, translated here into English for the first time, have previously been neglected in scholarship. Beheim’s perspective is particularly important, documenting as it does an emotional reaction to a defeat that spawned invective-filled rhetoric, crusading propaganda, castigation of the Christian nobility for a failure to come together, and an interpretation of the Turks under Mehmed II as a scourge of God. Beheim here, and in his subsequent body of anti-Turkish works, including his detailed depiction of the Crusade of Varna (1443–1445), contributes to the shaping of a late mediaeval and early modern negative Türkenbild.

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A IX–XII. század során az európai orosz területeken tevékenykedő skandináv fegyveres alakulatok, a varégok, felesküdött testőrként a korabeli „Kelet” több udvarában is megfordultak. Ezek közül kiemelkedik konstantinápolyi szolgálatuk, ahol a X. századtól kezdve a basileus személyes védelmét látták el. A Varég Gárda néven elhíresült bizánci katonai alakulat történetének elemzése azt sugallja, hogy a varégok egy egyszerű testőrségnél jóval szerteágazóbb feladatkörökkel voltak megbízva. A vizsgálat másik célja – kultúrtörténeti szempontból – bemutatni Konstantinápoly udvartartásának varég testőrökre tett hatásait és a bizánci főváros kitüntetett szerepének okát a skandináv zsoldosok világában. A varég gárdisták esetében a skandináv asszimiláció egy speciális esetéről beszélhetünk, melyben ötvöződtek a hagyományos viking beidegződések a bizánci életstílussal.

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Before ending his performance career by concerts in Odessa and Elizabethgrad in 1847, Franz Liszt visited Istanbul, gave a number of public concerts and performed twice for Sultan Abdul-Medgid in the Tcheragan Palace. A widely reported incident in relation to this trip concerns an impostor named Listmann, a historically unidentified character, who supposedly passed himself off as Liszt in Istanbul and who received valuable presents from the Sultan under this pretext. According to some accounts Listmann almost caused Liszt to be arrested upon his arrival. The purpose of this work is to present historical data on this folkloric Liszt-Listmann tale. We present primary sources that show that Herr Listmann of the Liszt-Listmann incident was in fact a German Tonkünstler and a man of letters named Eduard Litzmann who toured Spain and the orient, and who was apparently a pretty competent pianist. The sources indicate that notwithstanding Liszt’s own letter to his cousin Henriette, numerous colorful aspects of the incident as reported in the literature result from self-perpetuating transformations of fiction and cannot be substantiated.

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Pulcheria and several letters written by Pope Leo the Great, the acts of the synod of Constantinople in 448, the trial of Eutyches and the acts of the Robber Council at Ephesus in 449. The corpus contained the original Latin text of the speeches of the few

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Abstract

Information on the life of Saint Lazarus was collected by the scribe who continued the Chronicle of Theophanes. It was also elaborated by Kedrenos. He was born in Armenia and came to byzantium at a young age to become a painter and monk. In 832 Theophilus order the destruction of icons. To persuade Lazarus, he summoned him. The tortures of the painter were put an end to by Empress Theodora. In gratitude to her, he painted an icon of St John the Baptist which worked miracles after Theophilus' death, and then he painted a large icon of Christ. Emperor of Byzantium Michael III sent him to Rome in 856 to the newly elected Pope Benedict III to discuss the possibility of reconciliation between the two churches and restore unity. An uncertain source mentions his death during another mission to Rome in 867. He is allegedly buried in Galata in the monastery of Evanderes. His cult in the Roman church was actualized by the “iconoclasm” of the Protestants. The council of Trent – similarly to the second Council of Nicea earlier – decided in favour of the veneration of icons.

The finest specimens of St Lazarus's iconography were produced by the noted copperplate engraving workshops of Augsburg. The illustration dating from 1753 of the Life of Saints by Joseph Giulini was popular all over Europe. In the engraving by Christian Halbauer made after Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner of the episode of Lazarus' arrest Christ on the cross can also be seen. The most important depiction shows the sainted monastic painter in a baroque atelier, working on his painting of St John the Baptist in the monastery of Phoberon. The hagiographic series of Annus dierum Sanctorum was sold in a volume already in the age of its creation, between 1737 and 1742. The indispensable series for the research of baroque iconography was the outcome of the joint endeavour of Gottfried Bernard Göz, Joseph Sebastian and Johann Baptist Klauber in Augsburg. Among the historicizing painters of the 19th century, Domenico Morelli depicted the four monks persecuted by Emperor Theophilus in bright colours in 1855, with the icon of St John the Baptism hanging behind the four condemned monks.

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Le Livre des cérémonies , rédigé en grec à Constantinople au X e siècle à l’initiative de l’empereur byzantin Constantin VII Porphyrogénète, est une compilation de protocoles d’époques diverses, réglant le cérémonial de la Cour de Constantinople à

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About 620 the Emperor Heraclius succeeded in concluding a temporary peace with the Avars and concentrating his forces exclusively on the struggle with Persia. In 622, during the first great offensive, the tactical and military maturity of the Eastern Roman army was demonstrated for the first time. However, Heraclius still could not use the strategic initiative enough in this period. The complicated relations with the Khagantae forced the Emperor to return to Constantinople and begin negotiations for a new peace treaty. The planned meeting with the Khagan of the Avars almost ended in a personal catastrophe for the Emperor. Regardless of this incident, both sides had an interest in concluding peace. While the Romans needed to continue the war with Persia, the Avars had to devote attention to stabilizing the situation in the Khaganate after the outbreak of Samo’s revolt. The agreement reached at the turn of the years 623/624 lasted until the Avar siege of Constantinople in 626.

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In his youth Bela III, king of Hungary (1172-1196) lived in Constantinople as the betrothed of the emperor Manuel Comnenus' daughter and was appointed to be heir to the Byzantine throne. There he was called Alexius probably owing to an oracle, according to which Manuel's successor's name would start with the letter alpha. However, when a son - also named Alexius - was born to Manuel, he had him crowned co-emperor and had the betrothal of Bela and Maria dissolved on the pretext of a ruling of the 1166 Synod of Constantinople, which banned marriage between relations by marrige to the seventh degree. It is this ruling that is referred to in a sentence in Cinnamus, which has been ignored this far because of the assumption that Bela and Maria were related in the eighth degree. As a matter of fact, they were related in the seventh degree by the marriage of the Hungarian king Stephen IV and Maria Comnena, daughter of Isaac Sebastokrator.

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Scholarly literature on the late mediaeval and early modern Levantine trade has it that in the 14th–15th centuries eastern spices and other “maritime (Levantine) goods” arrived in Hungary not from Venice, but mainly from the Dalmatian towns of the Adriatic Sea, through the so-called route of Zara (Zadar). The author of this article tries to point out that out of these two western trade routes the so-called Venezianerstrasse connecting Tarvisio and Vienna from where the eastern goods were transported to Hungary was far more important. Then he demonstrates the existence and significance of the spice route leading from the Black Sea via Wallachia to Transylvania and then further to the interior of Hungary. Thirdly, he establishes that at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries the quantity of pepper imported from the direction of the Black Sea was four-and-a-half to five times as much as the pepper arriving from the direction of the Adriatic Sea. In the second part of the article, the author outlines the crucial changes in 16th-century commerce. The trade of eastern spices from Wallachia via Transylvania to Hungary continued for a while, but then gradually diminished and finally ebbed away in the second half of the century. They were replaced by “Turkish goods” (different cotton and silk fabrics, yarns and leather ware) which originated from the Ottoman Empire and not from the Far East. Simultaneously, along with the revival of the Levantine spice trade of Venice, the Venezianerstrasse also regained its significance and the pepper import from Vienna to Western and Northern Hungary was also restored. At about the same time, a new and abundant trade route opened up towards Buda from Constantinople through Belgrade — mainly with new (Muslim and Orthodox) mediators. The various spices and “Turkish articles” arrived mainly on this route, a part of which travelled further west (in Habsburg Hungary and Vienna as well). By the middle of the 17th century a radical turn had taken place in international spice trade: from that time onward, eastern spices were transported to Hungary and further to Vienna not from Constantinople, but the other way round, they arrived from Vienna through Hungary to Constantinople.

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