By Richard G. Hovannisian

ISBN-10: 1568591306

ISBN-13: 9781568591308

The UCLA convention sequence «Historic Armenian towns and Provinces» has been equipped to discover the old, political, cultural, non secular, social, and monetary legacy of a humans rooted at the Armenian Plateau for 3 millennia. Armenian Van/Vaspurakan is the 1st of the convention complaints to be released, in view of the truth that the realm round Lake Van is the cradle of Armenian civilization.

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Example text

On Easter Day 1204, the crusaders, drunk and spattered with Christian blood, placed a prostitute on the patriarchal throne in St Sophia, and danced around her hand in hand. Everything went, the notorious glitter and artifice of the place, the accretions of a thousand years of plunder and piety and civilisation: holy bones lost to France and Florence, sacred icons to the flames, offerings and artworks stolen to adorn the diadems of western European marquises; the jewels of ancient crowns, gold worked by master smiths in the so-called Dark Ages, sacred objects fashioned by Christ’s companions, with bits of their hair, and fragments of their teeth, and a feather from Gabriel’s wing, which had dropped in the middle of the Annunciation, and the Ark of the Covenant, and the veil of the Temple; St Peter’s chains, and the nails used to make the cross, and the trumpets which the priests blew to bring down the walls of Jericho; and splinters of the True Cross.

The Mediterranean Sea was relegated to second-division status, the Islamic spirit seemed to stagnate. The nations of the West were querulous and disunited, but their very squabbles proved vigorous and progressive. In the Ottoman, Islamic world the battles were already won, the arguments suppressed; the law was written, and the Ottomans cleaved ever more rigidly to the past in a spirit of narcissistic pride. For the next three hundred years, the empire defied prognostications of its imminent collapse.

Asia and Europe almost touch across the Dardanelles, the Hellespont of the Greeks, where Helle of myth, fleeing her jealous stepmother, slipped from the back of the Golden Ram and drowned. The Byzantine Greeks had long since enlisted Turkish warriors to help them fight their civil wars, and in 1354, just across these straits, a Byzantine regent plunged into a rebellion against his young imperial charge. The rebel Cantacuzenos applied to Orhan, the nearest Turkish bey, or general, for troops. It seemed as though the Ottomans, having reached the Hellespont, had only to gaze with a little longing at Gallipoli across the straits before the Byzantines proposed to ferry them into Europe.

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Armenian Van Vaspurakan (UCLA Armenian History and Culture Series) by Richard G. Hovannisian


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