For eleven hundred years there had stood on the Bosporous a city where the intellect was admired and the learning and letters of the classical past were studied and preserved. Without the help of Byzantine commentators and scribes there is little that we would know today about the literature of ancient Greece.
It was too, a city whose rulers down the centuries had inspired and encouraged a school of art unparalleled in human history, an art that arose from an ever varying blend of the cool cerebral Greek sense of the fitness of things and a deep religious sense that saw in works of art the incarnation of the Divine and the sanctification of matter.
It was too, a great cosmopolitan city where along with merchandise ideas were freely exchanged and whose citizens saw themselves not as a racial unit but as the heirs of Greece and Rome, hallowed by the Christian faith.
From: Steven Runciman, The Fall of Constantinople, 1453.
Every time is suitable for your ablution, since any time may be your death. With Paul, I shout to you with that loud voice, "Behold now is the accepted time; behold Now is the day of salvation;" and that Now does not point to any one time, but is every present moment. - Gregory of Constantinople the Theologian
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