Constantinopolis by James Shipman @jshipman_author

Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The palace was set on a hill and contained multiple terraces and buildings. The entrance was guarded. Constantine dismounted and half-walked, half ran to his council room. Sphrantzes had sent additional messengers to the principal counselors of the empire, including the Megadux (the Grand Duke or High Admiral) Loukas Notaras, Constantine’s military leader and friend, and the arrogant Cardinal Isidore, the representative in Constantinople from Pope Nicholas.

Isidore, at nearly 60 years old, was previously the head of the church in Moscow. He was short and stocky, with long grey hair and deep wrinkles running down from his eyes to his chin on each side. He wore dark and ragged robes and walked with a slight limp. Isidore was bowed down with his troubles. His tenure in Moscow had been short. He had aggressively advocated union with the Church of Rome and was therefore deposed and imprisoned by the Orthodox Russian leadership. Eventually he made his way back to Rome, where the Pope subsequently appointed him as his representative to Constantinople. Isidore had come to Constantinople with the same plan, to reunite the eastern and western church.

Notaras was strong-featured and in his mid forties. He was tall, and athletically built, with a full head of graying hair. Notaras was the Emperor’s closest friend, and the most important noble in Constantinople.

Constantine nodded to both men in turn as he made his way into the council chamber and sat down at the head of a long wooden table with two dozen chairs. All of the assembled men bowed formally to the Emperor and then took their traditional places at the council table. Servants poured wine and the men shared bread and fruit around before they began their business.


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Genre – Historical Fiction

Rating – PG

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