Travel to Istanbul

Today I'm forty-five years. I'm sitting shirtless in the hotel “Likabett” in Athens, sweating and absorbing huge amounts of Coca-Cola. In this city, I do not know a soul. Going out in the evening on the street looking for a place, where I could have dinner, I found myself in the midst of an extremely enthusiastic crowd, shouted something unintelligible, — as far as I understand, they recently -Choose. I wandered through some endless main street, with revushtimi klaksonami, dammed if the people, whether transport, not understanding a word, — and suddenly it occurred to me, that this is the light, that life is over, but movement continues; that this is eternity.
Forty-five years ago, my mother gave me life. She died in the year before. In the past year — his father died. Their only child, I, It goes through the streets of Athens evening, which they have never seen and will not see. The fruit of their love, their poverty, their slavery, where they died, their son free. And because they did not meet him in the crowd, he guesses, he is wrong, what is it — not forever.
What is seen and what is not seen Constantine, looking at the map of Byzantium. he saw, to put it mildly, Tabula rasa. province of Imperia, naselennuyu Greeks, Jews, Persians, etc.. P. — the public, with which he had long been accustomed to dealing, — with typical subjects of the eastern part of his empire. Language was Greek, but for an educated Roman it was the French for the Russian nobleman in the XIX century. He saw the city, promontory jutting out into the Sea of ​​Marmara, — city, which was easy to defend, It had only to enclose it with a wall. He saw the city of hills, somewhat like Roman, and, I wondering if he erected there, let us say, a palace or a church, view from the windows had to be stunning: in the whole of Asia, and the whole of Asia would have stared at the crosses, this church is crowned. It is also possible to imagine, he entertained the thought of controlling access to the city left behind by the Romans. They would have to be dragged here through the whole of Attica, or sail around the Peloponnesus. “this forest, and it will not let”. So, probably, He thought of them hosted by the Paradise on earth version. About the customs dreams! And he saw, Byzantium welcomed him as their protector against the Sassanids and on our with you, gentlemen and dear madam, ancestors on the other side of the Danube, and it, Byzantium, kisses the cross.
Did not see that he, that has to do with the East. Fight with the East-or even to liberate East — and live in the East — Different things. Byzantium, for all its GREEK, It belonged to the world with completely different ideas about the value of human existence, than those, that were in vogue in the West, at — whatever it may be pagan — Rome. If only purely militarily Persia, eg, It was more real to Byzantium, than Hellas. And the difference in the degree of this reality should be reflected in the outlook of the future of the Christian subjects of the sovereign. When in Athens, Socrates was tried in open court, I had the opportunity to make a speech — for three! — in his own defense, or in Isfagane, let us say, in Baghdad this Socrates would just impaled — or be flayed alive skin him, — and be done with it, and you would not have any of Plato's dialogues, Neo is not, nor anything else — as they really were not in the East; It would just be a monologue of the Koran… Byzantium was a bridge to Asia, but the traffic on the bridge going backwards. of course, Byzantium accepted Christianity, Christianity but it was destined to ovostochitsya. This is also to a large degree followed by the secret hostility to the Church of the East from the Roman Church. Yes, no doubt, Christianity nominally existed in the Byzantine Empire for a thousand years — but that it was for Christianity and what were the Christians — another thing.
Have not seen — more precisely, not foresee — Constantine and order, impression that, made on him geographical location of Byzantium, — natural impression. What seems like Byzantium can produce on the eastern rulers, as soon as they look at a map. That had its place. Not once, not twice, with a rather sad consequences for Christianity. By VI -VII centuries. Byzantine friction between East and West were, generally, normal, type I-with-your-skin-launched, military in nature and were resolved by force of arms — mostly in favor of the West. what, if they did not increase the popularity of the Cross in the East, at least it inspired respect thereto. But in VII. over the whole of the East goes back and is becoming a crescent, ie. Islam. From that moment the hostilities between the West and the East, regardless of the outcome of, begin to turn around gradually, the continuous erosion of the cross, relativism of the Byzantine attitude as a result of too close and too frequent contacts between the two sacred signs. (Who knows, does not explain whether the final defeat of iconoclasm consciousness as a symbol of the cross failure and the need for visual art competition with antifigurativnym Islam? Do not nonsense Arabic script whipped John Damascene?)
Constantine did not foresee, anti-individualism that Islam finds the soil is so fertile in Byzantium, that the IX century Christianity will be ready to flee to the North. is he, of course, would say, that is not an escape, but the spread of Christianity, which he, in theory, dreamed. And many in this nod in assent, what "yes, Spread. However, Christianity, adopted by Rus, It has had nothing to do with Rome. Christianity came to Russia threw behind not only the toga and statues, but also to develop under Justinian Code of Civil Law. Apparently, to facilitate their journey.
Having made the decision to leave Istanbul, I set out to find shipping company, Istanbul serving line — Athens or Istanbul — Venetia. I walked a few offices, but, as always in the East, the closer you are to the goal, the vague ways to achieve it. In the end I found out, that before the beginning of June either from Istanbul, nor from Smyrna to sail me to the West will not be able, any passenger ship,, any freighter or tanker. In one of the agencies massive Turk, smoking a cigarette terrible that your ocean liner, advised to contact the company's office, wearing Australian, I initially imagined, title “Boomerang”. “Boomerang” It turned out to be a smoky dingy office with two desks, one phone, card — naturally — the world on the wall and six brooding brunettes, numb from idleness. Only, I was able to learn from one of them, sitting close to the door, what's this “Boomerang” serving Soviet cruises on the Black and Mediterranean, but this week they have nothing. Interesting, where I came from was the first lieutenant on Lubyanka, coined the name? from Tula? from Chelyabinsk?
the soil is favorable for Islam, I had in mind, He explained in Byzantium probably its ethnic composition, ie. mixing of races and nationalities, nor apart, let alone together has no memory of any distinct tradition of individualism. I do not want to generalize, but the East is above all a tradition of subordination, hierarchy, gains, trade, facilities — ie. tradition, largely alien to the principles of moral absolutes, whose role — I mean the intensity of feeling -vypolnyaet idea kind here, families. I foresee objections, and even willing to accept them in detail and as a whole. But no matter what extreme we are thus neither fell with the idealization of the East, we will not be able to ascribe at least some semblance of democratic tradition.
And while it is a question of Byzantium before the Turkish domination: Byzantium Constantine, Justiniana, Theodora — of Christian Byzantium. But here, eg, Michael Psellus, Byzantine historian, talking to his “Chronography” the reign of Basil II, mentions, his Prime Minister was his half-brother, also Basil, which in childhood, to avoid possible claims to the throne, just kastrirovali. “natural precaution, — speaks about this historian, — for, as eunuchs, He would not try to take away the throne from the rightful heir. He fully reconciled to his fate, — adds Psellos, — and he was sincerely attached to the reigning house. Finally, it was, after all his family”. speech, note myself, It comes to the reign of Basil II, ie. about 986 — 1025 gg. n. e. Psellus tells about this campaign, as a routine matter — what it was — the Byzantine court. BC? What, then, BC. e.?

( No ratings yet )
Share with your friends:
Joseph Brodsky
Leave a Reply