The Fall of the Byzantine Empire
An epic novel that brings to life one of the most significant historical events of the past millennium: The Fall of the Byzantine Empire. The novel is based on the historical context of the clash between Christianity and Islam, that led to the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the destruction of the Byzantine Empire. While historical fact is the starting point, the aim is to focus on the human aspect of these events: The sadness, desolation, and hopeless heroism of the Byzantines, the ruthless cunningness and determination of the Turks. With power thought, face to face with historical fact, the author Maria Lampadaridou Pothou conveys, minute by minute, the ultimate agony of the last days of the Imperial City, the struggle of that tragic besieget people, who became a universal symbol. But beyond that, Maria Lampadaridou Pothou, with her hero as a mythic axis, describes the decline of Byzantium, as well as the painful experience of the Greek people after the Fall – an experience that gave rise to the flowering of the Greek spirit in Western centers of the Renaissance.
I tried to give to my character Porfyrios, supernatural and mythical powers. That is because people who become legends ascend in a higher dimension. I had to bring harmony between my mythical characters, the ones i created, and the historical ones so they can coexist.
I believe that my very humane Myth has contributed to the readers’ affection for this large epic volume. Alongside the tragic historical events, my character’s human drama unfolds, as well as his existential angst, like a transmutation of the whole painful experience of Greece’s annihilation.
As I read its pages now, the next words come to mind, the next meaning and how I was searching for it, to articulate it, I remember the anxiety of every moment. It was written with such force, as if the whole book was engraved in my mind, imprinted as an oath. Writing this novel, I learned that our lives are a verification of the inexplicable. To us, to our human perception, only this “verification” is obvious, but not the inexplicable itself. This remains in an unmovable silence. Like those prophecies have spoken a thousand years ago about how the City would fall, as the last full moon would be lost.
And that is something I still couldn’t accept. I am still tormented, like unanswered questions, by those emblems, the signs that have appeared in those last days heralding death. Many times, the scream comes to my sleep and wakes me up. The scream of Porphyrios. It was for me a reference to the adventure of all Hellenism’s woe. The time my bloodied Porphyrius gave his son, Constantine, to strangers who were fleeing, to save him. How does this cry spring from inside me? From which inaccessible depths of another life that lay dormant in our souls? And I say. This is how vulnerable we are as humans. So incomplete. So little we are allowed to know.
It is written for the website, 2019