Monday, September 18, 2006

Manuel II Palaiologos

I was reflecting morosely over the weekend that the unseemly fracas about the Pope's address at the University of Regensberg was probably created, never mind exacerbated, by the default agit-prop setting of the goonish mainstream media.

The putative hive mind of the internet hasn't put much meat on the bones either. I checked out the Wikipedia page for Manuel II Palaiologos - the Christian Emperor whose quoted words sparked the "crisis". Admittedly it has been updated 53 times over the last few days, but as you can see from this comparison not a lot of valuable information has been forthcoming.

The discussion page is a little more useful. For me, it is evocative of both place and historical context to learn that:

Manuel was begging Henry IV of England for a new crusade to save Constanople from the besieging Turks, when a message arrived with the news that Tamerlane's (Timor's) Mongol army had badly defeated the Turks, thus saving Constantinople.

Henry IV held his Privy Council at Merton Priory in 1407, probably in the very Chapter House (a stone's throw from where I'm sitting) that Paul is bringing to the infosphere.

Small world.

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