During the ruinous Byzantine civil war of 1341-1347, John Kantakouzenos was opposed by a hostile triumvirate composed of the Empress Anna, the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Grand Duke Alexios Apokaukos. However, in his autobiographical History, Kantakouzenos presents each of these three figures very differently, both in tone and attribution of responsibility. This paper explores these differences and suggests that explanations for them can be found in the political and religious context of the 1360s, when the History was composed.
The struggle between Hungarians and Ottoman Turks for dominance in the Balkans in the first half of the 15th century reached its peak in 1440s, with the organisation of a crusade, under Hungarian leadership, against the Turks. In the course of the crusade, the Christian army suffered a crashing defeat by the Ottomans in Varna, in 1444. There are many sources for that battle: official documents, historical works, poems. This paper will attempt to evaluate the pieces of information that a rather neglected contemporary poem, written by an eyewitness in Greek, brings to our knowledge about that battle.
Venetian Gothic architecture was an outcome of amalgamating the new Gothic forms with Veneto-Byzantine and oriental motifs (14th century), due to connections on trade between the East and the North. It was developed by the citizens’ passion for embellished surfaces and arches. The mutual exchanges with the Byzantine and Islamic world enriched both its inhabitants and its culture, inventing an extraordinary unique artistic productivity. The shape of Venetian arches (the stilted, ogee arch) and the enthusiasm of colour can be indebted to the Islamic influence – the Umayyad Cordoba. My paper discusses of architectural ornamentation at the Doge’s Palace in Venice.