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Παρασκευή, 16 Σεπτεμβρίου 2016

Varangian guardsman on the watch duty before Chalke(Bronze)gate of the Great palace of Constantinople.





Varangian guardsman on the watch duty before Chalke(Bronze)gate of the Great palace of Constantinople.Chalke was the main ceremonial entrance to Imperial city in the city(so called "Great palace" or also Sacred palace was in reality a conglomerate of many buildings and palaces connected more or less by many arcades,corridors and gardens).Inside of the gate lavish mosaic cycle was representing Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora along with the senate and clergy recieving miniatures of captured cities from the hands of general Belisarius who also presented Justinian with defeated and captured Kings of the Vandals(Gelimer) and Ostrogoths(Vitiges) as well as the victorious battles in Africa and Italy.Emperor Romanos I later instaled a small chapel at the top of Chalke(maximally 15 people could be inside at the same time) while Emperor Ioannes tzimiskes enlarged it(so it could allow 50 people inside) and was later himself buried in it.


Above the bronze entrance doors which gave the name to this gate a large mosaic of Christ was placed-this so called "Christ Chalkites" was considered one of the most famous religios symbols of the Constantinople and already saw a turbulent history on its own as original mosaic demolishion on the order of Emperor Leon III in the 8th century practically started a century of internal religios discord in the Roman Empire sometimes taking almost a character of the civil war until copy of the original mosaic was finally reinstaled above the doors again.Part of the large Varangian guard had one of their barracks directly behind Chalke gate together with older palace regiments of late antiquity times

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