Pope, Patriarch and the Forgotten Empire

Ken L., formerly of the great blog History Republic, has written a magnificent article arguing why Byzantine history matters. This is a must-read for anyone who loves Byzantium, or history in general. I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Ken L.

Pope Francis made the headlines recently after meeting in Cuba with Patriarch Kirill, the

Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill hug each other after signing agreements in Havana

head of the Russian Orthodox church. It was the first such meeting in nearly a millennium, and even the Argentine pope could not contain his excitement as he exclaimed “Finally!” upon meeting his Russian counterpart. It was a historic meeting, and rumours that the only reason the patriarch was allowed to meet the pope was due to an order from Putin did not blunt the enthusiasm.

When people think of Christianity, people often only think of the Catholic and Protestant churches. Much is known about those two; the Catholics are led by the pope, while the Protestants broke away during the Reformation with Martin Luther. But what about the Eastern Orthodox church, where millions of Russians, Greeks and other eastern Europeans belong?

Of course, the fact that in recent history Orthodox Christian countries have been, to…

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