In 1197 a cataclysmic
fire swept through Constantinople. Emerging from
warehouses along the Golden Horn, it engulfed
multistorey mansions, monasteries, the Italian Quarter,
and the church of the Theotokos Kyriotissa. The
clergyman Konstantinos Stilbes recalled the devastation
in a poetic lament for the suffering of the citizens of
New Rome, pitiably transformed into a "New Babylon"
scourged by God. This book presents the poem in English
translation alongside the original Greek, and
accompanied by a detailed commentary. Stilbes' poem
sheds light on Constantinople's medieval topography and
is a testament to the sophistication of Greek poetry on
the eve of the Fourth Crusade.
La Pomme d'or