Posts tagged Constantinople (11)
Nos 1 to 10
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Sir John Blackwood McEwen
Extracts from Literature
Taken for a Ride
Richard Hannay sees for himself how political activists trick decent people into supporting their quest for power.
By John Buchan
(1875-1940)

“TELL me, Dick, what do you think of her?”

“I thought she was about two parts mad, but the third part was uncommon like inspiration.”

“That’s about right,” he said. “She runs the prophet just because she shares his belief. Only what in him is sane and fine, in her is mad and horrible.”

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No. 1
2 two-part story
George Frideric Handel
Lives of the Saints
The Emperor and the Nun
The young Roman Emperor Theophilus backed away from marriage to the formidable Cassiani, but he could not forget her.

WHEN sixteen-year-old Theophilus succeeded his father Michael II as Roman Emperor in 829, the boy’s stepmother Euphrosyne organised a ‘bride show’: Theophilus must choose a wife from among the Empire’s most eligible young ladies, by handing a golden apple to one lucky winner.

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No. 2
2 two-part story
Modest Mussorgsky
Mediaeval History
The Conversion of Vladimir the Great
A succession of religious leaders came to Kiev, hoping to win the wild barbarian Prince to their cause.

PRINCE Vladimir of Kiev was a superb general, but not without his faults. He was given to drink, kept several wives and hundreds of sex slaves, and encouraged the people to sacrifice their sons and daughters to his idol gods. And all this despite having a Christian grandmother, Olga.

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No. 3
2 two-part story
Charles Villiers Stanford
Lives of the Saints
The Restoration of the Icons
By the early eighth century, sacred art was thriving in newly-Christian England, but in the East seeds of doubt and confusion had been sown.

WHEN St Augustine preached Christianity to King Ethelbert of Kent in 597, he carried a silver cross and a painted icon of Christ. A century later, icons were putting a human face to the spoken word up in Bede’s Northumbria, from church walls to the pages of the Lindisfarne Gospels.

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No. 4
2 two-part story
Georgy Vasilyevich Sviridov and Matthew Locke
Lives of the Saints
‘Filioque’
It started as an honest mistake, became a diplomatic standoff, and brought down an Empire.

IN 587, a provincial Synod in Toledo recited the Creed approved by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, and declared that the Holy Spirit proceeds ‘from the Father and the Son’. Apparently, the bishops quite genuinely thought this was the Creed as used in the East, for they repeated Chalcedon’s declaration that the Creed must never be altered.

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No. 5
Nikolaos Mantzaros
Greek History
The United States of the Ionian Islands
The British liberated the Ionian islands from Napoleon, then gave them fifty happy years and the game of cricket.

AFTER the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople and much of Greece in 1453, the Ionian Islands were lucky. Most were under Venetian control, and flourished as part of a trading bloc which brought prosperity and respected local culture.

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No. 6
Charles Villiers Stanford
Lives of the Saints
St Nicholas and the Empty Granary
The saintly Bishop helped the captain of a merchant ship to cut through the red tape, and save his town from starvation.

IN 333, Lycia suffered one of the worst famines anyone could remember. It was especially bad in Myra, where St Nicholas was bishop, and the granary at the port of Andriaca, built by the Emperor Hadrian, stood empty.

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No. 7
2 two-part story
Alexei Fyodorovich Lvov and Maxim Berezovsky
Lives of the Saints
St Ahmed
A Turkish official was itching to know the secret behind a Russian slave girl’s personal charm.

AHMED was a curator of the library in seventeenth-century Constantinople. He had two Russian slave women, one a beautiful young girl whom he kept at home, and the other an older lady he allowed to go to church.

When she returned, Ahmed noticed, the two women would be closeted together for a time, and afterwards a delightful fragrance would hang around the younger one.

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No. 8
2 two-part story
Francesco Geminiani
Mediaeval History
Our Lady’s Mantle
Shortly after Askold and Dir founded Kiev in 862, they launched a brazen but ill-fated assault on the capital of the Roman Empire.

IN 988, Vladimir the Great, Prince of Kiev, converted to Christianity after receiving exuberant reports of the beauty of worship in Constantinople. A century earlier, however, Kiev’s pagan founders, Askold and Dir, had thought quite differently, crossing the Black Sea to lay siege to the Imperial capital while its Emperor, Michael III, was away dealing with an Arab assault on the eastern border.

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No. 9
2 two-part story
William Herschel and George Frideric Handel
Mediaeval History
The Fall of Constantinople
Hospitality and sympathy, but no help - the Byzantine Emperor learns a bitter lesson about western diplomacy.

FROM 1399 to 1403, the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II toured Europe, drumming up support for the defence of Constantinople from the growing threat of the Turks. He even visited London, where Henry IV treated him to a Christmas joust.

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No. 10
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Polywords (182)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Path
Added on Monday December 11th, 2017
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
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Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
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Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
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Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
Latest: Target Number
Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
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A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Today in History
1773 Residents of Boston in Massachusetts protest against British taxes by throwing tea into the harbour
From our Archive
By Thomas Hood
(1799-1845)
A poem of nostalgia tinged with regret.
Smarting for his outraged ‘rights’, Cain lost his reason — but not God’s pity and love.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)
Richard Cobden questioned both the wisdom and the motives of politicians who intervene on foreign soil.
By Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)
A popular tale of scorched cakes and a scolded king.
Faraday’s work on electromagnetism made him an architect of modern living, and one of Albert Einstein’s three most revered physicists.

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Polyword ‘Free’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘rim’ (4 letters), and ‘the Roman name for Chester’ (4 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FRIES and finish with CHIPS.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.