Showing posts from September 27, 2015

Free Course from Notre Dame University: Introduction to the Quran, the Scripture of the Islam

About this course
According to Islamic tradition, the Quran is not simply an inspired scripture. It is a divine book brought down from heaven by the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad, and its message is the key to heaven. Join us for an exploration of the scripture that is the word of God to over a billion people.This course will introduce you to various aspects of the Quran, including its basic message, the historical context in which it originated, the diverse ways in which Muslims have interpreted it, and its surprisingly intimate relationship with the Bible. By the end of the course, you will gain an appreciation for the perspectives of Muslim believers and academic scholars alike on the origins and the meaning of the Islamic scripture. No background in Islam or Arabic is necessary for this course. Click here for more

Humans of Byzantium: Michael Psellos (11th c)

"I had many students and came to court when I was still young. I got involved in Byzantine politics and became the emperor's most trusted man. He also trusted me. Had to show everyone that I had knowledge and abilities to rule. People said that I was the best philosopher and the most talented historian. Maybe they were right (or maybe not)." (Michael Psellos, consul of philosophers, 11th c)

Byzantine mosaic with Egyptian depiction of daily life

From Archaeology Magazine, a new archaeological finding:
The mosaic floor of a Byzantine-era church that had been removed for conservation purposes has been returned to Qiryat Gat Industrial Park, where it will be on display. The 1,500-year-old mosaic realistically depicts a Nile River landscape and the streets and buildings of a settlement in Egypt where, according to Christian tradition, the prophet Habakkuk had been buried. “The appearance of buildings on mosaic floors is a rare phenomenon in Israel. The buildings are arranged along a main colonnaded street of a city, in a sort of ancient map,” archaeologists Sa’ar Ganor and Rina Avner of the Israel Antiquities Authority said. Read more

An incredibly detailed map of the Roman Empire 3rd c AD

A very detailed map of the Roman Empire.
Click here to access it in detail

Byzantine Theology: Divine Presence in the Eucharistic Theology of Nicholas Cabasilas

Divine Presence in the Eucharistic Theology of Nicholas Cabasilas, a doctoral dissertation, available online:
This study focuses on the Eucharistic theology of the Byzantine theologian Nicholas Cabasilas (d. c. 1390). It examines the presence of the divine and its transmission in the Divine Liturgy. The results of the study indicate that, according to Cabasilas, man is able to partake in God in the liturgy, and thus to subjectively receive and participate in his presence to the world. In Cabasilas’ thought the presence of God is manifested in the liturgy on two major levels. There is, firstly, the level of divine presence which permeates the entire liturgy. It is based on the omnipresence of God, which is pre-eminently manifested in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Great events of the divine economy are to be contemplated and participated in throughout the Eucharistic liturgy in the outward forms and symbols of the rite. Secondly, the presence of God is given a concrete manifestation…

The Heritage of the Desert Fathers: An Exciting Project Mapping Monasteries of Egypt and Sudan


Humans of Byzantium: Emperor Basil II (958-1025)

I didn't like Constantinople. Campaigns were my thing. Bulgarians, Khazars, and Arabs, I defeated them all. The treasury was full of gold and we ruled over half of the world