A Cultural Oasis
Byzantine Walls introduced an oasis of learning and culture in the middle of centuries-long barbarity in the East and the West. As Runciman describes this, “Constantinople was a great cosmopolitan city where along with merchandise ideas were freely exchanged and whose citizens saw themselves not as a racial unit but as the heirs of Greece and Rome, hallowed by the Christian faith.”
We live today in conditions not very different. On the one hand, our life is described by a western civilization that fails to fulfil human expectations, despite all the scientific and technological achievements, surrendered as it is to the magic of power, to an animal-like survival. On the other hand, nations with inhuman religions either betray even that and succumb to the western cult of selfish prosperity, or remain blindly attached to their customs.
Constantinople as the Byzantine City may not exist today, but Byzantium as a culture continues to be an oasis, combining will to power with love for truth, questioning, living faith and solidarity, uniting all the aspects of life and raising man to whatever is most worthy.