**the Story Of Byzantine Empire: Part-I - Poem by RAJ NANDY
THE STORY OF BYZANTINE
PART – I
ORIGIN OF BYZANTIUM
The story Byzantium has its origins steeped in
both legend and history,
And the Greek myths have added to its mystery!
Recalling one such myths of many years ago,
When Zeus had fallen in love with King of Argos’
lovely daughter Io;
They had a love child by the name of Keroessa!
She was a girl from whom pure beauty shone!
And the God of seas and ocean - the great Poseidon,
Fell in love with her at first sight, and in course of
Byaz their famous son was born!
It was this Byaz the Megarian, who became the
founder of Byzantium!
And Byzantium got christened after the name of
Keroessa’s and Poseidon’s son, -
With the name of ‘Byzanton’!
Though origins of Byzantium has been historically
To Greek Herodotus* and Roman historian Pliny;
And they both relate that the Oracle at Delphi,
Told the Megarian prince Byaz to establish a colony,
Which was to be ‘opposite the blind’, -
Where the Gods to him would be most kind!
Though at that point in time Byaz did not know, -
What the Oracle had meant or what lay in his store!
So with a selected band of Megarian Greeks in
667 BC, -
With a small fleet of galleys Byaz set sail!
Sailing north-east up the waters of the Aegean Sea,
Toiling against the currents through the narrow strait
of Hellespont+, -
Which separates the Asian and European sides of
Those adventures galleys rowed through the broad
And finally anchored in the smooth waters of the
On the western side of present day Turkey!
There a crescent shaped creek strikes inland for
more than seven miles,
Today know as the Golden Horn, located on the
On this head-land south of the Golden Horn,
A few hundred Greek colonists disembarked,
And to secure themselves from the inland wild
tribes and the dark,
They built a rough stockade across the ground
from beach to beach;
Thereby making the initial foundation of ‘Byzanton’
Thus Byaz had established a Greek colony on a
Lying between the Sea of Marmora in the south,
The Bosphorus in the east, and the Golden Horn
up north, -
Just opposite the old Greek colony of Chalcedon!
This Chalcedon on the Asian side had acquired the
name of ‘The Land of The Blind’!
Because its earlier Greek settlers during 685 BC,
must have been blind, -
To have missed out the natural harbor of the hinterland,
Which had stared in their face on the western side!
It was mainly for these reasons in 330 AD, the famous
Constantine the Great,
Had made this historic ‘Byzanton’ his Roman Capital!
Which later got renamed as Constantinople!
Thus Byaz had been blessed by Apollo’s Oracle at
When he had laid the initial foundation of Byzantium, -
With its more than thousand years of future history!
The ‘Nova Roma’ lasted from 330 AD till 1453, -
When it was ransacked by the Ottoman Turks;
Who christened it as Istanbul, now standing at the
#cross-roads of History!
10 May 09
(*Herodotus=the father of History. +Hellespont= now
called Dardanelles Strait.#Cross-roads=Istanbul covers
both the western & eastern sides of Europe &Asian
continents! ‘Nova Roma’= New Rome of Constantine!
Megara=ancient city in Attica, Greece, under Dorian rule.
I propose to write this History in installments for easy
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