Saturday, September 16, 2006



OK, I made that one up. American slang was less a rage in the fifteenth century than today. What Manuel really said was:

Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos

"Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

What a frikkin mess. I spend 11 days and a gazillion of British Pounds in Scotland, and what do I find when I return? Btw, not to mention what I found in Inveraray Castle: two walking tents and a frikkin islamist eejit with jihadi beard and skullcap - but I digress. Yeah, what do I find here huh? The Pope who finally calls a spade a spade and then squirms like Dracula on the Costa Brava at noon and in skimpy swimwear. And why? Because it seems that by quoting a Byzantine Emperor lying six feet under since 600 years, the adherents of a certain religion once again feel "offended". There must be definitely sumpin dead wrong with the Islamic Offense Scale. Photos of crazy Indonesian muslims burning effigies of Benedict are one thing. It's quite another when the Deputy Leader of the ruling Turkish AKP Party, a fella by the name of Salih Kapusuz, says that Benedict will go down in history "in the same category as leaders such as [Benito] Mussolini and [Adolf] Hitler."

Who was this emperor? Manuel II Palaiologus was a Renaissance Man in a dying Reich, at the same time an intellectual, soldier and statesman. But his many talents bought the crumbling empire he was overseeing only a few decades time before it finally succumbed in an orgy of destruction, rape and murder wrought by the followers of Muhammad. Historically, the Byzantium Palaiologos ruled was in fact the surviving eastern half of the Roman Empire of which the western half was overrun in 410 by the Visigoth strongman Alaric. While what people popularly assume to be the sole Roman Empire lay in ruins, that eastern half would actually survive for more than a thousand years yet, and know many strong, illustrious and inspired rulers. One of the most renowned of them all was the famous Justinian I, who ruled from 527 till 565. The world benefited greatly and, to this day, from Justinians reign, for his Chief Legal Counsellor Tribonianus first drafted the new Imperial Civil Law known as the Corpus Juris Civilis (529) and then the Codex Justinian (534), which would much later even serve as the model for French civil law as described in the Code Napoléon. Under Justinian, Byzantine architecture blossomed, the results of which can still be seen in Constantinople, now Istanbul, whereby the Hagia Sophia Church, now a museum, is but one example. Then there was Justinian's brilliant general Belisarius, whose troops Justinian basically used as a firebrigade all along the empire's frontiers and who by the end of Justinians reign had made the Mediterranean Sea a Byzantine Lake (the pink areas are the later acquisitions):

Byzantium at the end of Justinians reign

The following map shows you what the Byzantine Empire looked like just prior to its demise in 1453:

Byzantium at the end

Yeah, that scale you see at the bottom covers 1 1/2 mile. The once mighty Byzantine Empire had been reduced to a city-state, something like a medieval Singapore if you like. The difference between both maps is 700 years or something of constant attacks, overwhelmingly at the hands of muslim invaders. But don't say that too loud, cause you might offend the followers of the prophet (no pbuh, thanks). The actual date of the fall of Constantinople is May 29, 1453 and those who brought it about were the 150,000 soldiers of the Ottoman ruler Mehmed II. Mehmed is Ottoman, or Turkish if you want, for Muhammad. But that must be a koinsidens of course. Anyway, it was no day you would have liked to be around, if you were not a muslim, that is: Killing, raping, looting, burning, enslaving, went on and on according to tradition. The troops had to satisfy themselves. The great doors of Saint Sophia were forced open, and crowds of angry soldiers came in and fell upon the unfortunate worshippers. Pillaging and killing in the holy place went on for hours.

The 29th of May is a day which is still celebrated in modern Turkey. Those defenders who fell in battle were actually the lucky ones. Among them was the last Byzantine Emperor or, indeed, the last Roman Emperor, Constantine XI Palaiologus, who died sword in hand.

He was the son of Manuel II Palaiologos, of offensive quote fame. In other words, dad knew what he was talking about.