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The Orthodox Nationalist: The Byzantine Imperial Palace – TON 102322

Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson talks about the symbolism of Byzantine Imperial Court.

Medieval politics was tightly bound with ontology, or the hierarchical structure of existence. The terms “existence” and “hierarchy” implied each other. Modern societies do not have symbols because there is nothing to symbolize; they only have pageantry.

Constantinople, as the preeminent Orthodox power, was the highest form of civilization of which mankind was capable. It synthesized both Old Rome and the Incarnation of Christ, or the instantiation of Logos in human form.

The Imperial Court was meant to mirror this hierarchy and thus bring human nature to its highest expression. The church and royal court, in their own ways, manifest the heavens, or the hierarchy found in the order of the cosmos. Politically, Byzantium saw itself as the manifestation of justice, and this was expressed in symbol and ritual, or symbol in action. This lecture is a thumbnail sketch of these symbols and their connection to the political ideology of Byzantine society.

Presented by Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson

The Orthodox Nationalist: The Byzantine Imperial Palace – TON 102322


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