July 22, 1849: New York City native and poet Emma Lazarus, best remembered for “The New Colossus,” her sonnet to the Statue of Liberty, is born.
T. Johnson, Emma Lazarus (1849-1887), 1888. Engraving. New-YOrk Historical Society # 58130
Akhnaten and Nefertiti with their children, c. 1345 BC
Akhnaten was the first pharaoh to worship one supreme god, Aten. He was represented as a sun disk sending down rays.
The Black Madonna and the White Madonna, from the Cathedral of Axum, in Ethiopia.
The Great Palace of Constantinople (Greek: Μέγα Παλάτιον) was the principal residence of Byzantine emperors from Constantine the Great to Alexios I and the symbolic nerve centre of the empire. Also known as The Sacred Palace, it was the Byzantine equivalent of the Palatine in Rome. The Great Palace of Constantinople was a large complex of buildings and gardens situated on a terraced, roughly trapezoidal site, measuring 600 × 500m, and overlooking the Sea of Marmara to the south-east.
Modern understanding of the Great Palace depends heavily on the literary sources and, to a lesser degree, on the meagre archaeological evidence. Of the few archaeologically explored components of the palace complex, the largest is an apsed hall preceded by a large peristyle court with splendid floor mosaics, which feature hunting and pastoral scenes combined with figures from mythology. In its scale and general character the Great Palace must have resembled a city, with numerous buildings, private harbours, avenues, open spaces, terraces, ramps and stairs, gardens, fountains and other amenities, built and rebuilt over nearly eight centuries.
The initial phase, under the auspices of Constantine the Great, produced the core of the palace complex, which, by all accounts, must have resembled several other imperial palaces built during the Tetrarchy. Constantine’s palace was an overtly urban complex, approached by the Regia.
The second major phase in the development of the Great Palace occurred in the 6th century, during the reigns of Justinian I and Justin II. Justinian’s building programme was spurred in large measure by the damage caused by the Nika riots in 532, and it involved the rebuilding of structures along the north flank of the palace complex, including the Magnaura and the Chalke. The Great Palace was expanded again by Justinian II (685–695; 705–711), who built the Lausiakos and the Justinianos, two halls in the vicinity of the Chrysotriklinos.
By far the best-known church to be added to the Great Palace was the five-domed Nea Ekklesia under the auspices of Basil I. In the following centuries the amount of construction within the Great Palace of Constantinople diminished. During the reign of Nikephoros II Phokas (963–969) another line of fortification walls was erected, apparently enclosing the shrunken core of the Great Palace. The final decline of the Great Palace began under Alexios I Komnenos (1081–1118), who moved the imperial residence to the new palace of Blachernai.
During the sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade, the Palace was plundered by the soldiers of Boniface of Montferrat. Although the subsequent Latin emperors continued to use the Palace complex, they lacked money for its maintenance. The last Latin emperor, Baldwin II, went as far as removing the lead roofs of the Palace and selling them. Consequently, when the city was retaken by the forces of Michael VIII Palaiologos in 1261, the Great Palace was in disrepair. When Mehmed II entered the city in 1453, he found the palace ruined and abandoned. Much of the palace was demolished in the general rebuilding of Constantinople in the early years of the Ottoman era. The area was initially turned into housing with a number of small mosques before Sultan Ahmet I demolished the remnants of the Daphne and Kathisma Palaces to build the Sultan Ahmed Mosque and its adjoining buildings. The site of the Great Palace began to be investigated in the late 19th century and an early 20th-century fire uncovered a section of the Great Palace.
The Mosaic Museum of Istanbul hosts a collection of archaeological discovers at the Great Palace of Constantinople. Excavations are continuing elsewhere, but so far, less than one quarter of the total area covered by the palace has been excavated; total excavation is not presently feasible as most of the palace currently lies underneath the Sultan Ahmed Mosque and other Ottoman-era buildings.
She’Koyokh - Esmera min
Central Asia, possibly Bukhara, 1596. This illustration of a story from Jami’s work Silsilat al-Dhahab or Chain of Gold, a title which refers to the spiritual lineage of the masters of the mystical Naqshbandi Sufi order to which the poet belonged, shows a Muslim youth and non-Muslim girl in the pose of an ideal loving couple. Many Persian poets came from cities where Muslims, Christians and Jews lived and worked alongside each other. (via)
Mary Magdalene Leaving the House Feasting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1857.
Mary Nazarene by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1857.