When in November 1437 a delegation of some 700 Byzantine dignitaries headed by the emperor and the patriarch left Constantinople for the Concilium of Ferrara-Florence, everyone knew that the theological disputes that had led to the Schism would not be easily resolved. There was no way that the Orthodox world would be convinced about the noble intensions of the Catholics since 1204 was still fresh in memory and the Franks were known to be oppressive wherever they settled. Nor was it certain that the Ottomans would be thwarted from the Golden Horn upon encountering an army and a fleet funded by the West. This is how the famous swing between the East and an idealized West started. At the Concilium, under eager Catholic eyes, the merciless sufferings, conflicts and skills of the Byzantines were exposed: characteristics that have remained unchanged. In those tragic times the last act took place about a world that kept its hope in the grip of a clamp that was becoming tighter. The Queen of Cities was doomed to fall. But the most precious outcome has survived: a world, this world forged by the Byzantine Middle Ages; a human being, this man, who centuries now knows how to follow his solitary way.
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