Bits & Pieces... by David Sundman

Constantine the Great’s Palace

[photo: Floor mosaic of a child and a donkey (Great Palace Mosaic Museum)  and coin of Constantine the Great]

Floor mosaic of a child and a donkey
(Great Palace Mosaic Museum)
and coin of Constantine the Great

An article in The New York Times reported that archeologists in Istanbul, Turkey believe they have uncovered the ruins of the Great Palace, from which the Byzantine Roman emperors ruled much of the known world nearly a thousand years ago. The vivid green, yellow and red paint pigment still adheres to the walls. Constantine the Great built the core of the Great Palace after he made then Constantinople, the capital of the Roman Empire in A.D. 330. The palace was home to more than 50 emperors over the centuries. In 1453, Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks. The ruins are just across the street from Hagia Sophia, which was the largest and most important church in Christendom, but after 1453 became a mosque. Franklin’s regard in those earlier times, is compared by some to the adulation poureeverywhere, and have made your father’s face as well known as that of the moon.”

When I hold a coin of Constantine the Great in my hand, I can just imagine him in his palace. Someday I would like to travel to modern-day Turkey, and visit the many ancient archeological sites of the Greek and Roman and Byzantine civilizations, including this one! Until then, I can just hold up a coin and imagine...