These words belonged to Emperor Constantine the Great who had a Roman palace in the center of Sofia, called Serdica back then, and ruled his domains from there.
From Press TV
That’s why, in an intense competition with other metropolises, the capital of Bulgaria gained the honor of hosting a World Congress on Byzantine heritage.
Minister Ignatov, a professor of ancient history himself, greeted over a thousand delegates from 46 countries who – under the patronage of Bulgarian President Parvanov, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – gathered for a week to attend numerous exhibitions, seminars, lectures, book fairs, sight-seeings. And all of these with one purpose only: to shed new light on the enormous heritage of one of the most prominent civilizations in the history of mankind.
Byzantine existed for over a millennium, from 395 to 1453, and managed to establish a steady socio-political formation which covered regions of different cultural, ethnic and religious background such as South East Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa.
These regions are currently in unrest and often enough under foreign pressure. And delegates to this Congress want to remind the international community that those are desandents of ancient and mighty civilizations with bigger historical legitimacy and global importance than current Western states which strive at being hegemonic powers – sometimes by all means and at all costs.
And that’s exactly where Western political megalomania and military adventurism is often leading to, experts say – without taking into consideration the fact that the events which took place in Byzantine, and the processing happening in the Middle East and North Africa now are unique, and no foreign interference could produce good results.
As the only solid state in Europe during the Middle Ages, Byzantine isolated the West from newly emerging powers of the East. And for centuries now, Western historians have used the term Byzantinism as a substitute for decadence and duplicity, as a body of religious, political, and philosophical ideas which ran contrary to those of the West. Delegates to this World Congress are here to remind the West that these ideas are not diminished.