Τρίτη, 26 Ιουλίου 2016

King in the Mountain : The greek legends of the marble emperor of Byzantine Empire

A king in the mountain, king under the mountain, or sleeping hero is a prominent motif in folklore and mythology that is found in many folktales and legends. The Aarne-Thompson classification system for folktale motifs classifies these stories as number 766, relating them to the tale of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus. King in the mountain stories involve legendary heroes, often accompanied by armed retainers, sleeping in remote dwellings, including caves on high mountaintops, remote islands, or supernatural worlds. The hero is frequently a historical figure of some military consequence in the history of the nation where themountain is located. The stories gathered by the Brothers Grimm concerning Frederick Barbarossa and Charlemagne are typical of the stories told, and have been influential on many told variants and subsequent adaptations. The presence of the hero is unsuspected, until some herdsman wanders into the cave, typically looking for a lost animal, and sees the hero. The stories almost always mention the detail that the hero has grown a long beard, indicative of the long time he has slept beneath the mountain. In the Brothers Grimm version, the hero speaks with the herdsman. Their conversation typically involves the hero asking, "Do the eagles (or ravens) still circle the mountaintop?" The herdsman, or a mysterious voice, replies, "Yes, they still circle the mountaintop." "Then begone! My time has not yet come." The herdsman is usually supernaturally harmed by the experience: he ages rapidly, he emerges with his hair turned white, and often he dies after repeating the tale. The story goes on to say that the king sleeps in the mountain, awaiting a summons to arise with his knights and defend the nation in a time of deadly peril. The omen that presages his rising will be the extinction of thebirds that trigger his awakening. A number of kings, rulers, fictional characters and religious figures have become attached to this story. They include some of the following: Constantine XI Palaiologos, the last emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, said to have been turned into marble and thus was known as "Marmaromenos", "the Marble King". He was said to be hidden somewhere underground until his glorious return as the Immortal Emperor. Constantine XI Dragases Palaiologos, (1405 –1453) was the last reigning Byzantine Emperor, reigning as a member of the Palaiologos dynasty from 1449 to his death in battle at the fall of Constantinople. Following his death, he became a legendary figure in Greek folklore as the "Marble Emperor" who would awaken and recover the Empire and Constantinople from the Ottomans. His death marked the end of the Roman Empire, which had continued in the East for 977 years after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. A legend tells that when the Ottomans entered the city, an angel rescued the emperor, turned him into marble and placed him in a cave under the earth near the Golden Gate, where he waits to be brought to life again to conquer the city back for Christians. While serving as ambassador to Russia in February 1834, Ahmed Pasha presented Tsar Nicholas with a number of gifts, including a jewel-encrusted sword supposedly taken from Constantine XI's corpse. Constantine XI's legacy was used as a rallying cry for Greeks during their war for Independence with the Ottoman Empire. Today the Emperor is considered a national hero in Greece. During the Balkan Wars and the Greco-Turkish War, under the influence of the Megali Idea, the name of the then-Greek king, Constantine, was used in Greece as a popular confirmation of the prophetic myth about the Marble King who would liberate Constantinople and recreate the lost Empire. Constantine Palaiologos' legacy is still a popular theme in Greek culture. The well known contemporary composers Apostolos Kaldaras and Stamatis Spanoudakis have written elegies for the Marble King. Some Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholics consider Constantine XI a saint (or a national martyror ethnomartyr). However, he has not been officially canonized by either Church, partly due to controversy surrounding his personal religious beliefs and partly because death in battle is not normally considered a form of martyrdom by the Orthodox Church. An Orthodox martyr is one who voluntarily accepts death for his faith, typically in a situation where he has the option to give up Christianity and live, but chooses death instead. Emperor John III Doukas Vatatzes (also known as "Kaloyannis III'") of the Eastern Roman Empire, due to his kindness and ability, also known as "Marmaromenos" although this title might also be due to the post-mortem discovery of his intact body, the peculiar appearance of which was caused by a lifetime of medical treatment for epilepsy. (Greece, Cyprus). John III Doukas Vatatzes (1193, Didymoteicho – 1254, Nymphaion), was Emperor of Nicaea from 1222 to 1254. He was succeeded by his son, known as Theodore II Laskaris. John III Doukas Vatatzes was a successful ruler who laid the groundwork for Nicaea's recovery of Constantinople. He was successful in maintaining generally peaceful relations with his most powerful neighbors, Bulgaria and the Sultanate of Rum, and his network of diplomatic relations extended to the Holy Roman Empire and the Papacy, while his armed forces included Frankish mercenaries. John III effected Nicaean expansion into Europe, where by the end of his reign he had annexed his former rival Thessalonica and had expanded at the expense of Bulgaria and Epirus. He also expanded Nicaean control over much of the Aegean and annexed the important island of Rhodes, while he supported initiatives to free Crete from Venetian occupation aiming toward its re-unification with the Byzantine empire of Nicaea. Moreover, John III is credited with carefully developing the internal prosperity and economy of his realm, encouraging justice and charity. In spite of his epilepsy, John III had provided active leadership in both peace and war. A half-century after his death, John III was canonized as a saint, under the name John the Merciful, and is commemorated annually on November 4 in the Orthodox calendar. Alice Gardiner remarked on the persistence of Theodore's cult among the Ionian Greeks as late as the early 20th century, and on the contrast she witnessed where "the clergy and people of Magnesia and the neighbourhood revere his memory every fourth of November. But those who ramble and play about his ruined palace seldom connect it even with his name."
Πηγή: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_in_the_mountain
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_XI_Palaiologos
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_III_Doukas_Vatatzes

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