chapter  6
Michael Angold The political arts at the late Palaiologan court (1402–1453)
Pages 20

Paul Magdalino was clearly influenced by the motifs of apocalyptic prophecies. He records the interpretation of a statue group in the Hippodrome as representing the consumption of the seven ages of the world by cataclysm probably an allusion to the belief that Constantinople would be swallowed up by the sea. He explains the toponym of Bryas, on the Asian side of the Bosphoros, by saying that this is where the last emperor will hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the doomed city when he is departing for Jerusalem as prophesied in the apocalyptic texts deriving from Pseudo-Methodios. The authors of patriographic and apocalyptic literature, who were almost without exception anonymous or pseudonymous, faced no constraints. They were out to construct an imaginaire of a mythical urban past and a climactic future of cosmic convulsion, in which their liberty to invent narratives from their stock of characters and motifs was limited only by their agenda in writing.