The extent and depth of Professor David Jacoby’s exposition of the interrelationships between the Byzantines and the Italian maritime polities, the Franks and other Latins is justly celebrated. It may not be wholly malapropos to offer a few miscellaneous observations on another chain of communications and exchanges of persons and goods wherein Constantinople played a pivotal part, the one running not from east to west but north-south, down from the lands of Rus to the Levant and Egypt. The apparent alertness of a fourteenth-century ‘First Minister’ to the destinations and personnel of commercial traffic passing by Constantinople exemplifies the third facet of north-south nexus. Occasional hints of networks of personal communication between north and south, and even of visits paid by individuals from Rus to Egypt and its neighbourhood. The vitality of personal ties between Fatimid Egypt and the imperial court before and during the reign of Alexios is quite well-known.