Thursday, 10 September 2020

the lesser apocalypse

Referred to as the above with the conviction it was punishment from God alternatively for the Ottomans’ perceived inhospitality toward the Eastern Christians or for the Turks tolerating them, a powerful earthquake, with its epicentre in the Sea of Marmara, and resulting tsunami devastated Constantinople on this day in 1509. Damage and death estimates vary widely but probably took ten thousand lives and destroyed homes and infrastructure, and reportedly Hagia Sophia (previously) withstood the quake virtually unscathed, only the plaster that had been used to cover the Byzantine mosaics was shaken off the walls, revealing the Christian imagery beneath. The month and a half of aftershocks that followed did not cause significant damage but delayed recovery efforts and rebuilding.