Museum of Richmond

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Byzantium: The Two Eyes of Europe
How the Latin west and Greek east drifted apart
A Talk by Lord True

Thursday 10 May 2018
Doors open at 7pm, talk starts at for 7:30pm

Riverside Room, Old Town Hall, Richmond
Please note seating is not reserved

£10 per person, £8 for Friends of the Museum. (This includes a glass of wine.)

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This fascinating lecture will focus on Italy as the bridge and dividing line, between the two Europes that emerged from the collapse of Roman power in the West in the Fifth Century AD. It will illustrate the influences of the surviving Roman Empire centred at Constantinople (Istanbul) still visible in Italy, but examine the progressive alienation between the two Europes, in language, religion, politics, art and trade, and the creation of a rival concept of ‘Europe’ under Charlemagne; the schism between the Catholic and Orthodox churches; military attacks from the West against Eastern Christians; and the annexation of the Byzantine Eastern Mediterranean trade and territory by the Italian mercantile powers.

The talk will ask, more widely, if a perception of the inferiority of eastern Christian culture still distorts modern attitudes to the countries of the Orthodox world. Can a relationship of mutual respect be established between East and West?

About the speaker:
Lord True has been an active member of the House of Lords since 2011. He was, until July 2017, the Leader of Richmond Borough Council in South West London. He has held many political posts, including four years in Downing Street, as Deputy Head of the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit. Nicholas True took a Double First in Classics and History at Cambridge, where he studied Byzantine history and is widely travelled in the former Byzantine world, of which he has been a lifelong student. He has been a part-time resident in Italy since 1980.