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master, still, as the right of access to those monuments which from the peculiar object of Christian veneration is practically undisturbed, they are spared the double indignity of religious profanation superadded to social wrong. But the mosque of St. Sophia is, in Christian eyes, a standing monument at once of Moslem sacrilege and of Christian defeat, the sense of which is perpetuated and embittered by the preservation of its ancient, but now desecrated name.

To an imaginative visitor of the modern mosque it might seem as if the structure itself were not unconscious of this wrong. The very position of the building is a kind of silent protest against the unholy use to which its Turkish masters have perverted it. Like all ancient Christian churches, it was built exactly in the line of east and west; and, as the great altar, which stood in the semicircular apse, was directly at the eastern point of the building, the worshipers in the old St. Sophia necessarily faced directly eaitwards ; and all the appliances of their worship were arranged with a view to that position. Now, in the exigencies of Mahometan ecclesiology, since the worshiper must turn to the Kibla at Mecca (that is, in Constantinople, to the southeast,) the mihrab, or sacred niche in the modern St. Sophia, is necessarily placed out of the centre of the apse; and thus the mimber (pulpit,) the prayer-carpets, and the long ranks of worshipers themselves, present an appearance singularly at variance with every notion of architectural harmony, being arranged in lines, not parallel, but oblique, to the length of the edifice, and out of keeping with all the details of the original construction. It is as though the dead walls of this venerable pile had retained more of the spirit of their founder than the degenerate sons of the fallen Rome of the East, and had refused to bend themselves at the will of that hateful domination before which the living worshipers tamely yielded or impotently fled!

The mosque of St Sophia had long been an object of curious interest to travelers in the East. Their interest, however, had seldom risen beyond curiosity; and it was directed rather towards St Sophia as it is, than to the Christian events and traditions with which it is

connected. For those, indeed, who know the grudging and capricious conditions under which alone a Christian visitor is admitted to a mosque, and the jealous scrutiny to which he is subjected during his visit, it will be easy to understand how rare and how precarious have been the opportunities for a complete or exact study of this, the most important of all the monuments of Byzantine art; and,

'notwithstanding its exceeding interest for antiquarian and artistic purposes, far more of our knowledge of its details was derived from the contemporary description of Procopius* or Agathias,f from the verses of Paulus Sileritiarius.f from the casual allusions of other ancient authorities, and, above all, form the invaluable work of Du Cangt;, which is the great

! repertory of everything that has been written upon ancient or mediaeval Byzan

! tium, than from the observation even of

i the most favored modern visitors of Constantinople, until the publication of the works named at the head of these pages. For the elaborate account of the present condition of the mosque of St. Sophia

I which we now possess, we are indebted to the happy necessity by which the Turkish officials, in undertaking the recent restoration of the building, were led to engage the services of an eminent European architect, Chevalier Fossati, in whose admirable drawings, as lithographed in the "Aya Sofia," eveiy arch and pillar of the structure is reproduced. The archaeological and historical details, which lay beyond the province of a volume mainly professional in its object, are sup

: plied in the learned and careful work of M. Salzenberg, who, during the progress of the restoration, was sent to Constantinople, at the cost of the late King of Prussia, for the express purpose of copying and describing exactly every object which might serve to throw light on By

j zantine history, religion, or art, or on the history and condition of the ancient church of St. Sophia, the most venerable monument of them all.

Nor is it possible to imagine, under all the circumstances of the case, a combination of opportunities more favorable

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for the purpose. From long neglect and | injudicious or insufficient reparation, the [ mosque had fallen into so ruinous a condition, that, in the year 1847, the late Sultan, Abdul Medjid, found it necessary to direct a searching survey of the entire | building, and eventually a thorough repair. In the progress of the work, while engaged near the entrance of the northern transept, M. Fossati discovered, beneath a thin coat of plaster (evidently laid on to conceal the design form the eyes of true believers,) a beautiful mosaic' picture, almost uninjnred,and retaining all its original brilliancy of color. A further; examination showed that these mosaics' extended throughout the building; and, I with a liberality which every lover of art: must gratefully applaud, the Sultan at! once acceded to the suggestion of M. I Fossati, and ordered that the plaster should be removed throughout the inte- \ rior; thus exposing once more to view j the original decorations of the ancient j basilica. It was while the mosque was still crowded with the scaffolding erected to carry on this most interesting work, that M. Salzenberg arrived in Constant!- j nople. He thankfully acknowledges the facilities afforded to him, as well by the i Turkish officials as by the Chevalier Fossati; and, although the specimens of the j purely pictorial decorations of the ancient; church which he has published are not as; numerous as the reader may possibly ex-' pect, yet they are extremely characteris- | tic, and full of religious, as well as of historical and antiquarian interest.

Notwithstanding the beauty and at- j tractiveness of M. Louis Haghe's mag-: nificent lithographs of Chevalier Fossati's j drawings published in the "Aya Sofia," the subject has received in England far less attention than it deserves. There is not an incident in Byzantine history with which the church of St. Sophia is not as-! sociated. There is not a characteristic I of Byzantine art of which it does not contain abundant examples. It recalls in numberless details, preserved in monuments in which time has wrought little change and which the jealousy or contempt of the conquerors has failed to destroy or even to travesty, interesting illustrations of the doctrine, the worship, and the disciplinary usages of the ancient Eastern Church, which are with difficulty

traced, at present, in the living system of her degenerate representative. To all these researches the wider cultivation of art and of history, which our age has accepted as its calling, ought to lend a deeper significance and a more solemn interest St. Sophia ought no longer to be a mere lounge for the sight-seer, or a spectacle for the lover of the picturesque.

The history of this venerable church may be said to reach back as far as the first selection of Byzantium by Constantine as the new capital of his empire. Originally, the pretensions of Byzantium to ecclesiastical rank were sufficiently humble, its bishop being but a suffragan of the metropolitan of Heraclea. But, from the date of the translation of the seat of empire, Constantino's new capital began to rise in dignity. The personal importance which accrued to the bishop from his position at the court of the emperor, was soon reflected upon his see. The first steps of its upward progress are unrecorded; but within little more than half a century from the foundation of the imperial city, the celebrated fifth canon of the council which was held therein in 381, not only distinctly assigned to the Bishop of Constantinople "the primacy of honor, next after the Bishop of Rome," but, by alleging as the ground of this precedence the principle "that Constantinople is the new Rome," laid the foundation of that rivalry with the older Rome which had its final issue in the complete separation of the Eastern from the Western Church.

The dignity of the see was represented in the beauty and magnificence of its churches, and especially of its cathedral. One of the considerations by which Constantino was influenced in the selection of Byzantium for his new capital, lay in the advantages for architectural purposes which the position commanded. The rich and various marbles of Proconnesus; the unlimited supply of timber from the forests of the Euxine; the artistic genius and the manual dexterity of the architects and artisans of Greece—all lay within easy reach of Byzantium: and, freely as ConRtantine availed himself of these resources for the establishment of the new city in its palaces, its offices of state, and its other public buildings, the magnificence which he exhibited in his churches outstripped all his other undertakings. Of these churches by far the most magnificent was that which forms the subject of the present notice. Its title is often a subject of misapprehension to those who, being accustomed to regard "Sophia" merely as a feminine name, are led to suppose that the church of Constantino was dedicated to a saint so called. The calendar, as well of the Greek as of the Latin Church, does, it is true, commemorate more than one saint named Sophia. Thus one Sophia is recorded as having suffered { martyrdom under Adrian, in company with her three daughters, Faith, Hope, and Charity. Another is said to have been martyred in one of the later persecutions together with St. Irene; and a third is still specially venerated as a martyr at Fermo (the ancient Firraum.) But it was not any of these that supplied the title of Constantino's basilica. That church was dedicated to the A17A 2O&LA,— the Holy Wisdom; that is, to the Divine Logos, or Word of God, under the title of the " Holy Wisdom," borrowed by adaptation from the well known prophetic allusion contained in the eighth chapter of Proverbs, and familiar in the theological language of the fourth century.

The original church, however, which Constantine erected in i325-b was but the germ out of which the later St. Sophia grew. The early history of St. Sophia is marked by many vicissitudes, and comprises, in truth, the history of four distinct churches, that of Constantine, that of Constantius, that of Theodosius, and finally that of Justinian.

Thirty-four years after the foundation of St. Sophia by the first Christian emperor, his son, Constantius, either because of its insufficient size, or owing to some injury which it had sustained in an earthquake, rebuilt it, and united with it the adjoining church of the Irene, or "Peace'1 (also built by his father), forming both into one grand edifice. And, although the church of Constantius was not much longer lived than that of his lather, it is memorable as the theatre for j-everal years of the eloquence of St. John Chrysostom, while its destruction was a monument at once of the triumph and of the fall of that great father. It was within the walls of this church that his more than human eloquence was wont to

draw, even from the light and frivolous audiences of that pleasure-loving city, plaudits, the notice of which in his own pages reads so strange to modern eyes. It was here that he provoked the petty malice of the imperial directress of fashion, by his imitable denunciation of the indelicacy of female dress. Here, too, was enacted that memorable scene, which, for deep dramatic interest, has seldom been surpassed in history,—the fallen minister Eutropius clinging to the altar of St. Sophia for protection against the popular fury, while Chrysostom, in a glorious exordium on the instability of human greatness,* disarms the rage of the populace by exciting their commiseration for their fallen enemy. Nor can we wonder that those who had hung entranced upon that eloquent voice should, when it was silenced by his cruel and arbitrary banishment, have recognized a Nemesis in the destruction of the church which had so often echoed with the. golden melody of its tones. St Sophia, by a divine judgment, as the people believed, was destroyed for the second time in 404, in the tumult which followed the banishment of St. John Chrysostom.

The third St. Sophia was built in 415 by Theodosius the Younger. The church of Theodosius lasted longer than either of those which went before it. It endured through the long series of controversies on the Incarnation. It witnessed their first beginning, and it almost survived their close. It was beneath the golden roof of the Theodosiau basilica that Nestorius scandalized the orthodoxy of his flock, and gave the first impulse to the controversy which bears his name, by applauding the vehement declaration of the preacher who denied to the Virgin Mary the title of Mother of God. And it was from its ambo or pulpit that the Emperor Zeno promulgated his celebrated Henoticon—the "decree of union" by which he vainly hoped to heal the disastrous division. The St. Sophia of Theodosius was the scene of the first act in the long struggle between Constantinople and Rome, the great Acacian schism; when, at the hazard of his life, an impetous monk, one of the fiery " Sleepless Brotherhood," pinned the papal excommunication on the cope of Acacius as he was advancing to the altar. And it witnessed the close of that protracted contest, in the complete and unreserved submission to Rome which was exacted by the formulary of Pope Hormisdas, as the condition of reconciliation. The structure of Theodosius stood a hundred and fourteen years—from 415 to 532, but perished at length in the fifth year of Justinian, in a disaster which, for a time, made Constantinople all but a desert— the memorable battle of the blue and green factions of the hippodrome, known in history as the Nika Sedition.

* Horn, in Eutropium Patriciom. Opp. torn, iii. p. 399 ft .*•!</. (Migae ed.)

The restoration of St. Sophia, which had been destroyed in the conflagration caused by the violence of the rioters, became, in the view of Justinian, a duty of Christian atonement no less than of imperial munificence. There is no evidence that the burning of the church arose from any special act of irnpiety directed against it in particular; but it is certain that the ancient feuds of the religious parties in the East entered vitally as an element of discord into this fatal sedition; and even the soldiers who had been engaged on the side of the civil power in the repression of the tumult, and who were chiefly legionaries enlisted from among the Heruli, the most savage of the barbarian tribes of the empire, had contributed largely to the sacrilegious enormities by which, even more than by the destruction of human life, the religious feelings of the city had been outraged.

The entire history of the reconstruction exhibits most curiously the operation of the same impulse. It was undertaken with a large-handedness, and urged on with an energy, which bespeak far other than merely human motives. Scarce had Constantinople begun to recover after the sedition from the stupor of its alarm, and the affrighted citizens to steal back from the Asiatic shore to which they had fled in terror with their families and their most valuable effects, when Justinian commissioned Anthemius of Tralles to prepare the plans of the new basilica, on a scale of magnificence till then unknown. On the '23d of February, 532, within forty days from the catastrophe, the first stone of the new edifice was solemnly laid. Orders, to borrow the words of

the chronicler,* "were issued simultaneously to all the dukes, satraps, judges, quaestors, and prefects," throughout the empire, to send in from their several governments, pillars, peristyles, bronzes, gates, marbles, and all other materials suitable for the projected undertaking. How efficiently the order was carried out may yet be read in the motley, though magnificent array of pillars and marbles which form the most striking characteristic of St. Sophia, and which are for the most part, as we shall see, the spoil of the older glories of Roman and Grecian architecture. We shall only mention here eight porphyry columns from the Temple of the Sun at Baalbec, which Aurelian had sent to Rome, and which, having come into the possession of a noble Roman widow, named Marcia, as her dowry, were presented by that pious lady to Justinian, as an offering vrtip ipufiXtj; /uoi> ffcartjfjla?, "for the salvation of her soul."t

Indeed, some of the incidents of the undertaking are so curious in themselves, and illustrate so curiously the manner, and feelings of the age, that we are induced to select a few of them from among a mass of more or less legendary details, supplied by the anonymous chronicler already referred to, whose work Banduri has printed in his "Imperium Orientale,"f and who, if less trustworthy than Procopius or the Silentiary, has preserved a much greater amountof the traditionary gossip connected with the building.

For the vastly enlarged scale of Justinian's structure, it became necessary to make extensive purchases in the immediate circuit of the ancient church; and, as commonly happens, the demands of the proprietors rose in proportion to the necessity in which the imperial purchaser was placed. It is interesting to contrast the different spirit in which each sought to use the legal rights of a proprietor.

The first was a widow, named Anna, whose tenement was valued by the imperial commissaries at eighty-five pounds of gold. This offer on the part of the commissary the widow unhesitatingly refused, and declared that she would consider her house cheap at fifty hundredweight of gold; but when Justinian, in his anxiety to secure the site, did not hesitate to wait upon the widow herself in person, she was so struck by his condescension, and so fired by the contagion of his pious enthusiasm, that she not only surrendered the required ground, but refused all payment for it in money; only praying that she might be buried near the spot, in order that, from the site of her former dwelling itself, she "might claim the purchase-money on the day of judgment." She was buried, accordingly, near the Skeuop/iylucium, or treasury of the sacred vessels.*

* Anonym! <lc Autiipiit. Constantiiiop. (inBandnri's "Imjierium Oricntale"), p. 66.

t Anonymi, p. 56.

J Under the title "Auonyrai de Antkiuiutibus Constantinopoleos." The third part is devoted entirely to a "History and Description of the Church of St. Sophia."

Very different, but yet hardly less characteristic of the time, was the conduct of one Antiochus, a eunuch, and vstiarius of the palace. His house stood on the spot now directly under the great j dome, and was valued by the imperial surveyor at thirty-five pounds of gold. ( But Antiochus exacted a far larger sum, and obstinately refused to abate his demand. Justinian, in his eagerness, was' disposed to yield: but Strategus, the pre- j feet of the treasury, begged the Emperor i to leave the matter in his bands, and proceeded to arrest the obdurate proprietor and throw him into prison. It chanced that Antiochus was a passionate lover of the sports of the hippodrome, and Strategus so timed the period of his imprisonment that it would include an j unusually attractive exhibition in the hippodrome—what in the language of1 the modern turf would be called " the | best meeting of the season." At first j Antiochus kept up a determined front; j but, as the time of the games approached, the temptation proved too strong; his i resolution began to waver; and at length, when the morning arrived, he "bawled j out lustily" from the prison, and prom- | ised that, if he were released in time to! enjoy his favorite spectacle, he would! yield up possession on the Emperor's j own terms. By this time the races had begun, and the Emperor had already taken his seat; but Strategus did not hesitate to have the sport suspended, led

| Antiochus at once to the Emperor's tribu'iial, and, in the midst of the assembled I spectators, completed the negotiation, f

A third was a cobbler, called by the classic name of Xeaophon. His sole earthly possession was the stall in which he exercised his trade, abutting on the wall of one of the houses doomed to demolition in the clearance of the new site, A liberal price was offered for the stall; but the cobbler, although he did not refuse to surrender it, whimsically exacted as a condition precedent, that the several factions of the charioteers should salute him, in the same way as they saluted the Emperor while passing his seat in the hippodrome. Justinian agreed ; but took what must be considered an ungenerous advantage of the simple man of leather. The letter of Xenophon's condition was fulfilled. He was placed in the front of the centre tribune, gorgeously arrayed in a scarlet and white robe. The factions, as they passed his seat in procession, duly rendered the prescribed salute; but the poor cobbler was balked of his anticipated triumph, being compelled, amid the derisive cheers and laughter of the multitude, to receive the salute with his buck turned to the assembly /{

But it is around the imperial builder himself that the incidents of the history of the work, and still more its legendary marvels, group themselves in the pages of the anonymous chronicler. For although the chief architect, Anthemius, was assisted by Agathias, by Isidorus, of Miletus, and by a countless staff of minor subordinates, Justinian, from the first to the last, may be truly said to have been the very life and soul of the undertaking, and the director even of its smallest details. From the moment when, at the close of the iuauguratory prayer, he threw the first shovelfull of mortar into the foundation, till its solemn openiug for worship on Christmas-day, 538, his enthusiasm never abated, nor did his energy relax. Under the glare of the noouday sun, while others were indulging in the customary siesta, Justinian was to be seen, clad in a coarse linen tunic, staff in hand, and his head bound with a cloth, directing, encouraging, and urging on the workmen, stimulating the iudustri

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* Anonymi, p. 58.

Ibid., p. 59.

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