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The statue of Constantine Palaiologos in the Metropolis of Athens

 

In the small square in front of the Metropolis of Athens, directly opposite the facade of the church building is the monument in honor of Constantine Palaiologos.
It is a modest construction that contrasts with the large statue of Archbishop Damascenes located just a few meters away. It was built in 1989 by the sculptor Spyros Goggakis and the original design can be found in Mystras. The specific statue that exists in Mitropolis Square is a copy of the statue of Mystras. It represents the Byzantine emperor dressed in military attire, with the tunic on his back, the crown on his head and his sword in his right hand with his right leg extended forward. It is worth noting the detail of the statue and especially the two shins, each of which is engraved with a double-headed eagle. On the marble slab behind the statue is a double-headed eagle with a crown (slightly higher than the height of Palaiologos' head, directly behind) on the left hand of the statue is inscribed the date of birth and date of death along with his official name (Constantinos IA Paleologos 9 2 1404 - 29 - 05 -1453) and on the right a part of the answer he gave to Muhammad

THE CITY DOESN'T SEEM TO YOU UT EMON UT OTHERS OF THE INHABITANTS IN THE SAME COMMON OPINION YOU ARE ALWAYS SELF-CHOOSINGLY DYING AND OUR LIFE'S FEESOMETHA*

Some facts about the life of Constantine Palaiologos

Constantine Palaiologos, the last emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine) was a great Greek figure in a period of division, obscurity and decline both intellectually and in terms of social development.

It was the fruit of the marriage between the emperor of New Rome, Manuel II Palaiologos, and Eleni Dragatsis, daughter of the Serbian lord of Serres. He accepted to sit on the imperial throne at a time when it looked more like an electric chair than a position that conferred prestige, power and strength. Leaving the Despotate of Mystras in 1449 and coming to Constantinople, he was faced with a hostile church that preferred the Turkish turban to the western headscarf and put up barriers to any resistance, with the people deeply divided between anti-unionists and unionists and with the state apparatus itself completely disorganized.

However, he managed within the few years of his reign to behave in a deeply Greek manner since while he could very well have refused the throne or capitulated to the outnumbered Ottomans who trampled one castle after the other instead faithful to the great ideal of humanity, freedom, he preferred to die with a sword in his hand, doing everything in his power to keep the City free, giving Muhammad the Conqueror an answer similar to that of his forefather, the Lacedaemonian Leonidas.

For this reason, he holds a special place in the pantheon of Greek heroes and is also a universal example of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Because at the time when the Church and a large part of the people, especially the great economic hearths of Byzantium, had already put on the clothing of the king, this faithful to the ideal of freedom and its defense by all means died with the sword in his hand as a simple soldier among the few thousand defenders of the City.

The memory of Constantine Palaiologos was saved by the popular muse through poems and folk songs. Two of the best-known modern songs referring to the last emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire are "You will come like Lightning" with music and lyrics by Stamatis Spanoudakis and "The Marble King" with lyrics by Pythagoras and music by Apostolos Kaldara.