Evidence of Political Burials from Medieval Constantinople
The rulers of Byzantium had a specific burial place, which had been established by Constantine I—the imperial mausoleum later attached to the Church of the Holy Apostles. The eponymous founder of the city was the first to be laid to rest in the mausoleum he had constructed, which was probably finished by his son Constantius II. By the sixth century so many emperors had joined him there that Justinian constructed another mausoleum similarly attached to the church for his own burial. A record compiled in the tenth century and attached to the Book of Ceremonies preserves an identification of some of these tombs in the two imperial mausolea. A slightly fuller Latin version is also preserved and was studied by Philip Grierson in 1962. From this document it is possible to find out which emperors and empresses ended up in the most desirable tombs in the capital. The survival of this information, when put together with other historical records, makes it clear that imperial bones were often moved around. This chapter traces some of their most surprising journeys.
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