Rarely does a documentary film about Medieval history evoke such heated discussion and growing polemic in society as did the film, The Fall of an Empire—the Lesson of Byzantium, the latest work by Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov), the Superior of Moscow’s Sretensky Monastery.

The film is very aptly named—this is truly a lesson, a warning. Anyone who was looking for a video illustration of a history textbook was no doubt disappointed; anyone who dreamed of finally hearing a truthful word on Byzantium, the cradle of our Orthodox civilization, was probably also disappointed—a film on the true history of the Byzantine Empire and its place in the development of world civilization still awaits its historical hour. We are in great need of such a documentary today—a detailed, concerned history of the fate of Byzantium and its inheritance. Fr. Tikhon’s work has made us feel this need even more acutely.

The authors’ intention was not to “rehabilitate Byzantium” or give a lecture, but to break through our routine perceptions and awaken our thoughts. They undoubtedly succeeded in their aim. The unusual historical fate of an Empire that existed on one-sixth of the inhabited world for nearly ten centuries is definitely instructive. Even more instructive to those who live in Russia at the beginning of the 21st century is the history of that Empire’s collapse.

 

For Commentaries on this documentary please also see:

– Byzantium was Intentionally Removed from European Historical Consciousness at: http://vizantia.info/docs/163.htm

http://vizantia.info/docs/164.htm

– An Interview with Archimandrite Tikhon at: http://vizantia.info/docs/183.htm