The Immortal Emperor. The Life and Legend of Constantine Palaiologos, Last Emperor of the Romans
The British Byzantine historian, Mr. Donald M. Nicol (1923 – 2003) once wrote a rather short but concise biography of Emperor Constantine XI, who was the last Roman emperor and ended his life as befits a Roman.
The discussed book entitled “Constantine XI: The Last Emperor of Byzantium” is a well-written and based on rich source material work worthy of a student of the great expert on the Crusades and Byzantine history Steven Runciman (1903 – 2000), from whom Mr. Nicol learned the secrets of the history of the Eastern Empire. The portrait of Emperor Constantine has been painted in very vivid colors, which reflect his great energy, bravery, steadfastness of character, and great sense of honor, incomparable to the condition of his state.
The characteristics of his main character, who occupied a special place in the heart of Mr. Nicola, were analyzed in detail and assessed in the context of the era in which the last Roman emperor lived and during which he died as befits a true Roman legionnaire, i.e. in a fierce battle without succumbing to shameful cowardice.
The fate of the memory of Constantine and the evolution of the legend about him is also widely discussed by Mr. Nicola in the pages of the reviewed book.