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John Julius Norwich was an English historian, travel writer and television personality. He became a writer after having pursued a career as a diplomat in Yugoslavia and Lebanon. His books on Byzantium brought necessary and long-overdue illumination on the subject, as did his books on the Normans in southern Italy. A great traveller, he had a life-long love of Venice, and in 2016 published Four Princes, an inspired book about the contemporary rulers, England’s Henry VIII, François I of France, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Suleiman the Magnificent. The article he wrote for Cornucopia 11 on Aphrodisias stands as a classic of magazine writing.
The finest school of sculpture in all antiquity was in Aphrodisias. Above the valleys of the Meander in Turkey’s Aegean hinterland, this favourite city of the Emperor Augustus remained largely unknown until the photographer Ara Güler brought it to the attention of the Princeton scholar Kenan T Erim in 1959. Here Ara Güler returns to the city and John Julius Norwich recalls Professor Erim and his first impressions of the sculptures that took his breath away.
The Anastasian and Theodosian walls together protected the city for many years; but now this vast and beautiful network is under attack from within. Cornucopia investigates the dangers that threaten this important cultural icon and its surroundings.
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