As a child I was very enthused, and even amused, by history. I would spend hours with my face buried in the pages of encyclopedias staring at pictures, and it wasn't due to illiteracy. Certain books had author renditions of pivotal battles and historic exploits, and fixating my eyes on still pictures was the only way I could do visual justice.
Most of the events occurred well before my Shameless existence, and even preceded the beauties of film and photography. Outside of using my imagination and reading about events, staring at pictures was the only way I could get my historic fix.
I needed that fix.
I still need my fix.
Fast-forward a decade or so and I'm ordering "The Sorrow and the Pity" off of Netflix to get my kicks from watching the Nazi occupation of France during World War 2, which made me as sorrowful, as it was pitiful.
Walking through the living room I hear the tele talk about Constantinople and something triggers in me. With just the mention of that wonderful place I am transported back to history class and begin to remember everything I learned.
How enthralling a city. Ahead of it's time, and was a necessity as the Roman Empire exceeded its reach and needed another region to keep an eye on its eastern territories. The mighty emperor, Constantine established this city in place of Byzantium, and it would be one of the largest and wealthiest places throughout the middle ages.
But all things come to an end. Of sorts. The land is still there. The mighty Horned geography with the Mediterranean Sea nestled in its armpit. Since 1930 hailed as Istanbul, and much like during its history, is a gateway between Eastern and Western civilizations.
Somewhere in this region Europe ends and the Middles East begins, which is a subject I Shamelessly adore. The history books of today are filled with photos of the unparalleled beauty of the region and some with details of ongoing conflict. The hours I would have spent staring at photos is now applied to writing essays and reading literary journals and National Geographic Traveler. And although the fascination has become work it still maintains its innocent allure.
Wouldn't it feel cool to say: "Hey. I'm from Constantinople. I'm Constantinopaleon." ?
Houston was named after the Texan hero Sam Houston, and my illustrious Alma Mater as well. Sam's exploits were interesting as a child, but Constantine is a wayyyyy cooooler soundin' name.
The University of Emperor Constantine the First.
Yeah. Way cooler.