A fire destroys the roof

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"It was a moral and social issue that led to the destruction of the roof of the original Hagia Sophia by fire in 404. A turbulent reforming priest, Saint John Chrysostom, the Patriarch of Constantinople, had been denouncing both the vice and luxury of the imperial court and the immorality of the female sex in the sermons that he delivered from the pulpit of Hagia Sophia. He even compared Empress Eudoxia to Jezebel, and for this reason and others, he was arrested and banished - only to return, following a popular demonstration, to his church. This time he compared her to Herodias demanding the head of Saint John. Riots followed the Easter baptisms, the clergy were driven out, Saint John Chrysostom was exiled, and his partisans set fire to Hagia Sophia."

Richard Winston. Hagia Sophia, A History (Kindle Locations 203-208). New Word City, Inc.. Kindle Edi...

A Byzantine mosaic of St. John Chrysostom at the Hagia Sophia.

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Published in 4/10/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

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