6 December 2013
Liudprand of Cremona
Liudprand was the Bishop of Cremona, a state in Northern Italy. He was sent to Byzantium as an ambassador of the court to Constantinople. Liudprand was selected by Emperor Otto I because he knew how to speak and read Greek and had served as an ambassador to Constantinople before for King Berengar II in 949, there is also a possibility that he visited Constantinople for Otto as early as 960. Because of his background he was a top candidate for this quest and was selected. Liudprand had a great appreciation for Constantinople and its people as he showed in his book “Antapodosis”. In his new experience with the Byzantine Empire he wrote the document “ A report on the Embassy to Constantinople”. This document was most likely written in 968 and the purpose of this document was to inform the embassy of his unpleasant experience on Byzantine Lands, in where scholars believe his admiration came to an end.
During this time of The Holy Roman Empire, Otto I was trying to lessened tensions with Byzantium so he tried to arrange a marriage between his son and heir, Otto II, with a Byzantine princess. As Liudprand expresses in his document it was not successful. Byzantium believed that it was unheard for a daughter of royal blood to be wed with someone form a foreign land, but the offer would be accepted if Otto I would give up Ravenna and Rome which was a demand that was not accepted. Liudprand later expresses how he was treated without respect and that his purple cloth was even confiscated from him because it was considered imperial to Constantinople and no foreigners should posses it. Liudprand was angry by this claiming that magicians and prostitutes wore purple in his homeland, which is a questionable remark because during this time purple was an extremely hard color to make clothing out of. Despite the trouble he encountered during his journey he later retuned to Constantinople in 971 and was able to...
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