Wednesday 29 May 2024

On the Fall of Constantinople

Gaspare Tribraco (1439-1493 c.)
Carmen de apparatu contra Turcum, 407-415

Ante meos iam pridem oculos moestissima flexis  
procubuit genibus lacrimis miseranda profusis
in vultum inque sinus, scopulos motura marinos  
agrestisque feras, templis eiecta Sophia,  
litora quae Tracum versu miranda colebat
marmoribus Pariis nec non aliunde petitis.  
Omnia quae nunc sunt misera prostrata ruina  
Turcigenum manibus foedis, ubi maxima Turco  
Constantinopolis cecidit captiva feroci.  
Long ago before my eyes, Sophia, full of sorrows, fell to bended knees. She was worthy of pity, for the tears running down her face and bosom, which could move even the stones of the sea and savage beasts. Sophia was ejected from her temples, she who used to cultivate in verse the Thracians’ wondrous shores, from the marbles from Paros or sought from other places. Everything is now overthrown into wretched ruins by the filthy hands of the Turks, where the greatest Constantinople, captured, has been cut down by the warlike Turk.
Giuseppe Venturini, Un umanista modenese nella Ferrara di Borso d’Este: Gaspare Tribraco (Ravenna: A. Longo, 1970), p. 88. My translation. This poem was completed by 1464.