|Of Colored Glass
I am very moved by one detail
in the coronation at Vlachernai of John Kantakuzinos
and Irini, daughter of Andronikos Asan.
Because they had only a few precious stones
(our afflicted empire was extremely poor)
they wore artificial ones: numerous pieces of glass,
red, green, or blue. I find
nothing humiliating or undignified
in those little pieces of colored glass.
On the contrary, they seem
a sad protest against
the unjust misfortune of the couple being crowned,
symbols of what they deserved to have,
of what surely it was right that they should have
at their coronationa Lord John Kantakuzinos,
a Lady Irini, daughter of Andronikos Asan.
Trans. Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard
(top) Roman glass fragments,
Kelsey Museum 70.3.16 and 65.3.153
(bottom) millefiori glass fragments
Kelsey Museum 65.3.179 and 65.3.177