The circumstances surrounding my first encounter with Currado Malaspina were as odd as they were delightful. Disinclined toward the mystical, I am not one to affix any special meaning to coincidence. I have always satisfied my need for revelation with the rational. Improbable events are always fully illuminated through the unfaltering laws of probability.
Or so I thought till the evening of January 22nd, 1995 when I attended a lecture by the preeminent Byzantine scholar Lothar Sacks, on the mosaics of San Vitale.
The lecture took place in the dim and damp basement of the Ukrainian/American Association, on First Avenue and Avenue A in downtown Manhattan. Lothar Sacks was a small legend among those who felt more alive to the 8th century than to our own and the basement was filled to capacity. The room was set up with six rows of bridge chairs, an awkwardly small lectern which looked…
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