Fighting the Ottoman invaders in Constantinople in 1453, Emperor Constantine XI was killed, his body never found.
Legend has it that he escaped in a Genoese ship, cheating certain death at the hands of the Turks and earning himself the title of Immortal Emperor.
Five centuries after his disappearance, three mysterious men contact a young professor living in Istanbul. Members of a secret sect, they have guarded the Immortal Emperor’s will for generations. They tell him that he is the next Byzantine emperor and that in order to take possession of his fortune he must carry out his ancestor’s last wishes. The professor embarks on a dangerous journey, taking him to the heart of a mystery of epic historical significance.
The Sultan of Byzantium is a symbiosis of story and history and a homage to Byzantine civilisation.
About the Author
Selçuk Altun was born in Artvin, Turkey in 1950. He is a retired banking executive and bibliophile. His works include The Sultan of Byzantium, Songs My Mother Never Taught Me and Many and Many a Year Ago. He lives in Istanbul.
About the Translator
Clifford Endres is the Head of American Literature at Has University in Istanbul. He is the author of Austin City Limits (University of Texas, 1987) and Joannes Secundus (Archon Books, 1981). Selhan Endres teaches in the department of American Literature at Has University. Her essays are published in international periodicals.
'Altun's prose has a dreamlike urgency' John Ashbery
'This is a hugely enjoyable crash-course in imperial bloodbaths, plus a travelogue, interwoven with snippets of poetry. Never mind the treasure – it's the quest that matters' Independent
'Readers tired of the endless Da Vinci Code knockoffs will find Altun's variation on the theme a refreshing one ... Altun beautifully incorporates details about the Byzantine Empire less familiar to Western audiences, as well as healthy injections of wry humor, into this riveting escapade'