March 01, 2013

Sophia Paleologue

Today, what were once considered far off lands no longer seem so distant. You can board an airplane and, within a matter of hours, find yourself in another world. Your body still thinks it is in its habitual time zone, where not long ago you were going about your daily business, and here you are – in another country, where everything is different.

Even if you lack the time, money, or stamina for travel, you can at least turn on the television, go online, or open a book and explore places at the opposite end of the earth. Half a century ago, any foreigner in Moscow might as well have been from Mars. Today, Moscow has grown accustomed to the sight of people from across the globe walking their streets, some dressed in unfamiliar clothing and speaking incomprehensible languages.

But what was it like for a woman in the fifteenth century who, more than once, was buffeted by the winds of time from one universe to another?

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