Map of Byzantine Constantinople
: , Kōnstantinoúpolis
, , in formal Ottoman Turkish
) was the imperial
: , Basileúousa
) of the Roman Empire
(330–395), the Byzantine/Eastern Roman Empire
and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire
(1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire
(1453–1922). Strategically located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara at the point where Europe
meets Asia, Byzantine Constantinople had been
the capital of a Christian empire,
successor to ancient Greece and
Throughout most of the
, Constantinople was Europe's
largest and wealthiest city.
Depending on the background of its rulers, it often had several
different names at any given time; among the most common were
: , Byzántion
), New Rome
, ), Constantinople, and Stambol/Stamboul. It was
also called Tsargrad
(Цѣсарьградъ; "City of
the Emperors") by the Slavs, while to the Vikings
it was known as Miklagarð
Great City", similar to the common Greek appellation "the City" ( ,
officially renamed to its modern Turkish name Istanbul in 1930
with the Turkish Postal Service Law, as part of Atatürk's national
This name in turn derives from the Greek and Slavic
colloquial name Stambol
, which is a short form of the name
, misguided by the prefix I
derives the name Istanbul
from the Greek phrase eis
("to the City [Constantinople]"). However, the prefix
I is simply an addition arising from the properties of the
Turkish language, just like the Turkish name Izmir arises
from Greek Smyr-nē (see also vowel harmony).
Constantinople was founded by the Roman
emperor Constantine I
on the site
of an already existing city, Byzantium
settled in the early days of Greek colonial expansion, probably
around 671-662 BC. The site lay astride the land route from
Europe to Asia and the seaway from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, and had in the Golden Horn an excellent and spacious harbour.
Constantine had altogether more colorful plans. Having restored the
unity of the Empire, and being in course of major governmental
reforms as well as of sponsoring the consolidation of the Christian
church, he was well aware that Rome was an unsatisfactory capital.
Rome was too far from the frontiers, and hence from the armies and
the Imperial courts, and it offered an undesirable playground for
disaffected politicians. Yet it had been the capital of the state
for over a thousand years, and it might have seemed unthinkable to
suggest that the capital be moved to a different location.
Nevertheless, he identified the site of Byzantium as the right
place: a place where an emperor could sit, readily defended, with
easy access to the Danube
or the Euphrates
frontiers, his court supplied from the
rich gardens and sophisticated workshops of Roman Asia, his
treasuries filled by the wealthiest provinces of the Empire.
Constantinople was built over six years, and consecrated on 11 May
330. Constantine divided the expanded city, like Rome, into 14
regions, and ornamented it with public works worthy of an imperial
metropolis. Yet initially Constantine's new Rome did not have all
the dignities of old Rome. It possessed a proconsul
, rather than an urban prefect
. It had no praetors
. Although it did have senators,
they held the title clarus
, not clarissimus
, like those of Rome. It also
lacked the panoply of other administrative offices regulating the
food supply, police, statues, temples, sewers, aqueducts or other
public works. The new programme of building was carried out in
great haste: columns, marbles, doors and tiles were taken wholesale
from the temples of the Empire and moved to the new city.
Similarly, many of the greatest works of Greek and Roman art were
soon to be seen in its squares and streets. The Emperor stimulated
private building by promising householders gifts of land from the
Imperial estates in Asiana
, and on 18 May 332 he
announced that, as in Rome, free distributions of food would be
made to the citizens. At the time the amount is said to have been
80,000 rations a day, doled out from 117 distribution points around
Constantine laid out a new square at the centre of old Byzantium,
naming it the Augustaeum
. The new
senate-house (or Curia) was housed in a basilica on the east side.
south side of the great square was erected the Great
Palace of the emperor with its imposing entrance, the
Chalke, and its ceremonial suite known as the Palace of Daphne. Nearby was the vast
Hippodrome for chariot-races, seating over 80,000 spectators,
and the famed Baths of
Zeuxippus. At the western entrance to the Augustaeum was
the Milion, a vaulted
monument from which distances were measured across the Eastern
From the Augustaeum led a great street, the Mese
(Greek: Μέση [Οδός] lit. "Middle
[Street]"), lined with colonnades. As it descended the First Hill
of the city and climbed the Second Hill, it passed on the left the
or law-court. Then it passed through
the oval Forum of Constantine
where there was a second Senate-house and a high
column with a statue of Constantine himself in the guise
of Helios, crowned with a halo of seven rays
and looking towards the rising sun.
From there the Mese
passed on and through the Forum of Taurus and then the Forum of
Bous, and finally up the Seventh Hill (or Xerolophus) and through
to the Golden Gate in the Constantinian
. After the construction of the Theodosian Walls
in the early 5th century,
it would be extended to the new Golden Gate
, reaching a total
length of seven Roman miles
The first known Prefect
of the City of
Constantinople was Honoratus
, who took office on 11
December 359 and held it until 361. The emperor Valens
built the Palace of Hebdomon on the shore of the Propontis near the Golden Gate, probably for use
when reviewing troops.
All the emperors up to Zeno
were crowned and acclaimed at the Hebdomon. Theodosius I founded the Church of John the Baptist to house the skull of the
saint (today preserved at the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Turkey), put up a memorial pillar to
himself in the Forum of Taurus, and turned the ruined temple of
Aphrodite into a coach house for the
Prefect; Arcadius built a new forum
named after himself on the Mese, near the walls of
Gradually the importance of Constantinople increased. After the shock of
the Battle of
Adrianople in 378, in which the emperor Valens with the flower of the Roman armies was
destroyed by the Visigoths within a few
days' march, the city looked to its defenses, and Theodosius II built in 413–414 the 18 metre
(60 ft) tall triple-wall fortifications which were never to be breached until the coming of
Theodosius also founded a University
near the Forum of
Taurus, on 27 February 425.
, a prince of the Huns
, appeared on the Danube about this time and
advanced into Thrace, but he was deserted by many of his followers,
who joined with the Romans in driving their king back north of the
river. Subsequently new walls were built to defend the city, and
the fleet on the Danube improved.
course the barbarians overran the Western
Roman Empire: its emperors retreated to Ravenna, and it diminished to nothing.
Constantinople became in truth the largest city of the Roman Empire
and of the world. Emperors were no longer peripatetic between
various court capitals and palaces. They remained in their palace
in the Great City, and sent generals to command their armies. The
wealth of the eastern Mediterranean and western Asia flowed into
The emperor Justinian I
known for his successes in war, for his legal reforms and for his
public works. It was from Constantinople that his expedition for
the reconquest of the former Diocese of Africa set sail on or about
21 June 533. Before their departure the ship of the commander
anchored in front of the
Imperial palace, and the Patriarch offered prayers for the success
of the enterprise. After the victory, in 534, the Temple
treasure of Jerusalem, looted by the Romans in 70 AD and taken to
Carthage by the Vandals after their
sack of Rome in 455, was brought to Constantinople and deposited
for a time, perhaps in the Church of St. Polyeuctus, before being returned to Jerusalem in either the
Church of the Resurrection or the New Church.
Chariot-racing had been important in Rome for centuries. In
Constantinople, the hippodrome became over time increasingly a
place of political significance. It was where (as a shadow of the
popular elections of old Rome) the people by acclamation showed
their approval of a new emperor; and also where they openly
criticized the government, or clamoured for the removal of
unpopular ministers. In the time of Justinian, public order in
Constantinople became a critical political issue.
The entire late Roman and early Byzantine period was one where
Christianity was resolving fundamental questions of identity, and
the dispute between the orthodox
and the monophysites
became the cause
of serious disorder, expressed through allegiance to the
horse-racing parties of the Blues and the Greens. The partisans of
the Blues and the Greens were said to affect untrimmed facial hair,
head hair shaved at the front and grown long at the back, and
wide-sleeved tunics tight at the wrist; and to form gangs to engage
in night-time muggings and street violence. At last these disorders
took the form of a major rebellion of 532, known as the "Nika" riots
(from the battle-cry of "Victory!"
of those involved).
Fires started by the Nika rioters consumed Constantine's basilica
of St Sophia, the city's principal church, which lay to the north
of the Augustaeum. Justinian commissioned Anthemius of Tralles and Isidore of Miletus to replace it with a
new and incomparable St
This was the great cathedral of the
Orthodox Church, whose dome was said to be held aloft by God alone,
and which was directly connected to the palace so that the imperial
family could attend services without passing through the streets.
dedication took place on 26 December 537 in the presence of the
emperor, who exclaimed, "O Solomon, I have outdone thee!"
St Sophia was served
by 600 people including 80 priests, and cost 20,000 pounds of gold
also had Anthemius and Isidore demolish and replace the original
Church of the Holy Apostles built by Constantine with a new
church under the same dedication.
This was designed
in the form of an equal-armed cross with five domes, and ornamented
with beautiful mosaics. This church was to remain the burial place
of the emperors from Constantine himself until the eleventh
century. When the city fell to the Turks in 1453, the church was
demolished to make room for the tomb of Mehmet
II the Conqueror
. Justinian was also concerned with other
aspects of the city's built environment, legislating against the
abuse of laws prohibiting building within of the sea front, in
order to protect the view.
During Justinian I's reign, the city's population reached about
500,000 people. However, the social fabric of Constantinople was
also damaged by the onset of Plague
between 541–542 AD. It killed perhaps 40% of the
In the early 7th century the Avars
and later the Bulgars
overwhelmed much of
, threatening Constantinople from
the west. Simultaneously the Persian Sassanids overwhelmed the
Prefecture of the East and penetrated deep into Anatolia.
, son to the exarch
, set sail for
the city and assumed the purple. He found the military situation so dire
that he is said at first to have contemplated withdrawing the
imperial capital to Carthage, but relented after the people of Constantinople
begged him to stay. While the Great City withstood a siege, Heraclius launched a
flank attack against the Persians, invading Armenia and Media.
Emperor's victories restored the previous status quo
the Roman eastern frontier, but the prolonged warfare left both
empires severely weakened.
The religion of Islam
arose in the power
vacuum left by the two exhausted empires. It quickly overran the
Sassanid Empire, and seized the Roman Near Eastern provinces in
quick succession. The centuries-long Byzantine-Arab Wars
followed, creating a
new balance of power in the Mediterranean world. During these wars,
the Muslims attempted twice to strike at the heart of the Byzantine
Empire, Constantinople. The first siege
from 674 to 678, and the second
from 717 to
718. While the Theodosian Walls
made the city impregnable from the land, the newly discovered
incendiary substance known as "Greek
" allowed the Byzantine navy
to destroy the Arab fleets and keep the city supplied. In the
second siege, decisive help was rendered by the Bulgars
, who attacked the Arab army.
The failure of this siege was a severe blow to the Umayyad Caliphate
, and resulted in the
stabilization of the Byzantine-Arab equilibrium, opening the way
for the Empire's gradual recovery under the Isaurian dynasty
In the 730s Leo III
carried out extensive
repairs of the Theodosian walls, which had been damaged by frequent
and violent attacks; this work was financed by a special tax on all
the subjects of the Empire.
Theodora, widow of the emperor Theophilus
(d. 842) acted as regent during the minority of her son Michael III
, who was said to have been
introduced to dissolute habits by her brother Bardas. When Michael
assumed power in 856 he became known for excessive drunkenness,
appeared in the hippodrome as a charioteer and burlesqued the
religious processions of the clergy. He removed Theodora
from the Great Palace to the Carian Palace and later to the
Gastria, but after the death of Bardas she was released to
live in the palace of St Mamas; she also had a rural residence at
the Anthemian Palace, where Michael was assassinated in
In 865 an
attack was made on the city by a new principality set up a few
years earlier at Novgorod by Rurik, a Varangian chief: two hundred small Russian vessels
passed through the Bosporus and plundered the monasteries and other
properties on the suburban Prince's Islands. Oryphas
admiral of the Byzantine fleet, alerted the emperor Michael, who
promptly put the invaders to flight; but the suddenness and
savagery of the onslaught made a deep impression on the
In 980 the emperor Basil II
unusual gift from Prince Vladimir
Kiev: 6,000 Varangian
warriors which Basil
formed into a new bodyguard known as the Varangian Guard
. They were known for their
ferocity, honour and loyalty. It is said that in 1038 they were
dispersed in winter quarters in the Thracesian
theme when one of their number
attempted to violate a countrywoman, but in the struggle she seized
his sword and killed him; instead of taking revenge, however, his
comrades applauded her conduct, compensated her with all his
possessions, and exposed his body without burial as if he had
committed suicide. However, following the death of an Emperor, they
became known also for plunder in the Imperial palaces. Later in the
11th Century the Varangian Guard became dominated by Anglo-Saxons
who preferred this way of life to
subjugation by the new Norman kings of England.
The Book of the Eparch
which dates to the 10th century, gives a detailed picture of the
city's commercial life and its organization at that time. The
corporations in which the tradesmen of Constantinople were
organised were supervised by the Eparch, who regulated such matters
as production, prices, import and export. Each guild had its own
monopoly, and tradesmen might not belong to more than one. It is an
impressive testament to the strength of tradition how little these
arrangements had changed since the office, then known by the Latin
version of its title, had been set up in 330 to mirror the urban
prefecture of Rome.
In the 9th and 10th centuries, the Constantinople had a population
of between 500,000 and 800,000.
In the eighth and ninth centuries the iconoclast
movement caused serious
political unrest throughout the Empire. The emperor Leo III
issued a decree in 726 against
images, and ordered the destruction of a statue of Christ over one
of the doors of the Chalke, an act which was fiercely resisted by
the citizens. Constantine V
convoked a church council in 754 which condemned the worship of
images, after which many treasures were broken, burned, or painted
over with depictions of trees, birds or animals: one source refers
to the church of the Holy Virgin at Blachernae as having been transformed into a "fruit store and
Following the death of his son Leo IV
in 780, the empress Irene
restored the veneration of images
through the agency of the Second Council of Nicaea
The iconoclast controversy returned in the early 9th century, only
to be resolved once more in 843 during the regency of Empress
, who restored the
icons. These controversies contributed to the deterioration of
relations between the Western
Prelude to the Comnenian period, 1025–1081
late 11th century catastrophe struck with the unexpected and
calamitous defeat of the imperial armies at the Battle of
Manzikert in Armenia in 1071.
The Emperor Romanus
Diogenes was captured. The peace terms
demanded by Alp Arslan
, sultan of the
Seljuk Turks, were not excessive, and Romanus accepted them. On his
release, however, Romanus found that enemies had placed their own
candidate on the throne in his absence; he surrendered to them and
suffered death by torture, and the new ruler, Michael VII
Ducas, refused to honour the treaty.
In response, the Turks began to move into Anatolia in 1073. The
collapse of the old defensive system meant that they met no
opposition, and the empire's resources were distracted and
squandered in a series of civil wars. Thousands of Turkoman
tribesmen crossed the unguarded
frontier and moved into Anatolia. By 1080, a huge area had been
lost to the empire, and the Turks were within striking distance of
Under the Comnenian dynasty (1081–1185), Byzantium staged a
remarkable military, financial and territorial recovery. In what is
sometimes called the Comnenian
, with the establishment of a new military system
, the Empire recovered
nearly half of the lost Anatolian lands. In 1090–91, the nomadic
reached the walls of
Constantinople, where Emperor Alexius I with the aid of the
annihilated their army. The
battle of Levounion
marked the beginning of a resurgence of Byzantine power and
influence that would last for a hundred years. In response to a call
for aid from Alexius I Comnenus,
the First Crusade assembled at
Constantinople in 1096, but declining to put itself under Byzantine
command set out for Jerusalem on its own account. John II
built the monastery of the
Pantocrator (Almighty) with a hospital for the poor of 50
With the restoration of firm central government, the empire became
fabulously wealthy. The population was rising (estimates for
Constantinople in the twelfth century vary from approximately
100,000 to 500,000), and towns and cities across the realm
flourished. Meanwhile, the volume of money in circulation
dramatically increased. This was reflected in Constantinople by the
construction of the Blachernae palace, the creation of brilliant
new works of art, and general prosperity at this time: an increase
in trade, made possible by the growth of the Italian city-states,
may have helped the growth of the economy. Certainly, the
Venetians and others were active traders in Constantinople,
making a living out of shipping goods between the Crusader Kingdoms
of Outremer and the West while also trading
extensively with Byzantium and Egypt.
Venetians had factories on the north side of the Golden Horn, and
large numbers of westerners were present in the city throughout the
twelfth century. Towards the end of Manuel I's reign, the number of
foreigners in the city reached about 60,000-80,000 people out of a
total population of about 400,000 people. In 1171, Constantinople
also contained a small community of 2,500 Jews.
In artistic terms, the 12th century was a very productive period.
There was a revival in the mosaic
example: mosaics became more realistic and vivid, with an increased
emphasis on depicting three-dimensional forms. There was an
increased demand for art, with more people having access to the
necessary wealth to commission and pay for such work. According to
N.H. Baynes (Byzantium, An Introduction to East Roman
- "With its love of luxury and passion for colour, the art of
this age delighted in the production of masterpieces that spread
the fame of Byzantium throughout the whole of the Christian world.
Beautiful silks from the work-shops of Constantinople also
portrayed in dazzling colour animals - lions, elephants, eagles,
and griffins - confronting each other, or represented Emperors
gorgeously arrayed on horseback or engaged in the chase."
- "From the tenth to the twelfth century Byzantium was the main
source of inspiration for the West. By their style, arrangement, and
iconography the mosaics of St. Mark's at Venice and of the
cathedral at Torcello clearly reveal their Byzantine origin.
those of the Palatine
Chapel, the Martorana at Palermo, and the cathedral of Cefalù, together with the vast decoration of the cathedral
at Monreale, demonstrate the influence of Byzantium on the Norman Court of Sicily
in the twelfth century. Hispano-Moorish art was unquestionably derived from the
Byzantine. Romanesque art owes much
to the East, from which it borrowed not only its decorative forms
but the plan of some of its buildings, as is proved, for instance,
by the domed churches of south-western France. Princes of Kiev, Venetian doges, abbots of Monte Cassino, merchants of Amalfi, and the
kings of Sicily all looked to Byzantium for artists or works of
art. Such was the influence of Byzantine art in the twelfth
century, that Russia, Venice, southern Italy and Sicily all
virtually became provincial centres dedicated to its
In the course of a plot between Philip
, Boniface of
and the Doge of
, the Fourth Crusade
despite papal excommunication, diverted in 1203 against
Constantinople, ostensibly promoting the claims of Alexius son of
the deposed emperor Isaac. The reigning emperor Alexius III
had made no preparation.
Crusaders occupied Galata, broke the
chain protecting the Golden
Horn and entered the harbour, where on 27 July they
breached the sea walls: Alexius III fled.
But the new
found the Treasury inadequate,
and was unable to make good the rewards he had promised to his
western allies. Tension between the citizens and the Latin soldiers
increased. In January 1204 the protovestiarius
provoked a riot, probably to intimidate Alexius IV, but whose only
result was the destruction of the great statue of Athena, the work
, which stood in the principal
forum facing west.
In February the people rose again: Alexius IV was imprisoned and
executed, and Murzuphlus took the purple as Alexius V
. He made some attempt to repair the
walls and organise the citizenry, but there had been no opportunity
to bring in troops from the provinces and the guards were
demoralised by the revolution. An attack by the Crusaders on 6
April failed, but a second from the Golden Horn on 12 April
succeeded, and the invaders poured in. Alexius V fled. The Senate
met in St Sophia and offered the crown to Theodore Lascaris, who
had married into the Angelid family, but it was too late.
out with the Patriarch to the Golden Milestone before the Great Palace and addressed the Varangian
Then the two of them slipped away with many of the
nobility and embarked for Asia. By the next day the Doge and the
leading Franks were installed in the Great Palace, and the city was
given over to pillage for three days.
The great historian of the Crusades, Sir Steven Runciman, wrote
that the sack of Constantinople is “unparalleled in history”.
For the next half-century, Constantinople was the seat of the
. The Byzantine nobility
were scattered. Many went to Nicaea
, where Theodore Lascaris set up an
imperial court, or to Epirus
where Theodore Angelus did the same; others fled to Trebizond
, where one of the Comneni had
already with Georgian support established an independent seat of
empire. Nicaea and Epirus both vied for the imperial title, and
tried to recover Constantinople. In 1261, Constantinople was
from its last Latin ruler, Baldwin II
, by the forces of
the Nicaean emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus
Although Constantinople was retaken by Michael VIII
, the Empire had lost many of its
key economic resources, and struggled to survive. The palace of
Blachernae in the north-west of the city became the main
Imperial residence, with the old Great Palace on the shores of the
Bosporus going into decline.
When Michael VIII
captured the city, its population was 35,000 people, but by the end
of his reign, he had succeeded in increasing the population to
about 70,000 people. The Emperor achieved this by summoning
former residents, who had fled the city when the Crusaders captured
it, back, and by relocating Greeks from the recently reconquered
Peloponnese to the capital.
In 1347, the Black Death
spread to Constantinople. In 1453,
when the Ottoman Turks captured
, it contained approximately 50,000 people.
Constantinople was the largest and richest
urban center in the Eastern Mediterranean during the late Roman
Empire, mostly as a result of its strategic position commanding
the trade routes between the Aegean and the
It would remain the capital of the eastern,
Greek speaking empire for over a thousand years. In its heyday,
roughly corresponding to the Middle
, it was the richest and largest European city, exerting a
powerful cultural pull and dominating economic life in the
Mediterranean. Visitors and merchants were especially
struck by the beautiful monasteries and churches of the city,
Sophia, or the Church of Holy Wisdom: a Russian
14th-century traveler, Stephen of Novgorod, wrote, "As for St
Sophia, the human mind can neither tell it nor make description of
It was especially important for preserving in its libraries
manuscripts of Greek and Latin authors throughout a period when
instability and disorder caused their mass destruction in western
Europe and north Africa: on the city's fall thousands of these were
brought by refugees to Italy, and played a key part in stimulating
the Renaissance, and the transition to the modern world. The
cumulative influence of the city on the west, over the many
centuries of its existence, is incalculable. In terms of
technology, art and culture, as well as sheer size, Constantinople
was without parallel anywhere in Europe for a thousand years.
The city provided a defence for the eastern provinces of the old
Roman Empire against the barbarian invasions of the 5th century.
The 18 metre tall walls built by Theodosius II
were essentially impregnable to
the barbarians coming from south of the Danube river
, who found easier targets to the
west rather than the richer provinces to the east in Asia. From the
the city was also protected
by the Anastasian Wall
, a 60
kilometre chain of walls across the Thracian
. Many scholars argue that these
sophisticated fortifications allowed the east to develop relatively
unmolested while Ancient Rome
west collapsed. With the emergence of Christianity
and the rise of Islam
, Constantinople became the gates of Christian
Europe standing at the fore of Islamic expansion. As the Byzantine
Empire was situated in-between the Islamic world and the Christian
west, so did Constantinople act as Europe’s first line-of-defence
against Arab advances in the 7th
. The city, and the
empire, would ultimately fall to the Ottomans
by 1453, but its enduring legacy had
provided Europe centuries of resurgence following the collapse of
The Byzantine Empire used Roman and Greek architectural models and
styles to create its own unique type of architecture. The influence
of Byzantine architecture and art can be seen in the copies taken
from it throughout Europe. Particular examples include St Mark's
Basilica in Venice, the basilicas of Ravenna, and many churches throughout the Slavic
Also, alone in Europe until the 13th century Italian
, the Empire continued to
produce sound gold coinage, the solidus
becoming the bezant
prized throughout the Middle Ages.
city walls were much imitated (for
example, see Caernarfon Castle) and its urban infrastructure was moreover a marvel
throughout the Middle Ages, keeping alive the art, skill and
technical expertise of the Roman Empire.
Constantine's foundation gave prestige to the Bishop of
Constantinople, who eventually came to be known as the Ecumenical Patriarch
, vying for
honour with the Pope
, a situation which
contributed to the Great Schism
that divided Western
from 1054 onwards.
- Constantinople appears as a city of wondrous majesty, beauty,
remoteness, and nostalgia in William Butler Yeats' 1926 poem
"Sailing to Byzantium".
- Robert Graves, author of
I, Claudius, also wrote
Count Belisarius, a
historical novel about Belisarius. Graves
set much of the novel in the Constantinople of Justinian I.
- Constantinople provides the setting of much of the action in
Umberto Eco's 2000 novel Baudolino.
- Constantinople's change of name was the theme for a song made
famous by The Four Lads and later
covered by They Might Be Giants
and many others entitled "Istanbul ".
- "Constantinople" was also the title of the opening track of
The Residents' EP Duck Stab!, released in
- Constantinople under Justinian is the scene of the book "A
Flame in Byzantium" (ISBN 0312930267) by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, released in
- "Constantinople" is the title of a song by The Decemberists.
- Stephen Lawhead's novel
Byzantium (1996) is set in 9th century
- Filmmaker Peter Jackson said he
wanted images of Minas Tirith in his
The Lord of the Rings
trilogy to look like "Constantinople in the morning".
- Folk Metal band Turisas makes multiple
references to Constantinople in their song "Miklagard Overture",
referring to it as "Konstantinopolis", "Tsargrad", and
- Constantinople makes an appearance in the MMORPG game
Silkroad as a major
capital, along with a major Chinese capital.
- Pounds, Norman John Greville. An Historical Geography of
Europe, 1500-1840, p. 124. CUP Archive, 1979. ISBN
- BBC - Timeline: Turkey.
- Room, Adrian, (1993), Place Name changes 1900-1991,
Metuchen, N.J., & London:The Scarecrow Press, Inc., ISBN
0-8108-2600-3 pp. 46, 86.
- Britannica, Istanbul.
- Lexicorient, Istanbul.
- Commemorative coins that were issued during the 330s already
refer to the city as Constantinopolis (see e.g. Michael
Grant, The climax of Rome (London 1968), p. 133), or
"Constantine's City". According to the Reallexikon für Antike
und Christentum, vol. 164 (Stuttgart 2005), column 442, there
is no evidence for the tradition that Constantine officially dubbed
the city "New Rome" (Nova Roma). It is possible that the
emperor called the city "Second Rome" ( , Deutéra Rhōmē)
by official decree, as reported by the 5th-century church historian
Socrates of Constantinople: see
Names of Constantinople.
- A description can be found in the Notitia urbis
- Socrates II.13, cited by J B Bury, History of the Later Roman
Empire, p. 74.
- J B Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire, p. 75. et
- Description des îles de l'archipel, Bibliothèque nationale de
- Margaret Barker, Times Literary Supplement 4 May 2007 p.
- Procopius' Secret History: see P Neville-Ure,
Justinian and his Age, 1951.
- St Sophia was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman
conquest of the city, and is now a museum.
- Source for quote: Scriptores originum
Constantinopolitanarum, ed T Preger I 105 (see A. A. Vasiliev,
History of the Byzantine Empire, 1952, vol I p. 188).
- T. Madden, Crusades: The Illustrated History,
- Justinian, Novellae 63 and 165.
- Early Medieval and Byzantine Civilization:
Constantine to Crusades, Dr. Kenneth W. Harl.
- Past pandemics that ravaged Europe, BBC News, November 7, 2005.
- Vasiliev 1952, p. 251.
- George Finlay, History of the Byzantine Empire, Dent, London,
1906, pp. 156-161.
- Finlay, 1906 pp. 174-5.
- Finlay, 1906, p. 379.
- Enoksen, Lars Magnar. (1998). Runor : historia, tydning,
tolkning. Historiska Media, Falun. ISBN 91-88930-32-7 p.
- J M Hussey, The Byzantine World, Hutchinson, London, 1967, p.
- Vasiliev 1952, pp. 343-4.
- Silk Road Seattle - Constantinople, Daniel C.
- The officer given the task was killed by the crowd, and in the
end the image was removed rather than destroyed: it was to be
restored by Irene and removed again by Leo V: Finlay 1906, p. 111.
- Vasiliev 1952, p. 261.
- The Pechenegs, Steven Lowe and Dmitriy V. Ryaboy.
- There is an excellent source for these events: the writer and
Comnena in her work The Alexiad.
- Vasiliev 1952, p. 472.
- J. Phillips, The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of
- J. Phillips, The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of
- Hussey 1967, p. 70.
- T. Madden, Crusades: The Illustrated History,
- J. Norwich, Byzantium: The Decline and Fall, 217.
- The Black Death, Channel 4 - History.
- D. Nicolle, Constantinople 1453: The end of Byzantium,
- The Fourth Canon of the First Council of