Istanbul: The Imperial City

Overview

"Surrounded by a garland of waters" on the narrow straits of the Bosporus dividing Europe and Asia, Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, has been an unrivaled locus of cultural exchange since its beginnings as the Greek colony Byzantium. In its more than twenty-six centuries of existence the city has survived countless natural and political catastrophes, foreign conquests, and dynastic upheavals, enduring fantastic changes in religion, language, political status, and name. Despite these onslaughts of time, a vibrant local character and

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Istanbul: The Imperial City

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Overview

"Surrounded by a garland of waters" on the narrow straits of the Bosporus dividing Europe and Asia, Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, has been an unrivaled locus of cultural exchange since its beginnings as the Greek colony Byzantium. In its more than twenty-six centuries of existence the city has survived countless natural and political catastrophes, foreign conquests, and dynastic upheavals, enduring fantastic changes in religion, language, political status, and name. Despite these onslaughts of time, a vibrant local character and spirit have abided. This fascinating history of the city from its foundation to the present is a guide for the curious traveler as well as an evocation of an illustrious past.

  • Also included is a comprehensive gazetteer of all major monuments and museums
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140244618
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/28/1998
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 311,261
  • Product dimensions: 5.17 (w) x 7.86 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Colour Plates and Picture Acknowledgements
Maps
Preface
Turkish Spelling and Pronunciation
Pt. I Byzantium
1 The Strait and the City, up to c. 658 BC 3
2 The Greek City-State of Byzantium, c. 658 BC-AD 196 13
3 Roman Byzantium, 196-330 25
Pt. II Constantinople
4 The City of Constantine, 330-337 37
5 The Imperial Capital, 337-395 48
6 The Theodosian Walls, 395-450 58
7 The Late Roman City, 450-527 69
8 The Age of Justinian, 527-565 79
9 The Struggle for Survival, 565-717 90
10 The Iconoclastic Crisis, 717-845 101
11 Born in the Purple, 845-1056 114
12 The Dynasty of the Comneni, 1056-1185 129
13 The Latin Conquest, 1185-1261 143
14 Renaissance and Civil War, 1261-1354 153
15 The Fall of Byzantium, 1354-1453 164
Pt. III Istanbul
16 Istanbul, Capital of the Ottoman Empire, 1453-1520 181
17 The Age of Suleyman the Magnificent, 1520-1566 194
18 The House of Felicity, 1566-1623 206
19 The Procession of the Guilds, 1623-1638 221
20 Decline and Gilded Decadence, 1638-1730 237
21 In the Days of the Janissaries, 1730-1826 253
22 The Age of Reform, 1826-1876 268
23 The Fall of the Ottoman Empire, 1876-1923 281
24 Istanbul under the Turkish Republic, 1923-1995 299
Pt. IV Notes on Monuments and Museums 317
Glossary 383
List of Emperors and Sultans 387
Bibliography 390
Index 396
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2004

    An ultra-great history read

    I guess, the best saying about Istanbul is from Petrus Gyllius, -a French humanist and diplomat- who had been to Istanbul during the age of Suleyman the Magnificent. Gyllius called the Bosphorus 'the strait that surpasses all straits, because with one key it opens and closes two worlds, two seas'. This book starts with this comment and goes on emphasising the true beauty of the city. John Freely is a magnificant author and obviously in love with Istanbul. Actually he is a physic professor. You can follow his precise style in all of his books. The very fascinating film 'Notting Hill' from Julia Roberst and Hugh Grant made this book popular all around the world. The travelbooks-shop owner Hugh Grant recommends this book to Julia Roberts just in the beginning of the film and emphasizes its high quality. It goes without saying that Istanbul is a well written and well illustrated book. If you have been to Istanbul before, it will remarkably reinforce your memories. If you are a real fan of history and architecture and adore intellectually written books, dont skip this one. Really breathtaking! It will take you to a whimsical yet magnificent city and its history; particulary Byzantine era. The detailed information about Istanbul's monuments, Theodosian walls (built by Theodosius II in the first half of fifth century, AD, which are still magnificent even in their ruins, the long line of towers and battlements one of the enduring symbols of Byzantium), churches, obelisks, mosques, geography and historical events which were successfully chronicled will definetly help you to understand both its glory and history. Whilst reading this book, you will see the talisman and smell judas trees, terebinths,cypress, plane trees and umbrella pines. The part of history is excellent. You will learn that once upon a time the city had been only a hamlet and had remained a free city up until the last years of the second century. In addition to that, Freely reminds us of its entire given name that is NOVA ROMA CONSTANTINOPOLITANA; New Rome, the city of Constantine. Within the centuries, the name had got shortened and had become today's version. Amazing, isn't it? I must say that if you are interested in these type of books, it worths it, if not you may get a little bit bored. So consider your preferences and then order this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

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