Medieval Constantinople

Studies on the History and Topography of Byzantine Constantinople

Paul Magdalino



CATEGORY: Byzantine Studies
Urban Studies
PAGES: 173
SIZE: 16,5 x 24 cm.
EDITION: 2nd print, November 2017
HARDCOVER ISBN: 9786059389884

How would Constantinople, the last largest urban settlement of the Greco-Roman World become the largest city of Medieval Christian Europe? What were the differences between the city the caliphs of seventh century dreamed of, and the one conquered by Mehmed the Conqueror in 1453? Constantinople survived the collapse of the Old World because its strong infrastructure and the basic structure of the urban life there remained fundamentally unchanged. Institutions such as harbour, bazaar, imperial palace, and church, which have been established in the middle of the sixth century, maintained their functions during the seventh and eighth century called as “The Dark Ages,” and have become models in the long renaissance period following these ages. The countenance of early Christianity in the city had only started to change after the tenth century with the establishment of new monasteries and aristocratic houses, and the transformation of commercial life around the Golden Horn. However, these new constructions were organised around the existing core at that time. The continuity of the city life was disrupted by the Fourth Crusade (1203-1204) and the ensuing pillages and fires. Constantinople has become a city spreading to a scattered periphery without a core in the last bicentennial period of the Byzantine Empire.

Paul Magdalino, one of the world’s leading Byzantine historians, enables us to imagine the medieval Istanbul with the help of written sources as well as archaeology and architecture. With his own words, “This book is a deep excavation through the layers of urban experience accumulated in the historical peninsula and around throughout the long Byzantine history from 330 to 1453, under the Istanbul of Ottoman and Republic of Turkey.”


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