Things To Know About Istanbul
Things To Know About Istanbul
If one had but a single glance to give the world one should gaze on Istanbul.
– ALPHONSE DE LAMARTINE
Istanbul is one of the most important cities not only in Turkey but also in the world in terms of its nature, cultural and historical richness. The fact that it is geographically a bridge between Asia and Europe brings East and West culture together.
Istanbul has been the capital of two great empires in history. Roman Emperor I When Constantine moved his capital from Rome to Istanbul, the Roman Empire was divided into East and west (330 AD). In the previous period, Megarans from Greece were present in the city in 680 BC. The oldest known name of the city, “Byzantion”, was given in honor of King Byzantas of Megara during this period. After his death, the city was called Constantinople (City of Constantine), although Constantine gave the name “Nova Roma” (New Rome) when he moved the capital here.
The Edict of Milan, proclaimed in 313, granted the Christians a legal status but this was met with backlash by the Romans. This is one of the most important reasons why Rome, which adopted the polytheistic Pagan religion, was divided into two: the Christian, pagan conflict. Accordingly, Constantine stated that the establishment of the new capital was “God’s command”. But he will only be baptized on his deathbed.
Istanbul met all the characteristics of a new capital. Constantine really saw the city he called” The New Rome ” as a place where Rome could be rebuilt. An interesting detail is that Istanbul, like the city of Rome, consists of Seven Hills. In this context, the construction of the city began. Undoubtedly, the construction of Istanbul is one of the most important decisions in history. Constantinople is the product of one man. The region, today referred to as the historical peninsula, forms the boundaries of Istanbul in the period of Constantine. During periods of Turkish rule, urbanization outside these borders was sparse.
The Eastern Roman Empire was never referred to as the Byzantine Empire during its time. This name is 16. it was named by the century German historian Hieronymus Wolff. The Eastern Roman Empire experienced its heyday in the time of Judinianus (527-565).
In the following periods, Arab raids and crusades caused great damage to Eastern Rome. The Catholic-Orthodox conflict brought Eastern Rome against Western Europe. IV. The sailing ships that came to the Bosporus during the crusade, when they saw Constantinople, desired the city with great surprise. The Crusader armies that entered the city on 12 April 1204 plundered the city and set it on fire. Steven Runciman, author of the three-volume history of the Crusaders (1951-54), describes this situation as follows.
“ … [Constantinople] was full of artworks from Ancient Greece and masterpieces that were the product of his own superior craftsmanship. Venetians knew the value of such things. Wherever they found a treasure, they took it away to decorate a square in their city and a church and a palace. But the French and Flemish were burning with the desire to destroy. They stormed the streets and houses with cries, snatched everything that shone, and broke what they could not carry, only when they plundered wine cellars to kill someone or rape someone or drink. Neither the monasteries nor the churches and libraries survived this looting. You could see drunken soldiers, even in Hagia Sophia, crushing icons with their feet with holy books, tearing down silk curtains and smashing silver iconastasis. While the soldiers drank from the altar pots, a prostitute sat on the patriarch’s throne, singing in unflattering French. The gruesome scenes of looting and slaughter lasted for days until this great and beautiful city was razed to the ground.”
Following the plunder, a Latin Empire was established in the city in 1204. When the “Latin dogs”, as the Byzantines call them, left the city after 57 years of life, all that was left was a ruined country. Its territory was diminished, its centralised power weakened, and its population impoverished.
Meanwhile, Turks in Anatolia had come all the way to the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts. So much so that after Thrace also fell into the hands of the Turks, Byzantium was besieged on all sides and the ailing empire succumbed to Sultan Mehmet The Conqueror in 1453 after a long resistance.
II. Mehmet entered the city with great enthusiasm and gave great privileges in Orthodox public worship and life. Some churches, especially Hagia Sophia, have been converted into mosques. However, Fatih was disappointed when he entered the city. Because the city of his dreams had been looted by the Crusaders, many buildings including Hagia Sophia had been plundered. One of the greatest achievements of Mehmet the Conqueror was to bring this ruined city back to life. And so the capital was moved from Edirne to Constantinople.
The name Istanbul is mentioned in some sources as coming from the name Islambol. This is the truth. In fact, the name of the city adopted today is also Greek. The word “Eis ten polin”, used in Greece during the Byzantine and Ottoman periods, refers to “towards the city”. This phrase was used for the road to Istanbul. Today, the origin of this name is based on this.