Some Rights Reserved (2009-2021) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. The church would be destroyed by fire in 404 CE, rebuilt by Theodosius II, destroyed and rebuilt again under Justinian in 532 CE. It is from King Byzas that the city received its former name "Byzantium". Learn more. When the Arabs lay siege to the city, he used a new weapon “Greek fire”, a flammable liquid to repel the invaders. The religion was Christian, the organization Roman, and the language and outlook Greek. In 337 CE Constantine died, leaving his successors and the empire in turmoil. That said, an exact block number has not yet been confirmed in which the code would become operational … The Crusading knights installed one of themselves, Baldwin of Flanders, as emperor, and the Venetians—prime instigators of the Crusade—took control of the church. Constantinople was to become one of the great world capitals, a font of imperial and religious power, a city of vast wealth and beauty, and the chief city of the Western world. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Sadly, he would be the last of the truly great emperors; the empire would fall into gradual decline after his death until the Ottoman Turks conquered the city in 1453 CE. The Golden Horn was protected by a chain, but the sultan succeeded in hauling his fleet by land from the Bosporus into the Golden Horn. While the Latins divided the rest of the realm among themselves, the Byzantines entrenched themselves across the Bosporus at Nicaea (now İznik) and at Epirus (now northwestern Greece). by ancient Greeks as Byzantium (or Byzantion), the city grew into a thriving port thanks to its prime geographic location between Europe and Asia, and the … The economy of the empire would never completely recover. While the old amphitheater was abandoned (the Christians disliked gladiatorial contests), the hippodrome was enlarged for chariot races. It quickly became the largest city in the empire. Constantinople. In addition to other attractions of the capital, free bread and citizenship were bestowed on those settlers who would fill the empty reaches beyond the old walls. Ethereum Constantinople represents a solid step forward for the ecosystem. Despite th… It would perish during the Nika Revolts under Justinian in 532 CE. Sacred relics were torn from the sanctuaries and dispatched to religious establishments in western Europe. the largest city and former capital of Turkey; rebuilt on the site of ancient Byzantium by Constantine I in the fourth century; renamed Constantinople by Constantine who made it the capital of the Byzantine Empire; now the seat of the Eastern Orthodox Church Constantinople would become the economic and cultural hub of the east and the center of both Greek classics and Christian ideals. Constantinople (kŏn'stăn'tĭnō`pəl), former capital of the Byzantine Empire Byzantine Empire, successor state to the Roman Empire (see under Rome), also called Eastern Empire and East Roman Empire. The old circus was transformed into a victory monument, including one monument that had been erected at Delphi --the Serpent Column-- celebrating the Greek victory over the Persians at Plataea in 479 BCE. It was the largest and the wealthiest city in Europe from the mid-5th century to early 13th century and was popular for its magnificent architectural design. Although Constantinius had considered him weak and non-threatening, Julian had become a brilliant commander, gaining the support and respect of the army, easily assuming power upon the emperor’s death. Some of the affirmations found in the Apostles Creed, removed from the Nicene Creed, are reinstated into the Creed of Constantinople. Emperor Diocletian who ruled the Roman Empire from 284 to 305 CE believed that the empire was too big for one person to rule and divided it into a tetrarchy (rule of four) with an emperor (augustus) and a co-emperor (caesar) in both the east and west. Although he attempted to erase all aspects of Christianity in the empire, he failed. Thank you! Built on seven hills (just like Old Rome), the city was divided into fourteen districts. Was established as New Rome by Constantine the Great in the 4th century A.D. (The Byzantine Empire was actually the Greek-speaking Eastern half of the Ancient Roman Empire, which offically fell in 476 A.D., with the deposition of Romulus Augustus. Discover its history, fortifications, and geography. "Constantinople." Constantinople [ (kon-stan-tuh- noh-puhl) ] A city founded by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great as capital of the eastern part of the Roman Empire. In the 5th and 6th centuries emperors were engaged in devising means to keep the Monophysites attached to the realm. Its importance would take on new meaning with Alaric’s invasion of Rome in 410 CE and the eventual fall of the city to Odoacer in 476 CE. Until the rise of the Italian maritime states, it was the first city in commerce, as well as the chief city of what was until the mid-11th century the strongest and most prestigious power in Europe. By this time the city boasted over three hundred thousand residents. Thanks to the funding of Lucinius’s treasury and a special tax, a massive rebuilding project began. He wanted the new church to be built on a grand scale -- a church no one would dare destroy. The city was centered on two colonnaded streets (dating back to Septimus Severus) that intersected near the baths of Zeuxippus and the Testratoon. Though Istanbul may have been inhabited as early as 3000 BCE, it was not a city until … Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Built in the seventh century BCE, the ancient city of Byzantium proved to be a valuable city for both the Greeks and Romans. ABOVE: Photograph from Wikimedia Commons of the head of a colossal statue of the Roman emperor Constantine I, after whom the city of Constantinople takes its name, on display in the Capitoline Museums in Rome. Ancient History Encyclopedia. He brought in gold from Egypt, porphyry from Ephesus, white marble from Greece and precious stones from Syria and North Africa. Emperor Diocletian who ruled the Roman Empire from 284 to 305 CE believed that the empire was too big for one person to rule and divided it into a tetrarchy (rule of four) with an emperor (augustus) and a co-emperor (caesar) in both the east and west. Also, Constantinople is in an ideal location for trade and cultural diffusion, being right at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. The city needed a reliable water supply. Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire from 330-1204 and 1261-1453. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Constantinople/. "Constantinople." As the last emperor to rule both east and west, he did away with the Vestal Virgins of Rome, outlawed the Olympic Games and dismissed the Oracle at Delphi which had existed long before the time of Alexander the Great. Southward stood the new imperial palace with its massive entrance, the Chalke Gate. noun the largest city and former capital of Turkey noun the council in 869 that condemned Photius who had become the patriarch of Constantinople without approval from the Vatican, thereby precipitating the schism between the eastern and western churches Many armies, including numerous Islamic hordes, had tried to take the impregnable city and failed. Books Hagia Sophia Panoramaby Mark Cartwright (CC BY-NC-SA). Although initially choosing to flee the city, Justinian was convinced by his wife, to stay and fight: thirty thousand would die as a result. Constantinople was also an ecclesiastical centre. North of the arch stood the old basilica which Constantine converted into a square court, surrounded by several porticos, housing a library and two shrines. It's Hagia Sophia. In the reign of Justinian I (527–565) medieval Constantinople attained its zenith. The Eastern and Western wings of the church drew further apart, and after centuries of doctrinal disagreement between Rome and Constantinople a schism occurred in the 11th century. Constantinople; Third Council of Constantinople. Much of the rebuilding, however, was lost during the Fourth Crusade (1202 -1204 CE) when the city was plundered and burned, not by the Muslims, but by the Christians who had initially been called to repel invaders but sacked the city themselves. Constantine ruled over both parts of the empire … Young Constantine rose to power in the west when his father, Constantius, died. Cite This Work On April 13, 1204, however, the Crusaders burst into the city to sack it. Although he had been tempted to build his capital on the site of ancient Troy, Constantine decided it was best to locate his new city at the site of old Byzantium, claiming it to be a New Rome (Nova Roma). The population pressure from within, and the barbarian threat from without, prompted the building of walls farther inland at the hilt of the peninsula. Both were angry at Justinian for some of his recent policy decisions and openly opposed his appearance at the games. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 09 Apr 2013. The Turks had not only overwhelming numerical superiority but also cannon that breached the ancient walls. The only individual he spared was his cousin Julian, only five years old at the time and not considered a viable threat; however, the young man would surprise his older cousin and one day becomes an emperor himself, Julian the Apostate. Constantinople was a formidable city: it encompassed a perimeter of twelve miles, eight of which were ringed by the sea, and boasted a massive defensive wall, built a thousand years earlier. It started as a riot at the hippodrome between two sport factions, the blues and greens. One of Constantine’s early concerns was to provide enough water for the citizenry. One of his greatest-considered works was the renovation and development of the hippodrome. With their capital at Adrianople, further captures included Thessaloniki and Serbia. It was named after Byzantium, which Emperor Constantine I rebuilt (A.D. 330) as Constantinople and made the capital of the entire Roman Empire. The gold solidus of Constantine retained its value and served as a monetary standard for more than a thousand years. While Old Rome didn’t have the problem, New Rome faced periods of intense drought in the summer and early autumn and torrential rain in the winter. Doors were often made of ivory, floors were of mosaic or were covered in costly rugs, and beds and couches were overlaid with precious metals. Since it was surrounded almost entirely by water, it could be easily defended (especially when a chain was placed across the bay). He is eager to pass knowledge on to his students. We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. In 542 the city was struck by a plague that is said to have killed three out of every five inhabitants; the decline of Constantinople dates from this catastrophe. Although she saw the return of religious icons (endearing her to the Roman church), her power over her son and the empire ended when she chose to have him blinded; she was exiled to the island of Lesbos. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. The city and the empire never recovered from the Crusades leaving them vulnerable for the Ottoman Turks in 1453 CE. Old Rome was never considered. Constantinople was to become one of the great world capitals, a font of imperial and religious power, a city of vast wealth and beauty, and the chief city of the Western world. Although the city fell, it remained under its own government for a year. Qosṭanṭanīye, Ottoman Turkish: قسطنطينيه, translit. The city of Constantinople remained the continuous capital of the Byzantine Roman Empire for around nine hundred years. His successor, Julian the Apostate, a student of Greek and Roman philosophy and culture (and the first emperor born in Constantinople), would become the last pagan emperor. By the end of the 4th century, Constantine’s walls had become too confining for the wealthy and populous metropolis. That was the formal foundation of the city [under] Emperor Constantine," says Cornell Fleischer.Fleischer is the Kanunî Süleyman professor of Ottoman and modern Turkish studies in Near Eastern languages and civilizations at The University of Chicago. Wasson, D. L. (2013, April 09). 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