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. Valens Aqueduct, Constantinopleby Oleg (CC BY-NC-ND). 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. Forty days later Justinian began the construction of a new church; a new Hagia Sophia. When the Arabs lay siege to the city, he used a new weapon “Greek fire”, a flammable liquid to repel the invaders. The city needed a reliable water supply. It was an act of vast historical portent. Constantinople existed on the site of an ancient Greek settlement. Constantinople would become the economic and cultural hub of the east and the center of both Greek classics and Christian ideals. New Rome would boast temples to pagan deities (he had kept the old acropolis) and several Christian churches; Hagia Irene was one of the first churches commissioned by Constantine. Learn more. Built in the seventh century BCE, the ancient city of Byzantium proved to be a valuable city for both the Greeks and Romans. When the smoke cleared, the emperor saw an opportunity to clear away remnants of the past and make the city a center of civilization. In 1452 another Ottoman sultan, Mehmed II, proceeded to blockade the Bosporus by the erection of a strong fortress at its narrowest point; this fortress, called Rumelihisarı, still forms one of the principal landmarks of the straits. In 1396 CE, at Nikopolis on the Danube, an Ottoman army defeated a Crusader army. These Italian groups soon obtained a stranglehold over the city’s foreign trade—a monopoly that was finally broken by a massacre of Italians. 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. He built another cistern and additional grain silos. Constantinople is the second part of a series of two-part improvements, following in the footsteps of Byzantium, which was activated October 2017. 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. Constantine ruled over both parts of the empire … The riot expanded to the streets where looting and fires broke out. Constantinople, once the imperial capital of the Byzantine Empire [Eastern Roman Empire] was the first city where Christianitywas designated the capital religion. Like the Nicene Creed, the Creed of Constantinople repeats much of the language about the nature and deity of Jesus. A number of weak emperors followed Theodosius II until Justinian (527 – 565 CE) --the creator of the Justinian Code-- came to power. 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 … Donald has taught Ancient, Medieval and U.S. History at Lincoln College (Normal, Illinois)and has always been and will always be a student of history, ever since learning about Alexander the Great. 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. It's a church. No expense was to be spared. In the 5th and 6th centuries emperors were engaged in devising means to keep the Monophysites attached to the realm. In 532 a large part of the city was burned and many of the population killed in the course of the repression of the Nika Insurrection, an uprising of the Hippodrome factions. Constantine’s new city walls tripled the size of Byzantium, which now contained imperial buildings, such as the completed Hippodrome begun by Septimius Severus, a huge palace, legislative halls, several imposing churches, and streets decorated with multitudes of statues taken from rival cities. Constantinople definition: → Istanbul | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples Even Justinian wasn’t immune, although he survived. It displaced the power centre of the Roman Empire, moving it eastward, and achieved the first lasting unification of Greece. The Byzantine Empire came to an end when the Ottomans breached Constantinople’s ancient land wall after besieging the city for 55 days. - Kelly Wall, All about Hagia Sophia and Byzantine Heritage, Count Baldwin of Flanders is made the first Latin Emperor of, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Constantinople - 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 Although some historians disagree (claiming Constantine laid the foundation), he is credited with building the first of three Hagia Sophias, the Church of Holy Wisdom, in 360 CE. Constantinople (Greek: Κωνσταντινούπολις, Konstantinoúpolis, or Πόλις, Polis) was the capital of the Roman Empire (330-395), the Byzantine/East Roman Empire (395-1204 and 1261-1453), the Latin Empire (1204-1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453-1922). There was, furthermore, a welcome for Christians, a tolerance of other beliefs, and benevolence toward Jews. Last modified April 09, 2013. Because it lay on the European side of the Strait of Bosporus, the Emperor Constantine understood its strategic importance and upon reuniting the empire in 324 CE built his new capital there -- Constantinople. By the end of the 4th century, Constantine’s walls had become too confining for the wealthy and populous metropolis. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. Some construction was carried out in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, but thereafter the city was in decay, full of ruins and tracts of deserted ground, contrasting with the prosperous condition of Galata across the Golden Horn, which had been granted to the Genoese by the Byzantine ruler Michael VIII. It was protected by massive walls that surrounded it on both land and seafront. 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. Binbirderek Cistern, Constantinopleby marcus_jb1973 (CC BY-NC-ND). Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. When the Turks crossed into Europe in the mid-14th century, the fate of Constantinople was sealed. Besides a new forum, the city boasted a large meeting hall that served as a market, stock exchange, and court of law. Valen’s successor was Theodosius the Great (379 – 395 CE). The city fell on 29 May 1453, the culmination of a 53-day siege which had begun on 6 April 1453. Around … 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). Culturally, Constantinople fostered a fusion of Oriental and Occidental custom, art, and architecture. He is eager to pass knowledge on to his students. In 381 it became the seat of a patriarch who was second only to the bishop of Rome; the patriarch of Constantinople is still the nominal head of the Orthodox church. The population pressure from within, and the barbarian threat from without, prompted the building of walls farther inland at the hilt of the peninsula. Ethereum Constantinople represents a solid step forward for the ecosystem. To solve the problem the Binbirderek Cistern (it still exists) was constructed in 330 CE. The city of Constantinople remained the continuous capital of the Byzantine Roman Empire for around nine hundred years. Ancient History Encyclopedia. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. But as time went forward, the conversation expanded. St. John Chrysostom, writing at the end of that century, said many nobles had 10 to 20 houses and owned 1 to 2,000 slaves. Constantinople was a name, implying the city of Constantine. 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. Two other emperors deserve mention: Leo III and Basil I. Leo III (717 – 741 CE) is best known for instituting iconoclasm, the destruction of all religious relics and icons --the city would lose monuments, mosaics and works of art-- but he should also be remembered for saving the city. It moved from Rome in the 4th-5th centuries of the Common Era (C.E.). Many armies, including numerous Islamic hordes, had tried to take the impregnable city and failed. Ancient History Encyclopedia. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. 'Conquest of Istanbul') was the capture of the Byzantine Empire's capital by the Ottoman Empire. Together with the challenge of the weather, there was always the possibility of invasion. "Constantinople." 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. Constantine’s choice of capital had profound effects upon the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. While his son Constantine V was equally successful, his grandson Leo IV, initially a moderate iconoclast, died shortly after assuming power, leaving the incompetent Constantine VI and his mother and regent Irene in power. Religion took on new meaning in the empire. For three days the city was abandoned to pillage and massacre, after which order was restored by the sultan. In response to Julian, he outlawed paganism and made Christianity the official religion of the empire in 391 CE. After Valens embarrassing defeat, the Visigoths believed Constantinople to be vulnerable and attempted to scale the walls of the city but ultimately failed. The gold solidus of Constantine retained its value and served as a monetary standard for more than a thousand years. Crusaders roamed the city, tombs were vandalized, churches desecrated, and Justinian’s sarcophagus was opened and his body flung aside. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Our mission is to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. One of his greatest-considered works was the renovation and development of the hippodrome. Rumeli Fortress (Rumeli Hisarı) on the European bank of the Bosporus, Istanbul. The settlers had originally come from the Greek city-state of Megara around 667 BC and were ruled by the legendary King Byzas. One of the darker moments during his reign was the Nika Revolt. It's Hagia Sophia. Capital of the Byzantine Empire. Wasson, D. L. (2013, April 09). 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. Upon his death fighting the Persians in 363 CE, the empire was split between two brothers, Valentinian I (who died in 375 CE) and Valens. In the reign of Justinian I (527–565) medieval Constantinople attained its zenith. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Constantinople/. Constantius II enlarged the governmental bureaucracy, adding quaestors, praetors, and even tribunes. In 330 CE, Constantine consecrated the Empire’s new capital, a city which would one day bear the emperor’s name. Supposedly laid out by Constantine himself, there were wide avenues lined with statues of Alexander the Great, Caesar, Augustus, Diocletian, and of course, Constantine dressed in the garb of Apollo with a scepter in one hand and a globe in the other. Constantinople is an ancient city in modern day turkey Was the most important city in the Byzantine empire for 1,100… Its first language was greek not Latin and yet they still iden… Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. It's a mosque. First settled in the seventh century B.C. In 337 CE Constantine died, leaving his successors and the empire in turmoil. During this period the city was frequently besieged—by the Persians and Avars (626), the Arabs (674 to 678 and again from 717 to 718), the Bulgars (813 and 913), the Russians (860, 941, and 1043), and a wandering Turkic people, the Pechenegs (1090–91). She is credited with influencing many imperial reforms: expansion of women’s rights in divorce, closure of all brothels, and the creation of convents for former prostitutes. The last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI (Palaeologus), was killed in battle. https://www.ancient.eu/Constantinople/. 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. That said, an exact block number has not yet been confirmed in which the code would become operational … It quickly became the largest city in the empire. Constantinople was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire and later the Empire as a whole. 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. Built on seven hills (just like Old Rome), the city was divided into fourteen districts. The rebuilding of the ravaged city gave Justinian the opportunity to engage in a program of magnificent construction, of which many buildings still remain. On April 13, 1204, however, the Crusaders burst into the city to sack it. 11 Jan 2021. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. The main gate of the imperial palace, the Senate house, public baths, and many residential houses and palaces were all destroyed. Related Content Although initially choosing to flee the city, Justinian was convinced by his wife, to stay and fight: thirty thousand would die as a result. 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. Fall of Constantinople (May 29, 1453), conquest of Constantinople by Sultan Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire. 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. 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. Wasson, Donald L. He called the Second Ecumenical Council, reaffirming the Nicene Creed, written under the reign of Constantine. Too confining for the wealthy and populous metropolis Constantinople to be vulnerable and attempted to scale the walls of early... 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