23 Facts About Constantinople


Constantinople is generally considered to be the center and the "cradle of Orthodox Christian civilization".

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The University of Constantinople was founded in the fifth century and contained artistic and literary treasures before it was sacked in 1204 and 1453, including its vast Imperial Library which contained the remnants of the Library of Alexandria and had 100, 000 volumes.

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Constantinople was famed for its massive and complex fortifications, which ranked among the most sophisticated defensive architecture of Antiquity.

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The impenetrable defenses enclosed magnificent palaces, domes, and towers, the result of prosperity Constantinople achieved as the gateway between two continents and two seas (the Mediterranean and the Black Sea).

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In East and South Slavic languages, including in medieval Russia, Constantinople has been referred to as Tsargrad or Carigrad, 'City of the Caesar (Emperor)', from the Slavonic words tsar ('Caesar' or 'King') and grad ('city').

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Name "Constantinople" is still used by members of the Eastern Orthodox Church in the title of one of their most important leaders, the Orthodox patriarch based in the city, referred to as "His Most Divine All-Holiness the Archbishop of Constantinople New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch.

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Constantinople was founded by the Roman emperor Constantine I in 324 on the site of an already-existing city, Byzantium, which was settled in the early days of Greek colonial expansion, in around 657 BC, by colonists of the city-state of Megara.

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Constantinople found the military situation so dire that he is said to have contemplated withdrawing the imperial capital to Carthage, but relented after the people of Constantinople begged him to stay.

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Constantinople removed Theodora from the Great Palace to the Carian Palace and later to the monastery of Gastria, but, after the death of Bardas, she was released to live in the palace of St Mamas; she had a rural residence at the Anthemian Palace, where Michael was assassinated in 867.

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The corporations in which the tradesmen of Constantinople were organised were supervised by the Eparch, who regulated such matters as production, prices, import, and export.

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Beautiful silks from the workshops of Constantinople portrayed in dazzling colour animals – lions, elephants, eagles, and griffins – confronting each other, or represented Emperors gorgeously arrayed on horseback or engaged in the chase.

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Constantinople made some attempt to repair the walls and organise the citizenry, but there had been no opportunity to bring in troops from the provinces and the guards were demoralised by the revolution.

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Constantinople came out with the Patriarch to the Golden Milestone before the Great Palace and addressed the Varangian Guard.

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Constantinople granted funds for the restoration of the Church of the Holy Apostles, which had been seriously damaged in an earthquake.

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In 1261, Constantinople was captured from its last Latin ruler, Baldwin II, by the forces of the Nicaean emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos.

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Constantinople ordered that an imam meet him there in order to chant the adhan thus transforming the Orthodox cathedral into a Muslim mosque, solidifying Islamic rule in Constantinople.

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Mehmed's main concern with Constantinople had to do with solidifying control over the city and rebuilding its defenses.

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Constantinople was the largest and richest urban center in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea during the late Eastern Roman Empire, mostly as a result of its strategic position commanding the trade routes between the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea.

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In terms of technology, art and culture, as well as sheer size, Constantinople was without parallel anywhere in Europe for a thousand years.

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Constantinople was home to the first known Western Armenian journal published and edited by a woman.

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Constantinople is of great religious importance to Islam, as the conquest of Constantinople is one of the signs of the End time in Islam.

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In 1909, in Constantinople there were 626 primary schools and 12 secondary schools.

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Constantinople's fame was such that it was described even in contemporary Chinese histories, the Old and New Book of Tang, which mentioned its massive walls and gates as well as a purported clepsydra mounted with a golden statue of a man.

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