Istanbul Travel Guide

Constantine and Nova Roma

  • A gravure showing Istanbul in Byzantine period.

  • An example of sarcophaguses which belong to Byzantine emperors.

  • Sarcophagus which belongs to an emperor in 8th and 9th centuries.

  • Constantinepole

In the period of Diocletianus (284-305) the governance of the Empire was divided in West and East. In 395 this division became official. The West consisted of mostly Latins and the East of Greek. Rome had 2 equal emperors.

Invasion of Latin
Crusader Fleet, who came to Constantinople in 1203 invaded the city after a short encompassment. Fires which outbreak during the encompassment damaged the city which was famous for its wealth. Town folded miserable condition because of the Latin’s depredation. Latins took control of the city and they announced the Earl Flandre Baudoin as a Latin Emperor. Thedoros Laskaris I,who escape from the town during the invasion established government in exile in Iznik. Micheal Paleologos VIII who is the emperor of Byzantine Emperor in exile in Iznik concluded a collusion with Geneose who were the opponent of Venetians. Byzantines with Venezia Fleet went into town with blitz, when association of Latins went to Black Sea. Emperor escaped. Emperor Micheal crowned firstly in Monastery of Studios then in Hagia Sophia with his wife Thedora. So, town fell under domination of Byzantine again. 

Building a city like Rome
In Istanbul buildings, palaces, fora, the hippodrome, temples and water cisterns are built just like in Rome. Rome was built on 7 hills and the river the Tiber. In Istanbul there was no river as large as the Tiber but a creek. This Lycos creek is now called Bayrampasa Deresi. This creek was enough and one built a copy of Rome in Istanbul.

With seven candles
Emperor Constantine believed in the luck of the number seven. The head room of the palace was called “Hepta Lichnos” which means “with seven candles”. There was a parade to protect the Emperor which contained 7 continents. The Emperor was painted in paintings as a sun in the middle of 7 stars which turned around him. An example is the statue Apollo Sol Invicto in Cemberlitas. There are two Constantinopels, a Roman and a Byzantine. These cities were eqaul cities. The Roman Empire has endured like this for 65 years led by 7 different emperors.