Walking through history line of Byzantine in Sultanahmet – Nükte Şahin

In our fieldtrip on Saturday, we had the chance to explore the hidden part of the Constaninople and the opportunity of observing how the past treated to present.

We began with the Lausos Palais which constructed by Lausos but destroyed in a fire in 475 A.D. Lausos was a man who has liked to preserve art that he collected the most beautiful statues like Zeus- the head of Gods- surrounded by goddesses. However, counting on the fact that Lausos was a son of a hotdog maker he was kind of initiated the beginning of social life in terms of marking shared past by placing the statues in the palace as a visual reminder.Unfortunately, today there is no sign in the park where remaining of the palace walls-hidden behind of public chairs-indicating that it was Lausos Palais in sometime of the history. After we saw the remainig archeological evidence from Antiochos Palais which has been destroyed by the time the palace of justice was constructed in the area. (more…)

Residential Complexes around the Hippodrome by Flannery Donley

Residential complexes around the Hippodrome: the palace of Antiochos and its transformation into the church of St. Euphemia

The Palace of Antiochos was built northwest of the Hippodrome and was for and named after a Persian eunuch who worked in the Great Palace under Theodosius II. Antiochos worked in the Palace from 402-439 and so it is believed that this palace was erected sometime during his service and more specifically, there is archeological evidence as well as literary sources which suggest that the palace was built after 429. In the 6th century the palace was converted into a church and named after St. Euphemia because her bones were brought to this site as holy relics. Euphemia was a Christian martyr whom was persecuted and died for her faith in Chalcedon which is on the opposite side of Constantinople on the Bosphorus. (more…)

The Hidden History of Istanbul – Andrea Hague

Our Late Antique & Byzantine art history class traveled to Sultanahmet two Saturdays ago to see for ourselves what remained of what we have read about and discussed in class. As we waited in front of the Hagia Sophia for everyone to arrive, Dr. Ricci repeated what we had learned in class, that we were standing had been the Augusteon, the forum where Justinian had placed his great equestrian statue. And yet, even as we were standing there staring up at the church that he had built, I did not feel that much more connected to that time period than when I had studied the diagrams in class. In place of the Augusteon there is still a plaza of sorts, but nothing remains of its Byzantine past. This disconnect that I experienced as I stood in what I knew had once been the Augusteon continued throughout the day. Even in the places where we were still able to see remnants of the city’s early history, it was difficult to put them into context. (more…)

The Hippodrome and it’s monuments – Ayşe Aslıhan Ağralı

The construction of the Hippodrome was started by the emperor Septimus Severus in 196. Also Constantine the Great the was the one who enlarged the construction. It was modeled on Circus Maximus in Rome. The Hippodrome was used for horse racing tracks, theater performances and athletic activities. The inauguration of the place was in the year 330. It has been rebuilt several times, and today only the columns which placed in the middle are survived. The Hippodrome had a Kathisma for the emperor to watch the event, the kathisma was also connected with the great palace. (more…)

Blog Post on the Hippodrome, David Bergstein

Our field trip began at the Augustaion Square, directly outside the Hagia Sophia. In Byzantium the Augusteon served a similar function as it does today: a public forum, a meeting space and a center of commercial activity. After the Nika Riot the square was re-built by Justinian (along with the Hagia Sophia), and until the iconoclast period it was full of statues. During the Byzantine era the Augustaion square was surrounded by the Palace of the Patriarchate, the main Gate of the Great Palace, the Senate, Palace of Magnaura (the diplomatic palace), the bath of Zeuxipphos, the Hippodrome and the Basilica Cistern. The centrality of the square makes it easy to imagine that the Augustaion must have been full of activity. (more…)

THE GREAT PALACE AND MOSAIC PERISTYLE – Romina Habib

THE GREAT PALACE AND MOSAIC PERISTYLE

The Great Palace of Byzantium was built by Constantine the Great, on the slopes of one of the ancient hills of Constantinople, after he made this city the capital of the Roman Empire in AD 330. The palace was located between the ancient Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia church and Marmara Sea, just under today’s Arasta Bazaar and behind the Blue Mosque.
Constantine the Great built his residence on the east side of the hippodrome and connected with spiral staircase ascending to emperor’s box (kathisma) in the hippodrome. The connection between the palace and hippodrome was a common feature of all roman imperial palaces. (more…)

Field Trip 1 (Didem Özcan)

The palace of Antiochos near the Hippodrome of Constantinople was built in 416-418 and after the downfall of its founder, it became the imperial property. Then, in the 7th century it converted into a church of St. Euphemia and its ruins are still visible today as we examined in our field trip. It is known that this church survived until the end of the Byzantine Empire and its architecture and frescoes that depict the life of St. Euphemia reflect the Byzantium style. The palace consisted of two parts, a southern section, which is inaccessible to the public today and converted into the church and a northern part, which stays between the wall of Hippodrome and the Mese including a semi-circular portico. (more…)

Nilay Ozdemir’s fieldtrip post

In this fieldtrip I have exprienced that there is strong connection linking the past all together.The places we visited are the once that it is understood .They are the most visited sections of istanbul, on the other hand we have discovered the once we could not by ourselves. I personally think that regeneration is strongly needed as soon as possible and moreover the hidden places should be taken into consideration by our government. (more…)

The Hippodrome and its monuments (Narges Aminolsharei)

The Other Side of Byzantium
Late Antique and Byzantine Art

Field Trip 1 (24 October 2009)

The Hippodrome of Constantinople is located in the Marmara region of Turkey, in the city of Istanbul and in the Eminonu district. It is one of the city’s most famous historical buildings and an UNESCO landmark. It should be said that this was the largest hippodrome (stadium) of the Ancient world, even larger than Rome’s Circus Maximus- which the hippodrome was designed after. It should also be noted that history’s first “four-horse chariot races” were conducted in the Hippodrome of Constantinople. Although the construction of the Hippodrome was began by Roman emperor Septimius Severus, it was enlarged by Constantine later on, when the Roman empire was moved to Constantine from Rome. (more…)

Field Trip 1: Reflections (Will Wyeth)

The Augusteon square at the very centre of the Byzantine empire and its capital Constantinople has witnessed the great events that shaped the empire. Its location echoes the importance that it played in classical Byzantium but more pressingly the role it had in the empire founded by Constantine. Bordered on all sides by buildings of vital importance to the empire, it acted as a pedestal for successive emperors to display their aspirations or the pay homage to their heritage. (more…)