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…)

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A Day in Sultanahmet – Mert Erten

Unlike other well-preserved cities like Rome, Istanbul reveals little of its ancient past as Constantinople. After the Licinius defeat the time of the old Rome started passsing while Roman Emperor Constantine I decided to rebuild a “new Rome” in the east also which he declared to be a new Roman capital. Constantinople, as a new Roman capital, preserved its Roman culture as well as its imperial idea. (more…)

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 23:55  Leave a Comment  
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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…)

Gözde Pekol

The trip that we had to Sultanahmet was not an ordinary one.Thw first Hagia Sophia was constructed in 360 by constantius II then it became the cathedral of Byzantium.It burned in 404 and also in 532. the third Hagia Sophia was reconstructed in 537. After 1453 it was immediatly turned into a friday mosque. We met in front of the Ayasofya Museum’s enterance which was Augustaion square (fora) in Mese. Augustaion took its name from augustus which was a title for emperors. It was a typical type of Roman courtyard where commercial activities occured, functioned as a public forum where people met. (more…)

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 23:48  Leave a Comment  
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Tarçın Köprülü

Where we met for our fieldtrip was Augustaion which was situated south of Hagia Sophia was the imperial square in the center of the Constantinople and on the Mese which is the main street. The name Augustaion refers to the title “agustus” used for the Roman emperors. The public forum was rebuilt by Justinian after the Nika Riot. The fora is surrounded by the colonnades. On its western side there was the coloumn of Justinian which was as high as the dome of Hagia Sophia. (nearly 50m). The coloumn was made of brick and covered with a bronze sheating. On the top of the coloumn there was the statue of Justinian on the horseback who reigned between 527 and 565. This monument could be seen from an important distance from the sea and the city. (more…)

Hippodrome and its monuments (Nil Hocaoglu)

In the Byzantine period, Chariot race is the only game that survived after the classical antiquity. In Byzantium there were three places that intended for this race. One of them was in St. Mamas and used until the ninth century. The other one was in the west and near the Sts. Apostles. The most important one was in the centre of the city which is next to the GreatPalace. It was founded by Septimus Severus and more than a century later it is completed by Constantine in 330. The hippodrome was about 400m long and its estimated capacity was 30.000 spectators. Supporters of the circus had their seats on the western side. During the break of a racing programme they were entertained by the dancers, mimes and singers. The kathisma which is an emperor box was in the east side of the hippodrome and it was accessible to the palace directly. The emperors watched the game with his family in there. The hippodrome was not only use for games but also it played an important role in the imperial ideology. (more…)

The Hippodrome and Its Monuments – Ayse Yucel

Constantinople is former capital of the Byzantine Empire, which was founded at A.D. 330 as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine I. After Constantine I named the city with his own. Constantinople was the largest and most pompous European city of the middle Ages. Constantinople shared the glories and descents of the Byzantine Empire. The city witnessed tough wars so in 5th century Theodosius II started o built giant walls surrounding the city in order to protect it from the enemies coming from the sea. Constantine I finished the construction of the wall, which was one of a kind for that century. There are lots o important structures (beside the city wall) built in Constantinople, which gave the city its prominence. (more…)

Serhat Goncal – A fieldtrip in Sultanahmet

Living 22 years in İstanbul and being a native of Istanbul I have been only one time in Sultanahmet Meydanı but I have been several times in Sultanahmet to eat dinner in Sultahahmet Koftecisi without caring the historical meanings of Sultanahmet. That clearly show the consciousness of history of native of Istanbul. I think the reason of that is living in a developing country in which people are fighting with other different vital problems creating by our own political strategy and also I think that surrounding with a historical values in every part of our countries by different ancient civilizations. Both of the reasons decline our historical consciousness that make us unconscious about the history. (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…)