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 Obelisk of Theodosius, Polat Utku Kayrak

This first field trip was a great experience for me although I am a Turkish citizen and used to go those areas when I was younger. Our field trip started just at the outside of Hagia Sophia and continued with an area near an open-air theatre that few people know about the importance of that particular area. After that, we also visited a place just behind the Palace of Justice and Mosaic Museum. Also when I’ve found myself in an underground tunnel with no light and proper reconstruction, I hardly believed myself that the city I live in has that kind of ancient, complicated and mystical structures. (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 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 – Great Palace (Burak Tiftik)

Our first field trip was to Sultan Ahmet, where we observed several of the Byzantine ruins from the era when the empire was its height. Unfortunately most of the ruins were not actually present, therefore we also got a chance to improve our imaginations as well.
The Great Palace, constructed by Constantine and improved by Justinian was used until 1204, after the fourth crusade the financial cost of maintaining the palace was too great. (more…)

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 19:18  Leave a Comment  
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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…)