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Byzantine Constantinople-de.svg
History of Istanbul
Postcard from 1905

The city of Constantinople (now Istanbul ) was settled by Doric settlers from mainland Greece around 660 BC. Founded under the name of Byzantion ( Byzantium ). On 11 May 330 AD, the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great made it his main residence , expanded it generously and officially renamed it Nova Roma ( Νέα Ῥώμη Nea Rhōmē , "New Rome"). In late antiquity (after the division of the Roman Empire) the city also claimed the rank of “Second Rome”. After the death of Emperor Constantine in 337, the city was officially renamed Constantinopolis . It was the capital of the Byzantine Empire ("Ostrom"), which bears its name, and remained so  uninterruptedly until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1453 , apart from being conquered in the Fourth Crusade . Under the names Kostantiniyye /قسطنطينيه and استانبول/ Istānbūl it was then the capital of the Ottoman Empire until 1923 .

By 1930 at the latest, the name Istanbul , which was already in use in the Seljuk and Ottoman Empires, was also used internationally. A prototype of an imperial city, it has been a world city since the 4th century .


Constantinople was founded as a Byzantium ( Greek Βυζάντιον ). As early as the 10th century, Greeks also called the city Bulin and Stanbulin , derived from polis for "The City" (see also Polis ). The Turks already called it Istanbul in the Rum Seljuk Sultanate and in the early Ottoman Empire /استنبول. After 1453 the city was officially called under the Ottomansقسطنطينيه Ḳusṭanṭīniyye , so e.g. B. on coins or fermans . Istanbul was an alternative name.

The Greeks still call it "The City" ( η Πόλη i Póli ) or Constantinople ( Κωνσταντινούπολη Konstandinoúpoli ). In Scandinavian sources, however, it was always referred to as Miklagarð , in Russian , Bulgarian , Serbian , Croatian and Slovene mostly as "Imperial City" (Russian Царьград Zargrad , in Bulgaria and in the former Yugoslavia Цариград or Carigrad ). Constantinople is also often referred to in lore as the city ​​of the seven hills , as is Rome .

spellings and translations

  • Ancient Greek and Katharevousa : Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoúpolis
  • Modern Greek ( vernacular ): Κωνσταντινούπολη Konstandinoúpoli ; respectively "City of Constantine"
  • Levantine Italian : Cospoli ( Romanian : Constantinopol )
  • Ottoman Turkish :درسعادت Der-i saadet 'The gateway to happiness',إسطنبول Istanbul ,قسطنطينيه Qusṭanṭīnīya ; Istanbul andm.
  • Modern Turkish : İstanbul
  • In historical context: Constantinople , Constantinople , Dersaadet
  • In German (rare, historical context only): "The City of the Rich"
  • The western Scandinavians (and Vikings) called the town Miklagard


Artistic reconstruction of late Byzantine Constantinople
Imperial precinct between Hippodrome and Hagia Eirene


Late Antiquity and Eastern Roman Empire

Because of the growing importance of the eastern half of the Roman Empire and to celebrate the victory over his last rival Licinius , who ruled the eastern part of the empire until 324, Byzantion was expanded into a residence by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in 326 and four years later, on May 11, 330 , solemnly inaugurated. It was given the new name Constantinopolis (Greek Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoupolis "City of Constantine"), taking up the tradition of Hellenistic kings and earlier Roman emperors of giving new city foundations their own names. At the same time, the name Byzantion ( Βυζάντιον ) remained common.

Several cities had previously been considered by Constantine, including ancient Troy on the coast of Asia Minor and supposedly Jerusalem as well, but the emperor himself later claimed that, following her advice, a nocturnal apparition of the Virgin Mary had made him choose the Byzantium lying on the Bosphorus. The location was strategically convenient, within reach of both the Danube and the Euphrates borders. The city was enlarged to five times the original area and, like the model of Rome , was built on (supposedly) seven hills. The political and secular institutions of the old capital were also often imitated. Thus Constantinople received a Capitol , a circus for 100,000 spectators, a forum ( Forum Constantini ) and a main traffic axis in an east-west direction. Works of art were brought into the city from all over the empire to give it splendor. Despite Constantine's promotion of Christianity, the new city was not a purely Christian foundation, like the (alleged) transfer of Palladium from Rome, who had once been stolen from Troy, but above all the renovation of the temples and the pagan rituals that were usually carried out when the city was founded show: The city was not planned as a "Christian Rome", even if later sources sometimes claim this. Constantine also granted the city council almost the same privileges as the Roman Senate, with the difference that the senators of Constantinople were initially only allowed to wear the honorific title clarus (“the radiant”), whereas the Roman senators were given the superlative clarissimus adorned. Only Constantine's son Constantius II eliminated this difference.

Whether Constantine really planned Byzantium to compete with Rome is a matter of debate among researchers and is now considered unlikely, because other emperors before and after him had also generously expanded cities such as Trier or Nicomedia as residences and sometimes named them after themselves. Constantine's city only had a city ​​prefect like Rome from 359, and until then it was administered by a proconsul , with an independent administrative area; there was initially no cursus honorum for the senators there , and legal equality with Rome was not achieved before 421, i.e. almost a century later. All this speaks against the assumption that Constantinople was supposed to be a new Rome from the start. Be that as it may, the importance of the city grew rapidly in the years after 330. From then on, the Egyptian grain fleets no longer headed for Rome, but for the city on the Bosporus. In Late Antiquity Constantinople became the administrative, economic and cultural center of the Eastern Roman Empire and fulfilled this task (with interruptions) par excellence from the late 4th century to modern times. After the actual division of the empire in 395 , the city was the center of the eastern Mediterranean world. As long as Byzantium/Constantinople stood, the Byzantine Empire (so called by modern historiography) also stood . With the fall of the city, the empire fell too. As a result of its position of power, Constantinople also became the center of the church. The bishop of the city, who traced his office back to the apostle Andrew , was patriarch from 381 and claimed a prominent position (by imperial decree he was henceforth subordinate only to the bishop of Rome ). The city also revived culturally in late antiquity : the university was the youngest, but soon also the largest in the Eastern Empire and reached its first heyday under Theodosius I , during which the libraries were also expanded. Emperor Theodosius II is considered the actual founder of the so-called University of Constantinople .

Due to its location on a cape, Constantinople could only be expanded to the west. Theodosius I, under whom Constantinople finally prevailed over Antioch as the main residence of the East from 379, expanded the city and, with the construction of the Great Palace , moved the seat of the emperors here. Around 412, under his grandson Theodosius II , another wall, some of which is still intact, was built about 1500 m west of the city wall built by Constantine, doubling the area of ​​the city from six to twelve km². The mighty fortification was then repeatedly restored and expanded. The population of Constantinople grew rapidly and finally against the will of the rulers, but even restrictions could not prevent the influx. Supplying the well over 400,000 inhabitants (at the time of Justinian before the outbreak of the plague in the 540s there were even between 500,000 and 600,000) presented the rulers with problems at times, especially in the later 7th century after the loss of the "granary" in Egypt of Islamic expansion to the Arabs , causing the population to decline again. Up until about 600 AD, there were still numerous residents in the city who spoke Latin as their mother tongue, as is attested by grave inscriptions, among other things, and only then was Constantinople completely Greekized .

In order to supply the city with goods, ports on the coast of the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara were expanded or newly built early on. To supply the huge capital with drinking water, several aqueducts were built from the north-west hill country, the water from which was stored in several underground cisterns with a total capacity of 130,000 m³ (e.g. the so-called Yerebatan Sarnıçı built under Justinian I in 532 ). In general, the Eastern Roman emperors in the 4th to 6th centuries were seized by a conspicuous enthusiasm for building, from which Chalcedon also benefited, although it was constantly overshadowed by Constantinople. The port was expanded and palaces and churches were built. After the destruction during the Nika uprising in 532, Justinian I had numerous buildings rebuilt, including the Hagia Sophia , the most important late antique building in the city. Constantinople was long considered impregnable due to the Theodosian Walls and the strongest fortress in the known world; numerous attacks and sieges failed due to the city's multi-staggered fortifications. The access to the port could be blocked with a huge chain ( port chain ). The fortress of Constantinople thus controlled the transition from Europe to Asia and made a decisive contribution to the fact that the rich Roman oriental provinces remained inaccessible to the Huns and Germans during the migration of peoples. Conversely, the city was of similar importance in repelling attacks from the east. The first real test came with the great siege of Constantinople (626) by the Persian Sassanids and their allied Avars . The late antique phase of the city's history ended a few years later with the Islamic expansion , during which the Arabs also repeatedly failed because of the triple wall of the city.

Constantinople in the middle Byzantine period

Constantinople in the 15th century
Siege of Constantinople (detail from an illumination, 1455)

The two repelled sieges by the Arabs in the years 674-678 and 717-718 stopped the advance of the Muslims into Europe and, like the Battle of Tours and Poitiers by the Franks , are of world-historical importance. However, the final loss of the rich Roman oriental provinces after 636 also affected the capital; so now the grain deliveries from Egypt were omitted. While the Arabs were partially pushed back over the course of the 8th to 10th centuries, the Bulgarians became a new threat to the city. A first (also unsuccessful) siege took place in 813. The series of attacks continued in the 9th and 10th centuries, when the Bulgarians and Rus , the Pechenegs in 1090 , tried several times to conquer Constantinople. As a rule, these sieges led to the devastation of the Thracian countryside around the city, and the more easily fortified Chalcedon was also conquered, plundered and destroyed several times by Persians and Arabs. As a result, hardly any traces of Byzantine architecture can be found there today.

Despite recurring city fires, plagues and earthquakes, Constantinople remained one of the few "world cities" in the western world (along with Baghdad , Cairo and Córdoba ) until the Middle Ages, and by far the largest and most important Christian metropolis. As already described, under Justinian it had its first and probably also its greatest heyday in the 6th century. According to late antique sources, the number of inhabitants is said to have exceeded the 500,000 mark at that time. On the other hand, critical historians and archaeologists assume that the city probably never reached half a million, let alone exceeded it. By the middle of the 8th century, the number of inhabitants had dropped significantly, not least because of the Arab sieges (according to researchers like Chris Wickham , even to well under 100,000), but then rose again by the 12th century to allegedly around 700,000 inhabitants. In contrast, more cautious estimates for the end of the 12th century put the number of inhabitants at 400,000.

Loss of territory as a result of military defeats (including the Battle of Manzikert in 1071) forced the Byzantines to seek help in the Christian west at the end of the eleventh century. The advance of the Normans via southern Italy to the Greek mainland could only be stopped thanks to the Venetians , in return they were contractually granted trade privileges, tariff reductions and a trading post in Constantinople. Further requests for help in the West led to the proclamation of the First Crusade by Pope Urban II. As a result, an army from all parts of Western Europe moved towards Constantinople, where the last detachments arrived in April 1097. In the metropolis on the Bosphorus, the crusaders saw an advanced infrastructure that they did not even come close to knowing from any of their cities. There were aqueducts, baths and sewers, clinics with departments for all sorts of diseases, a large university, even police and fire departments. Traders from all over the world met at the city's markets, whose great wealth was based on overseas trade. Emperor Alexios I , concerned for his capital at the sight of the barbaric-looking hordes, hastened to move the crusader army to the Asian side of the Bosphorus. The 50,000-strong army conquered the nearby capital of the sultanate, Nicaea , in the same year and then moved on towards Jerusalem . The beleaguered Constantinople had been given some breathing room again; but at the same time relations with the West, already strained by the schism of 1054, had deteriorated considerably in the course of the crusade.

The traditionally friendly relationship between the Byzantines and Venice also turned into distrust, contempt and hatred in the 12th century under Manuel I Komnenos , not least because of the doge's republic 's repeated power struggles with Pisa and Genoa on Byzantine soil . The locals felt the presumptuous behavior of the so-called "Latins" as a provocation and they regarded each other as heretics. The explosive atmosphere erupted in the Latin pogroms of 1171 , when the Byzantine government first confiscated the property of thousands of Venetians and then imprisoned them. Allegedly, even Enrico Dandolo , who then traveled to negotiations, was blinded , but this is questionable. Despite a peace agreed in 1177, the event of these Latin pogroms had a lasting impact on the relationship between Constantinople and Venice. In 1203 a crusader army, equipped by Venice and led by Doge Dandolo, set out to conquer Constantinople under the pretext of settling disputes over the throne there (although modern scholars have disputed that Venice really planned an attack on Byzantium from the start have). Emperor Alexios III. fled from the advancing army, and Isaac II , installed by the crusaders, took his place (again) on the throne. Despite the “work done”, the crusaders initially stayed in the city and waited for the promised rich reward. When they discovered a mosque - there was a Muslim community in Constantinople from 718 as a result of the settlement of Arab traders - and set it on fire, the resulting conflagration destroyed an entire district.

When Isaac II and his son Alexios IV died (under unclear circumstances) and Alexios V succeeded them to the throne, the crusaders were expelled from the city. They felt cheated and offended about the promised reward, so they prepared another attack on Constantinople . Led by the 96-year-old 41st Venetian Doge Enrico Dandolo, a bitter opponent of orthodox Byzantium, they succeeded on April 13, 1204 together with the Venetians in storming the city from the sea wall on the Golden Horn. The city was then sacked for three days. Many residents of the cosmopolitan metropolis were killed. Numerous monuments were destroyed, great works of art were destroyed or stolen, a number of libraries were burned down and a large number of the holy relics kept in Constantinople were stolen and scattered throughout Europe. From this destruction and plunder by the Venetians and Crusaders, Constantinople did not recover for the remainder of the Middle Ages.

The late Byzantine period and the advance of the Turks

Constantinople map of 1420 in Cristoforo Buondelmonti 's Liber insularum archipelagi . Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France , Department des Cartes et Plans, Ge FF 9351 Rés., fol. 37r

The crusaders dismembered the Byzantine dominion and established the so-called Latin Empire . This only lasted for a short time, as early as 1261 a mercenary army from the Empire of Nicaia, supported by Byzantine families who had fled, recaptured the city in a surprise attack (→ Reconquest of Constantinople 1261 ). The Byzantine Empire was reestablished on a comparatively modest scale, but subsequently lost more and more of its territory. Around 1300 Constantinople still had about 100,000 inhabitants. It had lost its role as the most important trading center in the Mediterranean to the Italian port cities, especially Venice. The Italians maintained trading posts in the district of Pera (today Beyoğlu) on the northern European side of the Golden Horn.

1326 began with the conquest of Bursa by Osman I , a military leader of a small Turkish tribe, the triumph of the Ottomans . In rapid succession, they conquered all of Anatolia and parts of mainland Europe. Byzantium soon resembled an island in the Ottoman Empire. In the 15th century it consisted only of the actual urban area and the surrounding villages, the population dropped to around 40,000.

The Eastern Roman Empire ended with the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. Smaller parts of the country, especially Mystras on the Peloponnese , were able to hold out for a few more years, but were then also conquered.

Ottoman Modern Age

City map of Constantinople around 1850
Constantinople around 1896
Constantinople around 1910

After the Battle of Nicopolis , fought in 1396, Sultan Bayezid began to besiege the city. In 1399, the French Marshal Jean II Le Maingre came with his troops to help. In 1401 the siege was broken off. Already in 1422 Constantinople was attacked again by Sultan Murad II and his lord. The outer defenses were taken. A failure was able to repel the onslaught in August and destroy the siege works.

In 1452, Fatih Sultan Mehmet had a coastal castle built near the city, blocking the Bosphorus. In the spring of 1453 the siege began with siege engines and heavy artillery, an army of 200,000 men and a fleet of 250 ships. Few troops were available to the defenders, and to make matters worse, there were religious disputes between the Orthodox and the Unionists (henotists) within the city walls. Hoping for help, they managed to defend the city for 40 days. Since Emperor Constantine refused to surrender voluntarily despite the concession of free withdrawal, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottomans on May 29, 1453 with great losses. The number of dead is given as 50,000.

The victorious troops first burned everything they could get their hands on and enslaved the population, with the exception of the Jews and Genoese who, thanks to their prudent attitude during the siege, were able to save their private property. The city was sacked and many of the art treasures were stolen or destroyed. Around noon, Sultan Mehmet entered the city and performed a prayer of thanksgiving in the Sophia Church ( Hagia Sophia ). From then on, this building was supplemented by minarets and used as the city's main mosque. He had the city rebuilt and the fortifications and the castle with the seven towers restored. The cityscape was completely reshaped and Constantinople became the new capital and residential city of the Ottoman Empire.

Some residents and intellectuals were able to flee to western Europe, especially northern Italy, taking with them many surviving copies of ancient writings. These spread quickly in northern Italy through the printing press , which was invented at about the same time, and triggered a wave of "rediscovery" of ancient thought models and ideas. This rediscovery accelerated the complex process now known as the Renaissance .

After the conquest, the Ottomans first called the city in Turkish Islambol 'Islamic Empire' , later in everyday usage İstanbul . In the Greek language area, Konstandinúpoli is spoken to this day. The name İstanbul (formerly also "Stambul" in German-speaking countries) is traditionally derived from ancient Greek εἰς τὴν πόλι(ν) , in which Koine is tin poli(n) abraded , meaning "into the city". However, there are a number of other hypotheses about the naming.

On September 14, 1509, a severe earthquake shook the city. An entire district became uninhabitable as a result of the fires that broke out as a result. About 13,000 people fell victim to the effects of the earthquake.

From the 17th century there was a massive influx of Armenians from all areas of the Ottoman Empire. At the end of the 19th century, at least 250,000 Armenians lived in Constantinople. A cultural Armenian infrastructure was formed, which ultimately led to a cultural and political awakening of the western Armenian community and helped shape the face of the city. An important chronicler of this period is the German journalist and writer Friedrich Schrader , who lived and worked in Constantinople from 1891 to 1918.

Constantinople suffered severe devastation from several earthquakes and fires in the years 1714, 1755, 1808 and 1826. There were repeated uprisings of the Softas which resulted in the fall of the Grand Vizier Mahmud Nedim Pasha in May 1876 .

In addition to its political importance, the city retained great economic and cultural importance and an international character. The patriarchate remained as an overarching institution for the Christians of the empire with important rights and duties, until 1821 Greeks played an important role (including in diplomacy and in the administration of the Danubian principalities).

In 1821, after the beginning of the Greek uprising , the Turks committed an atrocity against the Greeks living in the city. On April 22, the Greek patriarch Gregory V , among others , was hanged at the door of a church. After the Janissary Revolt of 1826, the Janissary Corps was disbanded.

Greek influence in economic life and diplomacy was significant until 1922. Under Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566), Constantinople was the capital of a vast empire stretching from Hungary to Belgrade to Baghdad and far into North Africa. The Ottoman Empire was at the height of its power, reflected in a multitude of palaces and mosques designed by the architect Sinan , the greatest Ottoman master builder of his time. But even then the decline began. A lack of reforms, corrupt viziers, the power of the sultan's wives and the isolation from modern trends meant that, despite a beautiful facade, in the 19th century people finally spoke of the " sick man on the Bosporus " when referring to the Ottoman Empire.

Imperial structures

Column of Constantine in July 2010, north side

When Emperor Constantine founded a new center for the Roman Empire on old Byzantium between 324 and 330, it was to gradually replace Rome as the capital. In order to give emphasis to the idea of ​​a Nova Roma , this then had to be expanded architecturally. Since Constantinople was also shaped by Christianity from the very beginning and Christianity became the state religion, without otherwise renouncing the imperial cult, Constantinople got an appearance characterized by votive and memorial columns, forums, palaces, the hippodrome and, of course, numerous Christian churches.

The oldest surviving monument in Constantinople is the Column of Constantine . The porphyry column, which was 52 meters high , was originally crowned by a statue of Helios . The head of the sun god was surrounded by seven rays, into which, according to legend, passion nails had been worked. According to a tradition from the 9th century, the foundation of the column is said to have recovered a splinter from the cross of Christ, the palladium and other cult objects, some Christian, some pagan. In 1105 the statue was destroyed in a storm and replaced with a cross. The height of the column is only 35 meters. It became the symbol of the city, and the last Byzantine chroniclers report that on the day of the conquest by Sultan Mehmed II, the townspeople would gather around it early in the morning to await the saving angel of the Lord.

In addition to the Column of Constantine, the hippodrome formed the center of the city and was the focal point of public life. This is where emperors and people met, this is where the emperor demonstrated his power and there are also some representative objects there. Constantine and his successors erected statues and monuments along the spina, the dividing wall between the two directional paths around which the chariots drove. These include the Obelisk of Theodosius , an Egyptian obelisk from the Temple at Karnak , and the 5th-century BC bronze Serpent Column. This pillar was originally built by 31 Greek cities to commemorate the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC. B.C. directly opposite the Temple of Apollo at Delphi . Constantine I had the monument brought to Constantinople in 330. The golden bowl originally supported by this column was stolen during the 4th Crusade. The heads of the snakes destroyed Muslims in the 17th or 18th century, the rest of one of the three heads can still be seen in the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul.

Under Emperor Theodosius, three forums were built along the route of the imperial triumphal processions. The column of honor of Emperor Theodosius stood on the Forum Tauri , modeled on the Trajan column in Rome. Other columns are the Arcadius Column, Markian Column and Justinian Column . Like the Column of Constantine, this youngest of the columns is closely linked to the history of Constantinople. The 543 inaugurated 35 m high column carried an equestrian statue of Justinian I three to four times life size. When Mehmed II conquered Constantinople, one of his first acts was to destroy this statue.

The 6th-century Hagia Sophia , now used as a mosque, stands out as one of the central late antique monuments of the city . Until the Seville Cathedral was built, it was the largest church in the world. Immediately after the conquest of Constantinople, the new Turkish rulers set about appropriating the building for the Islamic religion they had brought with them and redesigned it. Not only were all valuable Christian symbols removed and the valuable mosaics destroyed or plastered over, but in addition to various modifications, four large minarets on the flanks of the church were also raised by three sultans.

Muslim Sites of the Middle Ages

Contrary to popular belief, there were already Muslims and mosques within the city in pre-Ottoman times. The first mosque in Constantinople (and thus the first mosque on the Balkan Peninsula or in all of Southeast Europe) is said to have been built in 718.

Maslama Mosque

Probable location of pre-Ottoman mosques in medieval Constantinople, the first mosques in south-eastern Europe

After the unsuccessful Second Siege of Constantinople (717-718) , the Arab general Maslama and the Byzantine Emperor Leo III. agreed on the construction of a mosque for the Arab prisoners of war and for the Muslim traders active in the city. She was mentioned by Constantine Porphyrogennetos in De Administrando Imperio as well as in the correspondence between the Arab caliph ar-Rādī bi-'llāh and the Byzantine emperor Romanos I and in the chronicles of Niketas Choniates , Ibn al-Athīr , al-Muqaddasī , Yāqūt ar-Rūmī , Al-Dimashqi and others. According to various statements, this Saracen mosque is said to be near the Imperial Palace, inside or near the Praitorion (east of the Forum of Constantine, today between Atik Ali Paşa Camii Çemberlitaş and Sultan Iı. Mahmut Türbesi) or in a "Saracen" quarter behind the Hagia Irene ( near the Imperial Palace) (probably in Regio IV or Regio V).

As part of an agreement with Tughrul Beg Constantine IX. commissioned renovation work on the mosque around 1050 (therefore sometimes also referred to as the Seljuk Mosque ). Set on fire by the Latin Crusaders in August 1203 (according to other sources by the "Saracenes" themselves or already during riots in 1200), the mosque is said to have been built after the Byzantine reconquest of Constantinople by Michael VIII in 1263 in the interest of good relations with the Egyptian Mamluk have been richly restored. The last Byzantine Emperor, Constantine XI. apparently ordered the closure of all mosques in Constantinople and urged Muslims to accept Christianity. It remains unclear whether the Maslama Mosque was in use or still existed up to the time of the Ottoman conquest in 1453. There are hardly any archaeological finds or they cannot be clearly assigned.

Arabic Mosque

As early as the 12th century, the number of Arab traders and Muslim immigrants had increased so much that a second mosque was built. It is said to have been located outside the sea wall at the Golden Horn , northwest of the Galata Bridge, possibly near what is now the Egyptian Bazaar (Mısır Çarşısı) and the New Mosque (Yeni Cami).

Just opposite, on the other side of the Golden Horn, is the Arap Camii (Arab Mosque) today in the Galata district .

Eyup Sultan Mosque (Eyup)

Funerary monuments and places of pilgrimage

According to some sources, the tombs of a descendant of ʿAlī ibn Abī Tālib and Abu Ubaidah, one of the ten companions of the Prophet Muhammad , are said to have been in Constantinople. However, this Arabic tradition is obviously a confusion with the tomb of Abū Ayyūb al-Ansārī , the standard-bearer of the Prophet, who had already fallen during the First Siege of Constantinople (674–678) , in the district of Eyüp , which used to be outside the city walls . His tomb is said to have initially been respected by the Byzantines, but was destroyed by the Latins in 1203 and only rediscovered by the Ottomans. After the Ottoman conquest in 1458, the Eyüp Sultan Mosque was built over the grave .

See also

web links

Wiktionary: Constantinople  – explanations of meaning, word origin, synonyms, translations
Commons : Constantinople  - Collection of images, videos and audio files



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  4. Map Views
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  15. ↑ According to At-Tabarī , the Arab commander (and later caliph) Yazid I threatened the Byzantines to destroy Christian churches in Syria if the tomb was desecrated (At-Tabarī, Târih III 2324 ibnü'l-Esir, Üsdü' l-Ğabe, V, 143; Hâfız Huseyn b. Haccı, Hadîkatül Cevâmî, I, 2434).
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Coordinates: 41° 1′  N , 28° 59′  E