Istanbul? NO! It’s Constantine the Great City, Constantinople!
Constantine the Great (Latin: Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus; Greek: Κωνσταντῖνος ὁ Μέγας; 27 February c. 272 AD — 22 May 337 AD), also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, in the Orthodox Church as Saint Constantine the Great, Equal-to-the-Apostles, was a Roman Emperor of Illyrian and Greek origin from 306 to 337 AD. He was the son of Flavius Valerius Constantius, a Roman Army officer, and his consort Helena. His father became Caesar, the deputy emperor in the west, in 293 AD. Constantine was sent east, where he rose through the ranks to become a military tribune under Emperors Diocletian and Galerius. In 305, Constantius raised himself to the rank of Augustus, senior western emperor, and Constantine was recalled west to campaign under his father in Britannia (Britain). Constantine was acclaimed as emperor by the army at Eboracum (modern-day York) after his father’s death in 306 AD, and he emerged victorious in a series of civil wars against Emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become sole ruler of both west and east by 324 AD.
As emperor, Constantine enacted administrative, financial, social, and military reforms to strengthen the empire. He restructured the government, separating civil and militaryauthorities. To combat inflation he introduced the solidus, a new gold coin that became the standard for Byzantine and European currencies for more than a thousand years. The Roman army was reorganised to consist of mobile field units and garrison soldiers capable of countering internal threats and barbarian invasions. Constantine pursued successful campaigns against the tribes on the Roman frontiers — the Franks, the Alamanni, the Goths, and the Sarmatians — even resettling territories abandoned by his predecessors during the Crisis of the Third Century.
Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity.[notes 1] Although he lived most of his life as a pagan, he joined the Christian faith on his deathbed, being baptised by Eusebius of Nicomedia. He played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan in 313, which declared religious tolerance for Christianity in the Roman empire. He called the First Council of Nicaea in 325 that produced the statement of Christian belief known as the Nicene Creed. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built on his orders at the purported site of Jesus’ tomb in Jerusalem and became the holiest place in Christendom. The Papal claim to temporal power in the High Middle Ages was based on the supposed Donation of Constantine. He is venerated as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Church. He has historically been referred to as the “First Christian Emperor,” and he did heavily promote the Christian Church. Some modern scholars, however, debate his beliefs and even his comprehension of the Christian faith itself.[notes 2]
The age of Constantine marked a distinct epoch in the history of the Roman Empire. He built a new imperial residence at Byzantium and renamed the city Constantinople after himself (the laudatory epithet of “New Rome” came later, and was never an official title). It became the capital of the Empire for more than a thousand years, with the later eastern Roman Empire now being referred to as the Byzantine Empire by historians. His more immediate political legacy was that he replaced Diocletian’s tetrarchy with the principle of dynastic succession by leaving the empire to his sons. His reputation flourished during the lifetime of his children and centuries after his reign. The medieval church upheld him as a paragon of virtue, while secular rulers invoked him as a prototype, a point of reference, and the symbol of imperial legitimacy and identity. Beginning with the Renaissance, there were more critical appraisals of his reign due to the rediscovery of anti-Constantinian sources. Trends in modern and recent scholarship have attempted to balance the extremes of previous scholarship. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_the_Great
Constantinople: Constantinople Greek: Κωνσταντινούπολις Konstantinoúpolis; Latin: Constantinopolis) was the capital city of the Roman/Byzantine (330–1204 and 1261–1453), and also of the brief Latin (1204–1261), and the later Ottoman (1453–1923) empires. It was reinaugurated in 324 AD from ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, after whom it was named, and dedicated on 11 May 330 AD.
From the mid-5th century to the early 13th century, Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe and it was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times as the home of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and as the guardian of Christendom’s holiest relics such as the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross. After the final loss of its provinces in the early 15th century, the Byzantine Empire was reduced to just Constantinople and its environs, along with Morea in Greece, and the city eventually fell to the Ottomans after a 53-day siege on 29 May 1453.
Aerial view of Byzantine Constantinople and the Propontis (Sea of Marmara).
Constantinople was famed for its massive and complex defences. Although besieged on numerous occasions by various peoples, the defences of Constantinople proved invulnerable for nearly nine hundred years before the city was taken in 1204 by the Crusader armies of the Fourth Crusade, and after it was liberated in 1261 by the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos, a second and final time in 1453 when it was conquered by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. The first wall of the city was erected by Constantine I, and surrounded the city on both land and sea fronts. Later, in the 5th century, the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius under the child emperor Theodosius II undertook the construction of the Theodosian Walls, which consisted of a double wall lying about 2 km (1.2 miles) to the west of the first wall and a moat with palisades in front. This formidable complex of defences was one of the most sophisticated of Antiquity. The city was built intentionally to rival Rome, and it was claimed that several elevations within its walls matched the ‘seven hills’ of Rome. Because it was located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara the land area that needed defensive walls was reduced, and this helped it to present an impregnable fortress enclosing magnificent palaces, domes, and towers, the result of the prosperity that was engendered by its being the gateway between two continents (Europe and Asia) and two seas (the Mediterranean and the Black Sea).
The city was also famed for its architectural masterpieces, such as the Greek Orthodoxcathedral of Hagia Sophia, which served as the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the sacred Imperial Palace where the Emperors lived, the Galata Tower, the Hippodrome, the Golden Gate of the Land Walls, and the opulent aristocratic palaces lining the arcaded avenues and squares. The University of Constantinople was founded in the fifth century and contained numerous artistic and literary treasures before it was sacked in 1204 and 1453,including its vast Imperial Library which contained the remnants of the Library of Alexandriaand had over 100,000 volumes of ancient texts.
Constantinople never truly recovered from the devastation of the Fourth Crusade and the decades of misrule by the Latins. Although the city partially recovered in the early years after the restoration under the Palaiologos dynasty, the advent of the Ottomans and the subsequent loss of the Imperial territories until it became an enclave inside the fledgling Ottoman Empire rendered the city severely depopulated when it fell to the Ottoman Turks, whereafter it replaced Edirne (Adrianople) as the new capital of the Ottoman Empire. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantinople